Monday, June 30, 2008

Da daaaaaa da da, da daaaaaa da da

From today's Writers Almanac by Garrison Keillor:

It was on this day in 1936 that the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was first published. When she handed the manuscript over to editors, it was in terrible shape, with more than 1,000 pages of faded and dog-eared paper, poorly typed and with penciled changes. But they loved the story. They asked Mitchell to change the original title, "Tomorrow Is Another Day," because at the time there were already 13 books in print with the word "tomorrow" in the title. They also asked her to change the main character's name from Pansy to Scarlett.

Mitchell later said, "I just couldn't believe that a Northern publisher would accept a novel about the War Between the States from the Southern point of view." But Gone with the Wind broke all publication records. It sold 50,000 copies sold in one day, a million copies in six months, and 2 million by the end of the year. The sales of the book were even more impressive because it was in the middle of the Great Depression. The hardcover of the novel cost $3 a copy, which was fairly expensive at the time. Its sales injected millions of dollars into the publishing industry. The year it came out, employees at the Macmillan publishing company received Christmas bonuses for the first time in nearly a decade.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Truffles by the Sea

Julie Carobini's latest is Truffles by the Sea, and I wonder if it shouldn't have been named "Troubles by the Sea." Because that's all Gaby has: TROUBLE.

Truffles is the sequel of sorts to Chocolate Beach, which told Bri's story. Gaby is Bri's best friend. As the story opens, we learn that Gaby's lost her apartment to a fire and her business partner embezzled from her flower shop. If that's not enough, she gets hit with a lawsuit from a disgruntled bride.

Then there's the obligatory single-gal-living-on-the-beach man troubles. Add in some nosy neighbors and friends in crisis, and you've got an involved chick lit novel.

I enjoyed this book. It's got girlfriends, issues, and chocolate. I wanted to yell at Gaby with all her financial missteps, and I think the author could've gone down that road, but she didn't. Gaby's problems were not all solved by page 315, and that's probably the more realistic choice for today's heroine.

I think this was a good summer reading choice for me.

This book was on my Summer Challenge list, as well as my "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" list.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Classics?

My dad raised me to be a lover of books and words and language. The phrase "New Classics" is an oxymoron. I can hear Dad laughing in my head as I type this.

Anyway, on a reading email loop I'm on, someone posted this link from Entertainment Weekly to the New Classics. I've only read nine of them. I'm in the process of reading two more. I own two more than that, in the massive TBR pile.

SO......What do you think?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CFBA presents Calico Canyon

I reviewed this book last week for Mary can read that review here. Please post a comment if you'd like to receive the ARC of this novel (US addresses only, please). Thanks!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Calico Canyon

Barbour Publishing, Inc (July 1, 2008)


Mary Connealy


MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation.

Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.


Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.

As if being a wanted woman isn't bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormenters who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn't get any worse. Or could they?

Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife's death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.

When God throws Grace and Danielt together─two people who couldn't detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.

Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sweetgum Knit Lit Society

Welcome to the Glass Road blog tour for THE SWEETGUM KNIT LIT SOCIETY! I'll be giving away my copy of the book and a free ball of yarn, so be sure to comment to enter the drawing!

Beth Pattillo (Heavens to Betsy and Earth to Betsy) knows how to follow a dream—even with a pile of publishing industry rejection slips to her name. She spent seven years on the path to her first publishing contract, and the characters in her new novel, The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society, embrace Pattillo’s persistence.

Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille are not perfect women. They each struggle with love in their own way—unrequited love, forbidden love, overwhelming love, even lost love. Yet they battle on, meeting every month in the Pairs and Spares Sunday school room to knit, discuss that month’s book selection, and puzzle out their lives.When Eugenie throws neglected and abused teenager Hannah Simmons into their midst, however, walls decades in the making come crashing down. With secrets thrown on the table amid the tangle of yarn, needles and books, one thing becomes certain: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society will soon discover what’s most important in the complicated lives they lead.

Q&A with Beth Pattillo, author of The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society

Q. What was your inspiration behind The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society?

A. The book was inspired by the knitting group at my church. I loved the way a group of diverse women, from their teens to retirement age, bonded over knitting and prayer. I think book clubs experience a similar phenomenon. Something about knitting or reading together really helps to create authentic community. One of the things I enjoyed most about writing this book was looking at the world from such different points of view. Each of the women in the novel is unique. And the variety of ages and life experiences kept things interesting.

Q. In the book, troubled teen Hannah Simmons has seen her share of neglect and abuse before meeting the ladies of the Knit Lit Society. Do you see many teens like Hannah in the course of your work as an ordained minister? If so, what is your philosophy in helping them find healing?

A. Unfortunately, I’ve met a number of teens over the years that were neglected by their parents. I’m a strong believer in youth ministry because I know it can provide guidance and care that’s often missing in a teenager’s home. In the novel, Hannah happens to be poor, but I’ve found that income level, however high or low, doesn’t always correlate to the quality of parenting. The love and attention of a youth minister and/or youth sponsor can often keep a teen from making bad choices with disastrous consequences. Teenagers need to feel competent and valued. A strong youth ministry provides an opportunity for young people to find their spiritual gifts and use them. It also makes God’s love tangible and powerful.

Q. Since not every town has a Knit Lit Society, what would your advice be to anyone who has a "Hannah" in their life or knows of a teen in a similar situation?

A. Most teens need someone to listen to them without judgment or agenda. Mentoring, serving as a youth sponsor, teaching Sunday school and Bible study – these are all great ways to reach out to teenagers. As a minister, in a particular situation, I have to assess whether a teenager needs the help of social services in addition to the love and care of a church family. All ministers are required by law to report suspected abuse. Neglect, though, can be a bit trickier. Ideally, a minister can reach out to the parents as well as the teen to try and help the family become more functional and caring. I always appreciated my church members letting me know if they thought a particular teenager needed help. I think it’s better to get involved and ultimately find that the situation wasn’t as serious as you thought than to ignore something until a crisis occurs.

Q. Do you knit in your spare time?

A. I love to knit! I’m into hand-tied yarn right now, taking eight or nine different yarns in a particular color palette and tying 2-3 yard sections end to end. The result is wonderfully shaggy scarves or shawls that have real depth of color and texture. (I was inspired by the owner of The Shaggy Sheep in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas – a terrific yarn store!) I’m afraid I have numerous unfinished projects around the house, but one day, I hope to finish them all.

Q. You spent seven years waiting to publish your first book and now The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is your fourth book. What advice do you have for novice or aspiring writers?

A. Aspiring writers have to persevere. For that matter, so do published authors. The publishing industry is a rejection-based business. Work hard, acquire a thick skin, be open to good criticism, and revise, revise, revise. As writers, we take our work personally, but the publishing industry doesn’t. Rejection is a business decision, not a critique of our value as human beings!

My other piece of advice is to write every day, even if it’s only a small amount. I run an email loop called Club 100 For Writers. The challenge is to write 100 words a day for 100 days. I’ve seen this practice transform people’s lives. Instructions for joining the group are on my website,

Pattie's Review:

I'm a knitter and a literature addict, so of course I had to read this book. I really enjoyed it. I found myself drawn into Eugenie's little group. I felt like this might be the first book in a series, because some of the characters seemed a bit less fleshed-out (almost as if they might get their own book someday). There was always more to the story, and sometimes Beth Pattillo gave us more and sometimes she didn't. In that sense, it was a lot like real life.

If I had to compare this book to another knitting book, it's more similar to Debbie Macomber's A Good Yarn or Shop on Blossom Street, than it is to Kate Jacobs' The Friday Night Knitting Club, for example.

I thought the characters' lives were intertwined much like a piece of knitting. Sometimes knit stitch, sometimes a combination of knit and purl, and quite often a big snarly mess! ;) But I would recommend this book to fans of inspirational women's fiction as well as knitsters everywhere.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Along Came a Cowboy

Welcome to the Glass Road blog tour for Christine Lynxwiler's latest, Along Came a Cowboy.

From the outside looking in, local Chiropractor Dr. Rachel Donovan seems to have it together. She’s returned to her hometown of Shady Grove and runs a thriving Chiropractic practice. She’s be nominated as Shady Grove’s Citizen Of The Year, and appointed to the committee planning the town’s major centennial celebration and rodeo. Unfortunately, on the inside everything is not as it appears.

The committee duties come with baggage—cute, cowboy baggage to be precise. Jack Westwood is the epitome of the stereotypical cowboy; rugged, handsome and bull-headed. While he makes everyone else swoon, Rachel is determined to not get involved any more than necessary. She knows his type—T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Unfortunately, the fallout from a mistake that Rachel made fifteen years ago still echoes today threatening to ruin her sterling reputation and bring the whole fa├žade tumbling around her . She thought she had buried it deep in her past, but while she’d moved on she never really moved past that summer. Even though she knows that God has forgiven her, she’s having a harder time forgiving herself.

Can the woman who has devoted her life to healing others allow God to mend her own hurt? Will she seize the opportunity to reconcile with her past and open her heart to love again? Will she come to terms with her mistake and forgive herself before her opportunity at love fades into the sunset?

About Christine Lynxwiler
Award-winning author and past president of American Christian Romance Writers, CHRISTINE LYNXWILER has numerous novels and novellas published with Barbour, including Arkansas, Promise Me Always, and Forever Christmas. She and her husband, Kevin, along with their two daughters, four horses, and two dogslive in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains in their home state of Arkansas.

Here's a Q&A with author Christine Lynxwiler:

Q. In Along Came A Cowboy, the lead character struggles with forgiving herself for a past sin that has had a major impact on her life. Why do you think it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves or even to accept forgiveness.
A. I don’t know the answer to that, but I have a few ideas. First, I think we hold ourselves to a higher standard than we do others. Or we might feel, like Rachel did, that if we beat ourselves up enough about the past, then we’ll feel worthy of forgiveness. Also, it’s much easier to give than it is to receive. Same goes with forgiveness. Maybe because our pride isn’t battered by forgiving someone, but being forgiven implies owning up to sin and recognizing that we can’t fix our mistake on our own.

Q. What would your advice be to someone who is struggling to come to terms with a past indiscretion?

A. Obviously, if you’re a Christian, I’d advise giving the past to God and once you’ve repented and asked His forgiveness, forgive yourself, forget it and move on. But that’s a little simplistic for most of us. I think many of us tend to do what Rachel does in Along Came a Cowboy and magnify our own sins. What seems like an unfortunate little stumble on someone else’s path can appear to be a plunge to certain death on our own life’s road. So consider how you’d feel about a friend or loved one if they’d done exactly what you did. If the answer is, “I’d forgive them” then forgive yourself. You deserve no less kindness and mercy from yourself than anyone else does. If that doesn’t work for you and you have children, ask yourself how you would feel if your child did this thing. Would you still love them? If they turned from this sin, would you forgive them? If the answer is yes, then your Heavenly Father still loves you and forgives you too, so it’s time to let it go and forgive yourself. If the answer is no, then maybe your current sin is an inability to forgive others and that’s a whole ‘nother problem.

Q. When you’re writing, what do you use as your inspiration?

A. Inspiration and ideas come from everywhere. But as I said in an interview recently, I’m an Arkansas country girl, born and raised on a farm, and currently living in the most beautiful small town (in my opinion anyway) in the Ozarks. So these are the places and people that inspire me to write. My books are almost all set in small town Arkansas. My characters are rarely ever patterned after one specific person. Instead each one is a conglomeration of people I meet and interact with every day. I get inspired when I ask “What if?” That’s the neverending question and asking it usually will bring more stories than one person can write in a lifetime.

Q. What do you enjoy most about writing Christian fiction?

A. One thing that I used to complain about that I’ve now come to enjoy is the fact that all my books have a common theme—God is in control. Sometimes it’s the main theme, sometimes it’s just an underlying thread. Each story line is very different from the last one, but the theme is always there. As this theme emerges in a new story, it brings me joy and sometimes even laughter because I know that this is a lesson God is patiently teaching me. I told someone recently that around book seven I began to look for a new theme. “I’m going to get boring,” I wailed. But apparently, even now on book fourteen, I haven’t quite mastered this “God is in control” concept, because inevitably by the end of the book, my character is struggling to come to terms with the fact that she is not in the driver’s seat of her own life. Now when I start a story, I look forward to seeing how this particular theme is going to show up.

On a more serious note, I enjoy knowing that the stories God allows me to write not only entertain, (which is why I wanted to be a writer) but that they also touch readers’ lives in a deeper way than I could ever imagine or take credit for. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Q. As an award-winning Christian romance writer, do you have any advice for novice or aspiring writers?

A. Never give up. And once you’ve decided that you’re not quitting, join American Christian Fiction Writers. The annual fee of $50 will be the best money you ever spend on your writing career. And don’t just pay the dues and not get your money’s worth. Join a critique group. Get to know other writers. Dedicate yourself to learning the craft. And never quit learning. Being published isn’t the end of the journey. It’s only one step along the way to being the best writer you can possibly be. Settle in for a long, bumpy, exhilarating ride!
Pattie's Review:
I really liked this book. It made me smile, it made me laugh, and it made me cry. It even makes fun of itself a little bit, and I have to adore a writer that can poke a bit of fun at herself and her genre! ("Christian girls like cowboys." *chuckle*)
Rachel just tugged at my heartstrings. She seemed like a true Girlfriend and I just ached for what she'd lost and almost lost again. I loved her. I wanted to be her friend too!
Not only will this book appeal to country girls at heart, I think it will appeal to fans of Rachel Hauck and Judy Baer and other romance/chick lit writers. It actually reminded me a lot of Rachel Hauck (could it be the name? Maybe...).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Calico Canyon

Mary Connealy's second book in the "Lassoed in Texas" series is Calico Canyon from Barbour Publishing.

Here's a synopsis from the official press release:

Schoolmarm Grace Calhoun has her work cut out for her with the Reeves boys--five malicious monsters of mayhem who are making her life miserable. Things couldn't get any worse . . . or could they?

When Grace finds herself out of a job and facing financial ruin - thanks to the Reeves and their widower father, Daniel - a man from her past shows up and this time she's afraid he'll pursue her to the death.

Seeking safety, she crawls into the back of a wagon at the general store, unaware that the wagon belongs to the Reeves. When Daniel unwittingly totes her home, Grace is knocked unconscious and wakes up in an underground cave.

When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

I have to say, Calico Canyon seemed quite a bit rougher to me than Petticoat Ranch. I read Petticoat Ranch last year and enjoyed it. Grace's story seems rougher. She certainly has had just as many bad times as Sophie, yet it seems worse. She endured quite a bit of abuse from the aforementioned "man from her past" and it's tough to read; not because the author goes into too much detail, but precisely because she doesn't. Thankfully, we have some wonderfully humorous moments in this story of a woman out of her element, and five boys who are just as adorable as they are annoying. We also get to see a few glimpses into how Sophie and Clay are faring on the Petticoat Ranch.

Suffice it to say, I enjoyed this book and am so glad I read it!

Don't just take my word for it, however: it got 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times.

Author's website:

CFBA today

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Hunted

(Realms - June 3, 2008)


Mike Dellosso


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted. He was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years and has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets. Mike also has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters.

Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

You can read a great interview with Mike, over here on TitleTrakk


A town's deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith...

After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills to aid in the search effort. When Caleb is found, badly mauled and clinging to life, Joe embarks on a mission to find the beast responsible. But the more Joe delves into the fabric of his old hometown, the more he realizes Dark Hills has a dark secret, shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence.

As Joe unravels the truth behind a series of unexplained animal attacks, murder, and corruption at the highest level of law enforcement, he is led to a final showdown where he must entrust his very life into God's hands. Will his young faith be strong ehough to battle the demonic forces of The Hunted.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.

Mike Dellosso could very well be the next Frank Peretti-if you liked The Oath and Monster, you are going to love The Hunted.
--C.J. Darlington, Cofounder and book editor,

A spine-tingling tale of hidden secrets, buried hopes, and second chances. A story best read with all the lights on and an extra flashlight--just in case!
--Amy Wallace, author of Ransomed Dreams

Mike Dellosso's pins-and-needles thriller hurtles the reader down a dark and twisted path. I dare you to take this one home!
--Jill Elizabeth Nelson, author of the To Catch a Thief suspense series

With hints of Frank Peretti and Stephen King, The Hunted is a chilling debut."
--Creston Mapes, author of Nobody

A vicious enemy, a family secret, a thirst for revenge, and a need for reconciliation all drive The Hunted from intriguing beginning to thrilling conclusion."
--Kathryn Mackel, author of Vanished

Read this someplace safe as you experience the incredibly descriptive world of The Hunted. And sleep with the lights on.
--Austin Boyd, author of Mars Hill Classified trilogy

Monday, June 16, 2008

Coolest thing evah

My friend Cheryl won this contest!!!!!!!!

from MY BLOG!

I love it!

Thanks, Misty and Kathy!

Deep in the Heart of Trouble

I'm a busy girl this week, reading three books for blog tours next week, plus don't forget about my giveaway of Cara Putman's DEADLY EXPOSURE tomorrow!

I think this book sounds pretty good! Read the CFBA post and enjoy!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Deep In The Heart Of Trouble

(Bethany House June 1, 2008)


Deeanna Gist


Deanne Gist has been a busy lady. She had a career in elementary education. She raised four children. In fifteen years she has: run a home accessory/antique business, member of the press, penned freelance journalism for a few well-known publications, People, Parents, Family Fun and more. She was the CFO for her husband's engineering company, she did all this in her home.

She also founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products which would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she submitted A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers and they picked it up for their new "edgy inspirational" line of historical fiction. After its release in July 2005, Bride hit eight best seller lists and has sold over 100,000 copies and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2006. The Measure of a Lady was her 2006 summer release. It hit five best seller lists and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2007. Gist is contracted to have a new book come out every summer. Courting Trouble was her 2007 summer release and it hit three best seller lists.

Deeanne lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-four years. They have two kids in high school, two in college.


A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love

Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she’s known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man’s eye.

And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer’s oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune--not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn’t know if she’s driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope.

That’s how life is ...Deep In The Heart Of Trouble

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

“Christy Award winner Gist’s historical romances have increasingly gained popularity, combining witty dialog, well-balanced plots, and fully developed characters who seem almost real. Recommended for CF and romance collections.”
-- Library Journal

"Gist does it again! Her signature prose is consistent and she delivers a thoroughly delightful and entertaining story that’s worthy of our time and attention. Not only won’t you want to put this book down, you’ll want to enjoy this story again and again."
-- JUNE TOP PICK, 4-1/2 STARS, Romantic Times, Jennifer Reyes

"Gist has once again written a delightfully humorous historical romance. After reading the first book in this series of two, I was anxious to get my hands on this one. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed ... It is a spectacular, feel-good story which I highly recommend. You will definitely be glad you read it."
-– FIVE STAR RATING, The Romance Studio, Brenda Talley

Friday, June 13, 2008


That's AHEB, not to be confused with Ahab, the mean dude in Moby Dick. AHEB is short for Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, my favorite so far of Lorna Landvik's novels.

I think this book is wonderful, even during a reread.

This is my latest Nattie Challenge book. I read it to remind me of her (and boy, did it ever!). I also have Bookmooched a few used copies to give away. Last Saturday I left one on the bench outside the library so I hope someone picked it up--and enjoyed it.

I double-challenged this book along with the Summer Reading Challenge, too, which is why I am posting this here :)

Blog Tour with Deadly Exposure by Cara Putman

I am thrilled to be hosting a whistle stop on the blog tour for Cara Putman's first Love Inspired Suspense novel (third novel overall). It is entitled DEADLY EXPOSURE and it is really good!!!

Before I start, let me give you the official synopsis.

How could a killer have struck in a crowded theater? That was the question plaguing TV news reporter Dani Richards. She'd been in the box next to the victim—and hadn't heard or seen a thing. Now the very man who had broken Dani's heart years ago was investigating the murder. And when her coverage of the story led the killer to stalk her, police offi cer and former fl ame Caleb Jamison insisted on protecting her. Dani was afraid to let Caleb close again. Yet she had no choice. The killer's sinister phone calls left no doubt that he'd come for Dani next.


Cara graciously took the time out of her busy schedule to answer my interview questions, and I'm so excited. Thanks, Cara, for giving me this unique interview!

Pattie: I like the title. What made you choose Deadly Exposure instead of another title?

Cara: The working title was Double Image, but my editor asked for more titles. I brainstormed with a couple writing buds and off their ideas came up with Deadly Exposure. That better captures the idea that there's the threat of death and the exposure the heroine is in as a reporter and stalking victim. The sequel is Deadly Judgment. Once I have a general idea, it's so much easier to come up with titles.

Pattie: Why did you choose a theater for the crime scene, and why Cats for the musical?

Cara: I was looking for something different and unique to Lincoln. The Lied Center is a beautiful theater on the edge of UNL's campus, so that fit. I also wanted a setting that would have the heroine in a place she's trying to relax and escape from the pressures of her job. It should be a safe place, but isn't. I love the musical CATS -- and I don't think people find it objectionable in any way. :-)

Pattie: This book is quite different from your first historical, Canteen Dreams. Which genre do you enjoy writing more?

Cara: I actually enjoy both -- but you're right -- they are very different. I love bringing the history of World War Two to life. But I equally love the race against the clock of suspense. I get to write both for right now and I enjoy that.

Pattie: Do you have a writing hero? Who is it?

Cara: There are so many writers I admire. I love the layers in Colleen Coble's suspense, the incredible pacing of Brandilyn Collins' books, the humor in Rachel Hauck's romances, the historical accuracy in Tricia Goyer's novels.

Pattie: Tricia Goyer is my writing hero too!

You have written stories taking place in Nebraska, and you live in Indiana. Which other Midwest states have you lived in? Do you have plans to use any of them as settings in your novels?

Cara: Nebraska is my home state, so it's been fun writing books set there. Also easier to check the location details since I go home a couple times a year. Right now I'm getting ready to start writing a series set in Ohio during World War Two. I'm excited about the series, but planning a research trip, since I've never spent much time in Ohio. I also have a legal proposal I'm tweaking that is set in a fictious Indiana town.

Pattie: What is in your Mt. TBR right now? (Mt. TBR=Mount To Be Read, unread books!)

Cara: Boy! The pile never goes away. Wiser Than Serpents by Susan May Warren, The Warriors by Mark Andrew Olsen, Deanne Gist's new book, and many more. I love reading -- and the pile never shrinks. One book gets replaced with a new one.

Thanks, Cara!

I really liked this book. I haven't read too many LI Suspense titles yet, mainly because I've been reading other things, including some cozy mysteries. I think the LI line is a lot like some of the secular cozies I've read: there's a crime, but it's not bloody and gross. There's some romance, but not too much. There's a bad guy and clues and ultimately redemption and resolution for the main character.

Cara weaves the spiritual element of her novel into the story seamlessly. Not all authors can do that.

I enjoyed it, and I truly liked Dani, the main character. She is human and quite likeable.

But don't just take my word for it: Deadly Exposure received four stars from Romantic Times!

**GIVEAWAY** I will be giving away a copy of this novel (read once, in excellent condition!). Just leave me a comment and a way to get in touch with you (either blog or email addy with spaces to throw off the web spam trolls). I will draw the winner next Tuesday June 17.

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CFBA Blog Tour Robert Liparulo

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing a double pair

House of Dark Shadows
Watcher In The Woods
(Books 1 and 2 in the Dreamhouse Kings Series)

Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)


Robert Liparulo


Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.

Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!

And his third book Deadfall. debuted to rave reviews!


House of Dark Shadows
(Dreamhouse Kings Book 1)

Dream house...or bad dream?
When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

Watcher In The Woods
(Dreamhouse Kings Book 2)

It's not just the house that's keeping secrets.
Pretending everything's all right is harder than it sounds. But the Kings know that even if they told the truth about the bizarre things happening in their house, no one would believe them. They're hyper-focused on rescuing their lost family member before anyone finds out what's going on.

But when a stranger shows up to take their house, their options start dwindling fast. Why would he be so interested in a run-down old place? And what secret is he hiding--just as he hides the scars that crisscross his body?

The mystery gets stranger with each passing day. Will the Kings be able to find a way to harness the house's secrets and discover who is watching their every move before another gets snatched into an unknown world?

The Dreamhouse Kings Series has three contests that you will not want to miss...Dream the Scene, a weekly "Thanks For Reading Trivia contest, and the Dreamhouse Kings Street Team contest. There are also free bookplates that you can request, and a chapter of each book that you can download!

You can get all those goodies HERE.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I *heart* Bloomberg

I just joined CFBA today, so I haven't had the opportunity to read this book to review. That said, however, I have enjoyed of Melody Carlson's books I've ever read. They ROCK! I'm sure you won't be disappointed in her latest!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

I Heart Bloomberg

David C. Cook (April 1, 2008)


Melody Carlson


Melody Carlson is the best-selling author of more than 100 books for adults, children, and teens, including three of her latest, These Boots Weren't Made For Walking, A Mile In My Flip-Flops, and Mixed Bags. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, make their home near the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. Melody is a full-time writer as well as an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

Favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." It’s the “whosoever” part that gets me. That’s who I write for – “whosoever” and to me that means everyone and anyone.

Carlson, author of more than 100 books, begins her 86 Bloomberg Place series with I Heart Bloomberg that functions mostly to set up future storylines. Three women rent rooms at 86Bloomberg Place:


Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house-free and clear-except for the rules. No male roommates. But that's ok, with the right ad she'll pull in some girls, their rent and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work any time soon.

For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can't take another day in her aunt's tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades.

Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths. And they struggle to become the women they want to be, they'll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

Friday, June 06, 2008

SKID is the latest offering from Rene Gutteridge. It is book 3 in the "Occupational Hazards" series. I was reading this last night while my daughter was in dance, and I was curious about the other I sauntered (yes, I sauntered!) across the mall to the Christian bookstore (and now you all know why I started working; I'm at the dance studio 3 nights a week, across from a Christian bookstore. Need I say more?) and wouldn't you know it, they had only one of the books? So obviously these are good sellers. The other book was about one of the other Hazard siblings.

I stayed up late last night to finish this unique novel. I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with a comparison (you know, "This book is a lot like thus-and-so"), and I can't find one. It is different. It is funny, poignant, sad, inspiring, and crazy. All in one 323-page book.

If you're looking for something different, this is the book for you.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Intentional Purposeful Reading

June 1-August 31, 2008

My intention/purpose for entering this summer challenge is to finish some books. Cross a few off the TBR list and other challenges.

This is what Kathleen envisioned with this challenge:
The purpose is to encourage "intentional" reading--that is, to have a plan and stick to it, more or less (admittedly, my effort is usually in the less category, by which I mean the sticking-to, not the amount of reading). ... The rules, such as they are, are simple: Copy the picture above, find some books you want to read over the next three months, post the picture and the list at your blog, and link to this post so others can join the fun. Then, read away!

Here is my Summer Challenge list (when finished, they turn into links to the reviews):

Deadly Exposure by Cara Putman
Skid by Rene Gutteridge
Splitting Harriet by Tamera Leigh
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik (also a Nattie challenge book)
Truffles by the Sea by Julie Carobini
(also a Heard it Through the Grapevine challenge book)
The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Nothing But the Right Thing by Stacy Hawkins Adams
Watercolor Pearls by Stacy Hawkins Adams
Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

From Hollywood To Life Coach: Blog Tour

Be sure to read through to the end for information about the grand prize!
Hollywood Screenwriter Takes On Real Life
"I thought my life was over."

Hollywood's Dirty Little Secret
by Misty Taggart
I was living my dream. To be a Hollywood writer was everything I had wanted since I was a very young child. There was never a time in my life when I didn't know absolutely what I wanted to do. And there I was, a member of the WGA, a working Hollywood screenwriter. It was glorious. My life was so exciting! Each day was an adventure full of running to studios, pitching stories, writing and rewriting. Location shoots and lunching with Hollywood insiders.

I was so very fortunate to meet William Hanna of Hanna/Barbera fame. He told me he liked my "drive" ... my passion. It reminded him of his own. Bill quickly became my mentor and very good friend. He believed in me and my talent so much that it was this famous and very generous man who made it possible for me to be one of the first women to ever write for animation. Until then, it had been a closed boys club ... and yet, there I was writing dog dialogue for Scooby Doo in my own office at Hanna/Barbera Productions! How incredible it was to be sitting in the many recording sessions with all the big name voice-over talent.

I was so proud as I watched my talented husband, Joe, appearing on Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and Three's Company. Our friends were all in the business. We were surrounded by lights, cameras and action, all the things I had dreamed of and worked so hard to attain. It was an exciting time in my life. The strange thing was, I thought it would go on forever.

But under all the glamour and the fun, if you are in this industry very long you will find Hollywood's dirty little secret. What is that? Well ... Hollywood will not allow you to grow older! They simply won't allow it! They don't say it ... but it is made very clear. Opportunities to pitch stories stop coming your way. Meetings are difficult, if not impossible to get. It is heartbreaking and irreversible. You are on your way out! It is as though the "Hollywood Powers-That-Be" believe a human brain stops working, in any cognitive fashion, when you near the BIG 50! (A testimony to that thinking can be had by simply watching current TV.) I laugh when I think that just perhaps their skewed thinking has come back to bite them in the behind!
When it was clear that my life as a Hollywood Screenwriter was over, I was truly devastated. I felt my whole life finished. Depression and fears set in--stealing any joy I had left. Hollywood had done a good job on me. I bought all of the lies. And those lies almost killed me.

I was convinced my dream had been stolen. I was too old to ever have other dreams or to truly enjoy my life ever again. Going on living that way, wasn't an option.

But I was so very wrong! God simply had new dreams for me in this season of my life. But I didn't come to this discovery easily. It's taken time and the willingness to work with my own Life Coach. No, she didn't do it for me, but she listened to me ... gave me new ways to look at my life. Things I hadn't thought about in my devastated, crisis state. She asked the hard questions and I found answers. It was an amazing process.

Could it be that I was getting excited about life again? Together, my coach and I made a PLAN OF ACTION that fit me perfectly. I began slowly but surely to move toward a new dream.
My life coach shared her knowledge, giving me many incredible and solid life tools to deal head on with my depression and feelings of worthlessness. My faith became stronger and I was empowered to see the possibilities God was offering to me. And, with her encouragement, I had the desire to reach out and grab them! Wasn't this what Bill Hanna had loved about me? My drive! My enthusiasm? I realized I was the only one who had given up on me. God had done His part, as always .. now it took action on my part.

Would I give up on the rest of my life, brokenhearted over the past? Or would I find new vistas to conquer? I had a choice to make and I chose LIFE! I chose TODAY and all of my tomorrows. I looked at my life and all of the many trials and victories. I longed to share that with other women. To let them know they could achieve their dreams. It all became so clear! I began the study necessary for me to become a Certified Christian Life Coach. With my faithful readers, like you, at Ordinary Woman/Extraordinary God, who had been with me for so long, I began my practice.

Now, I want YOU all to experience the POSSIBILITIES for your lives! Don't give up! The definition of life is CHANGE. Helping other women walk through transitions using what I had been through myself became my passion ... My life is once again filled with excitement and I get up each day with true joy. I look forward to the day.

God had not taken dreams away, but given me new ones.This is why I'm so passionate about Life Coaching. I've been where you are! Let's do this together. Don't you want a Life Coach who has been in those stuck and dark places ... a coach who knows how it feels to be frozen in place by fear and hopelessness? Give it a 4-week try! You will be amazed at what you will accomplish.
For more about Misty's Life Coaching, go to:

Misty is making this new 1-month Life Coaching experience available to you for free, if you are the grand prize winner of this blog tour drawing. Did I say free? I meant to say FREE! $75 value. Great opportunity. Don't miss out! Leave your comment here to be entered in this great contest.

And for those of you who don't win, here's another freebie for you:
INTRODUCTING MONDAYS WITH MISTY!Start your week off with inspiration & a coaching tip of the week!

Listen as Misty gives 2 - Live 10-min Laser Coaching Sessions. Each Monday! 10am (Pacific) - 11am (MNT) - Noon (Central) - 1pm (Eastern) To join us on this Free call or to receive a Free Laser Session with Misty on the call CLICK HERE to SEND an Email!
***NOW for the PRIZE INFO***

Each blog host gets to send in a winner who is eligible for the grand prize: one month of free life coaching! The deadline here at FreshBrewedWriter is noon CDT on June 14th! Please post comments to be eligible!!!

the dead bird story

Head on over to Wives of Faith to see my dead bird story.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

SKID book blog tour

SKID is the latest offering from Rene Gutteridge. I just got the book in the mail and am really excited about reading it! I'll post a review when I'm finished...until then, here's a little bit more about the book... Here is my review!

Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a co-pilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.
On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled in-flight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of “What Would Oprah Do?” will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests–prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline–test the limits of the crew’s customer service.
But as Lucy and the rest of the crew discover, Hank’s odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.

Rene Gutteridge is the author of twelve novels, including the Boo series, the Storm series, and the novelization for The Ultimate Gift, as well as Scoop and Snitch, the first two Occupational Hazard novels. She lives with her husband, Sean, and their two children in Oklahoma City.

Click on the book cover graphic above to order from

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...