Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
MY HEART REMEMBERS
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
Published by Bethany House Publishers, March 2008
Orphaned in a tenement fire, three Irish-immigrant children are sent to Missouri to be adopted. Despite eight-year-old Maelle's desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Yet Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for her brother and sister...and that they will be together one day in the future.
Seventeen years later, Maelle is still searching. But the years have washed away her hope... and her memories. What are Mattie and Molly doing now? Where has life taken them? Will she ever see her brother and sister again?
A Hideaway Novel by Hannah Alexander
Has their love survived the ravages of war?
Throughout World War II, Second Lieutenant Red Meyer anticipated the day he could return to Hideaway, Missouri, and to his sweetheart, Bertie Moennig. His dreams are shattered, however, when he is wounded in the last stages of the war in Europe. Bertie is beautiful inside and out—she deserves a whole man. Red is determined to keep his distance until a tragedy on the home front brings the couple face to face for the first time in a year. Now a dangerous mystery threatens Bertie's life. As they fight for survival in their tiny Ozark town, Red has to summon the faith and courage to protect the woman he has never stopped loving.
To read an excerpt of these new titles go to Chapter-a-Week
Friday, March 28, 2008
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
This week's selections:
(Howard Books/Simon & Schuster March 2008)
by Deborah Raney
Daughter of the town drunk, Vienne Kenney has escaped Clayburn for law school in California. But after failing the bar exam—twice––she's back home with her tail between her legs, managing Latte-dah, the Clayburn café-turned-upscale- coffee-shop. Jackson Linder runs the art gallery across the street and Vienne has had her eye on him since she was a skinny seventh grader and he was the hunky high school lifeguard who didn't know she existed. Now it's his turn to fall for her and suddenly Clayburn seems like a pretty nice place to be...until Vienne discovers that Jack is fresh out of rehab and still struggling with the same addiction that ultimately killed her father.
By Camy Tang
Will Trish Sakai be able to follow her three simple rules and hold out against two gorgeous guys?
Trish Sakai is ready for a change from her wild, flirtatious behavior. And her three cousins are anxious for her to change, too. Trish is always knocking something over, knocking herself out, and taking hard knocks in her perpetual confusion about men.
When Trish's ex-boyfriend, Kazuo the artist, keeps popping up at all the wrong moments, Trish decides to be firm with herself. She creates three simple rules from First and Second Corinthians and plans to follow them to the letter. No more looking at men! No more dating non-Christians! She will persevere in hardship by relying on God.
Except now Kazuo is claiming Trish is his muse, and he can't complete his major work of art without her. And a gorgeous coworker is reassigned, bringing him in daily contact with Trish. But her cousins are determined to hold her accountable to her plan. She thought three rules would be a cinch, but suddenly Trish's simple rules don't seem so simple after all.
To read an excerpt of these new titles go to Chapter-a-Week .
Thanks and may the Lord bless you as you celebrate Good Friday!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Blueberries -- lower risk for cardiovascular disease
Broccoli -- lowers the incidence of cataracts and fights birth defects
Oats -- reduce the risk of type II diabetes
Oranges -- prevent strokes
Pumpkin -- lowers the risk of various cancers
Wild salmon -- lowers the risk of heart disease
Soy -- lowers cholesterol
Spinach -- decreases the chance of cardiovascular disease and age-related macular degeneration
Tea -- helps prevent osteoporosis
Tomatoes -- raise the skin's sun protection factor
Turkey -- helps build a strong immune system
Walnuts -- reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
Yogurt-promotes strong bones and a healthy heart
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The "Long Eighteenth Century", as many historians call it, has been my passion for a long time. That is called such because it pretty much goes from 1660 to 1820, encompassing the Restoration, Georgian, and Regency eras in England. Simultaneously, I love the colonial America period along with the American Revolution, the Age of Louise XIV through the French Revolution. And a little Russian history thrown in there, too, doesn't go amiss. After all, John Paul Jones, one of our naval heroes, went to work for Catherine the Great of Russia after the Revolution here. But I'm getting a hankering to go further back in English history.
Research is crucial to me. WE can't get all the details right, and language changes, so we have to fudge on a few words so the reader isn't lost, and researching history for a novel goes beyond learning the events on dates and the style of clothes. It's much more about social mores, culture, and customs. For that, nothing works as well as original sources like journals, diaries, and memoirs. These can be hard to find, but with sources like Google Books, the Gutenberg Project, and library databases, access is much easier. Reading fiction and poetry of the time helps, as well as newspapers. That will make earlier history more difficult, as few diaries exist if any, and no newspapers. But monasteries kept detailed records, so the data is there, just more obscure, taking more creativity to find
If I have a general theme, it's that we can make mistakes and wrong moral choices, and it doesn't mean we can't find forgiveness and happiness beyond them. In my specifically Christian work, forgiveness is specifically from the Lord. In the secular works, the forgiveness theme is more human-based, and that's a fine message in my book, as we are all to forgive as we have been forgiven.
That's a style thing, a voice in writing that sets me apart. As for content, I am less enthralled with titles and gowns and who was at the theater in 1814 than how much trouble my characters could get themselves into and stay within historical bounds. I consider it romantic suspense in an historical setting.
If you leave a comment, I will enter your name in the hat to win a free copy of Better than Gold. I guarantee you won't be disappointed with this book! Or anything else written by Laurie.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
1) I’m Japanese American—fourth generation in America, to be exact. While I’m a bit removed from my ethnic heritage—I don’t speak Japanese, for example—there are still things I grew up with that influence my thinking, my actions, my relationship with my family.
2) I grew up in Hawaii, which is mostly Asian. I didn’t realize until I went to California for college how unusual this was. I had massive culture shock, although not in a bad way. The best part was being exposed to so many different types of foods, like Norwegian, German, Indian, Southern (VERY eye-opening and VERY yummy), Mexican (you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a good Mexican restaurant in Hawaii)—you name it!
3) They always say for writers to “write what you know.” Well, I know Asian Americans. I don’t think I could credibly write an Irish American or Italian American.
4) It’s fun to reveal aspects of Asian American culture to people who haven’t been exposed to it. Not everything is weird, like eating raw fish or making mochi before New Year’s—there are lots of other aspects that are fun and interesting.
5) One thing I’ve learned is that no matter what your ethnicity, families are essentially the same. Lots of my friends who are not Asian relate to my stories about my Asian family, and I can relate to their stories about their own relatives. You don’t have to be Asian to have nosy, nagging relatives who think a woman’s only purpose in life is to get married and have children before her parents die of old age.
6) I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, and there weren’t any other Asian American fiction writers in the Christian publishing industry. Why not be the first?
7) Much as I like Amy Tan, I wanted to read books that were both about Asian Americans and were funny. So I wrote them.
8) I felt obligated to write about Grandma Sakai as a tribute to all my Christian female friends, currently single or previously single, Asian and non-Asian, who had ever had problems with a family member who wouldn’t stop graciously pointing out the fact that they hadn’t yet landed a decent man.
9) I love chick lit but hadn’t seen many heroines who were jocks, and since so many of my Asian friends are incredible athletes, I had to write about one.
10) I wanted to point out that Asian Americans are not just one amorphous ethnicity, but that there are Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, etc.
11) Volleyball is a very popular recreational sport among Asian Americans in California. There are numerous leagues in both northern and southern California, and it’s become part of the Asian American culture. I and my husband played in the Nikkei Volleyball League, and so I wrote about it in Sushi for One.
12) Being Silicon Valley, there are a lot of biotech companies here. There are also a lot of Asian Americans in the biological sciences, who flock to this area for jobs. Naturally I had to write about my work as a biologist in Only Uni.
13) Asian food is GREAT! People ought to try it! Maybe my books will inspire them to scope out a Japanese or Chinese restaurant and be daring.
14) Readers need to know that not all Asian people speak another language.
15) Asians come in all personalities—jocks (Lex), doormats (Jenn), executives (Venus), ditzes (Trish), flirts (Mimi), creeps (Kazuo).
16) Asian people read tabloids (Venus), historical romances (Trish), thrillers (Jenn) and the sports pages (Lex).
17) There really are some rather nasty things pregnant women are supposed to eat, according to various Chinese mothers. (The pig’s brain soup in Only Uni is real.)
18) If I didn’t write contemporary fiction with Asian American characters, I’d be writing Regency romances, and who would read a Regency written by some Asian chick? I guess I’d write under a pseudonym. Camy Tangy.
19) It’s actually quite fun doing research on K-dramas and Hong Kong action movies.
20) My writing about Asiana makes my mother very proud, because while I was growing up, she despaired that I was too Americanized.
21) And the final reason I write Asian American contemporary fiction: because God told me to.
The first book in Camy's series. Sushi for One was fabulous, but I enjoyed Only Uni even more! This is a funny, suspenseful book that I guarantee you will not be able to put down. The things that happened to the main character, Trish, are beyond hysterical as she attempts to follow a set of rules to make herself holy after living a sinful life. Camy has a couple of dramatic twists in the story that really surprised me. and of course there's lots of hunks and a some romance too. You do not want to miss this story. To win a free copy, please leave a comment on this blog. I'll draw two names for 2 free copies on Friday, March 14th.
Monday, March 10, 2008
And thanks to all of you for entering! By the way, this Wednesday, I have a guest blogger, author Camy Tang, who'll be giving away a copy of her newest book, Only Uni. I just finished it, and this is a story you don't want to miss! More about that on Wednesday!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
This is the kind of thing in the church that drives me NUTS. They used scriptures that spoke about reconciliation and that we are all sinners. My friend asked my opinion and here is a copy of the note I sent to them.
First of all their use of 1 Cor 6:9-11 is interesting. Yes, we were all sinners, still are, but what does God's Word say about how we come to be saved in Christ? Isn't it by coming to the realization that we are sinners in need of a Savior? In 2 Cor 7:9-11 Paul declares that Godly sorrow leads to Repentence which leads to Salvation. But how can you have Godly sorrow leading to repentence if you don't know that you're living a sinful lifestyle? Also they used 2 Cor 5:18-19 about our ministry of reconciliation. I couldn't agree more! But how do we reconcile people to Christ? By making them aware that they are sinners! Otherwise if all they hear is how much God loves them (all well and good) and they even go forward and say a prayer to "receive Jesus", but they haven't realized their own depravity and repented, they still aren't saved.
I realize they want to get the unsaved to come to church. But my question to your pastor would be where does he draw the line in not offending someone? If a gay person comes in for the service but he never hears that homosexuality is an abomination to God, what good does it do? Or for that matter, if there are several couples living with one another in the congregation and they never hear a sermon on the sin of fornification, how does that help them? We are told to preach the entire Gospel, not a softened watered-down version that only speaks of God's love and His salvation. Yes, those things are extremely important and are at the center of our faith, but you cannnot mention what Jesus did on the cross without mentioning what put Him there.
Even Paul told one congregation (I think it was also in Corinthians) to toss out of the church one man who was being sexually immoral. If you look at both Jesus and Paul's ministries, they never minced words about sin for fear of "offending" someone. Never. In fact, quite the opposite.
In Galatians 5:11, Paul says, "If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended." In Romans 9:33, He says As it is written: “ Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Jesus is supposed to be an offense! And he certainly didn't worry about offending anyone. The gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. Why don't we just preach the entire gospel and then trust the Holy Spirit to do His work in people's hearts. Do we arrogantly think that the Holy Spirit needs our help to get people in the door of our churches or does He need our help to save them? No. We are only told to preach the gospel in love.
In my opinion, if the church as a corporate body won't take a stand against the encroaching culture, then who will? God will hold us accountable for what we do not only individually, but also as His bride.
End of note: Let me just say in closing that God loves all sinners: homosexuals, fornicators, liars, murderers, gossipers, etc. . . He died for every one of us. There is not a day goes by that I don't commit some sin. I'm no better than anyone else, but the best way to share the love of Christ is to tell people the truth. You might just offend them right into heaven.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
- Something occurs that is unexpected or
- Dialogue between characters is fresh, snappy, interesting and filled with conflict or
- The tension or conflict in the story is increased dramatically or
- the end of the scene leaves me in suspense (on the edge of my seat) or
- a new character or plot is introduced that enhances or complicates the plot or
- I learn something new about one of the characters that increases my concern, love, hatred for him or her.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
By Rachel Hauck
When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.
Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.
"Hauck's adorable novel contains the multi-layered characters readers have come to expect from her books. The enjoyable story and unpredictable ending
Read a chapter here at Chapter a week
Have a great weekend, everyone!