Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Christian Fiction Book Club Discussion: Havah by Tosca Lee


The September book club pick was Havah by Tosca Lee. Participants read the novel and chose one or more discussion questions from Tosca Lee's website to address in a blog post. Come join our discussions!

A short book review:

The language and the imagery in this book is truly amazing.

Tosca Lee describes the love and the passion of living with the mate God designed for you in the Garden full of every wondrous thing so vividly, that when Havah was banished and distanced from The One, I felt the loss myself.

I liked the creative additions that she gave the story, the idea that humans might have had a sixth sense in the Garden which was lost after the banishment. This is definitely a work of fiction, but I appreciate the uniqueness of the story.

There were some scenes I found uncomfortable which I discuss in more detail below. This novel is more literary than I typically read. It's not a high action, page turner of a story. It's more of a slow simmer with lots of thought provoking layers. It made the perfect book club pick.

My rating:









(SPOILER ALERT: This post continues with a frank discussion of the book.)

The discussion question:

Why did God seem so distant from Havah?

I think someone who has communed with God so intimately as Havah in the Garden of Eden would find any separation from Him almost unbearable. But also, God had not sent the Holy Spirit yet, so I wonder if that was part of the reason for the feeling of distance.

But when I read this novel, even as a born again Christian, it illuminated my own distance from God and I longed (like Havah longed) to be even closer to Him. By the end of the novel, when Havah dies, I was sobbing. Not from sadness, but from joy that she finally gets to commune with Him again the way He intended.

And I loved the last line of the book. Because I imagine that's what being in His presence will be like- waking up from a dull, unclear dream to see everything more clearly and perfectly than we've ever imagined.

What are your thoughts?


Further discussion on discomfort levels:

One of my blog friends mentioned she couldn't finish this story because of too much adult imagery. I'd like to discuss our tipping points.

I am a self proclaimed lover of edgy Christian fiction, so the adult imagery between Havah and Adam didn't bother me at all. I found their passion for each other beautiful. I especially loved the joy and marvel Adam showed when Havah arrived.

But I always feel like I have to qualify when I mention edgy Christian fiction. I'm not talking about explicit details. Here's an example of adult imagery from Chapter 2:

We crossed the river, fell dripping upon the bank. He bent to my neck, my shoulder, my navel. I languished in pleasure.

I will satisfy you.
Yes. Agreement. Yes. A plea.
Feel the sun.
I feel it.
Feel my fingers.
I feel them.
How I love you.

I gave myself up to him.

I am the horn of the antelope, twining toward heaven. I am the leaf, twisting upon the stem. I am the sweet water that rushes from the rock, thrilling the hands that dip into it, slipping down the thirsty throat.

That night, as the cricket and the frog took over the song of the sleeping birds beneath the ascending moon, he wept against my shoulder.

"How I have longed for you," he said, the lovely voice broken like earth crumbling in water. I held him and my heart swelled like the river that overruns its banks.

How mighty, how great the One must be, I thought, to send the heavens careening, and yet hear the cry of a single heart.

I covered his mouth with my own. We did not sleep until dawn.


I certainly consider that scene edgy for Christian fiction, but beautiful and poetic.

However there were a couple of scenes I found uncomfortable involving their children. In Chapter 19, there is a scene where Havah and Adam are getting to know each other in a field and one of their daughters comes across them. It was a big 'eewww' moment for me:

He pulled me into his arms then, hungrily, my outburst, my anger, and his dull looks that had caused them forgotten between us. We had become furtive in our lovemaking, forgetting it as a man might forget a meal, devouring one another as soon as any emotion sparked realization of our inadvertent fast.

I saw Lila over Adam's shoulder when she walked into the clearing. I saw the way she stopped and watched us, eyes upon her father's back. Just when I would have said something, she quietly stole away. So I said nothing to either of them, though I noted how her gaze searched mine and followed Adam for days.

It also bothered me that a couple of their children had Oedipal complexes. With only a handful of people on the earth, I guess I can understand why it would happen. Still, I found it hard to read about.

The uncomfortable scenes didn't ruin the story for me (I still thought it was an awesome book), but they made the difference between a four and five star rating.

So I'd love to ask readers, where was your tipping point? Is there anything that was too much for you? If so, what? Did it ruin the book for you? Cause you to stop reading? Or did it just make you a little uncomfortable?




Don't forget to vote for October's book pick in my sidebar!

Did you blog about Havah? Between now and Saturday, link up your entry below (please enter a permalink to the actual post).


Over the next few days, be sure to hop around and comment on club member's discussions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Christian Fiction Book Club- October's Pick



September's book club discussion of Havah with the MckLinky goes live at midnight, but this post is to discuss the October book club choice.

I will use Random.org to choose October's book club host from the people who link up this week.

Here are some of the books we've had suggested so far:

1. A Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
2. Immaneul's Veins by Ted Dekker
3. Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz


I want to put this to a vote, but we need more suggestions! C'mon friends, what would you like to read next?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: Flaws and All by Shana Johnson


Joy has swapped blogs for the day with Shan from Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea. While she is over there reviewing romance, Shan is here reviewing women's fiction.

About the Book

Faith, family, and friendship have always been top priority to lifelong friends Lawson, Reginell, Sullivan, Angel, and Kina, but each one is about to be put to the test during one turbulent year.

Lawson Kerry is a struggling single mother who has finally gotten her life together. Now, a fierce custody battle with her ex threatens to the tear apart everything she’s built. Reginell Kerry is a starry-eyed singer determined to make it to the top of the charts, but will she change her tune when a chance at fame means shedding her clothes and her self-respect?

Sullivan Webb is the pampered wife of a charismatic pastor with political aspirations, but she just might destroy her husband’s campaign and their marriage if she can’t control her wandering eye. Angel King has dedicated her life to nursing following the destruction of her marriage. Can she maintain her professionalism when she discovers that her newest patient is the woman who stole her husband? Kina Battle has had enough of her husband’s verbal and physical abuse. When she’s pushed to the edge, the situation heads in a deadly direction, and there’s no turning back.

Nothing is sacred, all bets are off, and the lives of these ladies will never be the same. Will they have the strength to hold on to their friendships and put their trust in God?

My Review

Flaws and All is a powerful novel that deals with heavy issues honestly, openly, and spiritually. Readers will instantly be caught up with these five women, their stories, and their faith.

This novel surpassed my expectations. At first I thought it would be difficult to keep up with five characters, but Shana Burton has masterfully told their stories without cluttering the book or leaving anything out. Serious issues such as adultery, domestic violence, and deception are dealt with from the perspective of pain and loss but also forgiveness and triumph.

The Christian message in this book is simple - like all Christians these women are not perfect and still have their struggles but their trust is firmly placed in God as the One who can bring them the strength to get through it all.

After reading Flaws and All, Shana Burton has quickly given herself a place as one of my favorite urban Christian authors.

About the Author

Shana Johnson Burton is the best-selling author of Suddenly Single, First Comes Love, and Flaws and All. She lives in Georgia with her family and is currently a high school English and Journalism teacher and the co-host of The Lovely Magazine radio show. She was a 2009 Georgia Author of the Year nominee for Best Fiction (First Comes Love). Her next novel, Catt Chasin’, will be released in 2011.


Shan from Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea is stay at home mom with an amazing husband, a beautiful 3.5 year old daughter and a very cool one year old son. When she's not chasing behind her kids, she spends her time reading, volunteering, and driving her husband crazy with her non-stop talking. At the end of a very long day, she loves to relax by curling up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I've been interviewed...

I heart my fellow book bloggers. They are so supportive. A sweet gal named Chrizette from All the Days of asked to interview me recently and she posted it today.

I'd love it if you swung by to say hello. :)

(She's also offering a $10 Amazon gift card as part of a fall giveaway, so be sure to scroll down and enter!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stalking Mary Connealy and Giveaway!


Mary Connealy is here today answering the questions nosy readers want to know. She's also hosting a sweet giveaway, so look for details at the end of the interview!

The last thing you threw away: I'm a real tosser, Joy. I don't cling to stuff. Uh...stumped. My empty Diet Coke can. Yeah, that's fascinating.

A brand of breakfast cereal in your pantry: I don't eat much breakfast cereal. I have a peanut butter sandwich and a Diet Coke every morning for breakfast. I eat it on my drive to work. My husband eats cereal. He's a big Raisin Bran fan.

Three things in your purse: Pictures of my granddaughter I can draw faster than a six-gun. It's only the last couple of years I've even carried a purse. I'm a minimalist. I carried a wallet. But now, thanks mainly to a cell phone, I carry a purse. So, Wallet, Cell Phone, Pictures.

Something that will fall out of your medicine cabinet when I open it: My husband's razor. For some reason, that thing is just tippy.

A sentence from your rough draft that didn't make the novel: This is actually really hard. Hmmmm...okay, I know one my editor made me take out. I agree with him. Still, I like the passion of the line.

Here's the original scene, he made me cut the paragraph in bold. He said he didn't think it honored the covenant of marriage and I agreed with him. But I still liked it, that Tom and Mandy were meant for each other from the beginning, unfortunately they met when she was newly married to a jerk.

A little set up. Mandy is the Sharpshooter in Petticoats. A family of outlaws has started a feud against her, and she set out, after their last attack, which came right after her wedding ceremony to Tom, to hunt them down and kill them in cold blood. Tom found her and dragged her away from her pursuit of her enemies.


SHARPSHOOTER IN PETTICOATS

And now finally it was time to talk.

"I've made my choice." She stalked over to Tom. "I'm not going to sit like a frightened rabbit and wait for those Cooters to come for me and my children and you.
Tom looked up from the fire where he was feeding in sticks, with eyes so blazing hot, Mandy felt burned.

"So you headed out to kill them, is that right?" He threw in a bigger stick. "You were crawling up that rise to murder those men in cold blood-"

"They deserve to die!"

"-because you don't trust me to protect you, is that right?" Tom shouted the last three words.

"I did it to save your life. I know you'd protect me. I know you'd die for me. I understand all of that. But I can't let you."

"The one thing you don't seem to know, woman," Tom surged to his feet, "is that you can't stop me."

His arm whipped out quick as a striking rattler and he yanked her hard against his body. "You're mine."

He grabbed a hank of her hair. "You've been mine since the day we met. You were mine when you were married to another man. You were mine when you were giving birth to someone else's child. You're mine, and I'm through waiting for you."

He sank his heavy hand deeper into her hair and tilted her head back. "We're married, I will protect you. I will die for you."

He kissed her until her knees went weak and her arms wrapped around his neck to keep from falling. Long moments later, he raised his head, his blue eyes burning into hers.

"Better than that. I will live for you. That's all you need to understand." He swooped his head down, and Mandy had one flash of a moment to think she was still prey, this time to a diving hawk.

She understood.

At last she finally and completely understood that she was Tom's, and he was hers. And he was right. It had always been like this between them.

Whew, I could use a glass of ice water- but I do see your editor's point.

The name of every book you've ever published (you might need extra lines, lol):

Wow girl.

Golden Days, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon, Gingham Mountain, Nosy in Nebrasak, containing; Of Mice…and Murder, Pride and Pestilence, The Miceman Cometh, Black Hills Blessing containing Buffalo Gal, Clueless Cowboy, The Bossy Bridegroom, Cowboy Christmas, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree, Wildflower Bride, Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats and coming in January Sharpshooter in Petticoats. I have eight more contracted and on the way.

Your favorite not-quite-a-curse word:This is a strange question, Joy. Uh??? Darn it?

They're all strange questions, Mary ;)

What sounds might I hear outside your kitchen window? Moo-ing, birds tweeting, wind blowing. I live on a ranch waaaay out in the country.

One lousy job from your past?

OH MY GOSH!!!! (hey, that's kinda a curse word)

I had a job building semi-trailer trucks the summer after I graduated from high school. I filled in for people on vacation and mowed the VAST lawn and I had to repaint the lunch room. I had to take the ceiling tiles down and paint the frame that held them up and then paint the tiles and replace them. Except (here's the lousy part) when I'd take those tiles down DEAD MICE WOULD FALL OUT OF THE CEILING ONTO ME. I'm surprised I didn't end up in a straight jacket. Hideous experience. Nightmare-ish. I need to quit typing now and weep. And it was thirty five years ago.

What would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Everything that flits through my mind seems like too much. "Well done my good and faithful servant." Do I dare to hope I'm doing well for God? If I am, God is doing it through me. One of my steady prayers is that my work will be more than I'm capable of. That God will use what I write for His kingdom in ways beyond my humble ability. I would love to hear that I did that. But I will settle for the very simple, "I know you. Come in."

Tell us about the candid photo:
The informal picture is of me at a nearby historical museum standing by a buffalo. I'm the one in yellow…shut up.

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is the author of the Lassoed in Texas series, the Montana Marriages series and a new series—Sophie's Daughters, has begun with Doctor in Petticoats and releasing in October, Wrangler in Petticoats.
Sophie McClellen from Petticoat Ranch has her daughters all grown up now. You didn’t think they'd be quiet little things did you?



Find Mary online at:
Seekerville
Petticoats & Pistols
Her Blog
Her Website

It's giveaway time!

Mary, thanks so much for visiting Edgy Inspirational Romance!

Mary's offered to give one reader a copy of her newest release, Wrangler in Petticoats. To enter, leave a comment between now and Thursday telling her how much you enjoyed her visit. Be sure to include your email address if it's not in your profile.





Book Blogger Hop

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thanks for the awards!

The results are in, and I didn't win Best Spiritual, Inspirational, or Religious Book Blog during Book Blogger Appreciation Week (but making the short nominations list was such a thrill). Deborah at Books, Movies, Chinese Food took home the honors this year, and it couldn't have gone to a better blogger. If you've never visited her website, you should definitely check it out.

However, I received quite a few awards in the past four months and I've been negligent about acknowledging them publicly (though I did send a private thanks to everyone).




I received this award from: AlleluiaLu at Book End Crossing, Jazz at About Books Blog, Carrie at Just One More Chapter, and Heather at Buried in Books



I received this one from Gina at Hott Books, and from the romance lover behind Addicted to Romance

With this award, I'm supposed to share seven things about me.

1. I don't have a musical bone in my body.

When I was in 6th grade I played the clarinet. During the concert, my band teacher told me not to blow, just move my fingers and pretend to be playing.

2. My favorite people are funny.

3. My grandmother used to work for Hellen Keller (yeah, technically not about me- but a fun fact anyway).

4. My dream career (after elementary teacher and writer, of course) would be "kick-butt secret agent" à la Jennifer Garner in Alias.

5. My favorite TV show of all time was Lost and I'm heartbroken that it won't be on this season.

6. I am the mother of 10 year old twins that were supposed to be triplets. But I also have a 7 year old who acts like the third twin.

7. I'm a sucker for a juicy tell-all celebrity biography.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman and Giveaway!

One thing I adore about Julie Lessman books is there's always more than one story on stage. Some of her finest work is done in the subplots, and A Hope Undaunted is no exception.

This novel follows the romance of the youngest O'Connor, Katie, and her childhood nemesis, Cluny Magee. The angst involved as Katie and Cluny navigate their love/hate relationship made me love/love this book.

But some of the most touching work comes from watching not just the romantic love blossoming between Katie and Cluny, but also the agape love shown by some of the more mature married couples, characters in the midst real marital strife- who choose to love each other anyway, and lean on God. Sometimes romance fans (myself included) need a healthy dose of what Biblical love really looks like and I found the subplots of this book refreshing.

Here's where I could get off on a tangent and discuss how using various subplots, Julie Lessman actually incorporated all three types of New Testament love in A Hope Undaunted, eros, phileo and agape- but I'll save you the detailed anaysis.

Instead, I end with this question for Lessman fans: Have you all noticed how much action the O'Connor porch swing gets?

I think I'm gonna have to install one of those. ;)

Want more information? Here's the back cover blurb:
The 1920s are drawing to a close, and fiesty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman- smart and sassy with goals for ther future that include the perfect husband- good looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

My rating:






Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I received a review copy from the publisher.


And speaking of review copies, it's time for a giveaway!

Leave a comment on this review sometime between now and Friday for a chance to win my copy of A Hope Undaunted. Be sure to include your email address if it's not in your profile. I'll post the winner's name right here Friday evening.

But the fun doesn't end here, folks.

Check out Julie Lessman's Facebook party and book bomb for a chance to win more prizes!
A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party
A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party




CymLowell

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In My Mailbox 9/19

In My Mailbox and Mailbox Monday are weekly memes by The Story Siren and The Printed Page/Bermudaonion's Weblog. It's been about three weeks since I participated and I've accumulated a few more titles:

I received these novels in print:













The review for A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman posts this week, and I'll review Bella Maura and interview Dawn Dyson in October (love her cover). The Love Inspired titles were contest wins from Seekerville.

I won this YA boxed set at Edifying and Edgy:











I received this Christmas story in PDF form:




Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reminder: Christian Fiction Book Club in two more weeks!


How are you doing with September's book club selection, Havah by Tosca Lee? I've read the prologue and chapter one and the writing is so rich and evocative. I can't wait to really get into it. We've got two more weeks until everyone posts their discussion questions on September 29.

Want to join us? It's not too late to participate. Here is the original post describing how the Christian Fiction Book Club runs.

While we're waiting to discuss Havah, I thought I'd start a poll for October's book club selection. Do you have any books you'd like to suggest? Leave the titles in the comment section and I'll put a poll up in my sidebar next week so we can vote on the next pick.

The book I'd like to suggest is Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:

It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.

Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.

With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds.

Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.

Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.

But remember, not everyone is for this story.


Want more information? My buddy Tiffany reviewed it at Tiffany's Bookshelf.

But, as Dekker admits, not everyone is for this story :). So let's hear some suggestions! What do you want to read in October?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't miss this workshop for inspy writers!

EDGY CHRISTIAN FICTION LOVERS PROPOSAL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:

Mon 9/27 to Sun 10/3: The Pitch Sentence. We're going to start with the "elevator pitch" because that puts the entire novel into 25 - 40 words. This forces the writer to get to the nitty gritty, the essence of the novel. This one you memorize so you can rattle it off to an agent in an elevator.

Mon 10/4 to Sun 10/10: Agents and Small Publishers Who Work With Edgy Christian Fiction Authors. We'll spend the week discussing which agents, small publishers, and e-book publishers are most likely to offer a contract to an edgy Christian author. We'll each make up a list of people we can query and submit proposals to (with address, phone number, and email addy) .

Mon 10/11 to Sun 10/17: One Paragraph Pitch/Back Cover Blurb. A short synopsis of the story in 200 words or less. This is also memorized so it can be rattled off to an agent or editor at a conference appointment. Most agents and editors will let you read it off a card.

Mon 10/18 to Sun 10/24: The Query Letter. This is basically a two paragraph pitch. When using it for the query letter, add query features.

Mon 10/25 to Sun 10/31: The One Sheet. This utilizes the same or a similar two paragraph pitch as the query letter, with a photo of the author, as well as particulars (name, address, phone number), and some other details. Some authors add a graphic.

Mon 11/1 to Sun 11/7: The Dreaded Synopsis. A chapter by chapter synopsis of the novel, leaving out all detail


Fee For The Workshop: $5- payable to Michelle Sutton...to be used for future Ning cost and other group expenses.

Head Leader: Nike Chillemi

Co-Leaders: Janalyn Voigt, Joy Tamsin David, Tracy Krauss

You must belong to Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers to participate (membership is free).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Blogger Interview Swaps


Book Blogger Appreciation Week continues today with interview swaps and I've tweaked my Outside the Author's Studio feature in honor of the occasion. Today I'm stalking book blogger, Valerie from Life is a Patchwork Quilt.

Last thing you threw away: Kleenex- it's allergy season for me right now.

Your brand of toothpaste: Sensodyne (for sensitive teeth)

Three things in your purse: lip gloss, wallet, notepad (my contents aren't very exciting; I tend to keep my purse clutter-free).

Your favorite lawn ornament: Christmas decorations (at Christmas time of course).

A post idea that never made your blog: Right now I'm struggling with what I should say (or if I should say anything at all) about a book I couldn't finish, which was sent by the author. Help!

Name every book you reviewed in 2010: Wow, this would be too long :) I do have a tab on my blog that lists all the books I've reviewed on my blog.

Your favorite word- remember this is a family friendly blog. :) I'm not sure of what word I use or say the most, but I'd say my favorite word is "love." Not just for romantic love, but towards all fellow people-- the world would be a better place if we loved more and hated less.

Your least favorite word: "Can't." Yes you can, if you can figure out how and realize it might take a while to accomplish. I need to remind myself of this sometimes.

One lousy job from your past: Probably the one when our lab (I was once a microbiologist) had a truly evil boss. He constantly screamed and insulted us, all the time.

Something you do when you're not book blogging: When I am not reading, blogging, or spending time in my studio, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have three children: a 9th grader, a 7th grader, and a 4th grader. I try to keep up with life in general-- there are never enough hours in the day. I spend a lot of time chauffering my kids to and from after-school activities. :)

Valerie from Life is a Patchwork Quilt has been blogging since 1/2008. Her blog started out being more general, but now she devotes most posts to the books she reads. Valerie is an eclectic reader, which is reflected in her blog. Valerie also has some of her quilt art work on display on her website. After living in California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, she and her family currently live in Colorodo.

Head over to Valerie's blog today to read the interview she did with me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A treasure chest of Christian fiction book blogs


In case you haven't heard, this is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and Edgy Inspirational Romance has been nominated for the Best Spiritual, Inspirational or Religious Book Blog of 2010. But today, I'm excited to be able to spread some appreciation around.

Participants were asked to write about a new blog we've noticed in the past year, or about the first book blog we discovered after we started blogging.

I've decided to focus solely on fellow inspy reviewers, because there is sooo much talent in this pool. These ladies really should have been nominated in my category, and hopefully they'll enter next year. In no particular order, here are my favorites:

1. Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot- Renee's blog is the first Christian fiction book blog I noticed. I was a lurker before I was a follower. She reads the kinds of books I love, so I couldn't help but stick around.

2. Dark Glass Ponderings- I'm sure there's a rule somewhere that you shouldn't judge a blog by its design. Like a great book cover, the design of Julia's blog captured my attention but it's her inspiring thoughts on books,
faith and life that keep me reading.

3. Hott Books- Back when I had more fingers than followers, Gina found me, entered one of my first giveaways, and won (she had really great odds, lol). But what won me over was her enthusiastic blogging personality. She reviews a mix of genres, but you can find a healthy dose of Christian fiction over there too.

4. Seasons of Humility- I found Amber's blog while following Julie Lessman around the Internet (my propensity for stalking is well documented). Amber's sweet personality shines through in her writing. And she's got one of the most unique book rating systems I've ever come across, it's based on the seasons.

5. Edgy Inspirational Author Blog- I don't usually think 'book blogger' when I think of Michelle Sutton. She's a prolific edgy Christian fiction author and that's the title that sticks first. But she also happens to read and review more Christian fiction than most book bloggers I know. When I get offered a book for review, I often check to see if Michelle liked it before putting it in my TBR pile.

6. Hot Christian Book Reviews- Angie's blog is a recent discovery for me. But she's a girl after my own heart, she likes her inspy romance with a little steam. I'm so excited there's another edgy Christian fiction lover on the block.

7. WV Stitcher- Brenda is another blogger whose taste in books I admire. I look forward to reading her reviews.

8. Writing for Christ- Casey is also reviews the type of books I like to read. And she inspires me to do strange things with novels.

And I'd like to send a special shout out to the bloggers who've swapped with me for my Book Blog Swap feature: Tiffany at Tiffany's Bookshelf, Jules at My Own Little Corner of the World, and Shan from Curled Up with a Good Book and Cup of Tea.

There are so many that I haven't mentioned, help me out here...who are your favorite Christian fiction book bloggers? I want to see lots of entrants in this category next year! If they don't fall squarely into the inspy group, they should definitely enter the eclectic category.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogfest Giveaway!

Random.org has picked a winner! The winner is scotsgal! Thanks for entering everyone!












Yes! I am participating in Blogfest this weekend! Here's the 411:

I'm giving away a trio of Christian romances by Mary Connealy. The titles are: Cowboy Christmas, Gingham Mountain, and Montana Rose.

Mary will be visiting Edgy Inspirational Romance on the 24th to promote her latest books so this would be a great chance for you to get aquainted with her work.

To enter, leave a comment with your email address and I will pick a winner using Random.org Sunday night. There are no hoops to jump through for this giveaway. Don't feel obligated to follow me- actually I'd prefer you not follow unless you are interested in my content. I'm just happy you stopped by this weekend, so give me a friendly hello and you're entered.

Find out more about Blogfest 2010 here.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Interview with author Tina Pinson

Tell me a little bit about In the Manor of the Ghost.

In the Manor of the Ghost has romance, a love story, and a ghost. I'd like to think it's a pretty good read. But it's important to know that some of the houses we reside in aren't always made of lumber or stones. They are fashioned from our fears, and are as thick around us as a wall might be. Some of the ghosts we face are those fears. Real or perceived, they haunt us.

Devlin is a lawyer with a unique background. The manor where Devlin lives used to be a place of joy and safety. It was used as a safe house during the Indian Raids a decade earlier. With the loss of his wife and daughter, Devlin takes refuge in the halls of Clayborne Manor. It becomes his brooding place, filled with darkness and haunting memories. And sadly, the walls around Devlin's spirit seem to be almost as thick as the Manor's.

Kaitlin lost her husband and daughter in a fire, and went through years of therapy for her burns. She hopes moving to Minnesota to live with her sister, Constance, will help heal her spirit.

Kaitlin agrees to marry Devlin and finds herself living in the Clayborne Manor. When she begins to uncover secrets and resurrect ghosts, she questions her choice. Does she have the strength to break down the walls that confine those who reside in the Manor? Does she have the faith to lead them to the one who sets the captive free? I find Kaitlin's resilience, and her gentle and loving spirit endearing.

Do you consider this a gothic Christian Romance? How so?

When I sat down to write In the Manor of the Ghost, gothic wasn't on my mind. I don't often give much consideration to the genres as much as to writing the story. Having said that, In the Manor of the Ghost lends itself well to the gothic Christian romance genre. It has an air of mystery and suspense throughout. The characters carry dark secrets. The landscape is barren, and there is a ghost. There is also a manor house filled with darkness and foreboding. It's a character in its own right at times—you almost wished walls could talk.

Do you read gothic romances, either mainstream or Christian? Any favorites?

I read a lot of different genres, right now I'm into mysteries and sometimes paranormals, plus I like to have a bit of humor, too. As for gothic writers, I really can't pinpoint one writer. I've read stories with all the gothic qualities, but when I do I don't always think of the genre. I just read for the love of it. If the book holds my interest, I'm there.

Your book is in e-book format only. Where can readers buy it?

You can purchase my book at Desert Breeze Bookstore and Amazon.If you purchase the book at Amazon, please be aware that the e-book is the new release, the print book is one that I self printed a few years ago and needed a lot of editing. I've asked them to remove it, but they won't.

What are you working on next?

My book Touched By Mercy is due for release in December 2010, so I'm working on edits for that. It tells the story of one woman's journey to grace. Samantha Northam comes from a background of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Having been molested as a child, I identify with Samantha even more than Kaitlin from In the Manor of the Ghost.

The story was pretty much my rite of passage. Coming to a point where I believed God could find me lovely. I made it a bit harder on Samantha than myself, but I wanted to show the beauty of God's grace on us, His arms around the brokenhearted. Samantha hadn't done anything wrong, as far as the molestation went, but she spent years believing she had, and spent long years hating and being afraid to love. I went through long years of wondering like Samantha.

I think many of us have areas where life catches us, uses us and beyond no fault of our own, leaves us feeling dirty and unlovable. It literally spits us out. That's the nature of abuse. I wanted people to see that God knows exactly what happened. He hurts to see that his creation could be so cruel, and He loves us and wants to heal the scars. If we'll allow Him to, He has gentle hands, strong arms and a loving heart.

I've finished the first installment of a sci-fi time-travel series, Counting Tessa. It has clones, gene mutation, and sinister people trying to get rid of Christ. I plan to finish to two Civil War era stories I've been working on, Finding Middle C, a story about finding the music of life, and From Hell to Eternity, a story about Andersonville prison.

What advice would you give to pre-published writers?

Your perseverance will be tested, you will be disheartened, and want to give up several times a day. But hang in there, study, learn your craft, research, and read. But, first and foremost, write from the heart and imagination that God gave you. You are here for such a time as this. The story God gave you, is yours alone. You were never meant to be (fill in the blank with another writer's name). You're a special creation all your own. Be who God created you to be. Not who everyone thinks you should be. You may never be published. I realize that sounds callous, but it's true. You were not called to be published. You were called to be obedient with your gift. Write.

Here's where you can find Tina online:

Visit her website.
Stop at her blog.
Watch the book trailer.

Tina resides in Western Colorado with her husband of 30+ years, Danny. They have three grown sons. two lovely daughter-in-laws and four grandchildren, with another one due by the end of the year. She has been writing since she was in elementary school.



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