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Friday, November 30, 2007

For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice


COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a print copy of For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A.  Rice
Shaunti Feldhahn is the author of For Women Only and numerous other books, with sales totaling nearly one million copies. A nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and public speaker, Feldhahn earned her master’s degree at Harvard University . She and her husband, Jeff, have two young children.

Lisa A. Rice is the associate editor of Christian Living magazine, the mother of two teenage girls, and a screenwriter and producer.



ABOUT THE BOOK:


Shaunti Feldhahn is known for unlocking the mysteries of relationships for men and women. Now she turns to a parent’s relationship with a child, particularly a child of the opposite sex. Drawing on the results of a nationwide survey of kids and teenagers, she explores questions such as:

* What do moms need to understand about the “tough and tender” boy who values respect over love?

* What do dads need to understand about their daughter’s need for affirmation?

* What are the six biggest pet peeves teens have about their parents?

Understanding the answers to these and other important questions can help parents make the holidays a time of celebration and unity, not strife and friction.

For Parents Only offers a unique look into a child’s mind and frees readers to communicate in healthier ways as they discover that understanding their kids may not be as complicated as they think.



For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice
ISBN-10: 1590529324
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: September 11, 2007
Genre: Parenting
$10.19 from Amazon.com



Purchase For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 2:19 PM

6 Comments




Thursday, November 29, 2007

Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet


COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a free book from November's prize vault.


Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2007)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeffrey OverstreetJeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes
about movies at
LookingCloser.org and in notable
publications like
Christianity Today,
Paste, and Image.

His adventures in
cinema
are chronicled in his
book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in
Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University.

Auralia’s Colors is his first novel. He is now hard at work on many new stories, including three more strands of The Auralia Thread.



INTERVIEW:

Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
My parents built me a house made of books when I was a kid. And my uncle liked to draw cartoons. So I grew up with a head full of stories and a love of drawing characters.

I have photographs that my mother took when I was only two. I’m pounding away at a typewriter with two fingers, determined to make a book. I learned to write by meticulously copying the text out of my favorite fairy tale storybooks, and then drawing my own illustrations with crayons. (We were on a tight budget, so I dreamed about getting the big box of 64 with the sharpener.)

By the time I was seven, I was typing out twenty page fantasy adventure stories. I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was eight, and from then on all of my stories turned into trilogies. I’m a pack rat, so I still have every single three-hole-punched book, each page single-spaced (to save paper).

So I was fairly committed to following in the footsteps of JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis from an early age. Whether my work will deserve to sit on the same shelf as theirs… well, that’s for readers to decide. I’m just grateful that they opened up such a wide, wide world of imagination, and taught me that what I discover in fairy tales is actually relevant to my life.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
It’s not an expensive habit, being an author. I can escape into an exciting story anytime, anywhere. And I’m always working. There is no “time off.” I’m taking notes during sermons, during staff meetings at my day job, during movies, while I’m driving. The stories write themselves before my eyes. It’s like being at the movies all day long. Somebody will make a comment, and a whole scene will suddenly start playing in my head.

The Auralia Thread, which will be a four-book series starting with Auralia’s Colors, came about because of something my girlfriend Anne said while we were on a hike near Flathead Lake in Montana. She said, “Isn’t it strange how most people, when they reach a certain age, just fold up their imaginations and put them in a closet?” That got me thinking about how much we need creativity and color and imagination. Then I started imagining a world in which color was illegal. And I was off and running into a new possibility that ended up consuming more than a decade of my life. That little question “What if?” … it’s a dangerous question. (And oh, by the way, I married Anne soon after she asked that question. That’s even more evidence that “What if?” is a dangerous question.)

There is very little I dislike about writing. I dislike finishing stories, because the more I think about them, the more interesting possibilities present themselves to me. If I hadn’t been given a deadline, I’d still be working on Auralia’s Colors.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I don’t . When I relax, my imagination kicks into high gear. Vacations are my most productive writing times. It’s my day job, and chores, and errand-running, and the practical demands of life that interrupt writing and tax my creative energy.

When I leave the office at Seattle Pacific University, I feel that I am going to my second job. And the second job is more challenging. I write all evening, and I write all weekend.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
It starts with a question. During a sermon, I’ll hear my pastor use a metaphor, and I’ll think, “That would be an interesting metaphor to explore in a story.” Or I’ll think about a dilemma, and in order to understand it, I’ll put some characters in the middle of that dilemma.

Auralia’s Colors started because I was interested in the role of art, imagination, and creativity in society. So I imagined a world that was starving for art. I imagined why color and beauty had been taken away from them. And then I discovered a character whose art was so transcendent and otherworldly that she could bring those poor, suffocating people a deep breath of fresh air, a vision of beauty.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
A lot of writers write to “deliver a message” or to achieve some practical purpose. John Milton wrote Paradise Lost to “justify the ways of God to man.” Philip Pullman said that he wrote The Golden Compass and its sequels to “undermine Christian belief.”

I write to discover things. I’m interested in a question or a problem, and I trust that a story will show me the truth in a way that a more direct, didactic form of study will not. I learned a lot about art by following the character of Auralia into that colorless world. I learned a lot about fear and my own desire to control things. It was humbling and exhilarating at the same time.

But I also write to try and create the kind of story that I have a hard time finding in bookstores anymore. When I grew up, there were so many wonderful storybooks full of imagination and musical language, stories that felt like an opportunity to imagine, instead of an opportunity to preach some obvious message. So I write to try and craft some of that music, some of those visions. I’m still a beginner, really, but when I write a good line, it’s all worth it.

I write fantasy because it draws me into an elemental world of nature—forests, mountains, rivers, fire, secret tunnels, and amazing creatures. I’ve grown up in the big city, and I longed for those rare vacations to the Oregon Coast where I could see nature with all of its raw power and awe-inspiring beauty. I believe that creation “declares the glory of God,” and that the natural world “pours forth speech” (to borrow some words from the Psalmist). I feel closest to God, and open to learning about him, when I’m close to nature. Fantasy takes me there.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
I think it’s a misconception that you can just sit down and suddenly become an author. So many people I know keep saying, “I’m going to write a book” or “I just need to get started.” If you’re going to be an author, I think you have to love writing so much that the hard part is making yourself stop writing to do other things. The authors I know who really write and get things done are people who write and write and write, and when they miss a day or two of writing they don’t feel like themselves anymore.

Another misconception: When your book is published, you’ve “arrived” and the money starts rolling in! Nope, that’s not how it works. I’m learning that being a published author is expensive. And that you just get busier and busier and busier. Once in a while, I suddenly feel a flash of joy, a sense of “Hey, the dream is coming true!” But most of the time, I’m so busy, and it’s the people around me who are excited. Still, it’s such a privilege to share a story with the world, that I’m not complaining!

Finally… you have to love what you’re writing about. Because, before it’s published, you’ll probably have to re-write it, throw half of that away, and then re-write it again. Love hurts.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
It’s mix of things. Most of them just emerge from the fog, and I’m startled by them. But occasionally someone makes an impression on me, usually by their passion for something good or bad, and I eventually discover that one of my characters is behaving in a similar fashion. It’s never deliberate. It’s something I realize after the fact.

I happened upon a songwriter and her, um, “supervisor” in Auralia’s Colors. And as I was writing about them, I had to laugh because I realized that both of them were behaving like people I’ve encountered in the real world. But don’t get me wrong—they are characters in their own right. I hope that readers don’t go snooping around asking, “So who might this character represent?” Because they’ll most likely come to the wrong conclusions.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
My favorite? Oh, he’s in a story that hasn’t been published yet. He’s a bird, in a story for children. And I look forward to the day when I can share that story with you.
But I’m very fond of some of the characters who stand on the edges of things. There’s a crankly old soldier in the sequel to Auralia’s Colors who makes me laugh every time I visit him. His name is Wilus Caroon. Maugam, the jailer in Auralia’s Colors, is so creepy and broken that he fascinates me.

The ale boy in Auralia’s Colors reminds me, strangely enough, of R2D2 in Star Wars — he’s this little fellow who just stumbles into these huge, sweeping dramas, plays a pivotal role while hardly anybody notices, and then he slips out the back door.

And of course I love Auralia, who reminds me of so many of the most creative people I’ve ever met, and who suffers the way so many artists suffer—from loneliness, from being misunderstood, from being accused of things she hasn’t done.

But above all, I’m in love with the character of the Expanse: the world in which Auralia lives. It’s all of the wildest, most beautiful, most frightening places I’ve ever been. And when the wind moves through the trees there, it means something.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Writing Auralia’s Colors, I imagined David Bowie in the role of King Cal-marcus. He’s tall, haunted, authoritative but troubled, and his eyes are two different colors.

Auralia and the ale boy are so young, I don’t know who would play them. Anna Paquin, at a very young age, would have made an interesting Auralia, but it’s far too late for that now. Ivana Baquero from Pan’s Labyrinth would make a good Auralia, I think… if we could cast her soon. Auralia is definitely not Dakota Fanning or Dakota Blue Richards… or any of the Dakotas, north or south.

Paul Dano would make a fine Cal-raven—he’s good at conveying longing, frustration, and deep thought. Or, if I could rewind Johnny Depp to the age he was when he starred in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, that would be perfect. Danny Huston and Sean Bean would both be good candidates for Ark-robin, who is a brusque soldier in Auralia’s Colors, and so would Russell Crowe (if he’d be willing to play a supporting role like that).

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
A desire to go back and read it a second time, to look for things they missed.

Seriously, though, I always go back and read my favorite books more than once. It’s one of my goals… to write something that people will want to read again. That involves more than just the plot. It involves creating an environment they want to live in, composing tasty language they’ll want to savor like fudge, and cultivating mysteries they enjoy pondering.

But I also hope it will encourage people to enjoy the beauty of the world around them even more than they do. Writing Auralia’s Colors certainly did that for me. It made me look closer.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
When you’ve written your story, share it with people who are brave enough to offer bold criticism, but who are kind enough to criticize compassionately. Auralia’s Colors has been through a lot of drafts. I accepted criticism that showed me how my writing wasn’t working, and I politely dismissed criticism that had to do with a difference in taste or style. Some people don’t like lavish descriptions, but I do. So I kept a lot of description. But I trimmed those pages where my own interest in description started boring most of my readers.

And it was because of my desire to show it to anybody who cared to ask that the book eventually found its way to a publisher. I didn’t pursue publication. I just wrote the story to the best of my ability. Somebody discovered it, got excited about it, and passed it to somebody else… and the rest is history. God works in mysterious ways, and the way Auralia’s Colors found its way to bookstores is a mystery that still thrills me.

Who are your favorite authors?
On my nightstand, you’ll usually find books by Thomas Merton, Annie Dillard, Scott Cairns, Madeleine L’Engle, Mark Helprin, Patricia McKillip, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mervyn Peake, Cormac McCarthy, A.A. Milne, and Philip Yancey. And Watership Down by Richard Adams, is my favorite novel.

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Annie Dillard’s novel The Maytrees, Scott Cairns’ memoir Short Trip to the Edge, re-reading Mark Helprin’s mind-blowing New York fantasy called Winter’s Tale, and re-reading Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl (a fantastic book for young adults, by a talented young Christian author, and it was a National Book Award finalist this year).



ABOUT THE BOOK:


Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey OverstreetAs a baby, she was found in a footprint.

As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.

As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.


When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.

Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.

Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.

Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.

Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia's Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to Jeffrey's introduction of the book, plus a lot more!



REVIEWS:

"Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment."
-- Publishers Weekly

“Through word, image, and color Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in. Auralia's Colors sparkles.”
-– Janet Lee Carey, award-winning author of The Beast of Noor and Dragon's Keep

“Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy, Auralia’s Colors, and its heroine’s cloak of wonders take their power from a vision of art that is auroral, looking to the return of beauty, and that intends to restore spirit and and mystery to the world. The book achieves its ends by the creation of a rich, complex universe and a series of dramatic, explosive events.”
-– Marly Youmans, author of Ingledove and The Curse of the Raven Mocker


Purchase Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 1:59 PM

5 Comments




Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead


COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a free book from November's prize vault.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephen LawheadStephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned a university degree in Fine Arts and attended theological college for two years. His first professional writing was done at Campus Life magazine in Chicago, where he was an editor and staff writer. During his five years at Campus Life he wrote hundreds of articles and several non-fiction books.

After a brief foray into the music business—as president of his own record company—he began full-time freelance writing in 1981. He moved to England in order to research Celtic legend and history. His first novel, In the Hall of the Dragon King, became the first in a series of three books (The Dragon King Trilogy) and was followed by the two-volume Empyrion saga, Dream Thief and then the Pendragon Cycle, now in five volumes: Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon, and Grail. This was followed by the award-winning Song of Albion series which consists of The Paradise War, The Silver Hand, and The Endless Knot.

He has written nine children's books, many of them originally offered to his two sons, Drake and Ross. He is married to Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, also a writer, with whom he has collaborated on some books and articles. They make their home in Oxford, England.

Stephen's non-fiction, fiction and children's titles have been published in twenty-one foreign languages. All of his novels have remained continuously in print in the United States and Britain since they were first published. He has won numereous industry awards for his novels and children's books, and in 2003 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Nebraska.

Visit his website at http://www.stephenlawhead.com


ABOUT THE BOOK:


This is Book 2 of The King Raven Trilogy.

BLURB:

After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest--and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion--Will joins the heroic archer and his men.

Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging--unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.

That, of course, he will never do.

Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.

From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.

Scarlet continues Stephen R. Lawhead's riveting saga that began with the novel Hood, which relocated the legend of Robin Hood to the Welsh countryside and its dark forests. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medival Britain, Lawhead's trilogy conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.


EXCERPT:

So, now. One day soon they hang me for a rogue. Fair enough. I have earned it a hundred times over, I reckon, and that's leaving a lot of acreage unexplored. The jest of it is, the crime for which I swing is the one offence I never did do. The sheriff will have it that I raised rebellion against the king.

I didn't.

Oh, there's much I've done that some would as soon count treason. For a fact, I et more of the king's venison than the king has et bread, and good men have lost their heads to royal pikes for far less; but in all my frolics I never breathed a disloyal word against the crown, nor tried to convince any man, boy, horse, or dog to match his deeds to mine. Ah, but dainties such as these are of no concern when princes have their tender feelings ruffled. It is a traitor they want to punish, not a thief. The eatin' o' Red William's game is a matter too trifling--more insult than crime--and it's a red-handed rebel they need. Too much has happened in the forests of the March and too much princely pride hangs in the balance to be mincing fair about a rascal poaching a few soft-eyed deer.

Until that ill-fated night,Will Scarlet ran with King Raven and his band of merry thieves. Ran fast and far, I did, let me tell you. Faster and farther than all the rest, and that's saying something. Here's the gist: it's the Raven Hood they want and cannot get. So, ol' Will is for the jump.

Poor luck, that. No less, no more.

They caught me crest and colours. My own bloody fault. There's none to blame but the hunter when he's caught in his own snare. I ask no pardon. A willing soul, I flew field and forest with King Raven and his flock. Fine fun it was, too, until they nabbed me in the pinch. Even so, if it hadn't a' been for a spear through my leg bone they would not a' got me either.

So, here we sit, my leg and me, in a dank pit beneath Count de Braose's keep. I have a cell--four walls of stone and a damp dirt floor covered with rotting straw and rancid rushes. I have a warden named Guibert, or Gulbert or some such, who brings me food and water when he can be bothered to remember, and unchains me from time to time so I can stretch the cramps a bit and wash my wound. I also have my very own priest, a young laggard of a scribe who comes to catch my wild tales and pin them to the pages of a book to doom us all.

We talk and talk. God knows we've got time to kill before the killing time. It pleases me now to think on the dizzy chase we led. I was taken in the most daring and outrageous scheme to come out of the forest yet. It was a plan as desperate as death, but light and larksome as a maiden's flirting glance. At a blow, we aimed to douse the sheriff's ardour and kindle a little righteous wrath in lorn Britannia. We aimed to cock a snook at the crown, sure, and mayhap draw the king's attention to our sore plight, embarrass his sheriff, and show him and his mutton-headed soldiers for fools on parade--all in one fell swoop. Sweet it was and, save for my piddling difficulties, flawless as a flower until the walls of the world came crashing down around our ears.

Truth is, I can't help thinking that if we only knew what it was that had fallen plump into our fists, none of this would have happened and I would not be here now with a leg on fire and fit to kill me if the sheriff don't. Oh, but that is ranging too far afield, and there is ground closer to home needs ploughing first.

-----------------------

Ah, but see the monk here! Asleep with his nose in his inkhorn.

"Odo, you dunce! Wake up! You're dozing again. It ill becomes you to catch a wink on a dying man's last words. Prick up your ears, priest. Pare your quill, and tell me the last you remember."

"Sorry, Will," he says. He's always ever so sorry, rubbing sleep from his dreamy brown eyes. And it is sorry he should be--sorry for himself and all his dreary ilk, but not for Will.

"Never feel sorry for Will, lad," I tell him. "Will en't sorry for nothing."

Brother Odo is my scribe, decent enough for a Norman in his simpering, damp-handed way. He does not wish me harm. I think he does not even know why he has been sent down here amongst the gallows birds to listen to the ramblings of a dangerous scofflaw like myself. Why should he?

Abbot Hugo is behind this wheeze to scribble down all my doings. To what purpose? Plain as daylight in Dunholme, he means to scry out a way to catch King Raven. Hugo imagines languishing in the shadow of the noose for a spell will sober me enough to grow a tongue of truth in my head and sing like a bird for freedom.

So, I sing and sing, if only to keep Jack o'Ladder at arm's length a little longer. Our larcenous abbot will learn summat to his profit, as may be, but more to his regret. He'll learn much of that mysterious phantom of the greenwood, to be sure. But for all his listening he'll hear naught from me to catch so much as a mayfly. He'll not get the bolt he desires to bring King Raven down.

"So, now," I say, "pick up your pen, Brother Odo. We'll begin again. What was the last you remember?"

Odo scans his chicken tracks a moment, scratches his shaved pate and says, "When Thane Aelred's lands were confiscated for his part in the Uprising, I was thrown onto my own resources . . ."

Odo speaks his English with the strange flat tongue of the Frank outlanders. That he speaks English at all is a wonder, I suppose, and the reason why Hugo chose him. Poor Odo is a pudgy pudding of a man, young enough, and earnest in faith and practice, but pale and only too ready to retire, claiming cramp or cold or fatigue. He is always fatigued, and for no good reason it seems to me. He makes as if chasing a leaking nib across fresh-scraped vellum is as mighty a labour as toting the carcass of a fat hind through the greenwood on your back with the sheriff's men on your tail.

All saints bear witness! If pushing a pen across parchment taxes a man as much as Odo claims, we should honour as heroes all who ply the quill, amen.

I am of the opinion that unless he grows a backbone, and right soon, Brother Odo will be nothing more in this life than another weak-eyed scribbler squinting down his long French nose at the undiluted drivel his hand has perpetrated. By Blessed Cuthbert's thumb, I swear I would rather end my days in Baron de Braose's pit than face eternity with a blot like that on my soul.

Perhaps, in God's dark plan, friend Will is here to instruct this indolent youth in a better lesson, thinks I. Well, we will do what can be done to save him.

-------------------------

"When Thane Aelred's lands were confiscated for his part in the Uprising, I was thrown onto my own resources, and like to have died they were that thin."

This I tell him, repeating the words to buy a little time while I cast my net into streams gone by to catch another gleaming memory for our proud abbot's feast. May he choke on the bones! With this blessing between my teeth, I rumble on . . .


Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead
ISBN-10: 1595540865
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: September 18, 2007
Genre: Fantasy
$17.15 from Amazon.com



Purchase Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 3:07 PM

7 Comments




Friday, November 23, 2007

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out by Neta Jackson

Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2007)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Neta JacksonNeta Jackson's award-winning Yada books have sold more than 350,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning husband/wife writing team, best known for the Trailblazer Books--a 40-volume series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.8 million in sales--and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (vols 1-4).

Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of the Chicago Tabernacle, a multi-racial congregation that is a daughter church of the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle.


ABOUT THE BOOK:


The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out by Neta JacksonTurkey dinners, tree trimming, and decking the halls--it's that time of year again! And I Jodi Baxter, can't wait to celebrate. My kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then all of us Yadas are getting decked out for a big New Year's party.

But God's idea of "decked out" might just change the nature of our party plans. A perplexing encounter with a former student, a crime that literally knocks me off my feet, a hurry-up wedding, and a child who will forever change our family...it's times like these that I really need my prayer sisters.

This holiday season, we Yada Yadas are learning that no one can out celebrate God. So let's get this party started!

THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT is a festive novella featuring America's favorite prayer group, the Yada Yadas!

Sometimes dubbed "chick-lit" for their bright covers and catchy titles, this series provides far more depth than witty banter and wacky situations. Inspired by a prayer group of real women, each book will have you laughing, crying, and perhaps praying anew.

In this highly anticipated installment, the Yada Yada sisters-a group of multi-cultural friends-and their families prepare for the event of the season.

But yes, eager readers, this novella—which picks up a year and a half after the end of book #6 The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling concludes the series with some twists and turns that will amaze and encourage you. Plus, it sets the stage for Neta’s new series with new characters and new situations but also occasional roles for the beloved Yada Yada sisters in familiar Chicago neighborhoods with all their cultural richness.



Purchase The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out by Neta Jackson HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 5:59 PM

2 Comments




Friday, November 16, 2007

Try Dying by James Scott Bell

(Center Street October 24, 2007)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

James Scott BellJames Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He is also the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.

His book on writing, Plot and
Structure
is one of the most popular writing books available today. The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next Buchanan thriller.


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Try Dying by James Scott BellOn a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.

Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.

His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.

This would have been simply another dark and strange coincidence, the sort of thing that shows up for a two-minute report on the local news--with live remote from the scene--and maybe gets a follow-up the next day. Eventually the story would go away, fading from the city's collective memory.

But this story did not go away. Not for me. Because Jacqueline Dwyer was the woman I was going to marry.

In Try Dying, this fast-paced thriller, lawyer Ty Buchanan must enter a world of evil to uncover the cause of his fiancee's death--even if hie has to kill for the truth.


"Bell is one of the best writers out there...he creates characters readers care about...a story worth telling."
~Library Review~



Purchase Try Dying by James Scott Bell HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 4:14 PM

5 Comments




Saturday, November 10, 2007

Deadfall by Robert Liparulo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert LiparuloRobert Liparulo 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!

He is currently working on his fourth novel.


INTERVIEW:

Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I was in fifth grade when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I wrote an article about the first flight on the Concord. It had stopped on Lajes Field, in the Azores Islands, where my father was stationed. My teacher sent it in to the Air Force publication, without telling them my age, and they bought it. When I saw it in print—along with my name—I was hooked. I didn’t know I wanted to be a novelist until I was about twelve. That’s when I read Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend; I immediately knew I wanted to tell stories like that.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love creating characters, getting to meet them, know them, share their victories and defeats. What I dislike—but only a little, because it’s all part of the writing vocation—is anything that takes away from my writing/creating time. Research, book signings, conferences—all of it can be fun, but I’m reallly not a writer to do those things. I’m a writer because I love to write.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
It’s taken years, but I finally figured out how to achieve that balance: They help me with the business of writing. My kids proofread, my wife helps send out books, setting up my travel, stuff like that. Since they’re so invested, a lot of our dinner conversation is now about the current story I’m writing or the conference I just attended. It’s become a family business. Of course, we also try to get away from it, go on vacations. I try to get involved in whatever my kids are into: soccer, music, Boy Scouts. Keeps me young.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Usually, the plot comes first—at least, a central idea I want to explore. Designer viruses in the case of Germ. Someone who thinks he’s the antichrist in Comes a Horseman. With Deadfall, however, the characters came first. I wanted to better understand the clash of good guys and bad guys: what makes each side tick, how are they similar, from where does each draw strength, who would win in a battle of wits—is it enough to be good?

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
Why do I like carrots, but hate tomatoes? :) I’ve always enjoyed reading action-adventure stories, especially ones spiced with heavy doses of suspense. Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Lord of the Rings, the stories of Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, Bram Stoker... Right up to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, David Morrell. There’s just something about ordinary people facing insurmountable odds and often (but not always) rising to the challenge that appeals to me. So that’s the sort of stories I write, as well.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That it’s glamorous. We do get to travel and meet authors we’ve read and admired for years. I’ve sat in rooms with big-name film directors and movie stars. But what takes the sheen off all that is that it’s all work: on the road, we’re moving from hotel to hotel, city to city, with no time to take in the sights, the attractions. In those meetings, we have to be “on.” We’re there to pitch a story or negotiate a deal. It’s nerve-racking. I had more fun interviewing celebrities than I have so far working with them to get projects off the ground.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
They are composites of real people, either people I know or ones I’ve read about or seen interviewed. I’m intrigued by little quirks, either in character traits or physical habits. Put enough of those togetehr and you have a whole character.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Hutch from DEADFALL. He’s an everyday guy, who’s going through a tough situation at home. He’s grown somewhat complacent about life, his career. When his wife hits him with divorce papers and seeks custody of their kids, he’s anguished, but he’s been so complacent for so long, he just sort of lets it happen to him. I think a lot of people reach that point, and we don’t even know we’re there. What happens to him in Canada shakes him up, gets him out of that complacency. He has to find the fire inside again—not just for himself, but for people who are counting on him. He because the rescuer, even though he’s not sure he can live up to their or his own expectations.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Actually, I am writing a couple scripts. For one, I have Matt Damon in mind for the lead character, a heroic kind of guy. For another one, I’m thinking of Denzel Washington. Another one would be perfect for Jodie Foster. Talk about strong female characters—no one plays them more convincingly than she does. Since I’m working on young adult stories, in my mind I’ve cast the lead: Logan Lerman, who was Christian Bale’s son in 3:10 to Yuma.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Primarily, I write to entertain, to give people a fun ride. While doing that, I try to examine human character—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Why do some people make bad—or evil—choices and others do right? By looking at these people, I hope readers will examine their own lives, their own character. Are they who they are because they just woke up one day that way, without having made conscious decisions? Or are they who they are because they actively pursued either good behavior or bad behavior? What were their motives? Are they happy the way they are? Could they be better? I hope my writing in the smallest way turns a mirror on the reader, makes them think about themselves.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Finish things. Get it done. At some point—and sooner than later—you have to stop writing, you have to end the story, refrain from editing, revising, tweaking, and just send it in.

Who are your favorite authors?
I’ve named most of them already: Matheson, King, Koontz, Tolkien, Morrell. Also, Thomas Perry, Tess Gerritsen, David Dun, Michael Palmer, Tim Powers, Orson Scott Card, Peter Straub, Lee Child, C.S. Lewis, R.C. Sproul.

What are you reading right now?
Two by screenwriter-turned-novelist Allan Folsom: The Machiavelli Covenant and The Day of Confession. Big books with complicated plots and a thousand characters. Fun stuff.


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Deadfall by Robert LiparuloDeep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.

Armes with only a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field test the ultimate weapon.

With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, Hutch, a skilled bow-hunter and outdoor-survivalist must help his friend elude their seemingly inescapable foes, as well as decide whether to run for their lives...or risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized.

An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice. Deadfall is highly-aclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.

Get Downloads and EXCERPTS at www.LIPARULO.com


REVIEWS:

"DEADFALL is drop-dead great!"
-- In The Library Reviews

"What if Mad Max, Rambo, and the Wild Bunch showed up-all packing Star Wars type weapons? You'd have Robert Liparulo's thrilling new adventure Deadfall."
-- Katherine Neville, best selling author of The Eight

"A brilliantly crafted thriller with flawless execution. I loved it!"
-- Michael Palmer, best selling author of The Fifth Vial

"In Deadfall, Robert Liparulo gives us a fresh fast paced novel that instills a well founded fear of the villians and an admiration for the people who refuse to be victims. It truly deserves the name thriller.
-- Thomas Perry, best selling author of The Butcher's Boy and Silence

"Another brilliantly conceived premise from Robert Liparulo. Deadfall will leave you looking over your shoulder and begging for more."
-- DAve Dun, best selling author of The Black Silent

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A NOTE from Bob:

I’d like to give away five signed copies of Deadfall to readers of CFBA blogs during my tour. All they have to do is sign up for my e-mailing list (they won’t be inundated!) by going to my website (www.robertliparulo.com) and going to the “Mailing List” page. Or email me with “CFBA giveaway” in the subject line.

And a second NOTE from Bob:

I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a contest on my site:

**one winner a week till the end of the year for a signed Deadfall
**one winner a week till the end of the year for an unabridged audio MP3-CD of Deadfall
***and on Dec. 31, I’m giving away an iPod Nano, pre-loaded with an unabridged audio recording of Deadfall

Winners are selected from my e-mailing list—sign up at my site. If a winner has already purchased what he/she wins, I will reimburse them for the purchase price (or give them another—whichever they choose), so they don’t need to wait to see if they win before buying Deadfall.



Purchase Deadfall by Robert Liparulo HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 9:45 AM

5 Comments




Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Shadow of Treason by Tricia Goyer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tricia GoyerTricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:

* From Dust and Ashes (2003)
* Night Song (2004)
* Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
* Arms of Deliverance (2006)
* A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
* A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
* A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)

Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.

Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Visit her on the web at www.triciagoyer.com.

Tricia's blogs:
http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com
http://genxparents.blogspot.com
http://mywritingmentor.blogspot.com
http://www.myccm.org/triciagoyer
http://www.shoutlife.com/triciagoyer


INTERVIEW:

A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?
I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?
There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

There is an interesting element that arises in this book and that is Spanish gold. I know you can't tell us what happens in this book, but can you give us a brief history of this gold?
Sure. When I was researching I came upon something interesting. The Spaniards, as we know, had taken much Aztec and Inca gold during the time of the conquistadors. Well, at the start of The Spanish Civil War much of this gold was still held in Madrid. In fact Spain had the fourth largest gold reserves in the world at that time. The Republican government was afraid Franco would take the city and the gold. They had to get it out of Madrid and this included transporting priceless artifacts. The element of gold does make its way into my story. It was great to include this little-known (and true!) element into my story.

Another historical fact I learned about was the Nazi involvement during this time. Not only were the Germans active in Spain, but they had spy networks busy around the world. How did you find out about this?
I love reading tons of research books. Usually I find one little element that I dig out and turn into a plot line. This is what happened with my plot-line for the Nazi pilot, Ritter. I dug up this bit of research of Nazi involvement in Spain -- and the United States -- because a lot of people aren't aware of the Nazi involvement prior to WWII. The truth is they were busy at work getting the land, information, and resources they needed far before they threatened the nations around them. The Germans knew what they wanted and how to get it. And most of the time they succeeded!

A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?
Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?
Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!


ABOUT THE BOOK:


A Shadow of Treason is Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series. The first book in the series is A Valley of Betrayal.


BLURB:

Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.


EXCERPT:

Click HERE to read the FIRST CHAPTER!


A Shadow of Treason by Tricia Goyer
ISBN-10: 0802467687
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Release Date: September 1, 2007
Genre: Historical Fiction
$10.39 from Amazon.com



Purchase A Shadow of Treason by Tricia Goyer HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 3:41 PM

3 Comments




Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Curing Insomnia Without the Pills

Better sleep doesn’t have to come in a pill.

For people with chronic insomnia, studies show that simple behavioral and psychological treatments work just as well, and sometimes better, than popular medications, according to a report in The Journal of Family Practice.

The medical journal Sleep last year reported on five high-quality trials that showed cognitive behavioral therapy helped people suffering from insomnia fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer. Another American Journal of Psychiatry analysis of 21 studies showed that behavioral treatment helped people fall asleep nearly nine minutes sooner than sleep drugs. In other measures, sleep therapy worked just as well as drugs, but without any side effects.

The behavioral strategies for better sleep are deceptively simple, and that’s one reason why many people don’t believe they can make a difference. One of the most effective methods is stimulus control. This means not watching television, eating or reading in bed. Don’t go to bed until you are sleepy. Get up at the same time every day, and don’t nap during the day. If you are unable to sleep, get out of bed after 15 minutes and do something relaxing, but avoid stimulating activity and thoughts.

So-called sleep hygiene is also part of sleep therapy. This includes regular exercise, adding light-proof blinds to your bedroom to keep it dark and making sure the bed and room temperatures are comfortable. Eat regular meals, don’t go to bed hungry and limit beverages, particularly alcohol and caffeinated drinks, around bedtime.

Finally, don’t try too hard to fall asleep, and turn the clock around so you can’t see it. Watching time pass is one of the worst things to do when you’re trying to fall asleep.

It may be hard to believe, but studies show these simple steps really do make a meaningful difference for people with sleep problems. These interventions are based on the notion that thoughts and behaviors can “hyper-arouse” the central nervous system and deregulate sleep cycles, resulting in chronic insomnia, reports Family Practice.

If these steps don’t work, talk to your doctor about a referral to a sleep therapist, who can also teach you additional relaxation techniques to help bring on sleep. Sometimes, a therapist might work with you to reset your sleep-wake schedule, a more involved process whereby patients adjust their bedtime each night over the course of a few weeks.

And for more information about sleeping pills, read this story in The Times.


Source: The New York Times


posted by Rachelle
at 10:42 AM

0 Comments




Monday, November 05, 2007

Lost Treasure by Midnyte Dupree


COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a copy of Lost Treasure by Midnyte Dupree.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Midnyte Dupree is a full time telecommunications analyst, a wife, and a mother of two small children. She started reading romance in 2003 and when all her favorite authors were in between books she decided to do some writing on her own. That is when she discovered the joy of creating characters and building worlds full of magic. Christine Feehan was the first author in romance that she read and instantly fell in love with the Carpathians; soon after she discovered Sherrilyn Kenyon and the Dark Hunters. She anticipates each book coming out, but now understands why it takes so long between stories.

Visit her website at: http://www.midnyte-dupree.com


INTERVIEW:

Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I became a writer because I have always looked for the more fantastical part of life. I want to believe there is more than humans living on this planet and I wanted to write about them. I never expected my stories would get published.

I can't say I dreamed of being a writer all my life, but after my son was born, I decided to give it a go. It's funny how the fairy tales you tell your children will spark your own imagination. :)

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love being able to create something from words. Words we use everyday in many different situations. I like seeing how putting them together will create a life for my characters. It's great fun! There are a few things I don't like, but they are so minute I can easily overlook them. One biggie, though, is I don't have enough time in a day to do everything I want to do. LOL

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
The balance is very precarious. I may not be able to write for a few weeks at a time, but everyday a character or a scene is on my mind. My family is always first and with two little ones, they can be very demanding.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
It's pretty crazy how things come to me. Mostly scenes come to me in flashes. Sometimes it's just the heroine and then other times, I can see her and the hero together, usually kicking someone's butt. LOL The characters almost always come first, then the world and the plot comes last. That might actually sound a little backwards.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write in the paranormal romance genre. All my characters have some sort of power or secret power. I can create them any way I want. Makes it fun.

I love writing in this genre because I feel less like I have to follow rules. I can let my imagine flow and see what happens. I love reading these types of stories too and can never get enough.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That it's easy. It's probably harder than my day job. But with writing when you get that first letter from a reader telling you how much they enjoyed your work, well, that's just priceless and makes all the work worth it.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Totally from my imagination. I don't want anyone I know to pick up my book and wonder why I would make them do this or that. It's fun to see who or what I can dream up with all their problems and conflicts.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
This is funny. My absolute favorite character is the Assassin in my book In My Hands. He's a tortured soul. When I was writing In My Hands, he doesn't really have an identity, but I couldn't help but connect with his pain. He needs love, because he pulled from his family before he was really able to bond to anyone. In My Hands is the start of my vampire series at Twilight Fantasies.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Nicholas Cage and Shawn Connery for sure. They are both such favorites.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I would love for my readers to take a way a feeling of being there. I want them to be able to forget their everyday lives and slip into the worlds I create. I love when a story can take me away like that and hope I can do the same for others.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Do your homework regarding publishers. Go with the ones that have been established for over two years. And another great piece of advice...write. If you feel a bout of writers block coming on, pull out a clean sheet of paper and write something on it. Anyway. It doesn't matter what it is, just write.

Who are your favorite authors?
Wow, I have absolutely so many favorites! Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning, Katie MacAlister, J.R. Ward, just to name a few. I can never get enough of their writing.

What are you reading right now?
I just finished Savannah Russe's Beneath the Skin (great book) and have started Katie MacAlister's You Slay Me (really good so far).


ABOUT THE BOOK:


BLURB:

Elena always knew she would be an archaeologist, even before she understood what the word meant. She just wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and find treasures of her own. In her dreams as a child she could transport herself to exotic places and imagine the things she might find.

But when a mysterious man enters her dreams, he shows her places that call to her. As she gets older, this man introduces her to more than just the lost treasures of the earth, but another treasure filled with passion, lust and something that goes much deeper.


EXCERPT:

His soft lips tasted her neck as she arched into him, throwing her head back on the pillow. Her body tingled everywhere he touched. His long hair wrapped around his neck while he looked down into her eyes. His face was in shadow, but she could feel with her hands the hard plains that made up his cheeks and the strong set of his chin. Turning his head, he placed a kiss on her palm, and shivers raced down her spine. The heat in the room increased a degree or two, causing their bodies to sweat. Elena loved the way her skin slid across his. Flesh against flesh.

Their heated bodies moved as one with the rhythm moving fast then slow. Her breasts pressed against his bare chest as he pumped inside her. His dark hips moving up and down. Elena heard moaning and knew that it was coming from both of them as their climax reached its peak. He never held back how much she pleased him, and that heightened her desire and increased the need for more.

She felt the oncoming orgasm as he began to speed up, pumping his cock faster and harder. With every angle of their bodies touching, it drove her into a crazed frenzy to reach her peak. She anchored herself with a tight grip on his shoulders as the climax exploded out from her middle like a starburst. Moisture seeped between her thighs. He pumped once, hard, before he, too, found his release and collapsed on top of her. His breath hissed beside her ear.

“My little bird,” he whispered, “you are the only thing that makes this life bearable.”

He rolled off of her, pulling her to his body. She loved the way his arms consumed her, so she snuggled closer to him. Before too long, she knew that he would disappear. Just like all the other times. Unfortunately, he was just a dream, and the real world would be waiting for her.

His deep voice vibrated her neck. “Be careful on your journey. Remember what I have shown you.”

Elena moved so that she could look into his eyes. She saw something there and felt a stirring in her chest. Her feelings over the years had grown for him. How on earth could she feel so strongly about a man conjured in dreams? Well, how could she not feel something for someone who had invaded her dreams since her adulthood. She didn’t see him every night, but on the nights he did happen to show up, she formed a bond with him. Had, in a strange way, counted on him to be there with her through some of her more trying times, always providing the comfort she needed.

Thinking of the images he’d projected in her dreams, Elena knew he spoke of the chalice he kept showing over the years. It was a golden goblet with red rubies along the top. If her mind ever ventured to far away from the cup, he would bring the picture forth again in her mind. For some reason, he wanted that always in her thoughts.

“I remember. The chalice will be forever etched into my mind.” She had to keep from rolling her eyes. Every time they were together, he would always bring up the goblet, but he would never tell her why it was so important. She had given up asking long ago after his answers where always vague and cryptic.

“And, remember the lands I have allowed you to see. You must find them. You are close but still many miles away. The land is ancient and very powerful.”

He kissed her on the lips. “I feel a great danger coming your way. Be careful, little bird.”



Lost Treasure by Midnyte Dupree
ISBN: 978-1-60088-182-4
Publisher: Cobblestone Press, LLC
Release date: October 19, 2007
Genre: Paranormal
$3.99 from Cobblestone-press.com



Purchase Lost Treasure by Midnyte Dupree HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 3:58 PM

8 Comments




Sunday, November 04, 2007

Witchy Woman by Karen Erickson


COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a copy of Witchy Woman by Karen Erickson.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After leaving the working world to become a stay-at-home mom, Karen Erickson realized she needed to get serious and pursue her lifelong dream of being a published writer. A busy mother of three, she fits her precious writing time in between chasing her children, taking care of her wonderful husband and pretending she has a maid. She lives in California.

To learn more about Anne and her writing, please visit her website at http://karenwritesromance.com


INTERVIEW:

Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
Well I always liked to write, to make up stories. I wrote terrible stuff in high school, in my early twenties. Then life got in the way and though it always lingered in the back of my mind, I just didn't have the time. Finally, after having my third child, I was staying at home taking care of them and I realized hey why am I not writing? And it just kind of took off from there.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love that I'm able to live through my characters, do and say things I would never EVER do. I love the fact I can sit at home in my sweats and write all day. I love all of the people I've met through my writing - I've made a lot of wonderful friends that I'm lucky to have in my life.

Dislike? Hmmm, well it drives me nuts when I have a mental block. But really that's the only thing I can think of. There's really nothing to hate about this profession - I'm doing something I LOVE, you can't beat that.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Personal time? What's that? LOL Well, I try and keep my writing time to the evening when my kids are all asleep. But sometimes if I'm working extra hard on a book or I have a deadline I write a lot throughout the day. I just try and make sure to spend time with the kids and the husband. Family time is important, I value it and I'm thankful for my family. They tolerate me when I'm on deadline!!

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Hmm, sometimes characters come to me first but mostly it's plot. A story idea. I'm a pantster who is becoming more of a plotter.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write mostly contemporaries though I've dabbled in paranormal and I'm working on a historical. I write contemporaries because I'm taking the easy way out, LOL. Actually I love to read a good contemporary so I like to write them too. I'm not as much into paranormal books but I've read some wonderful stuff and I like to experiment with it because it allows me to stretch my wings, so to speak. I always wanted to write a historical, started reading historical romances first but the research always intimidated me. Now that I'm getting into it I'm finding it is actually fun - and the Internet is a beautiful thing. :)

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That we make a lot of money! That the way books are written are with a formula and that anyone can do it. Not true. If everyone could do it, then everyone would be a writer.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Totally from my imagination though I have based the occasional character on a real person. Or a combination of a few people. But I'm never going to tell who! LOL

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Hmmm, that's tough because I love all of my characters and I usually favor the one I'm working on at the moment. But if I have to pick a character from a book of mine, I'd have to choose Lily my holiday fairy from Fairies & Wishes (Cobblestone Press). She was just so fun to write because she was a fairy, a complete innocent in the human world. I could make her react in ways that "real" people wouldn't normally do because she was a fairy. That was fun.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Ah jeez what a question! Ummmm, well I'm going to give the typical hot man answer. I'm a little obsessed with Clive Owen right now. Yeah, I want Clive to be in my movie and I'll work on one on one sessions with him. That sounds good. Excuse me while I go swoon now. ;)

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I want people to finish my books and think, "That was a great story." I want them to be able to lose themselves for a little bit and just enjoy my characters. That's all. :)

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Finish the book. That's the biggest hurdle to get over. I wrote in fits and spurts for years, starting things but never finishing them. Finally in 05 I finished something and even though it was utter crap, at least I finished it. I knew I could finish something. And I swear that makes all the difference in the world.

Who are your favorite authors?
Hmm, I love all kinds of authors, that's so hard to answer! Too many to even mention.

What are you reading right now?
I'm reading Sylvia Day's A Passion for Him. It's so good! I love Sylvia Day, she's one of the many I admire.



ABOUT THE BOOK:


BLURB:

Tessa Laurent is a witch searching for love. She casts spells on men to lure them Witchy Woman by Karen Ericksoninto her bed but once she gets them there, she's never satisfied. Afraid to be condemned to a life with no love, she vows to meet men the 'normal' way.

She meets Devon Smith and she’s is immediately attracted to him even though he’s a vampire. Vampires and witches just don't mix—or so she thinks.

He's out to prove her wrong, because Devon's not quite what he seems…


EXCERPT:

To read an excerpt, just click HERE!



Witchy Woman by Karen Erickson
ISBN: 978-1-906328-48-1
Publisher: Total E-bound
Release Date: November 5, 2007
Genre: Seasonal Short/Paranormal/Vampire
£1.69 from Total-e-bound.com



Purchase Witchy Woman by Karen Erickson HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 4:31 PM

13 Comments




Saturday, November 03, 2007

Daring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare


COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a print copy of Daring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deirdre O'Dare, who also writes milder (roughly PG-13 rated) romance as Gwynn Morgan, has loved reading and writing since early childhood. Writing came naturally to Deirdre/Gwynn who scribed her first simple verse at age eight. An avid reader, she devoured hundreds of books while growing up and later as an adult. Somewhere along the way she found romance and then romance with more explicit and detailed love scenes. “Ah ha,” said she, “I think I have found my niche!” In the last decade after leaving her "day job" as a civilian employee of the U. S. Army, she finally settled into romantic fiction writing as a second career. Deirdre has a number of shorts and novellas out now, all published by Amber Heat, www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat to include recent best sellers Doggone Love, Armed and Amorous and The Maltese Terror. Two print anthologies, Daring Dreams and Daring Delights are currently available. She has a website, www.deirdreodare.com and pages at Coffee Time and Books We Love (in the spice section). Her newsgroup is deirdredares@yahoogroups.com


INTERVIEW:

(See November 1 post)


ABOUT THE BOOK:


BLURB:

Deirdre’s Daring Delights (print anthology) follows the high tension lives of people who exist on the edge, pitting themselves against rough stock, criminals and the ceaseless thrills of intense danger. They work hard, play hard and love the hardest of all! Pickup Man, Portrait of a Cowboy, Cowboy First Aid and Cowgirl Up feature rodeo performers competing for gold buckles, high dollars and one another’s bodies and hearts. To Protect and …Seduce? and Armed and Amorous follow law enforcement officers in their pursuit of dangerous criminals and heated encounters. If you fancy lusty cowboys and bold police officers, these are for you!


EXCERPT:

Passions escalating fast, they jumped apart like guilty teenagers when Roy let himself in, loaded down with two big bags radiating delicious, spicy scents.

"I can go somewhere again," he offered, setting the bags down on top of the dressingDaring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare table counter. "I'm really not into voyeurism."

"No," Frank growled. "We all need to eat more than fool around right now. What did you get?"

"A dozen tacos, a dozen burritos and six sopapillas for dessert. Extra salsa, sour cream and honey, too. Root beer for me, iced tea for you and I took a chance and got Kerry a Coke. Is that all right?"

"That's fine. So long as it isn't the caffeine-free kind." Kerry lusted for caffeine, wanted it almost as badly as she needed Frank right now.

"Do they actually make decaf Coke?" Frank framed the question in mock surprise.

Kerry nodded, her lip curling in disgust. "Yeah, and it sucks."

He laughed. "Typical cop--living on caffeine."

Biting back a snarky comment, Kerry took a moment to pull herself together. Moist heat burned in her pussy, her breasts ached, and her lips were so tender they felt raw. Arousal buzzed along her nerves like a lightning-struck strand of wire. Damn, why does it have to be Frank--a felon's brother--who turns me on like a 500-watt bulb?

Roy unfolded the tops of the bags, spread out the contents and then began to divide the items into three piles. He'd grabbed a stack of napkins, which served as impromptu plates as they began to feast. For a few minutes they were too busy eating to talk.

It started out innocently enough. Roy had dragged the chair over by the counter since Frank sat on the foot of one bed and Kerry on the other. Roy tossed Frank another burrito. Somehow the wrapper came undone and it squirted filling when Frank caught it, beans and shredded beef spraying out in every direction. He grabbed a sticky gob and flung it back at Roy . Not to be out-done, Roy pitched another burrito in Kerry's direction before he took the remaining part of the one he'd been eating and threw it back at Frank.

For the next few minutes a full-fledged food raged. Before it was over, each of them was splattered with refritos, cheese and saucy meat. By then they all laughed almost hysterically, a kind of delayed reaction to the tension of the last twenty-four hours.

"This was pretty damn stupid," Frank said, after they all stopped for breath, looking at the mess they'd made. The motel room wouldn't be in much worse shape than they'd found it, but their clothes were a disaster. Hair, hands and faces all bore burrito residue. "We didn't bring any extra clothes and going back to get some would ruin the whole plan."

"If we wash things right now, they should be dry by morning," Kerry offered. "We'll all be semi-undressed, but what the hell? At least we can go out in the morning looking halfway presentable."

She felt giddy and silly, as if she'd drunk a pint of whiskey instead of just a super-size Coke--with caffeine. The last twenty-four hours had an unreal quality, like an insane dream triggered by fever. What she did here didn't count, wasn't real. She stood and began to strip, taking her own sweet time and adding a few bumps and grinds just for fun as she peeled off the sweatshirt and jeans. Her underwear wasn't obviously grubby, but she'd worn the panties and bra longer now than she usually did. Might as well take them off, too.

Frank watched her with avid attention, his eyes bright and hungry. Roy looked on, a mixture of amusement and dismay on his face. When she reached for the clasp of her bra, Frank stood and began to strip as well. Not to be left out, Roy rose, too, stepped out of his jeans, then yanked his T-shirt off.

All three crowded into the bath once they'd undressed. Kerry ran the tub half full and unwrapped the microscopic bars of soap, all three of them. They scraped as much of the food off as they could and threw that in the commode before they dunked garment after garment into the hot water, shirts first and then jeans. Frank went back to get hangars from the closet niche and carefully hung up each piece of clothing as Kerry finished washing and then rinsed them. The impromptu laundry job was far from perfect, but they wouldn't look like walking ads for Taco Bell in the morning.

"Now us," Kerry said. Giggling a little, she drained the tub and then turned on the shower. There wasn't a lot of soap left and no shampoo, but she had to get some of the goop out of her hair. Her scalp had started to itch as the beans and salsa dried.

Frank followed her into the shower, which was barely big enough for two, but somehow Roy also crowded in. They washed one another, scrubbing until skin glowed and hair squeaked. Gradually the strokes grew more languid, more caressing than scouring.

Pinned between the two men, Kerry lifted her face to Frank's kisses, feeling his cock throbbing against her belly. Behind her, Roy pressed close, his cock thrusting between her buttocks as he nibbled on her shoulder. After a few minutes, either Frank or Roy had the presence of mind to turn off the water, which had started to grow cool.


Daring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-975-9
Publisher: Amber Quill
Release Date: August 2007
Genre: Cowboys/Western/Action/Adventure
$10.20 from Amberquill.com



Purchase Daring Delights by Deirdre O'Dare HERE!!!


posted by Rachelle
at 3:51 PM

12 Comments