Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stuck In The Middle and a Great Contest!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Stuck in the Middle

Revell (February 1, 2008)

by Virginia Smith

I was anxious to read this book for a couple of reasons. I have always liked the study of birth order, so I was looking forward to seeing how that philosophy played out in this story of three sisters. And, having three daughters, I thought it would be fun to see interactions and similarities between the characters in the book and my girls! On an even more personal basis, I, like Virginia, left a corporate job to become a writer (among other reasons), and I want to cheer her on in her success!

While the book starts out as a 'typical' romance (hunky, single Christian doctor moves in next door to an attractive single Christian woman hoping for a relationship), Virginia (Ginny) quickly takes the story much deeper. The story does include some great romance (I consider it great when I start cheering the characters on whenever they meet!), but the true story line is the developing love relationship between Joan, the middle daughter, and her heavenly Father. While her family is admittedly Christian, they are missing God's amazing love, and as Joan seeks this relationship it causes realistic conflicts with the rest of the family who see her as a 'fanatic'.

This is a great book, and I can't wait for the sequels.

By the way, Ginny has an amazing contest on her website. Check it out -- you can win a $500 shopping spree!


Joan Sanderson's life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is living at home with Mom and looking after her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement-or romance.

That is, until a hunky young doctor moves in next door. Suddenly Joan has a goal--to catch his eye and get a date. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly with him and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, maybe Joan can find her way out of this rut and into the life she's been hiding from.

Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, spiritual searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile.


Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am.

Since then she has contracted eight novels and published numerous articles and short stories. She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007) and her newest release, Stuck in the Middle(Revell, February 2008), book 1 in the Sister-to-Sister Series.

Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines. An energetic speaker, she loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”

Virginia is a speaker, and an avid Scuba diver. She and her husband Ted, divide their times between Kentucky and Utah, and escape as often as they can for diving trips to the Caribbean!

"A gentle story of one young woman's season of growth, deftly blending the tangle of family relationships with gifts of whimsey and revelation. A joy to read."
~SHARON HINCK, author of Renovating Becky Miller and Symphony of Secrets~

"Virginia Smith has created a charming and humerous novel that celebrates small-town life, generations of women caring for each other, and the value of finding a deeper, more active faith."
~SHARON DUNN, author of the Bargain Hunters mysteries~

Monday, February 25, 2008

Closer Than Your Skin -- Contest

Closer Than Your Skin

by Susan D. Hill

The back cover of this book reads:
"Is God really like a father who cares about the details of our everyday lives? Then why does he often seem so far away, distant in moments when we could most use a personal touch from him?"

Author Susan Hill takes us on a journey of discovery to find tangible ways to hear God's message in today's busy world. Through difficult times in her life she has learned how to listen for God's voice and experience God's love in ways that have made her faith come alive. Through prayer, reading his Word, and desperately seeking his guidance she has experienced deep knowledge of God's will and plans for her life as a woman, a wife, and a mother.

Like the vast majority of Christians, author Susan Hill felt frustrated in her search for spiritual intimacy, unable to bridge the gap between knowing about God and personally knowing Him. Closer Than Your Skin traces her journey beyond the trappings of faith to an everyday companionship with God.

Through stories of her awe-inspiring experiences, Hill assures readers that knowing God is more than spiritual rhetoric; it’s a genuine, tangible reality when our eyes are open to his presence. With undeniable honesty, she vividly captures the experience of genuine intimacy with the Creator and reveals how to move beyond obstacles that stand in the way.

Readers will discover that divine encounters aren’t reserved for moments of crisis or the select few. Through these unforgettable insights and the interactive study guide, they will find that God is standing at the door, knocking, asking to be allowed in.

Author Bio:

Susan Hill is an award-winning feature writer, whose work has appeared in The War Cry and Light & Life. A long-time leader of interdenominational women’s groups, she also serves on the board of the Uganda Orphans Fund, a non-profit Christian relief organization. Susan and her husband, Duncan, have three children and live in Montana .

I have two copies of this book to share -- leave a comment and I'll choose winners by the end of the week! Or, if you can't wait that long, you can purchase the book at Amazon.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Every Good And Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Author: Sharon K. Souza

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Navpress Publishing Group (December 22, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1600061753
ISBN-13: 978-1600061752

Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift

1 . Your debut novel Every Good & Perfect Gift is releasing this month from Nav Press. Can you tell us a little about the book?

DeeDee and Gabby have been friends since the sixth grade, when headstrong and courageous DeeDee began mapping out their lives. But after twenty years with her husband DeeDee changes her plan. Nearing forty years old, she wants a baby - now! Two years of infertility, prayers, and outrageous behavior finally results in the birth of DeeDee's demand.
Gabby is present for all of it, noting the increasingly strange behavior of her lifelong friend after the baby's birth. Then comes a diagnosis that threatens to shatter their world. Gabby must find the strength and faith to carry DeeDee and herself through the dark unknown, but is she up for it?

2. What inspired you to write Every Good & Perfect Gift?

I wanted to write a book about a "Jonathan and David" type friendship between two women, knowing that I was ultimately going to tell the story of a young woman who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. I have a close friend who, at the age of 42, began to exhibit many of the symptoms portrayed in the book. Since completing the book I've learned that another close friend has been diagnosed with EOA. What are the odds?
In determining what course the friendship between Gabby and DeeDee would take, I asked myself: What is the greatest way one woman can express friendship to another? The answer: By helping her have a child if she's unable to, which one character is willing to do if it comes to that.

3. You've incorporated two major issues in Every Good & Perfect Gift: infertility and Early Onset Alzheimer's. Why not focus on one or the other? Why both?

The theme of Gift is extraordinary friendship. The foundation for the friendship is established between the characters in their childhood, tested through the issue of infertility, and exemplified through catastrophic illness. Infertility was the catalyst to get to that level of friendship expressed because of the illness. One character's growth was accomplished because of infertility, while the other character's growth came as a result of the Alzheimer's.

4. Why did you use humor to tell a story with such serious issues?
It's exactly because the issues are so serious that I chose humor to tell the story. Our life experiences are heavy enough without adding to them as we read for pleasure. That's not to say there aren't serious moments in the book, but hopefully the reader is buoyed by the lighter sections, rather than overloaded with the weightier ones.

5. What are your feelings about egg donation and other modern solutions that help women overcome infertility?

There are some things I might not personally opt for, but infertility was never an issue with me. If it had been I might have been willing to try anything. As it stands, I'm not opposed to in vitro fertilization or sperm donation, things of that nature. I don't find anything in Scripture that would cause me to be against it.

6. What are your feelings about a couple's decision to intentionally not have children?

Again, that wasn't my experience. I had three babies in quick succession and would not have done anything differently. But not every adult is cut out to be a parent. If an individual or couple realizes that they aren't equipped for parenthood, or if they feel their lives are full as they are, I don't' believe it's a sin not to have children. In fact, I think it's wise. That's not to say a person's feelings may not change in time, like it did for DeeDee. Then it's up to the couple to make the choice that's right for them.

7. What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

I spent several years in my early adulthood without a close friend. When the first one came into my life, I realized what I had missed and truly saw her as a gift from the Lord. But beyond that, I've experienced the truth of Proverbs 18:24: ". . . there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." In her darkest moments, Gabby learned that the Lord reaches out to us in compassion, spanning the gap between our need and His provision. That's been the case in my life over and over.

8. Do you base any of your characters on real people?

The concept of the story was based on a real situation in regards to the Early Onset Alzheimer's. But the characters are not based on real people. I do typically use people I know/have known and then take their personality traits/quirks to extremes--almost like a caricature--in order to make the character as interesting as possible. Almost always my daughters will recognize something of themselves in my make-believe world. It makes for fun conversation.

9. If the characters are primarily fictional, what about the setting? Is that someplace known to you?

I actually wrote the entire story in a fictional setting, without ever naming it. I just placed the town in the San Joaquin valley. My editor suggested I nail down the location, even a fictitious one. As we talked back and forth, I decided to use my real "home town" of Lodi. I grew up in the Sacramento area, but have lived in or around Lodi since my husband and I got married. There's some debate about whether or not "our" Lodi is the subject of the 1969 Credence Clearwater Revival song, "Stuck in Lodi." Right or wrong, I choose to think it is. But not for a minute do I feel stuck. I love Lodi.

10. What is your purpose in writing inspirational fiction?

I've had well-meaning friends ask why I write fiction at all. If I want to share the Gospel, why not write "the truth." Two answers come to mind. First, that "burning fire shut up in my bones" (Jer. 20:9) finds its release in fiction. Second, when Jesus wanted to get a heavenly truth across, He didn't deliver a three-point sermon. He told stories. My desire in writing inspirational fiction is that women who read my books will find them easy to share with other women who haven't yet come into relationship with Jesus, and that those women will be directed to the One who loves them with an everlasting love.

About Sharon:

Sharon and her husband Rick have been married 36 years. They live in northern California, and have three children and 6 grandchildren. Rick travels the world building churches, Bible schools and orphanages. Sharon travels with him on occasion, but while Rick lives the adventure, Sharon is more than happy to create her own through fiction.

What other authors are saying about Every Good & Perfect Gift
"Sharon Souza's beautiful novel will sweep you into the embrace of an extraordinary friendship, with all the giddy laughter of new adventure, the sparkle of young love, the joy of motherhood, the anguish of unexpected sorrow, and the hard-won wisdom of faith and gratitude. When you have turned the last page and wiped your tears, the story will enchant you for days and weeks and maybe even years to come."

~KATHLEEN POPA, author of To Dance in the Desert

"In a crisp, upbeat style, Sharon Souza weaves an emotional tale of friendship and faith. She offers an insightful journey through complex issues. I came away touched."
~SALLY JOHN, author of The Beach House

"What an absolutely wonderful book, vibrating with rich characters and brimming with life. I loved it! A debut novel of the highest quality. Don't miss this good and perfect gift!"
~GAYLE ROPER, author of Fatal Deductions

"Sharon Souza's debut is chock-full of motherhood and grace, humor and friendship, wonderfully weaved with the strong cords of faith. Bravo!"
~RAY BLACKSTON, author of Flabbergasted

"Every Good and Perfect Gift captured my imagination from the first line, causing me to contemplate the bonds of such an extraordinary relationship. What would the world be like if more friendships were like Gabby and DeeDee's? Sharon Souza's debut novel is achingly beautiful and tender, often richly funny, and hauntingly memorable."
~JULIE CAROBINI, author of Chocolate Beach and Truffles by the Sea

"Every Good and Perfect Gift swept me down memory lane to the joys and trials of starting a family. Sharon Souza uses her skilled hand to wipe away the fine line between friends and family and shows us that God has a loving plan, even when our faith is tested. A touching debut."
~NICOLE SEITZ, author of Trouble the Water and The Spirit of Sweetgrass

Sharon K. Souza is available for speaking engagements or futher interview. Check out her website at!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


(Thomas Nelson April 1, 2008)

Ted Dekker

New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker unleashes his most riveting novel elusive serial killer whose victims die of unknown causes and the psychologist obsessed with catching him.

This book was fabulous -- I had a really hard time putting it down. There is mystery and suspense in a book that involves high-level police investigation of a serial killer with spiritual overtones. The book reminds us that evil is not just the actions of mean people, it is a real force in this world that works actively to extinquish the light of God. Don't read this book at night when you are alone!


He died once to stop the he's dying again to save his wife.

FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has become famous for his well-articulated arguments that religion is one of society’s greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn’t know is that his obsessive pursuit of a serial killer known only as “Eve” is about to end abruptly with an unexpected death-his own.

Twenty minutes later Daniel is resuscitated, only to be haunted by the loss of memory of the events immediately preceding his death.

Daniel becomes convinced that the only way to stop Eve is to recover those missing minutes during which he alone saw the killer’s face. And the only way to access them is to trigger his brain’s memory dump that occurs at the time of death by simulating his death again…and again. So begins a carefully researched psychological thriller which delves deep into the haunting realities of near-death experiences, demon possession, and the human psche.

"As always with a Ted Dekker thriller, the details of ADAM are stunning, pointing to meticulous research in a raft of areas: police and FBI methods, forensic medicine, psychological profiling-in short, all that accompanies a Federal hunt for a serial killer. But Dekker fully reveals his magic in the latter part of the book, when he subtly introduces his darker and more frightening theme. It's all too creepily convincing. We have to keep telling ourselves that this is fiction. At the same time, we can't help thinking that not only could it happen, but that it will happen if we're not careful."


Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), and Obsessed, with two more...Renegade, and Chaos to be released later this year.

Check this book out on Amazon!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sisters, Ink

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

Sisters, Ink

Broadman & Holman Books (February 1, 2008)


Rebeca Seitz

Sisters,Ink is a fun book about four scrapbooking sisters who live in a small, rural town. The girls were adopted by loving parents and, despite their different approaches to life, they are very close. It is fun to read a book with references to scrapbooking tools and materials that I use. I'm looking forward to sequels about each sister.

Sisters, Ink marks the first in a series of novels written by, for, and about scrapbookers. At the center of the creativity and humor are four unlikely young adult sisters, each separately adopted during early childhood into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair.

Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapping studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows.

Book one spotlights headstrong Tandy, a successful yet haunted attorney now living back in Orlando where she spent the first eight years of her life on the streets as a junkie’s kid. When a suddenly enforced leave of absence at work leads her to an extended visit with her sisters in Stars Hill, a business oppor­tunity, rekindled romance, and fresh understanding of God’s will soon follow.

Rebeca Seitz is Founder and President of Glass Road Public Relations. An author for several years, PRINTS CHARMING was her first novel.

Rebeca cut her publicity teeth as the first dedicated publicist for the fiction division of Thomas Nelson Publishers. In 2005, Rebeca resigned from WestBow and opened the doors of GRPR, the only publicity firm of its kind in the country dedicated solely to representing novelists writing from a Christian worldview.

Rebeca makes her home in Kentucky with her husband, Charles, and their son, Anderson.


"What more can any woman want? Sisters, Ink weaves the love of sisters, the fun of scrapbooking, and a romance as sugary and tingling as Sweet Home Alabama. A must read for those who love southern fiction."--DiAnn Mills, author of Leather and Lace and When the Nile Runs Red

"Fun . . . funny . . . fantastic! Rebeca Seitz has brought together scrapbooking and sisterhood in a lively romp, with a love for going home again."--Eva Marie Everson, coauthor of The Potluck Club series.

You can buy this book at Amazon, and Rebeca can be reached through the Contact link on her Website

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chill Out Josey and a Contest!

Today's book is Chill Out Josey by Susan May Warren.

If you think you want to read this one, be prepared to laugh! If you have ever been pregnant, have ever tried to hide your pregnancy, or have ever done something a little peculiar while you were pregnant, you will love this book. There is a synopsis below and an interview with Susan May Warren. At the bottom of the post there is information about a great contest Susan is hosting!

NOTE: On March 5 I'll be reviewing another one of Susan's books, Taming Rafe.
About the Book:

Russia? Not again. Josey's finally living the good life - she's got the man, the (almost-perfect) wedding, the two-story Cape-Cod house of her dreams. That is until her man drags her back to Moscow! Josey knows she has the guts to follow her own dreams across the world, but she's not so sure she can play the perfect wife while her husband chases after his. Josey's set on having the perfect life -- even in a world without hot water, decent take-out and size-two leather fashion. But can she find the courage to tell her man the secret that will change their lives forever?

Read the first chapter here!

Meet Susan!

Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.

An Interview:
What was your favorite book as a child?
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

2. And, as follow up, what values in that book influence your life today?
A passion to learn, a plan to solve the problem, a savvy and sneakiness to accomplish the plan (okay, I know that’s not really a VALUE, but I like the spyish aspect of it!), commitment to the task, resourcefulness and the ability to think on one’s feet, compassion for someone else (sorta...), and (on the author’s part) – excellent plotting! I just loved the idea of living in a Museum!!!

3. How did you get the idea for Chill Out, Josey?

Being pregnant in Russia , and all the crazy things that happened that I knew no one would believe unless I put them in a fiction book! And I wanted to explore life beyond marriage, the continuing and deepening romance of Josey and Chase. Finally, I wanted Josey to struggle with and conquer her misconception about marriage and being a good wife, and come to some understanding of where she fit in their marriage.

4. What is the key message you would like your readers to find in this book?
No matter what circumstances you find yourself in – newly married with an absent husband, pregnant in a foreign country, unappreciated, unable to communicate, even helpless, God will 1. Never leave you. 2. Show in unique ways how much He loves you, if you are willing to look for it.

5. What question would you like to answer that no one ever asks (and what is the answer)?

What is your favorite method of brainstorming?

M & Ms and a Diet Coke. *grin*

And, if I could be anything in the world, I would be a writer – so yes, I have my dream job, and I’m very grateful. I might do it on a beach in Hawaii instead of the cold woods of Minnesota , however….

You can learn more about Susan at her website:

Okay…information about the contest! Submit your funniest/craziest/most embarrassing PREGNANCY STORY and be entered to win a Super Fabulous, Ultra Deluxe Chill Out, Mom SPA BASKET! Here is the link to the Contest page on Susan’s website:

Here are some more links:

Buy the book:

Susan’s blog:

Susan’s other books: