Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Best Summer Spec Fic. 2006 say that I knew this book was going to be one of my favorites would not be enough. When it arrived in my mailbox I became a little giddy. See T.L. and I have become fast friends over the past years before this book got the green light. He always had something smart to say over in the Faith*in*Fiction discussion board and he always said nice things about my comments. So we had gotten off to a good start. I knew then that he knew how to please and please well he has done with his debut novel.
Waking Lazarus is the story of Jude Allman, a man who had been resurrected three times. The first time he as an eight-year old boy. So of course, by the third time he had become part local legend/part celebrity. Jude hid. Changed his name and became a recluse named Ron Gress, a janitor in a small town, Red Lodge, Montana.  However, this little cozy set up of his wouldn't stay this tidy.  Children began to disappear. And worst, the mysteries of his own deaths were wrapped up in the disappearances some how.
Spook-ta-fide. Guarantee(I say with a Creole accent.) :)
But beyond the spook factor, this book is a hot dog good read. I am a book critic, so my inner critic is always on when I'm reading. Ane Mulligan and I talked about this last night. But when I read a book and I forget about plot, character, and all the double talk, but just sink in and follow along...choir members, that book gets a 5!! I couldn't find a paragraph, sentence, nothing that wasn't pitch perfect. Hot dog this is a good book(July, $18.99.)
And is in the running for one of my top books  of the year. What say you? 
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Monday, June 26, 2006

The Gift of Grief is supposed to happen when you attend the Women of Faith's Contagious Joy Conference with four girlfriends from my Sunday school class and my best friend, Ashley, the Prebyterian minister turned human rights activist, who drove down from Denver because her soul needed to make a connection with me? Well, it wasn't contagious joy.
Read the rest of this story at The Master's Artist Blog.
Pearl's Miracle at Infuze Magazine
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Friday, June 23, 2006

OTA: Best Summer Romantic Suspense

Book Cover

 Murder, Mayhem & a Fine Man

Flawless, scary, smitten, nail biting, keep you up all night faith reading fun…

Goto to get the full bookbuzz..

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Best Summer Biblical Fiction

Ginger Garrett's Dark Hour

Click here to find out why I chose this book as a great summer read.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

WRD: Best Summer Read 2006

Today is World Refugee Day. Journalists all ove the world have united to highlight refugee issues today. However, I want to highlight a book that I have selected for my girl scout troop parent committee to read to their daughter's this summer. This book is also on my list of great summer reads.
Drita, my Homegirl, by Jenny Lombard
"You got to start to let her go and let someone in..."
In short, the novel is about two fourth graders Drita and Maxie. Drita is a Kosovo refugee that immigrated to New York and is having trouble at her new elementary school. Maxie, an African-American "Chatty Kathy", who is also Drita's new classmate can't stay out of trouble. In lieu of another punishment Maxie has to do a school project on Drita and Kosovo. As Maxie begins to learn more about Drita's home country, they both begin to learn that they are similiar, both share a secret pain regarding their mothers and can lean on each other. The book is written well and in an authentic voice for both teenagers and their cultural differences. I think this is a great book for the scouts and mothers with daughters. (March, $15.99)
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Monday, June 19, 2006

#1: Countdown Best Summer Reads

Hot dog! I'm down to my final identifier when choosing my choice summer reads. It's a no brainer. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
But why is this book my example for the number one reason? Go to to why.
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An Orange Garden and a Yellow/Red House"Dee, I think you put too much power in man instead of going out on faith..." Rhonda, one of my ride-or-die chicks said to me on Saturday during our writer's group discussion about my problem of not pitching one of my previously written novels. According to them, I have a problem. I won't submit queries to agents or publishing houses. I won't even try. Let me tell you why. Click here to read more at TMA .

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Counting Down Best Reads 3 and 4

Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You by Laurie Lynn Drummond

#3. A taste of uncliched realism.
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4. Some form of meditative quality. 
Goto Gospel Fiction to see why I chose these books to exemplify my summer reading pick process.
Tomorrow I will do 2 and 1 together. And starting next week I will recommend my choice reads for the Summer of 2006! What are your picks?
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

#5: Countdown Best Summer Reads 06 Cover
What book would you recommend for me to read this summer?
I'm back. Thanks for your prayers. In 5 days I will announce my picks for the best summer reads of 2006 by genres: supernatural, romance, mystery, historical, and absolutely, unequivocally holy-ghost-filled, dang good writing.To countdown with this announcement I will share 7 key identifiers I search for when choosing a great summer read. We are on to identifier #5.
#5. I need to fall in love with the main character.
Click here to read more.
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Monday, June 12, 2006

TMA: Cute Christian Hostess Question a Christian event series is a trip and a half. Last year when I created Third Thursdays House Readings Series I had no great expectations. Initially the readings would happen at my home. People would stop by and read something they were working on. No biggie. But then I had an epiphany, and you know what kind of trouble a girl like me can get into with one of those. Read more of my dilemma at The Master's Artist.
Gospel Link:
Faith*in*Fiction- First-time novelists approaching the debut novel often take a kitchen-sink mentality. They're so psyched that they're going to throw everything they have at it...
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Artist Call: The Perfect Romance

"But now listen, I will woo her, I will go with her into the wilderness and comfort her" (Hos. 2:14)
Last year, we launched Third Thursdays, an Atlanta Live Christian Event Reader Series. This year we've gone a step higher.  This summer you are invited to
The Perfect Romance
A Christian Romance and Word Event Series
When: Every Second Friday from July-September from 7:30-9:30 pm
Where: Firenze Coffeehouse & Gallery
             145-B Satellite Blvd., Suwanee, GA 30024
Cost: Free to the public and free to the artists
Contact: Dee Stewart(here)
Details: The Perfect Romance Reader Series encompasses the Hosea scripture, as it will portray God, the consummate romantic through the arts(literature, fine art, music and dance.) Click below to be directed to the artist call for these events. Please pass this info onto those who may be interested that live in or around the Atlanta, Georgia vicinity or who will be doing booksignings in the coming months.
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Deliver Us from Evelyn

Deliver Us From Evelyn

(Harvest House Publishers)

Chris Well

Everyone from the Feds to the mob is scrambling to find the husband of heartless media mogul Evelyn Blake. But no one can decide which is worse—that he is missing, or that she is not ...


Sunday night. April 23.

On his last day of this life, the Right Fair Reverend Missionary Bob Mullins checked the party dip. Just stuck his finger right in there, pulled some glop free, stuck it in his mouth and sucked.

Hmm, good dip.

He wiped his saliva’d finger on his jacket, popped the top off a can of Pringles, shuffled a neat row of curved chips onto a Dixie brand paper platter.


Setting the can down, he stepped back from the secondhand coffee table in the middle of the shag-carpeted office, looked at what his party planning skills had wrought. And he saw that it was good.

He went to the stereo system across the room, selected a CD. Personally, he would have preferred something by the Rolling Stones, maybe Exile on Main Street or Beggars Banquet -- muscular, honky-tonk rock ’n’ roll you can get drunk or stoned to, depending on your mood. He could really go for the bluesy wail of “Tumbling Dice” right now.

But the music library here offered none of that. Besides, his marks -- that is, the members of his “flock” -- held certain expectations regarding what music was appropriate for a prayer meeting. Especially in a small armpit of a town like Belt Falls, Illinois.

(Who names a town “Belt Falls,” anyway?)

The ladies would be here soon. Then Missionary Bob could use his people skills, honed from his years of "ministry," to good effect. Would lead the group in a spontaneous (but carefully planned) evening following “the Lord’s leading” -- some Bible, some hymns, some ministry time. A carefully rehearsed prayer, a combination of wails and pleas, which experience had shown to be a very effective prelude to the passing of the offering plate.

Swept up by the rush of maudlin and spiritual emotion, the ladies would cough up plenty.

“Yea, but there are those who do not have it as comfortably as we do,” he found himself practicing, fiddling with chair placement in the circle, maneuvering pillows on the couch. “Poor children who do not have the food or clothing or shelter such as we take for granted.”

He double-checked the handy photos on the table. The orphanage in Mexico went by a lot of names. It would not do for the Right Fair Reverend Missionary Bob Mullins to get all weepy-eyed over JESUS AMA A LOS NINOS PEQUENOS and then whip out a photo showing a bunch of tiny brown faces smiling under a banner that said CHILDREN OF HER MERCY ORPHANAGE.

Following the fiasco in the last town, he’d played it cool once he got to Belt Falls. (Really, who brings a wagon train across the frontier, breaks ground on a settlement and says, “From henceforth, this shall be known as ‘Belt Falls’”?)

Ever since Andrea -- his partner, his companion, his ray of light -- had got Jesus, she'd stopped helping with the scams. Stopped helping him fleece the flock, so to speak. She laid it on thick enough, It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, and all that.

He tried to smirk it off, tried that face that always brought her around, but it didn’t seem to work anymore. Whatever had got hold of her wasn’t letting go.

Missionary Bob would never admit it to anyone, least of all himself, that the dividing line between success and failure began and ended with Andrea. When she was working with him, the scams worked like butter.

But then she got religion and the whole machine went up in flames.

Not that Missionary Bob got the clue. He kept working his games, town to town, each new gambit failing, each new town harder to crack than the last.

Once he set up shop here in Belt Falls (don’t even get him started about the name of the town), he took his time getting to know the people. He found them to be a small, close-knit community, smugly going to their church services.

Smug, but not that pious -- it did not take much effort to plant sufficient evidence that the only pastor in town was a raving drug user, maybe even a dealer. Not enough evidence to get the man convicted -- even the hick sheriff saw it was a weak case -- but the hapless pastor had to make only one phone call to the wrong deacon asking for bail money before word of his unholy lifestyle rushed through the congregation like wildfire.

In the eyes of God and the law, he was probably an okay guy. But once a congregation chooses to believe the worst, a preacher may as well pack his bags and move on.

Missionary Bob had even heard tell of one particular church, somewhere in the Midwest, where the members had booted the pastor because he'd had the temerity to wear short pants to a church potluck.

Yep, hell -- if it existed -- would be packed to the lips with smug, busybody churchgoers who ran their preacher out of town because he had worn shorts to a church potluck. Or, as in this case, was the victim of circumstantial evidence planted on him by a traveling huckster.

He stood and straightened his dress jacket. Felt a bulge in his left pocket, was surprised to discover a coaster with the face of Jesus on it.

He looked around the office, befuddled. When had he picked this up?

You don’t have to lift anything here, he reminded himself. You’ve pretty much lifted the whole office already.

Missionary Bob, in what used to be the hapless pastor’s office, heard steps echoing from the foyer, somebody clomping up the stairs. My, my, thought the Right Fair Reverend Missionary Bob Mullins, these ladies do need to lose some weight, don’t they? Whoever this was, she was pounding the stairs to wake the devil.

He stopped fidgeting with pillows and stood up straight, getting into character. Thinking of his plan, his mission, remembering the correct accent and speech patterns of a Right Fair Reverend Missionary, an accent as specific and undeniable as the drawl of New Orleans or the wicked blue-blood of Boston.

There was an insistent pounding on the door, a battering, really, if he had stopped to think about it. But he was too wrapped up in the character of a Right Fair Reverend Missionary. He slapped on a toothy grin and opened the door. “Welcome, child, to -- ”

It was a man. A. Large. Man. A grizzled bear towering over him, bloated flannel shirt cascading out of pants where they were almost tucked, tractor cap on his head declaring EAT ROADKILL. The grizzly bear pressed his flannelled beer belly against the Right Fair Reverend Missionary, leaned down from on high and belched, “I’m Darla Mae’s husband.”

The Right Fair Reverent Missionary Bob Mullins broke character and cursed.

The rest of the confrontation was like a dream, a nightmare of slow motion, the bear smacking him, a freight train to the skull, tossing Missionary Bob across the room. Hitting the coffee table as he went down, elbow in the dip. The grizzly roaring, storming in, Missionary Bob on the floor, scrambling backward, away, fleeing in the only direction he could, farther into the room. The angry husband kicking the table over, party snacks flying, dip spattering across the bookcase.

As Missionary Bob kicked to his feet, always moving backward, until the wall stopped his escape, one question kept flashing through his mind: Is this about the fake antique Cross of James or is this about the adultery?

Either way, his back against the wall, this grizzly man bearing down on him, Missionary Bob was out of options. The giant man, his eyes red, had barrel fists clenched and ready to swing, like jackhammers.

There was a noise behind the grizzly, at the open door. “Missionary Bob?”

One of the ladies.

The enraged husband turned at the voice. Missionary Bob took his one and only chance, grabbed the stone head of Moliere, clubbed the grizzly across the side of the head. The man stumbled backward and fell.

Missionary Bob, fueled by anger and fear and blind, stupid adrenalin, kept clubbing, again and again. The man on the floor now, blood streaming from his head. Missionary Bob clubbing him with the bust again and again. On his knees, on top of the man, clubbing him again and again and again.

Finally, adrenalin loosening its grip, Missionary Bob became aware that the man was not moving. Clutching air in hot, painful gasps, he dropped the bust to the carpet.

Felt something wet on the side of his face, wiped it with his sleeve, saw blood smeared on fabric. Not his own blood.

Gasping, wheezing, he looked up and saw the witnesses, ladies pooling in the doorway, staring agape at the Goliath on the floor, downed by the David with his stone.

© 2006 Chris Well

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Pearl's Miracle

I have not been around the site much this week, because I am home in Valdosta, Georgia.  Thank you all for your prayers and blessings. My grandma's Homegoing was spirit filled. I miss her so much.

Infuze Magazine blessed me last  week by graciously accepting my short story, Pearl's Miracle as a highlighted piece. Please stop by and comment on the story for me.

 I've also included an excerpt of Chris Well's Deliver Us from Evelyn for your Stay tuned for a review of  The Hidden, Waking Lazarus, House, Meet me at the Altar, Jade, Dark Hour, and Zora's Cry and Murder, Mayhem & a Fine Man this month as well as my countdown to my summer reading picks.  Whew!! I got some more reading to do. Thanks for your prayers. And check out Dave Long over at Faith*in*Fiction. He's talking about some things that make me so woah. I haven't commented over there, yet. I will. F*i*fers be advised. :)

To God be the glory, Dee


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