Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Christian Fiction of the Decade

n520726901_1029681_6668 For ten years—I know this because my daughter, Selah is ten—I have critiqued and fallen hard for Christian fiction novels. I have read some of the best and some of the most challenged. All of them I have seen a manifestation of our God. God, I love you for giving me this gift to have read them all. I look forward to the next decade.
Today I would like to share --not in any particular order—the best written Christian Fiction Novels of the 2000-2010.
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1. Sharon Ewell Foster’s Abraham’s Well
2. W. Dale Cramer Bad Ground
3.  Ron Hansen’s Exiles
4. Lief Enger Peace Like A River
5. Tosca Lee Demon A Memoir
6. Lisa Samson Songbird
7. Marilynne Robinson Gilead
8. Randy Ingermanson Trangression
9. Claudia Burney Wounded
10. Uwem Akpan Say You’re One of Them
11. John Grisham’s The Testament
12. Greg Garrett Free Bird
13. Athol Dickson River Rising
14. Toni Morrison A Mercy
15. Frank Peretti This Present Darkness
16. Michele Andrea Bowen Church Folk
17. Angela Benson’s Awakening Mercy
18. Deanne Gist a Bride Most Begrudging
19. Deane Koontz Watchers
20. Charles Martin When Crickets Cry
Honorable Mentions…
  • Sibella Giorello The Stones Cry Out



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Thursday, December 30, 2010

On Pretty Book Covers

I admit pretty book covers intrigue me. If I’m wandering through bookstore shelves or skimming through my copy of RT Book Reviews Magazine, I always stop at the pretty covers. In the past ten years I’ve been chatting books I’ve noticed that the prettier the books the bigger the marketing push by the publisher. Bethany House has went out their way to promote Julie Klassen’s upcoming title.  So now I wonder whether book cover design is a tip off as to what books the publisher feels confident about. I further wonder, does great storytelling beget a great book cover or great grasp of what readers want beget a great book cover. After all, Julie is one of the best writers I know. She is also an editor for Bethany House. Hm….

More pretty Klassen covers:

The Silent GovernessThe Apothecary's DaughterLady of Milkweed Manor

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY Official Reader Contest

Kimberla Lawson Roby Fans, check out this amazing promotional giveaway contest for her new release Love, Honor and Betray.

The Love Honor and Betray Reader Contest

This contest is open to readers everywhere, and all you need to do is purchase your copy of LOVE, HONOR, AND BETRAY between Monday, Janaury 10, 2011 and Saturday, January 15, 2011 and then submit the original receipt from your local or online bookstore or general retailer to the address below. (Sorry, no photocopies or other reproductions will be accepted and the original receipt must clearly show the eligible date). Click here for the deets.

 

Book Synopsis: The infamous Reverend Curtis Black's sordid past is no secret, as his wife, Charlotte, is well aware. But when Curtis' long-time mistress and mother of his illegitimate two-year-old, dies, he and Charlotte have no choice but to raise Curtina together. While the living, breathing reminder of her husband's infidelity infuriates Charlotte, Curtis couldn't be happier to finally have his whole family together. Despite her best efforts to keep her feelings hidden, Charlotte resents Curtina, taking her emotions out on the young girl. When confronted about her behavior Charlotte starts spending time away from home, all the while getting closer to her ex-boyfriend. Curtis appears to devote himself to his parish and the new church they're building, but is he really focusing his attention on the female parishioners trying to lure him into bed? Suddenly Curtis and Charlotte find themselves slipping into dangerous territory, and not even Curtis' seven-figure salary can prevent what is about to happen.

Related:

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why the 3 Wise Men will Out Sell You this Holiday Season

The one thing I dislike about the holidays is spam. Everyone is having a sale. Everyone believes that their <insert dumb thing> is what I want for Christmas or need to have purchased for my career success before next year’s rates increase. What I would like this holiday season are continued prayers for my mom, a spam free holiday, and a simple hello. What I don’t want is your dumb thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I get the sales pitches. I grew up in a sales woman’s household. I know the value of good timing. I know how important the holiday season is to the marketplace.

However, I also know this…The holidays used to be a great time to sell anything. Used to be. Spam, improper email etiquette, more spam, and liars have spoiled it. We’re about fresh done until New Years.

So if you want to make a great impact for your <insert dumb thing>, make it a great thing. Give it value by not being like the other dummies.

Take this time as a good opportunity to connect, to for once this year talk to your clients like their people, find out how your gatekeepers are doing, and give a gift or two of your valuable thing to someone you know who would really needs it, but because of the holidays they just don’t have the money to buy it.

Be a wise man. Give your best.

Photo Courtesy of La Fe’e Crochette

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The Last Scream Read of 2010

Although Dean Koontz What the Night Knows: A Novel doesn’t come out until December 28th I want a Christmas Miracle, I want this book now.

Billy Lucas confesses to a shocking crime. He's only fourteen years old but he's a sadistic killer and proud of it. He's in the secure wing of the state hospital but ... he seems too wise for his age, not crazy, too knowing. About the nature of evil, and whether it lives on beyond death. Too knowing about other crimes that took place before he was born ... Other murders from twenty years ago surface in the mind of Detective John Calvino as he interviews young Billy Lucas. Calvino carries away a signed confession ... and a sense of great danger. That night he feels that somehow Billy has come home with him, to his family. Over the next weeks, this haunted feeling does not go away. It only gets worse. Then another killing spree happens, just as and when John Calvino dreaded it would. Billy is safely locked away, but not the ghost, if the ghost exists, that links these murders with past crimes, and with John Calvino. Anything could happen, and surely will... again.

Read the Excerpt below and maybe you will feel the same way I do…

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz (excerpt)

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

10 Fab Glam Christmas Gifts for the Women Writer & a Steampunk Ring

image

One of my favorite things of the Holiday Season is to create my own Christmas Wish List for Writers.  It gives me a chance to browse glamorous stores I wouldn’t normally shop, to dream big, and to have some adult fun. This list is for the penny pincher who needs a good reason to spend those pennies. So here’s my top ten Fab Glam Christmas Wish List for Women Writers like me. And if you are privy to these kinds of dollars then sure I will take the gift.

*Note: I have no affiliate or ad relationship with these companies. I simple heart them right now.

1. Jorg Gray Swarovski Crystal Ballpoint Pen (photo above) $298

This may be the thing to help some of us get off Facebook and complete our first drafts. Look at it. It’s glorious. Click here to buy

image

2. Reed Krakoff  Utility Messenger Bag Reg. $1390 on Sale $834

So could you imagine carrying your prized manuscript in this baby? I see Book 2 in there all cozy. Order here

Hello Kitty iPad® Convertible Book Jacket: Nerd

3. Hello Kitty Nerd IPad Case, $45.

Okay. I want an iPad, but I’m waiting for some more added features. However, this Nerdlicious iPad case makes the wait even harder. I think I may get the case now still… Get it here

Note all these items can be shipped in 3-5 days, still time for Christmas at my home. Just saying…

Hello Kitty Quilted Patent Rolling Luggage

4. Hello Kitty Quilted Patent Rolling Suitcase

What Luxe Writer Woman wouldn’t be traveling with this beauty. OMGingersnaps! May put a tip jar for this one. (Wink, wink) Order here.

5. Mont Blanc Virginia Woolf, The Writer’s Edition Pen,  $749

Virginia Woolf is considered to be one of the first representatives of classical modernism. She developed the story-telling technique of the “interior monologue”, which she used most consistently in her novel “The Waves”, which appeared in 1931. Virginia Woolf shaped this avant-garde technique with an expressly feminine subjectivity and autobiographical elements to create milestones in feminist literature such as “Orlando” or  “Mrs Dalloway. Get it here.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Kate Spade Book Clutch (various) $325

I can’t get enough of book clutches. Saw a tutorial on how to make one. Too cute for words. Get it here.

7. Campo Marzio Computer Bags and Writing Essentials, $210.

The popsicle colors help me to dream big about these writing goodies. Founded in 1939, Campo Marzio is the leading fashion business accessory company in the world. This year it has made it to America. You now know why. Join the movement here.

8. No. 4 Odell 2 Antique Typewriter, Bid starts $192

Before Qwerty keyboard layout typewriters there were the uniqueness of Art Nouveau like this Odell 2. Great for a Steampunk author Bid for it on Ebay here.

Roma Lussa Journal

9.Roma Lusaa Journal at Kate’s Paperie, $84

Italian leather journal. Marbelized edges. Made by hand in Florence, Italy. 175 pages of handcraft, hand sewn, luxury. This is the kind of journal that make you think twice about padding a novel with crap. Just beautiful.

10. The Vintage Book of American Women Writers, $18.95The Vintage Book of American Women Writers

The Vintage Book of American Women Writers is the first of its kind: a dazzling, monumental showcase of 350 years of poetry and fiction by American women.
If you’re a women writer, I suggest you learn your history. The gift of knowledge is priceless. Preorder it here. The book doesn’t release until January 2011.

 

 

And the SteamPunk Ring…

Steampunk Watch Movement Fully Adjustable Ring With Flower Bead And Swarovski Crystal (Steampunk Jewelry by Steam Designs), $50

steampunk-flower-ring-swarovski

I wouldn’t call this luxe, because of the price point. But it’s luxe because of the craftsmanship and fabulous because it just is. Steampunk is making a comeback in American lit communities. Thus, the reprise of intricate watches, rings, and just brain brilliance. I love it!! Get it here.

Hope you enjoyed these items. If you purchase any thing here, please let me know. I know i will be getting the Vintage Book of AAW and possible this ring for my Bday in February.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Prayer Request for My Mom and My Freedom

 

IMAG0031Tomorrow morning I escort my mom to surgery, a surgery that can save her life and my sanity. She has an early stage of cancer, not a popular kind, but one that can be treated if detected early with surgery and if need be some radiation. The latter is what has kept me up at night.

I think she needs the radiation to be on the safe side and she thinks that God will remove all of it, even the cells her doctor can’t see. Her doctor shares my concern. Well, he at least want her to have an oncologist consult after the surgery. I’m praying that this surgery is successful and that the oncologist confirms my mom’s beliefs and to stop me from always considering the last case scenario. Always finding the worst possible thing that could happen and instead live free and filled with faith and peace no matter what happens in life.

Continue reading "A Prayer Request for My Mom and My Freedom" »

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

2 Peal Harbor Tribute Book Picks


Today December 7, 1941 Peal Harbor was attacked. U.S. Newspapers reported and tried to make since of what happened.
The New York Times – Dec. 8, 1941:
The crash of exploding bombs in the Hawaiian Islands, Guam and possibly the Philippines, the roar of anti-aircraft guns and the twisted, flaming skeletons of wrecked planes heralded the war of the Pacific, with the principal antagonists the United States and Japan – a war that has been long brewing, a conflict often predicted but previously avoided. But the Japanese aggression yesterday did more than start a Pacific war. It broadened the conflicts already raging into a world-wide struggle whose end no man can know.
Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/12/07/extra-extra-how-did-journalists-cover-pearl-harbor-the-day-after/#ixzz17S4rTaC7
Almost seventy years later we still tell the story. Today Christian Fiction Blog spotlight’s two 2010 Christian Fiction Novels set around WWII and the characters respond to that attack

 

Sarah Sundin’s A Distant Melody

 Distant Melody, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory)
Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together.
But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?A Distant Melody is the first book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.



 

Tricia Goyer and Ocienna Fleiss Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington

 Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington

The Second World War has stolen Rosalie's fiance from her. But rather than wallow, Rosalie throws herself into her work at the Boeing plant in Victory Heights, shooting rivets into the B-17 bombers that will destroy the enemy. A local reporter dubs her Seattle's Own Rosie the Riveter, and her story lends inspiration to women across the country. While Rosalie's strong arms can bear the weight of this new responsibility, her heart cannot handle the intense feelings that begin to surface for Kenny, the handsome reporter. Fear of a second heartbreak is a powerful opponent - but will it claim victory over love



Doris Miller Navy
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Monday, December 06, 2010

Two Challenges with Af-Am Christian Fiction

My Two Cents Monday

 

What do you think are the best-selling trends in African American literature both fiction and nonfiction, especially, but not limited to, those with Christian themes? Then, what are the best ways for publishers to market those titles to African Americans? What publishers are doing it well?

-Jevon Bolden Embrace the Possibility

Today I’m answering a blog post question from my friend Jevon Bolden, Developmental Editor at Strang Books.

What do you think are the best-selling trends in African American literature both fiction and nonfiction, especially, but not limited to, those with Christian themes?

There are two sub genres affiliated with Christian fiction written for Af-Am Christian readers:

  • Af-Am Christian Fiction
  • Church Drama

The latter outsells. This fact also makes marketing to Af-Am Christian book buyers unique, because the buyer doesn’t know the difference, yet expects AACF to read like Church Drama. Moreover, Church Drama authors market to this audience, while adamantly stating that they do not write for Christian audiences. This confusion, in my opinion, has hurt Af-Am Christian Imprints and the acquisition of AACF Lit.

A new subgenre that will also affect Af-Am Christian Fiction sells will be fantasy romances like L.A. Banks Surrender the Dark, a novel about angel mythology.

I’ll answer the other two questions respectively this week.

Your two cents?

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Best of 2010 Christian AF-AM Books

Christian Fiction Blog is pleased to announce our picks and  Christmas Gift Guide of the best 25 African-American Christian Novels published in 2010. This list is determined based on books I reviewed, Af-Am book club feedback, bookstore community manager and librarian recommendations. This list is not in any particular order.  Books in this category are based on themes concerning Af-Am culture. 

 

  1. Vanessa Miller, A Long Time Coming
  2. Kim Cash Tate, Faithful
  3. Pat G’Orge Walker, Don’t Blame the Devil
  4. Michele Bowen, More Church Folk
  5. Shana Burton, Flaws and All
  6. Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Holy Rollers
  7. Patricia Haley, Destined
  8. Rhonda McKnight, An Inconvenient Friend
  9. Michelle Larks, Faith
  10. Cecilia Dowdy, Chesapeake Wedding
  11. Kimberla Lawson Roby, Be Careful What You Prayed For
  12. Victoria Christopher Murray, Sins of the Mother
  13. Nikki Carter, Cool Like That
  14. Tiffany Warren, Farther Than I Meant to Go, Longer Than I Mean to Stay
  15. Tiffany Warren, In the Midst of It All
  16. Michelle Stimpson, Last Temptation
  17. Vanessa Davis Griggs ,The Truth is the Light
  18. Kendra Norman Bellamy, Song of Solomon
  19. Dwan Abrams, My Mother’s Child
  20. Rhonda McKnight, Sherri L. Lewis, Tiffany L. Warren, A Women’s Revenge
  21. Jacquelin Thomas, Sampson
  22. Pat Simmons, Still Guilty
  23. Sherri Lewis, Selling My Soul
  24. Stacy Hawkins Adams, Dreams that Won’t Let Go
  25. Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Caught Up in the Drama

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World Aids Day Book Spotlight

The Startling Affluent Face of Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS Community

#World Aids Day Book Recommendation

Chizelle Archie’s The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond

  • Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.
  • 80% of new HIV/AIDS cases among women are contracted through heterosexual contract.
  • According to “Killer Sex,” an article in the April 2009 issue of More Magazine eight in 10 newly infected women were exposed to the virus the old-fashioned way: by having unprotected sex with their husbands, boyfriends, or casual flings.


Chizelle' T. Archie, AuthorArchie knows these stats well, because she is a registered nurse, who has met these women face to face and have witnessed their disappointments, fears, and secret shame. Because of her experiences,she has become an HIV/AIDS advocate.


“No other disease has the power to strip women of their dignity, their sexuality, and their self-worth like HIV,” states Dr. Melissa Osborn, HIV physician at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Rarely do the media portray an HIV positive woman who is a teacher, a lawyer, a flight attendant, for an accountant. But HIV doesn’t discriminate, and success doesn’t protect against infection. I have met HIV-positive patients in all of these positions.”


Archie’s novel The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond(AuthorHouse, August 2010) is the story of an investment advisor who learns that she has contracted HIV from her unfaithful husband the same day she learns that she is pregnant with their child.

diamond Book Synopsis:

Posh Manhattan investment advisor Victoria Diamond CartiĆ©r lives a life of ultimate success: owning an affluent estate in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights district, working on 5th Avenue, and having the love of her devoted husband Malcolm. But when Victoria discovers that her marriage is a lie, she uncovers a deadly horror that may threaten her belief in healing, second chances at love with Marcel and God’s providence over her diamond life.

Click here the link in red to order a copy.

Themes: HIV AIDS Awareness

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