Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best 20 Christian Fiction of 2011: African-American

Christian Fiction Blog is proud to announce the 2011 top 20 Christian Fiction Novels written by African American writers. We spotlight these books, because most Christian media and Christian bookstore chains  don’t for reasons we cannot fathom. Congrats to these authors and continue to spread the Gospel to the Church Universal..
To see the all the book covers showcased visit our pinterest white board. This list is not in any order or rank.
  1. Sharon Ewell Foster, The Resurrection of Nat Turner: The Witness
  2. Booker T. Mattinson ,Snitch
  3. Vanessa Miller, A Promise of Forever Love
  4. Shana Burton, Catt Chasin
  5. Kim Cash Tate, Cherished
  6. Patricia Haley, Broken
  7. Serita Jakes, The Crossing
  8. Vanessa Davis Griggs, Redeeming Waters
  9. Tia McCollors, Steppin into The Good Life
  10. Pat G’orge Walker, No Ordinary Noel
  11. Kendra Norman Bellamy, Upon This Rock
  12. Michelle Simpson, Someone to Watch Over Me
  13. Claudia Mair Burney, Exorsistah: X Restored
  14. Sherryle Kiser Jackson, Taylor Made
  15. Rhonda Bowen, Man Enough for Me
  16. Victoria Christopher Murray The Deal, The Dance, and the Devil
  17. Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Say Amen Again
  18. Kimberla Lawson Roby, To Love, Honor and Betray
  19. Shelia Goss, Delilah
  20. Cheryl Faye, Who Said it Would Be Easy
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Write What You Know: A Career U.S. Diplomat


Robbie Cutler Diplomatic Mysteries

By William S. Shepard

I was a career diplomat in the American Foreign Service. I served at our U.S. embassies in Singapore, Saigon, Budapest and Athens, and then retired as Consul General in Bordeaux, France. Since the usual advice given to beginning writers was “write about what you know,” I wrote about the Embassy world. During one of my five Washington tours, as Duty Officer for the Secretary of State, I found myself staying late one evening at the office. While I perused files and diplomatic cables, I realized I had access to a variety of interesting information and sources. That was when the idea came to me that after I retired, I would write mystery stories set in American Embassies overseas.

Continue reading William Shepard’s story and talk with him LIVE today at The Thrill Begins

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trailer Park Tuesday: Tyler Perry's Good Deeds Movie

A successful, wealthy businessman, Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) has always done what's expected of him, whether it's assuming the helm of his father's company, tolerating his brother's misbehavior at the office or planning to marry his beautiful but restless fiancée, Natalie (Gabrielle Union). But Wesley is jolted out of his predictable routine when he meets Lindsey (Thandie Newton), a down-on-her-luck single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. When he offers to help her get back on her feet, the chance encounter with someone so far outside his usual circle ignites something in Wesley. This one good deed may finally spark his courage to exchange the life that's expected of him for the life he's always really wanted. A moving, uplifting drama about coincidence, courage, and the defining choices we make on our paths to happiness, TYLER PERRY'S GOOD DEEDS is written, produced and directed by Tyler Perry, and stars Perry, Thandie Newton, Brian White, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy, Eddie Cibrian, Jordenn Thompson, Beverly Johnson, with Phylicia Rashad, and Gabrielle Union. In theaters February 24 2012

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gospel Christmas Music Preview Deborah E. Bradley Tis the Season

tis the season on itunesjoy to the worldgo tell it on the mountainImage Map

This image is interactive. Move your arrow to sample Deborah E. Bradley’s Tis the Season Gospel Christmas CD.

Two Christmas Stories You can Read in 5 Minutes

Happy Friday: Here are Two Christmas Stories you can read in 5 Minutes. thanks to Chris Mikesell and Kathleen Kovach winners of our Christmas Short Story Contest at Christian Fiction Online Magazine.

Nativity by Chris Mikesell

Baby Jesus

The box and its contents had been a birthday gift from his father. Handmade wooden figurines: a man, woman, infant, three shepherds, six sheep (mostly still intact), and an angel. A year later he painted the inside of the box, a child’s rendering of a stable, complete with a lop-eared donkey and a horse whose facial expression indicated intestinal distress.

For the past three years his parents had recited the story to him. This year it was his turn…

Warmth from a Window by Kathleen E. Kovach

Stained Glass

Sleet pelted the concrete as she walked toward the old church. Her fingers clutched her coat collar to keep the cold from invading. She hadn’t been to worship in years, but something about the solid stone building beckoned her.

This Christmas Eve she’d never felt more alone. She had relocated because of a new job. Old friends were far away. She had no family.

But the old church smiled at her one day as she walked by on her way to work. How else could she describe it? Its double doors were open wide and she heard laughter coming from inside…

Click here to read them in full

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011 INSPY Award Winners

The INSPY Advisory is pleased to announce the 2011 INSPY Award Winners:

Creative Nonfiction: Passport Through Darknessby Kimberly L. Smith

In Passport Through Darkness, Mrs. Smith portrays sacrificial Christian living as the absolutely normal and healthy choice for all Christians. She and her husband are willingly transparent with their weaknesses and present a realistic picture of what a Christian living looks like: hard, messy, and painful, but right and worthwhile. Passport Through Darkness is a powerful story that can change who you are at a fundamental level.

General Fiction:City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell(Henry Holt & Co, September 2010)
We chose City of Tranquil Light because it tells a compelling story with complex characters that feel true to life, characters we care about. Bo Caldwell’s prose is lyrical.

The characters live a very real faith. Everything they do has Kingdom service in mind, yet they never come across as preachy. Their faith is organic. Serving Christ is what they do, it’s who they are. Because of that, this book’s appeal goes beyond that of the Christian community.

Literature for Young People: Saint Training by Elizabeth Fixmer (Zondervan, 2010)

Saint Training is realistic in its examination of religion without stereotype or fundamentalist views. An inspiring read, relevant to young readers and a stand out in its genre. Mary Clare is very down to earth and anyone will be able to relate to her struggles.

Mystery/Thriller: The Bishopby Steven James

Steven James did not shy away from the “tough” questions about God and we appreciate that an author – a Christian author at that, would be up-front and center with the real tough spiritual questions. The Bishop treats the reader as intelligent and with a mind of her own. The plot was engaging and the characters felt real.

Romance:Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Cathy West (Oak Tara, March 2011)

Catherine West gives us a gritty and moving account of the Vietnam War as experienced by an intrepid journalist providing innovation of the setting, time period and subject matter. The edgy realism and poignant honesty that flow from West’s pen in Yesterday’s Tomorrow place it head-and-shoulders above some of biggest bestsellers on bookstore shelves today, and it easily fulfills all the requirements set forth to make it the INSPY Award Winner for Romance.

Speculative Fiction: The Falling Away by T.L. Hines (Thomas Nelson, September 2010)

Non-linear plot lines that all converge without being predictable, responsible treatment of mental disorders without cliche; self sacrifice, demonic encounters and the power of Grace; all these reasons and more make The Falling Away by T.L. Hines the speculative INSPY winner. In his own distinctive “noir bizarre” style, Hines explores powerful truths about life, death and redemption. The author managed to tackle a familiar subject (spirituals warfare) in a most unconventional way. Full characterization meshed with a tight plot that is engaging even for newcomers to the supernatural thriller. Ultimately, more than one character learns important truths about the fallen world we live in and the spiritual dangers one may face from without and within. This novel is an embodiment of the concept that God’s power is made perfect in human weakness.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Holiday Gift Guide for Luxe Writers


It’s my favorite post of the year! The Luxe Hooliday Gift Guide for Writers. These items range from the modest to the affluent. However, what holds true for all the items on this list is that the writer in your life would love them this holiday season.

1. Su Blackwell Blank Greeting Cards. (above) Book Arts is something I love, love, love. My minor is in printmaking and book arts. So anything Su Blackwell works for me. Look at what she did with Alice and Wonderland. These cards are luxuries, but priced affordably, but the shipping fee is the bling thing. Click here to order


2. Nostalgic Impressions has a gorgeous Black feather quill pen for $33. Click here to order

Hello Kitty Laptop Carrying Case: Black Quilt.

3. Hello Kitty Black Quilt Laptop Carrying Bag.

Place your 15" screen or smaller laptop in this Hello Kitty black quilt laptop carrying case. Design features Hello Kitty's face and name quilted in the background as well as her face embroidered in silver with a pink bow. The outside of this case has one zipper pocket in the front and one Velcro pocket in the back to carry other electronic necessities. Not to mention two short black handles and one black adjustable strap for you to decide how you want to rock out with this laptop case. $75 Click to Order

Magnify pendant necklace with mini magnifying glass.

4. Magnifying Glass Pendant Vintage $34. Click here to order.


5. NoteSlate isn’t available yet, but I want it!

*NEW* Rem-Blick

6. Vintage Typewriter from Vintage Typewriter Shoppe. They go fast, so go, go, go.

Vintage Typewriter Key Letterpress Card Set - Greeting Card - Light Aqua Blue - 3 pack (GTW01)

7. Vintage Typewriter Key Letterpress Card Set $11.25. Click here to order


  • Hand-crafted rhodium-plated 18 K gold nib with heart-shaped hearthole
  • Cartridge fountain pen (no converter)
  • Fountain Pen
  • 18 K yellow gold nib
  • $4000
  • Click to Order

THE COLOR PURPLE [Signed 1st Edition]THE COLOR PURPLE [Signed 1st Edition]

9. First Edition Alice Walker’s The Color Purple $300 Click here to order.

10. Chanel Book Clutch $3850. Click to Order

Monday, December 12, 2011

God Gave Us Love: Christian Children’s Book

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

God Gave Us Love board book

WaterBrook Press; Brdbk edition (December 20, 2011)

***Special thanks to Laura Tucker, WaterBrook Multnomah Publicity, for sending me a review copy.***


LISA BERGREN is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty books, with more than two million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time working as a freelance editor and writer while parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of the family’s next visit to Taos.

Visit the author's website.


As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable.

In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because…

“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.” Now in a sturdy format, ideal for the littlest hands at storytime, bedtime, or anytime. Would make a great Christmas gift!

Product Details:

List Price: $6.99
Reading level: Ages 0 and up
Board book: 22 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Brdbk edition (December 20, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307730271
ISBN-13: 978-0307730275

AND NOW...THE FIRST PAGES (Click on images to see them larger):

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Advent Bible Study: Honor and Learn from the Past

Dorris Miller stamp

Good Wednesday. Advent Bible Study Scripture for today Psalm 78:1-7 Honor and learn the lessons of the past. Today we know that the US declared war on Austria, which marked the beginning of World War I, the attack on Pearl Harbor during WW II was also today, and here in Atlanta we had the deadliest hotel fire in history (the Winecoff.) All three events have changed our lives. However, let's also reflect on this past year or the sacrifices people paid so that we could be here, the lessons learned, and then ask ourselves: Are we honoring those lessons? If not, today is a great day to start. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Presidential Proclamation -- World AIDS Day, 2011



On World AIDS Day, 30 years after the first cases of HIV/AIDS were reported, we stand with the individuals and communities affected by HIV and recommit to progress toward an AIDS free generation.

My Administration is taking action to turn the corner on the HIV/AIDS pandemic by investing in research that promises new and proven methods to prevent infection and better therapies for people living with HIV. In the past year, the National Institutes of Health has reported important progress. We now know that treatment of HIV not only improves clinical outcomes, but can also dramatically reduce the risk of transmission. Studies on the use of antiretroviral medications to prevent infection of HIV negative individuals show promising results. And research is ongoing to devise new prevention methods that may one day offer innovative ways to prevent the spread of HIV, like microbicides that can curb the risk of infection in women. By pursuing the next breakthrough treatment in the fight against HIV, continuing research to develop a vaccine, and incorporating new scientific tools into our programs, we are taking important steps toward an AIDS free generation.

To combat the HIV epidemic in the United States, we are implementing the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy in our country's history, which calls for strong, coordinated policy initiatives, enhanced HIV/AIDS education, collaboration across the Federal Government, and robust engagement with individuals, communities, and businesses across America. As part of these efforts, we are embracing the best science available to prevent new HIV infections, and we are testing new approaches to integrating housing, prevention, care, and substance abuse and mental health services related to HIV/AIDS. We are implementing the Affordable Care Act, which mandates new consumer protections and new options for purchasing health insurance for all Americans by 2014, including those with HIV. We are also striving to secure employment opportunities for people living with HIV by working to end discrimination based on HIV status.

To address the global HIV pandemic, we are working with nations around the world to advance comprehensive prevention efforts and provide lifesaving medicine to millions of people living with HIV. We are integrating cutting edge science into the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that will do even more to prevent new HIV infections, including more effective drug regimens to prevent mother to child HIV transmission and low cost approaches like voluntary medical male circumcision. When combined with other proven approaches, such as condoms, HIV testing and counseling, and programs to support behavior change, these advances can dramatically reduce HIV incidence and save lives. As we move forward, we will maintain our commitment to rigorously measuring the impact of these approaches, revising them appropriately, and incorporating new ideas and technologies as they become available.

Recognizing that a coordinated strategy is essential to our success, we are partnering with a wide variety of stakeholders to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and treatment. Here at home, States, tribes, territories, and local governments are vital partners in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and we are joined by a host of public and private supporters and collaborators in PEPFAR. Partnerships with corporations, foundations, faith-based institutions, academic institutions, and other organizations are critically important to the fight against HIV, and we will work to strengthen these ties in the years ahead.

At this pivotal time in the worldwide response to HIV, the United States is preparing to welcome the global community to Washington, D.C., for the 19th International AIDS Conference in July 2012. We look forward to working with and learning from people living with HIV, clinicians, researchers, practitioners, and advocates from across the globe. On this World AIDS Day, let us reflect on the people we have lost and those we hold dear who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. And as we pay tribute to the past and current heroes in the struggle against this disease, let us recommit to bringing an end to this tragic pandemic and pursuing an AIDS-free generation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 1, 2011, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Heart of Christmas

Background of The Heart of Christmas Dax Ryan Locke, born to Julie and Austin Locke on June 26, 2007, was diagnosed with AML M7, a rare form of leukemia, when he was 13 months old. The Heart of Christmas is set in Washington, Illinois, and at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly diseases in children . Told in flashback from the perspective of Megan (Candace Cameron Bure), a successful businesswoman, wife and mother of two, the storyline unfolds when her commitment to faith and family is renewed after reading the blog of Julie Locke , (, the online journal that Julie kept after Dax was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). In The Heart of Christmas, Megan, who has been struggling with finding time for her husband Walt (Burgess Jenkins) and hasn’t made it to one of her daughter Emma’s (Brooke Bryan) soccer games all year, has forgotten that it is Halloween until her son Jackson (Christian Nelson, Hayden Nelson) is standing in front of her in costume, ready to go trick-or-treating. After bargaining with Emma to take her brother door to door in a nearby neighborhood for a few hours so she can finish a business proposal, they race out of the house, only to find hundreds of homes lit up for Christmas on Halloween. Confused by this scene, Megan asks neighbors Mark (Matthew West) and Trish (Erin Bethea), who have rallied the community to bring Christmas holiday cheer to the Locke family upon Dax’s (Chris Shone, Nick Shone) final return home from St. Jude, to explain the scene before them. Trish hands Megan a card with Julie Locke’s (Jeanne Neilson) blog information on it and encourages Megan to read it. Before Megan is able to react, Trish sends her away with a heartfelt warning, stating, “it will change your life.” Through Megan’s narrative, we are introduced to Dax’s father Austin (Eric Beck), who is deeply concerned about Dax’s prognosis; the type of cancer has poor survival rates in children Dax’s age. Austin is committed to being open to new forms of treatment and to staying hopeful for Dax, for his wife Julie, her sister Melissa (Kelsey Marie Kingsbury) and Dax’s grandmother Theresa (Anita Renfroe).During their hospital stay at St. Jude, Julie Locke meets Michelle (Dendrie Taylor), whose daughter Elizabeth (Kaya Millar) is also being treated there.Michelle introduces Julie to a support system of other moms, who encourage Julie to blog about Dax’s progress and her journey as a way to keep friends and family informed. Days after initial treatment begins, we meet the team of incredible doctors at St. Jude: Nurse Lisa (Sophia Sinise), Dr. Sandler (George Newbern) and Dr. Benson (Karl T. Wright), who is charged with telling Julie and Austin that, after months of treatment and a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows, the experimental, last chance effort was unsuccessful in curing Dax’s cancer. Determined to give Dax one last Christmas, Austin Locke surprises Julie and Dax with a Christmas tree- even though it’s October.The neighbors quickly catch on and surprise the Locke’s by showing up at their home to give Dax, his family and the community a magical night to remember.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love Begins DVD Review

My Review:

Love Begins! is a great DVD to own this holiday season! I’ve seen all of the Love Series movie adaptations. However, this one is such a beautiful redemption story. Clark’s recommitment to his faith felt very realistic. Although the story is set in late nineteenth century, the challenges he had with organized religion is relevant today, even more so. It didn’t feel phony or rushed and I appreciated the way his story unfolded. At first I thought that Ellen’s icy demeanor at the beginning was too hard, but as the tragedy about her dad and her fiancee leaving her, I understood. I liked how tough she was; I liked even more that she humbled herself with a sense of humor. She knew she had been giving him a hard time. I really liked how the characters in this story had realistic conversations. It’s my family’s favorite DVD this season. There are so many talking points for Christian parents of teens to discuss. Really loved this movie.

More about Love Begins:

Love-Begins-DVD-740x1024Clark Davis’ (Wes Brown, “True Blood”) adventurous dreams of seeing the world are put into jeopardy after he and a friend start a fight which damages a local cafe. Through a plea deal with the Sheriff (Jere Burns) and café owner Millie (Nancy McKeon), Clark works off his sentence as a farmhand for the Barlow sisters, Ellen (Julie Mond, “General Hospital”) and Cassie (Abigail Mavity).

Older sister Ellen doesn’t understand Cassie’s friendly nature with Clark; she agreed to the Sheriff’s offer only because the farm has become too much to maintain alone. Clark is slowing winning Ellen over, but suddenly suffers a traumatic head injury in a fall. After Ellen nurses him back to health, her former fiancé returns to win her back.Will Clark travel on or stay behind where love begins?

LOVE BEGINS releases on DVD November 22. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thriller subgenres: is it SciFi, or SciThri?

Come meet me and the Georgia Peach Authors (Marissa Monteilh, Jeanne Holloway, Gail McFarland, Electa Rome Parks, and Dwan Abrams) along with ten other Atlanta prolific authors this Saturday, November 19, 2011 for Authors on the Square.

Where: Central Library Auditorium, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta, GA

When: 12-5 PM  (I will be on a Writing Discussion Panel at 3PM ET.)

The Event: Join us for a celebration of local authors, books, and reading as we recognize National Novel Writing Month. The featured authors are Gregory A. Freeman, The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys: Courage, Tragedy and Justice in World War II; Jennie Helderman, As the SycamoreGrows; and Rene Silvin, Noblesse Oblige In addition, at the Meet & Greet tables talk one on one with local authors such as Dr. Tiffany Brown, Dwan Abrams, Joe Wilson, Marissa Monteilh, Electa Rome Parks, Miranda Parker, and many more. Free and open to the public.

This is a great event to get autographed books for Christmas gifts.

Visit this link to learn more

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Thriller subgenres: is it SciFi, or SciThri?


Thriller subgenres: is it SciFi, or SciThri?

By Amy Rogers

When authors pitch a novel to agents or editors, they’re expected to cite which category or genre applies to their work. “Where would this book be shelved at Barnes & Noble?” is the question.


Happy Thriller Thursday!
Dr. Amy Rogers has written a great article at ITW's The Thrill Begins, "Is it SciFi or SciThriller?" I've opened up a discussion in the chat room that compliments the article, that is also a topic for authors regardless of genre. "Do you know why properly tagging your book matters?" If you get a chance today, please stop by thank, read, or respond to the discussion.
Here's the link:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seeking Christmas Short Stories

I am seeking Christmas theme short fiction for my December Christian Fiction Online Magazine column.  The Submission guidelines are simple:

  • deadline November 21, 2011
  • 500 word maximum
  • Christmas theme
  • stories that share a Christian worldview
  • one paragraph bio
  • bio pic .jpg or .png format
  • submit to deegospelpr at gmail dot com

partympDee Stewart is an inspirational book reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine,  contributing writer to Hope for Women Magazine, staff columnist for Christian Fiction Online Magazine, owner of Christian Fiction Blog and DeeGospel PR, an entertainment PR boutique. She is also Miranda Parker, novelist for Kensington Books. Her debut novel “A Good Excuse to be Bad” released July 2011. Visit her online blog tour click this link for tour schedule. This Saturday she will be featured at Authors on the Square sponsored by Atlanta Fulton Public Library.

Posted at 07:05 AM in Dee Stewart | Permalink

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day: Red Tails Trailer

1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once -- one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin "Easy" Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base -- leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills -- while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.
As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight -- a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses -- Easy's pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy -- and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.

Directed by: Anthony Hemingway.

Starring: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Brandon T. Jackson and Nate Parker.

Red Tails is an upcoming film directed by Anthony Hemingway, from a script by John Ridley and story by executive producer George Lucas. It is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American combat pilots during World War II, and is the first Lucasfilm Ltd. production since Radioland Murders (1994) not to be associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises.

George Lucas began developing Red Tails around 1988. He compared it to Tucker: The Man and His Dream as "a story too good to be true". Thomas Carter was his original choice to direct. A number of writers worked on the project until John Ridley was hired in 2007 to write the final screenplay. Lucas held discussions with Samuel L. Jackson regarding Jackson possibly directing and acting in the film. Although Jackson praised the script, he did not commit to either role. Anthony Hemingway was finally chosen to direct in 2008. In researching the film, Lucasfilm invited some of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen to Skywalker Ranch, where they were interviewed about their experiences during World War II. Lucasfilm was also given access to the original mission logbooks used by some of the pilots.
Production began in March 2009. High-definition Sony F35 cameras were used for principal photography, which took place in the Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia and England. While shooting in the Czech Republic, the actors underwent a "boot camp" program, during which they lived in similar conditions as the actual Tuskegee Airmen. Editing began while the production was in Prague. Avid editing systems were used simultaneously in a Prague studio and at Lucasfilm. A vehicle was fitted with a "technical center" so that the production could quickly move between locations. In March 2010, Lucas took over direction of reshoots, as Hemingway was busy working on episodes of the HBO series Treme. Hemingway will have final approval over the footage.

Red Tails releases January 20, 2012

Veteran's Day: A Time To Remember by Tricia Goyer

Veteran's Day: A Time To Remember

By Tricia Goyer

In 2000, I got my idea for what came to be my first historical novel, From Dust and Ashes. Wanting to know more about the 23 men who liberated Mauthausen concentration camp, I contacted the 11th Armored Division who put me in touch with six of the veterans. These men then invited me to attend the 59th reunion of their division. I wasn't expecting that at all. I thought they'd point me to a good research book or allow me to interview them over the phone.

I felt SO unworthy to meet with these men. I knew very little about WWII, and I didn't want my inexperience to show. Not to mention the $1000+ for airfare, hotels, rental car for a book I didn't have a contract to write.

I urged a friend to go with me, and I've been so thankful we went. The men were caring and opened their hearts to me. They shared stories with me that they hadn't shared with anyone before. They laughed. They cried. They took my hands and thanked me for caring about their story. They hugged me and kissed my cheeks.

When it came to writing my novel, I wasn't writing about fictional characters. I was writing pieces of Charlie's story, bits of Arthur's experiences. The memories that made LeRoy cry made it into my book. The snapshots that Tarmo carried around in his mind for 60 years transformed into scenes in my novel (and the novels to follow!).

I get many letters from readers who say that my novels come to life on the pages--that's because the men's experiences came to life to me as I looked into their eyes and saw glimpses of young heroes. Also, the following year I went to Europe and walked the streets of the SS housing with a man who'd been nine-years-old when the camp opened near his home. Again, I "saw" the story in his eyes as he shared--this time from someone on the outside.

There was an added benefit to this diligent research that I didn't expect. After my second novel Night Song ( came out I received a letter from a veteran. He made a list of twenty minor research points that I'd gotten right, and then he asked, "One thing I didn't understand was the faith element of this story. Can you tell me more about your faith in God?"


Because I had done the research, I'd was able to share about my Jesus with a veteran who has since passed away.

One more fun thing I didn't expect. One of the men I met at the reunion was Pete. Pete was a medic--the one medic I met. Years later I received a letter from a reader who had read From Dust and Ashes. She was a survivor of Mauthausen--actually, she was born there. When she was 3-weeks-old she was close to death. When the gates were open a medic spent a full day lancing and cleaning infected boils on her skin, saving her life. She asked me if I knew any medics. I knew one, and I passed on his phone number. It turns out Pete was the one who saved her life! They have since met on numerous occasions.

If I hadn't gone to that reunion I wouldn't have met Pete, and I wouldn't have been able to connect him with Hana--what a God thing! Pete and Hana’s story inspired it’s own novel, my just released Remembering You (

Of course, I do have regrets concerning research, too. In my most recent series on the Spanish Civil War I received a letter from a SCW veteran who said he was willing to help me with research. The letter got put into my "very important" pile on my desk and weeks and months passed. I pulled it out again, and I planned on calling him when I heard from someone else that this man had passed away. That has happened more than once with men who offered to be interviewed, and I'm always regretful of the "one more story" I missed. After all, once gone they are gone for good.

If you have a veteran in your life ... today is the perfect day to reach out--to listen to his or her story. Don't let the stories die, when you have a chance to make a difference.

Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of four and an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia's written numerous novels inspired by World War II veterans, including her new release Remembering You. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. You can find out more information about Tricia at

Thursday, November 10, 2011



"Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only a great villain can transform a good try into a triumph." Roger Ebert

Welcome to Thriller Thursday!

This week we have a treat for you. Jodie Renner shares advice that is paramount to writing a great thriller. The Villain. As the Roger Ebert quote states above, having a worthy antagonist does more than just give your hero someone to defeat. The villain gives your reader a reason to join your hero’s journey, to connect emotionally with the hero, and to understand what’s at stake, if the hero does not succeed.

The villain deserves a great deal of attention from the writer. Wouldn’t you agree? Renner shares terrific villain character development tips and also opens up this week’s discussion. How evil should a modern villain be?

Click here to join the discussion:

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Christmas with First Lady of Gospel Comedy Fiction

Christmas with First Lady of Gospel Comedy Fiction, Pat G’Orge Walker


Pat G’Orge WalkerPat G’Orge-Walker has been the first lady of gospel comedy and fiction for the past decade. She is also a former record industry veteran who has worked for several major labels, including Epic, Def Jam, and Columbia. She also performed with the legendary ’60s girl group, Arlene Smith and the Chantels (“Maybe”) as well as with gospel groups. Now Pat is busy touring the country performing her sold-out, one-woman Sister Betty comedy show and writing the Sister Betty novel series, which helped launch Kensington Books Dafina Christian Line.

This year she gifts us with a Christmas installment of the SisNo Ordinary Noelter Berry series No Ordinary Noel (October 2011), the story of Crossing Over Sanctuary Church, a small-town congregation that needs every miracle in the Book to rediscover the real reason for the season. The financially struggling members have until Christmas day to pay off millions in debt, and Reverend Leotis Tom refuses to accept any of trustee Freddie Noel’s sinful lottery mega winnings. Instead, he hopes bickering church mothers’ money-raising schemes will provide heaven-sent rewards—while he renegotiates with God.

Is Bea’s Christmastime Keep a Man Fried Cabbage the real deal?

LOL. Yes, for the most part it’s the real deal. There are a couple of secret ingredients omitted but when added, it’s kept my husband at home and in church for years.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, November 03, 2011



November is National Write a Novel Month. For the past six years I've participated in NANOWRIMO. This year I'm writing Book 3's first draft during NANOWRIMO. Although I can't share the novel with you, I would love to write with you. I'll also be sharing a NANOWRIMO writing tip at my friend Alma Katsu's blog this month so stay tuned for that. If you want to be my friend at NANOWRIMO here's my participant link. Hope to read you there.
Miranda at Nanowrimo

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Harper Collins Zondervan and Thomas Nelson


One of the biggest headlines in Christian Fiction this week has been Harper Collins acquisition of Thomas Nelson. What will that mean for it’s other Christian Publishing imprint Zondervan? What will this mean for Christian Publishing, since Harper Collins will corner almost half the Christian books Market Share? And most importantly, Is this writing on the wall for the industry… Will CBA become a dinosaur?

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