Friday, September 30, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...

2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!

This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:

Nobody's Child by Austin Boyd ~ Austin Boyd's vivid writing plunges you into Appalachia with such descriptive realism that you taste the perfume of summer clover and melt into the tender heart of a young woman who would sacrifice anything for Daddy.

Hearkening to the myth of Pandora's Box, Nobody's Child sweeps you into a world where unprecedented choices never intended by heaven lead to unintended consequences never before seen on earth. Meet...

Laura Ann McGehee---Determined to honor her father's dying request, the young West Virginia woman will do whatever it takes to save the family farm, including using the one remaining financial resource she has---her body.

Sophia McQuistion---Thanks to the unusual sacrifice of a woman she has never met, she carries the child she could never conceive.

Ian Stewart---In Laura's time of need, he's more than just a close friend. He is a source of grace, a man who loves Laura Ann through her many trials. When unusual circumstances place Sophia's baby in Laura Ann's care, Laura Ann is now the virgin mother of her own biological son. The media call him 'Nobody's Child.' But somebody wants him badly enough to steal him. Weaving together bioethics and faith, Nobody's Child dramatizes a future that is already upon us with consequences we can no longer avoid.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 10/01/11.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's face it...oftentimes, research feels a lot like homework. It means hours spent on the web or in the library, sometimes with no clear direction on what we're looking for, and no indication of when we've found it!

Narrowing the search criteria helps, but rabbit trails are as much a part of research as actual study, and I've learned that there are some valuable gems to be uncovered along the way. Take this priceless pearl for example:

Mark Twain video taken by Thomas Edison (video footage is silent)

This silent film footage was taken on February 16, 1909 by Thomas Edison at Stormfield (CT) at Mark Twain's estate. Twain is shown walking around his home and playing cards with his daughters Clara and Jean. The flickering is due to film deterioration, but this is the only known footage of the great author.

Another fun fact...Twain rounds the house at an impressive pace, not because he was exceptionally fast, but because film rate was different in 1909. The silly-fast walkers in old film footage are due to the frames-per-second transfer rate.

Watching this old video led me down another trail which led to this sad fact:

Stormfield, Christmas Eve, 11 A.M., 1909.


Has any one ever tried to put upon paper all the little happenings connected with a dear one--happenings of the twenty-four hours preceding the sudden and unexpected death of that dear one? Would a book contain them? Would two books contain them? I think not. They pour into the mind in a flood. They are little things that have been always happening every day, and were always so unimportant and easily forgettable before--but now!

Now, how different! how precious they are, now dear, how unforgettable, how pathetic, how sacred, how clothed with dignity!

Last night Jean, all flushed with splendid health, and I the same, from the wholesome effects of my Bermuda holiday, strolled hand in hand from the dinner-table and sat down in the library and chatted, and planned, and discussed, cheerily and happily (and how unsuspectingly!)--until nine--which is late for us--then went upstairs, Jean's friendly German dog following. At my door Jean said, "I can't kiss you good night, father: I have a cold, and you could catch it."

I bent and kissed her hand. She was moved--I saw it in her eyes--and she impulsively kissed my hand in return. Then with the usual gay "Sleep well, dear!" from
both, we parted.

At half past seven this morning I woke, and heard voices outside my door. I said to myself, "Jean is starting on her usual horseback flight to the station for the mail."

Then Katy entered, stood quaking and gasping at my bedside a moment, then found her tongue:


Possibly I know now what the soldier feels when a bullet crashes through his heart.

In her bathroom there she lay, the fair young creature, stretched upon the floor and covered with a sheet. And looking so placid, so natural, and as if asleep. We knew what had happened. She was an epileptic: she had been seized with a convulsion and heart failure in her bath. The doctor had to come several miles. His efforts, like our previous ones, failed to bring her back to life.

It is noon, now. How lovable she looks, how sweet and how tranquil! It is a noble face, and full of dignity; and that was a good heart that lies there so still. Read more...

Amazing, right? The tidbits of history to be discovered when wandering a rabbit trail? What about you? What amazing, incredible, or otherwise fascinating facts have you uncovered in your attempts at research?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A cash-strapped farm girl will sacrifice anything— even her body—to save a dying father and a mortgaged farm. Determined to overcome every adversity, Laura Ann McGehee perseveres, her life unexpectedly intertwined with the hearts of two strangers in a riveting tale of family ties and redemption in the mountains of West Virginia . . . first in The Pandora Files, a unique bioethics suspense series from Zondervan Publishers, in bookstores now.

About the author...

Austin Boyd is an award-winning author who writes extensively about faith issues related to technology and business. He published award winning poetry and more than two dozen technical articles and papers during his career as a Navy pilot, NASA astronaut finalist, and spacecraft engineer. The author of six novels, he is a Christy Gold Medal finalist (The Proof, 2007) and the winner of the Mount Hermon “Pacesetter Award.”

Austin currently writes for Zondervan, Inc. and has previously written for the B&H Publishing Group of Nashville, TN, and NavPress, the publishing arm of the Navigators in Colorado Springs, CO. He has several novels in work based on themes tied to faith dilemmas in bioethics, as well as a Christian layman’s guide to Islam.

Austin is employed as the Chief Executive Officer for Inergi, Inc., an engineering and design firm in Huntsville, Alabama. He is active in local ministry activities with Choose Life of North Alabama, the nation’s third busiest crisis pregnancy center, Southwood Presbyterian Church of Huntsville, and First Baptist Church of Huntsville where he has served as a teacher, deacon, and evangelist.

For more information, visit,,, and

Monday, September 26, 2011

About the Book:

"Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi. Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be—the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem. And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her.

Or so he says . . ."

Amber's Review:

For an engaging, enjoyable, and enigmatic Young Adult read, look no farther than Oakes' debut novel, The Veil! You can meet the Annorasi and see that beautiful, terrifying world behind the veil - all while commiserating with Addy who has to deal with some hilarious, awkward, and unique situations. Addy's love for her friends and "family" is admirable, and her humorous commentary on her quirky life following her 17th birthday makes this such a fun read that's easy to relate to for anyone who is experiencing (or remembers) the crazy drama of high school.

And if this book deals with high school angst, of course it must include a super good-looking young man who doesn't even know Addy exists...or so it would seem at first. But everything changes when Addy starts seeing elements of an alternate reality, and soon intense danger (and romance!) abound.

As far as the romance goes, I thought it was super sweet and exciting, but the couple does have extended kissing sessions and ends up in some compromising situations (nothing explicit, though). There are also a few swear words in this book, as well as a reference to homosexuality. Overall, this book is fairly "clean," but I would recommend it for older teens and adults. Parents should use discretion when deciding whether younger readers should pick this book up or not.

That being said, The Veil is quite an intriguing book that promotes sacrificial love for friends and tackles difficult questions regarding identity and prejudice. Not to mention it's also quite entertaining! The climax is resolved a bit too abruptly for my taste, but it certainly makes the reader curious about the sequel.

*With thanks to Susannah Greenberg (publicist) and the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Note: Since this was an advance copy, some changes might have been made to the final edition which would not be taken into consideration in this review.

About the Author:

"Cory Putman Oakes was born in Basel, Switzerland, but grew up in Novato, California and attended Marin Catholic High School. She then spent three fantastic years at the University of California at Los Angeles before graduating in 2001 with a B.A. in Psychology. In 2004, Cory graduated from Cornell Law School with a Juris Doctorate Degree and her husband, Mark (the first was the intended consequence of attending the school, the second was a bonus). Since then, she has been an associate at a big law firm, taught business law to undergraduates at Texas State University and written several books for young people.

Cory now lives in Austin, Texas with Mark and their beautiful daughter, Sophia. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys reading, cooking, running, and hanging out with her family and pets.

THE VEIL is Cory’s first published work."

You can learn more about Cory and her books at her website.

*This week's review doesn't include a giveaway, but you can pre-order a copy of The Veil at! The book releases November 1, 2011.*

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winner:

Beth (bethstitch09 at yahoo dot com dot au) – The Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis

Beth, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the author. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Susan Page Davis (via publicist) for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...

2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!

This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:

The Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis ~ The Captive Trail is second in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.

On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.

With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 09/24/11.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I’m welcoming Mary Moore to The Borrowed Book today. Mary has been an avid student of the Regency-era since the 1970’s and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writer’s historic fiction community as well as a member of the Faith, Hope and Love and Beau Monde chapters of the RWA.  She has been writing historical fiction for over fifteen years but had to put her writing on hold due to some health issues, including a bout with breast cancer. Now she is even more excited about her writing as she incorporates some of her struggles throughout her books; dedicated to encouraging others in the Lord and using her stories for His glory.  A native of the Washington, DC area, she and her husband live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, with their black lab, Darcy.  When not writing, Mary enjoys time with her husband, watching romantic movies, reading and weekend get-aways.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

I hope people won’t get bored with my answers!  I actually never “wanted” to be a writer!  I love Regencies and I wrote several of my own about 15 years ago.  Sometimes I still think, am I a writer? :0)  I hope so, because NOW I know I want to be a writer.

 I know the feeling. After you started writing, how long did it take you to make your first sale?

Hopefully, this won’t cause chagrin to aspiring authors out there, I know it doesn’t have to be this long, but it took all of those 15 years!  Although, very little of that time was actually trying to be published.  I think that when a few people talked me into trying to see if I could get my stories published, it didn’t happen on purpose.  I can clearly see now that this has all been in God’s timing.  I wouldn’t have been able to make my characters relatable back then.  I know trials and suffering wouldn’t have been realistic without the trials and suffering I’ve had to deal with in my own life.  So 15 years was the perfect time for me!

I'm glad you persevered. You are now a published author and have just had a book release from Love Inspired Historical. What's the name of it?

The Aristocrat’s Lady

Give us a blurb about it.

This is the blurb from the back of the book:

For a few moments on a moonlit balcony, Nicole Beaumont was just a beautiful woman catching the eye of the handsome Lord Devlin-but she knew the illusion couldn’t last.  If the enigmatic aristocrat knew her secret, he’d realize that her disability left her unfit for love.  So who could blame her for hiding the truth a little longer?

Devlin had never met a woman like Nicole.  Her unique combination of innocence and wisdom left him utterly intrigued.  Yet what was she hiding?  For a man who did not trust easily, discovering her secret was devastating.  Overcoming their pasts and forging a future would take faith, forgiveness and trust.  And second chances could lead to new beginnings….

It sounds like a wonderful book. What inspirational message do you want readers to take away after reading your book?

You know I almost hate to limit it the message.  When we got the manuscript polished and ready to submit, my agent wanted to send it out to five target readers to see if there were still ways to make it even better.  All of the target readers were asked specific questions, one of which was “what do you think the theme of the story was.”  Do you know we got five different answers, none of which matched mine!  At first I was really dismayed about that, but my agent pointed out that this was a story that touched each reader differently, making it intensely personal just for them.  That was an awesome blessing I didn’t expect from God!  So is it OK if I say that there was no one specific message to the book? :0)

Which character in the book is your favorite? Why? 

Wow, that is a really hard question!  I love how each of them turned out.  But I guess if I have to limit it to one, I’d have to pick Lady Nicole.  I gave her all of the characteristics I would like to have.  She is strong and funny and loving and always puts the needs of others before her own.  And she has tremendous faith.  I think readers will really relate to her because she is all of those things but very approachable and easy to love.

Where one has lived often affects the settings a writer uses in his/her stories. Have you found this to be true in your writing?  

No, that hasn’t been true for me.  My book is set in Regency England which is nothing like where I have lived!  I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC and my husband and I now live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia.  Neither of those comes close! :0)

How do you juggle all your responsibilities and still find time to write?

I don’t!  Since this is my first novel, I felt like I needed to learn everything I could about each phase of the process.  I have been on many email “loops” that, seriously, could take up 100% of my life, if I let it.  I finally narrowed it down to the few I thought would help me learn the most and I have spent a ton of time there.  Then working with my agent, Jenni Burke and my editor, Rachel Burkot, on getting the story edited, polished, promoted and published has been very time consuming, but worthwhile.  As I am ending the full circle process this weekend with a book signing, I think I have a better idea of the time management that is necessary to juggle a personal life and an author’s life.  It’s just in time, too, because I think my husband and my dog are just about to mutiny!

What are you working on now? Can we expect other books to release soon?  

Oh yes, I hope so!  As I said, most of my active promotion is almost over for this book (never completely ending, but not as intense).  I am hopeful that I have the next couple of months available to finalize my second Regency.  I’m praying that the promotion of this first one will create an interest in readers for a second one and will find a home with my publisher.

For the aspiring writers who may be reading this, what advice would you give them?

I guess it is a cliché, but I would advise patience and preparation.  Write a wonderful story (that is paramount) then do the preparation and due diligence for getting an agent or going directly to a publishing house.  Once you have submitted, patience is required.  It may take some time to hear back from them, but they will let you know.  Even after a sale, the amount of time and work that is needed to get to the end product is tremendous.  But, trust me, it is worth the wait!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us that I haven’t asked? 

First, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity to let people know about the book and a little bit about me.  I have truly appreciated it.  And I would like to ask that readers let me know what they think of the book if they read it.  For as many years as I’ve been reading, I had no idea authors really wanted to hear from us!  There are so many authors I enjoy, but I never let them know it on their website or gave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  I am sincerely interested in knowing!  Thanks again, Sandra.

Thank you, Mary, for stopping by for this interview. I wish you the best in your writing journey, and I know we are going to see many more wonderful books from you.

Mary is right about authors wanting to know what readers think. She would love to see some comments from our readers who have read her book, who think it sounds interesting, or who just want to encourage an author with her first release. I hope you'll leave a message for her today. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Captive Trail is second in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.

On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.

With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

About the Author

SUSAN PAGE DAVIS is an award winning author who has published more than thirty novels in the historical romance, suspense, mystery, and romance genres. She’s a past winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest and a two time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest. Susan is a longtime homeschooler and former school teacher. A Maine native, she now resides in Kentucky with her husband Jim. They have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. Visit Susan at her website:

The Borrowed Book is giving away a copy of The Captive Trail. Be sure to stop by on Friday for your chance to win!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's like a tonic to those of us who are not extroverts by nature. Round table talk at conference meals is the best way to get to know an agent or editor that you hope to target. For one, the weight of carrying the conversation is distributed to all those present. Two, the questions of others can be a springboard in helping formulate your own and might even answer some you didn't know you had. And three, you get a feel for what others are offering the agent or editor (know your competition!)

Still think you'll have a hard time?

If you can't think of a way to begin conversation, remember that these editors and agents are as human as you. They want small talk too. Is the meal delicious? Have you especially enjoyed a class you've attended, or even made a new friend? These are great conversation starters. Your target will probably take a huge breath of relief when they discover you are not going to ambush them with your one-liners or shove another story idea in their faces, and you just might discover common interests that open the door to friendship. Imagine that. Friends with the editor of your dreams!

I remember sitting next to Anne Goldsmith one year. I had not a thing to say to her about books, publishing or her position as acquiring editor, confessing, instead, that I was sitting at her table only because it was closest to the stage. Her eyes went huge when she realized that meant I was going to be speaking. At conference. In front of everyone. She confessed that she hated public speaking and admired those who could do it. It made me smile and created an instant connection.

Now, if you're still an absolute wreck of nerves, my best advice is to stay quiet. Don't feel pressured to say something if you don't have anything to share. Use the time to absorb the information flowing around you.  Be relaxed and have a great time. Absorb. Listen. Learn. Make friends. . . 
Just make sure you wipe your chin between bites.

Monday, September 19, 2011

At the risk of infringing upon Sandra's poll posts, I put together a short survey to see what sorts of genres/styles of books you enjoy most. (I'll admit it - I had a little bit of "writer's block," and a survey seemed like a fun way out of that scary place...) Plus, I've been focusing more on reviews this month, with reviews of a children's book and an autobiography posted the last two Mondays and a YA review to come soon.

So, I'd like to know if you're enjoying these varied reviews or if you're longing for some more romance, suspense, etc. Don't be shy! (And pardon the survey title... "Genre Gelato" just sounded really cool, although we're probably all going to start craving some sort of frozen dessert after this!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winner:

Melissa Lemon - I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp

Melissa, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the author. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Jeremy Camp (via publicist), for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...

2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!

This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp ~ A leading artist on the contemporary Christian scene, Jeremy Camp has gained a sizable fan following. I Still Believe follows Jeremy's life from growing up in Indiana and his struggles as a teen, to his love for his first wife Melissa and her untimely passing, to his growing music ministry and re-found hope and love in his wife Adrienne.

"We have choices when life hits us with tragedy or despair, crisis or loss. That's the message of Jeremy Camp's books, and it's the reason you will find hope and healing by journeying through the pages of this story."

--Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, from the Foreword

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 09/17/11.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On September 11, 2001, the world changed. Those of us who sat glued to our television sets and witnessed the horrific events unfolding in New York will ever forget the sadness that filled our souls at the loss of life and property. On Sunday we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the twin towers.

As I watched the families of the victims talk about their loved ones who died, I grieved along with them. I also rejoiced with those who told of their survival and heroic measures taken by rescuers. In the midst of chaos, emergency personnel went to work to try and find anyone who might still be buried underneath the mountain of rubble.

The last survivor to be pulled from the carnage was Genelle Guzman-McMillian. She lay buried with her leg crushed in the remainder of the first tower for 27 hours before she was pulled to safety. Since she could only squeeze her fingers through the debris on top of her, rescuers had a hard time spotting her. But that wasn’t the most amazing thing that happened to her that day. While she lay buried, a man named Paul grabbed her hand, called her by name, and told her he was there for her. 

However, when she was rescued, she realized there was no way a man could have gotten in or out of the space where she lay. There was no man named Paul there when she was pulled free, and he has never been found. She believes she had an angelic encounter, and the experience changed her life. She knew it was a wakeup call from God and that she had been saved for a reason. She turned her life over to God, joined Brooklyn Tabernacle Church, and now travels the world giving her testimony and encouraging people to not put off their salvation.

Her book Angel in the Rubble released last month from Howard, and she is using the book as a means of getting her message out to the world. Of her new direction in life, she says, “It’s not about what we want but it’s about Jesus Christ and what He wants us to do in this life that we’re living.”

Gary Tuchman, CNN national correspondent says of the book: Even though we know Genelle was “the last survivor,” the detail in this book is intricate and tense; as you read each word it makes you angry, sorrowful, and incredulous all over again. But the underlying story of Genelle’s strength, fortitude, faith, and kindness is a vivid and important reminder that good is far more powerful than the evil we saw that day.

What is an outstanding memory you have of September 11, 2001? We’d like for you to share it with us.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One day when he was in first grade, Chip hurried home and announced to his mother, "When I grow up, I’m going to be a book guy!" And he has been a book guy—from high school literary magazine to bestselling books, from conference speaker to an unbeatable track record of representing renowned writers. Creating MacGregor Literary was a natural step for a book guy.

Chip has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. He has secured more than 1,000 book deals for authors with all of the major publishers in both CBA and ABA, including Random House, Ballantine, Crown, Doubleday, Broadway, Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, Fireside, Warner Book Group, HarperCollins, Avon, Viking, Penguin, Berkley, Jossey-Bass, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Integrity, Baker, Tyndale, Broadman & Holman, Worthy, Crossway, Multnomah, Revell, Harvest House, Waterbrook, NavPress, Cook, and Howard, among others. As an editor, he discovered Phillip Gulley, worked with bestselling authors such as Kay Arthur and Neil Anderson, and helped craft books for some of the best names in publishing, including CBA luminaries Chuck Swindoll, Bruce Wilkinson, and David Jeremiah. Chip has written more than two-dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the bestseller lists in their category. He has also been the collaborative writer on books with people such as Howard Hendricks, Joe Stowell, Andre Kole, and Bruce Waltke. During his tenure as a publisher at Time Warner, he helped the company grow into one of the world’s biggest providers of religious books to the general market, acquiring some of the best known Christian fiction and nonfiction authors on the planet: Greg Laurie, Robin Jones Gunn, Sigmund Brouwer, Tim Clinton . . . the list goes on and on.

This longtime agent has represented Brennan Manning, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Jill and Stuart Briscoe, Alistair McGrath, Neta Jackson, Donna Partow, the MOPS organization, and Hearts at Home while working at another agency. His work with Lisa Beamer and Ken Abraham led to Let’s Roll hitting #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, eventually becoming the bestselling nonfiction book that year.

A popular writer’s conference speaker, Chip has presented workshops at more than 100 locations, spoken at colleges and universities, and is frequently invited to speak to writers groups around the country on the topics of writing and publishing. Chip earned his BS with High Honors at Portland State University, earned an MA with Honors from Biola University, and did his doctoral work at the University of Oregon in Policy and Management, focusing on organizational development. He later did a post-doc semester at Oxford University. Chip been written up in numerous writing and publishing related magazines and newsletters.

Chip’s greatest desire is to help authors create great books that make a difference in the world. That’s what every book guy wants most.

If you are interested in having Chip speak at your event, please be sure to contact him.

News from Chip: There has been a bunch of news about publishing lately, so I wanted to help the authors I represent sort through some of it.

First, Borders is out of business. That's a blow to authors, since Borders was an author-friendly company and generated sales in cities where there was no other bookstore. It's tough to see fewer brick-and-mortar stores, since they remain the best place for book-lovers to SHOP for books. (We all BUY books online at Amazon, but most of us prefer to SHOP for books at an actual store. The online browsing experience leaves something to be desired -- there's just nothing like wandering the aisles of a bookstore and discovering authors and titles.) Books-a-Million has leased the space of several Borders stores in the South and Southeast, a handful of independents are moving into the old Borders spaces in some eastern cities, and most of the airport stores are being replaced by other booksellers. However, there are going to be a couple hundred fewer bookstores now. Sad to see. People have frequently asked me what the problem with Borders was -- this was simply a case of bad management. Once Borders was bought by K-Mart, then run by a guy from the grocery business, they stopped being a well-run BOOK company.

Second, the Google settlement is dead. For all the talk we heard (and, um, for all the talk your agent shared with you) about the coming digital book network, the whole thing died of its own weight. The courts have basically agreed that Google was in the midst of a power-grab, and that US copyright laws are adequate to protect author rights. So you can expect Google to backtrack, try and settle the dozens of copyright infringement lawsuits, and eventually chart a new course for making tens of thousands of out-of-print books available digitally. It's still a good idea... we just have to find a way to do it that doesn't trample on an author's rights.

Third, BookStats is now offering much better information on the industry. I realize you might not get terribly excited about all the business news in publishing, but I want the authors I represent to at least feel they've got the picture of what's going on in the industry. So listen: the book business continues to do okay. The overall numbers are a bit flat, but there is big growth with e-books, and some new, smaller companies are doing very well. Book sales in 2010 totaled $12.59 Billion -- slightly less than in 2009, but up significantly over 2008. Of those sales, 1.35 Billion were religious books -- and that's a jump of 11.1%. That is significant, because in a flat market, you look for growth areas. And what is growing in publishing? Digital novels and Christian books, particularly Christian fiction.

Fourth, e-books are the undisputed future. The sale of e-books totaled $838 Million in 2010... which means it basically doubled from 2009 to 2010. Wow. And adult fiction in e-books outsold adult nonfiction by a three-to-one ratio. To repeat: wow. Right now the growth of e-books is amazing, and the growth of e-novels is the biggest part of that. In fact, 13.4% of ALL adult fiction sales were e-books (whereas e-books were only 3.9% of all nonfiction sales). This means you're going to see more ebook companies cropping up, some e-books doing very well in the market, and some authors having success strictly in the digital world. It also means you're probably going to buy a Nook or a Kindle in the next year.

Fifth, it's clear that all the major publishers are hiring fewer people, doing less editing, and relying on the author more than ever to market their books. One of the discouraging things right now is watching the shrinking editorial staffs at the major publishers. They're all cutting costs and trying to get by on less. And that, in turn, puts more pressure on the author to write well, talk through ideas, get some editorial help, and have a plan for helping to market their own titles.

Sixth, all of this information points to the need for an author to have plan. I'm very serious about that. The fact that publishers are putting more expectations on authors means that to succeed, an author needs to have a clear sense of "what do I want to do." It's more important than ever that authors understand branding, know how to help promote themselves and their books, and (at least if they intend to make a living at writing, or have a career in books) have a clear plan for what "success" is. So again, let's talk about your future. One of my best skills is career planning, and I don't want anyone I represent to feel that I short-changed them in that area.

Seventh (and be aware that this can sound self-serving), I think authors are going to need a good agent even more in the future. There has been a lot of internet talk about the declining need for agents, since authors can now do their own deals online via e-books. But with all the changes happening in the industry, having some guidance and direction is more necessary than ever (IMHO). But remember, there's no "right" author/agent relationship. Some authors want to talk over book ideas. Others want me to read and respond to sample chapters. Some want help talking over marketing ideas. Most really need me to read contracts closely and review royalty statements. And still others simply want to talk through their career map for the next two years of writing. All of those are things I do on a regular basis.

And as a client of Chip's, I can personally testify that he does all of these things VERY well. Thank you, Chip, for sharing a bit of your knowledge and information with our readers!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

About the Book:

"How will we respond amidst life’s hardest trials? How in the passing of a loved one do we turn our earthly sorrow into heavenly hope? How, when we have no strength to face another day, do we truly lean on the Lord, trust in the power of His word and see that all of His plans towards us are for our good?

Award-winning singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp wrestled with these questions and others from the depths of anguish and encountered a solace that has carried him far beyond easy answers. The testimony of Jeremy and his wife Melissa has touched and inspired thousands.

While that powerful account lies at the heart of I Still Believe, the book delves even further into Jeremy’s life, illuminating:
  • His humble Indiana childhood in a home filled with desperate faith and a reborn love for God
  • His teenage struggles and a taken-by-surprise spiritual awakening
  • The West Coast adventures that unveiled God’s calling on his life
  • His love for Melissa and the storybook hopes they shared
  • How the doors opened for a worldwide music ministry to begin
  • An unexpected friendship with Adrienne that would bring about healing,restoration and a new life together
  • His heart for ministry and a burning desire to see the next generation become truly alive
Jeremy walked through fire and emerged on the other side—not only refined and restored, but also intently focused on proclaiming the reason for his hope.

It is a Hope that you, too, will discover within these pages."

Amber's Review:

We all go through hardships and trials - very personal and very real to each one of us. And there is great encouragement to be found in the stories of those who have clung to faith and hope throughout those difficult times in their lives. Jeremy Camp's declaration of faith (found in the title of his book - I Still Believe) sets the theme for this down-to-earth, simple, and yet powerful read.

Camp writes in a conversational way, reaching out to the reader. He retains an air of humility throughout the book, pointing out what he has learned so far on his life journey without elevating himself and his career. Despite the deep sadness found within these pages, a positive and inspiring attitude remains - an attitude centered on Christ and His will.

I was mostly unfamiliar with Camp and his work before I read this book, and I think that Camp's fans will better be able to appreciate references to his music (etc.). But whether you are a huge fan of Camp, or whether this is the first time you have heard his name, this book has a lot to offer. Learning about Camp's life can help the reader be more understanding of others. And Camp weaves Scripture throughout the pages (and includes some of his song lyrics) to focus the theme on God's sovereignty and love.

I Still Believe is an insightful and moving story of faith and continued trust in God. It isn't the story of a perfect man, but rather the story of a perfect God who never stops loving and offering healing to His broken people.

*With thanks to Lori Isaacs Mahon and Merge PR for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author:

"GRAMMY® and two-time American Music Award nominated artist Jeremy Camp marks his inspirational return to worship with the release of his sixth studio project on BEC Recordings,We Cry Out: The Worship Project. Over his stellar 9 year career, Camp has established himself with these landmark accolades: Four RIAA Gold-selling studio albums including his debut album; One RIAA Multi-Platinum long-form video; 22 No. 1 Radio Hits across all formats; GRAMMY® nominated project for his last studio album Speaking Louder Than Before; Billboard’s No. 3 Christian Artist of the Decade including five songs in the Top 50 Billboard Christian Songs of the Decade; Four ASCAP Songwriter of the Year awards; ASCAP Song of the Year award; Five Dove awards including two-time Male Vocalist of the Year. Jeremy is a Compassion International artist. Jeremy and his wife Adie reside in Franklin, TN with their two daughters and a soon-to-be-born son. Additional information available at"

Note: I Still Believe was also written with the help of author Phil Newman.

You can buy a copy of the book now at!

*Be sure to stop by the BB on Friday for your chance to win a copy of I Still Believe!*

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winners:

marybelle - I'll Be Home for Christmas by Julie L. Cannon

Diana Dart ~ Smack Dab in the Middle of God's Love by Brennan Manning and John Blase

Winners of this week's books, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the authors. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Julie L. Cannon and Brennan Manning/John Blase, for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...

2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!

This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:

I'll Be Home for Christmas by Julie L. Cannon ~ With Bing Crosby's "I'll Be Home for Christmas" playing in the background, Maggie Culpepper and William Byrd proclaim their undying love to one another. But with the U.S. at war and Maggie's personal home front under attack, the Southern belle impetuously joins the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service).

When Christmas draws near and Maggie finds herself miles and miles away from her Georgia hometown...and her beloved William...will she realize that, no matter where she spends Christmas, home is where her heart is?

Smack Dab in the Middle of God's Love by Brennan Manning and John Blase ~ Willie Juan and Ana couldn't have children of their own, but somehow, their home is always full of children and laughter and love. One day, when gathered together enjoying a beautiful evening and Ana's most delicious sopapillas, Willie Juan asks this most curious question.

As the group discusses the question, all come to the wonderful realization that Abba loves each of us, and we are all smack-dab in the middle of His love.

"Abba loves you so much and wants you to enjoy his gifts every day. Gifts like Ana's absolute best, most delicious sopapillas. And the hummingbirds and burros. And abuelas."

The first of Manning's children's books, this tender message is right on brand for the popular speaker and author who has traveled the world sharing Abba's incredible love for His children.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 09/10/11.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I’m so excited to welcome my friend Sandra Orchard to The Borrowed Book today. I first met Sandra a few years ago when I was coordinating the romantic suspense category of ACFW’s Genesis contest, and she entered her manuscript. I read it and thought it was wonderful. She didn’t win that contest but her story didn’t end there. She entered it in RWA’s Kiss of Death Chapter’s Daphne du Maurier contest and not only won the unpublished inspirational category, but her manuscript was named the overall winner of all the unpublished category winners. Right after that, her story was bought by Love Inspired Suspense, and it has just released.

Sandra Orchard lives in rural Ontario, Canada where inspiration abounds for her romantic suspense novels set in the fictional Niagara town she's created as their backdrop. Married with three grown children, when not writing, she enjoys hanging out with family, brainstorming new stories with fellow writers, and hiking or kayaking in God's beautiful creation. Her debut novel Deep Cover from Love Inspired Suspense is in stores September 2011.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? 
     From the time my first story appeared in the school yearbook at the end of grade one. I still remember how thrilled I felt to see that story in print in a book.

After you began writing, how long did it take to make that first sale?
     I dabbled in non-fiction writing when my children were little. But from the time I started to write fiction to my first sale was almost 6 years.

I know the title of your book is Deep Cover. Please give us a blurb about it.
     Maintaining his cover cost undercover cop Rick Gray the woman he loved. Ginny Bryson never really knew Rick. He never gave her the chance. Not then, and not now, when he’s back with a new alias to gather evidence against Ginny’s uncle. The man’s crimes led to Rick’s partner’s death, and Rick wants justice to be served. But his investigation is stirring up trouble, and Ginny is smack dab in the middle. Someone wants Ginny to pay the price for what her uncle has done. But how can Rick protect her without blowing his cover, jeopardizing his assignment…and risking both their lives?

What inspirational message do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
     We each take something different away from a book depending on where we’re at. My heroine experiences a truer understanding of grace, and my hero grapples with the shades of gray in his life as an undercover cop. I hope readers will relate to the characters’ struggles on some level, and perhaps as a result, evaluate their own approach or thinking in similar matters. 

Which character in the book is your favorite? Why?
     Zach Davis, the hero’s friend and sometimes partner is my favorite. I love the one liners he zings at Rick that get right to the root of Rick’s issues. And I love the vulnerability we glimpse in him in the last chapter when Rick shuts down Zach’s attempts to convince him to change. As soon as Zach came alive on the page I knew I wanted to write his story.

Where one has lived often affects the settings a writer uses in his/her stories. Have you found this to be true in your writing?
     Absolutely. I’ve lived in Southern Ontario all my life, half the time in cities, the other half in rural settings. The fictional town I’ve created for this story borrows aspects of various real towns and blends them together to mold a town that best suits the needs of the series.

Having been friends with you for a long time, I know you are a busy lady. How do you juggle all your responsibilities and still find time to write wonderful novels?
     Sheer determination. I can sit at my computer for hours upon hours one day and have very little to show for it, while other days I’ll write pages and pages in no time at all. The two most important things that help to keep me on track with my writing is to write every day and to always carry a notebook so that when ideas come while I’m doing other things I can jot them down so I don’t forget them.

I also know you had an adventure last year when you attended Lee Lofland’s Writer’s Police Academy. Tell us something you learned in your hands-on classes about working as a police officer.
Oh, wow. Attending the Writer’s Police Academy was such an awesome experience. I’m so disappointed that I can’t go back this year because it’s the same weekend as ACFW. They’re doing ridealongs in police cars! I’m actually posting an entire blog with photos about last year’s academy on September 14th on InkwellInspirations, but the single most amazing experience was doing the firearms simulation training. We were given a glock and faced a floor-to-ceiling screen of various criminal situations. We had to talk the criminal into dropping their weapon or releasing their hostage or whatever we needed them to do to ensure the scene was safe.
     When we fired, our shots showed on the screen and the simulation changed accordingly. In one scene, a desperate man wielding a knife stood in an alley holding an infant in a car seat. We kept telling him to drop the knife, but he wouldn’t. He grew more and more agitated. No one wanted to take a shot, because we might hit the baby, or if we hit him, he might drop the baby. My adrenaline pumped, my mind wavered back and forth—should I take the shot?—even as I was shouting at him to drop the weapon.
     After each simulation, the officer in charge explains what we should have done and why. In this particular case, even though there was a risk of him dropping the infant, we should’ve taken the shot, because at any second the man could have turned the knife on the baby. In fact, we were told that any officer in training who couldn’t take the shot would get kicked out of the academy! The experience certainly gave me a greater appreciation for the split second, seemingly no-win decisions officers are sometimes forced to make.

What are you working on now? Can we expect other books to release soon?
     I’m working on revisions to the third book in my series, Undercover Cops: Fighting for justice puts their lives—and hearts—on the line. Book 2, Shades of Truth, releases in March 2012, and book 3 (Zach’s story) will be scheduled toward the end of 2012.

For the aspiring writers who may be reading this, what advice would you give them?
     Persevere, but always move forward. What I mean by that is yes, you need to revise, revise, revise to make your manuscript publishable, but if it has been rejected time and again. Move on. Write your next book and the next one. Take classes. Read books on crafts. Read…a lot. Study your favorite books. Figure out why they work. Move forward. Or to coin John Maxwell’s term “fail forward”. So that book didn’t work for the publishers. You still learned something. You’re writing will be even stronger in the next one.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us that I haven’t asked?
     Thanks so much for having me, Sandra. I must say that the most thrilling thing for me as a newly published author has been receiving emails from readers. Every day when I sit down to write I pray that God will give me the words to touch readers hearts and point them to his love for them. I’ve been so encouraged to hear how He has done that. And those letters spur me on to persevere when I’m floundering in the middle of the next story. We serve an awesome God.

Connect with Sandra Online:
Visit her website ~
Like her Facebook Page ~
Join her at Goodreads ~

It's been great having you at The Borrowed Book today, Sandra. Thanks for telling us all about Deep Cover. I can hardly wait for the release of the next in the series.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Julie L. Cannon is the author of the award-winning Homegrown series, published by Simon & Schuster and described as ‘Southern-fried soul food.’ Titles include; Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes, Mater Biscuit, and Those Pearly Gates. Her latest release, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Summerside Press Sept. 2010, was chosen as a Top Pick of Fall 2010 Releases by CBA Retailers & Resources magazine, and named a Nielsen’s Top 50 Inspirational Title. In addition to writing, Julie teaches creative writing workshops. She lives in Watkinsville, Georgia, with her husband, Tom, and their youngest son, Sam. Visit her website at for more information.

Hi, Julie! Welcome to The Borrowed Book. Did you see yourself becoming a writer as
a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

Mama says I was born telling stories, and bless her dear heart, she has saved all my little hand-made books from grade school on. However, when I went off to college, I was told to pursue a degree in Advertising because writing stories was not a practical (viable) way to make a living. I went to the University of Georgia and got my degree in Advertising from their School of Journalism in 1985. But, I remained a closet writer, penning things in my journals, and writing short stories, poems, and novels.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

Well, I was born in 1962, and as I said, writing practically all my life, but it was not until 2001, when I was 39 that I sold Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

I read, read, read, read, read, and read some more. Typically I’m in the middle of several different books – both fiction and nonfiction. Also, I have a well-used collection of books on the craft of writing, and even now, after writing nine novels and an untold number of short stories, I study them. I mean, I highlight, underline things, make notes in the margins, and try to absorb them by osmosis. I treat my writing like a job. Though it is generally a joy to me, I sit my behind in my chair for at least five days a week and I write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. I don’t usually keep all those words, but I find they are necessary in the process to uncover the story I want to tell.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in
a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

I’m smiling because it’s taken a long time for me to accept just who I am and how I work best. Seems I’m the methodical type (maybe that’s why I’m a member of the Methodist church?) and so, after I wake up, make really strong coffee, I sit in ‘my chair’ and I pray and read my Bible and meditate. I ask God to ‘Give me a heart to write stories about His goodness and the language to speak it well.’ Then, I sit myself in my chair and add my perspiration to His divine inspiration.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these re
jections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

Oh, yes. I’ve got two novels, dear to my heart, unpublished and sitting in a drawer of my desk. They were rejected many times. I’ve been rejected many times – by agents and publishers and editors. My rejections are different now because they’re focused more on content than on craft. My agent will say, “I don’t think there’s a market for characters on the fringes right now, Julie,” or, “Maybe it’s time to write something more urban.” Used to be, I was told, “Stay away from dumping your character’s backstory in the first 50 pages of your novel,” and “Flashbacks slow your story down.”

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Here’s the copy on the back of the book jacket of I’ll Be Home for Christmas – It’s Christmastime 1944 and Maggie Culpepper finds herself far from home and those she holds dear. With the U.S. at war and Maggie’s heart reeling from the death of her saintly mother, she had impulsively stumbled into a recruiting center and enlisted in the U.S. Navy WAVES. Anger at God and fear of the out-of-control feelings that accompany love caused her to run from the marriage proposal of William Dove, her boyfriend and longtime neighbor. Though a childhood bout with polio left William physically unfit for military service, he wages an all-out battle to recapture Maggie’s heart. Will Maggie ever be able to open her heart to love again . . . and find her way home for Christmas.

If you could only share one line from I’ll Be Home for Christmas, which one would you choose and why?

I would pick a line said by Tyronious Byrd, my favorite character in the book:

“God use the dark and the light. He the divine artist workin’ to create Hisself a masterpiece fit for heaven.”

This is meaningful to me, because it shows me that even the hard things, the valleys in my life, are for a purpose.

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in I’ll Be Home for Christmas that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

What Tyronious Byrd has been through, the loss of his wife and children, is much, much more difficult than the things I count as my ‘hardships.’ In college, I suffered a serious brain injury from a bicycle wreck, and thus, I cannot drive and have occasional neurological issues. But, writing his story, his ‘soul travail,’ I used a lot of things gleaned from my own spiritual ponderings about what I’ve been through, am going through.

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

Seems the villain, at least in my heroine’s eyes, is God. Maggie’s furious at God because of her mother’s untimely death. Yes, He has a ‘redeeming quality.’ Many of them.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

I did a ton of research on WWII, as well as on the lifestyles and society of the 1940’s here in Georgia. Also researched black dialects for Tyronious Byrd, as well as Christmas tree farms. On-line I found a woman’s journal from when she was an active member of the Navy WAVES.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I have finished a novel called Twang which is coming from Abingdon in the fall of 2012. Here’s the ‘pitch’ for it that I taped to my notebook and read repeatedly as I was writing: Haunted by a dark past, country music diva Jenny Cloud pours her pain into the autobiographical lyrics of one hit song after another until finally the soul-wrenching aspect of her art gets to be too much and she wonders if the price of fame is worth the cost.

I’m in the middle of writing a novel tentatively titled Scarlett Says.

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

I would tell them to buy and study writing ‘How-To’ books, to attend writers conferences, join some on-line communities about writing, and read, read, read in the genre they’re aspiring to, and of course, to write, write, write, write, and write some more.

What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?

Hmmm . . . Perhaps it is this; What aspect of being a published author do you like least? My answer would be the marketing, hawking of my own books. You may have heard it said that ‘Writers write, and authors speak.’ I hear a lot of authors say they’re uncomfortable selling their own wares, because they’re artists. Back when I first began this, personal author book tours were the norm. The internet was not such a huge place for marketing yet. I went on extensive (and expensive in terms of time and money) book tours all over the place! The hard things was, I was struggling with Laliaphobia - the fear of public speaking. Thanks to God, I’m over that now, and even teach numerous writing courses. Some advice about overcoming Laliaphobia: PRAyer and PRActice. I had to do hundreds of speeches/literary talks, while continually praying for help.

Great advice! Thanks for stopping by, Julie.

Julie is giving away a copy of her book, I'll Be Home for Christmas. Stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Monday, September 5, 2011

We all have them, those burning questions we'd like to ask but find we're just too afraid to open our mouths. We'd like to offer you the opportunity to post those questions and allow the collective talents here at BB a chance to give you an answer. Whether you seek explanation about the meaning of such acronyms as RUE and POV in a crit, or would like some suggestions on the best how-to on query-writing, Sandra R., Lisa, Amber, and myself will work to give you an answer.

Shoot those questions to us by emailing them using the tab at right. Or, if you're brave, leave the question in comments on Tuesdays.

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