Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When Do You Read Blogs?

Monday, May 30, 2011

About the Book:

"Professor Cassie Larson leads a life her undergrad students hope to attain, until she tumbles into the North Sea and is sucked down into a swirling vortex…and a different century.

Alarik, son of a Viking chieftain, is blamed for a murder he didn't commit—or did he? He can't remember. On the run, saving a half-drowned foreign woman wasn't in his plan.

Ragnar is a converted pagan shunned by many but determined to prove his Cousin Alarik's innocence. He didn't count on falling in love with Cassie or the deadly presence of evil that threatens his village in Alarik's absence."

Amber's Review:

After falling in love with Griep's first time travel book, Gallimore, I knew this book was one I wouldn't want to miss--and I was right! Undercurrent took me on a thoroughly engrossing and wonderfully enchanting ride back to the time of the vikings, and I loved every minute of it!

If there's one thing for sure, it's that Griep knows how to write romance! Tummy tingling and gripping, this love story is thrilling. With a combination of viking strength, a touch of Phantom-of-the-Opera intrigue, and a heart with ocean-depth, the hero is quite swoon-worthy. ;) And beyond the wonderful historical details and the fantastic romance, this book also contains a powerful theme of sacrificial love as a picture of the way God loves us.

There are some rather gruesome descriptions of viking violence within the pages, and it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the characters' locations in the exotic world of the past, but overall this book is both moving and exciting. I read it all in one night because I just couldn't put it down--it is that good! Highly recommended!

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author:

"Dare I be so bold as to call myself an author? Being that I'm one of those freaks who attended poetry workshops instead of summer camp during my formative years, yes, I will. While other teens busied themselves throwing parties when their parents weren't home, I was the nerd holed up in my room with pen and paper."

To learn more about Michelle and her books, visit her website.

You can buy a copy of Undercurrent now at Amazon.com!

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

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

Sheila McLendon ~ White Doves by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

ruthhill74 ~ Jewel of Persia by Roseanna M. White

Anita Mae Draper ~ Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore


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. Then, sit back and wait for your books to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book, and thank you Shannon Taylor Vannatter, Roseanna M. White, and S. Dionne Moore for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, May 27, 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:


White Doves by Shannon Taylor Vannatter ~ Romance wasn't what Laken had in mind. Laken Kroft left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she'd end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her parents, the town drunk and the local gossip maven? Hayden Winters has his hands full raising his paraplegic nephew, Brady, and wrestling with his guilt over having caused the child's injury. When the boy's father, Laken's brother, turns up and starts talking cusody, Laken's influence is Hayden's only hope. But whose side is she really on? Will their mutual bond with their sever-year-old nephew draw them closer or rip them asunder? Will Laken accept Hayden :Signed, Sealed, Delivered?' or be forced to turn her back on him and 'Return to Sender'?


Jewel of Persia by Roseanna M. White ~ How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.

Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah even if it costs her her marriage.

Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?

Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.

Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore ~ Visit Johnstown, PA right before the devastating flood of 1889. Travel to Greencastle, PA/Mercersburg, PA, 1885, for a taste of life after the Civil War. Last stop, Gettysburg 1863. Listen as Abraham Lincoln gives the Gettysburg Address. Three women discovering the promises of tomorrow and yesterday, and the healing of time.




Wi
nners will be announced on Saturday, 05/28/11.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The long awaited day finally came last week when Nick of Time, Tim Downs’ latest in his Bug Man series, released. I had preordered it weeks ago so that I would have it on my kindle the minute it released. And I have to tell you, I wasn’t disappointed at all. It lived up to and went far beyond every expectation I had.

In 2010, American Christian Fiction Writers announced that Tim Downs would be the keynote speaker at the annual conference in Indianapolis. I must admit when I heard this, I was a little concerned because I had never heard of this author. (I really don’t know where I had been.) Anyway, I decided if I was going to hear this man speak, I needed to educate myself about him by reading one of his books. On kindle two of his books were being sold for the price of one, and I ordered Chop Shop and Shoofly Pie. I had read the hero was a forensic entomologist. Bugs? I didn’t know if I could do that, especially since the bugs would be on dead bodies.

Once I started reading, though, I couldn’t put it down, and I inhaled both books and ordered more. By the time I arrived at conference I had read all five of his Bug Man books plus his Christy Award Winner PlagueMaker.

Downs has created a character in Nick Polchak that defies description. He is an intelligent man who has trouble identifying with the human race and immerses himself in the ordered world of insects. He has few friends because he’s not good with relationships. Downs played this up well in the fifth book, Ends of the Earth, by ending with a cliffhanger. Readers had to go to his blog to vote on how the book should end which would give him the direction for book six.
 When the conference opened last September, Tim Downs spoke at the first meeting. At dinner I was surprised when I sat down to see him already seated at the table. My first words to him were something like, “If I could have gotten my hands on you when I read that last page.” He assured me that I wasn’t the only one upset. He did say, however, the ending I chose was the most popular one and was leading him into book six. Now that book’s out. The only problem is, the ending left me wondering how I’m going to survive a year wondering what he’s going to do in the next book.
If you haven’t read any of the Bug Man books, I highly recommend them. If you like a fast paced mystery with a quirky hero and a surprise ending, you’ll love Nick of Time. It has a plot twist I never would have suspected, and I found myself laughing out loud at times. It’s a great read!
What have you read lately that you enjoyed so much you couldn’t put it down? I’d like to know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Shannon Taylor Vannatter married her high school sweetheart. Since then her husband answered the call to preach and they became first-time parents 16 ½ years into their marriage. She is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. Her first series with Heartsong Presents is set in Romance and Rose Bud, Arkansas. Brides and lovebirds take advantage of the re-mailing program to have wedding invitations and Valentines cards mailed from Romance with a unique postmark. Romance also hosts several annual weddings with Valentine’s Day the most popular date. The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards named her #3 Favorite New Author, White Roses as #1 Contemporary Novel and #2 Favorite Contemporary Cover, and White Doves as #8 Contemporary Novel and #1 Favorite Contemporary Cover.

Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com/. Her blog, The Inkslinger, features true love stories, inspirational author’s real-life romances, insight into the love lives of their fictional characters, book excerpts, romantic destinations, and weekly book giveaways at http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog. Her group blog: http://www.inkspirationalmessage.com/ features ten writers on life and writing. She’s active on Facebook: facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter and Twitter: @stvauthor.

Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

I had a creative writing class in the 3rd grade and loved it, but nothing else to encourage me in the direction of writing. I lived close to Six Flags over GA and wanted to be one of those girls on skates who swept there.

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

9 ½ frustrating years with over 200 rejections.

Wow! Sounds like the definition of perserverance. Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

Join ACFW, go to as many conferences as you can afford, take any online classes ACFW offers, and find a critique group. The class that made all the pieces of the writing puzzle fit for me was Margie Lawson’s EDITs System. I had the opportunity to take it as an early bird at the Denver ACFW Conference, but you can get the lecture packet on Margie’s website.

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 take my 9 year old son to school in the morning, straighten the house, do a few loads of laundry. By 10:00 at the latest, I’m at the computer. I read whatever I wrote yesterday to get me back in the flow of the story and start writing. At 2:45, I stop and go pick up my son. The rest of the day is his and my husband’s after he comes home. In the summer, my son and I spend a lot of our time in our blue WalMart pool. I write at night after everyone else is in bed. Summers aren’t as productive and I try to work my deadlines around them.

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

My editor initially rejected the series I’m working on now. She told me exactly what she didn’t like about it. I thought about what I could change and came up with an alternate storyline. She liked it and we signed the contract. I can take constructive criticism and she was right. I like the book much better now. Now, if I get rejected, I know if I’m flexible and I work hard, there will be another book in the future. That knowledge makes rejection easier to take.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Romance wasn’t what Laken had in mind.

Laken Kroft left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she'd end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her parents, the town drunk and the local gossip maven?

Hayden Winters has his hands full raising his paraplegic nephew, Brady, and wrestling with his guilt over having caused the child's injury. When the boy's father, Laken's brother, turns up and starts talking custody, Laken's influence is Hayden's only hope. But whose side is she really on?

Will their mutual bond with their seven-year-old nephew draw them closer or rip them asunder? Will Laken accept Hayden “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” or be forced to turn her back on him and “Return to Sender”?

If you could only share one line from White Doves, which one would you choose and why?

Wow, that’s a great question. When Hayden convinces Laken to go to church for the first time since she was a kid, she’s convicted, but doesn’t do anything about it. The fifteen feet to the altar stretched into miles. I hope that line resonates. People walk away from church every week without making a decision about what to do with Jesus. And some never get another chance.

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 White Doves that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

Laken isn’t outdoorsy and is very allergic to poison ivy. I like being outside, but I like wide trails. If I have to pick my way through the woods, or a narrow trail, I’m always afraid some of those vines grabbing at me are poison ivy. I’m so allergic, I don’t even have to go out in the woods, I get it from my cats.

When I was nine, my parents and I lived in Georgia. We were traveling in the summer to see my grandparents in Arkansas. We stopped at a motel in Mississippi for the night. It had a pool, but it was jam-packed with people. I was mad and wishing they’d all leave, so I could swim. A certain form of wildlife made its very distinct noise. Very creepy sounding, but my parents knew what it was. The other people didn’t and we soon had the pool to ourselves. The experience inspired a scene in White Doves.

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?

Collin, Laken’s brother, is the villain. He’s back to claim Hayden’s nephew, Brady, who is Collin’s son. Collin’s redeeming quality is that he truly believes he’s doing the right thing and wants what is best for Brady.

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 researched the inner workings of the post office. I went to my post office and got generic details and visited the Romance Post Office for the particulars. I found a website with postal slang that was fun. The printout is somewhere in my research bin.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I recently turned in the first book in a Texas rodeo series and will be starting book two soon.

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?

Join a local writers’ group and attend conferences. If you’re interested in the inspirational market, join ACFW. I learned the basics through local groups and conferences. I learned how to write at a publishable level through ACFW.

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

How old I am and why I only have a nine year old son. I’d be honest. I’m forty-five and we waited until we thought we could afford for me to be a stay-at-home mom. Then it took a while for me to get pregnant. We’d almost given up by the time it happened. I like to think, while I hang out with the twenty-something moms at all the school events, that I’m the wisest.



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Shannon is giving away a copy of her book White Roses. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sandra Moore, writing as S. Dionne Moore, was named one of five favorite new authors in the 2011 18th Annual Heartsong Awards. Her historical Pennsylvania releases are set in Johnstown, PA (Promise of Tomorrow) Mercersburg/Greencastle, PA (Promise of Yesterday) and Gettysburg, PA (Promise of Time, May 2011). This November all three books release as a collection called Promise Brides.

Summer of 2011 watch for A Shepherd's Song, the first in her Wyoming Historical Romance series, followed by The Cattle Baron's Daughter (winter 2012) and Valley of the Heart (spring/summer 2012).

Sandra resides in the rolling hills of Cumberland Valley, PA--a transplanted city girl and glad of it! She enjoys ferreting out little-known historical details and crafting a story around them. To learn more about Sandra and her work, visit her at http://www.sdionnemoore.com/.




Sandra is giving away a copy of her book, Promise of Time. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Roseanna M. White, author of two Biblical novels (A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia) and Love Finds you in Annapolis Maryland (coming December 2011), makes her home in the mountains of Western Maryland with her husband, two small children, and the colony of dust bunnies living under her couch. After graduating from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, she and her husband founded the Christian Review of Books, where she is the editor. She is a member of ACFW, HisWriters, Biblical Fiction Writers, and HEWN Marketing.

Welcome, Roseanna! Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

Oh yes, always. Since I first learned to string subject and verbs together, writing has been my passion. For a while I would answer the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question with a compound answer: “A teacher and a writer” or “An archeologist and a writer,” but finally I said, “Who do I think I'm kidding? I just want to be a writer!” Thankfully, I fell in love with a man who supports that dream. Literally, LOL.

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

Well, given that my first novel was finished at 13, um . . . forever? ;-) My first novel came out in hardback in 2005 and was re-released in 2009 as a paperback after substantial revisions. So I guess that means 10 years! Though I just signed my first contract with a major publisher, so if you're counting to that, then 15. Although I didn't begin seriously pursing publication until after college, which means 5. No matter how you add it up, it's been a long path!

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

Hmm . . . I think one of the biggest things I had to figure out was how to balance all that “taught stuff” with my instincts. So my tip would be to write like you. Don't be afraid that you're not following so-and-so's method precisely—you could very well be following someone else's without knowing it! The important thing is to write without fear—then rewrite with prayer.

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.

My life is pretty much the same from day-to-day, so be prepare to be wowed. Ready? Here it goes. Somewhere between 6 and 7, one or both of my kids (ages 3 and 5) come bounding up the stairs. The wake-up varies from “Mwaaaaaaaa!” to “Mommy! Mommy, yake up! Is it morning? Mommy! Can we play?” (I prefer the second, LOL.) After pulling myself out of bed and down the stairs, I get them both breakfast, check my email, post my blog, get them some other breakfast usually, or a drink, indulge in a cup of coffee, force myself to suffer through a workout, shower, cajole my daughter to her desk for school, try in vain to squeeze some writing in, and pray for naptime to come SOON. ;-)

First, though, I must feed them lunch. At which point I realize I haven't yet eaten breakfast. I manage both, then get the boy-o into bed. I finish up school with my daughter, then finally, FINALLY get to open my work-in-progress. I write frantically until naptime is over (parrying requests from the girl-o for ice cream every five minutes), and when my son's up again I realize that, oops, I haven't planned dinner. After trying to get out of it for half an hour, I finally give in and go to the kitchen, where I put together a usually-pathetic-excuse for dinner, then look around and realize my house exploded while I was lost in novel-land.

So after dinner is often spent trying to pick up the wreckage, while the kids follow behind me pulling out everything I put away. We have a nightly book-reading ritual, I wrestle them into their jammies, hubby joins us for the pre-sleep hide-and-seek game and helps with tucking in, then I get my cuddle time with the man of my dreams. Unless a hockey game is on, in which case I get time to read or write some more. =)

Sounds like you keep busy! :-) Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

All the time. They've gotten nicer over the years, and often have little notes that invite me to submit something else, but yeah. Still get 'em. I've found they sting less now, though, for whatever reason. I think largely because I trust that I'm on the path the Lord placed me on, and I know that wherever it leads, it's in His will. That makes every rejection feel more like a closed window than a slammed door.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Jewel of Persia is the Esther story you never knew existed. ;-) Following the life of another of Xerxes' wives, Kasia leads us through life in the palace, the campaign the king waged against Greece, and the intrigue and heart-wrenching losses that lead to her childhood friend, Esther, coming to the palace and winning the crown.

Esther has always been my favorite Bible story, but I didn't want to approach it in the usual way—I wanted to look at it through new eyes, and I did so by combining it with the Greeks' account of the war, brought to us by Herodotus's Histories.

Kasia's story can pretty much be summed up by the book's one-liner: How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

If you could only share one line from JEWEL OF PERSIA, which one would you choose and why?

Let not my heart cost me my soul.

This is something Kasia prays at one point, and it perfectly captures the challenge that spurs Kasia through the book. She is a Jewish woman called to love her husband and king, a man who at once recognizes the power of her God and yet doesn't believe in him himself. Over the course of the story, her greatest struggle is finding a balance between her passion for the Lord and her passion for Xerxes.

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 JEWEL OF PERSIA that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

Hmm . . . these characters are less like me than some of my others, though I really wish I were as much a woman of prayer as Kasia! But I think the thing I stole most from real life is Xerxes' temper. He was renowned for it, and this made me laugh because boy do we have some temper stories in my hubby's family! They're Italian, and they've all got the passion to prove it. His grandfather once chucked a weed-whacker across the yard when it wouldn't start, his mother has been known to throw keys into the bushes when she spins into a temper before getting into her car, and my hubby himself has had to replace a hollow door now and then when he shoves it out of his way a little too forcefully. I happen to find this humorous—as does my heroine. Yes, people probably think I'm crazy, just as everyone thought Kasia was crazy. But like she observed—they who storm like no other also love like no other. I adore my by-marriage Italian family and wouldn't change any of them a bit. Most of the time. ;-)

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?

I have two main bad guys—Haman from the book of Esther, and the former queen, Amestris (a.k.a. Vashti from Esther). Haman is genuinely nasty when looked at from Kasia or Esther's point of view, and sneaky and vindictive in general. But he genuinely cares for the king's brother, whose best friend I decided he should be (ah, fiction), and really does believe the Jews are the enemy of his god.

Similarly, Amestris is a genuine devotee of her god, Ahura Mazda. Is she right? No. But she serves him with more dedication than anyone else in the story. Another big key to her character is her children. Though she can be cutthroat and nasty, even to them, they are also her sole reason for living. Her problem is that if they cross her, she can decide in her mind that they're no longer her children and so treat them with the same coldblooded viciousness as any other enemy.

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

Ah, a topic near and dear to me. I have to put a TON of research into my historical works, so I get very excited about my sources, LOL. For Jewel of Persia, my two primary resources were Histories by Herodotus and the book of Esther in the Bible. Plus a whole slew of secondary sources for daily life in Ancient Persia, layout of cities, etc. The British Museum has a wonderful introductory display they've digitized at http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/forgottenempire/index.html, and I also spent quite a while watching a documentary on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKX2EJFeHmg.

Because I like to think that others will be interested in these things that kept me intrigued for six months (riiiiiiiight), I put together a Companion Guide on my website at http://www.roseannawhite.com/index.php/books/jewel_of_persia/companion_guide/. It links to all my online resources and also has brief, chatty little articles about the people, places, and things relevant to the story—and where fact ends and fiction begins. =)

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I just turned in Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland to my editor at Summerside Press—it'll be out December of this year, and I'm very excited about it. This one is a historical romance set in Annapolis of 1783, when it was the nation's capital. After Annapolis, I'll move on to either the sequel to Jewel of Persia, a contemporary romantic suspense I have about half done, or, if an editor requests one of the other ten projects I have out right now, I'll give my attention to whichever of those sparks interest. =)

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?

Get connected! Join writers associations, start making friends, learn the rules of the craft, and go to conferences. I wrote for years in a bubble, and while I found it satisfying, it got me nowhere. When I started connecting with others, I began to feel like a real writer. It's invaluable!

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

LOL—you already asked it! The questions I always dreaded most was the “what's coming next?” one, and I am so relieved to finally have an answer for that! Up until March, I didn't. =)
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Roseanna is giving away a copy of her book Jewel of Persia. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

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

Carrie Pagels - A Family for Faith by Missy Tippens

SuperMom @ What You Reading Now - Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life by Angela Breidenbach

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. Then, sit back and wait for your books to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book, and thank you Missy Tippens and Angela Breidenbach for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, May 20, 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:

Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life by Angela Breidenbach ~ You'll embark on a treasure hunt for God's unique gems of wisdom. Be empowered, learn to influence through your own life lessons, and preserve important relationships. Gems of Wisdom invites the reader on a treasure hunt to find important life concepts represented by the beautiful stones God created. Excellent for Bible study and book clubs and now with the bonus companion guide included.


A Family for Faith by Missy Tippens ~ When Faith Hagin sees widower cop Gabe Reynolds every day in her coffee shop, she can't help but feel for the struggling single dad. She's raised a teenager of her own—and sadly, knows what not to do. But thanks to his matchmaking preteen daughter, Chelsea, the whole town's praying for Gabe to find a wife! Even though Faith thinks she's content being just friends, spending time with him and Chelsea starts to feel like a fresh start at having a family. And their love may be the answer to everyone's prayers.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 05/21/11.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I’m delighted to have award-winning author Sandi Rog as a guest on The Borrowed Book today. Sandi lived in Holland for thirteen years and now lives in Colorado with her husband, four children, a cat, and too many spiders. She was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s T-cell Lymphoma on November 1, 2010, the day her debut novel THE MASTER’S WALL was released. On Tuesday of this week she was admitted into the hospital for a bone marrow transplant.

Sandi has been an example to all of us as she’s faced her challenges by putting her faith in God and focusing on His love and what He’s done for her. And throughout it all, she's continued to write.

Welcome to The Borrowed Book, Sandi. Let me start right off by asking you what made you want to become a writer?

I love a good story. You see, after I became a Christian at 16, I decided it was time to clean up my reading. So, I started reading Christian Fiction. Well, I never thoroughly enjoyed reading Inspirational Fiction; it was boring and preachy. But I kept trying. Finally, after a "traumatic experience" with a Christian novel, I vowed to never read the genre again. While in Holland (I lived there for thirteen years), I purchased a 500+ page Inspirational novel during a short visit to the States (this was before we could buy books on Internet; wow, makes me feel old, lol). Anyway, I brought it back with me to Holland and devoured it, desperate for something in English that was trustworthy. Well, after wading through sermon after sermon and boring description after boring description, the story finally got moving in the last chapter! It was then that I found out it was a sequel (I had no way to get back to the States to buy the next books; not that I really wanted to)! I vowed to never read Inspirational Fiction again. That's when I decided to write what I wanted to read. So . . . that's what made me become a writer. Sounds negative, I know. But it's how I got started. Thankfully, much better writers have emerged since that time! And it’s a good thing I didn’t know about these great writers, I probably would have quit.

I'm glad you didn't quit. When you started your writing journey, did you encounter rejection along the way? If so, how did you handle it?

Oh, yes. One after the other. How did I handle it? I kept trying. Persistence is key . . . or so I’ve heard.

What made you decide to publish with a small press?

Because all the big presses rejected my work. LOL But I’m really excited about DeWard Publishing because I get to do what most authors aren’t allowed to do: write what I want. I’m very passionate about this series, and it’s important to me to write the story that’s on my heart and what I believe is pleasing to the Lord. That is so much nicer than trying to please a marketing department at a big house. (Some of my “big house” writing friends have said they felt like their story was no longer theirs.) One thing I’ve learned about big houses vs. smaller houses from my contacts with other small press authors is that quality and great stories aren’t necessarily only found in bigger houses.

Tell us the title of your book and about the award it won.

THE MASTER’S WALL recently won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award in Fiction. CSPA honors books produced by small publishers each year for outstanding contribution to Christian life. Book lovers and retailers selling Christian products voted on the nominated titles in each of eight categories.

Give us a short blurb about the book.

Here’s the book jacket copy of THE MASTER’S WALL:

He fights for his freedom. She fights for her life. Together, they fight for each other.

After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome. As David trains to become a skilled fighter, he works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom. However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call. Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master's granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit. David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan—sacrifice his own life to save hers.

Which character in the book is your favorite? Why?

I’d have to say my favorite character is Alethea. She’s named after my second daughter. Alethea’s personality makes me laugh with her surprising quirks and how she misunderstands David. She even surprised me a few times when I realized what her reaction would be to a certain event. It’s funny how characters come to life.

I know that you’ve encountered some difficulties regarding your health in the past year or so. Do you mind sharing with our readers how God has gotten you through this time?

I was diagnosed November 1, 2010, the very day my book released, with Non-Hodgkin’s T-cell Lymphoma (i.e. cancer). It’s very hard to describe how I felt that day. When they told me I had a tumor on my brain and was immediately being admitted into the hospital, I was fine, just taking things in stride. I picked up my cell-phone to call my mother to let her know what was going on, and that’s when it hit me. I started crying. I realized I couldn’t call my poor mother and tell her this devastating news.

Since then, I’ve shared quite a lot on my blog about what I’ve been through. I think the most powerful story of how God has gotten me through this is in one particular blog post that would be too long to copy here. If you’d like to read it, you can see it
here.

I go in on May 17th for a bone-marrow transplant. God is my physician, so I know no matter what happens, I’m in His hands.

Since I have a book releasing soon that deals with sisters searching for a brother who they had never known, I was touched to read on your blog that you have recently been reunited with a sister you hadn’t seen since she was a small child. How has this event impacted your life and your writing?

Congratulations on your upcoming release, Sandra. That’s wonderful!

Finding my sister has been a wonderful experience, and I’m just amazed by it. I’ve searched for her for years! And it took my getting cancer to find her. My dad thought she could be a bone-marrow donor, so he gave me her information. I then found her on Facebook. Of course, I wasn’t interested in her being a donor, and I told her not to even be tested. I didn’t want her to think that that was why I looked her up. I was just so excited to finally have found her! It’s impacted my life in good and bad ways. I mean, it’s a wonderful experience but not without its stresses, and right now, stress isn’t good for me. It hasn’t really impacted my writing, other than for the fact that I got to send her a signed copy of my book! :-) Anyway, the good most definitely outweighs the stress, so I’m a happy camper.

God has certainly blessed you in many ways. Are you currently writing another book?

I should be working on my third book of this series, but I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. I’ve found working on short stories and articles during this time is helpful. I am anxious to get started on the third book, so I hope I’ll be able to tackle that soon.

What words of encouragement and advice would you give to our readers who are struggling with problems in their lives or who are desperately trying to get a first book published?

Your readers won’t know this, but it’s taken me a long time to get this interview back to you because of this question. I’ve been sitting on it for weeks. And I’m still not sure how to answer it. The only thing I can think of at the moment where getting published is concerned is to suggest that the writer not be so “desperate.” I mean, there are more important things in this life. I know. That’s easy for someone to say who’s already been published. But that’s what I’ve come to realize more deeply since I was diagnosed with cancer. This life is temporary, and while we’re here, let’s do what we can to glorify and please God, even in our writing. Just take care that writing/getting published doesn’t become your idol. I’ve really had to check myself for that. I shake my head at the folks in the Bible who turned to idols and how stupid that was, but boy . . . when I think of the amount of time and energy I put into writing, I really have to make sure it’s not my idol in this modern age. That’s why I say not to be “desperate.”

When the problems come, don’t allow them to beat you down. Or worse, to cause you to turn away from God. Then Satan wins. Allow the problems to refine you, make you a better servant for the Lord. Overcoming struggles will also enrich your characters because if you’re an overcomer, your characters can be overcomers as well, and it will be believable to your readers and encourage them to do the same. That would definitely glorify God in your writing.

Those are wonderful words of advice, Sandi. It's been a pleasure to have you as a guest today. Our prayers are with you as you continue treatment for cancer.

Readers, I hope you will leave an encouraging comment for Sandi today. She has a rough few weeks ahead of her with radiation and chemo. Let her know you'll be thinking of her and praying for her and her family during this trying time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Missy Tippens lives in Georgia with her wonderful, supportive, pastor husband (her very own real life hero even though he's not too handy around the house). They have three perfect children. Well, maybe not perfect, but they're loving and fun and are God's greatest blessings. To add chaos to the household, they have two dogs and a cat.


Missy was a stay-at-home mom for 16 years, writing for about 10 of those years. She owns a home-based business that she works a couple of hours a week, and for the last two years, she taught an Anatomy & Physiology course at a local technical college. Teaching was fun, challenging, and very rewarding. She truly loved it and feels blessed to have had the chance to discover that fact. However, she recently decided to write full time. Writing is her passion. And, she hopes, her ministry. She truly believe God has given her stories. And from the wonderful emails and letters she's received from readers, it has amazed and blessed her to hear how He has used them.

Her latest book, A Family for Faith, released in April 2011, from Love Inspired.





Missy is giving away a copy of her book A Family for Faith. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What are the similarities that draw you to these stories? If it's not listed, tell us about it in comments.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life
By: Angela Breidenbach
Published by Journey Press
ISBN 1936438046

About the Book:

In Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life you'll embark on a treasure hunt for God's unique gems of wisdom. Be empowered, learn to influence through your own life lessons, and preserve important relationships. Gems of Wisdom invites the reader on a treasure hunt to find important life concepts represented by the beautiful stones God created. Excellent for Bible study and book clubs as well as individual study.

Review:

Spiritual truths unearthed…

Reading Gems of Wisdom truly was like embarking on a spiritual truths treasure hunt. The gentle lessons reminded me over and over of the love of God and the promises He makes (and keeps) to His beloved children. Takeaways were evident after every “gem”, making this book an easy to follow guide for handling life’s trials. The analogy to “polishing” your gems, protecting them from “pirates” and putting it all together were fantastic!

Kudos to Breidenbach for this wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

About the Author:

Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009, a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and the author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life from Journey Press, the Creative Cooking Series including the new release of Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance and the new Kindle release, Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela also teaches online classes and coaches one-on-one in courageous confidence, personal growth, and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and life coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, MT. She volunteered as the American Christian Fiction Writer's publicity officer for two years. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. Angela is married with a combined family of six grown children and two grand children. Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life releases May 2011 from Journey Press, a Sheaf House imprint.

Interact with or learn more about Angela Breidenbach:
http://www.angelabreidenbach.com/
http://www.mygemofwisdom.com/
http://www.Youtube.com/AngieBreidenbach
http://www.godusesbrokenvessels.com/
http://www.twitter.com/AngBreidenbach
http://www.facebook.com/Angela-Breidenbach-Inspirationa-SpeakerAuthor/107359399338636
http://www.thefaithgirls.com/ on Wednesdays each week

Interested in having Angela speak? Contact Christian Speaker Services 800.871.9012 x40250
Karen@ChristianSpeakerServices.com

Angela is giving away a copy of her book Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-Filled Life. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

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

Christina Banks- Died in the Wool & Where the Truth Lies by Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery

Christina, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address. Then, sit back and wait for your books to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, May 13, 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:




Died in the Wool AND Where the Truth Lies by Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery ~ Return to Pine Mills and hone your investigative skills with Died in the Wool, a mystery filled with humor, suspense, and romance.

Monah Trenary is battling for city funds for her beloved library. When a rival for the much-needed monies winds up dead, Monah is considered one of the prime suspects. When a second corpse weighs in, police detective Mike Brockman discovers that, according to the evidence, Monah and monkshood are a lethal combination. Can Monah and proven sleuth Casey Alexander find the real killer before this librarian is booked for murder?

Winner will be announced on Saturday, 05/14/11.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If you looked at Lisa’s interview yesterday, you know that Died in the Wool, the book that Lisa co-wrote with Janelle Mowery, is releasing. You don’t want to miss reading this cozy mystery from Barbour’s Hometown Mysteries. In fact you could even win a copy of it this week in our drawing.
                                                                                
Mysteries provide the reader the opportunity to pit his/her sleuth skills with the characters in the book as they try to determine who committed the crime. It takes a lot of plotting and planning to make sure clues have been laid out throughout the book without giving away the identity of the villain. The writer also has to throw in some red herrings to throw the reader off and keep him guessing. At the end of the story, mystery authors hope the reader will shake his head in surprise when the villain is revealed.
All of us who write mystery and suspense want to create a story that will make a lasting impression on our readers. But few of us will ever achieve the acclaim that Daphne du Maurier has garnered. She is renowned as a first-rate storyteller and the mistress of suspense. Although she was thought to be a romantic novelist, her unhappy endings and sinister scenes leaned more toward the mysterious than romantic. As a tribute to this master writer, The Kiss of Death Chapter of Romance Writers of America honors her each year by giving awards for excellence in mystery writing to books published the year before.

Her masterpiece Rebecca was released in 1938 and is still a best seller seventy-three years later. The book tells the story of a young woman who marries and goes with her new husband to his home only to discover his first wife Rebecca died under suspicious circumstances. The book was made into a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock and won the Oscar for Best Movie in 1940.
Tomorrow is Daphne du Maurier’s birthday, and I thought it fitting to pay tribute to an author who continues to influence writers and storytelling today.

You may not have read Rebecca, but you’ve probably read an author whose work was influenced by Daphne du Maurier. Have you read a good mystery or suspense lately? Let us know the title and the author. What mystery or suspense authors do you enjoy reading?

Elizabeth Ludwig’s first novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Janelle Mowery, was released in spring of 2008 from Heartsong Presents: Mysteries, an imprint of Barbour Publishing. This was followed in 2009 by “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” part of a Christmas anthology collection called Christmas Homecoming, also from Barbour Publishing.


In 2010, Elizabeth’s first full-length historical novel, Love Finds You in Calico, California was released from Summerside Press. Books two and three of her mystery series, Died in the Wool, and Inn Plain Sight, respectively, are slated for release in 2011 from Barbour Publishing.

In 2008, Elizabeth was named the IWA Writer of the Year for her work on Where the Truth Lies. She is the owner and editor of the popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and dramatist, having performed before audiences of 1500 and more. She works fulltime, and currently lives with her husband and two children in Texas.

To learn more about Elizabeth and her work, visit her at http://www.elizabethludwig.com/.






Elizabeth is giving away TWO copies of her books. One lucky winner will receive a copy of books one AND two of the Massachusetts Mayhem series, Died in the Wool and Where the Truth Lies! Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WHAT HELPS YOU DECIDE TO BUY A BOOK?

Monday, May 9, 2011

I am officially home for the summer, and I am so excited for extra reading time! Today I thought it would be fun to discuss what we're reading and what we love about fiction. I know this is far from an original blog post topic, but I think it's a popular one nonetheless. ;)

I recently finished A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher--the third book in "The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs" series. As much as I loved Fit to Be Tied (the second book in the series), I think this one just might be my favorite!

With a very relatable heroine, a conflicted hero to make your tummy flutter, and some interesting twists to a sweet story, this book turned out to be a quick and satisfying read! Plus, I just love how the title was explored as a theme throughout the book, looking at what character really is and what it means to live out a godly character. As the heroine is a novelist/writer, I found that some of her internal struggles were ones I could understand, especially the question as to whether one should write for pure entertainment or to convey the truth. Very enjoyable book!

Up next on my reading list is A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan and Pompeii: City on Fire by T.L. Higley. (Can I just say that I love being able to promote Christian fiction and get free books in the process? It's definitely a win-win situation! If you have a blog, there are a lot of great review programs out there! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'd be happy to help as best I can!)

Anyway, here's the blurb from Revell for A Heart Divided, which is now available:

"When fate brings them together, they must choose between family ties and love.

The Caldwells and Wainwrights have been feuding for decades. Still, Sarah Caldwell has misgivings when her father pressures her into distracting a ranch hand while he and her brothers rob the Wainwright place. When it becomes clear that hand is actually Cord Wainwright, heir of the Wainwright holdings, Sarah realizes things have gone too far.

As the feud boils over, Cord and Sarah make a most inconvenient discovery--they just might be falling in love. Can they betray their families to see where this attraction leads? Or will their families betray them?

Against the beautiful and wild backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in 1878 comes this sweeping saga of romance, betrayal, and forgiveness from beloved author Kathleen Morgan."

It certainly sounds wonderful!

And as for Pompeii: City on Fire, I am super excited to read this one! I just love T.L. Higley's work--she certainly knows how to write fascinating historical romance, in my opinion! Here's the blurb from Amazon.com for her latest book, which is releasing next month (June 2011):

"Pompeii, a city that's many things to many people. For Cato, it's the perfect escape from a failed political career in Rome. A place to start again, become a winemaker. But when a corrupt politician wrongfully jails Cato's sister, he must oust the man from power to save her.

For Ariella, Pompeii is a means to an end. As a young Jew, she escaped the fall of Jerusalem only to endure slavery to a cruel Roman general. She ends up in Pompeii, disguised as a young man and sold into a gladiator troupe. Her anger fuels her to fight well, hoping to win the arena crowds and reveal her gender at the perfect time. Perhaps then she will win true freedom.

But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii. Political corruption, religious persecution, and family peril threaten to destroy Ariella and Cato, who are thrown together in the battle to survive. As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, the two must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love, before the fiery ash buries Pompeii, leaving the city lost to the world."

Also, be looking for my reviews of Undercurrent by Michelle Griep (a Viking, time-travel, historical romance book) and God's Shelter for Your Storm by Sheila Walsh (a devotional book) in the coming weeks here on the BB!

So, what are you reading right now? And out of curiosity, what do you as a reader look for in the fiction you read? Do you mostly read for entertainment, or do you like fiction with a message/moral?

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

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

Folake Taylor, MD. - To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Marjorie (cenya2 at hotmail dot com) - Freedom's Stand by Jeanette Windle

Bonnie R. Paulson - The Unforgivable (Wounds of South America #1) by Tessa Stockton

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, Karen Witemeyer, Jeanette Windle, and Tessa Stockton for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, May 6, 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:



To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer ~ Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets... Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart. Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

Freedom's Stand by Jeanette Windle ~ Jamil renounced a life of jihad when he encountered the life-changing message of Jesus Christ, but villagers and authorities in the hills of Afghanistan respond with skepticism . . . and even violence.
.
Relief worker Amy Mallory is shocked by the changes in her organization—changes with dire implications for the women and children under her care. And concern for her former assistant, Jamil, weighs heavily on her heart.

Former Special Forces veteran Steve Wilson faces off against the riots and corruption of Kabul’s upcoming election. He's looking for something that will give his life purpose but is confident that he won’t find it in Afghanistan.

All three are searching for love and freedom in a country where political and religious injustice runs rampant. But when religious freedom becomes a matter of life and death, they discover that the cost of following Jesus may require the ultimate sacrifice.

The Unforgivable (Wounds of South America #1) by Tessa Stockton ~ Accused of the worst war crimes in the history of Argentina, Carlos Cornella is despised by a wounded nation... "I'm in love with a monster. That's what people call him anyway: monster, murderer, kidnapper, torturer, sociopath, even the devil. His crimes are so terrible that he may be unforgivable. But I have come to know him as something else. I know him as God's Treasure. And I'm not sure what to do about that. So, here's my story." "In a world riveted by political trouble and unrest, 'The Unforgivable' encourages our faith by reminding us that God's redemption is powerful enough to reach even the darkest of hearts." -Sonia DurĂ¡n de Wallace, Missionary and Argentine citizen born during the military regimen. "The Unforgivable weaves together conflicting worldviews, political intrigue, romance, and history in a captivating tale of something we all need-forgiveness."-Tim Chaffey, author of The Truth Chronicles

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 05/7/11.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I'm thrilled to have Tessa Stockton with us today to talk about her debut novel that released recently. 
A former contemporary dancer, Tessa—who has always had an interest in things of a debatable nature—now writes Christian political intrigue novels. The Unforgivable is her first book in the Wounds of South America series. Raised on the coast of Washington State, she currently lives in Tennessee with her husband and son. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), International Christian Fiction Writers (ICFW), and the Lost Genre Guild (LGG).

Welcome, Tessa and congratulations on your first novel. What made you want to become a writer? Reading voraciously. I love stories and when ideas kept popping into my head, I knew I had to try my hand at writing.

I'm so glad you did. Did you encounter rejection on your writing journey? If so, how did you handle it?

Without question. In fact, I might hold the world’s record for the highest number of rejections. Still, if there’s a will there’s a way. I’m stubborn. Yet not afraid to learn and grow from mistakes.

I've had my share of rejections, too. I'm glad you grew from yours. What are some highlights of your professional journey toward that first sale and how did you feel when you found out about it?

Highlights would have to center around networking with inspiring individuals in the industry. There are some who have achieved a great level of success who won’t give the time of day to a newbie author. Then there are those who have achieved a great level of success who are gracious, kind, and offer invaluable insight—even if it’s through a short email. They still took the time… That’s what I call a real role model, especially in the Christian market. As far as how I felt when I found out about that first sale, I think I hit the floor with excitement. I might have even screamed, “Victory,” like a madwoman.

What is the title of your book? The Unforgivable.

I've read your book, Tessa, and it's one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in a long time. Give us a short blurb about the book.

Accused of the worst war crimes in the history of Argentina, Carlos Cornella is despised by a wounded nation…

“I’m in love with a monster. That’s what people call him anyway: monster, murderer, kidnapper, torturer, sociopath, even the devil. His crimes are so terrible that he may be unforgivable. But I have come to know him as something else. I know him as God’s Treasure. And I’m not sure what to do about that. So, here’s my story.”

I recognize those words spoken by your heroine Genevieve. She faces quite an emotional challenge in your book. In fact your entire book is filled with characters whose views of past events in Argentina often clash. Which character in the book is your favorite? Why?

Carlos. I had to write him carefully. He’s enigmatic, and his circumstances are challenging.

As I read Carlos's story, at times I thought him to be a monster, but at other times I was deeply touched by his pain. In spite of his past, though, he was still important to God as one of His children. That message really touched me. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

I’ve read a lot of really fabulous books recently, but the secular book, Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum truly impacted me. Because, I’m of German and Jewish descent and grew up with a lot of questions regarding the Holocaust and my family’s ties to it. I was born with a past, yet through it see an inkling of my future. I felt a very personal connection to that novel. I also really admire The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. Now, there’s an excellent example of the message of forgiveness.

I also read constantly and learn so much from what other authors have to say. What do you learn from reading other writers’ work?

Every work is so different, I can take something away from just about anything I pick up—even the bad prose. There’s always something to learn, and I gain greater appreciation for the creativity that’s out there. I’m not much of an emulator yet I study the various writing styles, hopefully gleaning do’s and don’ts. I think the most effective book for me, as far as mechanics, is Noble’s Book of Writing Blunders (and how to avoid them) by William Noble. It gives good, practical, easy to retain, advice.

I know you have more books planned in your South America series. What are you currently writing?

The outline/synopsis of the third installment of the Wounds of South America series, in which The Unforgivable is the first. The one in between—the second novel in the series, set in Colombia, I submitted to my publisher last month. It’s scheduled to be released in 2012. So, I’m moving into writing book three in the interim…

As a first-time author with two more books to come, do you have any other advice for a beginning writer?

Tenacity is the key, and through the process—if you don’t already have it—you’ll attain the thick skin needed to survive rejections—because every writer gets them. God’s timing is perfect. In the meantime, have courage to chase your dreams and express those thought-provoking ideas through plots and characters. Network with other writers, beginning or advanced. Enjoy the journey!

Thank you, Tessa, for joining us today on The Borrowed Book. I know our readers have enjoyed learning about The Unforgivable. It is the story of a woman who must set aside friendship and the life she's always known to stand beside a man whose past actions have labeled him a murderer, tormentor, and traitor to the people of his country. You won't soon forget Tessa Stockton's The Unforgivable.

As a debut novelist, Tessa would love to hear some encouragement and well wishes from our readers. Leave her a message today.

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