Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sarah Sundin lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to soccer and tennis, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. She is the author of the Wings of Glory series—A Distant Melody (Revell 2010), A Memory Between Us (2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011).

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

Occasionally, but not for long. I also saw myself as a ballerina and a protozoologist. Yes, a protozoologist, as in a scientist who studies protozoa, those cute little one-celled organisms like the amoeba and the paramecium. Not only did I want to be a protozoologist, l loved seeing people’s faces when I told them. Yes, I was a strange child.

LOL! That just means you fit in just right as a writer. How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I start
ed writing in January 2000, started submitting in 2003, and received an offer for a three-book contract in 2008. My first novel released in March 2010, ten years and two months after I first started.

Wow, talk about perseverance! Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. So along with telling them to keep at it, can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

It’s a dual tip—you need both. Be teachable and be persistent. Teachability without persistence leads us to rewrite chapter one over and over for ten years. Persistence without teachability leads to a mess—no improvement as a writer and strained relations with professionals.

Great advice! Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, b
ut 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.

How about my morning routine? After I drop the kids off at school, and before I have my quiet time, I wear out Daisy the yellow lab. I set up my laptop at the kitchen table and check emails while I wave a laser pointer (known to the Sundins as The Magic Light) up and down the length of the family room. Daisy chases it, back and forth, over and over, yipping and barking. We do this for over an hour. When I’ve had enough—Daisy never has enough—I put away The Light and open the back door. Daisy trots outside and cools off in the pool. Most likely, while I’m answering your comments on this blog, I have a barking, growling dog running beside me. This is my life.

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

I was blessed to receive another three-book contract from my publisher recently, so I haven’t had that type of rejection for a while. But I do get occasional nasty reviews—and I remind myself that all authors do. But a snarky review feels more personal than those polite professional form letters. I just pray for them, because people who can only feel good about themselves by mocking someone else have some serious hurt in their lives.

Congratulations!! Looking forward to learning more about your new series. For now, tell us a little about your latest release:

Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. Each book stands alone.

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

If you could only share one line from Blue Skies Tomorrow, which one would you choose and why?

Ooh, that’s tough, not just because I have so many favorites, but because most wouldn’t make sense out of context. This is what I chose...

Mom set the platter of chicken on the table. “Boys, please call your father for dinner.”

Ray and Walt grinned at each other and called out, “Your father for dinner!”

First of all, that’s an inside joke—my sister and I used to do that to our mother. Both my mom and sister got a kick out of that. Also, it shows the camaraderie in the Novak family. They’re not a perfect family, but they love each other deeply and have a whole lot of fun.

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 Blue Skies Tomorrow that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

There’s a scene where the heroine, Helen Carlisle, is emotionally distraught and forgets her young son at church. One day several years ago I forgot my little guy at my older son’s karate studio. We didn’t get out of the parking lot before my daughter chirped up, “Where’s Matthew?” I’ll never forget my horrified feeling, how I cranked my car into the fastest U-turn ever—or the heartbreaking sight of my little son standing outside the studio looking for me. His posture and the look on his face—well, I transplanted them onto little Jay-Jay Carlisle.

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?

He might be controlling and manipulative—and something darker—but he’s also very generous and charitable. He’s also funny and charming, and most people who know him think the world of him.

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 have to confess, I have over two hundred books and websites in my bibliography. Yes, that’s sick. Since the heroes in this series are B-17 bomber pilots—but I’ve never flown a plane—I read a “How to Fly a Plane” book to get the basics, purchased copies of the actual B-17 pilot’s manual and the training film (pure gold!), and ran the flying scenes past a pilot friend. For this book I pored over microfilm of the Antioch Ledger for gobs of local details, everything from the price of pork chops, to rationing updates, to the weather. Plus fun trivia, like how the PTA met at Mrs. So-and-So’s house on D Street where they knit socks for soldiers. My absolute favorite website for research is http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/. The Hyperwar website has hundreds of public domain official documents and books about World War II—the official Army histories, training manuals, technical manuals—just fabulous stuff.

Looks like a great link! I'll be sure to check it out. Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I signed another contract with Revell for a series tentatively titled Wings of the Nightingale. It follows three World War II flight nurses who discover love, friendship, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean. I just finished the first novel in the series, which will release Fall 2012. It features a You’ve Got Mail-like anonymous pen pal relationship between a loner nurse and an Army engineer burdened by the legacy of his infamous father.

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 hear it all the time too! If they haven’t started writing yet, I just encourage them to write the story, all of it, and worry about publication later. If they’re working on a project, I recommend writers’ conferences. First of all, conferences are the best way to connect with editors and agents if they’re ready for that. More importantly, you get great instruction and learn to be a better writer. I also recommend American Christian Fiction Writers (www.acfw.com) —the e-mail loops and on-line courses are like a mini-conference in my inbox every day. I only wish I’d joined ACFW years earlier.

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

Any of those “If you were a ____, what would you be?” questions. Color, animal, song? Oh, I don’t know. I usually ask whichever family member is in the room, which is dangerous. When one interviewer asked me what animal I’d be, I asked my teen daughter. She said, “A sloth.” That’s the problem with writing—no one thinks you’re actually doing anything! By the way, never ask the opinion of your teen daughter.

Connect with Sarah:

Website: http://www.sarahsundin.com
Blog: http://www.sarahsundin.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahsundin

Check out The Borrowed Book on Friday for a chance to win a copy of Sarah's book, Blue Skies Tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2011


By the time you read this post, I should be back in Oregon, getting ready to start a new semester at college as an English major - my senior year. With all the hullabaloo in my life right now in terms of transitioning and getting re-adjusted, I have yet another personal post for you. (But don't worry; I'm hoping to have some fun book reviews and such for you in weeks to come!)

For today, I don't have anything brilliant of my own to say. I'm sad to be leaving home, excited for and scared of what's to come, and ready to settle into a routine again. No matter whether you've gone through college (or are currently going through it) or not, our lives are full of change and uncertainty (from our perspective). But in light of eternity, we can rest in the certainty that God is in control and hope is real.

So here are some words of wisdom from others to encourage us today:

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will."
~ L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables; as found on Goodreads)

"But he'd learned long ago that a life lived without risks pretty much wasn't worth living. Life rewarded courage, even when that first step was taken neck-deep in fear."
~ Tamera Alexander (Within My Heart)

"It's the time of your life, so live it well."
~ Randy Newman ("The Time of Your Life" - song from A Bug's Life)


Remember: "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

(Song clip from YouTube.com.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

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

Elaine Stock - Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate

Elaine, 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, Lisa Wingate, for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, August 26, 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:


Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate ~ All of her life, Epiphany Salerno has been tossed like a dandelion seed on the wind. Now, with the death of Mrs. Lora-the family friend who took Epie into her home-the sixteen-year-old must move to Dallas to live with her indifferent mother and new stepfather. Trapped on the low-rent side of Blue Sky Hill, the half-Italian and half-African-American Epie doesn't fit in-and soon finds herself on the wrong side of the law. To make restitution, she's sent to work in another place she's not wanted: a home on the upscale streets of the The Hill.

When J. Norman Alvord learns that his daughter has hired a teenager to stay with him in the afternoons, he's determined to nix the arrangement. Widowed and suffering from heart trouble, Norman wants to be left alone. But in Epie's presence, Norman finds a mystery. Deep in his mind lie memories of another house, another life, and a young black woman, a housekeeper, who saved him...

As summer comes to Blue Sky Hill, two residents from different worlds will journey through a turbulent past and find that with an unexpected road trip through sleepy Southern towns come a life-changing friendship...and clues to a family secret hidden for a lifetime.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 08/27/11.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It seems as if every day I hear of something new that has evolved in this digital world we now inhabit. I’m still trying to figure out how everything works on my cell phone and find myself asking my grandchildren for advice on what all the aps stand for. That’s embarrassing when one of them is in first grade. Even if I am a little slow in catching on to all the new technology that changes constantly, I’m thrilled to be living in such an exciting time.  
As a teacher and principal for many years, I saw our educational system go through a lot of changes. When I first started, textbooks and a chalk board were staples in every classroom. Now classrooms sport the latest in technology, and even pre-school children are proficient with computers. But what will the classrooms of the future look like?
From what I’ve read lately, textbooks are going to be a thing of the past. With the emphasis on ebooks, children in future classrooms may have devices for downloading the books they need. Parents are already purchasing Kindles and Nooks for their children to read the latest ebook, and the trend is growing. A search in the Kindle store for children’s books brought up a list of over 30,000 books. I thought I had done something wrong and narrowed the search to books for children ages 3-5. That search revealed 107 titles available. There’s even a list of free ebooks for children.
I for one am happy to see that children aren’t going to be left out when it comes to the latest trends in publishing. I’m a firm believer in having children read, but I also know many don’t like to sit down and read an entire book. They will, however, read a comic book filled with pictures and lots of action.
Publishers, ever mindful of growing trends, have taken notice of movies like Captain America that was number 1 at the box office in July and have begun to move into action-filled faith based comic books. At ICRS Kingstone Comics CEO Art Ayris said, “We want to become the Marvel (Comics) of the faith market…Adding to Kingstone’s current 25 titles will be a series that will build towards a complete graphic Bible.” Can you imagine that?
There are many changes taking place in the world of publishing. Digital books are being touted as the future. How do you feel about the growing trend toward ebooks? Will you purchase a digital reader and download books, or will you insist on holding the actual book in your hand?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author. Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and general markets in mainstream fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, American Profiles, Crossings Book Club, Women’s World Magazine, Family Circle Magazine, and have been short-listed for various awards, including the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Award. She is currently a double finalist for the 2011 ACFW Carol Award. Lisa also spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteers teach adults to read. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa for the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.

Learn more about Lisa and her books at www.lisawingate.com.





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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stumbled upon this great article yesterday. Writer's Digest compiled a list of what agents hate and it's an eye opener. If you want to land an agent, enter a contest, or approach an editor with your work of art, please do yourself a favor and read this first! The last agent to weigh in is Rachelle Gardner from WordServe Literary, a literary agent that primarily represents Christian fiction.


Teaser: Literary Reps vent about their Chapter 1 turn-offs.

Ask any literary agent what they’re looking for in a novel’s first chapter and they’ll all say the same thing: “Good writing that hooks me in.” Agents appreciate the same elements of good writing that readers do. They want action; they want compelling characters and a reason to read on; they want to feel an immediate connection with your writing.

But what about all those things they don’t want to see? Obvious mistakes such as grammatical errors and awkward writing aside, writers need to be conscious of Chapter 1 clich├ęs and typical agent pet peeves—either of which can get a rejection letter sent your way.

Here, dozens of established literary agents vent about everything they can’t stand to see in your all-important first chapter.

PROLOGUES
“Most agents hate prologues. Just make the first chapter relevant and well written.”
— Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
“Prologues are usually a lazy way to give back-story chunks to the reader and can be handled with more finesse throughout the story. Damn the prologue, full speed ahead!”
— Laurie McLean, Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents
DESCRIPTION
“I dislike endless ‘laundry list’ character descriptions. For example: ‘She had eyes the color of a summer sky and long blonde hair that fell in ringlets past her shoulders. Her petite nose was the perfect size for her heart-shaped face. Her azure dress—with the empire waist and long, tight sleeves—sported tiny pearl buttons down the bodice. Ivory lace peeked out of the hem in front, blah, blah.’ Who cares! Work it into the story.”
— Laurie McLean, Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents

The article continues here: http://tinyurl.com/3deuptb

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sometimes we need some perspective.

Perhaps you are an unpublished author/writer like me. Or perhaps you are a college student like me, getting ready to head back to school - away from home.

I'm "on my way," but it's not easy. It's difficult to think about the work and wait ahead of me if I am ever to be published or have a career in the publishing industry. It's painful to think of leaving my family to complete my senior year of college. And it doesn't matter that this isn't the first time I've had to say "farewell." It's still really hard.

But even if I were to be published, or even when I finish school, my journey won't be over. Because in light of eternity, as a believer in Christ I'm constantly "on my way" until I reach my true home in heaven.

And yet, I'm grateful for this journey. There will be sad, lonely, and discouraging times. But there's so much I can learn "on my way." I have a chance to walk with God through His grace and experience life and love. How easy it is to forget what an amazing blessing life is! And when I realize that the ultimate destination is Home - well, what a wonderful, grand perspective that is!!

I realize this is more of a personal post. But I sincerely hope that in this personal post you might find something to personally encourage you, whether you are published or unpublished, happy or sad, far from home, or whatever state you are in right now.

May the following song from the movie Brother Bear and the verses from Philippians bring a smile to your face and help you seek hope for your heart:


"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord....

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus....

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."

~ Philippians 3:8a, 12-14, 20 ~

(Movie/song clip from YouTube.com.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

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

wdesirees - Something Old by Dianne Christner

Pam (pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net) - Words by Ginny L. Yttrup

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 books to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Dianne Christner (via publicist) and Ginny L. Yttrup for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, August 19, 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:



Words by Ginny L. Yttrup ~ "I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.

Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.

Something Old by Dianne Christner ~ Travel to Plain City, Ohio, to witness the Mennonite and English culture clash. As Katy Yoder accepts a new job and struggles to define her place in the world, childhood friends and a past romance get in the way. Even when her friends try to help her change her judgmental attitude, Katy is certain that seeing things as black and white is the only way to please God. But as love softens her heart, slowly shades of gray seep into her world, and she discovers the right answer isn’t always the easiest one.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 08/20/11.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In 2009 Kathryn Stockett’s The Help became a break-out hit. Book groups loved the story, and the book received strong reviews. The book has sold over three million copies, and the film opened last week to strong reviews. It promises to be a big hit at the box office. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet, but the controversy surrounding the story is a guarantee that book sales and tickets sold at the box office will soar.

For those not familiar with the story, it focuses on the friendship three women share. One is Skeeter, a young white woman who’s just graduated college and wants to become a writer, and two African-American maids, Aibileen and Minny. Skeeter decides to write a book about the maids who work for white families in Jackson, Mississippi, and her book creates a stir in the town.

Although the conflict in the book about the reactions of Jackson residents is fiction, there has been a great deal of controversy in real life about the story and its characters. Perhaps the most outspoken is Ablene Cooper who worked as a maid for Kathryn Stockett’s brother. She claimed that the character Aibileen in the book and she shared several of the same characteristics, such as both have a gold tooth and work as maids for white families and both are called Aibee by the white children they care for. Ms. Cooper also stated she found the racial insults the character had to endure were embarrassing.

Earlier this year Ms. Cooper filed a lawsuit in Hinds County, Mississippi, seeking damages from Ms. Stockett. Such lawsuits are difficult to win. David L. Hudson, Jr.,  scholar with the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University states, "We're talking about a work of art. There are strong First Amendment protections." Evidently he was right, because the lawsuit was thrown out of court on Tuesday of this week.  

However, others stepped forth to voice their opposition to the book. The Association of Black Women Historians issued a statement describing their thoughts on The Help. The following is an excerpt from that statement:

Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism.

The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.

What do you think? Have you read the book or seen the movie? Leave a comment about how you feel concerning the controversy surrounding this best seller.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ginny L. Yttrup spent nearly two decades learning the craft of writing. Through annual writers conferences, study of writing books, and the publication of devotionals and magazine articles, Ginny honed her craft and realized her dream of writing fiction. Publisher’s Weekly declared Ginny’s debut novel, Words, “a masterpiece!”

Ginny i
s working on her third novel and is speaking across the country and in Canada this year. She loves spending time outdoors in the grandeur of God’s creation or around a dinner table with dear friends. She is the mother of two wonderful young adult sons and the owner of multiple beloved pets.

Hi, Ginny. Welcome to The Borrowed Book. We love to interview debut authors, especially fellow Penwrights! Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

I didn’t see myself becoming a writer. It never occurred to me that I could become anything. Odd, now that I think about it. In our family, women got married. That was about it. Or at least that was my perception. So at 19 years old, I got married. I became a wife. I worked as an administrative assistant for six years and then resigned to have children. It was until my babies were toddlers that I began dreaming of writing, t
hough it seemed like an impossible dream because I didn’t attend college and had no experience. But I began to pray… Now, I believe that was a dream God planted in my heart.

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

Somewhere between 16 and 17 years. I began attending writers conferences and learned all I know about writing through those conferences and through reading craft books. I began writing magazine articles and devotionals and honed my skills. WORDS was the first novel I attempted to write and the first book I sold.

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

There are two tips I share regularly with aspiring writers: Read everything you can in the genre you want to write and read it with a critical eye. Learn from what you read. Also, if possible, attend a few writers conferences. If that’s not possible, then find a local or online writing community where you can share your work.

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.

Well…my day to day life is pretty mundane, but I like it that way! I’m an early riser—usually up
by 4:30 or 5:00 if I’m working toward a deadline. I set my coffee pot the night before so my coffee is waiting when I rise. In the summer and fall months, I take a cup of coffee to my outside deck and sip it in silence. I need to ease into a day. I watch and listen to birds and spend time listening for God. This is, I believe, the most important part of my writing day.

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?

I’m sure I will receive rejections. But my first book contract was a three-book deal, so I haven’t submitted anything new since then. I’m working now to finish the third novel and my agent will renegotiate my contract this fall. So rejection may be looming. ☺ Rejections are always disappointing, but I believe God is in control of my career. I’ve believed that from the beginning. Things will happen or not happen in His time and His
way. If the rejection stings, I turn to Him. He’s the only One who defines me.

Great attitude! And good luck with that contract. Now, tell us a little about your latest release:

WORDS, my debut novel, released February 1, 2011. My second novel, LOST AND FOUND, releases February 1, 2012.

WORDS is the story of 10-year old Kaylee Wren who, due to the trauma she’s suffered, doesn’t speak. Her mother’s abandoned her to the care of her abusive boyfriend who is sexually abusing Kaylee. It’s also the story of 34-year old Sierra, who has allowed the shame of her past choices to silence her present hopes. Through Divine intervention, Kaylee and Sierra are drawn together and through their relationship God’s healing begins for both of them. Though it’s a painful subject matter, it is a story filled with hope, mercy, and redemption. There are moments that will make you cry and moments that will make you smile and even laugh.

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

I’d choose the opening sentence: I collect words. That line nagged at me for months-it begged me to sit down and write it. I didn’t know who was saying it or why. Finally, one day I sat down and typed it…and I was off and running.

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

Kaylee, because of the abuse she’s suffering, hears a scream inside her head. It haunts her and she can’t make it go away. That idea came from my own life experience. As a child, I was sexually abused between the ages of 2 and 14 and I heard that scream in my head until my late twenties or early thirties. It wasn’t until I’d worked through years of therapy that the scream went away.

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?

There are two “villains” in WORDS. First, there’s the abuser. I don’t see that he has any redeeming qualities. However, all abusers are also created and loved by God and I had to make that point in the book. I believe it’s a perfect example of God hating the sin but loving the sinner. Second, there’s Kaylee’s mother who is addicted to drugs. I can’t share her redemptive act with you here because it would spoil the story. But there are moments in the story where the readers glimpeses who Kat was before drugs and who she might become if she overcomes her addiction.

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 really didn’t do any research for WORDS. Though the characters and circumstances are different, the emotions and experiences came from my own life. The setting is an area where I spent many of my teenage and adult years.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

As I mentioned, LOST AND FOUND releases early next year. It is a relational drama based on the lives of two women—one who loses her life for Christ’s sake and then finds her true self, the other who thinks she’s found her life and loses it. The story deals with the trauma of emotional abuse and what it means to pick up your cross and follow Christ. It’s set against the backdrop of San Francisco and the Napa Valley.

I’m writing my third novel, WEIGHT FOR IT now and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process.

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?

Persevere!

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

How much did you weigh last week and how much do you weigh this week? My answer: I’m afraid to find out! I’ve been traveling and speaking for a couple of months and all my clothes are now too tight! ☺

Thanks for stopping by, Ginny! Readers, connect with this author by visiting her at www.ginnyyttrup.com.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Raised Mennonite...

Inspirational romance writer, Dianne Christner, brings authenticity to love stories that reflect the joys and struggles of the Mennonite lifestyle.

Dianne lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where life sizzles, at least in the summer when temperatures soar above 100 degrees. Before writing, Dianne balanced a career of office management with raising a family and serving the Lord in her local church.

She has been married for thirty-nine years. Dianne and Jim have two married children, Mike and Rachel, and five grandchildren.

With several historical fictions to her credit, she hopes you enjoy her new contemporary series - The Plain City Bridesmaids. If you want to learn more about Dianne's writing and personal life, visit her blog. She loves interacting with her readers.

Something Old by Dianne Christner ~ Travel to Plain City, Ohio, to witness the Mennonite and English culture clash. As Katy Yoder accepts a new job and struggles to define her place in the world, childhood friends and a past romance get in the way. Even when her friends try to help her change her judgmental attitude, Katy is certain that seeing things as black and white is the only way to please God. But as love softens her heart, slowly shades of gray seep into her world, and she discovers the right answer isn’t always the easiest one.


The Borrowed Book is giving away a copy of Something Old by Dianne Christner. Be sure to stop by on Friday for your chance to win.

Monday, August 15, 2011

We talk a lot about fiction around here. I'm certainly not complaining - and I hope you agree! I love me some absorbing, meaningful, well-written novels!

And I think a lot of you who read this blog are authors or hopeful authors. To that I say - woohoo! I fit in that category, too (in the "hopeful" part...). ;)

But what I want to know is this: do you write anything else? I'm inclined to think that if we're writers in one capacity, we're probably writers in some other capacity. We write novels, but we also write blog posts, journal entries, poetry, articles, devotionals, etc.

Writing is a way of creatively expressing ourselves and sharing what's on our hearts with others. Yet we are not limited to only one form of writing! We can be informative through articles, uplifting through poetry, or spontaneous through blog posts.

Recently I was inspired to write a poem based on a church service. While I'm home from college we attend a Baptist church where several of the ladies (and sometimes a couple of children) wave and dance with flags during the time of worship/music. Here's what I came up with:

The Butterfly Dance

A guitar string hums in the sanctuary:
The note swirls in the stained glass light.

The first few flutter softly to the corners,
Choosing their wings before taking flight.

Plum purple and wispy white
Gently dip and lift by the window.

Bluegrass green and lemon yellow
Flow joyfully in the sunlit crescendo.

A lone lavender wing is sent high,
Floating on the edge of the scarlet carpet.

A little one flits from side to side,
Then picks royal robe, and blood red to match it.

One set of wings falls to the stairs,
Broken and spread apart on the dimly lit floor:

Waiting and praying for a guiding hand
To remind her how she was made to soar.

A single gold wing joins the dance,
With a unique rhythm and swing in her wave.

The fall and rise of the hopeful songs
Reflect the patterns the jeweled colors make.

Even when the music comes to a close,
And the bright and cheery wings are folded up tight,

They continue to hum across unseen meadows
With the freedom of their butterfly flight.

I love poetry, although I don't claim to be an expert on it by any means! I just think it's a wonderful way to briefly and powerfully express one's observations on life.

Questions: What do you think? Do you enjoy more than one form of writing? What are your thoughts on poetry?

Notice: If you're a poet or an artist in any fashion, I'm running a contest for a $10 Amazon.com gift card over at my personal blog! Click HERE to read the rules.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

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

Missy Tippens - Wings of Promise by Bonnie Leon

Missy, 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, Bonnie Leon, for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, August 12, 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:


Wings of Promise by Bonnie Leon ~ Kate Evans may be a woman in a man's profession, but as Alaskan bush pilots go she's one of the best. She often works closely with doctor Paul Anderson, bringing much needed medical services to far-flung people in the forbidding wilderness. But when a new boss who is against women pilots takes over the airfield, Kate's dreams--and even her life--are at stake. Can she prove her worth? Or will she die trying? And will she ever be able to truly surrender to her growing love for Paul?

Full of high-flying adventure and tender personal moments, Wings of Promise is the exciting second book in the Alaskan Skies series.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 08/13/11.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Someone asked me last week if I wished I had started writing earlier in life. I thought about it for a few seconds until I said no. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1—To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. I believe my season to write began after I retired.

In one season of my life, I became a wife and the mother of four children. Days were spent concentrating on running a home and raising my family. Our church took up much of my free time, and then there were always the ballgames and school events to attend. School played an important role in our family since my husband worked for our local university and I was a teacher and then a school principal.  

Friends ask me all the time if I miss teaching, and I honestly respond that I don't. I loved it when I was there, but I was ready to reinvent myself--try something new. When I turned in my keys to the building where I'd been principal for seventeen years, I wondered what the Lord had in mind for me. I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know if it was part of His plan.

I'd started writing and found ACFW about two years before I left the profession I loved. As I studied the craft of writing through conferences and the very helpful ACFW loop, it didn't take me long to realize that I had just entered another area of education. I was no longer the teacher, I was the learner. And I loved it.

Maybe there are some writers who sit down and produce a great American novel on the first try, but I've never known one. It takes hours of hard work to craft a story. Then there are all the rewrites. Those could go on forever if the discerning writer didn't finally stop.

Writing can be a lonely job unless you have a support group. For me, that is what American Christian Fiction Writers, the writer friends I’ve met through that organization, and my phenomenal agent Natasha Kern have been. They lit the way for me as I walked the dark and lonely road toward publication. I know without them I wouldn't have achieved my goal of becoming published.

My life is very different now from what it was a few years ago. I get up in the mornings and instead of rushing off to school I grab a cup of coffee and head to my computer. I feel like I have finally achieved the dream I had for many years. God knew when it was the season for me to write, and I wait to see what else the Lord has in store for me. Whatever it is, He's promised to be there with me.

Many of you know how difficult the road to publication is. Let me encourage you to place all your doubts and frustrations in God’s hands. Even when we don’t understand His timing, He gently leads us through the seasons of our life.

What about you? Has God blessed you in the season of your life you are now experiencing? I would love to know about it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bonnie Leon is the author of eighteen novels, including the popular Touching the Clouds, Wings of Promise, the Sydney Cove series and the bestselling Journey of Eleven Moons. She also stays busy speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

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

I always loved to read, but never thought I’d write books. After all, only very special people do that. ☺

Actually as a child I wanted to be Annie Oakley when I grew up. She was my hero. And she got to ride horses all the time, which is something I loved to do.
.
When I was a bit older I considered going into the counseling field, but by the time I was nineteen I was married and decided to major in homemaking instead. I’ve never regretted it.

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

I played with writing off and on for about ten years, occasionally writing a true life experience or vignette or a poem. Then in 1989 a compulsion to write consumed me. I filled writing tablets with stories and poetry. In 1992 I attended my first writer’s conference. One of the authors encouraged me to take an idea I had for a story and turn it into a book. I left the conference ready to write. It took me ten months to muddle my way through that book, The Journey of Eleven Moons. I took the manuscript to the conference the following summer and with great fear and trepidation I presented it to the requisitions editor for Thomas Nelson – a couple of months later I had a contract.

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

I can’t keep track of how often I’ve heard, “I want to write, but I just don’t have time.”

There will never be enough time—Americans live busy lives. If you want to write you have to find time. It’s available, but you might need to search real hard. I often tell writers in my workshops that if they can cut out enough time to write one page a day, at the end of a year they will have written 365 pages. That’s a book. You can do it!


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 an ordinary gal. I live in the country and although a back injury doesn’t allow me to do all the things I’d like I still enjoy country living. My husband and I have a small family farm, but he has to do most of the work.

I exercise to keep my muscles from stiffening up too much and I walk on my treadmill every day to keep my blood moving. I could work a little harder at it, though.

I’m a night owl (always have been) so a lot of my work is done after midnight. And even though I sometimes don’t climb into bed until the wee hours of the morning I rarely sleep late—a habit instilled in me as a child. I’ve always wished I was a morning person—I think it’s truly the best part of the day. Because of my internal clock I miss out. It takes me a couple of hours to get moving in the morning.


Now tha
t 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?

Some of my story ideas don’t make it into print. If my publisher rejects a proposal, I send them a different one. I always have more than one story in my head. Right now I have five that I want to write, but I’ve decided on one to send in for consideration. I hope they like it. If the publisher passes on my idea, I don’t discard it because I hope I’ll have an opportunity to write the story . . . some day.

I see the rejections differently than I used to. I don’t worry about them so much. I understand the reason behind a rejection is not personal. And it probably isn’t because it’s a “bad” story. Usually the reason for a rejection is the timing, or the type of book. There are numerous reasons a publisher will pass and they don’t necessarily reflect on the
author’s writing.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Kate Evans is a lone woman in a man’s world. Her spunk and determination drives her to fulfill her dream. She’s made a place for herself in the Alaskan territory as a bush pilot. But life as a bush pilot isn’t easy and a question goads her—does she have what it takes to go the distance? Every trip tests her ability as a pilot and it tests the quality of her plane. Every run can be the last.

Her personal life is complicated. She wrestles to make peace with her past, while in the present, she is torn between her affection for fellow pilot Mike Conlin and doctor Paul Anderson.


When a terrible tragedy occurs, Kate’s mind may be made up for her. (To order Wings of Promise, click on the bookcover)

If you could only share one line from Wings of Promise, which one would you choose and why?

This is a challenge, but I think I have one. Kate’s father is speaking to her when he says, “That was a terrible day.” He gazed at the blue sky. “But today’s not.”

I like this. It says a lot in few words. Many of us gauge what we expect today by the troubles we’ve had in the past. Instead we need to enjoy the gift of today.

Great line! 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 Wings of Promise that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

Kate is the person I wish I could be. She’s adventurous and spunky, but I suppose some of my friends see bits of me in Kate. I’ve been forced, because of circumstances, to be strong and to push on when I’d rather give up. But sometimes I’m scared and know I can make it only because God has my hand in His.

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?

Jack is a rascal. And when he takes over the airport, he becomes even more cantankerous. But, Jack’s not all bad, as readers will begin to see in this second book. No one is all good or all bad. And as a writer it’s important to me to present characters that are real people.

Jack is pompous and he has bush pilot syndrome real bad. The more scrapes he gets out of the more invincible he feels. But like all people, he’s capable of growth. And he just might surprise some readers.


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’ve written several books based in Alaska and have a veritable library on the state, which includes books, pictorials, magazines and dvd’s. Throughout the writing process I read a lot of non-fiction books about Alaska. The one I love most has never been published. It is a diary written by a man who lived in the Alaskan bush. It’s a record of several years of his life. He was a neighbor and friend of my mother’s family so when he died the diary ended up with my mother. She donated it to a museum. He’d written it in German, but someone at the museum translated it into English and gave my mother a copy. His day-to-day life provided extensive and important information about what it was like to live on a homestead in Alaska during the 1930’s.

The flying sequences were a special challenge. Over the years my mother purchased books about Alaskan pilots and gave them to me. She has a special love for the pilots because as a girl growing up in Alaska her family depended on them for their mail and supplies. Some of my favorite books are Alaska Bush Pilots in the Float Country, Sourdough Sky, The Heroes of the Horizon and The Don Sheldon Story—Wager the Wind.

I also called upon family members who live in Alaska to help me when I had questions. My oldest brother has lived there a good number of years and could almost always answer my questions. Also, he flies a lot and has a large number of photographs taken from the air that he shared with me.

My biggest help with the flying scenes came from Gayle Ranney, a woman bush pilot. She’s been flying in Alaska for nearly fifty years. And still loves it. She answered every question and went through the flight scenes to make sure I got them right. I couldn’t have written the books without her help.


I have a sister-in-law who lives in Alaska! I'll have to recommend your book.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.


I have several ideas percolating through my mind right now, but what’s up front at the moment is a series proposal I’m putting together for Revell. I think it’s one they’ll like. It takes place in the 1920’s on the Southern California coast. The working titles are A Square Peg, Susie Sunshine, and A Rose by Any Other Name. It is a three book series with a different heroine for each book. I love the way the stories are falling together, interconnected but each its own tale. As I get to know the characters I’m becoming more and more excited to actually begin the process of writing the stories.

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?

Don’t write for the money—it probably won’t be there. Write because you love to write. And make sure you’re wearing a tough skin because you’ll need it.

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

I thought this through and I honestly can’t think of one. I’m very much an open book and believe in living as transparently as possible. So I’m up for most any question.

Connect with this author:

Website & blog -- www.bonnieleon.com
Facebook Author Page -- www.facebook.com/BonnieLeonAuthor

Bonnie is giving away a copy of her book, Wings of Promise. Stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blogger is not my friend today. You will find the new poll in the sidebar. The question is. . .If you could write anywhere, where would that be? Dream a little.
Amber here, with a little organizational "magic" for my blogging buddies!

Productive Poster Pills

Description of Illness: It's another week, and you're running out of post ideas. Call it "writer's block" or whatever you will, but no brilliant ideas are coming to you, and you're worried. Or perhaps you do have plenty of ideas, but you're running short on time or reader interest. Either way, a little organization can be a big help!

Treatment: Here are some ways you as a blogger can be organized and productive -
  • Themed Weeks: For those who have run out of ideas, themed weeks can be your ticket to creativity! What is it you and your readers are interested in? Mysteries? Vampires? Food? Pick a topic and center your posts around that. You can do book or movie reviews based on the topic (which can help you choose your next book from your TBR stack!), giveaways (readers love 'em!), author interviews, themed devotionals, fun polls... With a certain theme/topic in mind, you have a foundation for the coming week. And of course, you can always plan them ahead of time, invite your friends, and make it an event to look forward to! (By the same token, weekly memes can help you keep on track!)
  • Scheduled Posts: For those who have a hard time keeping up with blogging, it can be helpful to schedule posts in advance. When you're creating a new post in Blogger, click on "Post Options" in the lower left-hand corner of the template. Now in the lower right-hand corner you should see "Post date and time." Just enter in the date and time you want your post to be posted, and you're good to go! So whenever you have a free weekend or some extra time on your hands, you can save some posts for a rainy (or busy) day. ;)
  • Research: When you're getting ready to put together an author interview post, it can sometimes help to do a little bit of research. Make sure you're asking questions that make sense...ones that pertain to the genre the author writes in, and maybe some questions that specifically center around their latest book. And be sure to ask fun/unique questions - the kind that you and your readers would really like to know the author's response to!
Recommended For: Bloggers of all ages.

Dosage: If you're a blogger in need of some new ideas, take the first pill/option. If you're a blogger always on the go, take that second pill/option. If you're a book blogger, the third pill/option could be helpful!

A Spoonful of Sugar: Post with passion. "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down," as Mary Poppins says. So make your posts fun and encouraging for both you and your readers. Don't let blogging become a drudgery. If it comes to that, maybe you need a break from blogging for a while. Or maybe you need to remind yourself why you blog. Because if you're blogging about what you love, then I think you'll love blogging!

It's just like . . . magic.

Disclaimer:

*I don't claim to fix all areas of your life - or any, for that matter. I'm just giving you some food for thought on how you might keep from pulling your hair out as deadlines and such loom over you. Side effects may include dizziness and fainting spells due to intense relief, and uncontrollable shouts of joy. Not recommended for those who strongly dislike organized people and label them "neat freaks" and other cruel names.*

Saturday, August 6, 2011

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

Marjorie – Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis

Marjorie, 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, Leanna Ellis (via publicist) for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, August 5, 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 a SPECIAL UNCORRECTED ADVANCE COPY OF:


Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis ~ "Not Death, But Love."

Pain choked off anymore words. She grabbed the cold stone marker for support, splayed her hands across its front as a sob wrenched free from her chest.
Although she knows that the Amish way is to move on from grief, on to a new season, Hannah cannot move on from Jacob, who was taken too soon.

Jacob's brother Levi also cannot move on-his love for Hannah burns just as strong as ever. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother, and the event that took Jacob from them.

And it's a secret he must take to his grave.

So when a mysterious stranger comes to their community, he too carries a secret; one that will force Hannah to choose between light and dark, between the one she wants to love and a new yearning she fears to embrace.

Winner will be announced on Saturday, 08/06/11.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I watched a rerun on TV of the movie A Man Called Peter the other day, and the words of his sermons touched my heart as much as they did the first time I saw the movie. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s the story of a young immigrant who came to America and became one of the greatest preachers of his time. Not only did he become pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, he also became the Chaplain of the Senate. Although the movie was about his life and death, I also was interested in his wife Catherine’s life.
Catherine Marshall (1914-1983) distinguished herself during her lifetime as a multi-published author of inspirational fiction. The New York Times described her as America’s Most Inspirational Author. In her lifetime she wrote or edited over 30 books which have sold over 16 million copies.
When her husband died in 1949, Catherine was the mother of a nine-year-old boy, and she needed a means of support. She started writing and penned A Man Called Peter, the story of her husband’s life, and also published a book of his sermons. Her most famous book, however, was Christy which she wrote in 1967. This book was based on her mother’s experiences when she traveled to Appalachia to teach impoverished children. The book is reported to have sold over 10 million copies and to have been read by over 30 million people.
In the spring of 1999, a dozen publishers saw the need for an annual award to recognize authors and genres of Christian fiction. Catherine Marshall’s contributions to inspirational fiction came to mind, and by the summer The Christy Award had been born. The award was designed to nurture and encourage creativity, bring a new awareness to the choices in fiction available, and to provide recognition to authors who may not have reached best seller status.
This year’s awards ceremony was held in Atlanta on July 11. Celebrated screenwriter and director Randall Wallace was the keynote speaker, and Christy Award winner author Liz Curtis Higgs was the emcee for the event that gave awards in nine categories.
Check out the list of winners and nominees here. You’ll see some of your favorite authors on the list.
Which of the nominated books was your favorite read this year? Let us know which ones you enjoyed.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Title: Plain Fear: Forsaken
By: Leanna Ellis
Published by:
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 978-1402255403

Back Cover:

Hannan cannot move on. She pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her. But Jacob is gone now, buried.

Levi’s love for Hannah burns just as strong. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives. And he lives with that lie every day.

So when a stranger named Akiva comes to their community, he carries with him two secrets that will change their lives forever: he is in fact Jacob, whom Hannah had lost. And he is now a vampire.

When passions stir and secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love. But it’s more than a choice of passion, it’s a decision that will determine the fate of her soul.

Review:

Amish and buggies and…vampires? Oh, my!

I admit it, when it came to an Amish book about vampires, I was as skeptical as they come…more…because as a writer myself, I’d heard the jokes, even invented a few. Still, I wanted to read this book with an open mind, and I’m rather glad I did.

In Plain Fear: Forsaken, Ms. Ellis has created an interesting tale of choices and angst. She touched on the popularity of vampire fiction while staying true to the standards which make Amish fiction so attractive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this book will appeal to all readers. In fact, I’m sure there are many lovers of pure Amish fiction who will literally get up in arms upon reading this book. Still, the novel was well written, the characters skillfully spun, the plot well-developed, and I enjoyed spending time in its pages.

What about you? Do you believe Amish fiction and vampires mix? Would you pick up this book or recommend it to a friend? We’d like to know what you think!

About the Author:

Leanna Ellis is an author whose books are infused with humor and heartfelt emotion. Growing up in Texas, her mother taught her a love of books that grew into a passion for storytelling. She has written almost twenty books, ranging from contemporary romance to women’s inspirational fiction.

Leanna says when she's not chasing vampires through darkened city streets, she's driving her children to all of their activities, figuring out what to make for dinner, chasing her crazy labradoodle around the house, and searching for the next idea.


Review by Elizabeth Ludwig

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We all do it. Some more than others. When that urge to nibble creeps up on you, what's your go-to snack?


Monday, August 1, 2011

While brainstorming for a new post series here on the BB, I latched onto the question: What is it that I can contribute to this blog? I mean, this is a place where writers and readers alike hang out to get advice, find community, learn about Christian authors, and win free books. And the three main contributors are three lovely (and published) Christian authors. So what can I uniquely add to this equation?

Well, I thought, I'm a college student. And I like to stay organized - balancing my reading, writing, studies, and free time. So why not do a post series giving tips on how to be OCD? (Or something like that...)

The plan is to share my ideas on keeping organized with all the craziness going on in our lives (be it blogging, reading, working, studying, cleaning house, or anything else). The idea is that you'll be so amazed at the results that it will be just like (you guessed it!) magic.

I think this would be a good place to add a disclaimer, though.

*I don't claim to fix all areas of your life - or any, for that matter. I'm just giving you some food for thought on how you might keep from pulling your hair out as deadlines and such loom over you. Side effects may include dizziness and fainting spells due to intense relief, and uncontrollable shouts of joy. Not recommended for those who strongly dislike organized people and label them "neat freaks" and other cruel names.*

Hope you find this new feature helpful! And now for today's "medicine":

Towering TBR Tablets

Description of Illness: A common term among voracious readers, "TBR" stands for "To Be Read," which refers to a selection of books set aside for future reading. The more avid the reader, the bigger this stack (literally or figuratively) is. But what are readers to do when they can no longer keep track of what it is they wish to read?

Treatment: Following is a list of "tablets" you can take to help.
  • Goodreads: Many of you already take advantage of this program, but for those of you who don't...what are you waiting for? Once you create a profile for free on Goodreads, you can keep track of what you've read, what you're reading, and what you are going to read. You can also create new shelves by clicking "Add a Shelf" on the left sidebar of your books page. From "Favorites" to "To Review" to shelves for specific challenges, you can easily organize your books in a way that makes sense to you. You can also rate all of your books once you've read them, add reviews, and then connect with other readers.
  • Shelfari: Similar to Goodreads, Shelfari is a site where you can create a free profile and keep track of your books. So why do I recommend both sites? Goodreads is great for community, because from my experience more people seem to use the site. However, Shelfari is great because it's more visually appealing. You can actually "see" the bookshelves design and the cover images are larger. You can also easily look at your recent activity and make notes about the book itself (ie: purchase price, whether you own the book or not, etc.). Both Goodreads and Shelfari allow you to create widgets on your blog so others can see your reading record and your fabulous organizational skills.
  • Word Document: Yep. You can create a table in Microsoft Word (I confess to being much more proficient in Word than in Excel) and keep track of your reading that way, as well. I mostly recommend this treatment for book reviewers, though. You can create columns for the title of the book, the publisher/company you're reviewing the book for, and the date (if applicable) that the book review is due. When you've finished reviewing a book, you can highlight that row in a color of your choice. That way you can avoid the feeling of absolute terror when you realize that you have no idea which of your books you're supposed to review, for whom, or when they're supposed to be reviewed...

Recommended For: Readers of all ages, and most especially book reviewers.

Dosage: If you're just someone who loves to read, I recommend taking at least one tablet of your choice. If you're a book reviewer, I recommend at least two tablets of your choice.

A Spoonful of Sugar: Remember that joining sites like Shelfari or Goodreads allows you to meet other readers. You can become friends with fellow bloggers or anyone who is interested in the same genres you enjoy reading. Now you can be an organized bookworm without having to be a loner!

It's just like . . . magic.

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