Monday, October 31, 2011

About the Book:

"A great artist is cast into the icy Harlem River by a hit-and-run driver. His heart stops, and he sees something that defies description. Presumed dead by all who knew him and obsessed with the desire to paint the inexpressible, he embarks on a pilgrimage to seek help from holy men around the globe. But is it possible to see eternity without becoming lost within it? After a quarter of a century, when the world begins to whisper that he may be alive, two people come looking for the artist: the daughter he never knew existed, and the murderer who hit him on the bridge all those years ago."

Amber's Review:

Magical realism and Christian fiction - The Opposite of Art shows that these are not mutually exclusive concepts! Strange and exaggerated - yet somehow familiar - elements abound in this unique and brightly painted canvas of a novel. Dickson's writing is beautiful with all of its symbolism and mystique, serving as a great candidate for meaningful discussion and contemplation.

Ridler, the world-renowned artist, is a man on a mission. His goal is to paint the Glory that he felt in the instant he was flung from a bridge and cast into frigid waters. While the world considers him dead he travels all over in dogged pursuit of something he can't even define and can't seem to paint - a fact that fuels his wanderlust and an ever-increasing depression. After his abrupt "demise" the reader is introduced to him many years later, back in the United States and working with an unusual and wondrous circus troupe. It is through his stories to his circus friends and his flashbacks that the reader journeys with Ridler on his religion-hopping quest.

As much as Ridler's actions suggest otherwise, his life and art affect more than just himself. The man who tried to kill him, the woman he loves, the daughter he never knew, and various other people are all impacted by his struggles and uncertainty. So, too, the reader is one of the many who gets swept away into another world created by Ridler's art - and ultimately the opposite of it.

With its mature themes, violence, drug references, and sexual innuendoes, The Opposite of Art is not an easy piece to read. And with its wide array of symbols, it is not an easy piece to understand or dissect. But it is an intellectually stimulating and provocative read that is very well-crafted, intriguing, and surprising.

*With thanks to the publisher and Glass Road PR for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author:

"Athol Dickson is the publisher of the popular news website, DailyCristo.com, and the author of seven novels and the bestselling memoir, The Gospel according to Moses. His novels of suspense and magical realism have been honored with three Christy Awards and an Audie Award, and compared to the work of Octavia Butler (by Publisher’s Weekly) and Flannery O’Connor (by The New York Times). He and his wife live in Southern California."

You can learn more about the author and his books at his website.

And you can buy his book now at Amazon.com!

*This week's book review does not include a giveaway.*

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good morning, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner of Promise Brides OR A Shepherd's Song, by S. Dionne Moore, is...

Cindy W. (countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com)

Cindy W., 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, Sandra, for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our weekly drawings are changing...we're making them more fun!! As always, followers of The Borrowed Book are automatically entered. HOWEVER...

Now you have several chances to win!

Here's how - instead of leaving a comment, leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry.

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall and...you guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FOUR entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by one of our own BB staff members, S. Dionne Moore, who is celebrating the release of her latest book, Promise Brides.



Win a copy of Promise Brides or Moore's other November release A Shepherd's Song. Your choice! Please specify which one you'd like.


Click to Mix and Solve

Promise Brides (3 historical romances in 1):Love is the same, no matter when, no matter where—it never comes without sacrifice. Theodore risks capture for Ellie, but will their hope for a future together be defeated? Can Marylu trust Chester, or is she asking for another broken heart? Will Alaina and Jack find common ground, or will flood waters destroy any possible future? Enjoy three romances from the historic state of Pennsylvania.


A Shepherd's Song: When fiery Renee Dover seeks adventure and searches for a gang of outlaws, she never expects she'll find them. Captured by the gang and certain her recklessness has gotten her brother killed, she escapes into the arms of Tyler Sperry, a quiet sheepherder with a mysterious past. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


At the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis in September I had the honor of being asked to do a video interview with Andy Butcher and Dave Condiff to be posted on their website Author Corner. I was given the questions in advance so that I could be ready with my answers.

1.      These are the questions I was asked:
2.      What inspires you to write?
3.      What three books should everyone read?
4.      Who is the most influential person in your writing career?
5.      Describe a typical workday.
6.       Do you have a special message for Christian retailers?

As I read over these questions, the only one that gave me pause was number 3. The Bible was excluded from this list, so I began to think of books that I’ve read through the years. As I did, I came to a conclusion that it would be impossible for me to say what three books everyone should read. Some people read romance, while others can’t stomach it. I like suspense, but many don’t.

So, I decided to answer the question by naming three books that had an impact on me. The books I named (which are some of my all-time favorites) were The Stand by Stephen King, Exodus by Leon Uris, and And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer.

Of these three books, though, the one that really made an impression on me was And Ladies of the Club. This book is set in a small Ohio town right after the Civil War. The story revolves around the lives of the women in the town who belong to a ladies’ club. By the time the book ends, the reader feels like she knows every person in the town. Perhaps the author was able to pull the reader into the characters’ lives because she wrote the book over a period of 50 years. Young girls who you meet in the first pages are grandmothers in the end, and beloved characters have passed away.

When I began to read this book, I had to make myself keep reading. The beginning moves very slowly. Friends who’d read it kept telling me to stick with it, and I did. I was well past 100 pages before I was so hooked I couldn’t put it down.

Of special interest to me is the fact that Helen Santmyer published this book when she was 88 years old and living in a nursing home. It became a best seller and still is today. However, she didn’t live to see her book reach such an honored status. She died soon after publication.

This may not be the type of book you’d enjoy. But I must tell you, it helped me understand the different periods in a woman’s life. I experienced right along with the characters what they went through as they aged and passed through different seasons of their lives. If you enjoy really getting into the characters’ lives, you will agree with me that this book is a gem.

Do you enjoy books like this? Or do you prefer fast-paced books? I would love to know what you prefer.




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The staff at The Borrowed Book is excited to announce that we will be making some changes to our posting format. Field Trip Features are just one part of the NEW and IMPROVED BORROWED BOOK!

Based on trips that BB staff have made while conducting research, these little field trip videos are intended to help you, the reader, learn a little bit of the background on the books you love, and you, the writer, glean from our research! Enjoy...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anyone who has written for any length of time knows that you do not become an author overnight. It takes weeks, months, even years of learning and networking. But the one thing it takes most is discipline. You can learn the lessons, go to conferences, and know every major editor, agent and author out there, but the reality is if you don't force yourself to write, you won't, and you'll never get published. 

This might seem a small thing for some, but for others, those who talk about their dream of being published, it is a hard reality. Dreamers dream. Writers write. Writing begets getting published. You cannot have one without the other. If you don't have discipline to write, whether you feel like it or not, when you are unpublished, you will struggle mightily once you are.

One of the greatest gifts I gave myself was permission. I began to see myself as a writer. Writing became my job. No, not 9 to 5, but close enough that I adjusted my schedule so that I carved out the time needed to write every day. And, yes, whether I felt like it or not. I gave myself permission to use those three hours as as investment in a dream I wanted to obtain. It meant enough to me that I was willing to sacrifice other things I would have rather done. Let's face it, there are those days when the words don't flow and the temptation to check your email or dabble in Twitter becomes an irresistible outlet for your frustration. Forcing yourself to write through these challenges will help you prove to yourself that you can do it. The writing might not be the greatest and, yes, you might end up cutting more words than you create, but this is where you realize what a good friend editing is. 

Writing takes discipline. There is no boss standing over you and evaluating your performance on a daily basis. If you want to be an author, you will have to first be a disciplined writer. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

While digging through the reading for my various college classes this semester, I stumbled across a real gem - Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard. This past weekend I finished reading it and wrote a comparative analysis paper for my History of Modern Africa class on this book and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I read Things Fall Apart in high school, so it was helpful to re-read the book now - especially after studying African history more in-depth. But as far as new discoveries go, Into Africa is a grand journey you won't want to miss!

Into Africa is certainly epic in scope and quite engaging for a non-fiction read! My copy has pen marks showing the plenteous sentences that stood out to me and little notes in the margins, such as:
  • "Oh, dear..."
  • "Ha!"
  • "Good question!"
  • "What?!"
  • "Sad!"
  • "Sounds like a movie..."
  • "Amazing!"
  • "Wow!"
And so on... As you can probably tell, I was getting quite involved with the text! ;) This book is packed with information, but there's far more "showing" than "telling," with plenty of descriptions (both horrifying and beautiful) of the dangers and excitement of exploring Africa. The story is full of violence (from the white men, Arab slave traders, and Africans alike), intrigue (it's incredible how the author takes a non-fiction historical book and incorporates cliff-hangers and surprises all along the way!), and touching realism (these historical figures are presented with all of their faults, needs, and victories). Dugard covers all the bases when it comes to emotion, let me tell you! And all of the little details are fantastic - I even found connections to my Civil War Era history class and my Personality Theory psychology class!

Whether you are a college student like me or not, we can all be students of history - and many of us are students of the writing craft. In this book you'll find great historical tidbits and plenty of inspiration for telling a powerful story. Highly recommended! (As noted above, there are graphic descriptions of violence and disease, as well as some sexuality, just so you're aware.)

Have you discovered any fiction or non-fiction gems recently?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

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

Book Review Sisters ~ The Edge of Grace by Christa Allan

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 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 Christa Allan, for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...


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


This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:


The Edge of Grace by Christa Allan ~ An early morning call shatters Caryn Becker's world. Unable to cope with her brother’s news that he is gay, Caryn rejects him and disappears into her own turbulent life as a young widow and single mom. But when David is attacked and nearly killed, Caryn is forced to make hard choices about family, faith, and her own future; choices that take her to the very edge of grace.



Winners will be announced on Saturday, 10/22/11.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today Spyglass Lane Mysteries releases two new ebooks, Worth Its Weight, by K.D. Hays and Candy Coated Secrets by Cynthia Hickey. This brings the total of available cozy mysteries up to eight, with two more coming every Thursday.

Worth Its Weight description:


Paintings slashed...furniture broken...someone is wreaking havoc at the Blue Moon Art & Antiques Gallery.

Extended Description:

Paintings slashed... Furniture broken… Someone is wreaking havoc at the Blue Moon Art & Antiques Gallery. Fledgling private investigator Karen Maxwell goes undercover as a salesclerk to find out who’s behind the vandalism, and why. She learns little from friendly clerk Vicki and Eric, the shop’s surly, tight-lipped porter, would run over her with a hand truck before he’d answer any questions. The guilt may even lay with the shop owners themselves, despite the fact that they’re the ones who hired her.

Karen’s investigation seems to be going nowhere—just like her once-promising relationship with Brian, the handsome blacksmith who could sweep her off her feet in a minute… if he’d ever take a break from working with the church youth group. Frustration mounts as her dreams of romantic evenings turn into endless rehearsals for the church Christmas play.

If Karen can’t crack the case soon, she may find herself busted back to plain, old office manage
r, her dreams of a career as a private investigator—and a life with Brian—as old and busted as the Blue Moon’s vandalized antiques.

Candy Coated Secrets description:

Summer Meadows entered church on Sunday not to find God, but to search for a killer.

Extended Description:

When a carnival train crashes in front of Summer Meadows's house, she does what comes naturally - she acts without thinking and volunteers to lead an elephant to the fairground. The animal's trainer follows close behind but disappears when they reach their destination. When Summer goes looking for the trainer, she finds something altogether different - a woman hanging dead in the shower of one of the trailers.

A carnival slew of mishap and misadventure ensue when Summer and her fiance, Ethan, set out to solve the murder.

All ebooks are available for download to Kindle with several other formats available, including PDF, RTF, plain text, and even the ability to read it online. A sample is available for all books by clicking on:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa Allan’s novel The Edge of Grace released in August. Her debut women’s fiction, Walking on Broken Glass, was published by Abingdon Press in 2010. Her next five novels are scheduled to release from 2012-2014. Christa is a high school English teacher, mother of five, and Grammy of two. She and her veterinarian husband, Ken, live in Abita Springs where they dodge hurricanes and look forward to retirement.

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

It probably wasn’t until my teen years that I dreamed of becoming a writer. As a child I would walk around the house with a scarf draped over my hair and tell my parents I wanted to be a nun. Fortunately, for the Sisterhood, that didn’t happen.

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

I sometimes hesitate to tell other writers that the first book I wrote is the one that sold, but it did take three years to write. Hurricane Katrina disrupted its completion, so I didn’t finish it until another two years after starting.

Wow, that truly is rare! But I think it shows that you studied the craft before submitting, which speaks to my next question. Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

Be teachable, which applies to more than writing, but I find it especially important to us writers. We have to be willing to crack ourselves open to learn what others can teach.


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 terminally disorganized, a procrastinator, and sometimes a whiner. We have three neurotic cats that take turns draping themselves over my laptop and/or chewing on the cover of my iPad. During the school year, I’m awake at 4 in the morning and usually don’t arrive home until 4 or 5 in the afternoon. If I’m not grading papers, I’m writing. If I’m not doing either one of those, I’m probably pacing the family room during the Saints or LSU game. During football season, life
as we know it pauses until the game is over!

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?

Oh, my, YES. In fact, more than I ever imagined…but now they’re not just from editors…they’re from readers. If I need to write a tortured, depressed scene for a character, I just zip over and read a few of the online reviews of either of my two books. A publisher’s rejection seems like a walk through Toyland after some from readers. I didn’t expect every reader to sing the Alleluia chorus after finishing one of my books, but I also didn’t expect some of the truly ornery bashings.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Blurb: When Caryn Becker answers the telephone on most Saturday morning, it’s generally not a prelude to disaster. Except this time, her brother David’s call shifts her universe. Her emotional reserves are already depleted being a single parent to six-year-old Ben after the unexpected death of her husband, Harrison. But when David is the target of a brutal hate crime, Caryn has to decide what she’s willing to risk, including revealing her own secrets, to help her brother. A family ultimately explores the struggle of acceptance, the grace of forgiveness, and moving from prejudice to loving others as they are, not as we’d like them to be.

The Edge of Grace grew out of my own experiences with my brother. When he told me he was gay, it was years-not months like Caryn-before our relationship was restored. I had the first chapters written for two years, but never went beyond those until my brother’s partner was attacked in the French Quarter. That was the defining moment that propelled me back to the computer, that gave me the courage to share those pages, and pray that God would find a way. And He did.

If you could only share one line from The Edge of Grace, which one would you choose and why?

Early on, when Caryn is having a discussion with her friend about her brother’s revelation, she tells her: “It’s different somehow when it happens in your own family.” Compassion and empathy grow out of our personal experiences. One of the questions I ask people is, “What if David was your son, your brother?”

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 The Edge of Grace that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

The way Caryn finds out her brother is gay is exactly the way I found out as well. Which, I have to say, cracks me up when I read reviews that the novel is "contrived and unlikely.”

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?

The smarmy politician and a redeeming quality? Hmmm…that he’s not more awful than he is? Mr. Washington, unfortunately, is too involved in his own ego right now to truly exercise his compassion muscle.

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

My brother and his partner made themselves absolutely transparent for me, answering whatever questions I asked. They also served as my readers to make sure I avoided stereotyping. I also joined, actually long before I started writing the novel, The Gay Christian Network.

I read Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin of The Marin Foundation.


Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I just submitted Love Finds You in New Orleans (Summerside Press), which will release at the beginning of 2012. My next project is A Matter of Trust, one of the novels in Abingdon’s new Quilt Collection.

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?

Do your “homework,” attend conferences, and join a critique group or find a partner who is further along in the business than you. Read books that you chose and say, “I wish I’d written that.” Then do it!

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

Q: How clean is your house?
A: Not very.

LOL! Now that, I can relate to.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Many have never heard of the Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889, but the tragedy marks the worst disaster in 19th century US. It is believed that the dam contained 20 million tons of water before it gave way. The head of water then traveled 14 miles downriver, wiping out several smaller towns along the way, before dumping into Johnstown like a great and deadly mud puddle of shifting, swirling, swift-moving water. At it's greatest height through the narrow passage down to Johnstown, the water measured 35-40 feet in height. Ninety-nine families were wiped out by the unexpected deluge that caused 17 million dollars in property damage and the loss of 2,209 lives. The pile of debris at Johnstown's beautiful stone bridge covered 30 acres and burned for days as people lay trapped within.

Fascinating facts, sure, but how to take something so tragic, so devastating, and craft not just a story around it, but a LOVE story. The problem was that I wanted to stay true to the events. Without going into gory, terrible detail of everything that happened, I used sections of setting that showed the horror of the disaster, yet highlighted the emotions generated and heightened by the suddenness of the tragedy and the burning question of my hero and heroine, "Did Jack survive?"/"Did Alaina survive?".  

As a novelist, you want to make the setting itself a part of the story by creating conflict for the characters. The flood in Promise Brides (Promise of Tomorrow) did this, while also giving the reader a peek into the lives of other prominent characters who really were there following the flood--for example, Clara Barton's appearance post-flood put her group of nurses to their first real test on American soil.

As a teenager that was the one element I enjoyed most about reading historicals--learning about a different time and place. And I believe that modern readers enjoy historicals for that very same reason. It is up to us as writers to do this. Don't just tell about a place, show the place, give a taste for the surroundings and, if at all possible, make the setting itself a hurdle characters must leap in order to grow.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Johnstown Flood Museum in Johnstown, PA, I'm sure you will find the information and displays educational. For more information, visit their Website at http://www.jaha.org/FloodMuseum/history.html.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What inspires you?

A powerful, emotion-packed play at the theatre?

A walk in the park on a sunny autumn day?

The tranquility of nature?

This last weekend I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and it was a rare, restful, and inspiring treat! When I first learned about the field trip, I wasn't sure if I wanted to add another thing to my schedule - but I'm so very grateful I did! Many of us writers and readers are introverts, and we don't always want to participate in social activities. Sometimes, though, they can be the very thing we need - a respite from our busy computer/book-oriented worlds that can give us new insights, new memories, new experiences, and new inspiration.

Have you had an inspiring getaway recently - whether it was a short walk, a day trip, or a vacation? What inspires you when it comes to your writing/blogging/etc.?

(More pictures/information from this field trip to be posted on my personal blog, Seasons of Humility, this Friday for anyone interested!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

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

Melanie (frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com) ~ Angels by Robert J. Morgan

Marybelle (marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com) ~ Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley

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, Robert J. Morgan and Lena Nelson Dooley, for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, October 14, 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:

Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley ~ Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she's adopted. The spoiled daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed by her real parents and by the ones who raised her. But mystery surrounds her new discovery, and when Maggie uncovers another family secret, she loses all sense of identity. Leaving her home in Seattle, Washington, Maggie strikes out to find her destiny. Will Charles Stanton, who's been in love with her for years, be able to help her discover who she really is?


Angels by Robert J. Morgan ~ Uncover the mystery of angels and their roles in your life.

Angels have been present since the beginning of time, yet we know so little truth about them. In his warm, storyteller style, best-selling author Robert Morgan presents a long-term effort of research behind the mystery of angels-in the teachings of the Bible, their role in the story of Christ, stories of how they impact Christian and missionary history, and personal accounts of their presence in our everyday lives. This is a revealing look at what angels do for us, opening our hearts and minds to their power and personalities as they carry out their purpose and God's overall plan for His kingdom.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 10/15/11.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am delighted to have Eric Wilson as a guest on The Borrowed Book today. I met Eric when he and I served on a panel together at the Killer Nashville Conference.

Eric was raised on the mission fields of Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia, then in Eugene, OR, but has lived the last ten years in Nashville, TN. He is married and is the father of two teen daughters. In college, Eric took journalism courses and served as contributing editor for the newspaper. He also published travel and educational nonfiction pieces in periodicals during the early ’90s, but his first novel wasn’t published till 2004. Since that time, he has published nine additional titles.

Eric accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior in 1971. In the following years, he traveled with his parents in Eastern Europe, smuggling Bibles during the time of the Iron Curtain. Both Eric and his wife Carolyn have a heart for the destitute, abused, and depressed. They hope to serve again on the mission field in the years to come, while still writing and using the talents God has given.

Welcome, Eric. Although you’ve written many wonderful novels, the first book people think of when your name is mentioned is Fireproof, the novelization of the movie. Tell us about your experience writing that book.

It was a roller coaster of emotion. I'd written six previous books, with a small but growing readership, and suddenly the success of this book and movie took off. I'm not surprised. Even as I wrote the 70,000-word novel, based off the Kendrick brothers' 20,000-word screenplay, I found myself crying at a number of scenes, overwhelmed with emotion because of all the heartache we see in marriages.

You also wrote Flywheel and Facing the Giants, the novelizations of the other two movies Alex and Stephen Kendrick have made. How did your partnership with these men begin?

Alex and Stephen are not in it for the money or fame. That's one thing I loved about working with them. They want to make stories that touch lives, bottom line. And they care about getting better with each movie, with each story. They never asked me, "What scene did you really like?" They always asked, "What scene doesn't work for you?" It was such a fun partnership, and I'll always look back on it with fondness.

Fireproof was so well received that it earned you the title of New York Times Bestselling author. That must have been humbling. Has it changed your life any?

The same week I found out the book had hit the bestseller list, I found myself at my mom's bedside in Intensive Care in a hospital in Germany. She died three weeks later. That kept it all in perspective. Yes, it was my bestselling book, which covered our bills for two years, but I also got pigeonholed and couldn't get another contract for two years, since publishers only wanted from me "the next Fireproof." Like I said, it was a roller coaster of emotion.

You have another book that has just released. It has a very interesting premise. What is its title?

"One Step Away" -- a modern twist on one of the world's oldest tales.

Give us a blurb about it.

We all know the story of Job in the Bible, his love for God tested by Satan through numerous trials. In this story, one of modern suspense, a family is tested through blessing. After years of struggling, they find themselves with $6,000,000. But they must also deal with one of most memorably named villains you'll meet this side of a Dean Koontz novel. Let the testing begin!

What inspirational message do you want readers to take away after reading One Step Away?

Whether in poverty or plenty, none of us are alone, none of us are forgotten, none of us are without the love of Jesus. He is our Daily Bread. In the Lord's Prayer, we ask for Our Daily Bread, not our weekly or monthly or yearly bread. Bottom line: money can be a blessing or curse, depending upon how we let it work in our lives.

For this book you have gone with a new publisher. Many of our readers are on the lookout for opportunities available to them. Can you tell us about this house? Where are they located, what types of projects do they accept, do they accept unsolicited proposals, etc?

I'm working with Bay Forest Books, an imprint of Kingstone Media. They only take agented manuscripts. I can say, though, after working with Random House and Thomas Nelson, two of the largest publishers in the world, that it's been a joy working with a smaller press. It's so hands-on, so personal. As always, do your research before signing with anyone, but don't assume bigger is better. Write the best book you can and find someone who believes in it passionately, whether at a large press or small one.

I know you are active in mission work in Romania. Can you tell us how you got started doing that and what you do there?

My wife and I have a big heart for the world. She recently returned from Haiti. I haven't been to Romania since 2005, but I love the people there and the orphanages always need workers. In the 80s, I was also smuggling Bibles into that country and others behind the Iron Curtain. There is so much need for loving arms and elbow grease all over the globe. You don't have to be a Bible scholar or a published author, just a person who loves other people.

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

Yes! I'm working on "Two Seconds Late," the next book in this series. It can be read as a standalone, but it takes a minor character from "One Step Away," and gives her center stage. Her name is Natalie Flynn, and she is dating a charismatic, young politician who gets caught up in a deadly conspiracy. Like biblical Esther, Natalie has been raised up "for such a time as this," but is she already too late?

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

Musicians can write a song in a flash of inspiration. That's not how books get written. I spend hundreds of hours writing each book, nearly a thousand to write, edit, and market. That does not happen in "a flash." Stop making excuses. Find a time that works for you. And make it happen. Write. Cuddle with the words. Show you're committed to this relationship. Eventually the mood will come. And something messy and glorious will be birthed.

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

I love to interact at facebook.com/EricWilsonNovelist, and please visit my website at WilsonWriter.com.

I’m sure our readers will be looking you up. Thanks for being here today. It’s been a pleasure talking with you, and I wish you the best with your new publisher.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning author with more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers—where she received the Mentor of the Year award in 2006—DFW Ready Writers, and Christian Authors Network. She lives in Hurst, Texas, with her husband of over 47 years.

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

I never considered it. Writing was just something that I did. I thought everyone wrote. Since I’m 67 years old, I can’t exactly remember what I dreamed about being. I wanted to become an English teacher when I went to college. But I changed my major 3 times before graduation

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

Eight long and lonely years.

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

Write something every day. If you write only one page a day, by the end of the year, you’ll have a 365-page manuscript.

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 have a wonderful husband. He likes to do dishes and clean house. So I cook and do laundry and write.

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?

Rejections feel the same no matter when you receive them, and I still do. The last two were in early 2010. The difference is that now I don’t grieve over them as long. I know that if God wants that publisher to buy the book, they will. I take a rejection as a sign that my agent and I haven’t found the right publisher yet.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Maggie's Journey
By Lena Nelson Dooley
ISBN 978-1616383589
Realms/Charisma House
October 6, 2011
McKenna's Daughters Series, Book 1

Maggie's Journey grabs you on page one with characters and events that reflect real-life joys and heartaches that change the characters forever. Make room on your "keepers" shelf! —Loree Lough, best-selling author of 80 award-winning books, including From Ashes to Honor.

A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her.


Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn't fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.

When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?



Looks like a great book, Lena! 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 Maggie’s Journey that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

I had a twin that didn’t develop in the womb, and for much of my young years I felt like part of me was missing. I used those feelings in this story.

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?

The villainess is a different kind of character, and her redemption is very powerful.

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

When I was writing the book, the Seattle Public Library shared a link with me of literally thousand of historical photos they’d scanned and filed by decade. This was a valuable resource.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

Maggie’s Journey is book one in my McKenna’s Daughters series. I’ve written Mary’s Blessing, book two in the series. I’ve also finished the first edit with my editor. So I’m jumping back into writing book three.

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?

If you don’t start now, when will you start?

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

I think I’m pretty much an open book, so I didn’t have a fear about what you’d ask. I know that’s boring, but it’s me.


Lena is giving away a copy of her book, Maggie's Journey. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interesting thing, grief, it dulls but never quite goes away. Or am I missing something? As silly as this sounds, I'm trying to capture my emotions this week in order to make the emotions truer in my story. Can you spell WEIRD? 

This week, twenty years ago, I lost my father. He collapsed in our kitchen and never regained consciousness. This week thirteen years ago, I lost my daughter. She was born too soon after myriad attempts to salvage the pregnancy (long story). But my point in this is not to have a pity party, but to really focus on the ebb and flow of emotion. Sometimes it grabs me by the throat--when I see babies, or teenagers that would have been Tara's age--but for the most part it lies dormant. Every now and again, I'll see an elderly man whose hair (or lack of!) reminds me of my dad and I'll remember his silly sense of humor. His crooked smile. His dimples. Then it all fades and I go on. 

It's important to show trueness of emotion in our stories. Brandilyn Collins called it "emotion recall." You write your characters' emotions based on your own experiences. It's worth it, in the middle of an emotion, (ok, maybe not *right* in the middle, people will call for the men in white suits) to stop an analyze what triggered it,  to consider the reaction that followed, how long it lasted, and what helped soothe the emotion. This is where the "open a vein when you write" comes in to play. Sometimes we have to relive bad experiences to breathe freshness and genuineness into the emotions of our characters.

If you've never experienced grief, that's okay, I'm sure you have experienced all the emotions that the various stages of grief drags people through: shock/denial, pain/guilt, anger, depression, acceptance, reconstruction, hope. Use those emotions as the basis for writing a character who is grieving, because grief is really all those emotions balled together.

Do you ever journal about your emotions?

Picture by http://www.hospicepiedmont.org/index.php?content=grief_support

Monday, October 10, 2011

About the Book:

"Uncover the mystery of angels and their roles in your life.

Angels have been present since the beginning of time, yet we know so little truth about them. In his warm, storyteller style, best-selling author Robert Morgan presents a long-term effort of research behind the mystery of angels—in the teachings of the Bible, their role in the story of Christ, stories of how they impact Christian and missionary history, and personal accounts of their presence in our everyday lives. This is a revealing look at what angels do for us, opening our hearts and minds to their power and personalities as they carry out their purpose and God's overall plan for His kingdom."

About the Author:

"Rob Morgan is the pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served for over 31 years. He is a best-selling and Gold-Medallion winning writer with over 25 books in print and over 2 million in print circulation, and is now a brand author of B & H Publishing. His products in electronic and audio format number hundreds of thousands. He is also a staff writer for Dr. David Jeremiah and Turning Points Magazine, and has many articles published in other leading Christian periodicals. His books have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Indonesian, and Korean.

Rob has appeared on numerous national television and radio shows, on programs such as Life Today with James and Betty Robison, Prime Time America, Canada’s 100 Huntley Street, Janet Parshall’s America, Mornings with Lorri & Larry, FamilyNet Television and Radio, A Time for Hope, etc.

He and his wife Katrina have three daughters and ten grandchildren. He is also co-owner of Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Roan Mountain, Tennessee (roanmountainbedandbreakfast.com)."

Learn more about the author at his website - Robert J. Morgan.

Learn more about the book at the publisher's website - Thomas Nelson.

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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

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

Melanie (frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com) - Freezing Point by Elizabeth Goddard

Sheri Salatin - Under the Redwood Tree by Elizabeth Goddard

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, Elizabeth Goddard, for your generosity in providing books!

Friday, October 7, 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:


Freezing Point by Elizabeth Goddard ~ Casey Wilkes didn't realize her simple human-interest story would put her life at risk—again. After fleeing her home and journalism job in Portland, she wanted to live under the radar for a while. But when her interviewee starts dodging her questions, her reporter instincts kick in and she finds herself in over her head….

Homeland security agent Jesse Mitchell has been undercover as an ice sculptor for months, trying to infiltrate a smuggling ring. He wants to avoid trouble, and that's just what Casey brings. Now someone has a target set on Casey. Saving her could blow his cover, but leaving her unprotected endangers him even more—especially his heart.


Under the Redwood Tree by Elizabeth Goddard ~ A war hero’s scars are still raw to the touch until a gifted artist paints his heart.

Romeo Merete was wounded in Afghanistan, and multiple surgeries couldn’t restore his face. But his scars run deeper than he ever imagined, and the last thing he expects is the beautiful artist who looks straight through him, threatening to expose his heart.

Camille Westover is one contest away from her dream of an art school scholarship. But she’s lost her inspiration to paint—until a wounded soldier captures her heart. Unfortunately, her dream could lead her far from the one place and the one person she loves the most.

When Camille’s chances of winning are sabotaged and a possible stalker suspected, Romeo is concerned for more than losing the woman he loves to her dream. Can he accept the truth of what Camille sees when she looks at him? Will Camille discover the hope of love that stands before her?

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 10/08/11.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The three-in-one collection Alabama Brides released on October 1 from Barbour publishing. This book contains the three historical romances The Columns of Cottonwood, Dinner at the St. James, and Blues Along the River in the Heartsong Presents Romance line. Set in the years after the Civil War, these books tell the stories of three women who are facing life in the changed way of life in a small community in the Black Belt of Alabama along the Alabama River.

The Columns of Cottonwood tells the story of Savannah Carmichael whose parents died in the fire that destroyed their plantation home soon after the end of the war. Savannah’s dream has been to restore Cottonwood to the grand plantation it once was, but without any money it seems hopeless. The situation worsens when a stranger, an Italian who has a dream of owning land in America, arrives with the deed to Savannah’s beloved Cottonwood in his pocket. Having paid the back taxes on the land, Dante Rinaldi is excited until he finds out how his dream has destroyed Savannah’s. As they clash over ownership of the land, they discover God’s plan for them was better than any they wanted.

In Dinner at the St. James, Tave Spencer, whose father is the town’s doctor, teaches in Willow Bend’s one room school house. When one of the big steamboats docks at the town and a wounded deck hand is brought ashore, Tave and her father struggle to save his life. In his delirium, Daniel Luckett cries out all the anger and hurt he’s harbored for years, and Tave is drawn to him. As he recovers and she realizes she’s falling in love with him, she discovers he can’t love anyone because his heart is so filled with hate toward those who have wronged him. Only by accepting the love God offers can Daniel find the peace he so desperately seeks and discover God’s plan for him and Tave.

Blues Along the River tells the story of Victoria Turner and Marcus Raines. When Victoria and her mother arrive in Willow Bend, Alabama, to live with her uncle in the cramped quarters above his general store, Victoria is determined she won’t stay long. However, she hadn’t planned on meeting handsome Marcus Raines, owner of Pembrook Plantation. A loner in the community, Marcus is drawn to Victoria right away, and their whirlwind romance leads to marriage. However, Victoria soon discovers life in the big house at Pembrook is anything but happy. She and Marcus clash over his determination to preserve the old way of life in the South and his insistence she keep herself separate from the tenant farmers and their families on Pembrook. As Victoria learns to rely on God’s leading, she witnesses first hand God’s redemptive power in her family as He remakes her husband into the man of her dreams.

Check out the trailers for The Columns of Cottonwood and Dinner at the St. James. You can also purchase the book here.

If you’d like to be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Alabama Brides, leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of seven contemporary romance novels and two novellas, including a romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and has served as a board member in her local RWA chapter. She is a 7th generation Texan who lives in East Texas with her husband and four children. She and her family recently spent five years in Oregon, which serves as the setting for several of her novels, including Oregon Outback, releasing with Barbour Publishing in Spring 2012.

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

I enjoyed writing stories and poems as a child but I don’t think I ever dreamed of becoming a writer until my mid-teens. I’ve dreamed of becoming many things—a marine biologist, astronaut and archaeologist. The cool thing about writing is I can do all these things, living vicariously through my characters.

Absolutely! Even with the research involved, I love living through my characters. How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I started writing my first novel in 2001 when I joined a critique group in ACFW. However, I spent time learning the craft and didn’t send too many queries out. My stories weren’t ready. In 2006, I received the news that Heartsong Presents wanted to buy my story, Seasons of Love, which came out the next year. I held my first book in my hands the last week in December.

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

One of the most important things I’ve done as a writer is attend conferences. Networking and meeting people will change your life. The first book I sold was due to conferences connections—friends and brainstorming at a conference.

Good advice! 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.

Please don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee. I’m definitely not a morning person, but I muddle through.

LOL! Okay, we'll move on. 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 never struggled that much with rejection. I came from a sales background and learned to think of it as a numbers game. I have to go through a certain number of no’s before I can get that yes. Since becoming published, I’ve had more manuscripts bought than have been rejected.

Lucky girl! Tell us a little about your latest release:

I have two releases in October. Freezing Point is my first Love Inspired Suspense. Here’s the blurb:


Secrets Under The Ice

Casey Wilkes didn’t realize her simple human-interest story would put her life at risk—again. After fleeing her home and journalism job in Portland, she wanted to live under the radar for a while. But when her interviewee starts dodging her questions, her reporter instincts kick in and she finds herself in over her head…

Homeland security agent Jesse Mitchell has been undercover as an ice sculptor for months, trying to infiltrate a smuggling ring. He wants to avoid trouble, and that’s just what Casey brings. Now someone has a target set on Casey. Saving her could blow his cover, but leaving her unprotected endangers him even more—especially his heart.

Under the Redwood Tree is a Heartsong Presents, and the first book in my Redwood Coast series, which might possibly get renamed into something brides or weddings when it’s repackaged under Romancing America. This series is especially close to my heart because the stories are set in the Redwoods of northern California, one of my favorite places in the world.

Here’s the blurb for that story:

A war hero’s scars are still raw to the touch until a gifted artist paints his heart.

Romeo Merete was wounded in Afghanistan, and multiple surgeries couldn’t restore his face. But his scars run deeper than he ever imagined, and the last thing he expects is the beautiful artist who looks straight through him, threatening to expose his heart.

Camille Westover is one contest away from her dream of an art school scholarship. But she’s lost her inspiration to paint—until a wounded soldier captures her heart. Unfortunately, her dream could lead her far from the one place and the one person she loves the most.

When Camille’s chances of winning are sabotaged and a possible stalker suspected, Romeo is concerned for more than losing the woman he loves to her dream. Can he accept the truth of what Camille sees when she looks at him? Will Camille discover the hope of love that stands before her?

How wonderful to have two books coming out! Both covers are beautiful, but I especially like the cover of
Freezing Point. If you could only share one line from Freezing Point, which one would you choose and why?

The first line: Beautiful. . .but dangerous.

That says it all.

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?

In Freezing Point, my hero tries to infiltrate a cash smuggling ring and he becomes very close with one of the characters in the ring—one of the bad guys, or villains. My hero thinks of him as a brother and loves his family. They become friends though Jesse has to hide his true identity. In researching about undercover agents, I learned this is often the case—and that the “bad guys” do often have a good side to them. They have families and loved ones.

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

My research included talking to ice sculptors, watching YouTube videos about the process, and talking to an ice shipping company.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I just turned in Oregon Outback—my four in one novella collection for Barbour. Really loved this one. I was sad when I had to leave the story world. Next, I start on another Loved Inspired Suspense. In Extreme Maneuvers, a Learjet repo man recovers a plane only to discover the kidnapped daughter of a Colombian drug lord stowed in the back.

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 that all the time too! I’m not sure that it translates into anything more than a someday-when-I-get-around-to-it desire. Writing a book is so much more work than most people realize. But if someone is serious I direct them to join ACFW because of all the resources they can find online.

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

Uh, right. Like I’m going to tell you! LOL

Beth and I are good friends. Connect with her at:

http://elizabethgoddard.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethGoddardAuthor

And stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win one of her books!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Have you heard of the INSPYs? The INSPY award is "the bloggers' award for excellence in faith-driven literature."

"Recognizing the need for a new kind of book award, the INSPYs were created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith."

To learn more about this award program, click HERE. While you're browsing you can check out the winners and judges from last year, as well as the shortlists for this year (or simply continue reading this post!).

From the INSPY website (as posted on October 1st):

The INSPY Advisory Board is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2011 INSPY Awards. We thank you for your enthusiastic nominations of books and again acknowledge the difficulties in narrowing the field with so many quality nominations.

Creative Nonfiction

Little Princes by Conor Grennan, William Morrow, January, 2011

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Zondervan, January, 2011

Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith, David C Cook, January, 2011

The Waiting Place by Eileen Button, Thomas Nelson, June, 2011

The World is Bigger Now by Euna Lee & Lisa Dickey, Broadway, September, 2010

General

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell, Henry Holt & Co, September, 2010

The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder, Summerside Press, June, 2011

The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue, David C Cook, October, 2010

Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett, David C Cook, April, 2011

Words by Ginny Yttrup, B&H Publishing, February, 2011

Mystery/Thriller

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand, Bethany House, July, 2010

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso, Realms, May, 2011

Digitalis by Ronie Kendig, Barbour, January, 2011

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins, B&H Publishing, May, 2011

The Bishop by Steven James, Revell, August, 2010

Romance

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell, Bethany House, March, 2011

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman, Revell, September, 2010

The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund, Bethany House, October, 2010

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander, Bethany House, September, 2010

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West, Oak Tara, March, 2011

Speculative Fiction

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Bethany House, July, 2010

The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers, Waterbrook Press, October, 2010

The Falling Away by T. L. Hines, Thomas Nelson, September, 2010

The Resurrection by Mike Duran, Realms, February, 2011

The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead, Thomas Nelson, August, 2010

Young Adult

A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes, Zondervan, August, 2010

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden, Simon Pulse, September, 2010

Saint Training by Elizabeth Fixmer, Zondervan, August, 2010

The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson, Scholastic, September, 2010

The Truth of the Matter by Andrew Klavan, Thomas Nelson, September, 2010

Have you read any of the books on these shortlists? See any books you want to add to your TBR stack because they're finalists?

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