Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Last week I stated that poisons will be my blog topic series for the near future. I’m sorry, but I have to interrupt myself. I want to share a discovery that will indirectly tie into a discussion of poisons. It might also be useful to an historical writer.

Approximately twenty years ago, my grandmother and I were going through a box of old photos. I came upon one picture of a baby (see photo), and my Grandmother said, “That was Mabel. She was born two years before me and died when she was eight months old.”

“How did she die?” I asked.

My grandmother shrugged and said, “Something called phantom.”

I questioned her further, but she remembered nothing else. No clues to find out what this disease or illness was. I assumed the word phantom was her interpretation of something she’d heard as a child. Kids often hear words wrong.

My grandmother died a few years after that discussion. With her passing, I lost the only person who remembered little Mabel. I entered her into my family tree, then wrote down the few facts I knew on the back of the cardboard picture and tucked it into my genealogy notebook.

Forward about ten years. . .

I got a computer and internet access, and tried to research the disease. I used the spellings “phantom,” “fantum,” and “fantom,” but found nothing in the online lists of old diseases available at that time. Eventually I stopped looking, and Mabel’s memory and her picture were once again relegated to my genealogy notebook.

Forward to the present. . .

My husband and I were watching Marshall Dillon (the show that preceded Gunsmoke) on the Western Channel, as we do every evening lately—him on the couch, and me in the chair with my computer in my lap. During this broadcast, Doc Adams diagnosed a cowboy with “brain fever.”

What exactly was brain fever? I wondered. I’d heard of it before, but didn’t know the details. So, I Googled it. One thing led to another, as often happens with internet exploration, and I found one site that contained a long list of old-timey diseases and the modern disease equivalents.

Out of curiosity, I glanced down the list. That’s when I discovered what probably happened to Mabel.

Cholera Infantum. In all likelihood, as a youngster, my grandmother heard about Mabel’s death, and her child’s mind remembered only the last portion of the disease. . .fantum. Now I have a likely cause of death to put in my photo album with Mabel’s picture. 

Cholera infantum isn’t related to cholera at all, but the symptoms are similar. It was a ruthless, brutal summertime killer of babies. I’m not sure where the word infantum comes from. Maybe from the Latin word infantia, which means infancy? But while reading about the disease, I found some information that’s worth sharing, in particular treatments that probably killed more babies than saved them. That will be my discussion next week and will segue beautifully into a discussion of poison.

Does anyone else have a story like this to share about a long ago family member?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Heather Hampton returns to Moses Lake, Texas, to help facilitate the sale of a family farm as part of a planned industrial plant that will provide the area with much-needed jobs. Heather's future fiance has brokered the deal, and Heather is in line to do her first large-scale architectural design--if the deal goes through.

But the currents of Moses Lake have a way of taking visitors on unexpected journeys. What was intended to be a quick trip suddenly morphs into Valentine's week--with Blaine Underhill, the handsome banker who just happens to be opposing Heather's project. Spending the holiday in an ex-funeral parlor seems like a nightmare, but Heather slowly finds herself being drawn into the area's history, hope, and heart.

Monday, February 27, 2012

About the Book:

"Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn’t shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie’s heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved."

Amber's Review:

With lovely imagery and a running theme of the power of poetry, Interrupted has a lot of heart! The story offers a journey through grief and difficult questions - starting with the intensely individual and then broadening out to some of the issues surrounding World War II.

Allie is a frustrating character - one who is wonderful for displaying the necessity and beauty of grace. In her sorrow over the loss of her mother and her home she lashes out at others around her, constantly withdrawing from their offers of love and acceptance. It's difficult to read about the way she hurts those who care about her, but at the same time her stubbornness shows the reality of the often long and rocky grieving process.

Sam is a frustrating character for an entirely different reason: he's a bit too much of a puppy dog. He's persistent, yet he's portrayed as rather annoying and not very strong in personality or temperament. His kindness to Allie and their slow-to-blossom relationship is sweet, but still immature.

Overall, Coker's debut is enjoyable. The dialogue and circumstances don't always ring true, but the emotions - the raw pain, the isolation, and the ultimate hope - are present. The perspective might especially appeal to younger readers who can relate to Allie's doubts and trials, although any fan of Young Adult/Historical literature should find this to be a unique take on grief and grace.

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author:

"Rachel Coker is a homeschool student who lives in Virginia with her parents and two sisters. She has a passion for great books and has been surrounded by them all her life. In fact, as a young child, Rachel helped her parents in a family-run Christian book business. Her gift for writing became apparent at the age of eleven, at which time her parents signed her up for a year of lessons with a professional writing coach. When she is not writing or playing the piano, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends."

  • Check out the book trailer below:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

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

This week's winner is:

Nicky M - Organized Grime by Christy Barritt

Congratulations, Nicky M! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and 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. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

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

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE 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 our own Christy Barritt and her newest release, Organized Grime.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I am happy to have my friend Christy Barritt as a guest on The Borrowed Book today. I first met Christy when I attended my first ACFW conference in 2005, and it's been a pleasure to see her writing career take off.

Christy is an author, freelance writer and speaker who lives in Virginia. She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She's only won one contest in her life--and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay... actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery for her book Suspicious Minds also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.

When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.
For more information, visit her website.

Welcome, Christy. Your book Organized Grime recently released. Give us a short blurb about the book.

Crime scene cleaner and wannabe forensic investigator Gabby St. Claire knows her best friend, Sierra, isn’t guilty of killing three people in what appears to be an ecoterrorist attack. But Sierra has disappeared, her only contact a frantic phone call. Crime scene evidence Gabby discovers while cleaning tie seemingly random murders together—and point to Sierra as the guilty party. Just what has her animal-loving friend gotten herself into? If that’s not disturbing enough, who’s the person following Gabby? A federal agent who hopes Gabby will lead him to Sierra? Or someone with more sinister plans? To find Sierra and prove her innocence, Gabby will have to rely on all of her training and abilities, plus the help of a man she loves and the protection of a God she’s only recently begun to believe in.

This is the third book in your Squeaky Clean series and features crime scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire. What inspired you to come up with this character?

From page one, Gabby St. Claire took on a life of her own! I started writing the first book, Hazardous Duty, knowing the basics on Gabby. But honestly, she surprised me just as much as anyone as I wrote the book. There were times when I paused and said, “Did she really say that?” or “Did she really just do that?” She just became so vivid in my mind and, after a while, she felt like a friend. I loved telling her story.

Gabby is a delightful heroine that I met in your first book in the series, Hazardous Duty. Describe her for our readers.

Gabby was going to college to be a forensic investigator, but had to drop out because of some family issues. In the meantime, she decides to get close the crime scenes a different way—by cleaning them. She’s got some major issues when it comes to men. She’s never afraid to voice her opinion on something, including God, botched police work or messed up romance. She’s her own person. She comes across as tough on the outside, but she’s actually got a huge heart and wants to help people.

Every great heroine needs an appealing hero, and Gabby has one in Riley. Why does she feel like he’s out of her league?

Gabby didn’t grow up with much. Her father was an alcoholic. Her mom died of cancer. She scrubs blood off of the floor for a living. Riley, on the other hand, comes from an affluent family. He’s a lawyer. And his life has been lived pretty flawlessly. They’re quite the contrast, but they complement each other nicely.

Is Organized Grime the last in the series, or will Gabby continue to clean up crime scenes and the scum of the earth in future stories?

We’ll have to see! I’m definitely open to some more Gabby stories. I’ve also considered telling Sierra’s story sometime. Sierra is Gabby’s best friend—an animal right’s activist. My readers really seem to love Sierra, and I think it would be fun to tell her story.

What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

First and foremost, I want them to be swept into another world, to feel like they’ve made a new friend in Gabby and the gang, and to be entertained. Aside from that, I want them to realize that forgiveness is always within reach, hope is always available, and that all of the messes in our lives can be used as tools for something really great.

What are you working on now?

I’ve been a busy girl. I have new Love Inspired Suspense novels releasing this year. Race against Time comes out in April, and Ricochet in September. I also just signed a three book contract with Love Inspired Suspense for a series centered on characters from The Last Target (September 2011). One of my first books, The Trouble with Perfect, is being re-released in April, and I have a mystery novel, The Death of the Couch Potato’s Wife, coming out in May. Oh, one last thing (I did mention that I’ve been busy, right?). I wrote a book on writing called The Novel in Me. I’ll be giving it away for free in April as a way of saying thank you to my readers who are also interested in writing.

Wow, you really are busy. What words of encouragement would you like to leave with our readers today who may be experiencing problems in their lives?

I say this quite frequently, but I say it because I honestly believe it—I’ve lived it. I truly believe that whatever you’re going through in your life, that God can use your circumstances for his glory. 2011 was a tough year for me in many regards. But I know that through all of the heartache, the pain, and the broken relationships that God is working out all things for his good. I know my character has been deepened, my focus clarified, and I’ve truly learned to trust in God. It’s hard to realize the things in the midst of the storm, but just hang on to God. He won’t let you down.

Wonderful words, Christy. Thank you so much for being with us today. Christy would love for you to leave a message of encouragement for her, too. She's giving away a copy of Organized Grime tomorrow. Stop back by for a chance to win.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 Over my lifetime I’ve devoured countless mystery and suspense novels. I’d like to blame my obsession on Carolyn Keene and Franklin Dixon, whose names grace the covers of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries, respectively. . .but I can’t. They aren’t real people and therefore can’t be held responsible. I was sorely disappointed when I discovered (as an adult) that Carolyn and Franklin were only pseudonyms for various authors. In fact, both series were the brain child of Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm. He wasn’t an author that I’m aware of, just a good businessman.
So, what’s my point? To introduce my topic for the next few weeks. I’ll be discussing various poisons from an historical, as well as a criminal, viewpoint. What does poison have to do with Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, you might ask? Well, the effects of poison can be mistaken for the symptoms of disease. Rather like an unknown author can pen a mystery under the name Carolyn Keene or Franklin Dixon, and no one is the wiser until the truth is revealed.
I hope to present information that readers will find interesting and writers will find useful. Keep in mind that poisons don’t necessarily have to be used in a murder mystery, and they aren’t all used for evil. (Take pesticides, for example.)
Poisons can be used to add drama to any work of fiction. For instance, suppose a rancher’s cattle are dying. Why? Is the herd eating something that’s killing them? Will the problem be discovered in time? Or maybe a prairie settler is shot with a poisoned arrow. Can the antidote be found in time? And from a practical standpoint, a backyard gardener might like to know that the pretty plant he loves could be a killer, and he needs to keep the animals and kids away.
                In closing, here’s something interesting I stumbled upon as I was researching this topic. I found a blog article written by a forensic expert who briefly addressed three poisoning cases. Those weren’t what caught my attention because I’d read about the cases in other web articles. What shocked me were the comments from readers that followed. Several wrote about their suspicions that deceased family members had been poisoned. Another wrote (several times), “I’m being poisoned. Someone please help me. Call me.” And he/she left a phone number. (No, I didn’t call it.) And yet another commenter went into great detail about how he/she was being followed and slowly poisoned by strange gases and powders. Paranoia, joke, or reality? I don’t know, but a creative person could take any of those comments and run. Conspiracy Theory comes to mind.
As authors, we are gifted with the ability to take a snatch of a blog comment or a tidbit of information and develop a whole book plot. I hope some of what I'll be presenting in the future will give The Borrowed Book readers some plot ideas. Even someone who writes under a nom de guerre like Carolyn or Franklin can be creative like that. 
Who could ask for a better job?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We're spotlighting upcoming titles that we think you'll like. Today we have Cara Putnam's April offering, A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island.

Backcover blurb: Join attorney Alanna Stone as she returns home despite her determination to never set foot on Mackinac Island again. Once again in close proximity to Jonathan Covington, her first love, she vows to protect her privacy and her heart from the man who still makes her pulse race. But when her worst fears are realized and history repeats itself—landing her in the midst of a murder investigation—Jonathan may be her only hope. Will they be able to lay aside the past and let God heal their hearts, or will reconciliation come too late?

Preorder Now:
Barnes and Noble

By Cara Putman
Publication Date: April 2012
Genre: Romance / Mystery
ISBN10: 1616265353
Settings: Mackinac Island, MI

Monday, February 20, 2012

About the Book:

"‘It is not time for you to go home yet, Whitnee,’ he told me, and I felt the annoyance bubble up inside of me again.

‘Who are you to decide that?’

‘And who are you to reject all that is ancient and sacred to our culture?’ he spat back. ’You think you just stumbled onto some other place and you can leave as you please. But we are real people with a real history. We have waited for generations for a prophecy to come true, and you act as if it is nothing!’

Transported along with four friends onto a mysterious and magical Island, Whitnee Terradora wants nothing more than to return home safely—until she starts performing supernatural feats such as cyclones, healing, and communicating with the plant she accidentally set on Fire.

Suddenly, finding the Island seems like more than just a coincidence. When an ancient prophecy causes a controversy among the leaders of the White Island, Whitnee questions who is looking out for her interests, and who is interested only in gaining power. Even Gabriel, her one ally on the Island, has secrets that both confuse and allure her.

Who can Whitnee really trust to find out the truth about herself and her missing father? Could Whitnee really be the answer to the White Island’s problems and if so, is it worth the danger of never returning home?"

Amber's Review:

Picking up right where Windchaser left off, Windfall drops the reader onto the White Island and straight into the unanswered questions still swirling around Whitnee and her friends. The new day brings even more questions as Whitnee becomes the center of the islanders' attention and discovers that she might be a possible key to their future - a development that muddles Whitnee's self-identity and sets events in motion for an exciting and dangerous adventure.

Whitnee, Caleb, Morgan, and their two campers, Amelia and Kevin - led by the fiery Gabriel, fun-loving Eden, and mysterious Thomas, as well as guards for added protection - get a grand tour of the island and a chance to meet some of its diverse people groups. The settings are inviting and intriguing, and the story alternates between the pleasures of the journey and the distrust that shadows their every move. Who should the Camp Fusion group believe? When should they call it quits and head home? And why is Whitnee seeing and hearing her long-lost father in this magical place?

This second installment of the "Phantom Island" series is a fast-paced read, with the romantic tension and the stakes heating up considerably. Windchaser and Windfall are two halves of one story, so the premise of Windfall would most likely be rather disorienting if read before the first book. But put these two together and you've got one beautiful and dynamic YA/fantasy story! There's a lot to learn at Camp Fusion and on the White Island about understanding and forgiveness, as well as cooperation and camaraderie.

Windchaser and Windfall are enjoyable and satisfying reads - but thankfully Windfall is not the end of the story! It's awesome to know that the Phantom Island adventures aren't over yet, and Watercrossing (the soon-to-be-released third book in the series) can't get here soon enough for this new fan!!

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

About the Author:

"Krissi Dallas is a gray-eyed Aerodorian who lives in Texas with her husband, Sam, and their two Yorkies. Krissi teaches junior high Advanced English and enjoys working with and serving alongside the teenagers at Fusion Student Ministries. Read about the beginning of Whitnee's adventures in Windchaser, the first book of the Phantom Island series."

  • Buy Windchaser, the first book in the series, in paperback or Kindle format!
  • Enter the Watercrossing (third book in the series) contest!
  • Take the quiz to find out which Phantom Island tribe you belong to! (Click on the image below.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

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

This week's winner is:

Julie - The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Congratulations, Julie! Please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your email address. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

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

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's fun Friday at The Borrowed Book, and 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. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

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

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE 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 Melanie Dickerson and her newest release, The Merchant's Daughter.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm delighted to have my friend Melanie Dickerson as a guest on The Borrowed Book today. Melanie is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of The National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and is a former teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

Welcome, Melanie. Your book The Merchant's Daughter recently released. Please give us a blurb about the book.

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff--a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

This book has been compared to Beauty and the Beast. Is it loosely based on that fairy tale? If so, what inspired you to do this?

The Merchant's Daughter is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I have always loved the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, and after I wrote my first fairy tale retelling, The Healer's Apprentice, which was based on Sleeping Beauty, I knew I wanted to write a whole series of fairy tale retellings set in Medieval Europe. As my idea for a Beauty and the Beast story unfolded, I felt drawn to a misty, mysterious, rural England setting. I also was inspired by Jane Eyre, one of my favorite stories, so there are some elements of that story as well.

Your heroine Annabel is an appealing young woman. What has influenced her life to produce the feeling she has a calling to enter a nunnery?

She is influenced by the fact that nearly all of the men she's ever known have been either lecherous or extremely selfish. Men want to marry her, but she doesn't want to marry them. And her brothers just want to marry her off to save themselves. So marriage isn't very appealing to her. Her second motivation is that she desperately wants to know what's in the Bible. She wants to know what God said, and she doesn't know any other way to get to read it except by going to a convent. She sees very few opportunities to do anything worthwhile or desirable in her tiny village, and that is why becoming a nun appeals to her.

If Annabel reminds us of Beauty, then Lord Ranulf must be the Beast. What has happened in his life to turn him into a recluse and rumored to be a terrifying individual?

Ranulf was badly injured in a wolf attack when he was a teen boy, which left him with only one eye, one of his hands badly mangled, and scars on one side of his face. So physically he is "beastly" looking, but emotionally even more so. He has been hurt by his wife, who died of the plague, along with their firstborn child. He has a bad temper and a grudge against beautiful women.

I know your first book The Healer's Apprentice was a finalist for the Christy Award. How did you react when you received the news?

I was ecstatic, of course. It was a dream come true. I ran and told my husband immediately. I felt humbled and grateful. So, so, so, grateful.

Describe what it was like to be honored at the prestigious ceremony with so many talented writers.

To be honest, I felt small. LOL! There were so many other writers there that have written so many more books than I have, gotten so many awards and been read by tens and probably hundreds of thousands more readers, so I kind of wondered what I was doing there. But the Zondervan people were super nice, and the ceremony itself is designed to make the authors feel appreciated, so I enjoyed it. And, maybe this sounds bad, but at one point I looked around and recognized publishers and senior editors from several of the largest CBA publishing houses, and I thought, Nearly everyon in here has rejected me at one time or another. LOL! I felt kind of humbled and vindicated at the same time!

What do you want readers to take away from The Merchants Daughter?

I hope they will take away an appreciation for all the opportunities we have as modern Americans. I hope they will appreciate their Bibles more, and that they will see beyond a person's outward appearance. And I hope they will realize that love is more that attraction, it's more than a feeling, and that character is important. And I just hope they come away with an appreciation for romance God's way.

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm working on my fourth fairy tale retelling, a Cinderella story. My third, a Snow White story, comes out in August, and I can hardly wait to see what the creative team at Zondervan does with the cover--and the title! I was never able to come up with a good title, but I'm excited to see what they come up with! They did an amazing job with my first two books.

What words of hope would you like to leave with our readers who may be struggling with problems?

Ask God for guidance. Don't be afraid to hear from Him. If you truly want your life to have purpose, you can ask God and listen to what He says. God does have a plan and a future for you. "For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord,' plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. And God's plan is always the best.

Julie Lessman has a great list of Hope Scriptures on her website. I recommend you print them off and read them several times a day if you're really struggling and need a dose of God's hope. As God's children, He gives us his empowering grace. And God gives us victory. We are His heirs. We have the authority of Jesus Christ, but sometimes we live like we're defeated. But because we're in Christ, we are more than conquerors! Even when we fail, we are still victorious. So much of the time we don't realize this or walk in it. (I'm giving myself a pep talk here!) But we have the victory, the empowerment, and the authority of Jesus himself. We need to remind ourselves of that when we get discouraged. His spirit within us will lead us back to encouragement and away from the discouraging messages of the enemy. So stand firm.

Thos are wonderful words, Melanie. Thank you for sharing them with our readers, and thank you for being a guest on The Borrowed Book today. We'll be looking forward to your next book's release.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This is my introductory blog post as a new member of The Borrowed Bookteam. My weekly contribution will be called, “Write, Right.” The title implies LisaLudwig’s faith in me to deliver the rightstuff for writers. My goal is to provide useful tidbits of information thatmight be of interest to my fellow writers, as well as for readers of our books.

My reaction to Lisa’s title suggesting was typical of me. Initialexcitement. . .followed by worry. Can I really present interesting, useful stuffweek after week?

Sure, I can. . .can’t I?

I suspect that kind of uncertainty is the bane of many introverted writertypes who spend more time in their heads then in the real world. In fact, anauthor’s whole journey is fraught with opportunities for self-doubt. When thingsare going well, a writer is on top of the world. But when the going gets rough(read: no contracts or bad reviews or rejections, etc.) a writer’s self-esteem canerode, impacting every area of his or her life.

Proactive self-awareness is vital to a writer’s emotional survival. Thatmeans being cognizant of what we’re feeling and why. Then, even if we can’t fixthe situation, we can redirect our thoughts. And even more important, we canremind ourselves that we’re not alone.

I sometimes compare myself to an old car with a carburetor*. On days whenthe fuel/air mix in my carburetor is off, I blow black smoke that shrouds me andthose around me in a smelly fog. As a result, my thinking is cloudy. I tend tosee the dark side and not the light. Then there are other days when my carburetorisn’t adjusted right, and my day starts in fits and jerks. Like when I discoverI have to run an unexpected (and lengthy) errand instead of being able to writefor hours as I’d planned.

I’m sure The Borrowed Book readers know where I’m headed with this. Thecarburetor is a metaphor for my spirit. And just as a well running carburetor, withthe perfect mix of fuel and air, keeps a classic car running smoothly, ahealthy spirit is essential to my well being—to keep my emotions runningsmoothly.

The fuel in my spirit carburetor is the Word of God. The air is the HolySpirit. I need both in the right amounts to navigate the ruts and puddles on mylife’s road. I must tend to my spirit carburetor and even rebuild* it ifnecessary to survive the bumps in the road. If I break down along the way, Imay need a new gasket or good soak in spiritual carburetor cleaner.

When I maintain the right mix of spiritual fuel in a clean spiritualcarburetor, I’m working at peak performance. I can approach whatever I do,whether it’s a proposal, a book, or a blog article, with the confidence thatthe Lord is with me. I can also face the rejections and down times withcourage.

And so with this introduction I begin my tour of duty with Lisa and TheBorrowed Book team. I hope my efforts will be a worthy addition. I’m delightedto be here.

*A writerly tidbit: Carburetors have been replaced in newer cars by fuelinjectors. In older cars, carburetors mixed air with gasoline to provide what’scalled internal combustion. A bad mix could lead to a number of problems fromblack exhaust to wasting fuel or even engine damage.

You can buy a carburetor rebuild kit and fix a carburetor yourself—amessy project. There are all sorts of little parts that easily get lost. I knowthis because I helped rebuild several of them. And trust me, the carburetorcleaner isn’t good for a manicure.

Small equipment like chain saws and lawn mowers still use carburetors.

Okay, to apply to our writing. Think manly hero with a ’57 Chevy thathe’s restoring. Our girly girl heroine goes to his house and is appalled todiscover his dining room table covered with newspaper and smelly pieces ofmetal. Or even funnier, reverse it. Our girly girl heroine is the car hobbyist,and our hero is amazed.

Below is a picture of a Ford Truck V8 1975 carburetor and rebuild kit.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Borrowed Book is celebrating love and romance, and today we're giving away copies of books!! You have several chances to win. Leave a comment specifying which title you would most like to read, tweet "@theborrowedbook" and the title of your choice or "Like" us at our new site on Facebook, OR leave a comment on the wall with, yeah, you figured it out, the title of your choice. If you post the giveaway on your OWN Facebook wall, you could get as many as FIVE entries.

Help us spread the word, and win some great books in the process!!

Titles for giveaway:

A young seamstress weaves her own story in a world run by men. After hearing news of a silver strike in Calico, California, Abigail Watts packs up her needles and thread and follows her beloved father out West. But when she’s suddenly left alone in the rough mining town, Abigail finds herself pressed into a marriage of convenience with the local livery owner, Nathan Hawk. Determined to uncover the mystery surrounding her father’s death in the mines, Abigail agrees to stay in Calico. But when the truth sets her free, she must decide whether to leave the town - and Nathan - for good.

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. (3 stories in 1 book)

Ellie Lester sees time stretching endlessly after the death of her husband in the war.She manages to find some purpose in helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. When her husband s cousin arrives, however, time seems to stand still. Is her heart awakening to something new? Theodore Lester is determined to reach his cousin s widow in the North with the truth of her husband s death, even if he must flee from the Confederate Army. Seeing her again sparks something in his heart and makes him want to stop running. But he can t escape from his dreams. . .or himself.

Escaping the horrors of slavery, Chester Jones returns home after many years. After meeting the enigmatic Marylu, sparks fly as he gently pushes his way into her heart. As love blossoms, secrets from Marylu s past arise, causing her to question her newfound feelings. And then what about those rumors linking Chester to a murder. . .? Will Marylu allow God to heal her heart or will it be shattered again?

Alaina Morrison loves Jack Kelly. But Jack is driven by the failures of his father to make a better life for himself and Alaina before he will commit to marriage. As dangerous floodwaters threaten their home of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will Alaina and Jack allow God to bridge their growing differences with His unifying love?
About the Book:

"‘It is you…’ he murmured, coming closer. I was taken aback at the intensity in his face. He rested his wrinkled, but still very strong, hands on my bare shoulders. His gray eyes sought mine as if he expected me to recognize him.

‘You really are a Daughter of the Wind, are you not?’ Cautiously, I looked over at Gabriel, wondering if it was okay to admit the truth. He nodded as if to give me permission.

My voice came out as a whisper. ‘Yes.’

High school senior Whitnee has spent six years rebuilding her identity after her father’s mysterious disappearance left her with more questions than answers. With her two best friends, Morgan and Caleb, she returns as a mentor to the summer camp of her childhood. Nestled in the Texas hill country, Camp Fusion is everything Whitnee remembers—except for the haunting visions that only she can see. One fateful night, Whitnee and her friends embark on a magical voyage where unexpected adventure and heart-stopping romance collide—a journey that might unlock the dark, complicated mysteries of Whitnee’s family history. But will she find the answers she is looking for?"

Amber's Review:

On the hunt for a highly imaginative, highly engaging book? Then Windchaser is an adventure you won't want to miss! The cover, the description, and a friend's praise of the book made me eager to give the book a try, and I'm so very glad I did!

The story begins at Camp Fusion, the quintessential summer camp that shines in all its youthful promise. Whitnee, Morgan, and Caleb, three inseparable friends who met at Camp Fusion years ago, return to the place of renewal in order to help middle-school campers dealing with difficult issues on their journey to healing.

The trouble is, instead of healing, campers and counselors alike seem to be finding nothing but confusion and heartache. Young love goes awry, tender feelings are bruised by rejection, and - to top it all off - Whitnee is seeing things on the forbidden side of the river that are dredging up haunting memories and a dangerous curiosity. And that curiosity leads the three friends and two campers through a portal into a world full of strange legends and powers - and people who may or may not be trustworthy.

The White Island is a place where people have unique gifts and personalities - beautiful and necessary offerings to share with all of the others living on the island. But Windchaser is only the a small glimpse and tantalizing readers with a small taste of this exotic, enchanting, and quite mysterious land. Be forewarned - Windchaser and Windfall (the second book in the "Phantom Island" series) ought to be read together, as they complement each other and share one continuous story.

While it's difficult to keep Windchaser and Windfall separate, Windchaser still has a lot to offer on its own, including raw emotion, an exciting pace, and a study on understanding. First impressions are not necessarily correct impressions, and joining others on a journey can go a long way in learning more about them.

Through all of the challenges, Whitnee and her friends learn just how difficult it can be to face the past, the future, and especially the present - and how important it is to seek the truth and truly live. If you enjoy meaningful, romantic, and enjoyable young adult/fantasy books, I highly recommend Windchaser!

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

About the Author:

"Krissi Dallas is a gray-eyed Aerodorian who lives in Texas with her husband, Sam, and their two Yorkies. Krissi teaches junior high Advanced English and enjoys working with and serving alongside the teenagers at Fusion Student Ministries. Whitnee's adventure continues in the second book of the Phantom Island series, Windfall."

  • Take the quiz to find out which Phantom Island tribe you belong to!
  • Enter the Watercrossing (third book in the series) contest!

*Don't forget to stop by next week for my review of Windfall, the second book in the "Phantom Island" series!*

Newsletter Subscribe



Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Historical Romantic Suspense

Historical Romance



Popular Posts

Guest Registry