Friday, August 30, 2013


It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! (We're making changes! Please read the revised rules and note the when we will announce the winner.)
To enter:
 
Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. 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 and...you 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. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.
 
This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Linda S. Glaz and her newest release, The Substitute Bride.
 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

1) Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it? 
I started writing really horrible stuff in eighth grade. Fortunately God fine-tuned me. Hopefully the work is better now. I’ve been actively writing for 21 years, took the craft serious for about 6 years (that’s when I realized you needed to write well to get noticed).

2) Have you ever had a funny experience connected with being an author? For instance, has someone ever overheard you discussing the merits of one murder weapon over another or caught you shooting at a can of gasoline to see if you could make it explode? 
Oh, yes. When I was in physical therapy for one of my 25 sprained ankles (way too much karate and soccer), I spoke with the therapist, Mark, about a good way to kill someone using a P.T. technique. About the same time, I was interviewing for a position with a physical therapy company. He reminded me not to mention that I wanted to kill people using P. T. in the interview. However, I did tell the story to the administrator, who I believe hired me because of it. She couldn’t stop laughing!

3) What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least? 
Getting the ideas from my head to the paper. Marketing would be the low point of this life. And I know I’m not alone in that.

4) Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination? 
Panster! I like for the characters to be able to change who they are. With a plot, that isn’t always possible. I only know them a little bit when I start out. They teach me who they are as we go along.

5) Do you write full time, or do you work it in alongside a full-time job? 
Write and agent full time. For a while I tried to work in the clinic a couple days a week, but once I became an agent, that was impossible, so I retired from that fully in August of this year. Woohoo! Now, I’m only working about 50-55 hours a week. Almost like being on vacation.

6) What do your kids think about your being a writer? 
They are my biggest supporters.

7) How do you get your best ideas? 
I let the crazy people in my head tell me what to write. C-R-E-E-P-Y!

8) What do you do to get past writer’s block? 
I don’t get it. If one story slows at all, before I get frustrated, I move to something else for a while. Or chocolate!

9) What’s your favorite method for keeping a story’s middle from sagging? 
I have trouble there, but again, I simply move to another project for a few days then return, refreshed.

10) Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like? 
I wake up, walk at the track, have my iced coffee shake, and check emails. After a few minutes there, I work on my clients’ material. Then a short break, work on my writing, and then to my clients again. I finish late at night on my own writing. It’s about a 2-1 split. The clients winning by far.

11) Do you like to listen to music when you write? 
No, I need noise. Lots of noise. So I have a small TV in my office that runs almost all day long (helps to drown out all those folks yakking in my head, lol)

12)  Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise?
I walk every morning at the old high school track behind my house. Starts my day with prayer, beauty, and wheezing. haha

13) Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you? 
A cat we inherited from our daughter and her husband when they went away to school. Now she’s ours, or should I say, we’re hers. She definitely rules the roost.

14) What fun fact would you like your readers to know about you? 
I love to laugh. I like to read humor, write humor, even in intense novels, I like to have bits of humor. And…I’m a size 6 woman trapped in a size 12 body! If stress were calories, I’ll be a size 0!


How about that for starters?

Thank you, Linda, for stopping by to visit us at The Borrowed Book!



Readers, don't forget to stop by tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Linda's latest release, The Substitute Bride.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I know it’s August. We’re still running our air conditioners. Picking cucumbers from the garden. The locusts are buzzing and spiders feasting on moths around the outside lights. The kids are just now returning to school. So who’s even thinking about winter, let alone snow storms?

Yes, that would be me.

I just finished a book called “Blizzard” by Jim Murphy. It’s a children’s book, published by Scholastic, but contains a wealth of information about the “Great White Hurricane of 1888.”

The spring of 1888 had been one of the mildest on record in New York City. Very little snow had fallen. Saturday, March 10th, was no exception. People were out and about, enjoying the pleasant day. No one knew that two massive storm systems were heading toward the east coast.

Twenty-four hours later, the city was paralyzed by a record breaking snow storm that caused 30 foot high drifts and wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour. The highest reported drift was 52 feet.
Railroads were shut down. Roads and highways were blocked, and ships were stuck in the harbor. Horse drawn streetcars and taxis halted. Telephone and telegraph services were lost, as was electricity. People were confined to their houses for up to a week. The storm caused the deaths of over 200 people in the city, including U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling.

I can’t do this storm justice with a short blog article. But you can read much more in the book I mentioned above and at the following URLs:

The Great White Hurricane

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blizzard_of_1888

http://theboweryboys.blogspot.com/2013/02/frozen-in-time-blizzard-of-1888-knocks.html 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Writing for nineteen years without publication can be a daunting and discouraging thing, but who knows what might be right around the corner?
If I had quit. Had given up. Had become so discouraged that I finally said, “Enough!” I would have missed out on the greatest changes in my life.
At fifty-nine I finally met my agent, Terry Burns, and began in earnest to get my work ready for submission. Rewrites, more rewrites, and then a few rewrites later, Terry sent out my romantic suspense novel.
While we didn’t get any bites on that novel, I did write a short novella, Polar Bear Plunge, that was picked up by White Rose for a Christmas special. I did the edits, saw the cover, and I was hooked.
Around the same time, Terry added me to his “posse” of editorial assistants. For two years, I continued to write and was immersed in learning the industry from the inside.
Shortly thereafter, I contracted with Heartsong for three novels to release in 2013, including August’s release, The Substitute Bride. Then the sequel to Polar Bear Plunge at White Rose, Miss Fishfly. Following the release of the first Heartsong novel, I was contracted for three more to release in 2014.
Why am I telling you all of this? For a pat on the back? No. For sales? No (well, maybe some). Seriously, to let you know one very important thing:
NEVER quit. If you are called, you never know just what God has in store for you. At 59, I signed with Terry. At 60 I became an editorial assistant. At 61, Polar Bear Plunge released and I joined Hartline as an agent. At 62, Heartsong took a chance on this newbie, and at 63 the first book released, a WWII novel, With Eyes of Love, followed by the sequel, Always, Abby.
Life is not over at 60, it is only beginning. And only you can decided what that life will include. Had anyone told me I would be an agent as well as an author with Hartline, I would have laughed. “Are you kidding? I’m 61 years old!” But many wonderful things have been done in the world with folks over 60:
Agatha Christie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Grandma Moses, George Bernard Shaw, Michaelangelo, to name just a few, all way over 60 when they did their greatest works.
Are you one of them? Are you ready to toss aside age and go for it?
Join me in this exciting writing life. Never give up your dreams. Be open to what God has in store for you, because it’s more than you could ever imagine on your best day.
60? 
Shucks…That’s nothing. I plan to be writing well into my nineties. Maybe more. 
You just never know!
Join me in celebrating my western romance, The Substitute Bride, about a young woman who loses her memory in a train derailment. Will the man waiting for her know who she is? Or will she fight the feelings she has for this total stranger?

Come back Friday for a chance to win a copy of Linda's latest release!

Monday, August 26, 2013


About the Book

"Once upon a time – better known as 'now' - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?"

Amber's Review

The Silent Swan is an intriguing and refreshing fairytale retelling, albeit a story that I didn't completely "get." The tale begins with a senior boy who is very much caught up in his own world of baseball games and student government and girls. Unsurprisingly, his point of view is a bit annoying at first, but it truly made his character growth that much more enjoyable to witness. Having the whole story told from his perspective was an interesting twist - one that I applaud, but also one that might have kept me from being completely connected.

A lot of the dialogue between the brothers (and even between all of the characters at different times, really) felt like an "inside joke" I just wasn't comprehending - so there's one strike. The strange and at times disrespectful parent-children relationships constitutes strike two. And the book is quite long...a quality which did allow for some great character exploration, but alas, it just felt too unnecessarily dragged out at times, especially toward the end when scene after scene revolved around the same activity. Combined with my confusion over certain plot elements (again, it felt like some things were going over my head and just not "clicking"), there's strike three.

Does that mean the book is "out"? Nope - it just means that there were some obstacles that kept this from reaching "favorite" status for me, despite its promising moments.

I did love the mystery at the beginning. I loved Gabe's moral wrestling - his struggling with his conscience. I loved the camaraderie between brothers (both Gabe's and Tam's)...the fun cooking scenes...the sympathetic peek into a young man's mind (a tad bit frightening, but enlightening, LOL)...and even the baseball references and scenes did win me over with how they were portrayed, even though I'm not a huge fan of the game.

All in all, The Silent Swan was fascinating, although it didn't impress me as much as I thought it might and was hoping it would after being initially hooked by the story. It's certainly a unique retelling - entirely contemporary, no magic in sight. If you like generally clean YA (the male fixation on the physical is portrayed to some degree, and there are a few instances of minor crude language), and if you're looking for a different sort of story to lose yourself in for a while, you might want to check this one out!

*With thanks to the author and IFB Tours for providing me with an e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author

"Lex Keating has been engaged in a passionate affair with books ever since the Velveteen Rabbit wanted to be real. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a BA in literature, and currently resides near Charleston, South Carolina, in a swamp full of barbarians and all their cats. She has been a teacher, a paralegal, a computer programmer, and a hospice caregiver. She currently divides her time between studying old fairy tales and making up new ones." You can connect with the author on Facebook.

Extras
  • Check out the other blog tour post links HERE (or by clicking the image at the top of the post).
  • Enter the blog tour giveaway for a paperback copy of the book (U.S. only) via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 25, 2013

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 is:

Pam K (
pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net) - On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

Congratulations, Pam K! Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book.

The area of a circle is pi times the radius, squared. This is read, while written in mathematical notation, “Pi R squared,” which then leads to the old joke, “Pie are not squared; pie are round!”

While helping my daughter with her math this week, the joke kept coming to mind, which then led to musings about the simple ways we often misconstrue what people say—as if people of the same ethnicity were speaking a different language from each other. “Pi” to the analytical is a mathematical term, very useful for figuring out things like the area of a circle (so you know, for instance, how much fabric to buy for a tablecloth) or the circumference of a circle (how much braided trim is needed to edge said tablecloth). “Pie” to the creative is a culinary delight with a flaky baked crust and your choice of creamy or fruity fillings. I daresay the analytical types appreciate their share of pie, while the creative types would appreciate pi’s benefits even as they twitch at the thought of doing algebra and geometry.

I’m a good bit of both, and something of a peacemaker, so I wasted a minute or two trying to figure out how pie could be made square. A brownie dish ... the crust would bunch in the corners, of course, which leads to waste ... yes, I decided, round pie is the most efficient way.

In the meantime, my creative daughter needed to learn the ways of pi.

Within the church, how often does this happen? “Pi R squared,” says the analytical, geeking out over some arcane bit of theology. “Pie are not squared; pie are round,” retorts those who see no use in the study of the obscure. Who’s right?

Well, they both are.

The same God who set in place the mathematically intricate and precise workings of the universe made it possible to place sugar and berries and a thickener inside two layers of dough, bake it, and enjoy a dessert so scrumptious my mouth is watering just thinking about it. He also made it possible to figure out how much area one of those layers might cover, if we’re so inclined.

So why do we insist on bickering over details that are opposite sides of the same coin, or a matter of differing terminology? The math people appreciate the efforts of the culinary experts, and the culinary geeks definitely appreciate the advantage of math when it comes to duplicating spectacular results in their baking.

We need each other.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all...

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12, NKJV)

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! (We're making changes! Please read the revised rules and note the when we will announce the winner.)
 
To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. 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 and...you 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. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Sarah Sundin and her newest release, On Distant Shores.


Thursday, August 22, 2013


     Q.  Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it?
A. As a girl, I did dream of being an author, but I also wanted to be a ballerina and a protozoologist. Yes, that’s strange. I followed my love of science, majored in chemistry, and became a pharmacist. When my oldest son was born, I started working only one day a week. In 2000, I woke up one morning with a story idea that would not let me go. Within a few days, I realized I had to write it down. I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote by hand on binder paper and had to pull a novel off the shelf to figure out how to punctuate dialogue. I proceeded to write a really bad novel, and then another. But because of those stories, I started attending a writers group and writers conferences, and reading books on the writing craft. Those books are not wasted even though they’ll never be published.

Q. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination?
A. I’m a plotter. The thought of writing without a road map makes me hyperventilate. I like to fill out long character charts, plot charts, and scene lists. Before I start my rough draft, I know my characters thoroughly and have a complete story outline. However, surprises do pop up when I’m writing—and I go with them almost all the time.

Q. Do you write full time, or do you work it in alongside a full-time job?
A. I do write full time now, but I still work one day a week as a hospital pharmacist.

Q. What do your kids think about your being a writer?
A. My sons (ages 15 and 20) think it’s cool. They both read and like my books—and my younger son takes my books to school and shows them off, which cracks me up. On the other hand, my daughter, age 17, is convinced I decided to become a writer for the sole purpose of torturing her. And perhaps I did.

Q.  How do you get your best ideas?
A. Insomnia. When I’m trying to fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, the ideas flow. I keep a notepad and pen in the bathroom, and I dash in there and make notes. I get my best plot twists, character breakthroughs, and lines of dialogue in the middle of the night.

6) Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like?
A. I don’t necessarily write every day, but I work on writing-related activities every day. Right now I’m in the middle of a book release, so I’m spending more time on publicity. Some months I’m immersed in research and outlining, and other months I’m in the middle of a rough draft, and other times I’m involved in editing. So it varies.
My typical writing day…after I take my son to school, I check emails and do my social media updates. Then I have my quiet time and get to work. After lunch I take the dog for a walk so she won’t eat my manuscript. I do the bulk of my work in the afternoon—I am not a morning person. In the evenings while watching TV with my family, I work on other activities—like author interviews.

Q.  Do you like to listen to music when you write?
A. Not when I’m actually writing. I sing along with the lyrics, and instrumentals make me want to dance. Rather distracting. However, I listen to a lot of big band music in the car. (But only when I’m alone. My family laughs.) The music of the 1940s inspires a lot of story ideas and throws me into the period.

Q. Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you?
A. We have a yellow lab named Daisy. She’s an adorable tyrant. She wants to play, play, play, and she doesn’t understand why mommy sits in front of that glowing box all day and ignores her cuteness. So she eats random household objects to get my attention. Sigh. We also have a cat named Janie, who is very polite and well-behaved. She sits in the window next to me and chirps at the birds. Until Daisy comes in and chases her off. Sigh again.

Thank you, Sarah, for visiting with us this week. We've enjoyed it!

Readers, don't forget to stop by again tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of
Sarah's latest release, On Distant Shores.

Sarah Sundin is the author of five historical novels, including On Distant Shores (Revell, August 2013). In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. You can find her on her website or on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Recently I watched part of a western show on television that featured a woman who had been enslaved by Indians when she was young. The Indians had tattooed her chin with blue cactus ink, making her an object of scorn in the eyes of the white people once she was freed. The woman in the show became a harlot to survive.
My curiosity kicked in, as usual. (My husband is always amazed at my seemingly unending need to ferret out information about most everything.) In this case, I wondered if that had really happened—if some woman had been captured and tattooed and turned into a prostitute. Turns out yes. . .and no. The character in the show is loosely based on a real woman named Olive Oatman, and yes, she was captured and tattooed, but the prostitution is strictly in the imagination of the television show's writers.

In March, 1851, fourteen-year-old (age depends on what article you read) Olive Oatman camped with her family on the shore of the Gila River in what is now Arizona.  Her father, Royse, had made the difficult choice to press on toward California instead of staying in the Pima Villages, whose people were suffering from a bad harvest and few supplies.

The family of eight, including Olive, her mother, her sister Mary Ann, and five other siblings, were hungry and exhausted. As the sun set, a band of Indians approached. They asked for tobacco and food, and sat down to smoke with Mr. Oatland.
Suddenly the Indians jumped up, yelling. With clubs, they beat to death Royse Oatman, his wife, and four of the children. One brother, Lorenzo, was beaten senseless, but lived. Olive and Mary Ann were taken captive by the Indians.

The Indians took the girls to their village some 60-100 miles from the site of the attack. The girls were used as slaves, performing menial tasks such as lugging water and firewood. In later years, Olive said the Indians were Apaches, but given where they lived, they were more likely Tolkepayas.
After a year with the Tolkapayas, a group of Mohave Indians visited the village and traded with the tribe for the girls. The Mohaves took Olive and Mary Ann to their village in what in today Needles, California. There, the girls were treated as part of the tribe. Both girls were tattooed on their chins and arms in what most think is keeping with the tribal custom for tribal members. (Olive later claimed it was a sign that she was a slave of the tribe. Historians disagree.)

During a drought (according to climate records it may have been 1855), the tribe suffered food shortages. Mary Ann died of starvation, at the age of ten or eleven.
When Olive was nineteen, a messenger arrived bearing a request from the authorities at Fort Yuma. They’d heard rumors of a white girl living with the Mohaves, and they wanted her returned to her people. At first the Mohaves resisted, but threatened with reprisal, they parted with Olive.

Eventually Olive was reunited with her brother. In November 1865, she married cattleman John B. Fairchild, and they adopted a daughter. Olive died of a heart attack on March 20, 1903, at the age of 65. She is buried at the West Hill Cemetery in Sherman, Texas.
Many rumors surround her life, from the fact that she’d been married and had children with a Mohave man, to her being committed to a mental institution and that she suffered a form of post traumatic stress syndrome. 

You can find more information at the following sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_Oatman
http://www.discoverseaz.com/History/Oatman.html
http://www.truewestmagazine.com/jcontent/history/history/history-features/2999-10-myths-about-olive-oatman



Tuesday, August 20, 2013


My favorite part of writing is getting to know my characters. Although I was a chemistry major in college, I took quite a few psychology classes for fun. As a student, I loved contemplating the interplay of nature and nurture and life experiences, and as an author, I love it even more.

In my latest novel, On Distant Shores, I had great fun writing from the point-of-view of Lt. Georgie Taylor, a flight nurse in World War II. It was also a challenge, because Georgie is my opposite. I’m an introvert; Georgie’s an extrovert. I obsess over details; Georgie is bothered by details.

In the previous book, With Every Letter, Georgie’s friend Mellie says she needs time alone to think. Georgie pipes up, “I’ll go with you.” As you can imagine, she’s a true extrovert who adores people, loves to plan parties, and has met very few people she can’t befriend. She’s also a kind soul who is drawn to the underdog.

Getting to know a character like Georgie means looking at nature, nurture, and life experiences.

When authors start character development, we usually start with nature. What does she look like? Eyes? Hair? Face? Build? What’s her personality like? What natural talents and gifts does she have? In Georgie’s case, she’s cute, perky, and social. These are the types of qualities we notice when we first meet a person. While fun, they only give us a surface knowledge of the character.

Going deeper, we look at the character’s upbringing—the nurture. What was her family like? Rich or poor? Loving or distant or abusive? Harsh or lenient? Was she the oldest, middle, or baby? What was her childhood like?

Georgie was raised in a happy and loving and affluent family, the youngest of three daughters, sheltered and doted on. She was raised with strong moral values. This contributes to her strengths—her social confidence and her care for the outcast. But it also contributes to her weaknesses. She’s never had to make decisions for herself and doesn’t feel she can handle difficulties. Her greatest fear is that she’ll fail in a crisis and people will get hurt.

Going even deeper, we can explore the character’s life experiences. What choices has she made—good or bad—that have made her who she is today? What trauma has she endured? What joy has she relished? What difficulty has she faced? Has she overcome adversity and grown stronger—or has life beaten her down?

What made Georgie interesting to me is that—unlike most of the characters I write—she has seen almost no trauma. She’s been protected and loved, and nothing truly horrible has happened to her. While that seems idyllic, it causes problems. As a flight nurse serving in Italy in a combat zone, Georgie wonders if she’s in over her head. She fears she won’t have what it takes when it matters. Of course, as a cruel author, I put trauma in her life.

The interplay of nature and nurture and life experience brings out fears and flaws, strengths and weaknesses, quirks and habits, goals and dreams unique to the character. This is what makes her “human” and relatable.

Just as we get to know our friends slowly over time, from the outside in, as stories and traits are revealed, the author gets to know her characters. Then she figures out the best way to torture them.

In love. Because I care for my characters and want them to grow, to overcome their sins and fears and flaws, and to become the best people they can be.

How about you? If you’re a writer, what do you enjoy about character development? If you’re not a writer, what do you enjoy about getting to know a new friend?

Return to TBB on Friday for a chance to win Sarah's new release!

Sarah Sundin is the author of five historical novels, including On Distant Shores (Revell, August 2013). In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. You can find her at http://www.sarahsundin.com.

Monday, August 19, 2013

About the Book (from Revell)

"Caught between the war raging around them and the battles within, two souls long for peace--and a love that remains true.

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie's cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson.

Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they've made?

With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin weaves an exciting tale of emotion, action, and romance that will leave you wanting more."

About the Author

" Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information."

Want More?
  • My review should be posted at Seasons of Humility on August 29th for the Litfuse Publicity blog tour. You can learn more about the blog tour HERE!
  • Check back here at the BB later this week to learn more about the author!

Sunday, August 18, 2013



So, in focusing on something beyond standards and convictions, I fear I possibly took a step back over that line into legalism (or Phariseeism, as I prefer to call it). It has bothered me all week that I wrote that line about “lingering over photos of attractive men online.”

It bothers me because there’s also the principle that it isn’t wrong to appreciate beauty. And because I’m a writer, with a Pinterest account, and sometimes I find pictures of people who remind me a lot of my characters. There’s a terribly thin line between looking for story inspiration and, well, going beyond. And that line may be different for each of us.

Here’s the problem: the human heart is drawn to legalism. We want the lines to be cleanly drawn, so we know exactly which side to step on, and which not to. And even when we say that we won’t define convictions for anyone else, we can catch ourselves saying, ­This is wrong, about something that might not be, or maybe not for all.

But it’s more complicated than that, and yet simpler. God wants us to be led of the Spirit, not by rules.

Always, always, our hearts twist back to the rules. The brazen serpent, once shaped as a symbol of temporary salvation for a wayward people, later became an idol. The Law itself, embroidered upon and propped up by the rules of men, because it wasn’t definitive enough on its own.

Rules give us something solid to gauge by. They’re safe, comforting. They let us know exactly where we stand.

Being led by the Spirit, however is an intangible. While it might sound appealing in theory, there’s no hard-and-fast measure to show us what it looks like, or to give us a sense of how well we’re doing. (Except by how we extend love and grace to others—but that still isn’t very measurable.)

Being led by the Spirit requires more faith, more surrender, more discipline, than merely following rules.

It requires us to lay down our pride, our grasping for control, our self-protection and insecurity.

So ... what’s the benefit?

Life. An unparalleled intimacy with the Creator of the universe, the Giver of that Spirit. The assurance that every step we take is ordered by Him, and the ability to choose the good rather than being enslaved to our darkest natures. The freedom that comes with the surrender of our impulses and passions, knowing that God can and will use even those.

And then, when we come too close to a line that God Himself has laid down, we’ll know to pull back before we cross it.


Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5, NKJV)

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