Children’s author Cheryl Malandrinos to be a Guest on A Book and A Chat
Cheryl C. Malandrinos, author of Little Shepherd, will be a special guest on the popular Blogtalkradio show, A Book and A Chat with Storyheart.
Join Storyheart at 11 AM Eastern on Saturday, December 4, 2010 for A Book and A Chat sit down with children’s author Cheryl C. Malandrinos. You can listen online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Across-the-Pond and call in your questions to 347- 237-5398.
Malandrinos’ picture book, Little Shepherd has hit the Amazon bestseller’s list in the Large Print Children’s Books category four times since its release.
Here is what reviewers are saying about Little Shepherd:
“It's a great book for families during the holidays looking to bring more depth and understanding to the standard nativity story.”
--Christy’s World of Books
“Little Shepherd is a great Christmas story for children between the ages of 4-8 that inspires faith and trust in something that cannot be seen, but can be felt in the heart and in the soul. This book would make a great addition to any Christmas collection as well as in any religious setting.”
--The Crypto-Capers Review
“Your first reaction may be, oh goodness another story on the birth of Christ. Toss those thoughts away and immerse yourself and your children into the magical arrival of Christ the Lord. Children’s author, Cheryl C. Malandrinos has re-explored and created a beautiful re-enactment of Christ the Lord’s birth in a unique and awe inspiring rendition which surely will become classical reading in Christian religious school studies and home libraries.
The old time illustrations expertly created by illustrator, Eugene Ruble will leave you feeling that you journeyed through the countryside with Obed and his fellow shepherds.”
--Donna McDine, award-winning author of The Golden Pathway
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, online book publicist, blogger and reviewer. She is a founding member of Musing Our Children and Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Little Shepherd is her first book.
On November 3, 1990, Rob and Karina Fabian were married at the Air Force Academy chapel, thus starting a collaboration that has resulted in four children and three anthologies. While the children are still works-in-progress, their books have won an EPPIE award for best sci-fi (Infinite Space, Infinite God), and been top placers in the Preditor and Editor polls (Infinite Space, Infinite God and Leaps of Faith). In their spare time, they like to play crazy card games and watch sci-fi and Mythbusters.
Welcome to you both. Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
We're sci-fi geeks in love! A mutual friend fixed us up. He called Rob, said, "You have to meet this woman!' and handed me the phone. I said, "Live long and prosper." Rob said, "I'll be right over!" He walked in with the Vulcan peace sign and the rest is history.
When did you begin writing together?
Around 1996, when we had two toddlers at home. We have already been good at talking about family matters, etc. during the day even with kids around, so when we went on dates, we decided to do something different. So when we went out to dinner, we took a pen and paper with us and mapped out a story. Since Rob was involved with Artemis (a group trying to get a commercial manned presence on the moon) and I was doing a series on different religious orders, we came up with an order of nuns who worked in space doing search and rescue operations. From there, we wrote a couple of stories, which led to our developing the anthologies.
What is this book about?
Infinite Space, Infinite God II contains twelve science fiction stories featuring Catholic heroes. Meet a time traveler who sacrifices his life to give a man a sip of water, and the nun who faces venomous snakes to save a friend. Share the adventures of priests who battle aliens and machines in order serve the greater good.
Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense. A great read for any science fiction fan--a must-read for the Catholic sci-fi lover.
What inspired you to write it?
Our publisher asked us to do a second volume, and we enjoy the challenge of finding quality science fiction with a distinctly Catholic flavor. Plus, it's very rewarding to give some worthy authors a chance to get published.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
Bumpy, thanks to the economy. Lida, the CEO of Twilight Times Books, had planned to publish ISIG II in April, but held onto it to see how the economic winds were going to blow. We had a few contributors who were starting to wonder--and we did, too. We're glad Lida has enough faith in the book to publish it now, and we hope her faith is not in vain!
OR they can approach their local bookstore (Catholic, independent or chain). It's available through all the usual distributors, or directly from Twilight Times Books.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
http://www.isigsf.com/ has all the information about Infinite Space, Infinite God II and its predecessor, Infinite Space, Infinite God. It has bios of the authors, synopses of the stories, video trailers and more. There's even a study guide for ISIG I. (We're working the one for ISIG II.)
For the two of us, nothing. Rob's very busy with his work, and now that we have four kids ages 10-17, time is tight.
As for Karina, she's not sure yet on the writing scene. She has several books in the works, but hasn't decided which to finish first.
On the publishing scene, she has Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, coming out in December from Damnation Books (yes, there's an irony there!). Neeta is a zombie exterminator who is training up apprentices on a reality TV show. She also has a short story about a bad date with Coyote the Trickster God, "Perfect Ten," coming from MuseItUp Publishing. In September, her fantasy novel, Mind Over Mind, comes out. Deryl Stephens' psychic powers not only subject him to the thoughts of everyone around him, but to the whims of to aliens at war. Can a brilliant intern with an unusual take on psychology help him control his powers and regain his sanity?
Well, it sure looks like you'll be busy. We wish you continued success.
The Ghosts of Kourion by Andrew Seddon: Professor Robert Cragg thought that he could escape the grief of losing his wife and daughter by traveling back in time to study a city soon to be destroyed by an earthquake. He felt safe in the fact that he could do nothing to save these people, but when he befriends a local family, however, he realizes he must try. In the end, he cannot save them, but he learns that if he cannot save the ghosts of Kourion, he can at least ease their sufferings.
Antivenin by Karina Fabian: Three nuns from the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue offer help to a ship that is off-course and not answering hails. They find the ship crawling with venomous snakes who have killed their handler and bitten the pilot. When one bites her partner, Sister Rita must conquer her phobia and snatch the antivenin from their nest.
An Exercise in Logic by Barton Paul Levenson: An ancient alien satellite has diverted an asteroid toward a human colony planet. The people who built the satellite refuse to veto programming logic installed by their ancestors. Can an Ursuline sister who is also an alien contact specialist change their minds?
Cathedral by Tamara Wilhite: Katarina's kind were engineered to love scientific research and dedicate themselves to bettering mankind until their jumped-up neurology caused them to die an ignoble death while in their twenties. Perhaps Katarina could have lived with this, but when she discovers the medicines she created were actually drugs to control the population, she spends the last of her tortured days righting her wrongs.
Otherworld by Karina Fabian: Father Jonas is haunted by the loss of his mother, who died while in a virtual reality world. As a priest, he's driven to evangelize to the players in Otherworld--to remind them of reality and the God who cares about what they do on both worlds.
The Battle of the Narthex by Alex Lobdell: What do you get when you mix a royal assassination, alien militia and the Saturday night Mass-and-Spaghetti dinner? Battle of the Narthex tickles the funny bone and touches the heart!
Tenniel by Colleen Drippe': Bishop Tenniel must fight the leader of the Wolfbane clan to win the conversion of the tribe to Christianity, saving their lives as well as their souls. Another exciting tale from Colleen Drippe's Lost Rythar universe.
Tin Servants by J Sherer: Father Paul's desire to serve his people in war-torn Ghana that he allowed himself to altered to resemble the androids sent to provide medical help. Once there, however, he finds himself limited in the comfort he can offer, and embroiled in a conspiracy to convert the andorginacs into soldiers.
Basilica by John Rundle: A Navy buddy needs help fixing up an old clunker of a spacecraft and Father Carpizo arrives to do his old friend a long overdue favor. As he turns wrenches, however, Carpizo finds a mystery to whet his appetite: a riddle deep rooted in the history of the Church. The scholarly priest unwittingly uncovers a dark secret which others have paid for with their lives. He is suddenly confronted by unspeakable evil and now Carpizo must make the ultimate sacrifice to destroy it…if only there is enough time.
Cloned to Kill by D. Mak: The power of Baptism helps a clone programmed to kill find her humanity--but to what lengths will Father Markham have to go to protect his new ward?
Frankie Phones Home by Karina Fabian: Sixteen-year-old Frankie was kidnapped by aliens who wanted to understand the mysteries of her human religion. Now, as they return to Earth to make First Contact, Frankie calls her family.
Dyads, Ken Pick and Alan Loewen: Father Heidler's latest assignment takes him to Cathuria, where the Catholic Church and all of Earth are blamed when a failed missionary's desperation boils over into terrorism. With the planet in the midst of riots and the Archbishop/Ambassador to Cathuria severely injured in a retaliatory strike, Father Heidler negotiates a delicate maze of politics and religious convictions to find a way to restore peace and reconcile the two worlds.
"No Hope for Gomez!" Birthday Party. Win Kindles, iPods, and get free books!
“It's the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”
It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since I handed in the final proofs for my weird little book ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ To celebrate this, and the fact that it just became a finalist in 2010's Best Book Awards, I decided to throw an international party. As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you’d come!
Of course, with every cool, international party comes a gift bag. Here's just some of the stuff attendants will get:
Exclusive short story collection
No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
Signed hi-res poster + bookplate
(These are all exclusive items and will not be available again)
Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod!
Oh yeah, you can bring as many friends as you like, just don't bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I've fallen for that before and I don't mind telling you, I came away very disappointed!
At the end of the 21st century, a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt has left two surveyors dead, but the asteroid itself is completely missing, along with their young son, Alex Manez, who was accompanying them.
On the outer edge of the solar system, the first manned mission to Pluto, led by the youngest female astronaut in NASA history, has led to an historic discovery: there is a marker left there by an alien race for humankind to find. We are not alone!
While studying the alien marker, it begins to react and, four hours later, the missing asteroid appears in a Plutonian orbit, along with young Alex Manez, who has developed some alarming side-effects from his exposure to the kinetic element they call Kinemet.
From the depths of a criminal empire based on Luna, an expatriate seizes the opportunity to wrest control of outer space, and takes swift action.
The secret to faster-than-light speed is up for grabs, and the race for interstellar space is on!
The Starseed Theory by Valmore Daniels
With the recent discovery of a planet twenty light years away from Earth that might be capable of sustaining life, the debate on the possibility of life on other planets has taken a renewed interest in the media and in popular fiction. What kind of life might we meet if we ventured beyond the border of our solar system?
Many science fiction authors and theorists will ask, “Why limit the possibility of alien life to humanoid, or even, corporeal life?” In the farthest stretches of our imaginations, there are endless possibilities of the forms of life beyond our atmosphere. For all we know, they could be transcendental beings of thought and spirit. While, for me, this is an exciting theory, for Forbidden The Stars, I’ve subscribed to the “Starseed” theory.
The Starseed Theory is the premise that tangible, physical life does exist throughout the universe. Millennia ago, spores, microbes, bacteria or extremophiles were distributed throughout the galaxy, possibly by meteorites, comets, or by design (a theory known as exogenesis).
In Forbidden The Stars, NASA astronauts travel to the outer edge of our solar system to Pluto, and discover an artifact that indicates that there are, in fact, over thirty thousand species of aliens in the galaxy.
Throughout the novel, I hint that the alien race most directly involved in the story last made contact with Earth a thousand years ago. The ancient Mayans mistook them for gods, and created their entire Pantheon around these extra-solar beings. These “gods” retreated from the world, and left a set of instructions for when humankind matured enough as a technological society to venture forth and join their cousins in the stars.
Forbidden The Stars deals with the ten years leading up to interstellar travel, and ends just as first contact is made. At this point, I have purposely not described this primary alien race, or introduced them into the narrative … I’ve left that as a cliffhanger for the sequel.
For anyone who is interested in the new world discovered by planet hunters, the red dwarf star’s name is Gliese 581.
In true nomadic spirit, Valmore Daniels has lived on the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, and dozens of points in between.
An insatiable thirst for new experiences has led him to work in several fields, including legal research, elderly care, oil & gas administration, web design, government service, human resources, and retail business management.
His enthusiasm for travel is only surpassed by his passion for telling tall tales.
Valmore’s latest book is Forbidden the Stars, a sci-fi novel set at the end of the 21st century.
Gun toting Ellie Merrick prefers buckskin and boots to satin and lace. Adam Ford doesn't want to take a bride, especially one who knows nothing about being a proper wife. But when Adam learns he must marry Ellie or lose his share of the 4 Aces Ranch, he also discovers the Hellcat has captured his heart.
Shot in the back by a thief for a measly fifty dollars and a Colt 45, Jack Ford’s body had been left to rot in the buffalo grass like some mangy, worthless coyote. And now he was buried deep in an unforgiving hole, the ancient prairie sod on top disturbed and left in clumps thickening into mud from the autumn rain pounding mercilessly from gray skies.
It was all such a mockery—the senseless killing, the abandonment, the abrupt decline of the weather—to the strong, proud man his father had once been. At least justice for Jack Ford had been swift. The sheriff had told Adam just hours before his father’s funeral, thanks to vigilantes; the thief had faced his punishment for the crime at the end of a rope that very morning at dawn. The residents of the county taking the law into their own hands probably wasn’t the right way to handle the situation, but Adam felt a sense of relief anyway. Frontier justice had offered a quick remedy, putting an end to the weeks of waiting for the circuit judge and a trial.
Feeling more exhausted after the long day of the funeral proceedings then he did after a day spent on the range rounding up strays, Adam stripped off his black suit coat and tossed it over the back of a chair. He yanked on the end of his tie and opened the stiff collar of his best Sunday shirt, ready to shut out the events of the last few days.
Filling a glass with a tall draw of whiskey, he took the bottle and slumped into the hard cushions of one of his mother’s matching chairs flanking the fireplace. He stretched his legs toward the flames in another useless attempt to banish the chill encompassing his body, but the stiffness of the chair only accentuated the cold and intensified the ache in his muscles.
After sitting quietly for a few moments, the plink, plink, plink of rain hitting against the windows registered in the back of his brain, rivaling the tick of the mantel clock and the snap of the flames in the grate for the most annoying sound in the room.
His fingers tightened around the glass as he brought the crystal to his lips again. Downing a long draw he swallowed slow, letting the liquid burn his throat, hoping the fire of the whiskey would mask the pain squeezing his chest.
It didn’t work.
Solemnly, he watched as the fire’s flames leaped along the logs, casting long shadows on the study walls. He dropped his gaze to the amber liquid left in the glass and realized neither the fire nor the whiskey would take away this chill. This emptiness.
Time would warm his soul again. Or so his mother had proclaimed in her strong, compassionate way. But Adam wasn’t convinced.
And time sure as hell couldn’t take away the injustice of his father’s murder.
A knock sounded on the door behind him. Adam cursed, in no mood to accept any more condolences today. The knock came again, this time louder, more insistent.
“Come in,” he growled, not bothering to get up from his seat. Instead he grabbed the bottle off the side table and refilled his glass. He heard the door open and shut with a soft click. Heavy, shuffling footsteps followed, telling him his visitor was a man. The steps stopped short. Not a word was spoken. Knowing he couldn’t avoid his guest forever, Adam rose and turned toward the source of the intrusion.
Enter to win at Sherry James's website!
Sherry is running a contest through the end of November. One lucky winner will take home a free e-Copy of The Cowboy and the Hellcat. All you have to do is visit Sherry's website at http://sherryjames.com/ and go to her contest page. Read the short excerpt--the same one as you find above--and answer a question.
There's a link on Sherry's website where you can email her your answer. A winner will be selected from all correct answers received.
This contest ends on November 30th, so visit Sherry's website today!
Sherry James is the author of Cowboy Fling, the "Eight Seconds" novella featured in the Ellora's Cave Flavors of Ecstasy, Volume 3, and her most recent release, The Cowboy and the Hellcat. She is also the author of the romantic comedy Studs for Hire series.Having lived in the rural Midwest her entire life, James is a former rodeo queen and horse lover. She is married and has two kids.
Another time, another galaxy. The mysterious crime lord Thrull has aspirations beyond controlling the underworld in a single corner of the galaxy. Thrull wants to bring the galaxy under one rule and build a legitimate Galactic Empire. For years he has been training an army of his followers and building his own private Armada. But he knows he must also find the Staff of Rahgorra, a weapon of mythic power. To keep Thrull from finding the Staff the Galactic Security Bureau, peacekeepers of the galaxy, has pressed back into service a banished agent. Chameleon Del Rey was expelled from the GSB for avenging the death of a friend and for practicing the forbidden art of Jai Kin. Now he must train a young apprentice to use Jai Kin and find the Staff of Rahgorra before Thrull does in order to avoid a war that will stretch across the galaxy.
Combing Elements of The Staff of Rahgorra by Mark Oetjens
I've been asked to write a guest post about how I combined the different elements in The Staff of Rahgorra, organized crime, galactic empires, mythical weaponry and an ancient art form, smoothly to create the world in which my characters exist. I've lived in that world, or galaxy, for so long that at first I did not understand the question. And to a certain extent, I still don't, but I'll give it a try.
I guess the only way to "explain" how I combined all these elements is to compare them to real world examples and how they relate to one another. Now, I don't think I can do this without revealing more about The Staff of Rahgorra than I care to. So let me just warn you right now, SPOILER ALERTS!!!
Organized crime exists throughout the world, and throughout the galaxy I created. Thrull and Toranga's organizations can be compared to any number of real criminal groups, only on a much larger scale.
Now, the idea that Thrull wants to build a legitimate galactic empire might be pushing it a little, except for two things. First, a galactic empire is part of the galaxy's history. Second, (SPOILER ALERT) Thrull used to command the flagship of the Galactic Security Bureau. He was a high ranking military man. He knows a galactic empire is a real possibility, especially if he finds the Staff of Rahgorra.
The Staff of Rahgorra, the mythical weapon, is seen as the scepter of power throughout the galaxy, comparable to the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant. And the Staff is known to exist.
Finally, sprinkled over all this is the art of Jai Kin. Jai Kin is based on Chi Gung, a concept taught by many of the martial arts. Of course, I ramp up the power some in the novel for literary effect. (SPOILER ALERT) The fact that both Cam and Thrull are Jai Kin Masters only adds to the conflict, especially when they are both searching for a mythical weapon.
That's how I smoothly combined the different elements of the story to create the galaxy of The Staff of Rahgorra.
Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.
Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.
I know it's been a while since I posted one of these, but I promise, if you check Linda Weaver Clarke's blog on a regular basis you'll find new giveaways.
This week she interviewed Donna Hatch, author of the romance novel, The Guise of a Gentleman. This book had gotten some great reviews on Amazon, so be sure to check those out by clicking the link above.
I love the cover art on this book: the forelorn woman on the shore, the kissing couple, the Jolly Roger in the corner behind the ship--nicely done.
The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for freedom and adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret.
But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret. A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared accepts one last assignment before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared’s past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.
The giveaway is running at Linda's blog until November 22nd, so you need to hurry on over there. Residents of the United States and Canada will receive a paperback copy and International readers will receive a digital copy.
Donna Hatch's passion for writing began at age 8 she wrote her first short story. During her sophomore year in high school, she wrote her first full-length novel. Her writing has won or been nominated as a finalist in many writing awards including Golden Quill and SARA Merrit. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband), her day job, and her many volunteer positions, she manages to carve out time to indulge in her writing obsession. A native of Arizona, she writes Regency Romance and Fantasy. And yes, all of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 21 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.
I would like to bring your attention to a post at Lynn's Corner that broke my heart, but also inspired me. Lynn McMonigal is a Christian author who hosts some of my clients through Pump Up Your Book.
When I visited Lynn's blog today, I noticed a post titled, "Christmas Sale". I didn't pay the post much attention at first. It's not unusual for authors to run sales around the holidays. The second time I checked the blog, however, I read the post and tears came to my eyes. I will share some of it with you now:
"On Friday night, November 12, 2010, 4-year-old Travis Rupert and his 10-year-old sister Savannah were involved in a serious car accident while riding their bikes in downtown Jackson. Travis was pronounced dead on the scene and Savannah was taken to C.S. Mott Children’s hospital in Ann Arbor. She suffered several broken bones and numerous internal injuries. At this time, she is in stable but critical condition."
Lynn is donating $5 from each book she sells from now through the end of the year to the Rupert family to help offset funeral and medical expenses. I ask that you consider purchasing one of her books to provide some help to a family in great need of your support and prayers.
Here is information about her books:
FORSAKING THE CALL
Joel turned his back on God 15 years ago, and has never regretted it. Now his wife is in the midst of an unexpected and very stressful pregnancy. When she turns to prayer and faith to get through, Joel is forced to face his past. Can he put aside his anger at God to give his wife the peace she needs to get through this difficult time?
Entertainment journalist Laura Bell has been a single mother for her daughter’s entire life. She has not even seen her daughter’s father, Joey, a member of a once hugely popular boy band, in almost 10 years. When his band, Zero Gravity, plans a reunion tour, Laura is asked to cover the event. She is suddenly forced to confront her past. Can she build a life for her daughter, one that includes Joey, without compromising her new-found Christian faith? Or will she have to choose between God and Joey? THE LADIES OF FAITH
No one knows the details about the father of Abby’s baby, or why Lorna doesn’t speak to her daughter. Emily’s perfect marriage is threatened by a dark secret. After nearly 30 years of marriage, Morgan is starting over, alone. Frankie is lost and doesn’t know what to believe anymore. The women of Faith community Church need each other now more than ever…. But can they trust enough to share their deepest secrets?
Kerri Warner did what she had to do. It was a difficult choice, but it was best for her daughter. Wasn’t it? For twenty years, she has silently lived with the truth. Now, as her daughter’s wedding nears, her past screams for her attention.
Janessa Warner has just finished college and is looking forward to marrying Garrett. Hours after a visit to his hometown begins, a horrifying car accident alters their plans. Janessa comes face-to-face with a woman from her mother’s past. The very foundation of her life is shaken. Her search for answers only leads to more questions…
A sweet Regency romance is what you'll find in The Portrait by Hazel Statham.
Edward Thurston and Lady Jennifer were engaged to be married. But that was before the war. Edward is severely injured at the battle of Salamanca. He spends time recuperating and then returns to his beloved Fly Hall, as the new Earl of Sinclair.
Unable to offer the wreck he has become to his prospective bride, he ends his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer has also come to the same decision.
During the campaigns, Edward relied greatly on a miniature he carried. He continues to cling to it upon his return, though he doesn't realize others know if its existence.
Will Edward stand firm in his resolve not to marry or will he find happiness with the girl in the portrait?
I am familiar with some of Statham's other work--His Shadowed Heart and Lizzie's Rake--but I have to admit this time I think she has outdone herself.
Staying true to her "sweet romance" fans, in The Portrait, the author delivers an engaging story that builds on the attraction of two characters without taking those feelings into the bedroom. For very different reasons, Edward and Lady Jennifer have decided to call off their engagement, yet they cannot deny their feelings for each other, no matter how hard they try to hide them.
An incident involving Edward's and Lady Jennifer's young brothers finds them thrust together on a journey that might leave their reputations in tatters. The antics of their siblings, Edward's sense of humor, and Jenny's determination not to admit what she feels for the Earl of Sinclair all find the reader eagerly turning the pages. I don't believe it took me more than three nights to get from beginning to end, and then I was ready to start all over again.
What Statham has always done extremely well is create characters you care about; men and women who are for whatever reason spending a good deal of the time denying their feelings. Because the author takes the time to explore the many facets of these characters and why they deny themselves the glory of love, the reader can't help but be thrilled when they finally admit what they knew all along.
Regency romance novels don't get any better than The Portrait by Hazel Statham.
Helen Fairchild, is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo- playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit the she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd or finished that graduate degree in Classics or had that second baby. The rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon “fiber artists”, even if she’ll never be on the inside. And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her “forever” house, and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Dr. Patrick O’Neill, noted archaeologist, excavator of Troy, and wearer of adorable nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O’Neill’s research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to re-invent herself professionally, personally, and romantically. Helen’s world widens to include a Hollywood star, a local gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving admissions director, the best Armenian real estate agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O’Neill. While uncovering secrets about Ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.
Read the Reviews! "Lian is 'sassy, the smart one'." — New York Times, on the Satellite Sisters
"[She has] a humorous take on day-to-day issues facing women everywhere."
"She’s down-to-earth, witty and doesn’t take herself too seriously."
— Daily Candy
"Every reader will see something of herself in Dolan’s likeable heroine, Helen of Pasadena. Offering up every woman’s worst fear, Dolan pulls the rug out from under Helen, and we get to watch as she recovers and rein¬vents herself with wit, charm and smarts. Dolan’s Helen is reminiscent of Nora Ephron’s Rachel Samstat: strong, determined and fearless."
— Sally Bjornsen, author of A Single Girl’s Guide to Marrying a Man, His Kids and His Ex-Wife
Lian Dolan is a mother, wife, sister, friend, daughter, novelist, writer, and talk show host. She writes and talks about her adventures in modern motherhood for her website, http://www.chaoschronicles.com/ and her weekly podcast, The Chaos Chronicles. Lian has always used her voice to take on all aspects of motherhood, from common-sense parenting to all-consuming school volunteering to overcoming handbag envy. She is known for her humorous take on the day-to-day issues that face women everywhere. The Chaos Chronicles is currently being developed by Nickelodeon as a half-hour comedy.
Prior to The Chaos Chronicles, Lian spent a decade hosting Satellite Sisters, an award-winning talk show that she created with her four real sisters. Satellite Sisters has won 11 Gracie Allen Awards for Excellence in Women’s Media, including Talk Show of the Year in 2006. On air, Lian has interviewed everybody from Bill Clinton to Nora Roberts to Maya Angelou. Lian is the Executive Editor of the Satellite Sisters website.
In addition to her work on air, Lian is a writer and a weekly relationships columnist at http://www.oprah.com/. Previously published books include “Satellite Sisters UnCommon Senses,” published in 2001. Her writing has been featured in many national magazines including regular columns in O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine.
Lian has appeared numerous TV shows including The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband and two sons. Her dream is to ride on a Rose Parade float. To read more about Lian Dolan, please visit http://helenofpasadena.com/.
Yang Zhen-Li defies not only her Communist parents but the government as well when she marries a poor Christian peasant and converts to his faith. When she begins to distribute Christian materials, particularly to children, she is arrested and sentenced to ten years of hard labor. Will her husband and son wait for her and support her throughout their long separation? Will she even survive to return to them once again? Or will the evil guard Tai Tong, who has taken a personal dislike to Zhen-Li, convince her to deny her faith? Two elderly saints halfway around the world are determined to pray her through, though they’ve never met her and don’t even know her name. God’s faithfulness in the midst of unimaginable trials will bring about an ending that could never be anticipated—but will never be forgotten.
Kathi has graciously offered our readers the chance to win a copy of Red Ink. Here are some of the reviews this book has been getting:
"I enjoyed this story of extreme devotion. It reminded me of bible stories I'd read about Paul's trials and God miraculously intervening on Paul's behalf. Those and the stories in this book are amazing stories of faith, courage and devotion."
--Nora St. Laurent, The Book Club Network
"This novel is full of spiritual food for thought and is sure to nourish people who read it."
--Michelle Sutton, author of over a dozen novels, including It's Not About Me and Not Without Hope
"I highly recommend this book and give it a HUGE thumbs up."
--A Mom After God's Own Heart
Watch the trailer!
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Red Ink, please keep reading.
You must be a follower of this blog in order to be eligible to win.
For your first comment, visit Kathi's website at http://kathimacias.com/ and tell me something you learned about her or her work.
Receive one additional entry for following Book Tours and More at http://booktoursandmore.blogspot.com/. Leave a comment on any post at Book Tours and More (BTM) and be sure to leave a comment here to let us know you're now following BTM.
Receive three additional entries for blogging about this contest. Leave a link to your post here.
This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States and Canada. Deadline to enter is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, December 5, 2010. The Book Connection is not responsible for lost or damaged goods. Only those who follow these guidelines will be eligible to win.
This beautiful hardcover is one devotional that will be on many wish lists this holiday season.
Daily Guideposts 2011 is the 35th Anniversary Edition of this daily devotional from Guideposts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ministering to and inspiring people around the world.
This year's theme is "Growing in Love." With over 50 writers contributing to this daily devotional, the stories are as diverse as those who penned them, but the overall theme shines through each one.
Within this beautiful collection of stories, Bible verses, and prayers, are special features sprinkled throughout. One of my favorites appears on page 117 for Tuesday, April 12th. Pam Kidd is a pastor's wife. In her special feature titled, "To Say Good-bye", which appears during the middle of each month, she learns how to say good-bye to the people and places she has grown to love. April's lesson is on forgiveness. In the last paragraph she says, "To forgive another is one of the nicest gifts you can ever give yourself."
What a touching way to look at forgiveness. Perhaps it will come a bit easier when we think of it this way.
Daily Guideposts 2011 is a beautiful book that I look forward to reading every night before turning out the light. It would make a lovely gift for you or someone you love.
I know you're going to want a copy of this book, so let me see if I can help you along. Guideposts is offering one lucky reader a free copy of Daily Guideposts 2011. Here are details on how you can enter our drawing:
You must be a follower of this blog in order to be eligible to win.
Your first comment must state you are a follower and include your email address so that we can contact you if you win.
Receive one additional entry for following Book Tours and More at http://booktoursandmore.blogspot.com/. Leave a comment on any post at Book Tours and More (BTM) and be sure to leave a comment here to let us know you're now following BTM.
Receive three additional entries for blogging about this contest. Leave a link to your post here.
This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States and Canada. Deadline to enter is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, November 21, 2010. The Book Connection is not responsible for lost or damaged goods. Only those who follow these guidelines will be eligible to win.
Deputy Tempe Crabtree is back in this superb addition to Marilyn Meredith's award-winning series that blends Native American mysticism, the beauty of the Sierra foothills, and a mystery to solve.
Tempe's son, Blair, returns home to celebrate Christmas, bringing along his college roommate. The boys are curious about some pseudo soldiers they've seen driving through town and ask Tempe what she knows, which isn't much.
When a young Indian is found dead near the recovery center on the reservation, Tempe is once again called in to investigate. Jesus Running Bear, a newcomer to the reservation who has been getting help with his addictions, is the prime suspect. But Tempe isn't so sure he's guilty. A secret, a quest to find an Indian legend, and a visit to the para-military compound put Jesus and Tempe in danger.
Can Tempe solve the mystery and save both their lives?
Marilyn has been my client for at least two years now. I got turned onto the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series before I worked for Pump Up Your Book. I loved Judgment Fire so much, that I later went on to purchase the previous books in the series. With Invisible Path, the author has brought back one of my favorite characters from the series, Tempe's son, Blair.
Blair has been away at college, so it's been awhile since we've heard much from him. It was nice to see Tempe and her husband, Hutch's relationship develop outside of being Blair's parents, but it's great to see them together again. It was also satisfying to see Blair, along with his roommate, be sent off to unofficially help uncover clues to the murder. He's no longer just a kid who you have to come up with storylines for every once in a while to make sure readers don't forget he exists.
Invisible Path is phenomenal! The series improves as time goes on. The last book, Dispel the Mist, included the Native American legend of the Hairy Man. He also helps to move the plot in this new installment along. This, and Tempe's continued confusing dreams, which Nick Two John (the innkeeper and Tempe's friend) doesn't really help Tempe decipher, give this mystery series a unique element.
What the author has always done well in both her series is showcase how a law enforcement career can impact family life. While for Tempe that usually means missing dinners or working on her day off, this makes her a character that readers can relate to.
I eagerly await the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery novel.
Title: Invisible Path
Author: Marilyn Meredith
Publisher: Mundania Press LLC
SRP: $12.95 (Also available in a Kindle format)
Today's special guest is M.M. Bennetts, author of the historical novel, Of Honest Fame.
On a summer night in 1812, a boy sets fire to a house in Paris before escaping over the rooftops. Carrying vital intelligence about Napoleon’s Russian campaign, he heads for England. But landing in Kent, he is beaten almost to death. The Foreign Secretary, Lord Castlereagh, is desperate for the boy’s information. He is even more desperate, however, to track down the boy’s assailant – a sadistic French agent who knows far too much about Castlereagh’s intelligence network. Captain George Shuster is a veteran of the Peninsula, an aide-de-camp to Wellington, now recalled from the continent and struggling to adjust to civilian life. Thomas Jesuadon is a dissolute, living on the fringes of society, but with an unrivalled knowledge of the seamy underside of the capital. Setting out to trace the boy’s attacker, they journey from the slums of London to the Scottish coast, following a trail of havoc, betrayal, official incompetence and murder. It takes an unlikely encounter with a frightened young woman to give them the breakthrough that will turn the hunter into the hunted. Meanwhile, the boy travels the breadth of Europe in the wake of the Grande Armee, witnessing at first hand the ruination they leave behind and the awful price of Napoleon’s ambition. This companion to M.M. Bennetts’s brilliant debut, May 1812, is a gripping account of deception, daring and determination, of intelligence and guile pitted against brutality. Bennetts brings to vivid life the harrowing devastation wrought on the civilian populations of Europe by Napoleon’s men, and the grit, courage and tenacity of those who stood against them.
The Story Behind Of Honest Fame by M.M. Bennetts
The story behind the story? To be honest, there are several.
Over the past several generations we’ve boxed the early nineteenth century into two categories. On the one hand, we’ve got the military swashbucklers—the Richard Sharpes, the Horatio Hornblowers and the Captain Jack Aubreys. And on the other, we’ve got the domestic version, which grew out of Jane Austen and through Georgette Heyer became Regency Romance. But where’s the stuff in the middle? The Napoleonic wars were as disastrous to Europe as WWII. They affected everybody. No one was immune. The whole of Europe had been turned into a military state and its allies by Napoleon. And I wanted to sweep away the stereotypes and explore what that really meant to the one nation which resisted that, the British people fighting it, but in different ways—political, social, international relations, spying…
The espionage is at the heart of Of Honest Fame. But because this is something that we in a modern society live with, we may not always consider what it means to live a life where everything true about you must be hidden, must be concealed. We don’t think about the pressure. We don’t consider what it must mean to be able to trust no one. We certainly don’t consider the emotional isolation and the stress of that. So I wanted to consider some of those questions.
Then too, since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, we have had access to the historical records there, which had been off-bounds since the Russian Revolution. These records, as well as the access to Napoleonic battlefields and mass graves—now tested and interpreted using the latest techniques in historical forensics, often by historians who speak Russian and Lithuanian and Polish—have yielded up an entirely different history of the Napoleonic wars than the official French version of the time.
We now know that the French army had an 80% infection rate of syphilis, which they were spreading. In 1812, syphilis was every bit as great a killer as AIDS was in the 1980s. The consequences of its unlimited spread through the French army’s atrocities was catastrophic. It had a devastating effect on these countries’ development for generations to come. But all those women who would have died either then or subsequently, they’ve never even been counted among the five million casualties of those wars.
We have war memorials to our fallen men. But no one has, as far as I know, even bothered to go through the parish records across these countries and count how many lives were cut short by the sexual diseases spread by the Grande Armée, nor count how many suicides there were in the wake of the occupation, those who were denied even the rites of burial in those days—which is another heinous consequence of the kind of treatment the French were regularly dishing out to the local populations. We know that from the Russian occupation of Berlin in 1945, or Serbia or Rwanda.
And upon putting together all these pieces of the puzzle, I knew I had to, in some way, honor these fallen and acknowledge their sacrifice. So the fate of the civilians whose misfortune it was to live in the path of Napoleon’s army as they crossed Europe to invade Russia in 1812 is another underlying theme.
Finally I wanted to return to historical fiction some of the literary strength of works like A Tale of Two Cities, of arresting imagery and description, of beautiful language and poetry, and wrap all of it up in one great novel–not worthy, but gripping and full of excitement.
Educated at Boston University and St Andrews, M.M. Bennetts is a specialist in the economic, social and military history of Napoleonic Europe. The author is a keen cross-country and dressage rider, as well as an accomplished pianist, regularly performing music of the era as both a soloist and accompanist. Bennetts is a long-standing book critic for The Christian Science Monitor.
Brimming with hope and beautifully written, these eight stories of women helping women and girls through the challenges and transitions of life will surprise you with every turn of the page. In the opening tale of Mima Po, a young girl overcomes her fear of a woman who is markedly different than the other women in the girl’s community. Gossiping women whisper that Mima Po is odd, perhaps a witch casting mysterious spells and incantations. Children are frightened of her, but little Kathleen is more intrigued than she is frightened, and she overcomes her fear to befriend the elderly woman, who turns out to be Czechoslovakian rather than demonic. The older woman teaches the girl something of her own beliefs and perspective, and the girl learns to “see with her heart.”
In Passages, a girl moves through a rites of passage into womanhood, both symbolic and literal, among her tribe of watching women, bonding with the other women as well as with the feminine in nature, bonding with the divine, and erasing boundaries between all.
In a trilogy of tales, Maiden, Mother, Crone, we see the passages of the girl-child, the adult woman who is her mother, and of the elderly woman, the grandmother. Each has her own unique perspective to offer the others.
Nanu’s Story illustrates the life-giving force in women, the biological drive, the unfaltering love of mother for child, unchangeable even by death. The woman, Tichu, is a kind of mother of all, teaching survival skills and passing on her wisdom to those who will accept it. Her femininity is lush and full, in all senses of the word, and she knows a pride in herself from which the modern woman could learn much.
Gita’s Journey delves deeper still into the mother-child connection, exploring the process of grief when one is lost to the other, from the deepest and darkest shadows of despair into the eventual light of acceptance.
Lavinia is something of a ghost story of women, where the reader wonders at times who is living and who is not.
What all these tales have in common, aside from the story of various life passages traveled by women over time and various cultures, is a language that is as vivid and rich as these women in their femininity. The author combines all the gentle kindness that is woman, unabashedly emotional, with the enduring strength and time-won wisdom that earns a woman the proud designation of “crone.” SpiderHawk makes a feminist statement in each one of her tales without being abrasive or didactic or challenging. Her women, her crones, simply are as they are, and by spending time with them in these tales, we realize ourselves enriched by the gentle strength of their distinctly feminine presence.
These are women as women should be: unafraid of living, unafraid of expressing their femininity, unafraid of aging, unafraid of facing up to their own fears and weaknesses and transforming them into strengths, unafraid to confront those who would deny them their place, simply – unafraid. We should all wish to be such terrific crones.
Tichu considered what the women had said. The fire festered like a wound, melting the snow around its base to a sickly oozing slush. Sitting cross-legged, the women waited, still as ice, unwilling to disturb her reflection. At last she drew her hand from Harugi’s, kissed the Crone on both her cheeks, and rose to speak. ‘When I die,’ she poked her chest fiercely with her finger, ‘it will be in Grandmother Spider’s arms, not on the end of a spear.’ Her voice, sharp as flint, chiseled between her clenched teeth.
Read the Reviews!
Hidden Passages: Tales to Honor the Crones is a book destined to become a classic.
~Lillith ThreeFeathers, columnist and feature writer for If Journal
I truly love Hidden Passages: Tales to Honor the Crones. I have two daughters, ages 16 and 12, who are reading it now! This is a book that women of all ages can enjoy and relate to in so many ways!
~Shay L. Stringer
Hidden Passages is a lovely book collection of eight stories that celebrate not only crones, but all women. Rather than creating simple stories that merely tell the tale of single crones, Villa SpiderHawk has skillfully woven the crone theme into stories that include or are told by women of all ages...This is a book I highly recommend for Goddess women to have handy on our shelves so we can pull it out to reread when we want to be both entertained and inspired.
A wonderful book...
Vila SpiderHawk, author of Hidden Passages: Tales To Honor The Crones and her husband share a log home of their design in the woods of Pennsylvania where they live with their five cats and enjoy frequent visits with their many woodland friends. SpiderHawk is an avid gardener and a gourmet vegan cook.
Vila is taking a different view on the aging of womankind. Hidden Passages is a collection of tales, some of which are interconnected, others which stand alone, all of which deal with women who are finding or already using the wisdom acquired from years of life experience.
Perhaps it is my own “crone years” creeping up on me, but there seems to be a healthy change in how we look at women in and beyond their midlife years. In a youth-obsessed society, at least in the United States, so much of the current dictates point towards a Quixotic pursuit of the impossible, that is, finding the fountain of youth through plastic and cosmetic surgery, an endless array of surely useless creams and lotions, Botox shots and facial peels, diets that lead to eating disorders, and a general wave of ensuing self-esteem problems. Someone is getting rich. No one, however, is getting any younger. You can find Vila at http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com.
Congratulations goes out to Fredamans, winner of a copy of The Reflections of Light for Daily Living by Dr. Tiffany Brown. I'll contact her in a few moments and she'll have 72 hours to respond with her mailing address. If I don't hear from her within that timeframe, I'll select another winner.
Thanks to all who entered. Look for new giveaways coming soon!