Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Eric Wilson saga

I remember when I first discovered Eric Wilson. I was browsing at Barnes & Noble and I saw this dynamic cover (at left). I don't know about you, but there's something about it that, ahem, "caught my eye". But it wasn't only the cover. The summary was intriguing too:

What You Can’t See Can Hurt You.

"Returning to the hometown of her birth parents, rebellious 23-year-old Josee Walker seeks answers to long-held questions about her childhood. Her biological father, wealthy vintner Marsh Addison, wants nothing to do with her. But a determined Kara Addison sets out to meet the child she gave up years before, despite Marsh’s passionate opposition."

This is all I needed. I read the book. And loved it. (Read a review of the novel here.)

Then there was the sequel, Expiration Date, and its incredible concept: With one touch a man is able to tell when someone is going to die.

The way Eric connected the two novels (and hinted at more books in the "Senses" series) made me a Wilson fan! I only wish the series hadn't been put on the back burner.

But then we wouldn't have Aramis Black then, would we? Creating yet another compelling series, this time Eric takes us into the world of coffee shop owner and former criminal Aramis Black. The first book in the series, The Best of Evil, garnered many excellent endorsements and reviews, including this one here at written by my friend and fellow author Darcie Gudger (visit her online at her blog Joy In the Litter Box here).

Now on the heels of this successful release comes Book #2, A Shred of Truth, which continues Aramis' saga.

Here's what you have to look forward to in this one:

"Eric Wilson returns with another sharp-edged thriller that will appeal to the rising generation of men and women on the fringes of faith.

In The Best of Evil, Aramis Black uncovered family secrets and historical conspiracies, hoping that his own dark past had come to certain resolution. But now, in A Shred of Truth, he finds his brother unconscious and tied to a statue in downtown Nashville with the initials AX carved into his back.

A shadow from his former life has reappeared, casting threats of violence and retribution. And soon the attacker is swinging his blade of self-righteous judgment directly at Aramis, challenging him to “face his sins.” Can Aramis finally break free from the guilt of his old ways, or will he succumb to the vengeance of an arrogant sociopath?

Aramis Black’’s latest breathtaking adventure will lead readers to discover the resolve of true friends, the depths of family love, and the breadth of God’’s forgiveness."

Intrigued yet? You should be.

Check out an interview I did with Eric a couple months ago here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jane Austen, Rejected Novelist?

A fascinating blog piece over at Publisher's Weekly by Bethanne Patrick. The entry is about a recent experiment someone conducted submitting thinly disguised opening chapters of Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion to 18 publishers.

The results are eye-opening, and encouraging if you're a writer. Check out the full blog entry here.

For those wondering, the cover at left is a novel about the life of Jane Austen by Nancy Moser. It's to be published by Bethany House this fall.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ted Dekker's writing advice

Lately I've been thinking about the writing advice I've heard from some of the novelists I've interviewed for Today Ted Dekker's advice is sticking in my mind. Here's what he shared in this interview:

"Finish the novel. Then write another one. And then, write another one ... If you give up after your first book, you were never meant to be an author. If you give up after the second one, you still were never meant to be an author. Publishing requires writing and writing and writing. When you have three complete novels, you probably will be published. My fourth novel was published. My first few novels were way too aggressive for the Christian market. The publishers were like, “Oh my goodness! This is like Stephen King!” They were taken aback.

Showdown was my very first novel. Now I’ve gone back and revised it. On my fourth novel I decided I was going to write what they wanted me to write, and the result was Heaven’s Wager. It was more of a Christian novel. But it still was quite edgy for that time. I got four offers within one month. I finally wrote what they wanted. I continued to write that way for a number of books, and I still enjoy that process. I love those early books. Then later, after I was established, I was able to write what I really wanted to do, what I was called to do. My first kind of bridge novel was Thr3e."

Isn't this encouraging? Knowing that Ted Dekker didn't get published until his fourth book makes me realize that the biggest key to being published is persistence. Yes, you need to learn your craft. Yes, learn about the industry and markets. But if you write well and have a million contacts in your Roledex, you won't make it without persistence.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach

My book review for Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach is now up at Click here to read the full piece.

My review begins thus:

Most weekends find flame-haired Mona VanderMolen scouting for rare finds. A former teacher who quit her job after a family tragedy, she’s been the owner of Stewartville Antiques for eighteen months now and is finally learning the ropes. But life isn’t easy in the antique business. Dealers often outbid her at auctions, and things are tight. Someone has already offered to buy her out. But she’s a fighter, and she intends to make it through the tough times.

"...a touching family story and a refreshing debut novel."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Help Bethany House choose a book cover

Bethany House publishers wants your help in picking a cover for an upcoming novel ... and you could even win a free book.

Check it out here. Man, I love these sort of things.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

War & Peace - publishing the first draft?

I first read about this in the August issue of The Writer magazine. And then I went digging and found this article from

Apparently, Harper Collins is publishing this fall, War and Peace: The Original edition based on the first draft Tolstoy wrote of the novel. It's almost 600 pages slimmer and apparently has a slightly happier ending.

Poor Tolstoy must be turning over in his grave. How would you like it if the first draft of your novel was publishing without your consent?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

2007 Christy Award Winners

Named after Catherine Marshall's novel Christy, which has over 10 million copies in print, the Christy Award is designed to honor novels from a Christian worldview.

Last night the Christy Awards dinner was held in Atlanta, and according to author Tricia Goyer (who attended the event), the winners are ...

Contemporary Standalone:
Winter Birds
Jamie Langston Turner

Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas:
The Brethren
Beverly Lewis

Tracy Groot

Sisterchicks in Gondolas
Robin Jones Gunn

The Measure of a Lady
Deeanne Gist

Plague Maker
Tim Downs

First Novel:
Where Mercy Flows
Karen Harter

Young Adult:
William Henry is a Fine Name
Cathy Gohlke

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Restorer by Sharon Hinck

Let me start off by saying I'm not usually a reader of fantasy novels. And yet, I loved The Restorer. This is a testament that Sharon Hinck has succeeded in bridging the gap between die-hard fantasy readers and those with more contemporary inclinations.

Take a look at that cover, first of all. It intrigued me right off the bat. Ever since Narnia I've loved the idea of someone from our world traveling into another.

I think what I loved most about main character Susan Mitchell was her strength. She wasn't relegated to the side-kick role female heroines often are limited to in contemporary Christian fiction (though this is changing, thankfully). She was the one taking charge, despite her fears. She was the one learning how to fight with a sword. She was the promised Restorer sent to deliver an oppressed people. Great stuff. Not to say the male characters sit around and drink tea. Susan's husband Mark plays a huge role, as do several important characters from the alternate world who I very much enjoyed getting to know as well. To read an interesting post by Heather Hunt over at her blog about the male/female roles in this book, click here.

This could truly be a ground-breaking novel in Christian speculative fiction. I look forward with much interest to how it impacts the marketplace.

Let me point you to two wonderful reviews of the book. First, Heather Hunt reviewed The Restorer for us over at here. Second, Rel Mollet reviews the novel over at her blog here.

For more information about Sharon, visit her website. She's about to embark on a book tour with three other fantasy authors: Bryan Davis, Wayne Thomas Batson & Christopher Hopper. For more info about the tour click here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

FIRST Blog Tour - Coral Moon by Brandilyn Collins

I'm sorry I'm late on this, but I wanted to be sure to help spread the word about Brandilyn Collins' latest novel Coral Moon.

Read the first chapter over at the FIRST blog tour page here.

Read a review of Coral Moon at here.

Check out an interview I did with Brandilyn here.

Netflix for books?

A friend recently said to me, "I wish there was a Netflix for books." My mind started whirring about the possibility of a business venture like this. Then I read this article in PW Weekly today.

Apparently some folks beat us to the punch. Booksfree has been around for seven years. Bookswim is the newcomer but has a similar model. I haven't had the chance to compare the two yet, so feel free to let me know what you think. Seems like a cool idea.