Monday, December 31, 2007

6th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...


Pirates, damsels in distress, swashbuckling, sword fighting, mutiny, search for a lost father, shipwrecked on a deserted island and oh yes, the head pirate is a newly born again Christian... hmm - who wouldn't love this book! Talk about unique - this book fits the bill and it will keep you turning the pages as you sit on the edge of your seat to see what will happen next. All I can say is if you like the whole pirate era - this is an absolute MUST read! There are two follow ups as well - "The Reliance" and "The Restitution" - these are both on my list of must read next books, I can't wait to delve back into this world with MaryLu Tyndall and all of her characters and settings. Now let's meet ML Tyndall...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

Great question! I would have to say brownies! Warm double chocolate brownies with nuts and real whipped cream on top! Yum. . .excuse me, I’m drooling

2) Redemption is such a unique book - pirates, shipwreck, the Caribbean, sword fights, lady in distress - the whole gamut, but with the lead pirate being a relatively new Christian - his new faith complicating his pirate background... what led you to start this series?

I’ve always been fascinated by pirates. As a young girl growing up on the beaches in South Florida, I dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures. But I believe the thing that really got me thinking about writing a pirate series was the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out in the summer of 2003. Writer’s usually start out their new ideas with a “What if?” question, so I began to wonder: What if there was a pirate who was also a Christian? And what if he was a new Christian with a really evil past? And the story took off from there.

3) As a child were you captivated by pirates or is that a newer fascination for you?

Complete obsessed from birth, yes! Guilty as charged! I don’t think it was so much the pirates themselves that attracted me, because I know most of them weren’t very nice people. I think I was more fascinated by the type of person who chose to live outside the box of society, the adventurer, the risk-taker, the person who took life by the horns and wrestled with it and won. And doing all that on one of those gorgeous tall ships sailing the tempestuous seas just made it all the more romantic.

This may seem obvious due to the title, but a central theme in this book is Redemption from your past, your mistakes, your wrongs and the wrongs done to you - was there a reason this was so strong on your heart when you wrote the book?

Yes. This book is very dear to my heart because the journey of the heroine, Charlisse, mirrors my own journey. I too grew up without a father, suffered tremendous rejections, and set out on my own quest to find “true love”. Consequently, I spent many years wandering from God and searching for that elusive security that is only found in His arms. Only after many years of misery and failure, did I come to my senses like the prodigal in the pig sty and turn my eyes toward heaven. My purpose in writing this story was to show that only in God do we find true love, security, value, purpose and meaning, which is really all anybody really wants from life.

5) I feel a certain bond with you because you have 6 children and my 6th is on the way - do you ever use your family as inspiration for your writing?

Inspiration? My family? Humm. I would say they tend to disturb my inspiration more than anything! But seriously, I adore them all and wouldn’t know what to do without them. They fill my life with such joy and meaning. I suppose being a parent with all its ups and downs has helped me understand human nature more deeply, understand what real love is—and real fear. There’s not a time when one of my kids walks out my front door on their way to school or work or a party, that I am not on my knees in prayer for God to watch over them. I think being a mother gives us just a glimpse of what God’s unconditional love is like. And big congratulations on your baby on the way!!

6) How many books total are in the "Legacy of the King's Pirates series?

There are 3 books in the series. The Redemption, The Reliance, and The Restitution. The name of each book is also the theme of the story as well as the name of the pirate ship in the story. Book 2, The Reliance, continues with the story of the hero and heroine in the first book. The Restitution is the story of the villain in the first two books and one of the lady characters from book 2. They are all similar in that they are all romantic adventure stories set in the Caribbean, but each one is uniquely different in both the theme, the story, and the characters.

7) What projects are you working on for after the "Legacy of the King's Pirates" series is wrapped up?

I have just completed a Regency Romance Adventure set in London in 1803. It is entitled, The Falcon and the Sparrow. It follows the story of a young girl who is being forced to spy on England for France because Napoleon is holding her brother hostage.

And I’ve just started working on another 3-book series set in Charleston, SC in 1718. The entire series follows the lives of 3 sisters, each of whom represent one of the 3 seeds Jesus spoke about in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.

Thank you so much for being with us today, MaryLu! I hope people reading this will discover your books and enjoy them as much as I am enjoying them. How can readers get ahold of you?

Thanks so much, Janna, for having me on your blog! I’m thrilled to be here.

Yes, I have a really cool website that shoots cannons at you! There’s more about me, my books, and lots of cool links on there. I also have a blog that I try and post on at least 3 times a week. And a newsletter you can sign up for, all located at

Here’s a link to Amazon where The Redemption can be purchased:

Readers - MaryLu has agreed to give away a copy of The Redemption and you don't want to miss out on that - leave a comment with a way for me to get a hold of you in case you are the blessed winner!

6th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...


Discovering your rights and privileges of being a son or daughter of God. That sums this book up pretty well. This is one of only 2 books out of the 14 I chose that is a non-fiction book, but even if you are normally just a fiction reader - you should really check this book out! Here's the back cover:

Ways of Royalty" reveals your true identity as a child of the King of Kings - royal heir to the eternal Kingdom of God.

Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton denounce the "pauper mentality" many Christians have and present your royal inheritance through Christ's ultimate act of redemption.

As a member of God's royal family, you can:
  • Share the King's power of grace and mercy.
  • Think and act with His authority.
  • Reveal royal qualities for future generations.
  • Promote honor and humility - with confidence.
  • Cultivate His love for one another.
The authors' personal, supernatural experiences will convince you of your own royal status and inspire you to claim your personal inheritance gift from your Father - the King of Kings.

Now let me explain why this book was life changing to me... I knew that God wanted good things for His children. I knew that God has wonderful gifts for His children. I knew that many if not most Christians (often myself included) walk around with a "pauper mentality" - nice things are for "other people", being out of debt is for "other people", having peace in my home because I don't have to worry about collectors calling is for "other people", etc... I guess what I discovered recently is that even though I "knew" I was a child of the Most High God, I felt more like I was the black sheep of His family so all those good things didn't apply to me. Our lives proved it. Oh, we scraped by, paycheck to paycheck, barely getting the bills paid, but with 5 children and my husband in a restaurant management postition (salaried of course which means all the hours but no overtime) to say that we lived below the poverty level was an understatement. Since reading this book I have realized that I am not the black sheep and God wants our family to walk in the good things He has for His children. For instance what kind of witness are we to the unsaved if we are in debt, can't pay our bills and are miserable all the time - who would want to become a Christian if they have that to look forward to! In the last 9 months, my husband left his stable but low paying job to walk in the promises of God. He started a new business that God is blessing and is getting ready to be licensed in insurance with a ground breaking company where he has the opportunity to help develop programs for them. We have the potential to easily triple what he had been making this year and all because we are ready to start walking in the promises of God instead of living in the lies of the devil.

There is an amazing revelation in chapter 1 about why God took Moses out of slavery to live in the palace when he was just a child. His entire nation was in slavery and living under the mindset of being paupers (I don't deserve better, I'm lucky to have anything at all, God doesn't want to bless me, etc...) and if Moses had been raised a slave, he would've had the same mindset. Instead he was raised in the palace as a prince with the mindset that he did deserve good things, he was worthy, he was special and so eventually he could believe that God did love Him and want to bless Moses and the people of Israel. What kind of mindset do you have?

Any book written by Bill Johnson is amazing and totally worth reading, I got his brand new book for Christmas "Face to face with God" and can't wait to read it. Though he lends his name and one or two chapters to this book, this is mainly Kris Vallottan's book. And probably one of the most worthwhile books you could read for yourself in 2008. I pray this book will open your eyes as it did mine so that you can truly see yourself as a son or daughter of the Creator of the Universe!

I was not able to get in touch with Kris and get an interview done and I don't have a copy to give away, but it is published by Destiny Image and their website is and the books can also be ordered from and their price on this $14.99 book is only $11.99 - worth every penny.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

5th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...


Reading "Loving Liza Jane" is like taking a breath of fresh air as you read. Shar MacLaren is one of the rare authors that creates characters that are so real you want to call them on the phone to chat, settings so real you want to hop in your car and drive there for a visit and situations that are so believable that you laugh and cry along with the characters. "Loving Liza Jane" is a fantastic book that takes us back to a simpler time where Liza Jane is a school teacher in a one room schoolhouse in Kentucky. Romance abounds and situations are delightful - if you like historical romance - you will love this book! And remember to take a deep breath while you are reading - Shar will share some fresh air with you while you read. Now let's meet Shar MacLaren...

  1. Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"
Oh, please believe me when I say authors are real people. In fact, I’ve been a real person for almost 60 years now. Can you believe it? Wow, I’m old. Okay, onto your question...DESSERT? Hmm, I cannot resist anything CHOCOLATE! Give me a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge, please. OR—a big thick piece of chocolate cake with creamy, chocolate frosting. And maybe a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the side. Is there anything better?

2) Shar, I describe your writing as a breath of fresh air in today's marketplace. Your characters are so real I just feel like I could sit and visit with them. How do you develop characters like that - do they become that real to you too?

You know, I don’t know if there’s a secret formula for how I do that other than to say I always aim to write what I love to read, and I love to read novels that touch my emotions, reach deep into my soul, tug at my heart. I think I am constantly asking myself--as I write--am I achieving my goal as a writer? Am I developing characters that will stick with my readers, even after they’ve finished the book? It’s a process.

3) Did "Loving Liza Jane" start out as a trilogy or build into that?

It was always going to be a trilogy. Up until “Liza” I had always written contemporary stories and had several completed manuscripts, but they weren’t really going anywhere. Since I love to read historical romance I started thinking about writing it. The three “Little Hickman Creek” stories came to me in bits and pieces. As I wrote one book, I began thinking about the next in the series and how it would play out. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, and I often don’t know myself what’s going to happen from page to page. I just sit here and read as I write, and think, oh, isn’t this interesting!

I’ll admit, though, when I first decided to try my hand at writing period romance, I was scared to death. I mean, what if I royally screwed up history? Haha. That’s why when you read my books you won’t read a lot about wars, politics, and historical events.

4) Now that both Liza Jane and Sarah have been released and Emma will quickly be joining us - what can you tell us about the new trilogy you are working on?

At present, I’m working on a three-book series titled The Daughters of Jacob Kane. The first in the series is called Hannah Grace. The series will focus on each of three sisters who live with their father, Jacob, and their grandmother, Helena, in the cozy (fictional) coastal town of Sandy Shores, Michigan where they all help run the family’s general store, Kane’s Whatnot. The year is 1903, and at the story’s opening, Hannah, the oldest at 21, is practically engaged to the town’s only physician, Ralston VanHuff, a rather stuffy fellow in Abbie Ann’s eyes (Hannah’s youngest sister). But he’s eligible—and already in her 20s, Hannah thinks her options are limited. Never mind that Ralston is boring and predictable, not to mention weak in his Christian faith and showing little interest in growing it.

Enter Gabriel Devlin, Sandy Shores’ newly appointed sheriff--tough, determined, outspoken, and terribly handsome, and to top matters, a fine Christian man.

Of course, sparks will fly and tempers rise, as both individuals work to ignore their growing attraction. Gabe is DONE with women, especially the money-hungry kind that have little use for God, much less understand the meaning of a personal relationship with Him. And Hannah, well, she’s nearly betrothed to Ralston, so what business does she have looking at the new sheriff?

Having just ended a relationship gone sour mere weeks before accepting his new job post, Gabriel is determined to keep his focus this time. No more women, he tells himself. But the skinny, pasty-skinned redhead with wild curls has caught his eye, and he’s having a hard time ignoring her, especially once she agrees to help him with the youngster who crawled under a blanket at the back of his wagon, unbeknownst to him, and rode into Sandy Shores. Starting a new job is one thing, but starting it with somebody’s runaway kid in tow is altogether different. Complicating matters is the boy’s selective mutism, a result of abuse or some traumatic event that terrified him speechless. Who is he, where does he come from, and why won’t he talk? Moreover, what can be done to earn his trust? Besides learning the ropes of his new job, Gabe must also investigate the story behind the scrawny little vagabond.

In the process, many secrets about the child’s sordid past begin to unfold, all of which involve personal loss, robbery, and murder. Add to that the thickening bond between the threesome, Hannah, Gabe, and the noiseless wayfarer, and you have a tale rife with mystery, tension, and layers of rich emotion.

I love visitors, so feel free to come “see” me any time. My Web sites and Blog addresses are as follows:

My books are currently available at Barnes & Noble or your local Christian bookstore. If you can’t locate them on shelves, feel free to order through a clerk or any online bookstore—such as,, Books-a-Million, etc.

*****Available titles are Through Every Storm, Loving Liza Jane, Sarah, My Beloved, and coming in April ‘08, Courting Emma. Hannah Grace is scheduled for a January ‘09 release.

Shar has agreed to give away a copy of "Loving Liza Jane" so be sure to leave a comment if you would like to be entered. This was a short interview because she is under such heavy deadlines right now, but she has agreed to come back for a longer interview after Courting Emma is released so be sure to come learn more about her then too!

5th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...


"The Waiting" is an amazing book that is actually an updated version of the parable of the prodigal son. What is great about it is that it shows all sides of the parable. So often we focus on the lost son - he gets money from his dad, he leaves home, he meets the wrong people, makes bad choices, wastes his money, ends up destitute, does nasty stuff just to survive and finally realizes that maybe things weren't so bad at home and maybe dad will let him come back as a servant. We don't often focus on how truly awesome the father's love is to not only let his son go in the first place, but also how he welcomes him back with more than open arms and how he waited and waited for the opportunity to tell him - I never stopped loving you, you are my son. What about the older son? The son that never left home, but didn't really have a relationship with the father anyway? Is that any better than never physically leaving in the first place? If you aren't there mentally and emotionally - you might as well leave... In "The Waiting" all these things are considered (Mark actually brings a 3rd, youngest son into the book to give another perspective) and it makes for a beautiful, moving story about redemption, forgiveness and the ultimate in unconditional love. I hate to say that this book was published in 2002 so it is not easy to come by - though for anyone that is a member of paperback swap, as of this morning there were 2 copies available. I was not able to do an interview with Mark Rempel either though I did find that he is a youth pastor at a large church in Arizona and he writes books for young adults. Keep your eyes peeled for this book and even check out some used book websites - this book is worth the effort of locating it (I did see it on eBay and as well).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

4th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...


"Lambert's Code" is an amazing book because it is a rare romance that cuts past Prince Charming placing the glass slipper on Cinderella's foot and takes the romance to the place after the honeymoon when it's not always "happily ever after". In "Lambert's Code" Prince Charming is actually Ethan and Cinderella is actually Julie and they live in a community surrounded by other Lambert family members. Luckily for them that includes Grandma and Grandpa Lambert who have worked hard for many years to maintain a really great marriage. So when Ethan and Julie start to see marital problems developing, Grandma and Grandpa let them in on the Lambert Code they have used all these years to keep their marriage on track. The rest is up to Ethan and Julie and God.

I loved this book because it was so much more than I was expecting - when I pick up a Heartsong Presents or Love Inspired book I am usually expecting a fluffy, light Christian romance. Many of the HP and LI books have been proving me wrong lately by having great spiritual truths and nuggets placed throughout different books. But this one really blew them all away. Rachel managed to pull off a rare feat here, she wrote a great romance about two people in love that were struggling, struggling to find a way and a reason to stay together and to me the best love stories available are the ones where a marriage makes it - this book shows you one way that can happen. Real life answers to real life problems that any couple can use - I think divorce rates would drop drastically if ever married couple read this book. Now let's meet Rachel Hauck...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and
not "real", so I thought we
would start off with a very important
question, one that will show people just how real you are!

"What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

RH: Oh, I love cake. And any thing cinamon! And, let me just say,
authors are so not bigger than life. We are an insecure, weird lot
if ever there was one. But, we love, love, love readers and fans.
It's why we do what we do!

2) I picked "Lambert's Code" as one of my Top 7 Most Life Changing books of 2007.
Its a follow-up to "Lambert's Pride" which you co-wrote with Lynn A. Coleman.
Its really good too, but there is a depth to the self-destruction and then pursuit
of marriage
in Lambert's Code that really hit home for me. What made you decide
to go that direction
ith Lambert's Code?

RH: Lambert's Code was originally Lynn's story, but due to
her schedule, she gave the book
to me. So the idea of dealing
th a married couple had been determined by her, but I took
it in a new direction when the story became mine.

Lynn wanted to show how marriage only works if both are
submitted to the Lord and each other. I created the story of
barrenness and infertility. I know it can really take a toll
on a marraige.

While children are indeed a blessing and gift from God, having
them cannot be an idol. In ou
r culture we demoralize children
through abortion while idolizing them through fertility
treatments and surrogate parenting.

Like all things, even the desire for children must be submitted
to God. In scripture, when ever a woman took child bearing into
her own hands by offering her husband one of her maids, trouble ensued.

I'm not against fertility treatments. Not at all. I'm for each couple doing what God
puts on their hearts. But, I'm also aware that God can use childless couples in ways
He cannot use other families.

The goal in this book was for Ethan and Julie to find peace about their situation and
love each other as God's gift to them.

3) What made you want to write a really great handbook for marriage - did you have a
couple in your life that modeled this for you?

RH: My p
arents were a great example, but my husband also inspired me. I didn't intend
to write a handbook, but a story about
a married couple's journey. They are weak,
flawed, but through it all God's love prevails.

4) I personally used to think of alot of Heartsong Presents books
as fluffy, Christian romance.
Over the last few months my mind
has been changed positively by some of the depth and
meat I've been reading in various Heartsong Presents books.
Tell us about the lady
that got Lambert's Code but was obviously
wanting her fluffy, Christian romance...

RH: Christian romance has come a long way. Former Heartsong
editor Tracie Peterson worked hard to raise the bar for writing
and story. Hats off to her, Rebecca Germany and Barbour
ublishing for wanting excellence.

As for my disgruntled Lambert's Code reader... a woman wrote to
me how upset she was to get a handbook on "how to fix your
marriage" when she wanted to read a romance. She sent the
book back to the publisher. Funny.

But Lambert's Code is very much a romance. About two people
continuing to love each other through the hard times.

5) Recently you've started the Diva Nash Vegas series, tell us a little about this
series and how
many books total we'll have to read?
RH: There are two NashVegas books. I know the title must be confusing for some,
I'll explain. NashVegas is a nickname for Nashville. The natives know the name well.

Lost in NashVegas is about songwriter, Robin McAfee
and Diva NashVegas is about superstar, Aubrey James.

They are really great stories. When I finished Diva NashVegas I
told my editor, "I love Aubrey James!"

6) What upcoming projects are you working on?

RH: My next book, Sweet Caroline, releases in February. It's set
in the South Carolina lowcountry. I love this book because it's
about Caroline Sweeney, a woman who is trapped in the humdrum of
life. But she doesn't mind. However, God is wooing her and
calling her out of her comfort zones. It's funny and romantic.
A little more focus on romance than the NashVegas books.

Rachel, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing
some from your past about
Lambert's Code. Where can readers
find you online?

Janna, you can tell them to visit my website and

And visit Amazon for all my books.

Readers, for the 2nd time in my lists I have actually picked a book that is out
of print, but Rachel has
a couple of copies left that she is going to give away
so leave a comment if you would like to win
Lambert's Code. I also happen to
have an extra copy of Lambert's Pride and I will be drawing for
that one as well
so you have 3 chances to win. Leave a comment with a way for me to reach you
case you win - and check out for ordering Rachel's Diva Nash Vegas books!

4th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...


Wow! What a book! Ironically, "The Restorer" had a lot of people a little standoffish at the beginning because this book is not your typical woman's romance book. I was not one of those people, I devoured this book as soon as I got a copy in my hands. My sister however was one of those people - why be standoffish you ask? Well, not everyone is enraptured by the thought of reading a sci-fi/fantasy/fiction book. The incredible thing is that I think "The Restorer" has actually made a lot of converts! I have heard some readers say that while they didn't think they would ever read a fantasy book, now they can't wait to read the next books in this series. Now I hope that settles in some of your minds that weren't sure this book would be something that you would enjoy - that it might be worth your time to check it out and see! Now on to why I liked it so much...
The heroine is a regular wife and mother who when wanting to spend some devotional alone time with God goes into the attic. While there she gets sucked into a portal that zaps her into some alternate world where good and bad abound. She discovers that here she is no regular person, but she has an incredible call on her life to save people (she is The Restorer) but she doesn't exactly know what that is or how to go about fulfilling that call. Now I feel I can tell you all that without ruining anything for a new reader... what I can't tell you is about the twist that comes in the middle that will make you gasp and love the book even more or about how she comes to start fulfilling her role as The Restorer. I can tell you that this book is full of amazing spiritual truths and nuggets and that it will make you think, really think, about many things in your life. I can honestly say that if you read this book based on my recommendation, I think you will thank me when you are done! I have to say too that I believe I have found a kindred spirit in Sharon Hinck - in the process of doing this interview with her I discovered that she was involved in Christian dance for years (as am I) she has connections to not just Nebraska, but Seward, NE (I lived there for years when I was younger and you have to understand that Seward is quite small and not many people have connections there)! Now let's meet Sharon Hinck...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

mbarrassing confession here. If I were at an all-you-can eat buffet with tons of choices, the one thing I’d go back for, for desert, would be mashed potatoes and gravy. But if I have to stick with the desert category, I’d go with angel food cake. My mom used to make it for my birthday.

2) The buzz on "The Restorer" has been amazing and well deserved. I actually could've put "The Restorer" on both the Most Entertaining and the Most Life Changing lists because of how much people are enjoying it and how much it is changing the way people think. Did you have any idea your book would have this kind of impact or be so well received?

I’ll let you in on a secret. God nudged me to pray about this series in a targeted and specific way for years. After I wrote it and put out my first feelers about publication, and heard that it would be a tough sell in the CBA, I explained that news to God and planned to tuck it in a filing cabinet and move on to writing other kinds of books. He simply didn’t let me do that. He stirred me to keep sharing the manuscript with friends, praying for people to be touched by the story, and praying for an open door so it could reach a wider audience. Then He orchestrated an amazing chain of events to answer those prayers. When I pray for the readers of these stories (and I still do that regularly) I continue to feel a sort of “holy yearning” that is hard to explain – and not at all a normal experience for me. Because of God’s persistence with me in asking me to pray, I suspected He was up to something...but it still amazes me when I get reader mail that shares how specifically He used these stories to impact someone’s faith-walk.

3) Some people are leery of "sci-fi" or "fantasy" writing. What made you decide to write in that style?

I love hero-journey stories, and fish-out-of-water stories, so as the elements of the story began to unfold, that’s what the genre ended up being. I have shelves full of sci-fi and fantasy books, (along with many other genres! My bookshelves suffer from multiple personality disorder) and have always loved the genre, but actually wasn’t sure what genre I WAS writing, because The Restorer was a blend of elements. Ultimately, setting the story in an alternate world gave me a chance to look at familiar concepts in new ways, and freed me to explore the passionate relationship between God and the individual in a unique way.

4) The enemy in "The Restorer", the people called The Rhusicans, were an interesting plot in the story because their weapon of choice is to poison people's minds. As humans we allow all kinds of mind poisons into our lives (tv, radio, books, bad associations, etc...), The Rhusicans were an interesting way to bring that up. How did you come to develop The Rhusicans?

I love that you mention the sources of mind poison. While writing The Sword of Lyric series, I actually kept in mind the whole mass-media marketing industry – the “create a need” mentality. “Your laundry isn’t white enough, your hair isn’t shiny enough, you won’t be loved unless you drive this kind of car” sort of messages. Rhus is the botanical name of poison (as in poison ivy or poison oak) and the Rhusicans became an embodiment of the whispers we hear from “the devil, the world, and our sinful nature.” Plus, as a neurotic aspiring writer, I am often pummeled by negative voices, so the concept hit close to home. :-)

5) The sequel "The Restorer's Son" has come out and I've even heard some comments from people that they like the sequel even better than the original. Now we are all waiting for the third book in the series... will this be the end or is there more to come in this series?
You never know. The characters and storyworld continue to live in my mind. I’ve been delighted by the response to The Restorer’s Son. It was definitely one of my favorite writing experiences; and if you’ve ever wrestled with God, you’ll enjoy watching God’s love unfold to one character in particular.

6) What projects can we be looking from you after this?
The Restorer’s Journey releases in February, as does Symphony of Secrets (a contemporary fiction set in the professional music world about a professional flutist and her teen daughter – with some light mystery and a hint of romance – published by Bethany House). Then in September of 2008, Stepping Into Sunlight releases from BHP, about a Navy chaplain’s wife who is recovering from a violent crime and struggling to heal from post traumatic stress while her husband is on his first deployment.

Thank you so much, Sharon - not only for being with us today, but for writing such a great book! How can readers get in touch with you if they would like to?

I love hearing from readers. You can contact me through my website. I also have fun extras to explore at my website, so please visit me!
I send out a regular ezine to my Book Buddies, and you can subscribe for free, and I also post musings at my blog on a semi-regular basis.
My books are available at

Sharon has agreed to give away a copy of THE RESTORER so if you haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet, then remember to leave a comment and let me know you would like to be entered and how to get in touch with you if you win. If you are one of the many who have been fortunate enough to have read it already, then please leave a comment telling us what you thought about it! And to win a copy of The Restorer's Son, leave a comment at my sister's blog.

The winner has now been chosen and this book goes to - BonnieConnerSilver - Congratulations!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

3rd MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...


One Shenandoah Winter is the moving story set in another time and place about certain individuals in a poor mountain community with the need for a doctor. A doctor answers the call and comes to work there, but though his efforts are appreciated, his bedside manner leaves the little community perplexed and leaves assistant mayor, Connie, riled. Poppa Joe is one of the original community members and at age 83 now, still wanting to be fully independent. He takes the doctor under his wing and that is the beginning of harsh judgements on all sides being uncovered and even found unbased. Forgiveness and redemption from the past are strong in this book and you will find yourself wanting to change your world in small ways when you are finished with this one!

Now r
emember, these books don't have to have been released in 2007, just read by me in 2007... that is important to note because "One Shenandoah Winter" was released in 1998 and is sadly out of print :-( although Davis Bunn did mention to me that the publisher is thinking about doing a re-release in another year or two, so obviously the publisher knows its good too! If you are able to get your hands on this book I highly recommend it - I will be giving away an extra copy I got my hands on (yeah! though its not new, its worth it :-) and Davis has agreed to give away a copy of one of the more recent books he talks about in his interview "My Soul To Keep" - so when you enter this drawing you are entering for a chance at two different books! Now lets meet T. Davis Bunn...
1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

I can lose myself in anything chocolate, but my all-time favorite is a dessert my wife calls 'la bomba'. It's a French thing where the outside is a fresh-baked flourless bittersweet chocolate brownie, and at its center is a cube of pure bitter chocolate that melts while the outside cooks. Top that with vanilla ice cream and I'll follow you anywhere.

2) I picked "One Shenandoah Winter" as one of my Top 7 Most Life Changing Books of 2007 because the character development and plot lines that you wove in this story were amazing and so real! You mentioned that this book was really a stepping stone in character development to other books you have written since then. Tell us about one of your recent books that "One Shenandoah Winter" influenced...
This past September, Bethany House released a book entitled 'My Soul To Keep'. It's my second book taking place inside Hollywood (the first was 'Heartland', released in 2006). To my mind, this marks a real triumph for me as a writer, where a lot of the character and spiritual concepts I began working on in 'One Shenandoah Winter' were taken to a new artistic level. As you can tell, I'm pretty pleased with this one.

3) "One Shenandoah Winter" is out of print (released in 1998) but well worth the read if you can find it, but your life as an author extends well before and well after this one book and many people might remember a collaboration you did with Janette Oke on "Another Homecoming" and "Return To Harmony" and the "Song of Acadia" series. But the number of books you have written alone is amazing, what projects are you currently working on?

Right now I alternate between a book for the mainstream, which has a strong Christian moral, and a book for the Christian audience, which has a solid Christian message. I have just completed first drafting my next manuscript for Bethany House, entitled 'All Through The Night'. This is a really vulnerable time for me, no matter how many books I write. The baby is with outsiders now, learning to toddle around on its own two legs. In about a month I'll get it back, dressed in clothes I didn't buy, and talking words I didn't teach it, and I'll be asked by my editors to redo this or change that, and ohhhh, it's haaaard. Writing a lot of books doesn't change this bit at all. It's soooooo hard.

4) In "One Shenandoah Winter" a main theme that really impacted me was how Connie realized that she was very judgmental to people even though she didn't know the whole story. She started changing that and I realized that I too can tend to be judgmental when its not my place and like Connie, after I read this book, I wanted to change that about me. Do you find themes like this a starting point in your books, or do they just start to work their way into a book as you write?
In some cases I will start a book with nothing clear in my mind and heart except the theme. Sometimes it's the theme and one really powerful image or scene. Like, in 'The Quilt', I knew it was to be a story about giving thanks, because that is one of the big lessons my grandmother taught me, and I wanted to model a character after my mother's mother. And then I decided that Miss Mary had to die, and she would do it before her work was done, so the last gift she gave to others was of this unfinished work, the responsibility to carry on for others.

Thanks for taking the time in your very busy deadline schedule to talk with us today, how can people reach you if they have enjoyed your writing as much as I have?

You are very welcome, and thank you! My email address is, and my website is

Remember to post a comment if you would like the opportunity to win one of Davis' books and good luck!



Hollywood Nobody is a book that caught me by surprise. I didn't expect to love it, but I did. You take unique settings (movie sets in remote places), unique people (Scotty Dawn - a 15 year old, homeschooling, Christian girl moving around with her single mom Charley who does food art on movies and all the other crazy, unique people around her), unique writing style (most chapters incorporate an entry from her blog, Hollywood Nobody and then go on in regular writing style) and very unique circumstances (that I can't really go into without revealing the whole plot :-) and you get a book that is really a page turner! I was thrilled to find out that we will be seeing Scotty Dawn and Charley in more Hollywood Nobody books as you will see in the interview - so now lets meet Lisa Samson...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

Apple Crisp with ice cream. Or. Peach cobbler. Actually any kind of cobbler. And I like pie. Peach, blackberry, blueberry. I love crust and sugary, fruity syrup.

2) Talk about an original book - a celebrity blogger that happens to be 15, a homeschooler, and doesn't exactly have a regular life - I have to ask - what was your inspiration?

My own insanity? Honestly, it just popped into my head almost in an instant. I was sitting in a parking lot at a convention having been approached by NavPress to quite possibly do a YA series and "Have you got any ideas?" Uh, the answer to that would be, "No." So I took out my computer and bam, it just kind of downloaded. I feel like I can't take much credit for it, to be honest!

3) This book is a comedy, drama and mystery all wrapped up in one. Was it difficult to write in a style that switched back and forth between blogging, dialog and regular writing?

I'm horribly ADD. This was a dream come true! The fact is, I get easily bored with writing, so I have to switch it up. A lot.

4) Hollywood Nobody is listed as teen fiction contemporary, but I think most women would love this book, am I just a kid at heart or does this book have a wider audience than originally indicated?

It's "officially" intended for 16 - 20 year olds, but I knew younger kids would read it too. And I wanted it to transcend, honestly, to women as well. I wanted to write a smart book. By that I mean, one that presupposes the reader is an intelligent girl/young woman. I hope that's what happened. My 18-year-old daughter was with me every step of the way too. She was an enormous help.

5) How many more Hollywood Nobody books will be in this series?

Three more. Finding Hollywood Nobody (Who is the biker guy?) Romancing Hollywood Nobody. (Romance abounds for Scotty and Charley!) And finally, Discovering Hollywood Nobody. (What really happened to Babette? And Seth? Isn't he a little old for Scotty?)

6) What other projects
are you working on for after the Hollywood Nobody series is wrapped up?

I'm turning the screenplay of the recent motion picture Bella into a novel. This is very different for me. And then, back to my one-a-year adult novel. My yearly novel is truly my art. Although, I do enjoy the other projects. My next book to release is Embrace Me, from Thomas Nelson, a novel that deals with image and power and religion.

My website is, and you can buy my books at any online bookseller, Amazon, B&N, and

To win a copy of Hollywood Nobody, leave a comment on this post - if you've already read it be sure to tell us all what you thought - Good Luck! You can check out the 1st chapter of this book on a previous post I did in November - its really good.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2nd MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...


I wasn't sure what to think when I started this book, but if this tells you anything - I started it in the afternoon and finished it before I went to bed. It is not a mystery/suspense or the kind that leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat. It was such a character study of who we think we are versus who we really are and our perceptions of other people. I bawled like an absolute baby through the last 5 or 6 chapters and then I didn't want it to be over, even though the ending was as perfectly satisfying as it could've been. I can not recommend this book highly enough - it is not every day that you read a book that makes you want to change your ways and be a better person, but this book did. Do yourself and those people around you a favor and go read this book! Now come meet Nikki...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"
Hey, you started with the toughest question first. Hmmm. Dessert? I’m going to have to say ice cream! Yep, simple, plain ole ice cream. Always fighting fluffiness, I seldom eat dessert, so when I decide to indulge I usually choose ice cream.

2) I picked "As I Have Loved You" as one of the most life changing books of 2007 because when I finished reading it I wanted to change how I thought and things I do to become a better person. Do you find yourself changing as you write or do your books come out of personal experience and things that have already changed you?
My first book, The Winds of Sonoma, was about how I met my husband. There are scenes in that book that actually happened! So it is a great example of a book coming out of my personal experiences. That is also true of As I Have Loved You. It was inspired by a true story, my oldest son’s first serious relationship.
But more than because of personal experiences, I write because I feel passionately about my subject. Those emotions translate to the page. In As I Have Loved You, it is about the need for us as Christians to love. The Lord has gifted us all in different ways, but the greatest gift of all is to love, even when we are given a reason not to.
You also asked if the things I write about have changed me. I would say that they have affected me deeply enough to write about them. Then as I write I get an even deeper insight into the experience and that helps me glean the truth in it. That truth becomes the internal story. All my books have an internal and external story. Some would say the book of Hosea is a story about a man who married a prostitute, the external story. But it is really about God’s love for Israel. That is the internal story. In As I Have Love You the external story is about a single mother’s struggle with her son and his choice of the “wrong” girl. But it is really a story about the power of God’s love and the unseen consequences of our judging others. One of my favorite internal stories is in the book The Fragrance of Roses, which won the 2007 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year. Part of that internal story is that God answers every prayer, but seldom in the way we expect.

3) You deal with many deep themes in this book, but one that really stuck out to me was the judging of the mother vs. the unconditional love of the son. How did you come to choose this theme as a main point in the book?
As I mentioned above this was inspired by my oldest son’s first serious relationship. And that is what observing him in that situation taught me. In the prologue of that book there is a supernatural event that empowers the boy to love with a love that can change the heart of man. I don’t state it there, but we all know that the only love that can change the heart of man is the love of Christ. I don’t want to give away anything here for those who have not read the book, but there is a scene in it where the girl thinks she being given water by the boy, but it is Jesus who is ministering to her. Those sentences reveal the internal story.
Because the heart of the book came from my own experiences people ask me if I really did the things that mother did. No, but I thought of doing many of them, which in some ways is just as bad. I am happy to say though that I did become close to that girl. She actually lived with us for a time.

4) I read this book in about a 24 hour span because it just really grabbed me, but it was real themes, not suspense that had me on the edge of my seat. What made you choose women's fiction (which you obviously excel at) as your choice of genre when chick-lit, mystery/suspense, and romance are so popular right now? Though in my opinion you have threads of all of those genres in this book, you just weave them together incredibly well...
As an author, you have to write the book you’ve been given. The book begins to show itself as I write it. In a way I guess you could say that my books choose me! But this very issue came up with my first book, The Winds of Sonoma. It is about how I met my husband, but it didn’t follow the formula of a genre romance. So publishers weren’t sure how to categorize it. Technically it was women’s fiction with a strong romance thread. They ended up promoting it as a romance. It won numerous awards. In The Fragrance of Roses the opening chapter has a mysterious boy. So you get that feel of mystery, but it is really women’s fiction. I am currently writing a book about the need for Christians to reach out to the moderate Muslims who live among us. The book opens with an
honor killing. When you have a murder on the first page it suggests suspense or mystery. Though I am choosing to write it with a strong tone of suspense it is still really women’s fiction because it is the heroine’s story. You go on a journey with her.

5) This book is a stand alone but you have another series of books that has been incredibly popular as well, tell us about that.
You are speaking of the Regalo Grande Series. Book one was my debut novel, The Winds of Sonoma. It is a truly beautiful love story. All my books have lots of symbols in them. In that book the wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Every time the wind blows, God is acting in the lives of the characters. The second book in that series is In The Shade of the Jacaranda. In it I use the internal story to express my deeply held belief that God has a plan for every child that is born. The final book of the series is The Fragrance of Roses. It is about a child’s struggle with leukemia. The internal story is that God hears and answers every prayer, though His ways are not our ways and our prayers are often answered in unexpected ways. I also used the story to raise public awareness about the need for more minorities to donate blood to bone marrow registries.

6) What projects can I look forward to reading and considering for my 2008 lists?
As I mentioned, I am currently working on a book titled Fear No Evil. It is about the need for safe houses for Muslims who convert to Christianity. Writing about Muslims is VERY controversial and I hope I can find a publisher for it. It was turned down by two publishers who offered me contracts to write for them if I would write about something else. But I said no. I told my agent I have zero interest in writing about anything but this. I feel God has called me to write this story. American Christians know so little about moderate Muslims. The theme is that God desires that none die lost. That is a story worth telling.
Thank you so much for this chance to share my writing journey with you. For those who would like to continue on the journey, they can sign up for my quarterly newsletter at my website: I just sold the movie rights to The Winds of Sonoma and I’ll be reporting on how that unfolds over the coming months. Filming is supposed to start next summer. For those of you that have read my books, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at

To buy a copy of Nikki's books you can go to amazon to order or you can leave a comment today to win a copy of "As I Have Loved You" - good luck!


Today we are stepping back in time and place to visit book #2. We're going to head to North Platte, NE in the 1940's as America is getting involved in World War II. Here we'll meet Audrey and Willard who pick a very confusing time in the world to decide to try and fall in love. Audrey works at the North Platte Canteen as Willard struggles with wanting to go fight in the War like his younger brother. Conflict, confusion, romance and lots of emotion surround both of them as they try and work things out. Its a great historical romance that will have you wishing for an easier (and more complicated thanks to the War) time. Check out the previous interview I did with Cara here on the blog too. Now come meet Cara Putman...

1) From our previous interview we have already discovered that warm Dutch Apple pie is the dessert you can't walk away from - this begs the question : Do you prefer that ala mode or with milk?
Love the pie warmed in a bowl with milk poured over it. I’m weird!

2) A lot has happened since our last interview, you had your first book signing in Indiana and the bookstore sold out! Now you have a book signing here in North Platte, Nebraska - tell us when and where people can come see you in person?
The book signing will be Saturday, December 29th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. I’ll be signing books at Bible Supplies, 1923 West A Street, in North Platte. This is the Christian book store that I haunted as a teen. It got to the point that when he saw me come in, Craig would hand me the latest publisher catalogs to show me when new books were releasing. I’m so excited to be back in North Platte. And watch the noon show on KNOP on the 29th for an interview with me

3) Canteen Dreams ties together many elements - history, romance, drama - tell us a little about where the inspiration for the setting and the romance came from...
I’m a history buff, and World War Two is my favorite time period. So setting the story during World War Two was pretty natural. Then the Canteen was such a neat occurrence…the deeper I dug, the more I amazed I became at these people’s sacrifices. The romance started with my grandparents with a pinch of my own romance…and then my imagination took over.

4) You have two more books coming out in the Dream Series, tell us a little about both of those upcoming books...
Sandhill Dreams releases in May and is set at Fort Robinson during the war. If you liked Audrey’s best friend Lainie, you’ll love this story. It’s all about Lainie and the soldier she meets who is part of the War Dog Training at Fort Robinson. I LOVED writing and researching this book.
Then Captive Dreams releases in September. It’s set outside Holdrege, at the Kearney Army Air Base, and at the Camp Atlanta Prisoner of War Camp. I thought Graham from Canteen Dreams would be the hero. But Sid, the hero’s side-kick from Sandhill Dreams begged to take the lead. My editor graciously allowed me to make the switch.

5) I know you are under a deadline for the 3rd one (Captive Dreams) right now, that means you must have other projects waiting in the wings - what's up next for you?

That’s a great question. I have a proposal for the sequel to Deadly Exposure (my Love Inspired Suspense that releases in May). My editor there liked it but wants some changes made to the proposal. So I’ll tweak that in January as well as develop an idea I have for a legal suspense series set in the fictional town of Cherry Hill, Indiana, and start writing the first in a proposed legal suspense series set in fictional Poetry, North Carolina. For a town with such a lyrical name, there are all kinds of crazy things happening!

6) Your Nebraska roots inspired this series, does that mean you'll have an Indiana series anytime in the future since you have been a resident there for so long?
If I can find the time to fully develop the Cherry Hill series, it will be set in Indiana an hour west of Indianapolis. I’m in love with the setting we created and the main characters. I just need the right motivation for the suspense thread.
And I’m still hoping I’ll write another World War Two series. Not sure that will be set in Indiana, but I’m always on the look-out for those home front stories.

To buy Canteen Dreams you can visit either Carpenter's Son bookstore in Lafayette, IN or Bible Supplies bookstore in North Platte, NE or you can order directly from Heartsong Presents. To win a copy of Canteen Dreams now you can post a comment with a way to get ahold of you in case you win!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


This book is thankfully fiction, but could easily become reality if we are not aware and active people. It's an amazing book with great characters (good and bad) that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read, but it's not necessarily a mystery/suspense book... its more of a fiction drama. I actually told Jodi after I read it that I think everybody with two working brain cells needs to read this book. Hopefully you will be one of those people after you read this interview and you can also go to this link - where I have previously published the 1st chapter of this book on this blog - check that out as well - now come meet Jodi Cowles...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?" First of all, that just makes me laugh. "Bigger than life" is not a descriptive commonly used for me! ;) As for the dessert -- my grandmother's homemade lemon meringue pie does me in. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a piece in a couple days as we celebrate our traditional family Christmas at her house.

2) This book is mind blowing in a good way, a wake-up call of sorts. To me this is a book that people need to read. Was there a particular event or situation that triggered the desire to write this book? Well thank you! :) I've always enjoyed writing, but there were three things that I think "triggered" the book. First, a relative of mine teaches missions at the seminary level and told me, years ago, that Christians in China had been praying for Christians in America to be persecuted. Second, I had a dream that was sort of the seed of the plot. And finally, I felt like everywhere I turned people were calling me a close-minded, intolerant bigot because of my Biblically-based beliefs. Not ever to my face -- but it seemed to me almost like a cultural squeeze, trying to squish my God into a little tolerant box.

3) This book is a well written drama/mystery that I found not only enjoyable, but horrifying at the same time as a Christian pro-life, homeschooling parent. I don't even know how much to say about the book w/out giving too much away, but suffice it to say that you set up a scenario of what could happen if the wrong people gain too much power in our government. Do you think instances like this could play out in the future? I have to admit that I didn't do a smidge of research other than the usual things: "how fast can a lear fly?" and "what hotel faces the White House?" It was more of a personal statement as I worked, not too-much informed by current events. That said, when the book came out I was rather stunned by all the news stories people started sending me. It's amazing to me how many circumstances eerily similar to scenes I made up have played out in the past year or two.

In fact, just yesterday I read of a Utah woman who says she fled her home because a judge ordered her to put her children in public school or he would have them removed. I don't know all the particulars of the story, but it blows my mind that a judge would have that kind of authority when there doesn't seem to be any abuse, simply a desire to teach children outside the bounds of the hyper-sexualized public school environment. I know a similar thing happened to a whole community of Mennonites in Canada last year -- but this is America! Of course, you mentioned you're a homeschooler so I'm probably preaching to the choir. :p

4) I love the reactions of some of the Christians when things start to happen. They aren't willing to just stand by and watch, but they step up and make themselves willing vessels for God to use as He sees fit. When you develop characters like that, do you have someone in mind (like a Christian that really influenced you) or are they completely fictional?
You know I appreciate you saying that because part of the reason I wrote a novel instead of a non-fiction recitation of the facts is that fiction moves me. Watching characters react to realistic situations stretches me, teaches me about God and impacts me in a way non-fiction never has. I wanted to write an entertaining book to be sure, but I also wanted to write something that might cause people to think...maybe open their eyes to what's going on around us a little bit more and spend a moment thinking and praying about how they might react in similar circumstances.

But I digress from your question! ;) Although the characters are all completely fictional, I did incorporate personality traits from different family members or friends for some of them. I also named a lot of characters after people close to me, but there's not always a direct correlation.

5) Is this your first major book?
First book period, major or no. :)

6) Do you have any new projects in the works we can be looking for?
I'm about a third of the way through a sequel but I'm finding it tough going. I'm also considering writing a memoir of sorts about the 11 months I spent on the road last year, traveling around the country in a motorhome while promoting the book. I'm sorry to say I don't think you need to hold your breath before either is finished.

7) You just got back from a medical missions trip, will you be incorporating that into any upcoming books?
Ooh, I hope so! I had a lot of fun twisting the plot around for MPA so that it included different countries I've visited. Since writing the book I've been to a number of new countries that I'm just itching to write about.

This past trip I was in Africa working with Latin missionaries who called me La Chica because they thought I was 19, which was an ego boost to my 33 year old self, let me tell you. :p Anyway, they told me I needed to write a book called La Chica in Africa and include them as characters. I was thinking that I'd enjoy writing a novel about a short term mission team, but that'll have to go in my ideas stack for now.

Jodi has agreed to give away a copy of her book as well - so please be sure to leave a comment with a way for me to reach you in case you win. If you have already read the book please leave a comment about what you thought!
Here's the link to amazon where you can buy "The Minor Protection Act" as well -


"SUSHI FOR ONE" by Camy Tang! This book is such a fun read that not only introduces many of us to a different culture, but at the same time it is very relatable to many of us that come from a close family (like myself). It is categorized as "Fiction / Christian / General" on the back of the book, and I've heard some refer to it as Chick Lit which is a very popular category right now, but I have to say for all the Chick Lit I've read this year - "Sushi For One" is the most enjoyable I've read yet! When you pick up this book you will be pulled into Lex's world of friends, family and finding Mr. Right (or not)... Now come meet Camy Tang -

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"
Creme brulee!!! I love custards and creams, probably because, like many Asians, I'm a little lactose intolerant--naturally I'd want what I shouldn't eat! My mom started making homemade creme brulee a few years ago, and I could eat an entire recipe! Good thing she only makes it for special occasions.

2) I picked "Sushi For One" as one of my Top 7 Most Entertaining Books of 2007, but in an increasingly popular genre of chick-lit - why did I pick this one? To me Sushi broke out of the cookie cutter mold of chick-lit and was very original - Did you incorporate a lot of your own family life into "Sushi For One"?
I incorporated the experiences of all the people I know and their families. All of us have at least one nagging relative who thinks a woman's life isn't complete without a man, and who also thinks they know the perfect person for said woman to marry. Grandma Sakai's bullheadedness is, sadly, quite realistic even though her character is fiction. As for the rest of Lex's family, I wanted to create a large family that readers would be enveloped by and yet would also find intriguing with the different aspects of Japanese and Chinese American culture.

3) One of the unique things about Sushi is that while it has the Asian/American settings and culture threading through it, many of us can identify with the overwhelming family involved in all aspects of our lives - do you have huge holiday gatherings with your family like Lex does?
My family isn't as large as Lex's, but my sister-in-law does have a gigantic family that has huge parties. I also have friends who have large families--and large get-togethers--exactly like Lex's. However, whatever the size of an Asian American family gathering, it's usually filled with food, just like in the parties Lex's family gives. The spread at an Uncle's birthday party in the middle of the book is exactly the yummy stuff served at my own family parties. In fact, for my book launch party, my church family made all the dishes listed in that scene! It was fabulous.

4) In Sushi Lex compiles a list of what she wants in the man she marries based on Ephesians. You are married now Camy, but did you have a list like Lex? No, although I think it would have been good if I'd had at least a wise list of traits a good husband would hopefully have. I work with the teen girls at my church youth group, and I do recommend to them that they think seriously about characteristics their future husband should have--a strong faith, willingness to communicate, ears open to listen to her, etc. If a girl has a few standards in mind, she hopefully won't be taken in by a charming, uncommunicative, condescending sort of guy.

5) I can't wait until February when "Only Uni" comes out - who is this book about?
This is Trish's story. In Sushi for One, she wrestled and lost against some difficult things (mostly to do with how an unhealthy relationship can influence a girl away from friends and family), so Only Uni will follow her spiritual journey--with a lot of wacky bumps along the way.

6) How many more books in the Sushi series can we look forward to?
The third book, Single Sashimi, is Venus's story, but Jenn's story wasn't contracted, so I'll be writing a novella on Jenn that I can offer free to subscribers of my newsletter YahooGroup:

7) What projects are you working on for after the Sushi series is wrapped up? I can't say much since nothing is contracted at this point, but I'm working on some Asian Young Adult romances (think Amy Tan meets Princess Diaries). They're a lot of fun! I'm also working on another Asian romance for my 18-35 readers --this one involving dogs. :) I'll be holding a website contest for my newsletter subscribers in March to celebrate the launch of Only Uni, so I hope readers will subscribe! I'll also have a blog tour for Only Uni at the same time. I still give away Christian fiction on my blog three times a week, so anyone interested in a good read should stop on by:
Thanks for having me here, Janna! Camy

Here's the link on Amazon to buy Sushi for One:

Be sure to leave a comment with a way to reach you in case you win
if you would like to be entered in the drawing Camy is doing for
"Sushi For One". You don't want to miss a chance to win this great book!