Monday, May 19, 2008

"Embrace Me" Book Review and Giveaway!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Embrace Me

(Thomas Nelson March 4, 2008)


Lisa Samson


Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks."

In Embrace Me, the latest novel by acclaimed author Lisa Samson, readers are privy to the realization that regardless of outward appearances…hideous, attractive, or even ordinary…persons are all looking for the same things: love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This story explores a world that is neither comfortable nor safe, a world that people like Valentine know all too well. Masterfully crafted by Samson and populated by her most compelling cast of characters yet. It is a tale of forgiveness that extends into all spheres of life: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, forgiving the past.

She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.


Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful...a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster...and improbably close to grace.

Valentine, due to her own drastic self-disfigurement, has very few friends in this world and, it appears as if she may be destined to spend the rest of her life practically alone. But life gives her one good friend, Lella, whose own handicap puts her in the same freakish category as Valentine. As part of Roland's Wayfaring Marvel and Oddities Show, a traveling band of misfits, they seem to have found their niches in an often curiously cruel world.

Residing in a world where masks are mandatory, Valentine has a hard time removing hers, because of her disfigured face but more so because of her damaged soul. It is much easier for her to listen endlessly to different versions of a favorite song, Embraceable You, and escape reality. Yet, life has more in store for her when she meets Augustine, replete with the tattoos, dreadlocks, and his own secrets. With his arrival, Valentine's soul takes a turn.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

I have absolutely loved Lisa Samson's Hollywood Nobody series and have read her book The Church Ladies and thought it was good, so I was looking forward to delving into the world Lisa was creating in Embrace Me. Lisa did not disappoint. I do need to point out though that this book is odd in more ways than just the characters in it. Lisa makes a comment in the back of the book that refers to this as an exploration of Christ's body, His Church. I was glad I read that because it helped me see where she was going with this book as I was reading it. I definitely got drawn into the characters and what was going on, yet Lisa was going back and forth between 2 characters points of view and their time periods. It wasn't hard to follow though and then eventually we see them converge together and all these puzzle pieces start falling into place. Lisa brings it all together in some "A-HA!" moments and leaves you feeling satisfied, but thinking about where you fit in with the Body of Christ.

I found it to be a very interesting reading experience and will be giving away my copy of "Embrace Me" to a lucky reader. So leave a comment and tell me what part of the Body of Christ you think you are (there are no wrong answers...) and be sure to leave a way to contact you in case you win (email address is preferable)! Good luck!


Becky C. said...

Love your blog.

Please enter me in your contests.

Becky C.

rec (at) hiwaay (dot) com

ChristyJan said...

Your question has really made me think ... I don't know that I've ever even thought about where I fit in with the Body of Christ. I do know that now I am even more interested in reading EMBRACE ME.

Grateful Gramma said...

hmmmmm...That's making me think too. I'm not really sure what part I am but I'm surely glad that I'm in there!

Lucie said...

Please enter me in your contests! I love the idea of finding your place in the body of Christ...makes me think....


Lucie In CA (at) aol (dot) com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds very different and very interesting. Please enter me in the drawing.


Charlotte Schofield said...

I fit whereever God puts me in that season. for example, right now... i'd be eyes, i am part of the Watchmen, crying out that danger is on the horizon. Other times, i am the hands, doing works, and writing... sometimes i'm feet, or the back, carring something. Every season puts you in a different place in the body. But you always fit together if you pay attention to what God is doing!

aidenadara (at) yahoo (dot) com
please enter me :)

Lora Lease said...

Hmmmmm... maybe hands right now, as I serve others through different ministry?

Please enter me in the contest... sounds like an interesting book! :)


Bethany said...

That's kind of a tough - and thought-provoking - question. I guess for a while, I was the rear end, just sitting around doing nothing. Now I'm the ears, finally really listening, and sometimes the hands or feet, working. I aspire to be the mouth, telling others about the Lord, and speaking encouraging words.
This sounds like a fascinating book that will really make you think about how you view others in the Body.
Please enter me in the drawing.
Thank you,
jimmynmatthewsmom [at] gmail [dot] com

Pamela J said...

Right now I feel like I am the blood vessels and arteries. Not the blood itself. The reason I think this is because it seems I am constantly working at directing the flow to go back to the source, that is the heart, that is Christ. If the blood flows to any other source, the body dies. Please enter me.
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

windycindy said...

Hello, I hope that I am this part of the body of Christ. His word about him being the Vine and hopefully, I am a branch of his Vine. The books sounds wonderful! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks,Cindi

stampedwithgrace said...

I have gone through different seasons and I feel I'm different parts with different people. My dh I have been counseling several couples lately, so we are ears as well as mouths. I'd love to read this book and hear more :)

Theresa N. said...

This sounds different from what I usually read. Change is good, sign me up please.
Theresa N

Lindsey said...

This definitely looks like a great read! If it isn't over yet, please enter me in the drawing. :-)

Thank you!


ladyufshalott [at] yahoo [dot] com

ReadingRobin said...

Yes!!! Please enter me in this drawing, i love Lisa Samson. I just finished Quaker Summer and really felt my toes hurting in the end. Great lessons!
cmrobin @ bellsouth dot net

Janna said...

And the winner is...

Lora L.