The Year Is Upon Us!

I can't believe we're launching 2009 already! How on earth did that happen so fast? It seems only yesterday...Okay, okay. I'll spare you the boring details. You know the gig. :-D But i do want to take a moment to reflect on this amazing year. In November of 2007, I felt that 2008 would be a "year of promise." And it was!

  • Brian got a great new job that helped get us back on our feet both financially and emotionally (nothing like feeling like major losers after six years of financially struggling and battling to get your life "back," only to have your feet swiped out from under you again).
  • We moved back to the metroplex and found a beautiful new home to rent. God closed the doors to purchasing a home, but we are hopeful that in 2009 we can realize that dream.
  • And also this summer, my awesome agent Steve Laube negotiated my first book contract. I am so delighted to be a part of the Abingdon Press fiction line and working with Barbara Scott, the awesome acquiring editor. I am so blessed! Watch for the book cover sometime in the next couple of months!
As Ryan indicates with his thumbs-up, 2008 was a good year, overall. we are. On the eve of 2009. And what do I feel God saying about the coming year? Well, I think He's saying its' a Year of Jubilation. when I shared that with Brian, he reminded me of the Jewish tradition of the Year of Jubilee--the slaves are set free and debts are forgiven. I am excited and thrilled to see how God will work in our lives over this next year. My deepest prayer is to be a conduit that funnels all attention and glory to HIM!

In the next month, I will post several reviews (sorry, I got really far behind when I brought my twins back home to school them here). There's a ton of great, clean fiction out there--so watch for the reviews to know what to check out.

Before I hop off and get back to the insanity, I wanted to make you aware of a free MP3 download as part of a promotion in conjunction with one of my favorite bands, Kutless. Here's the information:

A free Kutless MP3 is being given away at Bible Study Magazine. They are also having a contest to win cool Kutless gear and Logos Bible Software. Go check it out!

Christmas Meme

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire meme and post it on your blog! Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping, but I will use bags for convenience

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real

3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving day

4. When do you take the tree down? day after New Year’s Day

5. Do you like eggnog? Only's too rich for me otherwise

6. Favorite gift received as a child? a doll that "sings" -- you put tiny little records in her back and she'd sing. I loved that doll!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My father-in-law

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Two--my mother's and the kids' ceramic one

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both--I'm notorious for buying the cards and never getting them in the mail. *sigh*

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't recall a "worst" gift. I do remember my sister-in-law giving me a gift that made me go, huh, but it wasn't a "worst."

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? While You Were Sleeping & Miracle on 34th Street (oh, and probably White Christmas)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? right after Christmas when the clearance sales are huge)

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, for those gift exchanges that require the gifts to be used

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Ham and sweet potato casserole

16. Lights on the tree? small, white lights

17. Favorite Christmas song? God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman &

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Yep, both.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas eve or Christmas day? We open one gift at midnight on Christmas Eve, then open the rest Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People who lose focus on what Christmas is all about and get insane

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? red and gold

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham, I think. Or my MIL's lasagna.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Archeological Study Bible and a new laptop (yeah, like that's going to happen!)

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Those practicing avoidance techniques. :-D

Kira Reviews Trion Rising by Robert Elmer

Howdy, folks!! Well, I have the delight today of lending my blog to my daughter Kira so she can review a book (yes, this review is WAY overdue...shame on both of us). So, without further ado, here is my daughter.

Back cover blurb: When the mysterious Jesmet, whom the authorities brand as a Magician of the Old Order, begins to connect with Orianon, he is banished forever to the shadowside of their planet Corista.

Kira here: I liked Trion Rising because it is like what Jesus went through with all those who hated him and when he was crucified, except with a futuristic twist to it. Robert Elmer is an amazing writing as well, trapping you in the story.

One of my favorite things in the book is a little earpiece that two people have and can
hear each others thoughts, but only the thoughts that you want each other to hear.

I would recommend this book to people who love sci-fi and want a story with excitement, adventure, and a teenage girl who remembers everything she sees and hears.

Ronie here -- Wow, I am a proud Mom! Didn't my daughter do a great review. She really enjoyed this book--so much that she could recall the details from many months ago (I alluded to the fact that we're "late" posting this review). LOL Kira has already said she's looking forward to the next book! YAY!

TitleTrakk Blog Tour

Welcome to the 1st ever Blog Tour!

This week we're chatting about:

The Fantastic Fall Giveaway Contest!

Just in time for the holidays, you could win over
$335 worth of books, cds and dvds!

Sponsored by our friends at:

The Grand Prize Winner will receive:


Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark
Rachel's Secret by BJ Hoff
Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond
White Soul by Brandt Dodson
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka
Finding Marie by Susan Paige Davis
The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian
A Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George
Evidence for Faith 101 by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz


Wake Up! Wake Up! by Everyday Sunday
Rock What You Got by Superchick
Sunday by Tree63
Houston We Are Go by Newsboys (Live CD/DVD)
Nothing Left To Lose by Mat Kearney
I Am Free Worship Collection
Salvation Station by Newworldson
Not Without Love by Jimmy Needham
Pages by Shane & Shane
Colors and Sounds by Article One


Love's Unfolding Dream
The Ten Commandments Animated
Between the Walls

But that's not all!
We're giving away even more!

During this blog tour (November 10th - 16th) we'll be drawing 2 winners daily from the contest entries to win an additional free book or cd!

Visit the Contest page today to enter the contest and place yourself in the running to receive the Grand Prize, plus all the daily prizes! Deadline to enter is November 17th.

Founded in 2006 by Tracy & C.J. Darlington, is an interactive website spotlighting Christian books, music & movies. Updated weekly, we feature author and musician interviews, album and book reviews, music videos, movie reviews and interviews, book excerpts, surveys, polls, and fun contests. Learn more:

Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins

Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins (Zondervan) is a thrilling read! I’ve read other books by Brandilyn, but this is the first book that all but took my breath away. At one point, I even ran into the living room, rattled off the plot to my husband, then darted back to the bedroom to curl up and finish the book. One appeal of this book is the short, clipped chapters. I’ve seen this style by authors like James Patterson and Brandt Dobson. I think Brandilyn has mastered the clipped, thrilling chapters. Probably my favorite aspect of this story was the ageing grandfather and his failing memory. I ached for him, longed for him to “get it right” to save his granddaughter.

Here’s the blurb from Zondervan’s website for Dark Pursuit:

Kaitlan Sering’s estranged grandfather, novelist Darell Brooke, was the legendary King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Now she’s begging him to protect her from a real serial killer. Can his muddled mind devise a plan to catch the murderer?

In all honesty, one thing I’m not a fan of—and this is strictly personal preference—is the fatal twist at the end. I like twists. I really do, and I write them into my books, but for some reason, this one made me feel cheated. As someone with a degree in psychology, I absolutely loved . . . well, I’m not going to spoil the ending. :-D
Definitely worth the read!!

2008 ACFW Conference Photos

From September 17-21, 2008, more than five hundred writers, agents, and editors converged on the Sheraton Bloomington in Minneapolis, MN for the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. I worked throughout the conference in a few different capacities, but it was still a superb time! I met with the incredible Barbara Scott, my editor (hey! I actually have an editor now!!) from Abingdon Press. In all honesty, I didn't expect her to remember much about my story since I knew she was working on the macros for multiple other books at the moment. But she had an uncanny recall! And it was so clear to me that she caught the vision and passion for Dead Reckoning. I'm absolutely amazed and even more thrilled now about working with her!

Here are some photos from the conference. Hope you enjoy them--they'll keep me smiling for years to come.

Me presenting during the Book of the Year Awards

Me and awesome friend Sara Mills

Me and my fabo Agent-Man, Steve Laube

Me with Robin and her boas (yes, there is a story behind that, and no, we're not telling. LOL)

Me with "big brother" John Olson...he was humming (im)patiently while Dineen lined up the photo *just right*...I couldn't stop laughing.

Me with the amazing Sharon Hinck!

I'll have more photos later. First, have to get caught up on schtuff. :-D

CAMY TANG Guest Blogs!!

I am tickled pink to have my dear friend, Camy Tang (AKA: Loud Asian Chick) on scene with us today to celebrate the release of her newest book, Single Sashimi. I have to say, this is probably my absolute favorite of her books--there is just something about Lex in this book that rocks!!

TODAY IS CAMY'S BIRTHDAY!!! Make sure you zip on over to her site and leave her a birthday blessing. Yep, her birthday is why I signed up for her blog tour on this day. I love that I get to honor her hard work and HER in one sha-bang! LOL HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love ya, girl!

Camy and I have just returned from the ACFW conference in Minneapolis, where--I am pouting--we didn't get a chance to hang out like we did last year (yeah, that photo's from last year...sigh). Both of us were so busy. I missed you, Camy!!! :-D

OH!!! And Camy won FIRST PLACE in the DEBUT AUTHOR CATEGORY of the 2008 Book of the Year contest. Congratulations, girlie!!!

Camy created this Survey Meme, and I'll post my responses tomorrow or this weekend. But for now, the spotlight is on my wonderful friend. So, without further ado....


Survey meme

1. What time did you get up this morning?
10:00 AM (I have no children, just a dog who likes to sleep)

2. Diamonds or pearls?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The sad thing is that I can't remember. Return of the King, maybe?

4. What is your favorite TV show?

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
homemade yogurt with fruit

6. What is your middle name?
Mie (it's Japanese)

7. What food do you dislike?
I love practically all food! But I do dislike uni sushi--uni is raw sea urchin, and it's yellow and slimey and pungent tasting. My father, on the other hand, loves it. And the irony is that I turned in the title Only Uni for my second book because I was desperate for title ideas and figured the Marketing Department would never use it ... and then they picked it! Doh! Note to self: don't suggest a title you don't really like!

8. What is your favorite CD at moment?
The Scarlet Pimpernel musical (concept album)

9. What kind of car do you drive?
Toyota Camry

10. Favorite sandwich?
hot pastrami

11.What characteristic do you despise?
manipulation (and lying goes hand-in-hand w/that) (I stole this from Ronie)

12. Favorite item of clothing?
socks (I tend to get cold really easily, even when Captain Caffeine is hot). My second favorite is scarves, for the same reason.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Italy! For the food!

14. Favorite brand of clothing?
Don't really have one.

15.Where would you retire to?
Here in Northern California--the weather is great!

16.What was your most recent memorable birthday?
Captain Caffeine proposed to me at my birthday dinner.

17. Favorite sport to watch?

18. Furthest place you are sending this?
the world wide web

19. Person you expect to send it back first?

20. When is your birthday?
TODAY!!!! September 25

21. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a night person!

22. What is your shoe size?
Depends. 7.5 or 8 narrow

23. Pets?
My wonderful dog Snickers

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
I've got a cool website contest going on right now! I’m giving away TEN BOXES OF CHRISTIAN BOOKS and 30 COPIES OF MY NOVEL, SINGLE SASHIMI! Go to my website contest page for rules and how to enter:

25. What did you want to be when you were little?
a physicist. No, really. Barring that, I wanted to be a writer. LOL

26. How are you today?
Great! It’s my birthday!

27. What is your favorite candy?
See's toffee bites

28. What is your favorite flower?

29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
A retreat in October put on by my literary agency in Sonoma!

30. What is your favorite pastime?

31. What are you listening to right now?
the dog whining

32. What was the last thing you ate?
strawberry yogurt

33. Do you wish on stars?

34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

35. How is the weather right now?
sunny and clear (when I was writing this)

36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today
Robin Caroll (although it was actually her answering machine)

37. Favorite soft drink?
I try not to drink sodas because the citric acid eats at my teeth enamel. But I love Diet Coke.

38. Favorite restaurant?
Alexander's, a steak and prime rib restaurant

39. Real hair color?
Dark brown

40. What was your favorite toy as a child?
all 40 of my stuffed animals

41. Summer or winter?

42. Hugs or kisses?

43. Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla most of the time

44. Coffee or tea?
Tea with milk and honey

45. Do you want your friends to email you back?
All the time

46. When was the last time you cried?
This past weekend, hearing a woman in the NASCAR ministry talk about the women she ministers to

47. What is under your bed?
lots of dust

48. What did you do last night?
talked with Captain Caffeine, cleaned out my overflowing email Inbox

49. What are you afraid of?

50. Salty or sweet?
Salty! Esp when paired with potatoes in any way, shape, or form

51. How many keys on your key ring?

52. How many years at your current job?
3 years writing full time. Before that, 11 years as a biologist researcher

53. Favorite day of the week?
Don't have one

54. How many towns have you lived in?

55. Do you make friends easily?
I think so

56. How many people will you send this to?
Everyone on Ronie’s blog and a few from my blog

57. How many will respond?

Thanks for having me here, Ronie!

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, SINGLE SASHIMI.

Snowbound Colorado Christmas

Today, I'm delighted to promote Lena Nelson Dooley, Tamela Hancock Murray, Susan Page Davis, and Darlene Franklin for the release of their new anthology, Snowbound Colorado Christmas. I know two of these ladies, and I have to say they're both very talented and sweet women!

What is the name of your novella, and where in the collection does it occur?

Tamela: My novella is FIRES OF LOVE, and takes place first.

I know that working on a collection that weaves together takes a lot of work. How did your team schedule the work?

Lena: Working with this team was a joy. We set out our various storylines. Tamela’s and mine were more closely connected, so we had to work more closely together. That wasn’t a problem for me, because I really like Tamela, and we both wanted the best story possible. So we ironed out any inconsistencies rather well.

When you aren’t writing or spending time with your family, what is your favorite activity?

Susan: I love to travel and have recently been able to do a fair amount of that on business. My three sisters and I also take a trip together, known as Sister Week, once a year. Last June we borrowed a beach house in Avalon, New Jersey for our getaway. My next excursion will be a week in Alaska to do research for some upcoming books.

What part of the country do you live it? And why do you like that part of the country?

Darlene: I’m the only one of the four of us fortunate enough to live in fabulous Colorado. Like Susan, I’m originally from Maine. After I left home, I felt restless and kept moving west (with stops in New Jersey, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma) until I arrived in Colorado. When I arrived here, I knew I had come home. The mountains do the same thing for my spirit that the ocean used to. Because my story is set at Denver’s Brown Palace, Mom and I treated ourselves to a weekend stay during last year’s Christmas season. As I said, how I “suffer” for my art! A beautiful, fabulous place.


A native Virginian, Tamela Hancock Murray has been writing all her life. She interned on Capitol Hill and at the U.S. Department of State before graduating with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College in Virginia.
An award-winning, bestselling author, Tamela has over 20 fiction and nonfiction books to her credit. Upcoming releases include LOVE FINDS YOU IN MAIDEN, NORTH CAROLINA, and THE MASTER'S MATCH. She has discussed her work on radio and television. Her professional affiliations include Trois Riviere Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. Tamela enjoys being an agent with Hartline Literary Agency, and she takes turns with her fellow agents writing a column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine
When she's not writing, Tamela spends wonderful times with her husband and their two daughters, as well as extended family and friends.

Lena Nelson Dooley holds a BA in Speech and Drama, and she completed many graduate hours as well. She has served as a drama director for several churches. In addition, she has been the administrative assistant to two different pastors.
Snowbound Colorado Christmas is her 18th book release. Four more books will release in 2009. She is often a speaker at women’s events, writers’ meetings, and conferences. She’s an award-winning, bestselling author. At present she serves as vice-president of DFW Ready Writers, the local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She has a website, . In the monthly newsletter, she gives away copies of her books and features reviews of her recent reads as well as what’s new that month in Christian publishing. Her blog, , is popular with readers, because she promotes authors and their most recent works.

Susan Page Davis is the author of ten historical novels, six romantic suspense, and two young adult books. She has co-authored a cozy mystery series with her daughter, Megan Elaine Davis. Susan’s historicals have won awards in the Book of the Year and Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contests. She’s a homeschooling mother of six and grandmother of five. She and her husband Jim live in Maine, where Jim is a news editor.

Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin resides in the Colorado foothills with her mother and her Lynx Point Siamese cat Talia. She is the mother of two children. Her daughter has gone ahead of her to glory; her son lives in Oklahoma with his family. She loves music, reading, and writing. She is the author of five novels, and has contributed more than 150 articles to numerous magazines, anthologies, and devotionals. She has also written curriculum for children’s Sunday school.
Blog Tour Schedule:

August 24 – Lena nelson Dooley

September 1 – Janice Olson

September 5 - Brittanie A. Terrell

September 10 – Ronie Kendig

September 15 – Tiffany (Amber Miller) Stockton

September 16 – Tricia Goyer

September 23 – Lisa Buffaloe

September 23 - Deborah Khuanghlawn

September 30 – Linda Crow

Sara Mills' Miss Fortune

It is with great pleasure that I post a glowing review of Miss Fortune, the debut novel by my fabulous friend and crit partner (and Double Crit business partner), Sara Mills. She has a very distinct voice that lends itself so naturally and fluidly to mystery writing that you can't help but fall in love with the characters (especially Jack, but don't tell Sara I said that!). If you love Humphrey Bogart, the Maltese Falcon, Casa're going to absolutely love Sara's 1940s-era mystery!! And I hear she's cooking up a *killer* contest, so be sure to visit her website:

Check out the "official" blurb:

They call her the P.I. Princess

It's 1947 and Allie Fortune is the only female (and perhaps the best) private investigator in New York City.

But she's kept awake at night by a mystery of her own-- her fiance disappeared in the war and Allie is haunted my by the unknown than by finding out the worst.

Her work is a welcome distraction, and she's just been hired by a client who isn't telling the whole truth. Mary Gordon's claims of innocence don't fit with her ransacked apartment, being shot at, and the two Soviet agents hot on her trail.

Meanwhile the FBI is working the case because a legendary and mysterious treasure has gone missing...again. The only catch for Allis is her new 'partner' Jack, an attractive single agent who knows how to make her smile.

As Allie and Jack chase after the gold, they must contend with the Soviets who also want the priceless treasure back-- after all, they stole it fair and square.

Sara is getting awesome reviews on this book. Trust me, y'all--it's not a mystery you will forgive yourself for missing!! HURRY!! RUN! DON'T WALK!!!!!!!!!

I'm hosted at Kaye's blog...

Hey, y'all! Come on over and visit me at Kaye Dacus's blog today where I share about Spiritual Salves to Hot Spots during conference:

Visit me at Seekerville!

Hey, y'all! Come on over to Seekerville and visit me while we talk about contest Aftermath!!


Okay, so I've been offered a contract by Barbara Scott with Abingdon Press (have I mentioned lately how thrilled I am??), and I already know they are working (or maybe that's done at this point) on setting up their outlets, like Amazon, etc. But one thing that has me a tad ... um... curious is what graphic designer or designers they will have. light of my curiosity, I thought I'd post a copule of covers that have piqued my interest lately:

1. Shadow of Colossus by TL Higley -- ABsolutely love the cover. The colors are soothing and pleasant. The image of Colossus's foot gives it a powerful nudge. And the woman is just beautiful.

2. Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet - I love teh dichotomy of this cover. The title mentions color, yet it's almost a monochromatic scheme, with the only true hints

of color coming from the overcloak on the heroine. Very intriguing and mysterious.

3. Miss Fortune by Sara Mills - this book is releasing next week, and I think the cover is absolutely perfect for the genre and era of this book.

Wow, I realized I could go on and on listing book covers. And my favorite graphic designer, Dineen Miller, has such a knack for stuff like this (see my header on my website!!). LOL What about you? What covers have gripped you lately?


After many, many long hard years of working toward publication, I am absolutely delighted to announce that my agent, Steve Laube received an offer that we accepted from from Abingdon Press via acquiring editor, Barbara Scott, for my espionage thriller, Dead Reckoning. My book will appear in stores March 2010 (yes, it feels like eons to me, too! LOL).
Here is the official announcement my dear friend and twin Dineen Miller sent to the ACFW e-loop:

It is with GREAT pleasure and honor that I announce my wonderful best friend (and twin!) and first-time author, Ronie Kendig, has been contracted by Abingdon Press for her espionage thriller, Dead Reckoning, scheduled for release March 2010. Deal negotiated by agent extraordinaire, Steve Laube.
Private congrats are most welcome to Ronie's e-mail address at where first baby and mother are resting quite nicely in an peaceful bliss long overdue. Proud Auntie Robin Miller is gloating on the sidelines. ;-) And little sister Sara Mills is jumping up and down with glee.
For more info on this majorly cool story, check out Ronie's website at
Dead Reckoning...Underwater archeologist Shiloh Blake is consumed with passion for the water and angry at the injustices of life. Her first large-scale dig traps her in the middle of an international meltdown and forces her to flee for her life. When she spots a man trailing her, she questions who he is and how he's always one step ahead of her.
Former Green Beret Reece Jaxon now serves his country as a covert operative. His mission is entangled by the beguiling Shiloh Blake as he hunts down the source to a dead drop in the Arabian Sea.
The only way to prevent a nuclear disaster is to join forces with Reece. But will Shiloh violate her vow to never become a spy like her father? Will they put aside their differences to end this nightmare?

* * * *
Dineen A. Miller

John Olson's SHADE

Hey, everyone! Hope you're having a great week! Our kids start school next week, and I'm looking forward to everyone being in a solid routine again.

It is with trembling and shaking that I review this next book. My big brother and friend, John Olson, has Shade releasing next month! John's latest masterpiece is a work that is creepily chillifying! Doctors say Hailey Maniates has paranoid schizophrenia. Melchi, the hero, warns her that what she's seeing is supernatural! I'm telling y'all--this is a story where you have to trust. You know the kind like Sixth Sense and The Others, where you have to just enjoy the ride...then again, is it safe enough to trust? Who knows what portals that trust might open. :-D

Here's the official blurb about Shade (coming Sept 08 from B&H):

Graduate student Hailey Maniates is injured as she tries to escape a waking nightmare. The doctors diagnose her as having paranoid schizophrenia and urge her to forget about the hallucinations, but she can’t rest. Too many unsolved mysteries surround the attacks. First and most perplexing is the giant homeless man who rescued her. He seemed convinced that some kind of Gypsy vampire is pursuing both of them. Is he suffering from the same condition she has?
Against all reason, Hailey finds herself becoming more and more attracted to this strange young man. But can she trust her feelings? What if they’re part of her delusion? What if the vampire is real after all? What if the homeless man is the vampire?

Look what John had to say about his first writer's conference and this book:

I was a brand new writer back in the spring of 1998 when I showed up at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, clutching the early draft of Shade in my sweaty little hands. Would the editors like it? Would they hate it? Did I have what it took to be a writer? That very first night I sat down with one of the editors to whom I had submitted my manuscript for review, and he asked the dreaded question: “Did you send me a manuscript?” I nodded my head, and he studied my nametag with a frown. Apparently he didn’t remember my name. That was a good sign, right?
“Wait a second… You’re that John Olson? I wouldn’t touch that book with a sixty foot pole... It was terrifying!”
That was my first introduction to Steve Laube, the man who would go on to become my editor, agent, advisor and friend.

Check out this trailer from B&H on the book:

Publisher's Weekly has done a review. Check it out!

Like I said, y'all...CHILLIFYING!

Final Deposit by Lisa Harris

I am *so* thrilled to tell y'all that my awesome friend and crit partner, Lisa Harris, has her first book with Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense coming out in Septmeber. Final Deposit is a fabulously unique story, and I absolutely love the way Lisa weaves this story together. Here is a blurb of the book:

In 2006, the Internet Crime Report showed growing criminal activities targeting Americans had resulted in an estimated loss of almost two hundred million dollars. Thousands of people were scammed in such infamous con games like the Nigerian scam, fund transfer scams, and mail-order-brides.

Imagine finding out that your father has fallen victim to one of these long cons. After disposing of all his stocks, mortgaging his house, and maxing out his credit cards, George Taylor flies to Europe to meet with the man who promised him millions for his help in expediting funds out of West Africa. It’s a fortune he will never see.

When Lindsey Taylor tries to save her father from losing his life savings to the Internet scam, she discovers that losing everything you have isn’t the worst thing that can happen.

This book is a must-read! With a strong heroine, an intriguing hero, and a father you just want to wrap in your arms and console, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Shadow of Colossus by TL Higley ... and a Meme

First - before I do the meme, I *have* to rave about a new book put out by B&H Publishing. The day I received Shadow of Colossus by TL Higley in the mail, I gasped. I'd been at the B&H website the week before absolutely drooling over the cover and story synopsis for this book. I was THRILLED to read it, but realyl nervous, too--ya know how it is. You see a book and think it's going to be fantastic, but when you read it... So, my fear of being let down kept me from reading it for a few days. THEN! I finally caved to my HUGE curiosity, and started reading.

Shadow of Colossus is one of the most beautifully written books I've ever encountered. The prose is amazing, the story is riverting, and the characters are complex. Set in Rhodes, 227 BC just before the great earthquake, the story details the splendor, debauchery,and society of the Greeks. About the time I was feeling a bit irritated with one aspect of the plot, Tracy throws in a last-minute twist that I didn't see coming. I absolutely love the ending and love how she capitalizes on the Seven Wonders of the World in crafting her stories. Tessa of Delos is a captivating heroine, and Nikos...ah, Nikos. *grins* I was absolutely and completely satisfied with every aspect of this story, which is rare for me. I am now a HUGE TL Higley fan.

Go HERE to see the trailer for Shadow of Colossus.

Anxiously awaiting City of the Dead, book 2 in The Seven Wonders Series.


I have to admit, I *love* memes. :-D They are so much fun. Here's one that I got tagged with by my dear friend, Shannon McNear.

It was started by Becky Miller the Real (as opposed to Becky Miller the Fictional), and she posted five books each under three categories: Must Reads, Keep Your Eyes On These, and Coming Soon. Each player has to replace one title with another in each category, indicating what book they added, and WHY (as per Becky's request).

So, without further ado...

MUST Reads:
DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul
Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer (WaterBrook)
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress)
Firebird by Kathy Tyers (Bethany House) Yeah...I know, it's an "oldie," but it is also by far my favorite ever!
Shadow of Colossus (T.L. Higley) - I'm adding this one because I just finished it, and this is some of the most beautiful, seamless writing I've seen in a while. The story is just beautiful, too! I am anxiously awaiting book 2, City of the Dead.

Keep Your Eyes On These:
Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)
Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook)
The Legend of the FireFish by George Bryan Polivka (Harvest House)
Shadow of Colossus TL Higley (B&H) (yeah, I know, she's in all three lists, but she's won me over!)
The Falcon and The Sparrow by ML Tyndall (Barbour)

Shade by John Olson (B&H) <--ABSOLUTELY!!
Miss Fortune (by Sara Mills, published by Moody)--Sara has a very strong, unique voice that lends itself wholly to the classic Bogart/Maltese Falcon genre)
Stepping into Sunlight by Sharon Hinck (Bethany)
Single Sashimi by Camy Tang (Zondervan) - I love Camy's snarky humor!
City of the Dead by T.L. Higley

And I'm tagging...

Dineen Miller
Lisa Harris
John Olson (when he's done sanctioning himself and can come out and play with the rest of us...he can post it on his edgy social site LOL)
Lena Nelson Dooley
Mindy Obenhaus (hey, you're lying in bed, what else do you have to do?)

Finding Stephanie ROCKS!!

YAYAY!! I'm so excited--I've waited for this final book in the Noble Series for a loooong time. Okay, maybe not loooong, but definitely loong. :-D I was especially intrigued after reading Taming Rafe about Stephanie, and really hoped to see Lincoln Cash return as the hero. With two powerhouse brothers, I knew Stephanie would have to really pull off a strong, emotionally riveting story--living up to such hunky, heroic brothers is tough, but Stephanie holds her own. I loved this story, and found it very fulfilling and extremely satisfying!

About the book: When she put her dreams on hold to help run the family ranch, she never imagined they would slip out of sight. Luckily for Stefanie, those dreams are about to come knocking at her door.
Lincoln Cash has gained fame and fortune on the big screen, but a crippling secret leaves him one last chance to make his mark on the movie industry. With dreams of hosting a new film festival, Lincoln intends to remodel a sprawling ranch in eastern Montana to make it the new Hollywood hot spot.
Unfortunately, a house fire threatens his plans. So does opposition from his new neighbor Stefanie Noble, who's not thrilled about his Tinseltown changes. What Lincoln and Stefanie don't know is that the fire won't be the last disaster to threaten Lincoln or his future. Someone is out for revenge... but who? And who is the real target?

Read an excerpt:

About Susan: Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.

Link to buy the book:

Link to Susan’s website:

Link for blog tour schedule:

Grab your magnifying glass and join me on a Fact-o-Find!

Answer these questions about the bloggers on the tour and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to the movie theater of your choice (you know so you can see some of Cash's great movies *G*)! Email Amy your answers ( Ready, get set, giddy-up!

1. Which blogger is adopting a girl from China?
2. This word 'featherbunkle' is found on which blog?
3. Which blogger is supporting the 'Pickens Plan'?
4. Which blog is "The Cutest Blog on the Block"?
5. Which blogger is a S@HM and also a wife, daughter, sister, friend, nursery director, and woman that is just trying to keep it all together?
6. Which blogger is taking the Southern Reading Challenge?
7. Which blog asks 'How may we serve you'?
8. Which blogger refers to her son as 'super good big guy'?
9. Which blogger is a self-proclaimed 'Starbucks Addict'?
10. Which blogger is a big Trekkie?

Martha at Our Family’s Adventures

Trish at Books for Moms

Sunny at Life in the Estrogen Ocean

Deborah at A Cup of Joy

Julie at Waves of Grace

Camy at Camy’s Loft

Amy at Amy’s Random Thoughts

Gina at Portrait of a Writer

Lena a Christian Writer’s World

Leticia at My Daily Trek

Laura at Lighthouse Academy

Melissa at Breath of Life

Lori at Laurel Wreath’s

Ronie at Supernatural Craving

Erica at On the Right Path

Deborah at Books, Movies, and Chinese Food

Heather at Fresh Sweet Peas

Christy at Christy’s Book Blog

Beth at The Writing Road

Cee Cee at Book Splurge

Kate at A Simple Walk

Dineen at Kittens Come From Eggs

Joy at Five J's

Paula at Grace Reign

Rel at Relz Reviewz

Deena at A Peek At My Bookshelf

Patty at Girlfriends in God

Peg at Sips & Cups Cafeteria

Cara at Cara’s Musings

Pattie at Fresh Brewed Writer

Amy at My Friend Amy

AnnMarie at More Than Just A Mom

Janis at The Nearsighted Bookworm

Kelli at The Zen of Motherhood

Teresa at Joy In the Journey

Lynetta at Open Book

Betsy at Betsy Ann…Writer At Large

Susan at His Reading List

Tiffany at A Fiction Filled Life

Pamela at Pammer’s Ramblins

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows

Brittanie at A book Lover Forever

Kathleen Violet Fowler Keane 1919-2008

Jack Keane

"Kit" Fowler

Kathleen Violet Fowler
Jack & Kit's Wedding

Kit Keane 1941
Goodbye, Nana!

I love you and miss you dreadfully!

In loving memory of my beloved Nana, Kathleen Violet Fowler Keane (1919-2008). Late last night, I received word that my grandmother passed on. Her death has hit me hard, reminding me of when my mother died 12 years ago. Brian and I had just agreed we'd find a way for me to go to Ireland to see my mom's family within the next year--specifically, with my Auntie Pat who lives in CA, for Nana's 90th birthday in January.

My grandparents married in London, England, but two short years later, they moved back to my grandfather's native Ireland. There, they raised seven children: Michael, "Tina" (my mum), Margaret, Patricia, Linda, Peter, and Philip. Between those children, they ended up with over twenty grandchildren. I cannot pretend to even know how many great-grandchildren there are now. :-D
50th Anniversary Reunion
Dublin, Ireland

(interesting note: my mother (in teal)worked at this hotel as a teen)