Friday, November 30, 2007

World Magazine Recommendations


World Magazine was kind enough to ask me to participate in an article in which they asked several interviewees about what books they'd want to receive or give during the coming holiday season.  

The link (which will only be valid a few days) is here:    
And my four recommendations are here
  • Randy Alcorn, Heaven
  • Billy Collins, The Trouble with Poetry
  • Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • David Pogue and Adam Goldstein, Switching to the Mac
(And that last title is a bit of a joke for my friends who, like me, have "seen the light"  and switched to the Mac. That book really was a godsend as I learned the new system.) 

Tomorrow--we begin the book of the month for December:  The Note!  (Surprise!) Everything you wanted to know and a little bit you didn't.  :-) 

~~Angie 

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Japanese Talent Show


Yes!  I just got my TV Guide, too, and saw the full page ad for THE NOTE plus the special blurb on the highlight page for Dec. 8th.  You HAVE reserved the date or set the recorder, right? 

and you're going to love this one. 

Apparently they have a televised talent show in Japan (think American Idol, but without Simon, Paula, and Randy).  

Check out this contestant.  I'd vote for this winner! 

~~Angie

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Political Ponderings


I'm not especially fond of discussing politics, but there comes a time when we can't ignore the way policy makers (most of whom are politicians) affect our daily lives.  My friend Randy Alcorn has posted a thought-provoking article on his blog about the coming election.  I hope you'll take a few minutes to pop over there and read it. 

Yes, there are two candidates who oppose abortion, but if you listen to the question asked by Terri Shaivo's brother, I think you'll discover that there is more to being "pro-life" . . . 

I really respect Randy . . . and find his four reasons for caring about politics to be undeniable . . . and adorable. 

~~Angie 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's not the blondes who are dumb . . .


This just in--well, as of Nov. 18th. 

"Men's mental performance drops in the presence of blonde women, apparently because of the perceived link of dumbness with blondness, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reports.  A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that men's scores fell in tests after they had been shown a picture of a fair-headed woman. Further analysis ruled out that the poor performance came down to any distraction the image might have caused.  Instead, the subjects "mimic the unconscious stereotype of the dumb blonde," said Thierry Meyer, a joint author of the study and a professor of social psychology at the University of Paris X-Nanterre."  

Poppycock, I say.  Notice that the "going dumb" is the result, and the cause is an assumption. And I have no proof, but I'll bet those photos were of attractive blonde women. Marilyn Monroe, anyone? 

I hereby hypothesize that the "going dumb" has nothing to do with presumed lack of intelligence in the blonde, but rather the fact that the blood has left the man's brain.  Maybe it's primeval, like moths to a flame . . . 

I spent most of my younger life as a natural blonde, then decided to join the league of my red-haired cousins.  My IQ didn't change, but men suddenly seemed a whole lot smarter. 

Just kidding.  ;-) 

~~Angie 

Monday, November 26, 2007

What a lion!

I have to confess . . . I caught a bug, so my energy is zapped.  I thought it was the Christmas decorating, but Friday night I felt fine at six, tired at seven, and was in bed shivering with a fever by nine.  

Recovering now, and pressing on with Life. 

If you've ever wondered what an editor's life is like, BJ Hoff has an interesting interview with Nick Harrison of Harvest House on her blog.  BJ and I both peppered Nick with questions, and he was kind enough to answer. 

If you haven't seen it, this is an amazing little piece of footage!  The story is that this woman found this lion in a malnourished condition.  She loved him back to health and placed him in a zoo, where she visits him every day. 

Look at how he reacts when he sees her!  (And people say animals have no emotions!) 
Enjoy! 

~~Angie
video

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Words on Walls







When we moved into our present house, I went through this writing-on-the-walls phase.
  (Actually, I went through it in our other house, too. Had an entire psalm up in the kitchen . . . ) 

Anyway, Kay asked about the writing over my front door, so I thought I'd share a few pictures while I'm continuing to decorate. 

Click on the photos for closer details. 

Writing on the wall is really simple--and if you're artistically challenged like me, you don't do it freehand.  Simply take your favorite saying, choose your favorite computer font, and print it out in letters as big as you need to cover the space on your wall.  (Yes, on printer paper. Yes, it will take many sheets.)  

Then hike down to your favorite craft store and buy a box of graphite paper.  It's like the old carbon paper we used to use in typewriters.  (Now I'm dating myself.)  

Tape your printed pages together, tape them to the wall, and slide the graphite paper beneath it.  Trace the letters on the wall--the graphite will leave a literal pencil mark.  Then take the papers down, get a very thin paint brush, and paint with your favorite craft paint.  If you make a mistake, either wash it off while it's wet, or paint over it and start again. 

Upstairs in the guest room, I painted "the road to a friend's house is never long."  

My dining room says, "O taste and see that the Lord is good." 

My kitchen is decorated in fruit, so I have Gal. 5:22 on the walls. 

My office says, "The act of writing is the act of discovering what you believe." 

And over my front door it says, "The ornament of this home is the friends who visit here." 
 
Have a blank wall?   Write on it! 

~~Angie, who has no more blank walls . . . 

P.S. Happy anniversary, Kay!  

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm decorating . . .



'Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the house . . . 

Babe is fascinated by the Christmas tree.  (Click the photo to enlarge. ) 

I'm worn out by the Christmas tree.  For the first time in a long time, we got an artificial tree, and it has eaten the foyer.  We've spent all day moving furniture to accommodate The Tree.  

Tomorrow, the outside of the house.  Then a hot bath, I think. 

So--did you shop on "black Friday?" Did you relax? Or did you decorate? 

~~Angie 

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas: The Shaping of Tradition

I don't know what you do the day after Thanksgiving--a lot of people shop, but I DECORATE.  

And while I'm dragging the boxes down from the attic, I'll be thinking about our family traditions . . . and our national ones. 

I found this article in some old files.  I wrote it years ago, but history is still history.  :-) 

 Ah, Christmas! This festive season of merriment and gratitude has been celebrated through the world for nearly 2000 years. Christmas trees, carols, Yule logs, and turkey dinners have been with us since the days of our Founding Fathers.

 Right?

Wrong. The American Christmas has been shaped by Puritans, Pilgrims, Italians, Poles, Latins, Lutheran Germans, and Catholic Irish. Christmas today combines miracles and presents, reindeer and camels, religion and commercialism.

 How did our Christmas traditions evolve? Christopher Columbus was the first person to receive gifts during the Christmas season in America, after his ship entered the port of Bohio on the island of Haiti on December 6. American colonists first celebrated Christmas here 150 years later.

 The Jamestown settlers spent their first Christmas within sight of their homes, having set sail for the New World on December 19, 1606. Although many of them were ill, Captain John Smith reported that they "made the best cheer they could."

 After arriving in America, Captain Smith spent his first Christmas as a captive of the Indian chief Powhatan. The Jamestown settlers later made friends with the Indians, and John Smith wrote of the Christmas they shared: 

 "The extreme winds, rayne, frost, and snow caused us to keep Christmas among the savages, where we were never more merry, nor fed on more plenty of good Oysters, Fish, Flesh, Wild Fowl, and good bread, nor never had better fires in England."

 This was a strictly male feast with none of the decorations or trimmings because there were no women in the colony initially. The first truly festive Christmas was held in Jamestown in 1619, when ninety women arrived at the settlement. 

As Jamestown prospered, the English settlers became known for their hospitality and Christmas merriment. The pleasure-loving Englishmen brought such customs as the ringing of bells, burning a Yule log, playing games, and singing carols. Evergreens decorated their homes and churches, and candles shone through the night.

 The Puritans, however, considered Christmas a pagan festival. They did not object to celebrating the Tide of Christ, if kept in the proper spirit. But the pagan customs associated with the Tide of Yule included stage shows, caroling, gaming, and other merrymaking. When the Puritans realized that Christ and Yule had‘ been inseparably intertwined, they cast out the entire holiday. 

To purify the custom, the Puritans passed a law forbidding the celebration of Christmas and planned hard work for Christmas Day. By 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts was imposing a five-shilling fine on anyone caught observing Christmas Day. They repealed the law in 1681, but not until December 8, 1686, was a Christmas service conducted in Boston. 

For many, Christmas became a time of self-denial. No New England college had a Christmas holiday in 1847, and Christmas was a workday until 1856. As late as 1870, schools held classes on December 25th. 

The atmosphere in New England changed gradually, but not until 1856 was the day made a legal holiday in Massachusetts. Unlike the Puritans, the Pilgrims, who came from Holland, caught the spirit of Christmas and brought barrels full of ivy, holly, and laurel on the Mayflower. These were used to decorate tables and weave wreaths for children at Christmastime. 

The Dutch settlers were enthusiastic about Christmas. In 1654, the city fathers of one Dutch settlement voted to "adjourn" from December 14 to January 15 for the holiday season. The Dutch trimmed their gabled homes with evergreens and celebrated with gifts, trees, and feasts of turkey, pudding, and pie. 

Moravian households in Pennsylvania prepared the traditional Kuemmelbread, sugar cake, mince pies, and Christmas cookies. On Christmas Eve, families attended the "love feast" at the church, where a good-size bun and large cup of coffee were served as a‘ token of fellowship. Before the end of the service, lighted wax candles on large trays were brought into the church. A candle was passed to each person to remind him of the coming of the One who is the Light of the World. 

This visually moving tradition is celebrated in many churches to this day.  The European Christmas calendar gradually spread from December 25, the agreed-upon date of the birth of Jesus, to a twelve-day period which concluded on January 6, the date of St. Nicholas' death in A.D. 342.

 This twelve-day holiday period carried over to America and was a special time for the signing of treaties and for weddings. In our young nation's history, George Washington married the widow Martha Curtis on Twelfth Day, January 6. Thomas Jefferson married Martha Skelton on New Year's Day in 1772.

Although our modern world is too busy for twelve days of holiday, Christmas is still considered a very special time for weddings.  During the terrible days of the Revolutionary War at Valley Forge, Washington and his men faced starvation and cold on Christmas. But a day or so before Christmas, the steward managed to buy cabbage, turnips and potatoes, and there was also some meat and fowl. Though scanty, the Christmas dinner was much appreciated by Washington and his men. 

Santa Claus was not part of Colonial Christmases. Gifts were limited to tokens of appreciation to servants on the day after Christmas--St. Stephen's Day--and occasional presents for children on New Year's Day. 

Volleys of musket fire and cannon were common during the‘ holiday season in Jamestown and Williamsburg. This practice evolved into shooting firecrackers on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. 

Christmas trees are relative newcomers to the American Christmas, but the tree tradition is an ancient one stretching back to ancient Teutonic cultures where the enduring vitality of the winter evergreen was emblematic of the immortality of the soul. 

One of the most popular mystery plays of medieval European churches was the Paradise play, based upon the story of Adam and Eve. To enact the play, a fir tree was brought inside the church, its boughs dripping with fruit.

As mystery plays fell out of church favor, people brought the trees into their homes on December 24, the feast day of Adam and Eve, and hung apples, cookies, and treats from the tree limbs to symbolize the sweet fruit of redemption.

 The first Christmas trees in America were found in the German Moravian church's communal settlement at Bethlehem, PA, in 1747. These were not real evergreen trees, but the European style of wooden pyramids covered with evergreen boughs. They decorated trees with popcorn chains, gilded nuts, frosted cookies, paper dolls, ribbons, berries, peaches, and other fruits. Small candles in gilded egg cups shone in the darkness. 

Not everyone liked this innovation.  In 1883, a New York Times editor criticized the tree, calling it "a rootless and lifeless corpse--never worthy of the day." He predicted that the Christmas tree would fade in popularity while the more traditional‘ Christmas stocking would endure. 

Ironically, central heating and automatic clothes dryers have made obsolete the common practice of hanging one's damp socks to dry overnight at the hearth where one morning a year they might be found stuffed with treasures; but the hearty symbol of hope blooming eternal in the midst of winter, the Christmas tree, may well be the most indispensable ingredient to the modern American Christmas.  

Whatever traditions your family chooses from our rich heritage, consider the four basic aspects of Christmas: the family, the story, the carol, and the gift. To those you may add whatever traditions you choose, and enjoy the season to its fullest.  

Happy decorating (or shopping!) 

~~Angie


P.S.  For a bit of fun, check out Kathy Mackel's blog today.  Link is to the right.  

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving


Now thank we all our God,
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom his world rejoices;
Who from our mother's arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, 
And still is ours today. 

O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us; 
And keep us in his grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next. 
--Lyra Germanica, 1858. 

Have a blessed and grateful Thanksgiving! 

~~Angie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Political Commercials


The season of politics will soon be upon us, and I'm already braced.  But if you want to see a political ad that doesn't whine, doesn't slam the other guy, and doesn't sound as if the world will end tomorrow, check out this video.

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm supporting Huckabee although everyone says he can't win. He's one of two pro-life candidates out there, and I believe we need to get behind him.  If not now, when?  And the sanctity of life isn't the only issue I'm considering. I like Mike for many reasons. 

If you'd like to help get this video on the air in your area, visit Mike Huckabee's web page to make a donatation.  They have mounted "a buck for Huck" campaign that's in full swing. 

I donated . . . a bit more than a buck. How about you?  
~~Angie




Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quick Question


If you saw a novel titled GHOST by yours truly, would you want to read it? 
 
(I'm really asking if you'd trust me enough to know it's about more than things that go bump in the night.) 

~~Angie, noodling on a new idea

P.S.  For your entertainment, check out this link.  Hilarious! 

(Hat tip to Robert Elmer!) 

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rats! Foiled again!

About the photo contest--I should have given you the address to send the photos!  Send to Angie at angelaelwellhunt.com.  (Use the @ symbol, of course.  I spell it out to avoid those spam crawlers). 



Did you hear about the world's most expensive dessert?  

"Serendipity 3 set a Guinness world record on November 7 for the most expensive dessert when it partnered with luxury jeweler Euphoria New York to create "Frrozen Haute Chocolate," a blend of 28 cocoas fused with 0.2 ounces of edible 23-karat gold.Just killed your chocolate craving, didn't I? It comes with an 18-karat gold bracelet with 1 carat of white diamonds at the base of the goblet. The sundae is topped with whipped cream covered with more gold and a side of La Madeline au Truffle from Knipschildt Chocolatier, which sells for $2,600 a pound."

I was amazed when I read about the above--first, that anyone would spend $25,000 for a DESSERT (at least you can walk away with the diamond bracelet), and second, that anyone would eat GOLD.  (Although, I think I've done it.  I had a gold-flaked dessert on a cruise once, but I didn't ask any questions.)  I suppose anything is edible, if not digestible.  

Now there's an update on the story!  The restaurant that created this amazing dessert, "Serendipity 3" has just been closed down.  Why?  Because of RATS and COCKROACHES!  

According to the news report, "Serendipity 3 on the Upper East Side failed its second consecutive health inspection in a month on Wednesday night after health officials found a live mouse, mouse droppings in multiple places, flies and dozens of live cockroaches, the Heath Department said."

Just killed your chocolate craving, didn't I? 

~~Angie 



Sunday, November 18, 2007

A special holiday treat from Robin Lee!


Oh, the things I could tell you about Robin Lee Hatcher!  We've been friends for years, we've roomed together on a couple of occasions, and we have lots in common--we like the same movies, we love our dogs, and we're gadget geeks.  And Mac converts. 

But on this chilly weekend (it's 55 degrees here!) I want to tell you about Robin's latest release. 

HEARTS EVERGREEN
Steeple Hill, November 2007

Book Link:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0373786123/novelistrobinlee


Just in time for the holidays,my pal Robin Lee Hatcher has released a new  
Christmas romance.

In A Cloud Mountain Christmas (Robin's story in Hearts Evergreen, a  
collection of two novellas from Steeple Hill), Maddie Scott, reeling  
from the news that her ex-husband has remarried and is expecting a  
child, heads to Idaho's Cloud Mountain Lodge to negotiate the sale of  
a valuable manuscript discovered there. But could the lodge's  
proprietor, Tony Anderson, a man she knew years before in college, be  
just what Maddie needs to have a merry Christmas after all?

About Hearts Evergreen, Library Journal says: "Two holiday  
novellas by a Christy Award winner (Hatcher) and a rising author in  
the inspirational romance genre (Springer) offer romantic fare perfect  
for curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate."

To read an excerpt from A Cloud Mountain Christmas, visit Robin's web  
site:
http://www.robinleehatcher.com/hearts_evergreen.htm

*****

The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction,  
two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career  
Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin Lee  
Hatcher is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie,  
named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal. She enjoys  
being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors,  
reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is  
passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can  
be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare  
Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home  
outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Since you have nothing else to do at this time of year . . .



Okay, I know this is silly.  And probably the worst time of year to do this.  But here's the scoop--remember that contest I had for Fairlawn slogans?  The winner, a very nice lady, I'm sure, hasn't sent me her address, though I've peppered her inbox with emails for the last three weeks.  I guess she doesn't want the ten-pound box of books (all different titles) I offered as a prize.  

So I've had this box packaged up and ready to go, but taking up precious space in my office, for far too long. (And I'd hate to diagram that sentence.) 
And so I'm offering another contest--call it the consolation contest.  Call it crazy.  Call it anything you like, but please play. 

I hope you have a pet (or can borrow one), because here's the deal:  dress your pet as your favorite character from an Angela Hunt novel and snap a picture.  Email it to me.  I will post several pictures in my blog, but I'm going to let my book club members vote on their favorite at our next meeting, which will be December 10th.  

And you'd better send a line telling me WHO or WHAT  your pet represents . . . and from which book he/she sprang.  :-)  

The winner will receive the ten-pound box of Angela Hunt books.  :-)  And this time, I hope someone claims it! 

Ready, set . . . go! 

~~Angie 

Friday, November 16, 2007

Co-writing projects--how they work


Since Deanna's and Mandisa's books have come out, I've been regularly receiving letters from lovely  folks who have a story to tell and who want me to tell it. Since I've had to write them back and explain that I'm unable to do so, I thought I might take a moment here to explain how a co-writing gig comes to be. 

When a non-writing celebrity (celebrity is not necessary, but it certainly helps to get the book sold) has a winning idea, they or their agent take it to a publisher and get the book contracted--while it's still an idea or a premise.  Sometimes an editor contacts a celebrity because his or her instincts can sense a good story. 

By the way, what makes a "winning idea?" As I said, celebrity certainly helps, because people want to know more about people they already know a little something about.  But ordinary people can get their stories told if those stories are exceptional, if the storyteller has  been thrust into the public spotlight by an unusual circumstance, and if the book has a meaningful "take-away" for the reader. 

After the idea is contracted, the publisher decides on a publication date and a manuscript due date.  And at some point in this process, the editors look at the writers they have worked with over the years and decide to call one or two to see if they are available to do the writing. 

That's where writers like me step in.  I am not involved before the project is sold, nor am I much involved after the book is published.  Sure, I help the celebrity put their words, thoughts, and experiences down on paper, but the story is theirs, not mine.  So when the book comes out, they go off on a publicity junket and I am happy to stay home and work on my WIP--usually a novel that won't sell nearly as well, but writing novels is what I like to do. :-) 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the co-writing projects, too.  I love hearing about people's stories and thinking about what aspects of those stories will move readers--and how to write those stories so they ring with authenticity and snap with drama.  I've written nonfiction for years, so it's nice to flex those muscles every now and again.  

But my heart, my passion, is rooted in my novels.  

So when people ask me about writing their stories, they're putting the cart before the horse. I usually advise them to write their story up as a magazine article or pitch it to a newspaper features editor. If they can sell that, they've made a good beginning.

BTW--I don't know if I've mentioned it, but all the royalties from Deanna's book are going to her charity that helps women with breast cancer. I was paid for my work up front, so everything coming in now is going straight to charity--and that's pretty cool, I think.  

Have a great weekend!  I'm going to enjoy this beautiful fall weather!

~~Angie

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Turkey Day is Fast Approaching!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just don't want to work? I had one today--the weather outside was gorgeous, my mind was scattered, and I just couldn't seem to focus.  So I did lots of little things, including re-printing my work calendar and creating a new schedule so that I'll be sure to have time to finish not only the WIP, but the WIP around the corner, too. 

Hard to believe we're looking 2008 in the face already.  And one week from today--Thanksgiving!  

Dedicated to all of you who get up early on holiday mornings to wrestle with a turkey!   I've done this (well, not exactly this) too many holidays to count! 
video
~~Angie

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

News Flash Update


11* QUIET STRENGTH, by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker. (Tyndale, $26.99.) A memoir by the first black coach to win a Super Bowl (with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007).817
12WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY, by Dinesh D’Souza. (Regnery, $27.95.) An argument for Christianity in response to recent books that make the case for atheism.162
13DON’T BET AGAINST ME!, by Deanna Favre with Angela Hunt. (Tyndale House, $22.99.) A football wife’s battle with breast cancer.
Look at these three books, right in a row, on the New York times Best Seller list.  People DO want to read about God! 
~~Angie 

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Now here's an idea I can support . . .


http://www.donateyourcalories.com/

"Eat your dinner.  Children in Africa are starving." 
"Oh, yeah? Then take my dinner and send it to them." 
Sound at all familiar?  Well, now there's a way to put that plan into action. By going to the above site and typing in a few general answers, you can see how much money you can save and donate to hungry children. 

The page is sponsored by Diet Power, a nifty weight loss computer program.  (Yes, I have it and it's great.  If you do your part, it does its part very well.  But you have to do your part consistently.) 

According to the web page, I could save $83 per month if I stick to my diet . . . and some starving child will be better for it.  My hubby and I already support a couple of children through the World Vision program, so this thought is familiar . . . and it feels right. 

Stop by and check it out BEFORE the holidays are upon us! 

~~Angie 

Monday, November 12, 2007

I've love you to meet my pal Creston









Creston and I had been email buddies until we met face to face last July. And then--you know how you instantly feel a sort of simpatico with someone? I think I fell in love with Creston--in a brotherly way, of course--when we jokingly announced that all first timers in a meeting had to curtsey.  We were doing introductions around a circle, and when it was Creston's turn, he stood up and curtsied!  I liked him right away--takes a real man to do that in a crowd! 



Creston is a talented writer with a big vision. I've invited him here today to talk about his book, NOBODY.  Written by a Somebody--my friend, Creston. :-) 

Creston, why don't you tell us about how you came to write this book? And how's it doing? 


NOBODY was released Sept. 11 by Multnomah and seems to be doing very well. Yay. It's my third novel with Multnomah in three years and is a stand alone. The first two books, Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol and Full Tilt were made up a two book series known as The Rock Star Chronicles. 


The story behind NOBODY is pretty cool. I was with my late father, Bernie, at a park in St. Augustine, FL, when we saw a homeless man sitting on a park bench, clutching a loaf of bread, tearing off pieces, eating some and throwing chunks to the dozens of black birds all around him. My dad noted that "he" would be a good subject for a book. Then, when my publisher suggested Las Vegas as a backdrop, and a research visit to that city, I set up a day with Brian Brooks of the Nevada Health Centers, who took me all over the Vegas homeless community. We visited free clinics, talked to doctors and nurses, went to the soup kitchens and encampments where they "live." I also met with Jud Wilhite, pastor of Vegas's booming Central Christian Church (10,000-12,000). Jud shared a moving poem with me called I Stand By The Door, which amazingly aligned with my spiritual walk of getting too steeped in the church, and not concerned enough about the people outside the doors of it.


Since I was a reporter at one time, my main character, Hudson Ambrose, is a reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal, the city's real paper, which I visited when in Las Vegas.

The book begins when Hud hears a pre-dawn call on the police scanner at the newspaper about an injured person at a bus stop along The Strip. When he arrives, he finds a murdered homeless man. Waiting around for the police, Hud knows the case will get tied up in red tape when they do arrive. He wants to get an ID on the guy before the police come. He can hear the sirens bearing down. Quickly, he searches the mans pockets and is shocked to find a bank book with close to a million dollars in it. A safe deposit box key drops into the puddle of blood at the man's feet. Hud's got a decision to make. And off we go into NOBODY, and Hudson Ambrose's breakneck investigation into the life of the homeless man, Chester Holte. Why was a former rich Atlanta business mogul living homeless on the streets of Las Vegas? What happened after his wife died in their private plane crash. Who was the beautiful Holly Queens and what was her relationship with Chester? And why does virtually everyone in the Las Vegas homeless community believe Chester was an angel in disguise?



Sounds like my kind of book--I love a book that raises questions.  



If you want to know more about Creston and his novels, visit him on the web at: 



~~Angie

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today, stop by Randy Alcorn's blog


http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2007/11/why-i-support-mike-huckabee-for.html

Randy has written an excellent blog about Christians in politics.  I strongly agree with Randy--at this point, I'm not thrilled with any of the candidates, but I also believe that abortion is a national sin. We are growing callous and indifferent about the gift of human life, so this is a crucial issue for me. 

In any case, Randy makes several great points.  Be sure to visit his blog today. 

~Angie

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tee hee--a delightful surprise

I've been to big conferences where (really) famous writers sit in panels and talk about the time when they first hit the New York Times bestseller list.  About how they received wine and flowers, etc. and were so thrilled. 

Well-- this morning I received the COOLEST gift from my publisher.  I was at home doing my Saturday chores when the UPS man stopped by.  I wondered what in the world could be so important as to require a Saturday delivery, when he comes down the walk carrying a pretty blue box.  When I open the box, I discovered . .
 . a pajama-gram!  

LOL!  This lovely little gift box contained slippers, cozy flannel pajamas (have I mentioned that I love pajamas well enough to speak in?), bath fixins (salts, pillow, loofa, etc), and a door hanger that says "Unwinding."  And a congratulatory note from my friends at Tyndale House.  

I'm tickled pink--or blue.  (Actually, the pajamas are pink).  Just perfect!

And I think it's really apt that I was in my pajamas when the UPS man arrived.  :-) 

~~Angie

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ideas . . .


Whenever I go out to speak and open the discussion for questions, someone always asks, "Where do you get your ideas?" 

My answer is rather dull:  "Ideas are everywhere, I get dozens of them every day.  Great ideas are a little harder to come by." 

Lately I've been having ideas pop into my head right and left--they tend to come in spurts.  But most of these are unusable--or they're just not "me." 

1.  Antibiotics and roaches.  I was thinking about toilets, and about sewers, and remembered a time when I peered into a sewer pipe and saw that it was SWARMING with roaches. Then I remembered that a lot of people flush their unneeded medications down the toilet.  What if the roaches are eating the drugs?  What if we are creating a swarm of mutant roaches?  Gives a new meaning to the term "super bug," doesn't it? 

I'll bequeath this idea to Stephen King.   Then again, he's probably already done it.  

2. Mosquitoes as weapons.  I read an article on how the military is thinking about using mosquitoes as weapons.  Seems that they could/can infect mosquitoes with viruses that are harmful to humans . . . and we could affect/infect an enemy with illness if we unleashed mosquitoes on them.  After all, men have been using germ warfare for years--did you know that the English settlers of the colonies gave smallpox blankets to the Indians?  Wiped out entire tribes.  Shameful, but true. 

Hmm.  Interesting idea, but not for now. 

3. The Baby Boomer Romance.  I was reading an article about how a lot of baby boomers are working simply because they have kids in college.  So I wondered . . . what if there was this really gnarly boss everyone hated?  She/he is almost ready to retire, but he/she can't because his/her playboy son is still in college, stretching a four-year degree program into ten?   So the office workers get together and charge Millie, who has a college-age daughter, with making sure her bookworm daughter sticks to Playboy Son and makes sure he finishes school.  They offer some kind of great incentive so she'll stick with it--maybe they'll pay for her school.  So Bookworm Daughter meets Playboy Son, sparks fly, and of course those opposites attract.  Ta da!  Romance . . . which I don't write.  Tabling this idea, too. 

Unless I get desperate. 

Seriously, I spent most of the day thinking about a new idea . . . which is so far out there I'm going to keep it to myself for a while.  :-)

~~Angie 

Thursday, November 08, 2007

News Flash!

29LOOK ME IN THE EYE, by John Elder Robison (Crown)
30DON'T BET AGAINST ME!, by Deanna Favre with Angela Hunt (Tyndale)
31LOUDER THAN WORDS, by Jenny McCarthy (Dutton)


Know what the above is from?  THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST!  

I need pinching again.  :-)  God is good. 

Newsflash update:  My editor just told me that the next time the NYT list is published, this book will be at #13!  

~~Angie 

What Are we Teaching?


Back to my regular bloggy ramblings . . . 

It was actually a confluence of events that spurred my comment about Halloween costumes. Let me back up.

A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I were watching TV--actually, I was reading and he was channel surfing.  He hit upon the movie "Mean Girls," and I paused to watch.  There's a scene where the Lindsey Lohan character, a newcomer at the school, goes to a costume party.  She goes as a witch--long wig, long dress, gross makeup--and then realizes that the party is just an excuse for the girls to wear lingerie.  Everyone else looks like walking Victoria Secrets's ads.

That may have been a bit outlandish in 2004 when the movie was made, but it's not so outlandish any more.  I went to the dentist and listened as my hygienist cleaned my teeth and told me about a party her teenage daughter had been invited to.  Seems that two girls showed up at that party in boys' boxer shorts and bras as their costume.  Thank goodness, the father at the home asked the girls to put on some clothes.  The girls were surprised. 

The next morning (or thereabouts) I'm eating breakfast and watching "Good Morning America," and I see that they're interviewing a woman who has written a book called "Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank."  She talks about how fashions for children--CHILDREN--have become overtly sexy. 

Then I pick up my newspaper, and on the front page of the family section, there's an article about the current crop of Halloween costumes--and they're all sexy.  There's a naughty nurse, a sexy doctor, a wanton waitress, complete with fishnets.  And these are for CHILDREN.  

For years now, I've been doing an annual "Immodest Fashion Show" for the girls in our youth group (my hubby's a youth minister).  I've begun to notice a difference.  In years past, when I explained that the reason we're modest is because men/boys are turned on by sight in a completely different way than girls are, the girls accepted this thoughtfully and seemed to understand that it's wrong to lead guys on in this way.  I always tell them about my dogs, and about how my daughter used to tease them with greasy french fries, knowing they weren't supposed to eat greasy french fries.  (Neither am I, but that's another topic.)  

The difference these days is that girls don't seem to care when I explain this.  They WANT to turn the guys on, because to be sexy is to be popular. 

This bothers me deeply on several levels.  As a Christian, it goes against everything we're taught regarding how we are to honor our brothers in Christ.  As a woman, I find it completely demeaning to womanhood.  How is a young man supposed to appreciate a woman's intelligence, personality, charm, and wit if he is led to fixate on her body?  And how are we supposed to teach girls that all of the above are valuable characteristics if physical beauty is the be-all and end-all to life?  Good grief! 

I'm all for slapping a little paint on an old barn, but there's a huge difference between trying to look attractive and trying to look sexy.  

I flip channels and see plastic surgery shows where sixteen-year-olds are getting breast implants for a birthday gift.  I pick up PEOPLE magazine and find that my favorite actresses are clones of who they used to be--now their lips are puffed, their eyes pulled back, and they have that lizard smile that screams "plastic surgery." 

(And here I've just finished a book about a woman with no face at all, but that's beside the point. I just think it's an interesting juxtaposition. Maybe my subconscious at work.) 

On the plane to Canada the other week, I watched "Georgia Rules" on the back of the seat in front of me.  Sitting between two priests, no less.  (You can't make this stuff up.)  The movie is rough, because ultimately it's about a girl (Lindsey Lohan again, ironically) who's been sexually abused by her father. She no longer knows that truth is or what love is, and it's left her hard, crude, confused, and jaded.  

THIS is what this sex-emphasis is doing to our children.  You don't have to physically sexually abuse children to achieve these effects, and I fear for the young ones coming up. 

This year the trick or treaters who came to my door were mostly wee ones, but I did have a naughty nurse and a sexy waitress . . . and as they walked away, I leaned against the door frame and wanted to weep. 

~~Angie

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

BOM: Questions and Answers

video


Since there weren't any questions this week, I'll just fast forward to this clip from THE NOTE that Hallmark sent me.  

Would someone pinch me, please?

Oh--and no, I wish I could take credit for the lovely fall photos.  But I have bought some clip art CDs, and I often use photos from those collections.  We just don't get a lot of fall color down here in Florida! 

~~Angie