Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cheryl Wyatt's latest book --win a Kindle!


A PLACE TO CALL HOME

Amelia North needs refuge, and finds it--in Refuge, Illinois. Stranded there after a car wreck, the single mother expects to be cold-shouldered. After all, she’s already been rejected by her parents, her church and her daughter’s father. Instead, she finds a town full of people with open hands and hearts…including pararescue jumper Ben Dillinger.

Ben wants to help Amelia and her daughter find safety and stability. Instead, he finds himself freefalling—right into love with the ready-made family.

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AUTHOR INFO/BIO:

Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM, joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She’s convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentine’s Day destined her to write military romance. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. Her debut novels (Books 1 and 2-Wings of Refuge Series-Steeple Hill) received Romantic Times Top Picks. In addition, her debut books received the honor of coming in at #1 and #4 on eHarlequins's Top Ten Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists which included several NYT Bestselling authors. Cheryl is currently serving as Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.acfw.com

To receive her quarterly newsletter for updates on new releases and contests with GREAT prizes (think: free books, CDs, iPods, and a Kindle!), visit her Web site at www.cherylwyatt.com and sign up in the space provided. Cheryl respects your privacy and will not share your e-mail address with a third party.

Her current contest:

KINDLE CONTEST—NO FOOLIN!

Starting April Fool’s day 2009 I’ll be running a Kindle contest. Only my newsletter subscribers will be eligible for entry. To receive those quarterly newsletters as well as more information on the Kindle contest, visit www.cherylwyatt.com and sign up in the newsletter space provided. This is a double-opt-in feature and you will receive an e-mail prompting you to confirm that you wish to receive the newsletter. I respect your privacy and will not share your e-mail address with a third party. Winner will be announced on Independence Day 2009 on my newsletter and blog.


Monday, March 30, 2009

The latest from Toyota


This video made my stomach clench. Maybe I'm a chicken driver, but I get uneasy when I have to turn my car into my steep driveway . . . and it's only about four feet long! But those couple of seconds that I can't see the road are enough to unnerve me.

Whoever this test driver is . . . shudder. I don't know how he does it.

What's the steepest road you've ever driven on?

~~Angie, at home in nice, flat Florida.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Face--update


Some of you know that the idea for THE FACE came to me after I watched a Discovery-Health Channel special called "Born Without a Face"--it's the true story of Juliana Wetmore.

Well, the other day I found a follow up program on the same channel: "Born Without a Face: Five Years Later." I watched, and saw that Juliana is now five years old, very bright, mostly happy, and quite adept at sign language. Her parents' love and care is still very precious to behold.

Though Julianna's face is still a long way from what most people would call "normal," I was interested to hear that her parents are wondering when they should call it quits. This little girl has had 29 painful surgeries, and I know there will come a point when they don't want to put their child through any more suffering. When will enough be enough? Juliana still eats through a stomach tube and breathes through a trach. At some point, her parents will say, "That's enough for now," and everyone will learn to live with whatever disabilities still exist at that point.

I found this especially interesting, because in my novel THE FACE, I had Sarah's caregiver come to the same conclusion . . . at one point, she decided that Sarah could live with a face that was far from being structurally perfect. Sarah was able to eat, breath, and hear with a cochlear implant . . .

I don't know what the future holds for this dear family, but when you watch Juliana, when you look past the face and see the brave spirit shining within, you can't help but cheer her and her parents on. I'll be remembering them in my prayers.

~~Angie

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Town Like Alice


Recently a list of books went around Facebook--they were supposedly suggested by the BBC as books everyone ought to read. One title, "A Town Like Alice," was on the list, and I had to mark it as unread because I'd never ever heard of it.

But a couple of my facebook friends raved about it, so I bought a copy off Amazon.com and recommended it to my bookclub. It was our book-of-the-month.

We haven't discussed it yet, but I just wanted to tell you that this IS a must-read. It's an older book, written in a slower style (reminded me a little of Jane Eyre), but it's based on a true story that came out of World War II. Apparently it was required reading in schools at one point, because I found several online study guides. But by the time I passed through high school, at least, the book had fallen from favor. One of my book club members told me that she couldn't even find a copy in our local library system!

That's a downright shame. After reading--and loving--the story, I found two movie versions of the book: an older, black and white movie, and a newer mini-series. The newer version is available only on VHS (and I'm not even sure our tape player still plays), but I found the old version on Amazon's video on demand. For $2.99, I was able to download it and watch it on my computer. I found it a faithful, if highly condensed, rendition of the story.

A TOWN LIKE ALICE is so refreshing because it honors qualities we don't see as often as we used to--honor, bravery, sacrifice, generosity, love. It's not a "Christian" book, but God is present between every line. I highly recommend this to you, but read the book first. Wherever you can find it. :-)

~~Angie

Friday, March 27, 2009

The New Cops-Plus-One Shows


Photo: Nathan Fillion, aka CASTLE.

Since I'm between jobs, I've been watching WAY more TV than usual, and I've noticed the latest trend in cop shows. Now the cops all need a unique person to help them solve crimes. You've got MEDIUM, where the cops need a psychic. You've got MOONLIGHT, where the cops need a vampire/private detective. You've got THE MENTALIST, where the cops need a fake psychic/mentalist. You've got MONK, where the cops need a detective with an OCD cleanliness fetish. And the latest seems to be CASTLE, where the cops need a novelist.

I've had several friends tell me that I ought to watch the show, so I tried the last fifty minutes or so last night. Aside from a Bill Myers look the protagonist has going on, I was sorta flummoxed by the writing part--I mean, the man never wrote anything! In one scene he said a certain scenario wouldn't work because "I'd never write it like that," and in another he fell asleep in an easy chair with his laptop in his lap. But other than that . . . . no writing. I didn't even notice any day dreaming or note-taking. :-)

Funniest of all, to me, as the way the cops deferred to this guy, as if he knew anything about police work. They even let him question suspects! Ha!

Maybe the pilot set it up a little better, but I'm afraid this gimmick will wear thin pretty quickly. Too bad. The reality of a "writer show"--an episode where a guy sits around and thinks and types and thinks and types and paces and thinks and types . . . sounds like mesmerizing TV, doesn't it?

Angie

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hanging Out--Fashionable?


Okay, so we all know that most runway fashion is just a tad too extreme for real life. But this latest fad is a tad too extreme, I think, even for the runway.

Apparently someone has taken a cue from Janet Jackson's wardrobe mishap at the Super Bowl a few years ago (remember that?) and purposely designed fashions that bare one breast. If you're brave, you can read about it here:

All I can say is . . . well, frankly, this one leaves me speechless. And it's going to take me a while to come up with a photo for this blog piece . . .

~~Angie

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Animals Again . . . they never disappoint!

I think my cousin sent me this movie . . . and it's too cute not to pass on. The other day I showed you the "dog hero" video where we saw the benevolent side of animals. This video is about the sneaky side. :-)

~~Angie


video

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Marlo's latest


First of all, let me offer warm congratulations to Marlo Schlesky for being a Christy finalist for her book, BEYOND THE NIGHT.

And I'd also like to tell you about her new book, If Tomorrow Never Comes.

They say you should reach for your dreams.

This time, they’re wrong…

Childhood sweethearts Kinna and Jimmy Henley had simple dreams—marriage, children, a house by the sea…everything they needed for happily ever after. What they didn’t plan on was years of infertility, stealing those dreams, crushing their hopes. Now, all that’s left is the memory of young love, and the desperate need for a child to erase the pain. Until…

Kinna rescues an elderly woman from the sea, and the threads of the past, present, and future weave together to reveal the wonder of one final hope. One final chance to follow not their dreams, but God’s. Can they embrace the redemptive power of love before it’s too late? Or will their love be washed away like the castles they once built upon the sand? The past whispers to the present. And the future shivers. What if tomorrow never comes?

A Bit About Marlo:

Marlo Schalesky is the award winning author of seven books, including her latest novel, If Tomorrow Never Comes, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist to create a new type of novel that she hopes will impact readers at their deepest levels. Marlo’s other books include Beyond the Night, Veil of Fire (winner of the 2008 ACFW Book of the Year, historical category), and Empty Womb, Aching Heart- Hope and Help for Those Struggling with Infertility.

She’s had over 600 articles published in various Christian magazines, including Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman, Decision, Moody Magazine, and Discipleship Journal. She has contributed to Dr. Dobson’s Night Light Devotional for Couples, Tyndale’s Book of Devotions for Kids #3, and Discipleship Journal’s 101 Small Group Ideas. She is a speaker and a regular columnist for Power for Living.

Marlo is also a California native, a small business owner, and a graduate of Stanford University (with a B.S. in Chemistry!). In addition, she has earned her Masters in Theology, with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Marlo lives with her husband and five young children in a log home in Central California.

When she’s not changing diapers, doing laundry, or writing books, Marlo loves sipping Starbucks white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and talking about finding the deep places of God in the disappointments of life.

For more information, including an audio interview with Marlo about IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES and helps for the infertility journey, visit www.marloschalesky.com

An Interview with Marlo:

How did you come up with the concept for If Tomorrow Never Comes?

If Tomorrow Never Comes began with a single image that popped powerfully into my mind – an old man, walking along a foggy beach at dawn, bending to pick up an old locket from the sand. The rest of the story grew from there. The funny thing is, when you read the book, you’ll find that Kinna finds the locket, not an old man. But originally the image of the locket in the sand was so intriguing to me that I kept thinking about it until a story began to develop.

How closely is If Tomorrow Never Comes based on your personal experience?

In If Tomorrow Never Comes, the main characters are struggling with the fall-out from infertility. I’ve spent most of my adult life – 15 years – dealing with infertility and miscarriage. I’ve had some successes along the way, and whole lot of failure, disappointment and pain.

So, as far as plot-line goes - what happens to the characters and how they’re changed and challenged through the book - that is uniquely Kinna & Jimmy’s story. But the emotions, the fears, the questions they face are things I drew from my own experience.

The longing for a baby that seems like it will never be fulfilled. I’ve been there. Month after month of trying and failing. Turning into year after year. I’ve been there. Frustration. Doubt. Wondering how God could possibly love me in the midst of this. Been there. Having to pry my white-knuckled fingers off my own hopes and dreams. Been there. Choosing to love anyway. Choosing to believe anyway. Choosing to trust God anyway. Been there.

It seems that just about every deep and meaningful thing I’ve learned about God, I can point to my journey through infertility and say, “Yeah, infertility taught me that.” It taught me that I’m not the god of my life. God is. It taught me there are things I cannot control, cannot achieve, no matter how hard I try. And sometimes we must choose to live the life God has given us, with love and hope, even when it’s not the life we dreamed.

Because infertility taught me that God calls us not to the pursuit of our dreams, but to love. “Love one another,” Jesus says. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” God taught me that through the journey of my own infertility. My hope is that If Tomorrow Never Comes will reveal the same truths to others as well.

What is the symbolism for the title If Tomorrow Never Comes?

The idea behind the title is that the choices and decisions we make today dramatically impact our future, our “tomorrows,” and not only ours but the tomorrows of others as well. Choosing to love, choosing to do right despite pain, disappointment, and sorrow, allows tomorrow to come. But choices made out of desperation, fear, and clinging to our own desires can cut off the future God wants for us.

We don’t know, we can’t see, what tomorrow holds. So all we can do is do what’s right now, love now, trust now. Because God sees the whole of our lives and weaves all things together, even those hard and painful things, in a way that will make a beautiful masterpiece in the Kingdom of God.

So, really, the title means that if we choose love today, if we choose sacrificial love, God will hold our tomorrows in His hand. That’s what’s at the heart of If Tomorrow Never Comes . . .the choice to love, the choice to believe, the choice to let go of our dreams in order to embrace His. To do it today, for the sake of all our tomorrows.

Do you have a favorite character in If Tomorrow Never Comes? Why?

My favorite is Thea (her name is short for Alethia, the Greek word for Truth), who is the old woman whom Kinna rescues from drowning in chapter one. Throughout the story, all the reader knows is that Thea is there for a reason – she has a purpose in Kinna & Jimmy’s lives. With wry humor and odd confrontations, she steers Jimmy & Kinna toward reconciliation and one another. She helps them to remember their past love story.

What I like best about her is her humor mixed with mystery. She’s just fun. J She thinks she’s in a dream, and doesn’t want to become some crazy old lady with a houseful of cats. But despite her doubts, she chooses to care about Jimmy and Kinna and help them, no matter what. She chooses right, and as it turns out, that makes all the difference, for them, and for her too.

How did you choose the story line?

Well, the story line I chose isn’t the one you’ll read in the book. The story line you’ll read is the one the characters insisted on. Mostly it was Kinna’s fault – she simply wouldn’t do what I’d outlined for her to do! In fact, I rewrote the first third of the book a dozen times trying to convince her to act the way I wanted. But she wouldn’t cooperate. Just like in the story, she had her own plans! So finally I gave up and allowed the story to change and flow as the characters dictated. Needless to say, that worked out a lot better. So, I invite the reader to experience the story of If Tomorrow Never Comes much as I experienced it – page by page, scene by scene, being surprised and delighted by each turn of events.

What message would you like your readers to take away from If Tomorrow Never Comes?

Our culture tells us that we can do anything we set our minds to, we can accomplish any dream . . . and we should. “Reach for your dreams,” we say, as if that is the highest goal of humankind. Success posters (and platitudes) abound.

But 15 years of infertility and miscarriage have taught me that we are not the gods of our lives. There are things we cannot control, no matter how hard we try.

Perhaps that is why God calls us not to the pursuit of our dreams, but to love. “Love one another,” Jesus exhorts in John 13:34-35, and also gives, as the second greatest commandment, the exhortation to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Lev. 19:18, and all 3 Synoptics)

So, in our Grasp-Your-Dreams culture, I hope this book will stand against the tide, calling people instead to the way of love – to the way of laying down their lives for others instead of clutching their own dreams and plans.

I hope readers will be inspired to fight for their marriages with sacrificial love, and will be challenged to look to the future for the rewards of loving sacrificially, and to the past to remember the seeds of real love.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

I hope to make God’s love in the midst of trials and tragedies evident and unmistakable. I dream of opening readers’ eyes to the wonder and mystery of our incredible, vivid God. And I hope the vision of Him will take their breath away.

You can order the book here.

~~Angie

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is there a doctor in House?


I have to confess--since the book I'm working on is medical in nature, I've begun to watch medical shows. It started with a little "Trauma in the ER," followed by a few episodes of "Dr. G, Medical Examiner," and then I became a hardcore HOUSE follower. I've never watched the show for entertainment, but since I was sick last week, I Netflixed the first series and set in to watch it. There were (blushing) a couple of days where I watched nine episodes in a row!

The scariest thing is that it's rubbing off. I was watching a video of undulating intestines during a surgery, and my brain thought, "that's peristalsis," and then Cameron (one of the docs) said, "Peristalsis!" I turned to give her a high five, but she didn't see me. :-)

When I don't have a DVD handy, I find episodes on the USA network, but some of those are older and it takes me a while to figure out how the regular characters' relationships have evolved.

The most intriguing thing about HOUSE is how the creators have written this character--damaged, brilliant, coarse, crude, egocentric, atheistic, lonely, lovely, crusty and tender--and how we root for him to solve the medical mystery every week. Who says heroes have to be completely admirable? HOUSE is the perfect example of a hero who is definitely NOT.

In any case, I'm long past the point of researching. I watch it now simply because I'm caught up in the characters.

If you haven't figured it out, I have a tendency to go on kicks--I was on an Alias kick, then a Twilight kick, now it's a medical kick. Whatever works. :-)

~~Angie

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Warning about Dogs and Small Children

My cousin Belinda, who is also an animal lover, sent me the following:

Warning! If you have a small child and a dog--particularly if it's one of the "vicious breeds"--you need to consider the warning implicit in the following photograph. It only takes a moment for this kind of damage to be inflicted, so please do not leave your small children alone with your dog!









LOL! I'm still giggling.

~~Angie


Friday, March 20, 2009

Congratulations to the Gerke family!




My friend Jeff and his wife, Robin, are in China at this moment, picking up their new daughter, Sophie. This is a video of their first meeting--which, I believe, took place on Jeff's birthday!

The photo is of our first meeting with OUR daughter, who had just arrived from Korea . . . the same emotions, I'm sure, even though our meeting took place more than 20 years ago.

Congratulations Jeff and Robin! (Yes, this is Jeff Gerke, the novelist who writes as Jefferson Scott.)

~~Angie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dog Hero



If you can stand one more animal video--this one is less than a minute, and it's amazing! :-)

~~Angie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

That's One Smart Bird



When I was writing UNSPOKEN, some of my pals kidded me about my premise, insisting that animals didn't have emotions, couldn't think (much), and that they really weren't all I was supposing they were.

Well . . . take a look at this crow. Not only does she have desires, but she knows how to use a tool to get it. Pretty smart bird, huh?

I still say animals are a lot smarter and deeper than we think they are. :-)

~~Angie

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Children


When I was in Panama City last week, I spent one morning speaking to kindergarten through third grade students at an elementary school. I simply read them "The Tale of Three Trees" and then let them ask questions--and boy, was that fun. Art Linkletter was right when he said kids say the darndest things. :-) They were so cute and enthusiastic.

Here's a link to a news report and a wee bit of video, if you're interested.

The other day one of my friends asked about writing in a child's point of view: I told him to remember that children are very literal, they have a great sense of wonder, and they can easily believe in magic. I hope I carry those qualities over into my adult life. :-)

~~Angie

Monday, March 16, 2009

New book from DiAnn Mills



My friend DiAnn has a new book out and I'm eager to tell you about it:

DiAnn Mills would like to encourage readers to visit her website's homepage where you can view the trailer for Breach of Trust, --Breach of Trust Book Trailer: www.diannmills.com

Paige Rogers survived every CIA operative’s worst nightmare.

A covert mission gone terribly wrong.

A betrayal by the one man she thought she could trust. Forced to disappear to protect the lives of her loved ones, Paige has spent the last several years building a quiet life as a small-town librarian. But the day a stranger comes to town and starts asking questions, Paige knows her careful existence has been shattered. He is coming after her again. And this time, he intends to silence her for good.

Take a look around at the people you see every day. The friendly clerk at the coffee shop. The cheerful woman who teaches Sunday school. The quiet, unassuming librarian. Wouldn’t you be shocked if one of them turned out to be a former CIA operative with a secret too big to keep under wraps?

It could happen.

This edge-of-your-seat thriller is the first book in the new Call of Duty series. In Breach of Trust, Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who is living incognito as a librarian in the sleepy little town of Split Creek, Oklahoma, after experiencing a life-altering disaster in the line of duty. But the unwelcome past has suddenly turned up to find her, in the form of a ruthless politician who is out to destroy everything Paige holds dear. She knows too much, and he’s desperate to silence her. Can she bring him down before he ruins her life? And most of all, what would the Lord want her to do?

“[Breach of Trust] is romance with an operative kick when the quiet life Paige Rogers enjoys is sent into overdrive by a past that refuses to stay buried.” —Tamera Alexander, best-selling author of From a Distance

“DiAnn Mills has crafted a tightly woven tale of danger and deception. Breach of Trust is a page turner to the very end.”—Kathy Herman, author of The Grand Scheme

“Mills creates extraordinary characters wrestling with profound life issues in the face of immediate danger. A surefire recipe for a great read!”—Jill Elizabeth Nelson, author of Reluctant Smuggler

--DiAnn has Chapter 1 of Breach of Trust, Discussion Questions suitable for Book Clubs, Reviews, etc. available on her website www.diannmills.com.

You can order Breach of Trust here.

~~Angie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Computer bowling


Too much fun. I downloaded this game while sitting in an airport, and you should have seen the strange looks I received as I sat in the gate playing it. (Complete with sound effects!) And I'm happy to say that I'm as bad a bowler on the computer as I am at the lanes.

Nabisco 100 calorie snacks and bowling! Now, that's a natural fit! Enjoy the bowling game here. If it asks/tells you to download the shockwave player, just go ahead and do it. It's fun!

~~Angie

Friday, March 13, 2009

You Tube Musical Mashup


Ouch. Woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat. Then fever. Woke up this morning feeling like road kill.

Must have picked up a bug on the airplane. Thank goodness I have nothing pressing to do today.

You know how many videos are on You Tube, right? Millions. Some are silly, some are useful, some are fascinating.

Some genius took several musical videos and created a "mashup"--a combination. And the result is truly amazing. You can check it out here.

~~Angie

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Live Loved Photography


I "met" Doni Brinkman several years ago through email. Doni and I are both adoptive parents, and Doni takes a strong stand for life--particularly in the area of stem cell research. In fact, you may remember that I mentioned her in a newspaper blog not long ago--here's the link, if you missed it.

Anyway, I was at Doni's website the other day and saw that she has started a business. She's always been an incredible photographer--I mean, REALLY good--and now she's doing photography and portraiture. You can check out her work here and here. (Look at those beautiful portraits she paints from photographs. Getting any ideas?)

And be SURE to watch the video of Doni and her family meeting baby Tori for the first time. I sat in my chair and just blubbered when I saw it. God is so great--and so wonderful to bring families together in myriad ways. :-)

Blessings to you and yours, Doni. And to all of you.

~~Angie


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Fish Story


You may not believe this story, but I promise it's true.  I only wish I'd grabbed my camera and snapped the proof. 

A couple of days ago my hubby was across the street talking to my neighbor.  Before I go any further, you need to know that we live about a mile from the beach and about five miles from a big freshwater lake.  

Anyway, my neighbor told my husband that he'd found a fish in his swimming pool.  When Gary told me, I wasn't terribly surprised--I often find little frog eggs in our pool, and they turn into tadpoles if left alone.  But no, this wasn't a wee little tadpole--this was a big fish, about a foot long.  Furthermore, the big fish had scratch marks on his back. 

They figured that an eagle or some other large bird must have scooped up, grabbed the fish, and flown away with it.  The flopping fish must have worked his way free and free-fallen into our neighbor's pool.  LOL!  Can you imagine the splash?  

So Henry, our neighbor, took the fish out of his pool and put it in the retention pond in our neighborhood.  I only hope it was a freshwater fish, or he may not last very long.  At least he'll like the pond better than a chlorinated pool.  :-)  

Have a great day . . . and watch out for falling fish!

~~Angie 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Mother's Heart

If it's the tenth, I'm in Panama City, preparing to speak at a luncheon. :-) I may be without internet service, so I've pre-written a few blog posts to carry me over until I get home.

A friend sent me this video, and it's so sweet it made me cry. Aren't you glad God made mothers in all shapes and sizes and species?

~~Angie


video

Monday, March 09, 2009

Today I want to tell you about a new book by Robin Lee Hatch, a friend and sometimes roomie of mine. :-)

WHEN LOVE BLOOMS
by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan, February 2009

She could say what she wanted. Emily Harris didn't belong in the hard life of the Blakes. She would wilt there like a rose without water. He'd be sending her back to Boise before the first snows. He'd be willing to bet on it.

From the moment Gavin Blake set eyes on Emily Harris, he knew she would never make it in the rugged high country where backbreaking work and constant hardship were commonplace. Beautiful and refined, she was accustomed to the best life had to offer. Heaven only knew why she wanted to leave Boise to teach two young girls on a ranch miles from nowhere. He'd wager it had to do with a man. It always did when a beautiful woman was involved.

Emily wanted to make some sort of mark on the world before marriage. She wanted to be more than just a society wife. Though she had plenty of opportunities back East, she had come to the Idaho high country looking to make a difference. Gavin’s resistance to her presence made her even more determined to prove herself. Perhaps changing the heart of just one man may make the greatest difference of all.

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REVIEWS:

Penned with the descriptive nibs of all the five senses, Robin Lee Hatcher transports the reader to the magnificent high country of Idaho in a thoroughly engaging tale of love and wounded heroes. When Love Blooms is layered with appealing characters, and I was so at home with the story's cast, I felt like I was like viewing my own family history. I have yet to read a Hatcher novel that didn't entrance me from the first page, and with a unique plot for a romance, When Love Blooms is no exception. Novel Reviews and I give it a high recommendation.
— Novel Reviews

Christy Award winner Hatcher's (Wagered Heart; Catching Katie) latest novel is a historical romance set in the rugged high country of Idaho in the late 1800s... Populated with lively characters, this delightful title deserves a place in [Christian Fiction] and historical romance collections and will appeal to those who enjoy Lori Wick or Lori Copeland. Recommended for Public Libraries.
— Library Journal

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin 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 on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

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Enjoy!

~~Angie

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Whistling Puppy

Clyde sent this video to share with you all. Isn't this wee little puppy adorable? He's trying so hard to mimic his master!

~~Angie

Saturday, March 07, 2009

BOM: Q&A


And now . . . your questions and a few answers. :-)

Linda asked: Seriously, did anything you learned during the writing of these books come to mind or were of any help or comfort when your dad passed away? I know he is in heaven which is the untimate comfort.
I really liked Buggs. Does he grow up to take over Fairlawn?

Yes--when my dad died last December, I wasn't at all nervous about seeing him in the casket or anything. I know some folks get the heebie jeebies at the thought of approaching the casket, but I was able to go up and admire the fine work the mortician did. As to the spiritual aspects, seems like I've always known that to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," so I had no worries about that at all.

And yes, in the back of my mind I'm convinced that Jen's boys will grow up to take over the funeral home. It'll be part of their lives by then, and they've been molded enough by Gerald, Jen, and Daniel that they'll appreciate the ministry it is.

Trisha asked if SIABP is the final Fairlawn book . . . and yes, I believe it is. The story is finished.

Suzanne asked: Do you plan to ever add to this series? I really like it when my favorite authors do books in series, I usually fall in love with the characters and it's nice to have them around for a while. How about any other series in the works?

At this point I don't plan to add to the series. It feels finished to me. If the Lord sends another irresistible idea, though, I may reconsider that. And right now, all the ideas I have in mind are stand-alone novels. I get bored so easily that when I'm done with a book, I usually like to be DONE with it so I can move on to something else.

Sally asked: How do you choose names for your characters? What organizational method do you use to keep them from landing in another book?

I choose names that are easy to pronounce, suitable for the time and age of the character, and which seem to "fit" the personality I have in mind. And I'm afraid I don't have a system that would keep me from using the same name in another book--if I'd known I would be writing so many books, maybe I would have established one twenty years ago! But usually I can remember if I've already used a major character's name. I don't mind using the same names for peripheral characters--in fact, I frequently use my friends' surnames for characters who pass quickly in and out of a story. :-) It's my little shout-out to them (in case they ever read the story!)

And I promised to give away a free book. Code was:FPTLAQICB. Which means, "First Person to Leave a Question in the Comment Box" since the beginning of the BOM, and so that person is--Tricia! If you'll write me through my web page, Trisha, I'll send you a copy of something. :-)

~~Angie

Friday, March 06, 2009

BOM: Results and Reader Reaction


To be honest, I don't think the book has been out long enough to gather a lot of results or reader reaction. It was a top pick in the latest Romantic Times (yea!) and has a couple of nice reviews on Amazon (left by a couple of you!). Best of all, I've received a couple of reader letters that make it all worthwhile . . . like this one:

"Received and read She's in a Better Place today. Like many, I sat with my grandpa during his last minutes on earth and found G-Man's homegoing reminiscent of my grandpa's journey. I know others will be blessed with the dignity, strength, and peace you portrayed in this believer's passage into the arms of Jesus. This was the perfect ending to a wonderful, witty, and unique tale. I was continually amazed at the twists and turns. Thank you for such a great permanent addition to my library."

Letters like that make all the work worthwhile!

I'm going to chase a rabbit trail and tell you about the embarrassing thing I did yesterday. If you are a gentleman reader, you may click away now, please. The rest is girl talk. :-)

I've been having this weird chest pressure for about a year. My docs and I were pretty sure it was from GERD (a more palatable name for acid reflex), but just to be sure it wasn't some kind of cardiac problem, my doc suggested I have an endoscopy (that procedure where you go in, they put you to sleep for about ten minutes, and they stick a tube/camera down your throat and into your stomach.)

They do endoscopies at an outpatient Surgery Center in town. It's a busy place, people walking in and out all over the place. My appointment was for seven a.m. yesterday morning.

I didn't know if they would do the endoscopy in my street clothes or if I'd put on a gown, but I was told to wear comfortable clothes. Because it was cold outside, I put my loose-fitting velvet jacket over my shirt and jeans.

Well, a very sweet nurse comes to take me back, and she leads me into a cubicle that is semi-private-- curtained on two sides, wall at the back, but wide open to the world at the front. I look around, but there's no gown on the bed. "Just take off your shirt," she says, smiling, "and I'll cover you with a blanket."

I start to take off my jacket, but I hesitate. "Take off my SHIRT?"

"Yes."

My young and friendly male doctor walks by, so I smile and wave, but I'm thinking this is strange. I've never seen people sitting around in their underwear before, but what do I know? I've never had an endoscopy.

So I take my time folding my jacket until the doc is out of sight, then I quickly unbutton my shirt so I can get in the bed and get covered with the blanket.

When I'm standing there in my bra, the nurse realizes what I've done and she gets ALL flustered. (Imagine a woman suddenly stripping down to her Victoria's Secret in Wal-Mart or some other public place.) She grabs my shirt and holds it up like she's trying to cover me and says, "Oh, no, not this--unless you WANT to take it off."

"Why would I
want to?" I grab my shirt again. I put it back on and button it up again quickly, praying that the doc doesn't walk by again. "But you said, take off your SHIRT, and that other thing is a JACKET."

Anyway, I got back into my shirt and got into the bed for my (quite routine) endoscopy. But I'm sure that nurse enjoyed telling the story of the Stripping Patient during her lunch break. :-)

And now that the world knows of my humiliation, it is quite complete. :-)

~~Angie

P.S. Don't forget--tomorrow is Q&A day, so if you have a question, leave it below. Thanks!

P.S.S. And yes, the procedure was painless and I'm fine. :-)