Thursday, September 28, 2006

Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins

True to her skill in suspense, Brandilyn Collins creates another breath stopping scenario with Violet Dawn, promising to make you wish they required seatbelts on living room furniture. The mental image of one of the first scenes will never leave this readers brain. Just fantastic imagery and writing. Great characters and vivid settings.

The local hangout in the book, Scenes and Beans, has now become a real live blog. Brandilyn has brought her characters to life with writers (sometimes several writing for one character) blogging in character. Ever tried something like this? Well, stay tuned. Your chance is coming up in a few months to audition. Keep circling the "blogosphere" for more details, or better yet, come back here!

Now, for a real treat. Leave a comment and you'll be eligible to win a signed copy of her book. Come on now, don't be afraid. This book is worth the pitter patter of speeding heartbeat or the audible gasp of a sudden startle. Just reading about Wilbur and his scar or S-man's wacky characters is worth the ride. And just think. It has a sequel...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I have pictures!!!

The ACFW Conference was AWESOME! Wanna see some pictures? Follow the link... What an amazing week we had. So much happened on so many levels—professionally, spiritually, emotionally. I'm still processing it and hope to blog more about it in the future. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, September 15, 2006

This, That and a Ritual

The Baileys are blogging today over at Scenes and Beans. Hop on over and take a look. Bailey's already talking about Christmas.

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance has a review posted of Squat by Taylor Field.

Fall is on the way—and I am lovin' it. I sit at my desk with the glass sliding door open next to me, feeling the cool breeze blow in. I have to wear slippers to keep my toes warm. It's glorious. Almost time to break out the fall table cloth in its rich hues of orange, burnt sienna, and brick red. In the center I place striped candles in a similar color scheme and a stuffed velvet pumpkin.

On the door I hang the fall wreath—a circle of delicate glass-like leaves in the full array of fall colors. The windows stay open, the down comforter goes back into the duvet for those chilly nights, and my favorite afgan will soon be back on the couch. My fireplace waits patiently for the first blazing fire soon to come.

It's all about promise and hope—of things to come. This is my ritual to welcome fall, this glorious time of year God created to herald a more precious coming. Christmas, the birth of our Saviour.

What's your favorite ritual and what are you waiting for?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A New Location

In case you're interested, C.R.A.P. (The Christian Terminological Inexactitude Writers Assocation) has moved to a new addy due to some unforseeable "sewage." Make a note of it...if you dare.

BIG FAT JUICY SIDE NOTE: Did you know it's only two weeks until the first day of fall? Can't you just feel it in the air? I can, and I am sooooooooo ready for the change. Of season that is.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Book Winner and Squat

The lucky winner of a copy of DiAnn Mill's book, Lanterns and Lace, is M. C. Pearson. Congratulations Mimi! Now a little treat for you fiction hounds:

September has started (who knew?) and it's time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:
Taylor Field

"We live in a squat. We don't know squat. We don't have squat. We don't do squat. We don't give a squat. People say we're not worth squat."

Taylor Field has worked since 1986 in the inner city of New York where he is pastor of East Seventh Baptist Church/Graffiti Community Ministries. He holds a M.Div. from Princeton and Ph.D. from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Among his previous books is the award-winning Mercy Streets. Field and his family live in New York, New York.

If you want to know more, please visit The SQUAT Website!

To order Squat, click HERE.

Author interview contact is Andrea Irwin at Broadman & Holman.

Please Note:
All author proceeds from Squat will go to Graffiti Community Ministries, Inc., a service arm of the East Seventh Street Baptist Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where Field preaches.

Back Cover Copy:

In the shadow of Wall Streetís wealth, homeless citizens with names like Squid, Saw, and Bonehead live in abandoned buildings known as "squats" where life is hand to mouth, where fear and violence fester. The light in lovable Squidís obsessive-compulsive mindís eye is Rachel, a loving soup kitchen missionary who tells him about faith and unfaith, hypocrisy and justice, the character of God and finding identity in Him.

But among the squats and so many other abandoned lives, will such talk be enough to make Squid believe that his life may actually amount to something?

CALMLY, THE GIRL on the sofa reached out and pulled up a flap of skin on the little boy’s thin arm. It could have been a gesture of affection. But then she pinched the skin and twisted it. Hard.

“Ouch!” He whipped his pencil in front of her face once, like a club, and then cracked it on her forehead. He pulled the pencil back, ready to strike her again, crouching against the back of the couch like a cornered weasel.

The little girl wrinkled up her round freckled face but did not cry out. She looked toward her mom, who was talking to the receptionist. The boy’s mom, seated across the room, didn’t look up. She continued to look through the pages of her magazine, snapping each page like a whip.
“You could have put my eye out!” the freckled girl hissed.

The boy rubbed the two blue marks on his arm. He looked her steadily in the eyes and growled.
His mom called him over. “Come sit by me, honey, and stop making so much noise.” She patted his hair down in the back and smiled at him. She wore lots of eyeliner and widened her eyes to make even sitting in a waiting room seem like an adventure. “You’re such a big man, now,” she had said this morning as she combed his hair and helped him put on his best shirt. She was humming “Getting to Know You” even though her voice quivered just a little. She had put a lot of extra perfume and sprays on this morning. She smelled like the women’s aisle in a drugstore.
Once the little girl’s mom finished with the receptionist and returned to the sofa, the little girl started crying with one soft, unending whine.

The boy rolled his eyes and looked for a book to bury his head in.

“What’s wrong, honey?” the mom asked as she swept her little girl up.

“That boy hit me.”

A stuffy silence reigned in the waiting room except for the sound of the bubbles in the aquarium above the magazine table. The girl’s mother glared at the boy and then at his mother. The boy picked up a children’s book with some torn pages and began studying it seriously. His mom hadn’t been listening to the girl. She was still snapping through the magazine’s pages.

Finally, she threw it down with disgust and looked at her watch again. “I’m going outside to smoke a cigarette, honey,” she said, oblivious to the stares of the mother and daughter across the room. She stood up, adjusted her dress with an efficient tug, and stepped outside the office. They gaped at her departure with their mouths open, like two goldfish.

The aquarium continued to gurgle. In the following silence, the little boy became dramatically interested in the book in front of him. It had been pawed over by a lot of children waiting in this doctor’s office, and the first few pages had been torn out. The pages that remained had rounded corners and smudges along the edges. The little boy squinted his eyes in exaggerated concentration. He preferred the smudged pictures to the astonished fish eyes of the adult across the room.

He studied a picture of a man who wore a robe down to his ankles. He had a beard and a sad look in his eyes. In front of him was a young man with no beard, lying on a stone with his hands tied. The man with a beard had a knife in his hand and had his hand raised high up as if he were going to stab the boy. Out of a cloud an angel was reaching out to grab the hand of the man. The angel hadn’t touched the man yet, but his hand was getting close. The man didn’t yet know that the angel was there.

The boy forgot about the girl and her mother. The color of the man’s robe was so deep and blue. The angel’s wings were more gold than his mother’s best bracelet. The boy on the stone had a robe that was silvery-white like clouds. The sun in the background was redder than any sun he had ever seen. It was as red as a hot dog. The little boy felt he was swimming in this world of rich colors and robes, a sleepy world tempered by the sound of the bubbles in the doctor’s aquarium. The boy put his finger above the picture book, to the right of the book, and then to the left of the book. “One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three,” he whispered to himself, touching each of the three points three times.

His mom opened the door and came back in. The summer heat from outside reached in to bathe him in warmth. She shut the door with exasperation. She sat down beside him, reeking of cigarette smoke and hair spray. She adjusted his collar and gave him a nervous smile. “You’re such a big man now,” she said and patted his hair again.

The boy pointed to the man in the robe in the picture. “Mom, is that boy that man’s son?”

“I don’t know, honey.” She picked up the same magazine again and started ripping through it at lightning speed.

“What’s he doing with the knife, Mom?”

To read the rest of chapter one, click here.