Friday, October 27, 2006
So here's the fun. Leave comments with suggestions for titles. Hey, there's no pass or fail to this. Just have fun and tell us what you see. I will hold a drawing next Wednesday and two lucky people will win a book—either a signed copy of Brandilyn Collin's Violet Dawn or a copy of Janice Thompson's book The Wedding Caper.
Even if you don't want the books (be sure to let me know), leave suggestions. All ideas are welcome. I'll also announce if Rachel uses one of the titles. If one of the suggestions is chosen, that person just might receive a tasty surprise! So have fun!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports.
He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children-Brittney, Trey, and Matthew-and reside in Tennessee, where he practices law and is at work on a new novel.
The book: THE ELECTION
Nothing can stand in their way.
Ed Burke has waited a lifetime to become president of the United States. He's not about to let his nemesis, Mac Foster, stop him now...especially when he's sold his soul for the Oval Office.
Claudia Duval has lived a rough life. And finally, things have turned around for her after meeting the wealthy Hudson Kinney. But is all what is seems?
When a prominent citizen is murdered in Jackson, Tennessee, attorney Jake Reed doesn't want to know the truth. He just wants to get his client off. But as he investigates, he uncovers a sinister scheme. A scheme that would undermine the very democracy of America...and the freedom of the entire world.
The Election, by Jerome Teel, is a fast-paced, highly readable mystery filled with suspense, intrigue, and political conspiracy. Teel skillfully weaves together themes of faith, family, suffering, and providence in a way that not only compels, but enlightens."
Friday, October 20, 2006
Announcement #1: Dear friend and amazing crit partner, Robin Miller (Caroll) has sold her first book!
Robin is an amazing woman. All I can say is, "FINALLY!" She's worked so hard for this and her future publisher is lucky to have such an awesomely talented and hardworking author.
Announcement #2: Click here for Ted Dekker's Thr3e movie trailer. Can't wait to see this. The book is awesome and the movie looks like it will be great too. Should be out in January 2007.
Announcement #3: This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Karen Kingsbury's latest book, Like Dandelion Dust.
About the Author:
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. There are nearly 5 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 30 novels, nine of which have hit #1 on national lists, including award-winning Oceans Apart, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, the Redemption Series and Firstborn Series, and several other bestsellers, one of which was the basis for a CBS Movie-of-the-Week and Gideon's Gift, which is currently in production as a major theatrical release for Christmas 2007.
Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.
About the Book:
Jack and Molly Campbell enjoyed an idyllic life (great house in a fancy neighborhood, high-paying job, and a beautiful little boy) in their small hometown outside Atlanta with their adopted 4-year-old, Joey. Then they receive the phone call that shatters their world: a social worker delivers the news that Joey's biological father has been released from prison and is ready to start lifeover with his son. (It's discovered that Joey's birth mother forged the signature of Joey's birth father, making it a fraudulent adoption.) When a judge rules that Joey must be returned to his father (a man who cannot separatee love and violence), the Campbells, in a silent haze of grief and utter disbelief, watch their son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.
Struggling with the dilemma of following the law, their hearts, and what they know to be morally right, the Campbells find that desperation leads to dangerous thoughts. What if they can devise a plan? Take Joey and simply disappear....LIKE DANDELION DUST.
Review by Mimi Pearson
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Doing this study is making me so aware of how much our culture reflects that Babylonian mentality. And never has it been more evident with what's going on with the Republican Party. Foley just makes my skin crawl. And those who placed his political value over the welfare of these pages are just as guilty.
I read an article today about China drafting a law to empower unions and end labor abuse. Seems like it would be such a good thing for its people. The abuse there is unbelievable. Yet "American and foreign corporations have lobbied against it by hinting that they may build fewer factories" (New York Times/Oct.12). Again the bottom line is placed above human welfare. And my dad wonders why I don't like to watch the news.
Isaiah 47 is about the fall of Babylon. Verses eight and ten describe this mentality: "I am and there is none besides me." They reached the point of no return when Belshazzer defiled the temple goblets by using them to worship their own gods. Talk about a smack in God's face. No wonder He sent a message. The writing was truly on the wall (Daniel 5). God had had enough, and Belshazzer and the Babylonian Empire fell that very night.
I'm amazed at how symbolic the book of Daniel is, about keeping the holy undefiled. Even Daniel understood this when he refused to eat the royal wine and food. But it's just food, right? No, it represented the indulgance of a culture devoted to worshiping themselves. Daniel wanted no part of it. He recognized that eating that food would begin his absorbtion into a self-worshiping culture. He resisted and God honored him for it. Daniel took what the Babylonians considered to be "less" and wound up healthier. He kept himself holy.
This weeks lesson pulls this all together and points to ourselves as God's holy vessels. We are the vessels containing His Holy Spirit, and the enemy works very hard to defile these vessels—us.
And we let him.
We allow our bodies to be used to worship so many false gods—money, sex, youth. I had to really sit and think about this, apply it to myself. Because I know I am NOT innocent. God is showing me where I have used His Holy Vessel improperly, where the enemy has defiled me, how I've allowed myself to be taken into bondage. Yet in all this his mercy is so great. His only desire is to see his holy vessel washed clean and made holy again.
Those who love him are his holy vessels, no matter how unholy we might become. There is always a way back. The enemy only has as much power as we give him, because He who is in us is stronger than he who is in the world.
I'm ready for holiness again. How about you?
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
- When and how did you know God had called you to write for Him?
- In your opinion, what is the primary role of the fiction writer? Why?
BIG FAT JUICY SIDE NOTE: Check the scoop on Alison Strobel's book, Violette Between.
Alison Strobel graduated with a degree in elementary education, and in the summer of 2000 she moved from Chicago to southern California where she taught elementary school for three years. It was in Orange County that she met her husband, Daniel Morrow, and the story developed for her first novel, Worlds Collide.
Violette Between is a poinant story of a true artist. When the love of Violette's life, Saul suddenly died, she died too. Then she meets Christian, who also is morning the loss of a loved one.
As Violette and Christian begin to feel something that they both thought was impossible. Tragedy strikes again. Christian finds Violette on the floor of his waiting room, that she had been painting to look like a New York rooftop restaurant.
As Christian holds a vigil at her bedside, begging her to come back to him, Violette is in a coma, traveling to a place where she meets her beloved Saul. And she finds that she may not want to come back!
What would it be like to choose a place between the past and the present?
Friday, October 06, 2006
The winner of Violet Dawn is Shauna. Send me your info, girl, so I can get this book out to you!
The winner of Dark Hour is Cynthia Hickey. Now that's what I call a short path to a chuckle. Good job! Send me your info, Cindy.
Now for a very special announcement. Dun dun dun dun...
I HAVE AN AGENT!!! Woohooo! I've joined the ranks of some fine writers at Mortimer Literary Agency. I'm so excited to be working with Kelly Mortimer. She so passionate about her clients' work and getting them pubbed. I'm truly grateful she decided to sign me on, and to God for the doors He's opening.
So, there's the scoop. I'm neck deep trying to finish a manuscript that seemed to catch some interest. Guess we'll see what comes next.
I haven't talked about the conference yet. So much happened. I was blessed in so many ways. The best parts weren't what I expected them to be. Being able to serve other writers gave me such a sense of gratification. I realized I really do have a form of ministry, it's just not the kind you find in a church.
Camy and Robin did such a good job on the awards ceremony. Camy's Powerpoint presentation was awesome! Like being at the Emmy's. Everyone looked so nice. What an evening. And I got to hang with my amazing writing buds!
From left to right: Heather Tipton, Robin Miller, Me!, and Ronie Kendig
Have an awesome weekend!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Guess what? The publicists for Ginger have agreed to a book contest for each FIRST member's blog post on Dark Hour! It is up to the member on how they judge which commenter wins the free book...so, comment and you might become a winner!
About the author:
Ginger Garrett is an acclaimed novelist and expert in ancient women's history.
Her first novel, Chosen, was recognized as one of the best five novels of the year by the Christian publishing industry. Ginger enjoys a diverse reader base and creates conversation between cultures.
In addition to her 2006 and 2007 novels about the most evil women in biblical history, she will release Beauty Secrets of the Bible (published by Thomas Nelson) in Summer 2007.
Ginger Garrett's Dark Hour delves into the biblical account of Jezebel's daughter and her attempt to end the line of David.
I was praying about what book to write after Chosen, and accidentally left my open Bible on the kitchen table. (A dangerous thing, since in my house, small children and large dogs routinely scavenge with dirty hands and noses for snacks!) As I walked past it, I saw a caption about someone named Athaliah and a mass murder. I stopped cold. I knew it was my story.Athaliah was the daughter of Jezebel--a real woman in history--who tried to destroy all the descendents of King David in a massacre. God made a promise that a descendent of King David would always sit on the throne, and one day a Messiah would come from this line. If Athaliah succeeded, she would break the promise between God and the people, and destroy all hope for a Messiah.
One woman, her step-daughter, Jehoshebeth, defied her. She stole a baby during the massacre and hid him. Between them, the two women literally fought for the fate of the world.
2.) What drew you to write biblical fiction?
The similarities between the lives of ancient women and our lives. We get distracted by their "packaging," the way they dressed and lived, but at heart, our stories are parallel.
3.) How much time is spent researching the novel versus writing the novel?
Equal amounts, and I don't stop researching while I write. I have a historical expert, probably the best in the world in his field, review the manuscript and point out errors. The tough part is deciding when to ignore his advice. He pointed out that most everyone rode donkeys if they weren't in the military, but a key scene in the novel involves riding a horse to the rescue. It would have been anti-climatic to charge in on a donkey! :) So I ignored his advice on that one.
4.) Dark Hour takes its reader deep into the heart of palace intrigue and betrayals. Were parts of this book difficult to write?
I left out much of the darkest material I uncovered in research. It was important to show how violent and treacherous these times and this woman (Athaliah) could be, but I tried to be cautious about how to do it. The story was so powerful and hopeful--how one woman's courage in the face of evil saved the world--but the evil was depressing. I tried to move quickly past it. I wanted balance. Our heroine suffers and some wounds are not completely healed in her lifetime. That's true for us, too.
5.) What would modern readers find surprising about ancient women?
They had a powerful sense of the community of women. They also wore make-up: blush, glitter eyeshadow, lipstick, powder, and perfume! They drank beer with straws, and enjoyed "Fritos": ground grains, fried and salted. Many of our foods are the same today, but they loved to serve pate made from dried locusts, finely ground. Ugh!Without further ado...here is the FIRST chapter of Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett. Judge for yourself if you'd like to read more!
(There is a prologue before chapter one regarding the birth of Jehoshebeth... Athaliah is not Jehoshebeth's biological mother.)
c h a p t e r O n e
Fifteen Years Later
HER BARU, the priest of divination, opened the goatskin bag and spread the wet liver along the floor, leaving a path of blood as he worked. Retrieving a wooden board and pegs from his other satchel, the satchel that held the knives and charms, he placed pegs in the board according to where the liver was marked by fat and disease. He turned the black liver over, revealing a ragged abscess.
Athaliah covered her mouth and nose with her hands to ward off the smell but would not turn way.
"Worms," her sorcerer said, not looking up. He placed more pegs in the board before he stopped, and his breath caught.
A freezing wind touched them, though they were in the heart of the palace in the heat of the afternoon. Athaliah cursed this cold thing that had found her again and watched the sorcerer search for the source of the chill before he returned to the divination. There was no source of wind here; in her chamber there was a bed, the table where her servants applied her cosmetics from ornate and lovely jars shaped like animals, a limestone toilet, and in the farthest corner so that no one at the chamber door would see it, her shrine. Statues of Baal, the storm god, and the great goddess Asherah, who called all life into being, stood among the panting lions carved from ivory and the oil lamps that burned at all hours. Here she placed her offerings of incense and oil, and here she whispered to the icy thing as it worshiped alongside her.
The baru watched as the flames in the shrine swayed, the chill moving among the gods. The flames stayed at an angle until one began to burn the face of Asherah. Her painted face began to melt, first her eyes running black and then her mouth flowing red. He gasped and stood.
"I must return to the city."
Athaliah stood, blocking him from his satchel.
"What does the liver say?"
"It is not good that I have come. We will work another day."
She did not move. He glanced at the door. Guards with sharp swords were posted outside.
"A dead king still rules here. You set yourself against him and are damned."
Athaliah sighed. "You speak of David."
The baru nodded and bent closer so no other thing would hear his whisper. "There is a prophecy about him, that one from the house of David will always reign in Judah. His light will never die."
"I fear no man, dead or living."
The baru continued to whisper, fear pushing into his eyes, making them wide. "It is not the man you must fear. It is his God."
To finish chapter one, click here.
BIG FAT JUICY SIDE NOTE: I'll announce a winner for Violet Dawn on Monday so you still have time to leave a comment. The winner for Dark Hour will be announced Friday. The commenter who makes me laugh the hardest gets a copy of this book, so have at it!