Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith

That time of the week again--here's the latest CFBA book, Stuck in the Middle.

Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am.

Since then she has contracted eight novels and published numerous articles and short stories. She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007) and her newest release, Stuck in the Middle(Revell, February 2008), book 1 in the Sister-to-Sister Series.

Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines. An energetic speaker, she loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”

Virginia is a speaker, and an avid Scuba diver. She and her husband Ted, divide their times between Kentucky and Utah, and escape as often as they can for diving trips to the Caribbean!


Joan Sanderson's life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is living at home with Mom and looking after her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement-or romance.

That is, until a hunky young doctor moves in next door. Suddenly Joan has a goal--to catch his eye and get a date. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly with him and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, maybe Joan can find her way out of this rut and into the life she's been hiding from.

Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, spiritual searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile.

"A gentle story of one young woman's season of growth, deftly blending the tangle of family relationships with gifts of whimsey and revelation. A joy to read."
~SHARON HINCK, author of Renovating Becky Miller and Symphony of Secrets~

"Virginia Smith has created a charming and humerous novel that celebrates small-town life, generations of women caring for each other, and the value of finding a deeper, more active faith."
~SHARON DUNN, author of the Bargain Hunters mysteries~

Sunday, February 24, 2008

24 hours left to vote!

So for all you lurkers (and I know there are a lot of you--I have my ways!) this is just a reminder that your chance to win free fabulous books is just about over! Head over to the contest on my baby blog and cast your vote for our mystery baby's stats. No more votes will be accepted after I get up on Tuesday morning. (Which I guess means you have more than 24 hours, but whatever, you know what I mean.)

And you know what that means. THE BABY IS ALMOST HERE. Not soon enough, if you ask me and my bum leg. In preparation for The Big Day, Dan spend the entire day working on the bedroom--painting the one wall that still needed to be painted, cleaning out all the crap that was in there, setting the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper back up (which required moving our crazy-heavy beds all by his lonesome) and thus sacrificing any kind of bedside storage for himself since our bedroom is only about two feet wider than our bed and most of that space is required by the co-sleeper, which is on myside of the bed. Poor guy. Though if this kid is anything like Abby s/he won't be in the co-sleeper long, but will be snuggled with the rest of us in the "big bed" by mid-summer.

When Abby saw the co-sleeper, she of course wanted to get in. Got quite upset when we wouldn't let her sleep in there, in fact. Dan asked her if she wanted us to set up her own little bed at the foot of ours, and she said yes, but of course once we do it she'll probably freak out if we suggest she try actually sleeping in it. But we have the perfect place for it, and Ikea sells great little toddler beds that adjust in length as the child grows, so we may get one soon and just set it up in there for her to get used to. I know it's going to be a long, slow transition from our bed to hers, but I'm guessing she'll be in there by the time she's 4 or so. And no, I'm not saying that with laughter in my voice. Four is actually a pretty optimistic estimate.

So I've got 12 chapters done of the book and about 2.5 pages of chapter 13 done. There are three days this week that I might be able to write. If I wrote on all of them, that would get me, if I'm lucky, to the end of chapter 14. The week after that I have about 5 days, which could theoretically get me halfway through chapter 17. The week after that, possibly through chapter 20, if the week stays as clear as it currently is. That's assuming, of course, that the baby doesn't come until the week of the 16th, which is when I'm technically due, though I have felt for quite a while now that the baby would come early, like week 39. But if not, then that's about...I don't know...maybe 75% done? Maybe more, I'm not sure, I don't plot out by chapter--that's a method I might try with the next book, though. But point being, the book will not be done by the time the baby comes. I had high hopes, but who am I kidding?? But regardless, if I could get to chapter 20 by the time the baby came, I would be a very happy woman. Free books and chocolate to anyone who comes up with a successful way to keep me accountable.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Adam by Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is one of the most established names in the Christian fiction genre. Here's the blurb about him and his latest release, Adam.

Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), and Obsessed, with two more...Renegade, and Chaos to be released later this year.

He died once to stop the he's dying again to save his wife.

FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has become famous for his well-articulated arguments that religion is one of society’s greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn’t know is that his obsessive pursuit of a serial killer known only as “Eve” is about to end abruptly with an unexpected death-his own.

Twenty minutes later Daniel is resuscitated, only to be haunted by the loss of memory of the events immediately preceding his death.

Daniel becomes convinced that the only way to stop Eve is to recover those missing minutes during which he alone saw the killer’s face. And the only way to access them is to trigger his brain’s memory dump that occurs at the time of death by simulating his death again…and again. So begins a carefully researched psychological thriller which delves deep into the haunting realities of near-death experiences, demon possession, and the human psche.

"As always with a Ted Dekker thriller, the details of ADAM are stunning, pointing to meticulous research in a raft of areas: police and FBI methods, forensic medicine, psychological profiling-in short, all that accompanies a Federal hunt for a serial killer. But Dekker fully reveals his magic in the latter part of the book, when he subtly introduces his darker and more frightening theme. It's all too creepily convincing. We have to keep telling ourselves that this is fiction. At the same time, we can't help thinking that not only could it happen, but that it will happen if we're not careful."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I take it back.

That whole Sleeping Beauty thing? Yeah, that's done. Nice while it lasted. Now I end my nights feeling mildly homicidal because she. will. not. go. to. sleep.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things to do at 6AM when you've been up for an hour and a half and have a major sinus headache from the weather change and are completely wide awake

Blog, apparently. Except my head hurts too much for me to think of something interesting worth writing. Maybe sleeping upright on the couch will help my head.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Back in the early 90's I saw an interview with a singer, can't remember who, who talked about how she couldn't sing at all as a kid. Then she had some major illness that affected her throat, and when she recovered--voila, she could sing! Well, Abby seems to have undergone a similar metamorphosis through her two week fever, though not with her voice--no no, now she SLEEPS!

Poor kid is just like her mama when it comes to sleeping: she's just not good at it. Takes forever to go to sleep, doesn't sleep well once she does. But for the last week, she's been telling me "no books" when I've taken her up for nap or bedtime, which is crazy since she usually demands that I read every single book in the bedroom before we turn off the light. "Take a nap" she'll say in a slow voice when I confirm, "Really, you don't want to read any books?" Phase two is the singing, which I've done for as much as 45 minutes in the past before she'd actually fall asleep. (Usually it would take about 10 or 15 minutes.) Lately she's been falling asleep halfway through my "set" of Jesus Loves Me, Away in the Manger, Silent Night, and Amazing Grace (1, 2, 3, and 4 verses respectively). Then, usually she sleeps for about 9 or 10 hours--but three nights ago it was 14, then 12 the night after that, and 11 last night. Oi! But the best part of it all: she's sleeping through the night! The irony of this, of course, is that I am awake for at least an hour every night thanks to pregnancy discomfort. It figures this would start just as I'm about to embark on midnight feedings again. *sigh* But regardless, I'm thrilled that she's finally doing it!

I don't know if it's going to last--it may just be that her poor body is trying to catch up from two weeks of illness. But regardless, it's been a nice change!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Out of the woods!

FINALLY. The fever is basically gone, only returning when she sleeps (which is apparently common in little ones), and she's slowly perking up in spirits as well. Yesterday was rough, but today seems to be going much better--a decent breakfast, some cuddle time on the couch, and some honest-to-goodness imaginative play. Hallelujah! The cough is still there and still sounds horrific, but she doesn't cough often, so that's a relief. Today we may actually get back to a real schedule. I think I remember how our days used to go, before we spent them on the couch watching the same four episodes of Blues Clues over and over and over and over.

And, of course, we'll take a little outing to the fire house where our polling place is located. GO RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I watched a documentary on the government yesterday with Dan that scared the *$&# out of me and made me pray all the more that Dr. Paul gets elected. Yes, it's a long shot, but I don't think it's nearly as far of a shot as the media would like us to think. I think if more people saw that documentary (which I'll blog about more later) Ron Paul would win by a landslide.

But we're an apathetic people. So he probably won't. So sad. Know of any affordable deserted islands that are up for sale?