Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Betrayed by Jeanette Windler

CFBA's book of the week is Betrayed:


As the child of missionary parents, award-winning author and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic that it has prompted government agencies to question her to determine if she has received classified information. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Jeanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than twenty. She has more than a dozen books in print, including political/suspense best-seller CrossFire and the Parker Twins series.


Fires smolder endlessly below the dangerous surface of Guatemala City’s municipal dump.

Deadlier fires seethe beneath the tenuous calm of a nation recovering from brutal civil war. Anthropologist Vicki Andrews is researching Guatemala’s “garbage people” when she stumbles across a human body. Curiosity turns to horror as she uncovers no stranger, but an American environmentalist—Vicki’s only sister, Holly.

With authorities dismissing the death as another street crime, Vicki begins tracing Holly’s last steps, a pilgrimage leading from slum squalor to the breathtaking and endangered cloud forests of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere. But every unraveled thread raises more questions. What betrayal connects Holly’s murder, the recent massacre of a Mayan village, and the long-ago deaths of Vicki’s own parents?

Nor is Vicki the only one demanding answers. Before her search reaches its startling end, the conflagration has spilled across international borders to threaten an American administration and the current war on terror. With no one turning out to be who they’d seemed, who can Vicki trust and who should she fear?

A politically relevant tale of international intrigue and God’s redemptive beauty and hope.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck

When I saw the email in my inbox yesterday that this book was our CFBA selection for the week, I totally got that Neil Diamond song stuck in my head. Between that and "Stand Up" from one of Abby's Veggie Tale videos, my brain has been singing nonstop. So anyway, here's the lowdown on Sweet Caroline and its author, Rachel Hauck.

I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.

But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.

After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.

But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.

I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.

Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.

I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.

In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas

You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you,
at this site: Signed by the

When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


It's funny how much press Ron Paul's getting now that he's dropped out of the race. Suddenly everyone that ignored him throughout the whole campaign is eagerly reporting how he's thrown in the towel.

Except he hasn't.

The mainstream media is just SO FREAKING STUPID sometimes!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Truffles by the Sea by Julie Carobini

THis week's blog tour book is Truffles by the Sea, the second book by fellow Californian Julie Carobini. She's an award-winning writer whose stories often spotlight her family, the sea, and God's timely work in the lives of those around her. She lives with her husband, Dan, and their three children in Ventura Beach, California.

She also likes to blog! Go leave her a comment at Waves of Grace.


If you read, Julie's first book, Chocolate Beach, then you might remember Gaby as Bri’s dramatic, lovesick best friend. Unfortunately, things get worse—much worse—for her before they get…well, best not to give it away.

Sometimes all a girl has left is chocolate...

Gaby Flores has a penchant for drama and an unfortunate knack for dating Mr. So Wrong. After breaking off yet another relationship, watching her apartment building burn to the ground, and discovering that her dippy delivery guy has run off with most of her business, Gaby decides it’s time to turn things around.

So she moves to a tiny waterfront loft and takes on a new motto: “Be gullible no more!” With help from her friends, she works to rebuild her flower shop—and her life. But when legal troubles and quirky neighbors and two surprising romances enter her beachy world, Gaby’s motto and fledgling faith are put to the test.

Can a young woman prone to disaster in both work and love finally find happily ever after?

"Truffles by the Sea is delightful! Julie Carobini has a new fan in this reader, and she's earned a spot on my keeper shelf." --Kay James,

"This book is a delight to read, and the author has us rooting for Gaby from page one. This girl's never-say-die attitude is incredible, and her life is filled with all kinds of foibles. This is chick lit with heart – about so much more than finding a man.... While keeping the light chick lit tone, this book satisfied while avoiding the tired old formulas. Just when I’m ready to give up on the genre, I stumble across an author who can write without relying on stereotypes." --Cara Putman,

"I liked Julie Carobini's first novel, Chocolate Beach, but her sophomore release, Truffles By The Sea, greatly surpasses it. I thoroughly enjoyed Carobini's second book and felt her writing was much stronger throughout. The characters are deeper and yet funnier – a great combination.... It's a great read for a cold winter day – you can curl up with the book, a nice fire and pretend you're the one by the sea." --Jill Hart,

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No, I'm sorry, you *don't* get to choose what's best for your child.

Yet another reason why our days in California may be numbered. An appellate court ruled yesterday that parents do not have a Constitutional right to homeschool their children, and that parents who do so may face criminal charges. This LA Times article gives the lowdown.

Now, technically, homeschooling has always been illegal in California. But the way the law is written, families can create their own private school, file as such with the state, and carry on their merry way. But it looks as though they may be trying to close that loophole.

Frankly, none of us should be surprised. We've allowed the government to step into so many areas of our lives, what on earth makes anyone think they won't step into this facet as well? Now, hopefully the backlash will be so powerful that the decision will be reversed--there's a huge number of families in California who homeschool--but even if it does, that doesn't solve the problem. Until citizens start standing up for their personal freedoms, start demanding that the Constitution be brought back as the basis for government, and start reminding the government that they are here to PROTECT our freedoms and not to take them over, this kind of thing is going to happen over and over and over, be it in regards to our health care, our health freedoms, our property rights...

Let me know if you see any deserted islands for sale. I think I'd like to relocate.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Blog Tour for Only Uni by Camy Tang!

I'm thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for one of Christian fiction's newest and most entertaining chick lit voices--Camy Tang. If you haven't yet picked up her first release, Sushi for One? I highly recommend it. Camy's blog is great, too, if you're like me and addicted to blogs. :) Her second novel, Only Uni is out now and SO much fun! I interviewed Camy over email--here's what she has to say about her new book....

Alison: So...what's uni?

Camy: Okay, I have to warn people, this is kind of gross:
Uni (oo-nee) is the Japanese name for the edible part of the Sea
Urchin. While colloquially referred to as the roe (eggs), uni is
actually the animal's gonads.

It's an actual sushi, and I think it tastes disgusting. But my dad
loves it. It's considered a delicacy, and you just have to develop a
taste for it, I guess.

However, when we named the book, it was a double entendre--uni as in
sushi, and uni as in "one." Most people don't know about what uni
sushi really is, so the marketing team thought it would be okay to
have it in the title.

Alison: I love the dynamic between the cousins, and their unique personalities.
Do you have a cousin network like that of your own?

Camy: Actually, no. But I have friends who are VERY close to their cousins,
and I'm close to several of my friends, so I just kind of
extrapolated. :) I also created characters who are a bit excessive in
their personalities--I don't know if I'd actually LIKE cousins as
intense as they are in real life!--and none of my friends have cousins
who are strong personalities like Lex, Trish, and Venus.

Alison: Without getting specific so as not to spoil anything, I have to say that
the twist at the end was awesome. Did you know all along that would happen,
or did it surprise you too?

Camy: It did surprise me, but the surprise was before I wrote the book. I
had finished Sushi for One, and I had a skeleton plot for Only Uni. As
I was plotting Only Uni out in more detail, a few things about Trish
changed, and it occurred to me that if A happens, then B might happen,
too. And so the twist at the end was born.

Alison: I really love Trish's character--probably because I see a lot of myself
in the poor girl. :) I know that there's always a few pieces of my own life
and personality in my main characters--is that usually true for you, too? In
what ways do you identify with Trish?

Camy: I identify with Trish in many ways. I had a hard time with my
singleness as a Christian woman, especially because no one seemed to
address the fact that women are sensual creatures as well as men.
Trish's boy-craziness was a lot like myself, and I knew a lot of other
Christian women would relate to that, as well. Trish's desire to
change is also part of my own growth--it's only been in the past few
years that I've come to understand my identity in Christ and be happy
in it.

Alison: PLEASE tell me we're going to hear more about Trish's story--I'm dying to know how her future is going to pan out! You carried the thread of "Sushi For One" main character Lex into this story, too, as part of the background of "Only Uni," so I assume we'll know the outcome of Trish's current situation through your next book. But do you see yourself writing any full-on sequels to any of the women's stories?

Camy: I'm not contracted for any other books beyond Venus's story in SINGLE
SASHIMI, which is out in August. HOWEVER, I'm dying to write Jenn's story, and I'm going to release it as a free ebook that my newsletter YahooGroup members can download (people can join my YahooGroup here.). People can read a short blurb about Jenn's story on my website.

As for sequels for any of the other cousins--who knows? I guess it
depends on how much interest there is in it.

Alison: Speaking of your next book, which of the cousins will have her story told next? Any sneak peeks you can give us into that story?

Camy: Venus's story is the next and (mostly) final novel in the series.
Here's the blurb:

Drake Yu. Why would Drake call her after … what, five years? Six?

Venus heard in his voice that resonance that was almost a growl, that
titanium-hard determination to get what he wanted. And he usually got
what he wanted. The voice said: "I want you to work for me."

Not this time… If it was a choice between Drake and McDonald's—she'd
choose french fries. She'd never work for him again. It would take an
act of God.

Venus Chau is determined to start her own game development company and
launch the next Super Mario-sized phenomenon. However, she needs an
investor to back her idea. When Drake Yu, an old nemesis, approaches
Venus with a contracting opportunity at his sister's startup, the
offer to become Chief Operating Officer tempts Venus to think the

Venus would rather throw away her PS3 than work for Drake again …
except Grandma bribes Venus to do this favor for Drake's wealthy
family with a coveted introduction to the most respected investor in
the game industry. It's also a short job—only a few months—so Venus
won't have to stand Drake's presence for very long.

But one wild youth group, a two-faced assistant, and Grandma's
determined match-making threaten to make them both fail—or go insane.
With the encouragement of her three cousins, Lex, Trish, and Jennifer,
Venus discovers that even a wounded heart can undergo a beautiful
transformation …

Thanks for having me here, Alison! I also want to tell people about a
huge website contest I've got going on--I'm giving away FIVE BOXES of
Christian fiction books! Only my newsletter YahooGroup members can
enter, so join today! Contest info is here.

There you have it, kids. Check out Camy's website, blog, contests, and, most importantly, BOOKS! I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Thanks for stopping by, Camy! Best of luck with your novels!