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Tamara Leigh’s Stealing Adda

 Sorry for the delay with this post. Our internet was out pretty much all day. Anywho, I love Tamara Leigh’s books. She no longer writes Chick Lit. She has switched to medieval romance. That said, I love every novel of hers that I’ve read. I decided to review Stealing Adda, because it’s the first one I read by her. Stealing Adda is about Adda, who is a romance novelist who comes to know the Lord. There is of course an attractive man in the picture, and a crazy arch enemy who is trying to steal everything that Adda has. There is lots of humor, and I learned a lot about the writing business. The one thing I enjoyed about this book and others that she has written, is that the ending is never what I expected and I so appreciate it. Highly Recommended!

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Camy Tang’s The Sushi Series

This week I decided to focus on some of my favorite chick lit books. Chick lit is a strange arena. I mostly don’t like it, but a good author can make any genre good. I stumbled upon Camy Tang on a blog and I was glad I did. The first book in the series is called Sushi for One. This book has all the elements of a chick lit: first person, point of view from woman, contemporary, romance, but this one adds in the additon of Asian culture. Lex Sakai is passionate about her job and her volleyball and finding a godly man. And then everything starts going downhill. Just when you think God has forgotten you, you begin to learn that he is right there in the midst of the storm…and possibly the reason for the changes in your life. I really enjoy Aiden’s character and I thought Ms. Tang did a lovely job of introducing Christianity to the character without sounding cheesy.

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Robert Whitlow’s The Choice

Robert Whitlow is a man who believes in the gift of prophecy. I’m pretty sure all of his books contain it. The Choice is no different. I was, at first, hesitant to pick up this book because I thought it might be sad since it deals with the issue of abortion. But, I should have known that this book was going to be good. This book is about a girl named Sandy who gets pregnant in high school in 1974. While she is at the store, and contemplating what to do about her pregnancy, an old woman walks up and tells her that she is pregnant with twins and should they ever meet, one is going to be the death of the other. Whoa. This book is not a romance, and not even really a legal thriller, but its a good book not to be missed. 

Spiritually, there’s a lot of prayer going on in this book and I think this novel reflects how God knows our end even at the beginning. I didn’t want to put it down.  Highly Recommended!

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Francine Rivers’ The Scarlet Thread

I’m back! How was the bar exam? It’s over. So I decided to talk about an oldie, but a goodie. Francine Rivers can write some amazing books! But this is one that’s not talked about often and it’s one of my favorites. In fact, I’ve loaned it to a lot of people, several whom are not readers who love this book. Although there is a disclaimer, there are two stories that are interwoven into this novel: one contemporary and one historical. My non-readers only read the contemporary and not the historical story. I suppose that’s what nonreaders do. Anyway, this novel is about Sierra and Alex. Sierra and Alex are married. Alex gets a job that moves the family to California and let’s just say that the family suffers. But things turn around. This is a Francine Rivers novel people: drama and intense guys.  And that’s all I’m going to say! It’s a great novel of salvation, love, and forgiveness. It just reminds you that Jesus went to the cross for all of us and if he can forgive us, than we should forgive others. Highly Recommended!

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Studying for the Bar Exam

 So I’m taking the Illinois bar exam on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is, how do you say it? Intense to say the least. I’ll be taking a blog break until Thursday of next week. Keep me up in your prayers! I’ve already decided to never go back to school. Ever. In life. God bless.

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Susan May Warren’s My Foolish Heart

 Susan May Warren cranks out books faster than almost any author I know. Just when you think you need one, there’s another coming out. And let me tell you, this one is so good. I really like it because of it’s unusual premise. Isadora Presley is the radio host of My Foolish Heart, which is a show that gives out advice about romance. She also is very much afraid to leave her house and rarely does so. Caleb Knight is an Iraq veteran who has left with some scars. He has moved to Deep Haven in hopes of moving on and starting over as the coach of the high school football team. When Isadora, his neighbor, catches his eye, he doesn’t know what to do so he starts calling My Foolish Heart. It’s so cute. I was flipping the pages. There is a secondary romance in the novel, that I must admit, didn’t capture my attention as much. But I was continually rooting for Caleb and Izzy. Spiritually, Izzy and Caleb must learn to conquer their fears and trust God. Such a good book. Highly Recommended.

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Robin Jones Gunn’s Finally and Forever

This is the fourth book in the Katie Weldon Series, so there will be tons of spoiler alerts. Katie Weldon is the forever friend of Christy Miller (Christy + Todd!). She was with Christy through the romance of Todd and now Katie’s got her own guy, Eli. The previous book ends with Katie following Eli to Africa. The ending was romantic and sweet. But I’m so glad Ms. Gunn wrote this book! Ms. Gunn has the unique ability to take ordinary people in ordinary circumstances and still leave you enraptured. I have so enjoyed all of her Katie Weldon/Christy Miller series because these are normal girls who meet normal guys and somehow its still so romantic without any over-the-top issues and never-gonna-happen storylines (those are fun too, but still). Specifically in this one, as you read the novel you see Katie and Eli in their quiet time, growing with God, trying to be the best examples of Christ even in their uniqueness. When I put down one of her books, I want to pick up the Bible to see what direction the Lord is sending me. But most of all, as a single gal, her books are the ones that would help me create a list of the perfect spouse more than any other.

Back to Katie and Eli- in this book they begin to learn more about each other and just kind of slow down the romance thing (but it’s still there!). Eli’s passion for the Lord is catching and Katie’s mistakes in Africa are so relatable. If I had an issue with anything it was that she didn’t have enough culture shock. Perhaps when God calls you to the mission field, He equips you with a love for the country right away. All I know is, when I studied in France, I had moments where you couldn’t take me away and moments where if I could just find the ocean, I would swim across. But that said, great book. Highly Recommended (although you have to read the others first!).

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Jenny B. Jones’s Save the Date

This novel is about a woman named Lucy Wiltshire who runs a non-profit for young women who don’t have a home. Her non-profit has lost significant funds and it looks like they may have to close down. Alex is an ex-football player who is running for Congress. His rates are low, until there is a chance photo with him and Lucy. It is then that he realizes if he wants to win he needs Lucy. It’s very convenient that he also has millions of dollars at his beck and call as well. That’s all I’m going to say concerning what it’s about. I love this book. I love this book! Lucy is such a wonderful heroine. She’s the kind of girl you want to hang out with. I appreciated that she wasn’t your typical skinny beauty of today. And Alex? I wanted to stick him in my back pocket. He was funny, smart, good-looking and cared for Lucy in a way that was precious. And these are just the main characters, because let me tell you, the secondary characters had me rolling.

Spiritually, Alex is just coming back to the things of God as his family struggles through a tough time. He has to learn to let go and let God. Lucy, also has to learn to trust God to provide her. This book centers on a deception (which was done incredibly well btw!) and so its hard to have two believers in a situation like they were in. Yet, Lucy discovers God’s grace throughout it all. Highly Recommended. Five Stars! Great Book!

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Anne Mateer’s Wings of a Dream

 Rebecca Hendricks has big dreams that don’t include her family’s farm or  becoming the typical housewife. When she learns that her aunt is ill, Rebecca travels to Texas to be a help…and gets more than what she bargained for when she discovers that she has to take care of four children. This novel reminded me of Anne of Green Gables. I heard that the author was inspired by Anne so that shouldn’t be surprising. Rebecca is fiesty, fun-loving, and relatable. She experiences some hard things and must learn to turn to God in a way that she never has needed to before. The novel is probably less of a romance and more of a novel of family, faith, and growing. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to Ms. Mateer’s new novel coming out this fall. Highly Recommended!

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Interview of Jill Williamson

Ms. Williamson,

      What inspired you to write the Blood of Kings Trilogy?

My son and I were walking along the streets of Burbank and we saw a burned-down house. There was a tree in the yard that had partially burned. It was half charred and half leafy green. I thought it was the coolest image. I ran home and Photoshopped it. It’s the same image that’s the header on my blog. I knew I wanted to write a story about this tree. 

   So what comes first, the story or the land of Er’Rets?

I had a vague idea for a story, but I drew the map before I ever started to write. Drawing a map of my storyworld really helps me learn about the place. I can’t not draw a map these days. I love maps. *grin*

    One thing I appreciated about this series is the different layers of stories that are interwoven throughout the books. Did you plot these out ahead of time, or were you surprised as they developed?

Both, I think. Part of that came from the time I took planning my storyworld. Because I had so many cities and because I had planned out the lords and ladies in each, I had inadvertently planted the potential for future layers. So when my characters would arrive in a new location, I’d look it up in my book, discover who the people were, and be surprised by the potential storylines I could choose from.

When writing a fantasy novel, what are some roadblocks you come up against? If any?

I would have to stop when I suddenly had to write something I didn’t know about. Like Vrell needing to patch up an arrow wound. So then I had to go research until I knew enough to write the scene. Another major roadblock was not having written all three books before the first was in print. That really made it hard in book three as I developed bloodvoicing and other things. I was stuck by the story in book one. But if I had written all three in advance, I could have altered book one so that everything worked out how I know wish it had!

Which book in the series was the easiest to write? Which one was the hardest?

The first one was the easiest because there was no pressure. There was no contract. I was just having a good time. Book three was the hardest because by then I had fans that I didn’t want to disappoint and I had I had a lot of plot threads to tie up. 

 Achan is such a likable character, what (or who) influenced his development?

I have no idea. I just wrote that first scene in the barn where Achan stuck up for the kid, and Achan was born. It’s nice when your characters do that.

 Averella seems to be the perfect foil for Achan, what led to your creation of her?

Originally, Averella was going to be a soldier who shared the bloodvoicing ability, found this strange young man—who had amnesia—while on a mission, recognized the gift in him, and went on an adventure to figure out who, if anybody, he was. But that was back when the book was going to be a science fiction story. And somewhere along the way I switched to fantasy, so Averella as a soldier didn’t work as well, so she became a noblewoman in hiding.

  Do you foresee any more books that take place in Er’Rets?

Perhaps. I have a few ideas. I’d like to publish some short stories based on other characters in the series: Sir Rigil, Lady Tara, Peripaso, etc. And I have a fun idea for a prequel of when Er’Rets was discovered. I created such a vast land, there is still so much to use! But I have nothing written yet, and therefore, nothing official to announce.

     Can you tell us about any new projects you’re working on?

I am working on two new projects right now. The first is a series about a boy who joins a spy organization that fights for God. The New Recruit comes out September 2012 and is the first of four books. And Captives is a dystopian novel based on Daniel chapter one, which comes out in February 2013. It is the first in a trilogy. After writing all those books, I’m going to write more fantasy for certain!

Thank you for stopping by!

Here is my review of the Blood of the Kings Trilogy: