Sunday, November 19, 2006
Dear Friends, I am delighted to share with you a book review by a friend and fellow-chocolate lover, Michelle Sutton. I have read the book and agree with everything she says (including crying at the end!), so I am copying the review in its entirety with her permission. I hope you will also check out Michelle's blog listed at the end of the review, and that you will order this great read from Heartsong Presents.
Anna's Journey by Nancy Toback just came out and I devoured it. It's the best Heartsong I've ever read to date.
Want a review to post?
Product Details# ISBN: 1597891304ISBN-13: 9781597891301# Format: Paperback, 176pp# Publisher: Barbour Publishing, IncorporatedPublication date Sept. 2006
From the back cover:
Anna McCort always wanted to serve the Lord in a third-world orphanage, but she ignored His leading to focus on romance. When her ex-boyfriend threatens violence, the emotionally devastated Anna knows she made the right decision to break up with him. This time around, she won't let anything--or anyone--deter her from her God-given mission. Then, a very handsome stranger from church takes notice of Anna. Can she trust herself to do what's right?
Daniel Boccini never had to work hard for a woman's attention--until he met Anna. No matter how hard he tries, he finds he has to manipulate the situation just to be with her. At least he doesn't have to worry that she will ever want him just for his money. If only he could figure out why she keeps him at arms' length... Will Daniel ever be able to give lower priority to his worldly possessions? Can Anna catch a glimpse of just how much the Lord loves her and wants her to be happy?
My review:Up until I read Anna's Journey, my favorite Heartsong title had always been Love Online (also authored by Nancy Toback) because she has a fabulous gift for drawing the reader in. Many times I find category romances boring, but this story had incredible pull and I devoured it. I loved the believable conflict, the feelings of longing, the tension with the violent ex, the honorable qualities of the hero (and his foreign accent), the innocence of the heroine and her struggle to trust, the character growth, etc. Even the secondary characters like Jane had depth. Nothing cardboard in this story. Just about everything in Anna's Journey plucked my heartstrings. Especially the epilogue. I actually cried real tears of joy. That's a rarity for me. I loved the "edgy" content, especially for a Heartsong, and the kisses were delectable. If Heartsong Presents continues to print novels of this quality I may just have to join their club!
Michelle Sutton (pen name)"Writing truth into fiction"
Great Beginnings finalist2005
Sunday, November 12, 2006
As a writer I have heard many times not to use co-incidences in my stories as that makes them unrealistic, and I don't really believe in co-incidences, but I have had many events happen in my life that can only be explained as God-incidences. I started thinking about this because of the guests we hosted this weekend shown in the picture above. From left to right they are Danai Chowwiwats, John Johnson, Ann Johnson, and Somphet Krongmadee.
We just met Danai and SomPhet yesterday, but felt an immediate bond with them due to their Christian spirit and because they are from Thailand where my husband spent two tours during the Viet Nam war.
We met John and Ann almost fifteen years ago when they moved to KY and bought a farm near ours. They soon became Christians and went to Russia shortly thereafter to pass out tracts in the subway stations. When they returned Ann called me up and said they had met a friend of ours over there--Bro. Earl Mullins. Bro Earl was the minister who had married us in 1968, and he was in Russia to look at some mission opportunities. He and John were stacking Bibles/books one day and one of them said it reminded them of a guy they knew who stacked his hay bales like that. The other one said they knew someone back home that did that also. A few days later they started talking about where they lived and John said he lived outside a small town in KY that Earl had probably never heard of named Cynthiana. That's when Bro. Earl informed John that he knew Rose and Chester from there and that Chester was the farmer he had talked about who stacked his hay bales. John said that we were neighbors of his and that Chester was the guy he knew who did that, too! We are very glad that they got to meet and know Bro. Earl who recently went home to be with the Lord after faithfully serving Him for many years as a Christian school teacher, administrator, and missionary.
John is a printer by trade and he and Ann have formed a ministry named Gutenberg Ministries to print the Bible and Christian literature in many languages. They have travelled in several countries and even lived in Guinea for a year. Another God-incidence occurred a few years ago when they contacted us to tell us they were going to Africa soon and said they needed to contact a missionary who was currently at home on furlough, but they didn't know how to do that. When John told me the missionary's name, I said "He is spending the weekend with us, so why don't you come and visit him while he is here?" He did, and gleaned many helpful bits of information from this veteran missionary that aided in his trip.
We have other connections with the Johnson's also--their son JD (now 16) was the ringbearer in our daughter's wedding over ten years ago. We were happy that they could spend the night with us while in for a church missionary day before attending the national missionary conference in Indianapolis next weekend. They brought Danai and Somphet with them because they are now partnering with them in Southeast Asia Christian Mission (SEACM, pronounced Seek'em). They will also be the American contacts for this organization. So anyone wishing to support this work among the Hmong people in Thailand or wanting more information about it or the printing ministry can contact the Johnson's at GutenbergMinistries@Yahoo.com.
How about you--would you like to share any God-incidences of people God has brought into your life so you can better serve Him?
Sunday, November 05, 2006
ACFW Photos--Take Three
I'm posting three more pictures from the ACFW conference in September. The first one was taken at the crowded chocolate party held in Michelle Hutchinson's room. It's become a well-attended tradition! Yummy! The second one is of me with my roomate for the past three conferences, Jennifer Johnson who had her own book (Kentucky Keepers)to sign at the booksigning this year, and our new friend, Nancy Jo Jenkins (on the left). If you haven't read Nancy Jo's Coldwater Revival yet, please do yourself a favor and add it to the top of your TBR pile. It's a very moving story, and sooo well written! The bottom picture shows me with Liz Curtis Higgs, a fellow-Kentuckian, taken at the book signing. As our keynote speaker, Liz had us running the spectrum from laughing to crying in the same talk. Each attendee received a copy of her latest non-fiction book, Embrace Grace, which is a lovely reminder of God's Grace. I've read several of her other books, too, and love them all! I also enjoy her Bible studies in Today's Christian Woman and used her Bad Girls of the Bible video and book with my Teen MOPS. Treat yourself to one of her books soon! Happy reading!