This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wind River
(Bethany House July 1, 2008)
Tom Morrisey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Morrisey is a mountaineer, aviator, shipwreck diver, and explorer, who holds a Full Cave certification from the National Speleological Society - Cave Diving Section. He has launched, edited or contributed to numerous national publications and is an award-winning adventure-travel writer. A popular speaker, he is also active in both evangelism and the arts. Morrisey earned an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University, and his fiction has been featured in numerous anthologies and magazines. His first novel, Yucatan Deep (Zondervan, 2002) was a finalist for the Christy award, and he is the author of four other novels: In High Places (Bethany House Publishers, 2007), Dark Fathom (Zondervan, 2005), Deep Blue, (Zondervan 2004), and Turn Four (Zondervan 2004). In addition Tom has also written two nonfiction books: 20 American Peaks & Crags (Contemporary Books, 1978) and Wild by Nature (Baker Books, 2001). He and his family live in Orlando, Florida. ABOUT THE BOOK You Can't Outrun the Sins of Your Past Desperate to forget what happened to him in Iraq, Tyler Perkins flees to the emptiness of Wyoming. He's here to escape and also to fulfill a long-ago promise by accompanying his 86-year-old friend Soren Andeman on a fly-fishing trip--once more for old time's sake. But their trek to an idyllic trout lake soon becomes something more deeply harrowing--a journey that uncovers long-held lies, deadly crimes, and the buried secrets of the past. Ty barely has time to contemplate the question of what constitutes justice when nature unleashes her own revenge. Trapped in a race back to safety, he must face his own guilt-ridden past or risk being consumed. Powerfully imagined by the acclaimed author of In High Places, Wind River is an engaging wilderness adventure that explores the power of confession, the beauty of forgiveness, and the freedom of truth unveiled. If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

My Take On The Book:

I'm still in the process of reading this book, but it has my interest within the first three chapter. The main character is likable and you want to know more about him. When I finish the book, I'll come back here and tell you more about what I thought.

CFBA Blog Tour ... Rachel Hauck

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love Starts With Elle
(Thomas Nelson - July 8, 2008)
Rachel Hauck

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel Hauck is a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's, who roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero. She graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. After graduation, she hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, destermined to see the world. But, she's traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. Rachel met Tony, her husband, in '87, at church, of all places. They married in '92. They don't have any children of their own, just lots of kids-in-the-Lord and they love them all. However, they do have two very spoiled dogs, and a very demanding cat. With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. My current release is Sweet Caroline from Thomas Nelson. Romantic Times Book Club gave both books their highest rank of 4.5 stars, with Love Starts With Elle being honored as Top Pick! ABOUT THE BOOK Elle's living the dream-but is it her dream or his? Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good. Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter. But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated. Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go? If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE


I've just started this book and am already engrossed in the characters and plot. So far, it's been a great summer read when I need to kick back and chill with a engaging story.

There's an interview with Rachel on A Christian Writer's World click to check it out. Happy Reading,


Enter The Door...Wayne Batson Interview

I've just finished reading the Door Within Trilogy, and thoroughly enjoyed it. In book one- The Door Within- Adian struggles with adjusting to his new life in Colorado where his family moved to help his aging grandfather. Adian stumbles across some scrolls in the attach that lead him to the mirror realm of Alleble. The second book, Rise of the Wyrm Lord- Adian helps his new found friend, Antoinette return to Alleble where she gets entangled with the enemy and trapped in his prison. Book three brings on the conclusion to the great war. That's the three books in short. There's so much more, but you'll have to read them. Wayne Batson was good enough to interview with me concerning his three books and how he went about writing them. Thanks Wayne for taking the time to do this. What inspired you to write the "Door Within" books and how long did it take for you to complete book one? The kernel concept for The Door Within books came from an emotion. I was a new Christian back in 1991. I’d heard a sermon one morning that really had me thinking about those I love and where they might be spiritually. I approached some very important people in my life. I spilled my guts about the reality of Jesus dying on the cross and the promise of heaven. I expected almost any kind of response—shrewd argument, denial, even anger. But when they laughed at me with that “isn’t he cute?” kind of condescension…that threw me. I wanted to write a story where the main character discovered something of incredible importance, and yet, no one would believe it. Sadly, I must admit it took 13 years for me to write The Door Within. I’ll explain why it took so long a little later in the interview. Wow! That a lot of years to put into a book. Did you know from the beginning this would be a trilogy? Not at all. Initially is was a stand alone, but I recognized that stand alones were not getting near as many contracts as series fiction. So when my agent and I went to the Christian Bookseller’s Conference in Atlanta, we packaged The Door Within as a Trilogy. That was a God thing really, because, as a trilogy, the story grew into something so much deeper and wonderful than I ever imagined. When you sit down to write, do you plan out your novel or write as the story plays out in your mind? Remember, I said it took me 13 years to write The Door Within? The reason why is that I was then, a SOTP or WWTMS {write when the muse strikes} kind of writer. Ah, I’ll never write like that again. I cannot tell you how many times I needed to rewrite and heavily revise that original manuscript. By contrast, the next two books in the series: Rise of the Wyrm Lord and The Final Storm, took about 5-6 months each—all because now, I outline. Tell us what techniques you use to outline your novel. I’m not an OCD kind of outliner. I created a storyboard organizer, nothing fancy…just boxes and arrows. I use that to outline the plot—my outlines are about 7-10 pages and take about a month to create. Then, I hit the manuscript trail—and this is where the spontaneous takes over. As I work through the manuscript outline, all kinds of ideas come pouring in. “OH! Wouldn’t it be cool if at the end, this happens? Yes, and if so, I’ll need to foreshadow in this chapter, etc.” I write story points all over the margins, on sticky notes, on the backs of church bulletins—I’ve even been known to write a cool idea on my daughter’s forehead. LOL I’ve learned to take advantage of the cool idea when it first appears, else it departs for good. Hey, we have to make the most of opportunities as they come to us. Tell me what is your favorite part of writing? Would you share your favorite scene in one of your books? I absolutely LOVE the invention stage—the time when the initial concept comes together. Sometimes this is during outlining and other times it is pre-outline. But it’s so cool when my mental movie projector just starts pulling together people and scenes. I get tingles, goosebumps, and a sense of Godly assurance that this story is going to ROCK. One of my favorite scenes from The Door Within is where Aidan is lost in Falon’s Labyrinth. He makes a tragic mistake and discovers at last how the creature Falon was able to be everywhere at once. I’d tell you more, but that’d ruin a fun little adventure for anyone who hasn’t yet read The Door Within. What advice do you have for other writers? 1. It can be done. 2. Your creativity is already there—you can think up a story as well as Tolkien, Rowlings, or I ever could. But your craft is probably not there yet. Read like a crazy person—esp. in the genre you think you want to write. But don’t just read to be entertained. Learn what the author’s are up to. Remember that part that thrilled you? What made it thrill you? Take some classes in fiction and poetry. It may not seem exciting—in the same way that drills at football practice or practicing scales on an instrument seem tiresome. Everyone wants the glory of the big game or the rock concert, but few are willing to invest the work needed to get there. Writing is work. Creating is work. What suggestions can you offer parents to help encourage their children to be better readers? Lots: 1. Model reading as entertainment. Turn off the TV, the games, the DVDs and read for the fun of it. Let your kids catch you reading for fun, and they’ll do it too. 2. Read to your child until they beat you our of their room with a stick. Get into character. Do voices. Get dramatic. 3. Make books a part of your child’s allowance. Either for every book they read (and can retain the story in memory) add a quarter/dollar or some other amount to their allowance. Or, if they’ve done their chores, take them to go buy a book—or to the library. Some might argue that this perverts the love of reading. I think rather it shows your child in the economy of possible ways to spend free time, reading matters. Excellent. I love dragging my kids off for a day at the bookstore. As a teacher, do you have ways to encourage your students to read more? I created a literature discussion group I call The Reading Round Table. Each child takes a test to see what their skill sets, talents, or multiple intelligences are. This determines what role the children play: swordbearer, bard, pathfinder, archer, etc. Then, I put students into groups of 5-6 adventurers. The kids select an age appropriate novel, read it, and then come to class for a “Meeting of the Roundtable.” There, the kids eat lots of snacks and talk about good literature from a variety of perspectives. It’s very motivating. I've really enjoyed your "Door Within" books. What's next? Thanks, Jackie. Next up is Isle of Swords. This pirate tale begins with a lad awakening on island. He is bruised, scarred, beaten within an inch of his life, and yet he has no memory of what happened to him…he had no memory of how he came to this island, and he has no memory of his own identity. All he has to go on is a leather pouch containing: a priceless green jewel, a lock of red hair, and a rusty iron cross. The journey of discovering who he is will bring the lad between two of the Caribbean’s most notorious pirates and a legendary treasure. Release date is August 18th, 2007. Awesome, Wayne. The cover looks wonderful! I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great interview, Jackie! -Wayne Thomas Batson You can learn more about Wayne's books by visiting either:

No End to Silliness

The Adventures of Captain Underpants
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic
ISBN: 0-590-84627-2
You may be wondering why I'd go from reviewing a cute tale about pigs to... this. Have I lost my mind? No. Let me explain.
We were at the elementary school's book fare, my 8 yr. old son and me, looking for a book to buy. (Yes, one for me, and one for him. I got a cool book about dragons. Love it!) Anyway, he picks up this Captain Underpants and my parent radar goes off immediately. But he's so excited about it, bouncing as he raps of a series of "Pluuuuwwwweeeze! pleeeze. pleeze."
I always thought girls were the dramatic ones until my son came along. They can be just as bad. So I relented. Other boys were gathering around looking at the books, ohhing and awwing and chuckling at different parts.
For the most part, he complains books are boring. I hate when he feels that way. But bouncy boys have a problem sitting down quietly and looking at books unless there is something in them to catch their ever wandering attentions.
Dav Pilkey, a bouncy boy himself, knows how to grab a boy's attention. Pilkey was in high school when finally diagnosed with ADHD. He often found himself in trouble and having difficulty doing his school work. What he did love to do was create comic strips. Many of them he's made into the books children now love to read. Over time, he turned what started out to be a big problem, into a big business. Dav Pilkey has written many funny books that cause children to laugh out loud an find reading fun.
First I read one of my son's books, and I thought, "this is just pure stupidness." I'd chuckle every now and then. A few times I rolled my eyes and thought, how disgusting. No wonder boys love this stuff. Then I got into the book with it's "flip-o-rama" and practical jokes like having the reader yell out a word while moving the book to create "special effects".
There might be a few girls out there who enjoy these books, but they are strictly written for and about "boy stuff". Period.
Now for the Parental Warnings part:
1. If you only want your children to read about upstanding, honorable characters, then don't buy these books. Harold and George are wise-cracking trouble-makers. But likable wise-cracking trouble-makers.
2. If you don't like bathroom humor, don't buy these books. Unfortunately, boys seem to love this kind of humor: the belching, farting, rude-noises and embarrassing moments kind of humor. I don't believe they ever grow out of it, either.
3. If you don't like books that make adults out to be... well... endless joke possibilities, then don't buy these books.
1. If your children have trouble with pages full of text, these books help break things down and offers lots of visuals to keep their interest.
2. If your child has ADHD, Dav Pilkey knows from personal experience how to reach out to these kids and make reading interesting.
3. If your child finds reading boring, then I encourage you to seek out books that step out of the norm and may catch their attention.
And you know, I'm all for encouraging children to read and making it fun for them.
As a parent, its up to you what you allow your child to read. Here's one possibility, and soon, I'll offer more. Check back from time to time.
God Bless,
If you are interested in Dav Pilkey's books, check out the amazon links on my side bar on how to order them.

A Tale of Two Pigs- Yes, you read that right.

Sidney & Norman- a tale of two pigs
Written by: Phil Vischer
Illustrated by: Justin Gerard
Publisher: Tommy Nelson (August 29, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1400308348
The other day I was browsing through Barnes and Nobel in the children's section. I love looking at the new releases and the picture books offer lots of artful inspiration.
As I checked to see what Christian picture books B&N carried, I came across this beautifully illustrated book. Immediately, I sat down right there on the floor, no easy task if you've ever seen me, and read it.
Sidney and Norman are neighbors, but neither have spoken much to the other. Norman is a good pig and has his act together. Sidney is lucky to make it to work in one piece. He has problems following rules and is a real mess. Then one day, both receive a blue envelope from God, inviting them to come see him at a certain time. Norman thinks he'll get a big pat on the back for all his wonderfulness. Sidney panics.
As I read the story, it's message that God loves us no matter what we do... or don't do, both touched and convicted me. I bought the book, which is not usual for me. Both of my kids are too old for picture books anymore. Matter of fact, if you do find a picture book in my house, it's probably mine. tee hee.
This one I had to have. I told myself I could read it during one of my coffee house story times. I could read it to the kids at church. Shoot, for that matter, the adults would get something out of it as well. I did.
If you are looking for a book with a good message that doesn't come off preachy, then Sidney and Norman is a great choice.
Happy Reading!