Friday, July 27, 2007

I've Gone Dottie!

So I thought I would tell you a bit about the adventures of Dottie. Her girls hate that; they think she should go by her full name, Dorothea. Dottie is a widow of several years. She was in an unhappy marriage and hasn't made a lot of changes since being on her own. She has low self-esteem and doesn't really know what, if anything, she wants to do. Her daughters--Carrie (24), Natalie (22), and Jenna (17) are about to take her in hand and make her over, but they have differing reasons for their plans. And different ways to go about it. And different--just about everything.

I've been writing Connect the Dot most workday mornings into my Palm Tungsten E2 before I flip on my computer and get sidetracked with the many things that actually NEED doing. I sync the file to my home computer every few days; the story is now at almost 9K. Today, being as I have Friday afternoons off, I had a Devoted-to-Dottie Day. Or half day as the case may be.

I started off with some college program research for Dottie and Jenna. You see, I've started writing with very few preconceived notions, which is NOT how I normally write. Then I went through the story file and made notes of everything that I ought to remember--friends' names, hair colors, mentions of certain businesses and streets, etc. It's a royal pain to scroll through 9K on the Palm to find the lawyer's name. Again. Though now that he's asked Dottie out I imagine I'll remember him--but I digress.

I'd come across some old Sears catalogues that should have hit the recycling depot awhile back and decided to look for Dottie and her daughters amongst the models, being as I'm doing a contemporary for once. I did pretty well, all things considered. Like that Jenna's look is rather *out there* and I doubt she buys her clothes at Sears! Also the model I chose for her doesn't have any piercings at all, other than the quite proper earlobes. Jenna has more. A lot more. I don't actually want to know where all she is pierced, and neither does Dottie.

So while I was on a roll, I also drew a house plan for Dottie's decrepit little house, and a basic map of the town. Wow. I feel all organized or something. Not that I know what will happen next in the story. That's going to be a little surprise for Monday morning.

Will this novel ever be salable? I doubt it. I'm writing it for fun, because I need something creative to do while my life seems swallowed up in revisions.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Revision progress

It occurs to me that it has been awhile since I reported on the on-going (yawn) revision of my novel Marks of Repentance.

The journey is still a slog, but now some days it goes faster! And other days not at all, it seems. And yet, the novel now sits at almost 58K so it is definitely progress.

Some of the things I've been running into? Taifa sometimes comes off as a two-faced manipulator. But now, if I can manipulate HER appropriately, she comes across as conflicted, which is much stronger. Other inconsistencies aren't hard to smooth once I find the right path. And I know the characters much better now than when I wrote the novel two years ago.

Still fighting passive voice, repetitive words, and -ing endings. And magical appearances that seem to have no grounding in physics, and yet...they aren't actually magic, either. Great fun.

By Monday I should be into border guard territory, and there will be major cutting and slashing of words. He got really cagey and talkative in the initial draft and I couldn't seem to get him back on track. But now I have a plan. (**rubs hands in glee...)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Dominion Trilogy--Day 3

Is everything about the books *perfect*? No. I saw quite a few typos that threw me out of the story--along with way too many words italicized. Which is interesting because my critiquers complain about that in my stuff. So I guess I'm starting to learn to see it! Other little things like repetitive word issues threw me for a few times. I'll admit, though, that the first few chapters (of each book) were the worst. That may not be an absolute fact, but just that I stopped noticing once the stories swallowed me whole. Because they did.

Robin Parrish is the author of Relentless and Fearless (and the upcoming series finale: Merciless). But who is he? The book jacket has this to say:

For years Robin Parrish has covered the world of Christian culture--music, books, film, comics, and more--as a journalist. Currently he serves as the founder and editor-in-chief of Infuze Magazine, a cutting edge online magazine positioned at the intersection of art, culture, and faith. He and his wife live in North Carolina.

Robin blogs here. I'd hoped to have a Q&A with him but I guess I hopped on the bandwagon too late. And as it is, I have to be out of town on Wednesday so I'm popping this up last minute (for me.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Dominion Trilogy--Day 2

The middle novel of The Dominion Trilogy has recently come out, and technically it is the book that we are reviewing this week. Fearless continues the story of Grant Borrows (who once was Collin Boyd) that began in Relentless, which I talked about yesterday.

As Fearless opens, natural disasters of catastrophic degree are happening around the globe. Grant is honing his special gift--basically he is SuperMan with a different name--Guardian. He and his team do what they can to alleviate pain and suffering, but soon Grant discovers that to stop the wreckage he needs to find out who is behind it. Who could have this much power? There are those who believe he is causing it himself. Switching from defensive mode to offensive is difficult because the cataclysmic events don't slow down, but Grant knows he needs to find out the secrets of the Secretum of Six, an ancient group who created the Rings of Dominion his group wears. Who are they? What is their agenda? How does he fit into the plan? Can he stop them? Does he want to?

Once again, Robin Parrish brings the story to a crashing halt that BEGS for a conclusion in the upcoming finale: Merciless, due out in 2008. If you're looking for stand-alone novels, these aren't it!

I see that Robin has a free web comic available to promote The Dominion Trilogy, called Guardian:

And a few highlights from Monday's tour: Beth Goddard posted the book trailer for Fearless. Jason Joyner discusses heroes...and superheroes. I may add more later so check back, or go on your own tour (links all posted yesterday!) to see all the info out there.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Book Tour--The Dominion Trilogy--Day 1

Here's a novel opening for you!

Collin Boyd stepped off the Metro bus on his way to work, and across the street he saw himself strolling down the sidewalk.

A stubborn but warm February rain was pouring hard across the concrete canyons of downtown. His foot had landed ankle-deep in a drainage puddle, and his half-broken umbrella wasn't extending as it should. But the umbrella, which had rarely seen use, quickly fell out of his hands and he no longer noticed the rain. His eyes were fixed, his head turning slowly to follow the other man down the opposite side of the street.

It wasn't until someone shouted from behind that he finally got his legs moving again.

The man he watched with rapt attention weaved his way casually through the crowd, headed in the direction of Collin's workplace. He wasn't a man who merely
resembled Collin. He was him. The same face, the same body, the same walk, he wore the clothes and raincoat Collin had put on that morning. He carried Collin's briefcase.

The text goes on for a few more paragraphs while Collin tails his doppelganger in disbelief, wondering whose idea of a joke this is, wondering if they've started cloning humans, wondering if he is really in a padded cell somewhere hallucinating. Then he catches sight of himself in a glass window.

The rain had stopped. He stood under the small canvas awning of a tiny high-end boutique with a floor-to-ceiling storefront window. He looked up, expecting to see mannequins on the other side of the glass, but instead, reflected back at him, was a man he'd never seen before.

Everything about his appearance was unfamiliar. He was taller, appeared to have a rather meaty, athletic build, and he wore high-end clothes much too rugged and in style for Collin's taste. Gone was the tiny, balding spot on top of his head, replaced now by thick brown locks trimmed neatly above his ears. He wasn't wearing his glasses--in fact, he didn't seem to need them. He had a few days' growth of facial hair. Even his flabby midsection was missing.

I've gone mad.

He stared at his reflection for minutes on end, unable to do anything else.

Who am I?

That other man--he's me. And I'm...not.

Did we switch?

This is the beginning of the opening scene of Relentless by Robin Parrish. It sets the tone nicely for the relentless pace that follows. The man--apparently no longer Collin Boyd--discovers that he is carrying a wallet with the ID of Grant Borrows. And only minutes pass before Collin/Grant discovers that someone wants to kill him.

The rest of the relentlessly paced novel chronicles Grant's pursuit of discovering who he is and what his purpose is...while keeping ahead of those who want him dead. He finds that there are others who, like him, have been *shifted*, who now have a strange ring welded onto their finger. Each has a specific gift--and Grant's, of course, is specialler than the others--but what are they for?

This book would land more in a suspense genre than fantasy or science fiction. Maybe supernatural suspense--if you can have supernatural suspense without one single mention of God, Satan, angels, or demons. (At least I didn't notice any!) And while the pace was certainly relentless, it wasn't too graphic for me. I read this 442-page book in one day, and I certainly recommend it.

Relentless is book one of The Dominion Trilogy. Fearless is the middle volume. The final installment is due out in 2008.

Check out what other reviewers are saying about this series: Trish Anderson, Brandon Barr, Wayne Thomas Batson, Jim Black, Justin Boyer, Grace Bridges, Amy Browning, Jackie Castle, Karri Compton, Frank Creed, Lisa Cromwell, CSFF Blog Tour, Gene Curtis, D. G. D. Davidson, Merrie Destefano, Jeff Draper, April Erwin, Linda Gilmore, Beth Goddard, Marcus Goodyear, Andrea Graham, Russell Griffith, Jill Hart, Katie Hart, Sherrie Hibbs, Christopher Hopper, Jason Joyner, Karen, Dawn King, Tina Kulesa, Lost Genre Guild, Rachel Marks, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Eve Nielsen, John W. Otte, John Ottinger, Robin Parrish, Lyn Perry, Rachelle, Cheryl Russel, Hanna Sandvig, Chawna Schroeder, Mirtika Schultz, James Somers, Steve Trower, Speculative Faith, Jason Waguespac, Daniel I. Weaver

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fantasy Tour--just about over

On Sunday, The Washington Post covered two events for the Fantasy Tour. Here is their article!

And here is the YouTube clip that contains the Washington Post folks in it:

I'm sure the four authors are tired and ready to go home. Still, downgrading from the total RUSH of this tour to whatever normal is will be a challenge. Safe journeys home to Sharon Hinck, Wayne Thomas Batson, Christopher Hopper, and Bryan Davis.

Hey Bryan, guess what? A box containing your four beautiful books just walked in the door here. (Legs and everything!) Can't wait to dive in! AND THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fantasy Tour --winding down

Here's Sunday's YouTube clip from the field:

They met with the youth at National Presbyterian Church in Washington...and did a bunch of signings. I'm amazed that Christopher has time to make the little videos every day, and sometimes several times a day. I hope you're enjoying them as much as I am! It sounds like they are having a great tour. (sigh)

Tuesday's appearance:
5:00pm - 6:30 pm
Timeless Treasures Christian Gift & Bookstore
163 Livingston St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-2667

Monday, July 16, 2007


Amazingly enough it is just as hot up in the mountains as it is down in the valley. The only thing that is colder is that the creek is colder than the lake. Quite a lot colder, being as it is glacier-fed (and not that far away!). However, when the air is somewhere around 40 Celcius (or over 100 Fahrenheit) there are things you do that you wouldn't normally consider. This is what I did multiple times (like every two or three hours all day long):

Hubby decided he could get cool enough by fishing in the creek. Sometimes he'd take off his t-shirt, soak it in the creek, and put it back on.

We also did a lot of reading and eating and reading and eating.

Some of you may know that a couple weeks ago we had a ferocious storm go through our valley (including a minor tornado) that killed our power for almost 24 hours. Some of the worst damage in the region was along the riverbed that our camping creek flows into. This was our first *sign* of damage as we turned off the highway: CAUTION to road users!

This shows a section of road that had at least twenty trees down across it. Pity the folks that had to cut their way back to civilization! (And why many of us camp with chainsaws as part of the rigging!)

And here is some lucky person's cabin:

So the benefits of being back home? Showers that can be any temperature I want--and don't have to be SHOCKINGLY cold. An air conditioner in the bedroom, even though it is LOUD. A fridge that doesn't have to battle the major heat against it and keeps things an appropriate temperature. Screens to keep the bugs out.

But I do love sitting by the creek and reading.

Fantasy Tour--still at it!

It looks to me like men and woman with capes and swords are taking over bookstores along the east coast. And it looks to me like said men and woman are having a great deal of fun while they're at it!

Sigh. It looks like not only are they having fun, but they're selling a lot of books and raising awareness for the genre of Christian fantasy. I'm really excited to be riding on their coat-tails! Check out the official tour site for more YouTube clips and other information.

Here's the Monday schedule: (nothing like keeping busy...)

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Christopher Matthew's Christian Store
The Festival at Bel Air
5 Bel Air South Parkway
Suite 1421
Bel Air, MD 21015

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Family Christian Store
1105 Churchmans Rd #1107
Newark, DE 19713-2112
Phone: (302) 368-7002

6:00pm – 8:00pm
The Days Of Knights Store
173 East Main Street
Newark, DE. 19711

Friday, July 13, 2007

Progress for the week!

It has been very very hot (did I remember to say *very*?) here in BC this week. The one blessing is that it seems to be keeping the customers away. Maybe they're going to the beach or something. Either way, they stayed away in droves and I finally got some writing work accomplished.

I started every work day with a half hour of writing on Connect the Dot, the un-outlined contemporary women's fiction I'm playing with. I'm doing it on the Palm before I turn my computer on. I synched the files last night and was pleasantly surprised to find Dot at over 3K!

Work on the novel crit is going well; five chapters down. I've gotten a chapter critted most mornings lately, after Dot time.

And the afternoon work has been revisions on Marks of Repentance, which has been going really well since I blasted through that awful transition scene. The novel currently stands at 45,448, so almost half-way revised. I know there are some rocky parts coming up ESPECIALLY the last couple chapters, but for now, it feels good to get some serious wordage out of the way.

It's very hot here. Have I mentioned that? I'm off work in half an hour and we're headed up into the mountains for some camping. I need a cold creek to lie in and cold air at night. Back Monday!

Fantasy Tour continues

This is where the tour goes over the weekend. A couple of those stops on Sunday are the ones where the Washington Post will be visiting! Ah, great fun. To keep up on the tour while I'm not around this weekend, visit the official tour site.

Friday July 13th
12:00 - 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble
4720 Sharon Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28210

Friday July 13th
6:00pm - 8:00pm
404-101 E. Six Forks Rd
Raleigh, NC 27609

Saturday July 14
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble
5501 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230

Saturday July 14
6:00pm - 8:00pm
His Way Christian Bookstore
Normandy Shopping Center
8450 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

Sunday July 15
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
National Presbyterian Church
4104 Nebraska Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016

Sunday July 15
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Barnes & Noble
Potomac Yard Bookstore
3651 Jefferson Davis Highway
Alexandria, VA 22305

Sunday July 15
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Barnes & Noble
Long Gate Shopping Center
4300 Montgomery Road
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fantasy Tour--On the Road!

Here's a video-clip of the four-author signing at the convention before they hit the road! Looks like they're having a great time, and that Sharon's voice has returned. (She says it's a bit on-and-off, actually, but I bet she has to talk a LOT for someone who had no voice a few days ago!)

The Fantasy Fiction tour takes them to Knoxville today:

Thursday, July 12th

12:00 - 2:00pm
Cedar Springs Christian Store
504 North PeterĂ¯¿½s Rd.
Knoxville, TN.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fantasy Tour -- The Real Armor of God

I just have to point out that one of the official sponsors for the fantasy tour has a really cool website. I don't know any readers of fantasy who aren't at least a leeeeetle bit interested in swords. Swords and fantasy go together like cats and cream. Or maybe cats and writers. John Cooper has all kinds of swords for sale in his war-room, from Renaissance swords to Roman swords to Japanese swords to daggers name it. And if someone is poking swords at you, what do you need? Armor! Helmets! Chain-mail! And of course you can buy it right here.

This site sells an assortment of items in a vast price range. If you're looking for a little replica to frame and hang on your wall, or a figurine dressed in authentic garb, you can find it here. If you want to spend thousands (or more) on a real sword that means business, you can find it here.

The cool thing? He's donated a sword to each of the four authors on this tour! They're going to be going around to various bookstores along America's east coast--starting today--wearing fantasy costumes and honest-to-goodness swords. Think they'll attract any attention in Manchester, Tennessee? I'm guessing so!

Here's the gang signing books at the Retail Show. They say it was a great response!

Wednesday, July 11th's stops:
1:00pm & 3:00pm Heart & Hearth Home Education Support Group
Manchester, TN.
Contact: Linda Reed

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fantasy Tour--Wayne Thomas Batson

Wayne Thomas Batson has been around this blog a time or two since the beginning of the year as well. In January the CSFF blog tour featured his The Door Within Trilogy. Wayne is a middle-school teacher; his passion for kids is evident in his novels and in the enthusiastic gang that hangs out at his blog. Not only is Wayne the married father of four and a full-time teacher AND an author, he also loves to play with computerized art. He's designed a lot of the art pieces for the Fantasy Tour and is never failing in his enthusiasm.

Wayne's fourth book, Isle of Swords releases soon. This is a pirate novel, not a fantasy. He says that when the sequel is released, he expects to go back to writing fantasy.

Some great news has come out of the show thus far. The Washington Post is planning to cover the tour! And there is a terrific article here. WooHoo!!!!

Today the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta wraps up, and tomorrow the four authors and a couple of family members will pile into Bryan Davis' van and begin their trek north.

Happy trails! We'll be keeping an eye on The Fantasy Four blog and praying that your tour goes well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fantasy Tour--Sharon Hinck

These past few days we have been talking about the upcoming East Coast tour for Four Fantasy Authors.They're meeting at the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta, and--once the show is done--heading north from there.

The show itself is very important to these authors as well, and not just as a jumping off point for their own tour. At the show they will have opportunities to talk with many of the business people in the industry right down to the buyers from most of the larger Christian retail chains as well as an assortment of independents. Prayer for these meetings would be a good thing. Here's hoping--and praying--that these fantasy authors will well represent our genre and encourage many of the buyers to see where fantasy sales can take off to in their local stores.

Sharon Hinck has been in Atlanta for a few days already, teaching at a retreat. I guess she's met all her tour-mates by now. I hope they're hitting it off really well because they'll be spending a lot of time together over the next couple weeks or so!

I've talked about Sharon on this blog on several occasions, most recently--in June--when I'd read her debut fantasy novel, The Restorer. When I got home from my Yellowstone vacation and read what my CSFF tour-mates had to say about the book, I discovered mixed opinions (to my absolute shock!) Upon closer examination, I realized that Sharon had done such a good job of tailoring to her target audience that other folks just weren't *getting it*. As I see it, that's not all bad.

As writers, we'd like to think that everybody in the whole world will love everything we write. That it doesn't matter what gender, age, nationality, creed--you name it--our thoughts and imaginings are so fabulous that they will appeal to everyone. 'Tain't so. What Sharon has done, more than a lot of writers, has been to identify her target audience and write to them. And her audience is North American women. The CBA once announced (can't remember where) that most of the folks who buy books in Christian bookstores are white women of middlish years that tend to be conservative Christians. They also generally buy *women's fiction* and romances. They are usually buying for themselves, not the men or kids in their life.

Sharon looked at that demographic and decided to target a fantasy to those women. And so she wrote a novel (a trilogy, actually) about a Christian soccer mom--a middle-class, married, mother of four--who is struggling with depression. Susan Mitchell gets sucked into an alternate dimension and faces her difficulties there.

Am I surprised that many of the men on the book tour didn't get this book? Not once I stopped to think about it. It resonated deeply with nearly every woman who read it, but very few men. I've come to think that might be a more positive thing than a negative. And I think in many ways, Sharon's target audience for The Restorer is the same as my target audience for Marks of Repentance, the fantasy novel I am currently revising. I think I'll have to ask Sharon for a cover blurb when (if!) my novel is ever published.

Sharon shared on her blog over the weekend that she has come down with a very sore throat. That doesn't sound (pardon the pun) like the best way to start a tour designed to put her and the other authors in the public spotlight. Please pray that she regains her voice, and with it, her strength and verve.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Maybe you already knew this...

Something about me that you probably figured out if you've hung out here long: when the writing is going well I post about it a lot. When it isn't--I just don't post. Unless there's a special tour going on or something!

So, just to 'fess up. Life seems to be complicated. (No *duh* eh?) When I started working at the flooring shop six years ago, I'd have entire days with no interruptions but a phone call or two, or a brief visit from a client. The economy in BC is totally booming right now, and in our little town alone we've had more housing starts this year alone than we probably had in all of the 1980s AND 90s. Even though my shop is owned and operated by two guys, two guys can still only do what two guys can do, no matter how many houses are being built. And the two guys used to be younger, too, if you know what I mean.

That doesn't stop people from coming into the shop, though. My role is to figure out if their job fits into our timeline (currently booking October-December), and if they are people we actually want to work for. My guys have a very good rep and lots of folks are willing to wait for us, but we have to make choices because we simply can't take on every job. Folks say, "Well, they should hire help." I'm here to tell you that anyone who knows anything about laying floors (or anything else in the construction business) in all of Western Canada is already working, and they don't have time to take on an apprentice.

So there are now lots of days where I sit down at my desk and am back up again in five or ten or thirty minutes. There are writing tasks I can do with that many interruptions, but revising doesn't seem to be one of them. I don't want to do a slap-dash job of this revision; I want to think through each scene and fix it correctly, keeping in mind what came before and what comes after. All this is hard to hold in place with dozens of interruptions a day, many of them lengthy as folks consider samples.

Most working people who write don't write at work. They write after hours. I've been staring at my *after hours* trying to figure out how to wrap my brain around them. For starters, I am way fresher in the morning than evening, but I'm already trying to establish a solid habit of exercising before work every day, so I'm already getting up an hour earlier than I used to. Depriving myself of yet another hour of sleep does not sound appealing. (To say nothing of the fact that my bedroom doesn't really cool off enough to sleep comfortably until 4 am.) I truly cannot think late in the day. It's like wading through muck. And with the house and the garden and the farm...

So the job of revising Marks of Repentance that I started in January (horrors) is still only one third done. I really want it done by the time the contest winners are announced in September *just in case*. Either way, though, I want it ready to send out. It's time I kicked something out the door. Obviously I need a new plan for completing the work. I just don't know what the plan is!

I've started critiquing a novel for Maripat that I also want to have done by the end of summer, because then I've promised a crit to Fiorinda. I mean, if SHE can revise with four small kids including twins under a year old, what is holding ME back? :P

And meanwhile, my brain is atrophying from lack of creative work. Finally I just decided to start writing what is likely the least marketable of my ideas--flying completely without a net--into my Palm Tungsten E2 in the first half hour of my work day, just whatever gets done. I'm writing Connect the Dot in first person present tense just for the hang of it, to remind myself it's just for fun. I've only done that for the last two days and it's feeling good.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fantasy Four Tour -- Christopher Hopper

Of the four authors who will be touring the east coast of the USA (starting in just a few days), the name that was newest to me was Christopher Hopper.

I first heard his name on Wayne Batson's blog when he and Christopher met for a weekend of writing.

I've discovered that Christopher was born into a musical family: his father was a record producer and his mother a singer/ songwriter. No surprise that young Christopher got his first professional gig as a drummer at the age of ten, and that he has gone on to produce some albums of his own. He continues to tour internationally as a conference speaker, worship leader, and concert musician along with his wife, Jennifer, also a singer, songwriter and pianist. Specific links to the Hoppers' various bands, albums, and ministries can be found here.

So how does a guy this busy find time to write? He is the father of two and didn't even grow up a reader! I guess when the drive to write is God-given--and strong--a person can do just about anything. And self-discipline doesn't hurt either.

Wayne Batson says:
If you don't know his (Christopher's) work, I highly recommend it. His first book Rise of the Dibor is terrific stuff, and what an original hook: what if Adam and Eve had never sinned…how might evil have entered the world, and would we be able to resist? His second book, The Lion of Vrie is due out this June.

Christopher is hard at work on the third book of his series. Sounds like a great read and one that is now high on my list of books to acquire.

Read Rebecca Miller's interview with Christopher here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour - Bryan Davis

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I love living where I do, in the mountains of south-east British Columbia. Even though I hope you Americans have a great Independence Day, I don't wish I was one of you. However, I must say I wish I was visiting the American east coast next week. I would SO LOVE to meet the Fantasy Four authors in person. How cool would that be?

The next best thing, I suppose, is winning an autographed set of books from one of the authors, and I have done just that. Rebecca Miller set up a contest a couple of months ago that I participated in; I just discovered yesterday that I was the grand prize winner and will be receiving a set of books by Bryan Davis.

I've been hearing about Bryan Davis for the past couple of years as I've familiarized myself with Christian fantasy, but never had the opportunity to read one of his books until now. He writes for young adults 10-16 years old.

The series I have won (thank you, Bryan!!) is called "Dragons in our Midst" and begins with Raising Dragons. Here is what Bryan's site has to say about this book:

Raising Dragons is a contemporary fantasy novel that inspires young people to dig deep within to find their God-given strengths and use them to overcome any obstacle. It is both a hair-raising, modern-day adventure and a glimpse into another world—a world of knights, dragons, and fair maidens.

A boy learns of his dragon past; a girl has known of hers for years. They combine their faith, courage, and love to overcome evil, a slayer who seeks to bring an end to dragon heritage, forever.

The kids at school call Billy "Dragon Breath" for good reason. His breath is bad! It isn’t the normal, morning-mouth bad; it’s the hot-as-fire, "don’t-you-dare-get-near-me" bad. Trouble erupts when his hot breath sets off the fire sprinklers in the boys’ restroom at school, and his parents learn that they’ve kept their secret for too long.

Billy finally discovers the secret. His father was once a dragon! Now that’s a piece of news a guy doesn’t deal with every day! Billy feels betrayed, alien, lost. When the dragon slayer traps him on a cold mountaintop in West Virginia, Billy learns to battle with weapons of steel and spirit while relying on a power he doesn’t understand, a power that helps him learn to trust again.

Bonnie, an orphan, tries to find a home, someone to love her, even though she feels like a freak because of a body feature that she calls a deformity. But this unusual feature becomes a life-saving attribute as she discovers that her love for others and her faith in a creator hold the answers she’s looking for.

If you'd like to read the first chapter in Adobe Acrobat Reader format, click here. Me, I'm going to be reading the first chapter plus a whole lot more in just a week or two when my new books arrive. I'm really quite excited to read them and to find folks to loan them to when I'm done.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Finally back at it....

Two weeks of vacation, one week of catch up at work (and on the web, of course, but that's a whole 'nother matter...) and I finally cracked open Marks of Repentance again today. Oh, you should hear the gears in my brain creak as I try to turn the crank.

And why is the very next scene a mis-managed transition? In which the pov character isn't clear until half way through? Can you say, "too much TELLING, not enough showing"?

Methinks it will be work to fix. But what do I know? The customers come flocking in to distract me. AARGH.

Breakthrough Fantasy Tour!

Those of us who write--and love to read--fantasy sometimes mumble about the sad state of affairs in Christian publishing. Far too many Christians seem to have something against fantasy novels, believing that nothing good can come from them, that they are, in fact, decidedly anti-God, anti-Christian--even pro-Satan.

I beg to argue. I'm good at arguing!

There are stories in every genre which fit that category, being fantasy has nothing to do with it. There are mysteries, romances, suspense, contemporary, even literary novels--the whole gamut--that are decidedly anti-God. Non-fiction as well. The genre is not to blame for the direction. Fantasy, in fact, has a unique opportunity. The genre often deals with broad themes such as Good Versus Evil--now where is there a better platform for providing a Pro-God message than that?

So when a CBA publisher grabs a good fantasy novel and runs with it, we should be jumping up and down and cheering. (**insert mental image here!) Even better when FOUR different publishers decide to go all out and promote their four fantasy authors with a no-holds-barred tour of the American east coast!

TA-DAAAA! There IS such a tour, and it gets under way in just a few days.

Here's the YouTube trailer for the tour:

If you've been following my blog, you'll notice a couple of familiar names in there. I'll be posting a bit more information about the tour over the next week or two.

Meanwhile, if you live anywhere from Nashville to Manhatten, check here for the schedule and see if you can't make it in to meet Sharon Hinck, Christopher Hopper, Wayne Thomas Batson, and Bryan Davis.