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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Generation Next Parenting and Interview with Tricia Goyer

As a fairly young mom, (hey, thirties are young) I sometimes feel inundated with information, advice, ideas and general busy body opinions of my parenting skills. Just when you think you have something figured out a specialist or expert doctor comes out and tells us we've been doing it wrong. I get frustrated and overwhelmed and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

A few weeks ago I picked up the book Generation Next Parenting to go through. Again, another parenting book. I'll be honest, I was leery to say the least. I didn't have a lot of time to read another non-fiction book on parenting or did I have a lot of interest. (again with the honesty) But because I'm a sucker for trying to improve my mothering skills, I figured I'd at least read through it.

Pleasantly surprised would describe how I felt as I flipped through the pages. Starting with the cover, the book caters to my generation. Tricia Goyer has the uncanny ability to make me want to turn the page. I wanted to see what music, gadget or fad from my youth she might incorporate into a parenting lesson. She made the book fun and easy to get through. Instead of clear cut advice, I came away with more of an understanding of who I am as a parent and what issues are important to me and the way that I'm raising my son.

I loved the little snippets from other real life parents throughout the book. I could relate to so many things they brought up. This book is nothing like the other parenting books you've read and I hope you'll pick up a copy.

After enjoying the book so much I asked the author, Tricia Goyer to stop by for a brief interview.

Tricia tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.

I live in Montana with my husband and three kids that I homeschool. I'm actively involved in our church, where we volunteer in children's church every week. I love spending time with my family and friends.

What's a typical night in the Goyer household?

Right now, during basketball season, I'd say basketball. Both my 17-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter pvarsityisty ball for a homeschool team. Their team travels all over the western part of the state, and our whole family travels together. It's fun! This is the only sport they play, so we really enjoy it.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I got the idea for Generation NeXt Parenting after hearing a group of older mothers talk about "these younger moms" who want their kids to have everything and pour their lives into their kids. I thought, "That's me!" So, I started looking into the differences in generations, and how we raise our kids, and I was amazed by how our childhood shaped us as a whole. The whole book grew out of that.

What are some issues you face personally as a mother? Things you struggle with.

The thing I struggle with most is giving my kids enough time. Even though I homeschool them. Even though we take time to play games and hang out. Even though we watch movies together, have dinner together almost every night, and travel together, it never seems like enough. It's a Gen X thing. I realize how short this time with my kids is. I know how important the foundations I lay now will be for there for the rest of their lives.

How long did it take you to write the book? And did you have trouble selling it or did that come easy?

The book went amazingly fast. I got the idea in July, and I wrote the proposal and sample chapters. It just flowed out of me. By October Multnomah was interested in the book. By January the book was written. It was on the bookshelves the next October . . . and I felt God's hand on me the whole time. It was great.

One little quote in the book describes what being a Generation X parent means.
eX-cellent people, eX-celling to our potential, and eX-hausted most of the time! I love that. ;) Is there one specific nugget of truth in the book that really spoke to you?

Yes, that nugget would be: God chose us to parent our kids during this time in history. He CHOSE us. He also knows that, because of all the challenges, we would REQUIRE Him to succeed. We can do this parenting thing . . . with God's help.

How do you hope this book touches people? Or what do you want people to take away from this book?

I hope that people will realize God can help them in any parenting situation. There are tons of parenting books with great advice, yet it is truly God who can help any parent in any situation.

In one part of the book, you talk about being overloaded with advice. We get suggestions from everywhere on how to be better parents. And you mentioned how great the information is, but how our generation has very little time to do all the things we're told to do. Tell us how this book differs from just another self-help parenting book.

I really don't give people a list of things to do, or not to do. Instead, I talk about our issues and struggles as parents. I give Gen Xers a hint of why we, as a generation, have turned out this way. And then I talk about what God's Word says, and then I give Gen-Xers things to think about and consider with their own kids.

I enjoyed the My Take On It sections. A part of each chapter has quotes from real mothers and fathers. How did you compile your quotes or rather how did you come up with the contributors?
I emailed some of my Gen-X friends, I emailed MOPS groups, or other on-line groups-such as writer's forums-looking for volunteers. Then I emailed questions out and they responded. My biggest problem was choosing from all the great answers.

Finally, I know you also write fiction, do you want to take a minute to update us on your new projects?

My newest fiction novel, A Valley of Betrayal, hits store shelves mid-February. It is the first of a three-book-series on The Spanish Civil War. Book two, A Shadow of Treason, will be out this fall. I have four WWII novels published, but this is my first series. It will be three books total. And I love it!

Thanks so much for having me.

Thank you, Tricia, for being here. I look forward to reading more from you! I had planned on giving away my copy of the book, but I marked it up in a few places and I'm not ready to part with it. LOL. I hope you'll go out and get a copy today.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


No, you aren't seeing double. This month we are reviewing not one, but two books by Marilynn Griffith! This prolific writer has TWO books coming out this month! This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about If the Shoe Fits (Steeple Hill Cafe', 2007) by Marilynn Griffith (fellow CFBA member, blogger, writer, and mother of seven)


Have Glass Slipper, Need Prince...
If the Shoe Fits is the second book in the Sassy Sistahood Novels. The first in the series was Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006).


In all my thirty-five years, I, shoe designer Rochelle Gardner, have never had so many men interested in me! My teen son's dad is back in my life after suffering from amnesia (yes, really). The church deacon has had his eye on me for years (and never said a word). And the young waiter (from the restaurant I've visited for singles' events) is trying to steal my heart. I've been struggling with my faith, trying to figure out which man God has chosen for me and wondering if I have the courage to step forward, on my not-so-pretty feet, to accept love. It's almost too much for the Sassy Sistahood to handle, but my girlfriends always have my back!
If you'd like to purchase this fab book, simply click the book to be directed to amazon.

In case you don't want to scroll down the page, here's a little info on Marilynn. ;) She is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and Tangerine (Revell, January 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello send her an email. She loves to hear from her readers. ;)

I know I said something before, but Marilynn Griffith is one of my new favorite authors. Not only is she touching on a diverse ethnic background that's lacking in Christian book stores today, but she's also writing to people like myself. People who maybe haven't lived perfect cookie cutter Christian lives and yet, God loves us! I love that message. Thanks, Marilynn!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Todays book on the tour is Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith. Marilynn Griffith is a freelance writer and conference speaker whose online columns and blogs reach thousands of women each year. She is the author of Pink and Jade, and has contributed to Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman's Soul, Proverbs for the People, and For Better or for Worse. Marilynn lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with her husband and seven children.

Strangely enough, I’d never read anything by Marilynn Griffith when I received my advanced reader copy of Tangerine, her newest release. Tangerine is book 3 in the Shades of Style series. I was eager to see what kind of writer Marilynn was.

What will happen when outspoken designer Jean Guerra is assigned to work with her long estranged husband?

The story opens with Jean Guerra finding herself at an impasse. Her husband is in prison, she’s spent nearly every dime she has trying to help him win an appeal, and her teenage daughter is in desperate need of a strong parental role model. It doesn’t even matter that her husband swears he’s innocent. What matters is he’s okay with sitting in jail until God would see fit for him to be released. Jean makes a decision to move on with her life as a single mother. The story progresses into Jean’s forties or maybe fifties. A much neglected premise in today’s Christian fiction.

There’s also a definite ethnic spice to this book that is lacking from the majority of today’s most popular CBA books. It was refreshing to read about a heroine who had a strong vibrant heritage that she was proud to be a part of. While Jean struggles to raise her daughter on her own she does the very best she can and has a successful career in the fashion industry and friends who love her. The one thing her life is missing is a relationship with her husband.

This book takes a romantic turn when her husband ends up being her new partner on a line of clothing she must create for a major sports organization.

I enjoyed Marilyn’s simple forthright manner in which she told this story. It was a clean, well-written story of love lost and found. And dealing with the pain and aftermath from poorly made decisions. Overall, a great book! The first two books, Pink and Jade are now on my tbr list.

Monday, January 01, 2007


As promised, I wanted to start 2007 with a fond look back at some of my favorite books of 2006. I'm going to try and not give anything away in case you haven't read these books. So there shouldn't be any spoilers.

I wanted to include pictures for each of these books but it took the page so long to load I decided to just try links. I hope they all work. ;)

I admit I struggled with placement on a few of these, so let me just say that these books are 10 of MANY books I read this year. I loved all of these books and I could just about have a 3 or 4 way tie for 1st and 2nd.

Lets go ahead and start with book 10. Write Great Fiction/Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. This is one of those books I had a hard time placing. For one, because this is not a book that was published in 2006, rather, I just finally got my own copy so I had to include it. Also, because it's my only non fiction book on the list, I decided to just put it at the end since it's hard to compare it with a fiction book I read for entertainment. This book has become invaluable to me. It's a fabulous book on the writing craft and a must have for all writers. If you don't have this book, do yourself a favor and get a copy now!

9. You might be surprised by this one. Miss Menace by Nancy Lavo. Again, this is not a book released in 2006, but I got my copy to judge for the ACFW Book of The Year this past spring. It was entered into the short contemporary fiction category. I believe it placed 2nd or 3rd. It's a Heartsong Presents book. The reason I liked this story is because it was well written. A simple, easy to read book that was very entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times. ;)

8. Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury. I've long been a fan of Karen Kingsbury. As always with her writing, she does a great job of taking a situation and making it as bad as possible. Usually, the reader can't figure out how she will come up with a satisfying solution, but somehow she does. In this story, she takes a couple who have adopted this darling child and makes the unthinkable happen...the birth parents want the child back. Very good story. I admit I had tears in my eyes a few times.

7. Georgia on Her Mind by Rachel Hauck. I enjoyed this book because I had been looking for a fresh new chick lit style of book. Rachel didn't disappoint me. I'd never read anything of Rachel's and I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a very good book. I can see why Kristin Billerbeck gave it such a great review. (which might I add I regretfully didn't have a chance to read anything by Kristin this year)

6. Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble. I've been a long time follower of Colleen's books and when I heard about her first women of faith book, I was very excited. I did a review of Alaska Twilight on Epinions last summer if you'd like to get a more in depth review of the book. The short version is simply well developed characters, fabulous setting and great conflict. I love that Coble's main character had to deal with a handicap. It made the story more believable and realistic. It's refreshing to read about a character who struggles with real life issues. Great read!

5. RV There Yet by Diann Hunt. I hesitated to put this one down just out of pure stubbornness. LOL. My mother read this book first and told me "Oh Sabrina you remind me of ________ in RV There Yet." I'm not going to tell you which one because I am only 33 years old and I did not like being compared to a character in a lady lit book. ;) I'm only kind of kidding. I really did love this book and I loved how I could see Diann evolve in her genre. She seemed to really come into her own with this book. It was well written and seemingly well researched. Great gift book for mom's or any "mature" lady friends.

4. Finding Faith by Denise Hunter. I'm one of those readers who breaks the traditional mold. I do not go into a bookstore and only choose from one section. I love suspense, historical, lits and women's fiction. Finding Faith was the best women's fiction I read all year. Period! She even added a touch of suspense to this one. Maybe her crit partner, Colleen Coble, is rubbing off on her.

3. The biggest fiction surprise of my year. The Reluctant Burglar, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. I have a new favorite to add to my author list. Jill's story was so intriguing. I've always loved action/suspense/drama/intrigue. Jill's book has all that. I told her after my interview with her that I would love to see a show on TV based on this book. It was THAT good. The characters had great chemistry without being overtly romantic. If that makes sense. I can not wait for book two in this series due out this year. I think it's titled Reluctant Runaway.

2. Here's where I had trouble. I could hardly decide between one and two. I finally settled on Fire Dancer by Colleen Coble. This was, in my opinion, Colleen's best book. This story had more twists and turns than any of her other books. She led us on such a journey with a huge cast of characters. I pride myself on usually figuring out the culprit early on in the story. It took me close to the end to get this one. I can't wait for her new realeases this year. Abomination and Midnight Sea.

1. And the drum roll please... Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins. The determining factor between Violet Dawn and Fire Dancer for me was that Violet Dawn had this underlying element that spoke to me. Something from my own life that I saw mirrored in this book. It was a little less creepy than her other books. There was this one scene towards the end that I found myself holding my breath. Seriously. She did a great job creating panic in this book.

And there you have it folks, my favorites for 2006. I'm already excited about the books I've heard about for 2007. It should be an interesting year.

Feel free to comment on any or all of these books. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.