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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

What The Bayou Saw

Kregel Publications (March 24, 2009)


Patti Lacy


Though Patti's only been writing since 2005, she thinks her latest profession of capturing stories on paper (or computer files) will stick awhile.

The Still, Small Voice encouraged Patti to write after a brave Irish friend shared memories of betrayal and her decision to forgive. In 2008, An Irishwoman’s Tale was published by Kregel Publications. Patti’s second novel, What the Bayou Saw, draws on the memories of two young girls who refused to let segregation, a chain link fence, and a brutal rape come between them.

The secrets women keep and why they keep them continue to enliven Patti's gray matter. A third book, My Name is Sheba, has been completed. Patti's WIP, Recapturing Lily, documents a tug-of-war between a Harvard-educated doctor and an American pastor and his wife for a precious child and explores adoption issues, China's "One Child" policy, and both Christian and secular views of sacrifice.

Patti also facilitates writing seminars in schools, libraries, and at conferences and has been called to present her testimony, "All the Broken Pieces," at women's retreats. She also leads a Beth Moore Bible study at her beloved Grace Church.

Patti and her husband Alan, an Illinois State faculty member, live in Normal with their handsome son Thomas, who attends Heartland Community College. On sunny evenings, you can catch the three strolling the streets of Normal with their dog Laura, whom they've dubbed a "Worchestershire Terrier" for her "little dab of this breed, a little dab of that breed.


Segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year-old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal assault bound them together. Forever. Thirty-eight years later, Sally, a middle-aged Midwestern instructor, dredges up childhood secrets long buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student, who has also been raped. Fragments of spirituals, gospel songs, and images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans are woven into the story.

The past can't stay buried forever Rising author Patti Lacy's second novel exposes the life of Sally, set amid the shadows of prejudice in Louisiana.

Since leaving her home in the South, Sally Stevens has held the secrets of her past at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband, has heard the truth about her childhood.

But when one of her students is violently raped, Sally's memories quickly bubble to the surface unbidden, like a dead body in a bayou. As Sally's story comes to light, the lies she's told begin to catch up with her. And as her web of deceit unravels, she resolves to face the truth at last, whatever the consequences.

If you would like to read the first chapter of What The Bayou Saw, go HERE

Watch the Book Trailer:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fit To Be Tied...Robin Lee Hatcher

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fit to Be Tied

Zondervan (November 1, 2009)


Robin Lee Hatcher


Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon


Cleo Arlington dresses like a cowboy, is fearless and fun-loving, and can ride, rope, and wrangle a horse as well as any man. In 1916, however, those talents aren’t what most young women aspire to. But Cleo isn’t most women. Twenty-nine years old and single, Cleo loves life on her father’s Idaho ranch. Still, she hopes someday to marry and have children.

Enter Sherwood Statham, an English aristocrat whose father has sentenced him to a year of work in America to “straighten him out.” Sherwood, who expected a desk job at a posh spa, isn’t happy to be stuck on an Idaho ranch. And he has no idea how to handle Cleo, who’s been challenged with transforming this uptight playboy into a down-home cowboy, because he has never encountered a woman succeeding in a “man’s world.”

Just about everything either of them says or does leaves the other, well, fit to be tied. Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. And though Cleo believes God’s plan for her includes a husband, it couldn’t possibly be Sherwood Statham. Could it?

Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fit to Be Tied , go HERE.

Watch the book video Trailer:

Monday, November 09, 2009


This is a blog post copied from Rachelle Gardner's blog Rants and Ramblings of a Literary Agent.

I love Rachelle's blog as it's becoming a great source of publishing information for me. She's fun, witty, and very well informed. I found this post particularly valuable and thought you might too.


It's such an important concept to remember when creating characters in our novels. Developing a character who has seemingly contradictory traits, skills, habits and hobbies, and making it work, is one of the more difficult aspects of the art of writing. But it's part of what gives your characters LIFE.

We talked about this a couple of weeks ago (Avoiding On the Nose Writing) but it's a concept I can't stress strongly enough. I quickly get bored with characters that never surprise me. I want you to look at your characters and ask yourself if they're constantly doing only what would be expected of them, or if they're actually real, rounded, interesting people. Give them some life by allowing them to be surprising in some way. Go through Friday's comments and steal some of the interesting things people revealed about themselves!

Your Character's Life—or Your Life?

I wanted to mention one other aspect of giving characters life. It's something I don't hear mentioned very often by those who teach writing, but as is so often the case, it's something I seem to come across in my work with newer writers. It's the idea that sometimes, to give your characters life, you need to separate them from your own life.

Here's what I mean. It's not uncommon that I'm working on a manuscript with an author, and discover that one of the problems keeping the story from being powerful is that one or more of the characters is not very well-developed. It feels like there's a hole in the story, because I don't feel like I know this character well enough.

So I'll start talking to the author about the character, finding out what the writer thinks, what she knows about the character's background, personality, interests, etc. I'll ask who the character was based on. Often—bingo. There's the issue.

Maybe the character is based on the author. Or perhaps the character was inspired by the author's mother. Or someone else in their family. On further discussion, we'll realize that the author was unconsciously trying to avoid revealing too much about herself through the character. She held back in fully forming her, perhaps out of a fear of vulnerability. Or maybe the author was trying to protect someone else. Or perhaps the character was based on someone with whom the author has a conflicted relationship, and so she had trouble drawing that character fully and honestly.

The point is, to give your characters life, you have to be unafraid to plumb the depths of their personalities, get into their heart and soul and truly know who they are. You can only write them with honesty if you're unafraid of them—their dark sides, the parts of them that scare you, the parts of them that you don't feel you know. You really have to get to know them. And if your character is based (even loosely) on someone in real life, then that connection to reality could be holding you back from creating a character who comes to life on the page.

If you have a character who is coming across a bit cardboard, or simply not as well-developed as your other characters, ask yourself if there is a personal (psychological or emotional) block that is preventing you from letting this character be real. You might find your answer.

(Or maybe not. Maybe you just need to write better.)

Food for thought, anyway.

Have you had issues with particular characters that were difficult to bring to life? How did you resolve them

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Slow Burn by Mary Demuth and Trial By Fire Winner

Winner for Cara Putman's book Trial by Fire is Leslie. I'll get that out to you this week.
Thanks for commenting, Leslie. Now this weeks Blog Tour:

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Slow Burn

Zondervan (October 1, 2009)


Mary DeMuth


Mary E. DeMuth is an expert in Pioneer Parenting. She enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow.

Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005).

Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, Watching The Tree Limbs
(nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing On Dandelions (NavPress, 2006).

Mary has spoken at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW Conference, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and at various churches and church planting ministries. She's also taught in Germany, Austria, Monaco, Italy, France, and the United States. Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, and planting a church.


She touched Daisy’s shoulder. So cold. So hard. So unlike Daisy.

Yet so much like herself it made Emory shudder.

Burying her grief, Emory Chance is determined to find her daughter Daisy’s murderer—a man she saw in a flicker of a vision. But when the investigation hits every dead end, her despair escalates. As questions surrounding Daisy’s death continue to mount, Emory’s safety is shattered by the pursuit of a stranger, and she can’t shake the sickening fear that her own choices contributed to Daisy’s disappearance. Will she ever experience the peace her heart longs for?

The second book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, this suspenseful novel is about courageous love, the burden of regret, and bonds that never break. It is about the beauty and the pain of telling the truth. Most of all, it is about the power of forgiveness and what remains when shame no longer holds us captive.

Watch the video:

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Slow Burn, go HERE