Monday, September 22, 2008

Marcher Lord Press Launch

Everybody and their sister are talking about the new publishing company in town. Marcher Lord Press. I'll have my day in the sun, too. Don't you worry.

But I mainly wanted to mention the PRIZES.

Has anybody been talking about the Great Giveaway that publisher, Jeff Gerke, has going on? That vast amount of literary wealth can be had quite easily.

Books, magazines, videos, more books. Baseball jerseys, DVDs, and I can't remember, did I mention books?

And a grand prize. A trip to ComicCON.

What self-respecting surfer wouldn't want to go to ComicCON?

Riding the Wave: 2008 ACFW Book of the Year Winners

Below is the list of winners from the recent ACFW Conference. Congratulations to all! And a special cyber hug to pals, Sharon Hinck and Camy Tang! Way to go, girls!

Debut Author
Sushi for One? (Camy Tang) – Zondervan, Sue Brower

Contemporary Novella
Finally Home (Deborah Raney) – Barbour Publishing, Susan Downs

Historical Novella
Love Notes in Love Letters Anthology (Mary Davis) – Barbour Publishing, Rebecca Germany

Splitting Harriet (Tamara Leigh) – Multnomah Books, Julee Schwarzburg

Long Contemporary
Within This Circle (Deborah Raney) – Steeple Hill Books, Krista Stroever

Long Historical
Veil of Fire (Marlo Schalesky) RiverOak, editors Jeff Dunn/Jon Woodhams
Where Willows Grow (Kim Vogel Sawyer) Bethany House, editor Charlene Patterson

Your Chariot Awaits (Lorena McCourtney) – Thomas Nelson, Amanda Bostic

Short Contemporary
The Heart of Grace (Linda Goodnight) – Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Allison Lyons

Short Contemporary Suspense
Caught Redhanded (Gayle Roper) – Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, Krista Stroever

Short Historical
Canteen Dreams (Cara Putman) & Golden Days (Mary Connealy)
–Barbour/Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons

The Restorer’s Son (Sharon Hinck) – NavPress, Reagan Reed

Black Ice (Linda Hall) – WaterBrook Press, Traci DePree

Women’s Fiction
Remember to Forget (Deborah Raney) – Howard Books/Simon & Schuster, Philis Boultinghouse

Young Adult
In Between (Jenny B. Jones) — NavPress, Jamie Chavez

Friday, September 19, 2008

Burn After Reading: The Coen brothers do it again

From time to time I saw glimpses of things familiar and beloved. Shades of previous Coen brother movies peeking through, as if waving at the audience between the scenes. Movies like Fargo and The Big Lebowski, movies that seemed to start slow.

Trust me. That slow start is just a warning. Fasten your seatbelts.

Once this ride gets started you won’t want to miss a minute.

I'm talking about the latest edition in the Coen brother's hall of film fame: Burn After Reading. As expected, the casting was superb. From Brad Pitt’s opportunistic simpleton to Francine McDormond’s aging lonely-heart to George Clooney’s suave philanderer, every actor was spot on. And the writing was Coen-classic; the story built, layer upon layer, until you discovered you were standing on top of a flawless skyscraper and it was time to watch all the characters nosedive off the edge.

I haven’t laughed so hard in the theater in years. In fact, I missed half of the ending because I was laughing so loud.

An elderly gentleman sat a few seats away, perplexed by the movie. At one point, he even leaned over, almost accusatory, and demanded to know, What’s so funny?

I felt like I got caught laughing out loud during school.

He continued to lean over and stare at me throughout the rest of the film. A strange experience, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying myself.

I think he just missed the humor. I’m sure there will be other people who don’t get it either. Even when the entire theater is roaring with laughter, there's always one person left behind, befuddled and confused.

I think the movie’s tagline says it best.

Intelligence is relative.

Fantasy: The Ultimate Wave

Question: What do the following authors have in common?

Wayne Thomas Batson, Sharon Hinck, Christopher Hopper, Bryan Davis, Donita K. Paul, Eric Reinhold, L.B. Graham, and Jonathon Rogers.

This may seem like an easy answer.

They all write Christian fantasy fiction, you say.

Well, yes, you got that right. They do. In fact, between them, they’ve written 37 fantasy novels. They’ve written about other worlds, alternate realities, talking dragons and more. They’ve written ground-breaking stories in one of today’s fastest growing genres.

But, wait. There’s more.

This group of eight authors will be touring the West Coast from Oct. 4-12.

Below is a list of events that will be taking place in the Los Angeles area. And note, blog readers, the last event on this list will take place at my church. I’m helping to set up this event, so you’ll be hearing more about it as we draw nearer.

If you like reading or writing fantasy fiction, I highly recommend you attend one of these event.

In my humble tsunami opinion, this is going to be one massive kamikazi wave. And you don’t want to get left behind on the beach, wishing you had brought your board.

St. Genevieve High School
9:00am - 11:00am
13967 Roscoe Blvd
Panorama City, CA 91402
(818) 894-6417

Bethany Christian School
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Attn: Amber Ryan
93 N Baldwin Ave, Ste B,
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Phone is 626-355-3527 ext 1652

Valley Book & Bible
5:00pm – 7:00pm
6502 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Toll Free: 800-421-8906

Village Christian Schools
8:50am - 1:00pm
8930 Village Ave.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
(818) 767-8382
Co-hosted by Barnes & Noble Burbank Store

West Covina Christian School
2:00pm - 4:00pm
763 N. Sunset Ave.W
West Covina, CA 91730
Co-hosted by Barnes & Noble Glendora Store

Calvary Chapel Huntington Beach
7:00pm - 9:00pm
7800 Edinger Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 891-9495

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Brass Verdict: The Hit

I'm a long time fan of Michael Connelly. As far as I'm concerned, this guy knocks it out of the park every time he steps up to the plate.


I’m waiting. For the cool stuff to come in the mail.

I ran out of good books so I ordered a batch on Amazon. Unfortunately a couple of the books are so new, they aren’t even ready to ship yet.

My order? Don’t get jealous. I promise to review each one.

1. Shadow of Colossus by T.L Higley. I read the first couple of pages online. Scorching hot stuff. Set amidst an ancient landscape. A delicious series about the seven wonders of the world. Tracy’s so much fun I can almost forgive her for being able to write four times faster than I can.

2. Shade by John Olson. Again, I read a few pages online and already I’m fascinated. I’ve been hearing buzz about this book for nearly two years. I remember John sitting in the coffee shop up at Mount Hermon late one night, asking Steve if the editor said anything about the manuscript he just turned in. It was all very secret and, of course, that made it even more interesting. So now I’m finally going to get to read this dark tale. It’s about time, that’s all I’ve got say.

3. Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee. Tosca has a way of turning words into magic. Her first book, Demon: A Memoir was nominated for the ACFW Speculative Book of the Year. And the ACFW conference is going on as I write this. We should find out who won in a day or so.

4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W by Gabriel Brownstein. I didn’t realize until I ordered this book that there is another version—with a similar name—written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. That just goes to show you how well-read I’m not. I don’t even know if I bought the right version. But I am looking forward to reading a story about a man who lives his life backwards, beginning as an old man and turning young with each passing year. Wonderful idea. Wish I had thought of it first.


I’m waiting. To read what somebody else wrote.

For a change.

The Tsunami Begins

To me, it makes perfect sense. A blog about the perils of publishing, about the endless details that nearly drown you, about the vague possibility that we might all survive this recession and actually come out stronger.

And yet, said blog sits empty. No posts.

It took so much to put the thing together that I ended up exhausted. Like flotsam on the beach. Deadlines and all. I’m sure you understand.

Writer’s block. So appropriate. Too weary to pluck two coordinating sentences out of the ether. A few days ago my dratted brain was overflowing.

Well. You’ll just have to my word for it. There will be cool stuff on this blog.

Just you wait.