Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Visit from Christine Lynxwiler


FOREVER CHRISTMAS
By Christine Lynxwiler

After two broken engagements, so-called runaway bride Kristianna Harrington is content to run her shop, Forever Christmas, in her little hometown of Jingle Bells, Arkansas, and forget about romance. She reluctantly agrees to be the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding, but making it down the aisle becomes the least of her worries when a handsome newcomer threatens her precious town. Kristianna vows to stop the striking lawyer hired to change the town name and turns to her childhood friends for help. But Ami is busy with wedding plans, and Garrett seems more interested in bowling than politics. Will Kristianna get the help she needs before both her town and her Christmas spirit are extinguished?

* * * * *

What people are saying about Forever Christmas:

“. . .a delightful romance with a few twists I didn't see coming. A romantic tale, it's perfect for Christmas gift-giving. It's well written and the plot makes it a fun read. It held my interest from beginning to end. . .A great read with a warm and satisfying end.” ~ Reviewed by Ane Mulligan for Novel Reviews

“. . .a wonderful book for those who enjoy holiday sentiments, a touch of mystery and a delightful romantic story. Once you visit Jingle Bells, Arkansas through the pages of this book you will see Christmas in a different light. Kristianna’s desire for God's will for her life reigns true and love comes in the most unexpected places. Come dashing through the snow and be warmed with the love of Forever Christmas.” ~ Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views

About the Author:
Award-winning novelist Christine Lynxwiler lives with her husband and daughters in a small town nestled in the north Arkansas Ozarks. Her other books include Promise Me Always and Arkansas.

When writing Forever Christmas, Christine used her own love for both the hometown of her childhood and her current hometown as a pattern for Kristianna’s passion for Jingle Bells. However, regardless of local rumors, the quirky townspeople are strictly figments of her imagination.

When she’s not working on her next deadline, you might find Christine kayaking on the nearby river with her family, poking around auctions and estate sales with friends, or curled up alone in a quiet corner with a great book. Please visit her at www.christinelynxwiler.com and sign the guestbook to let her know you stopped by!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Come and Get It!

The Restorer's Son is available!

Saturday, Oct. 6, 1:00 p.m.
I'll be signing books at Northwestern Bookstore in Burnsville, Minnesota.

But you can get an autographed copy even if you aren't able to come!

Visit Signed by the Author and order through them, and you can specify how you want it personalized. I'll sign it and get it out to you that same day!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Monday, September 24, 2007

ACFW Book Signing

I was timid about bringing many books to the conference for the bookstore and public signing, not wanting the humiliation of lugging them all home.

Then through a mix-up, I ended up with double of one book delivered and none of another - then because of the generosity of my hubby and publisher to rush out and ship the missing books (without knowing the other was doing it)... accidentally ended up with doubles of that book.

Picture this. Now I had too many of BOTH books and was trying to figure how I'd get them all home.

And what did God have planned?

Good homes for all of them. :-) He knew how many folks wanted copies, and allowed my mix-ups in order to get enough books there. I came home with a light suitcase, and a lighter heart - being firmly reminded that God knows what He is doing.

I could hear God's warm and loving laughter as His plan unfolded. Isn't He cool????

==

Home from Dallas





I'll be honest. I approached my first American Christian Fiction Writer's conference with some fear.

The past year held a lot of challenges, in a bunch of areas. I was weary. In fact, I felt like a pheasant at hunting season - hit with buckshot and peppered with wounds.

It's hard hanging out with others when you feel like you're full of holes.

When I arrived in Dallas, I asked God to do a healing work. Then I waited for the big moment where He'd wash over me. But that wasn't how He worked.

Instead, each conversation, each encounter, held balm for one of my small holes. Little by little, He brought targeted and specific restoration through the love and wisdom of people at the conference.

If scatter-shot has chewed up your life, I pray that God will tend each small wound. Little by little--surgery, suture, and salve. He's so good at letting us be the touch of grace in each other's lives, isn't He?

==

The photos show some of the friends who made the conference such a joy. In the first, I'm sandwiched with Katie Cushman and Julie Carobini - two delightful Bethany authors. We are a mutual fan club. The second photo is with the ever gracious Susan Meissner and Mary DeMuth. The third shows me with my wonderful roommate, Amy Wallace. Our late-night giggles were a highlight of the conference. :-)

Most of the rest of my photos came out blurry - which is appropriate because it was such an intense time, most of it is a blur to me.

Two vivid exciting memories:

*Next year's ACFW conference will be in Minneapolis - with the multi-author booksigning at the Mall of America! I've done a signing there, and it's a marvelous venue. Minnesota fiction writers, if you haven't yet joined ACFW, now is the time!

*The Secret Life of Becky Miller won second place in its category for Book of the Year, and I was delighted and honored. What a treat!

===

Tomorrow - God's sense of humor and a photo from the book signing...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Make a Difference!


Sometimes you meet yourself between the covers of a book. Sometimes you even catch a glimpse of God in the pages. Sometimes you love a book so much you wish all your friends would read it just so you can talk about it.

But maybe the book's not on the NY Times Bestseller list, your library doesn't carry it, and you bought the last copy at your local bookstore. How can you help friends find the book?

The great folks at Bethany House have put together a page of ideas to help you support your favorite books.

Check it out, and let me know if you try some of these ideas and how it feels to let your voice be heard!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wayne's Treasure Hunt

Last July, Christopher Hopper, Wayne Batson, Bryan Davis and me (along with a few family members and drop-in guests) traveled all over the east coast on our epic Fantasy Fiction Tour.

Since then we've continued to cheer each other on in our writing. Wayne's new book is releasing (huzzah!).

What better way to celebrate his new pirate book, than with a treasure hunt?

Announcing Wayne Thomas Batson's Isle of Swords Treasure Hunt!

Your mission is simply this: accumulate the Most Treasure Points possible by Christmas 2007 by completing any or all of the tasks listed on Wayne's Blog.

The Top FIVE Adventurers who accumulate the Treasure Points will receive a signed book of their choice. AND for each of the top 5, I will name a character* in my next fantasy series after you. That's correct: I'll use your real name, your username, or a character name you create as a character in my new fantasy series. Of course, if your name is Bob, we might want to go with something a little more fantasy-ish.

For the #1 Treasure Points getter, I will give you one copy of every new book I write...for LIFE. That means, should the Lord allow me to live long enough to write all the stories rattling around in my head, you will get a signed copy of each one sent directly to you. Of course, if you move and don't give me your new address, then├ó•┼ôsomeone else will be getting all those books. Doh!

Are you game for an adventure? Pop on over to Wayne's blog and dive in!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A New Arrival!

My author copy of The Restorer's Son arrived today!!!!!

As I hugged it (and smelled the wonderful ink) I was washed with memories of the days alone with God while writing the book, and the way I saw His grace unfold to the characters in the story, and how He taught me more about His love through those hours of writing.

It is such a tremendous, tingly, amazing blessing.

Holding these pages is a beautiful, tangible proof of how God can do marvelous things through even weak, flawed, and broken vessels like me. And also how He can kindle a dream and then see it through.

I pray the book will entertain and captivate, but also encourage the hearts of those who have wrestled with God.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

A Visit from Tricia Goyer

This week, I am happy to announce Tricia Goyer's new novel. I've had several chances to chat with this prolific author at conferences. She's warm, wonderful, and as you'll see from the interview, very busy!

A Shadow of Treason
(Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series)

Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

Q and A with Tricia!

Q:
A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?

A: I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

Q: In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?

A: There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

Q: A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?

A: Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Q: Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?

A: Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!

Thanks for stopping, by Tricia!

Tricia's Bio:

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:

From Dust and Ashes (2003)
Night Song (2004)
Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
Arms of Deliverance (2006)
A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)
Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.

Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Most Interesting Place to Read

Congrats to Justin B.!
Last month I ran a contest for subscribers of my free Book Buddy monthly e-zine, asking for photos of the most interesting place you've read one of my books. His entry shows him reading on top of his desk. Justin wins a packet of clavo (the favorite beverage of Lyric and Braide Wood).

To become a Book Buddy and receive a free monthly e-zine, go to my website and find the box in the right-hand column. Leave your name and email and follow the directions to "double-opt-in."

I'm planning some other fun contests for my Book Buddies in future months!

Song of First Light

From The Restorer, book one in The Sword of Lyric series.

Click to listen to "Song of First Light" - a hymn used on feast days in the worship tower of Lyric.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Interview at Book Shelf Review

As I wait for The Restorer's Son to arrive, I continue to do interviews about The Restorer. Today I answered some great questions for Jake Chism at his blog, bookshelfreview.

If you have a moment, stop by for a visit.

Also, there's a new review at Virginia Smith's site. Check it out. :-)

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Visit from DiAnn Mills

Today I'm happy to welcome author DiAnn Mills to talk about her new novel, When the Nile Runs Red.

Paul Farid, who once persecuted the southern Sudanese, now loves the weary people whose lives have been destroyed by war.

Colonel Ben Alier has led his battle-hardened soldiers for two decades against the North, yet he pursues a relationship with his son even as his own demons pursue him.

Dr. Larson Kerr Farid works long hours caring for the sick, but fatigue and worry about her husband, are taking their toll. And she’s just learned something that will make everything more complicated.

These three friends face constant danger as tensions escalate between the north and south, and as Paul’s family schemes to kill him and Larson. Will Paul and Larson bridge the gap that seems to grow between them? And will Ben find peace as more than a soldier?

When the Nile Runs Red is being used to raise awareness of the atrocities that are taking place in Sudan. Book sale proceeds will be donated to restore the Sudanese community.


Q: DiAnn, what inspired you to write this novel?

A: I had previously written a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan – Lost Boy No More. From that research, I wrote the novel When the Lion Roars, but the story would not let me go.

Through numerous interviews and extensive reading, I grew to love and admire the courageous Sudanese people and was burdened by their incredible needs. I had to bring them back in When the Nile Runs Red.

Q. Why Sudan?

A. This country went through nearly two decades of civil war strife. In 1983, the northern government launched a holy war against the south. This grew out of the views of the Islamic north against the mostly Christian black African south. The war had three aspects: religion, politics, and oil. The atrocities committed against the southern people are too many to list, but the war was fought in the south through genocide.

Q. How did you conduct your research?

A. I grabbed my backpack and sun screen and traveled to Juba, Sudan, the southern capital. There I stayed at a Christian compound and met with southern Sudanese from all walks of life: refugees, political leaders, and church leaders. I talked to as many people as I could, snapped pictures, and listened to what was being said.

Q. Regarding your trip to Sudan, what touched you the most?

A. The incredible faith. I could look into a Sudanese’s eyes and see the pain of persecution and the hope of Jesus. Here, we say we love Jesus while we live in our huge homes, drive our fancy cars, are well-fed, are not hunted down for our faith, or are concerned about medical care. The Sudanese understand that all they have and need is Jesus.

Q. What do you hope the readers will gain?

A. To lose themselves in the novel. That’s every writer’s goal. But I also want the reader to sense a call to action and support the Sudanese cause.


Thanks so much, DiAnn, and blessings on this new book and the work it is supporting to help the people of Sudan.

You can learn more by visiting DiAnn's website.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Nice

My friend Camy has recently tagged me with this "nice" award.

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

Since I'm from Minnesota, I know a lot of NICE people. We even have a code of "Minnesota Nice" that we live by.

So first, a fellow Minnesotan, Jill Nelson.

Next, a dear gal that always lifts my spirits, Jill Hart.

My end-cap mate (we are again featured on the same end-cap for our upcoming February releases with Bethany House) Julie Carobini.

The gal I get to room with at ACFW in a few weeks, Amy Wallace.

The Velveteen Mommy, Jenn Doucette.

Shannon McNear - who has encouraged me in more ways than she knows.

And rounding things out with another Minnesotan who exemplifies kindness and thoughtfulness, Chawna Schroeder.

I'm blessed to know so many nice people!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This and That



Recent Press

The Restorer was described, and I was quoted in a recent newspaper article:
8.10.07 Dothan Eagle, Alabama.
"Christian Books on the Rise."


Online Bookclub Discussion

If you've been wanting to chat with other readers of The Restorer, your chance is coming soon. During October, the American Christian Fiction Writers Bookclub will be chatting about The Restorer. It's free! Join in!

Online Chat with Sharon

Members of the ACFW bookclub will also chat with Sharon on Monday, November 5th in the evening. Watch more details on how to log-in and ask questions.

Autographed Books

I'm a member of a WONDERFUL service, called Signed by the Author. If you visit their site, you can buy books to have personalized to yourself or a friend (great gift idea!) and autographed by the author.

Stranger than Fiction

My husband's recent Popular Science magazine had an add for a "cooler hotplate" - which transfers energy through a magnetic field. Since he's a fan of the Restorer books, he pointed it out and said, "It's a heat trivet!" After discovering real "clavo" tea from Bolivia last month, I'm beginning to think I really HAVE traveled through the portal to the alternate world of Lyric. :-)

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Visit from Angela Hunt

This morning, I'm happy to welcome Angela Hunt
to talk about her new release, Doesn't She Look Natural?

About the story: How do you live when God asks you to bury a dream? Jennifer Graham, the no-nonsense chief of staff for a Virginia senator, quits her job after her divorce—and finds herself an unemployed single mom. Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, her efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will uncover mysteries of love and life.

I was able to sit in on some of Angela's fiction classes at Mount Hermon. I learned so much from her, just listening to the way she navigates the writing life, as well as how she tackles writing challenges. Her professionalism and her commitment to crafting compelling fiction are an inspiration to me.

Angela, how did you come up with the concept for Doesn't She Look Natural?

A: I read HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn and naturally began to think about the life to come. I’ve also lost several friends over the last couple of years, and I’ve come to realize that death, for the believer, is not to be feared. I thought a series about a funeral home might be a good way to address issues affecting the living and those who are facing death.

How closely is this Doesn't She Look Natural based on your life?

There are bits of every author’s life in every story he or she produces, but I am happily married with two older children. I’ve never been a mortician, but I’ve always been interested in all things medical.

What is the symbolism for the title Doesn't She Look Natural?

When my editor and I were talking about titles, we were trying to think of things people always say at funerals. We’ve come up with three: Doesn’t She Look Natural?, She Always Wore Red, and She’s in a Better Place.

Do you have a favorite character? Why?

I’m a little partial to Bugs, Jennifer’s five-year-old son. He says the cutest things . . .

How much research did Does She Look Natural take?

Quite a bit, and this is just the beginning of the series. In the second book, Jen goes to mortuary school, and by the third book she is actively operating the funeral home. So I’ve had to learn quite a bit about funeral homes, caskets, supplies, embalming, burial versus cremation, etc.


What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

I think all authors face the same challenges—the need to place ourselves in a chair and stay there until the work is done, the challenge of staying fresh in the face of many revisions, and the challenge of weaving entertaining stories and spiritual truths. People looking for the former aren’t always looking for the latter.


What message would you like your readers to take away from Doesn't She Look Natural?

I would like readers to see that God is always leading us . . . even when we don’t like the direction in which we’re moving. And when God moves us, He supplies our needs . . . sometimes in the most unexpected ways.


Angela, thanks for stopping by, and blessings on this new series!
Sharon

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Camy Tang Blog Tour - Sushi for One

I had the pleasure of meeting Camy Tang at Mount Hermon several years ago. We were at the same table for a meal, and after everyone else left, we stayed and talked...it's one of those "kindred spirit moments" that birthed a longterm friendship. She's a POWERHOUSE blogger, and she offered to guest blog for me today, as part of her kick-off blog tour for Sushi for One, her debut novel. Welcome, Camy!



The Risk-taker

by Camy Tang

I’m so thrilled to be guest blogging here today! Sharon has been my friend, mentor, cheerleader, slave-driver, and prayer warrior for almost the entire time I’ve been writing professionally.

I first met Sharon at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and it was a total God thing. He brought us together in line one day,

(note from Sharon: I thought it was at a lunch table...but since writer's conferences are notoriously exhausting, I admit my memories could be a bit muddled)

and we completely hit it off.

(note from Sharon: That part I remember vividly. Camy felt like a kindred spirit instantly - although she's much more hip, savvy, and strong than I could ever hope to be).

Sharon was unpublished at the time, but she’d been writing for a few years longer than I had, and was a step ahead of me on the writing journey.

Sharon inspires me because she’s always been willing to take risks. Her first and foremost purpose is to write what will encourage others, and if that involves taking risks, she’s not afraid.

(note from Sharon: HA! I'm constantly afraid. I'm just too dumb to realize how tough certain choices can be.)

At Mount Hermon, she told me about her first books—the Restorer series books. She wrote them because she felt God wanted her to use that genre to encourage people and point them toward Himself.

Science-fiction and fantasy books were hard novels to sell to publishers even then, but she persisted in obedience to God, unafraid of taking the risk.

At the time, historicals were also not selling well. But she told me about her historical novel, based on her grandmother’s life, that was also aimed at encouraging Christians, especially in the midst of war and hardship.

Sharon’s next novel, The Secret Life of Becky Miller, was also a risk because there weren’t many mom lit books in the Christian market. However, she felt convicted to speak to other women like herself who were torn between the practical demands of family and church and their own desire to do Big Things for God. God Himself had big plans for that novel, and it quickly sold to Bethany House.

Her fearlessness in the face of God’s leading became an example to me of how I ought to write.

I had started writing a romance with ethnic-neutral characters, but I thought I felt God’s leading to write with Asian characters instead. He gave me a clear message when Brandilyn Collins prayed over me at the ACFW conference that year—to “write my heritage.”

The problem was that at the time, publishers weren’t looking for multicultural books. There were no other Asian Americans in fiction publishing. The marketability of an Asian novel was iffy.

But Sharon inspired me (as well as giving me a few cyber-kicks in the butt). I wrote the story with Asian characters, aware that it was a risk. Sharon mentored me through that novel and the manuscripts after it, all with Asian characters. (Yup, you read that right, manuscripts—plural. I wrote for several years before getting a bite.)

Then Zondervan showed interest in Sushi for One. (On a side note, here’s some nifty trivia—originally the manuscript was called Solo Sashimi, except nobody knew how to pronounce it. LOL)

(Sharon's note: I'll confess that when Camy told me her tag line, "romance with a kick of wasabi," I emailed her back to ask, "what's wasabi?" Clearly this midwesterner with German/Russian heritage had missed out on some great culture--and food.)

The rest is history, but Sharon continues to remind me that we are called to take risks in our obedience to Christ. We may not see the rewards right away, but God rewards our obedience eventually.

===

Camy, thanks so much for guest blogging about risks.



One thing that is NOT a risk, but a sure thing -- readers will love Sushi for One. When I read it, I felt the same joy of discovery and recognition that I did when I saw the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Stop by Camy's Blog to learn more, and see all the other interviews, give-aways and stops she's making on her blog tour this month.