Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scrapbooking As Life

My friend Tasra Dawson has just released her book, "Real Women Scrap." It's a creative, fun look at ways to beautify our lives as well as our scrapbooks. Using the craft of scrapbooking as an extended metaphor, she examines issues in our lives like planning, simplicity, symmetry, boundaries, embellishments, journaling, perspective, and mistakes. As the reader gathers practical ideas that help to create beautiful scrapbook pages, she also discovers how these concepts reveal wisdom for living a richer more intentional life.

Tasra is running a contest on her site beginning November 1, 2006.

And good news!
I won't give away MY copy of her book (it's a keeper!) - but I have an EXTRA copy to give away.
If you leave a comment to this post (make sure to include a way I can reach you by email), you'll be entered in the drawing to win that free copy of the book.

Here's your Comment Challenge:

In the mental scrapbook of your life, what is one of your most precious snapshots? Describe it for us!

Sharon Hinck
avid rubber stamper and scrapbooker
author of

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wishing On Dandelions

Today I'm welcoming my friend Mary DeMuth, one of the most authentic and tender voices among new authors today. Her latest novel, Wishing on Dandelions, has just released.

From the back cover:

God says I love you in many ways, some of which are hard to hear

Maranatha needs to hear God's voice. At seventeen, Natha admittedly has some
trust issues. Though the abuse by a neighbor boy has stopped, Natha is
anything but healed. Now her best friend has left for college, the trials of
dating have begun, and God, ever since he spoke to her underneath the pecan
tree years ago, has remained elusive. So when brash Georgeanne Peach blows
in to take over the only place that's ever felt like home, leaving a trail
of peach fabric swatches and cloying perfume, it's easy to understand how
something like a little ol' tornado might not be a big deal.

Like every teenager, Natha tries to sort out the confusing layers of love-of
friends, of family, of suitors, and, desperately, of God. Natha struggles to
find herself before she gives in to the shadow of a girl she used to be in
this moving follow-up to the critically praised Watching the Tree Limbs.

I had the privilege of reading the early galleys of the book. I was so moved, I truly couldn't put it down. Here's what I wrote about it:

Step into words so beautiful they hurt, pages of rich symbol, and emotions
so genuine you can't look away. Experience a powerful, lyrical voice in
contemporary fiction. Maranatha pleads, "Jesus, show me your love." Her
longing to be reassured of God's love will resonate with every reader as
they share her journey.

Mary's novels are rich experiences. When asked about the story she hoped to create for her readers, Mary said she wanted to show, "That redemption of a broken life takes time. We’re all on a journey of healing. Sometimes it’s slow going, but if we can endure through the dark times, God will bring us to new places of growth. I want the images and characters to stay with a reader for a long time."

She has certainly achieved that in this book. You can ask for the book in your local bookstore, or order it through christianbook.com or amazon.

I have to add that Mary's ministry with words extends beyond her lyrical novels and insightful non-fiction books, or even her whimsical and heartfelt blog. Mary has touched my life time and again with gentle, caring, and funny emails when I was in most desperate need of encouragement. Thank you, Mary! Blessings on every part of your life! And thanks for visiting today!

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Violette Between

Violette Between by Alison Strobel is a gentle book about grief, healing, and the courage it takes to step back into life after loss. I love that the book shows two different characters' ways of coping with grief. In my experience, people can respond very differently to the death of a loved one, and this story conveys that with sensitivity and realism.

Even though the topic is meaty, there was plenty of whimsy in the story. One of my favorite moments came when Violette insisted on changing her shoes for a visit to a specific beach-front town. She had bought the shoes from a store there, and promised the shoes she would bring them back for visits, so they wouldn't regret leaving their home. As someone who worries about a sweater having hurt feelings if I haven't worn it for a while, I found a kindred spirit in Violette.

Be sure to check out the book and visit Alison's blog and her website.

My own novel continues to find more readers and collect more reviews and articles at various sites. This week, I invite you to visit Jeanette Hanscome's blog for her thoughts on The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

Each time I hear from a reader who was encouraged or blessed by the story, I get goosebumps all over again. It amazes me that God's grace can travel between the cover of a paperback book.

Sharon Hinck
author of The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House Publishing, 6/2006)
and Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House Publishing, 2/2007)
and The Restorer (NavPress Publishing, 5/2007)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Becky Miller in Wal-Mart

Fellow Bethany House author, Allison Bottke emailed me today. She was speaking in Spartanburg, SC and one of the event planners took her to Wal-Mart to see her book, A Stitch in Time, on the shelf. Allison sent me a picture because there beside her book was The Secret Life of Becky Miller. Thanks so much, Allison!

I love seeing Becky Miller in Wal-Mart. Here in Minnesota I've found her in Borders, Barnes & Noble, Northwestern Bookstores, and some small independent stores, but not yet in Wal-Mart.

I also got exciting news last week, that The Secret Life of Becky Miller is now an audio book. The narrator has read some New York Times bestselling women's novels, so I'm tickled to imagine her reading Becky's tale.

For any of you in the Minnesota area, I'll be speaking at the Minnesota Christian Writer's Guild meeting on Monday, October 9, 2007, 7-9 p.m. (my part is at 8 pm). I'd love to see you!

Coming soon on my blog: the CSFF blog tour for Kathyrn Mackel and a visit with Mary DeMuth.

My next free Book Buddy ezine will come out October 15. If you'd like a brief inspirational article, behind-the-scenes info on the writing life, recommendations on books I've read recently, and info on special gifts and prizes for Book Buddies, be sure to leave your name and email at the "contact Sharon" page of my website.

Sharon Hinck
author of The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House 6/06)
and Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, 2/07)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hooray for the L.C.M.S.

I recently stumbled across "The Least Read Blog on the Web" and was delighted to find a Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod (LCMS) pastor who read The Secret Life of Becky Miller and liked it. :-) Denominational loyalty prompted him to check out the book, and he said he found it instantly engaging.

"Hinck's writing made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion and yes, I even teared up on two occasions (get to the twist toward the end and see how dry-eyed you remain, those who judge me!)."

Do you remember the old sit-com, "Cheers?" In one episode, Woody is traumatized to discover that he and his beloved Kelly are of "different faiths." Turns out they are both Lutheran, but belong to different "synods." You may need to be a Lutheran to understand the significance and why that episode was howlingly funny.

I'm deeply grateful to be part of the specific body in the Lutheran church that does a wonderful job of living out, "grace alone, faith alone, scripture alone," with integrity (okay, and a little bit of stiffness at times-but we all have our flaws).

"Least Read" blogger, Pastor John, also blogs about his search to find more LCMS authors (Paul Maier in one). At my very first Mount Hermon Writer's Conference 3.5 years ago, I was introduced to an LCMS pastor from Chicago who is a writer, as well as the delightful Christine Tangvald, who began her writing career with Concordia Publishing House (also LCMS). Now, I adore my Christian friends of all synods, and all denominations - but it is really cool finding out about writers among my own tiny "clan."

Oh, I should mention that another LCMS pastor has read The Secret Life of Becky Miller. My own pastor has been a staunch supporter and encourager of my work, through it's various ups and downs. If you live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area and are looking for a great church, pop in to my congregation for a visit!

(P.S. The photo above is of Lighthouse Point in Duluth, Minnesota, another lovely view I captured on our brief trip in September.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Recent Interview

My hunky hubby on our recent hiking trip on the northern shore of Lake Superior. I'm still smiling about the wonderful time we had. Those little getaways are priceless.

A reader and blogger from New York interviewed me about my writing work at her blog,
"Inspiring Words." Pop on over if you have a moment. Thanks for your interest and support, Bren!

If there are any questions about me that remain unanswered, you're invited to a live online chat hosted by a Florida library on Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 7 pm Eastern time, 6pm Central time (and the rest of you can figure it out from there). Just visit http://www.ocls.info/loe .

Click on the link for "Chat with Author Sharon Hinck."

Sharon Hinck