Friday, May 29, 2009

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Prov. 46:10 - "10 Be still, and know that I am God:..." This devotional book was written just for that purpose. For us to set a while and meditate on Jesus. To listen for His calling of us. Jesus Calling is a devotional book written for the reader to set and enjoy peace in God's presence. It is written as if Jesus is talking directly to you. There is scripture references for each daily reading. Plus fragments of scripture is interwoven throughout the main body of each days devotion. This book was written to be read as a meditating book not one you read all in one setting. The author encourages the reader to keep their own journal as they daily hear Jesus Calling just as she has done in penning these words for us. This book is a year of daily devotions are you ready to hear Jesus Calling you? I have totally enjoyed the days that I've read in this book so far. It has been a great encouragement to me to just listen to what Jesus is calling about each day.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Ark, the Reed, & the Fire Cloud by Jenny L. Cote

Oh, my are you in for a treat if you read this book. This would be a fun book to read aloud as a family. Much discussion and research can be used along with this book. You'll learn to love all God's wonderful creatures by the time your done reading this book that Jenny has written. I can't wait to read the next one (The Dreamer, the Schemer, and the Robe: Joseph - Due Aug. 2009) in the Max & Liz series and see what adventures Max & Liz will embark on. Jenny has given lots of good messages for young and old alike in her book. There is no doubt she did her research as she brought the animals to the ark. Through this book you not only learn about the Bible and messages hidden there, you learn geography and culture as well.

There was one theology issue that I noticed as reading: before the Flood there was no such thing as thunderstorms and rain and all. God watered the earth from beneath the ground. The earth was a tropic atmosphere. That is one reason the people scoffed so, because they didn't even know what rain and flooding was. Anyway, in the story one of Max's fears is thunderstorms. So for the sake of this trait in Max's character I did over look this. Hey, it's fiction. Use your imagination; Jenny sure did and did a beautiful job at it. Jenny mentioned in a footnote another theology issue that surfaced (how many of each animal came to the ark). So I give her this one. In fiction we can make anything happen. For the most part though the Bible truths and ideas were wonderful and right on.

I totally enjoyed this book and yes, I'm hooked on Max and Liz. It's fantasy, fiction and allegory. So just read and enjoy the journey through the eyes of animals. I put my stamp of approval on this one.

You'll learn to love them all for their personalities. Each animal has a definite personality and character trait. I don't know how Jenny kept it all straight. Go ahead take a family journey to the ark with the animals. Enter the magical, whimsical world of adventure as the animals journey to the ark. Great job Jenny!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rose House

WaterBrook Press (May 5, 2009)


Tina Ann Forkner


Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that challenges and inspires. She grew up in Oklahoma and graduated with honors from CSU Sacramento before settling in Wyoming. She lives with her husband, their three bright children and their dog and stays busy serving on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors. She is the author of Ruby Among Us, her debut novel, and Rose House, which recently released from Waterbrook Press/Random House.


A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope

Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.

A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Rose House, go HERE


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Deadwood was hell's front porch. No lady had any business going to Deadwood, SD so people thought. But Mattie O'Keefe was on the run and she just wanted to be with her brother, who had gone to Deadwood promising to send for Mattie after he staked out his claim and struck it rich. Mattie was a real beauty who talked little of her past. She was running hopefully toward a promise. Never in her dreams did she ever think she'd call a canvas tent on a placer claim, "home." Mattie is a girl with "grit". She earned the name "Matt the Miner."
You'll fall in love with not only Mattie, but other characters such as Swede, Freddie, Tom English, Aron Gallagher, Aunt Lou, and little Eva, she will steal your heart. Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane even make in appearance in this story. This was a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it. This was my first read by Stephanie Grace Whitson but I will definitely keep an eye out for more of her books.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Jillian Dare: A Novel by Melanie Jeschke

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Jillian Dare: A Novel

Revell (May 1, 2009)


Melanie M. Jeschke


Melanie Morey Jeschke (pronounced jes-key), a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa with an Honors degree in English Literature and a minor in European and English History.

A free-lance travel writer, Melanie contributed the Oxford chapter to the Rick Steves’ England 2006 guidebook. She is a member of the Capital Christian Writers and Christian Fiction Writers as well as three book clubs, and taught high-school English before home-schooling most of her nine children. Melanie lectures on Lewis and Tolkien, Oxford, and writing, and gives inspirational talks to all manner of groups, including university classes, women’s clubs, young professionals, teens, and school children.

A fourth generation pastor’s wife (her father Dr. Earl Morey is a retired Presbyterian minister), Melanie resides in the Greater Washington, D.C. area with her children and husband Bill Jeschke, a soccer coach and the Senior Pastor of The King’s Chapel, an non-denominational Christian church in Fairfax, Virginia.


Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home behind and strikes out on her own as a nanny at a large country estate in northern Virginia. She is delighted with the beauty of her new home, the affection of her young charge Cadence Remington, and the opportunity for frequent travel to the Remington castle in England.

She is less certain about her feelings for her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she is falling for her boss. But how can a humble girl ever hope to win a wealthy man of the world? And what dark secrets from the past is he hiding? This contemporary story, inspired by the well-loved classic Jane Eyre, will capture readers' hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Jillian Dare: A Novel, go HERE


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Brent & Deanna Higgins share with us...

Parenting Tips from the Higgins

▪ Stay in the Word and in prayer if you expect your children to do so. Too many times, parents expect that the youth pastor is going to grow their children. You can’t expect your kids to live a lifestyle you’re not.

▪ Be sure you have a firm answer from God before you respond to your child about a request. For example, when BJ first wanted to serve overseas, our initial answer was “no,” but that was a knee-jerk reaction. Parents must be careful to hear from the Holy Spirit and not respond out of pure protectiveness or emotion.

▪ If at all possible, have a regular devotional time with your family. This should include prayer, not just rote prayer but significant time with God. This teaches kids how to pray and encourages them in their walk with the Lord.

▪ Arrange to have dinner together as a family as often as you can. This gives you an opportunity to share as a family and also allows you to listen to your children. Kids won’t spill unless parents are willing to listen.

▪ Don’t be afraid to let your children fail. Sometimes kids need to try things and learn that failure is a part of life. They need all kinds of experiences as they move into adulthood.

▪ Encourage your children to be bold in their faith. Do activities as a family—mission trips and other projects—that require boldness. Encourage them to be involved in opportunities to share their faith.

▪ Listen, listen, and listen to your children. We say this humbly because we learned from our mistakes. Often your kids are telling you things by what they don’t tell you. (See the note about having dinner together above).

▪ When discouraging things happen, don’t remove your child’s opportunities to obey God. Your child’s relationship with God should never be used as a weapon. Opportunities for fellowship(youth group, etc.) shouldn’t be contingent on “good” behavior.

▪ If you make a commitment, follow through. If your child makes a commitment, help him or her follow through on it, too. The lesson here: your faithfulness sets an example for others.

▪ Practice what you preach to your children. Demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit through your love, kindness, etc. Although we weren’t (and aren’t) perfect parents, we tried to follow through in our lives with the things we taught our kids.

Bonus Content

The New Normal: Facing Life after a Child's Death

by Marti Pieper

"Dad, I know you're scared. I believe the Lord will deliver me through this. But if he doesn't, I'm going home to be with him, and that's okay with me."--BJ Higgins, August 5, 2005

Brent and Deanna Higgins clung to these valiant words throughout their son's six-week hospitalization. BJ became ill with a mysterious infection after he returned from his second mission trip to Peru. His death on September 26, 2005, days before his sixteenth birthday, ushered their family (Brent, Deanna, and two college-aged daughters) into what they called the new normal: life without their beloved son and brother. The new normal also meant life without one who served as a role model for many, including his own family members. BJ's story and message of passionate obedience to Christ are chronicled in his parents' best-selling book, I Would Die for You: One Student's Story of Passion, Service, and Faith (Revell, 2008).

How do Brent and Deanna survive the new normal? The Higgins point to their relationship with God as the key. "The level of intimacy one truly has in a relationship with Christ is often reflected through the time of pain, suffering, and loss," says Brent, now vice president for international operations for their son's sending agency, Awe Star Ministries. He and Deanna recommend that others who face the loss of a child draw near to God. "When you do, He promises to draw near to you," Brent explains.

Drawing near to other people is important, too, Deanna says. "It helped to talk to other people about him, to remember who he was. Initially, just holding onto the people around us helped a lot."

Today, the Higgins lead teams of young missionaries like their son to take the Gospel of Christ to people around the world. More recently, God has opened the doors for ministry to others who have lost a child. "No two losses are exactly alike regardless of similar circumstances," says Brent. "I encourage parents to seek the Lord because He always listens."

"Everyone goes through it differently," says Deanna. "We each grieve in our own way, but God can handle our anger. He can handle anything." She urges other hurting parents to recognize the hope beyond their pain. "If you look, you'll find ways He's showing you He cares. He's showing you He's with you through it."

God's presence doesn't eliminate loneliness, however. The Higgins both admit that their work with students often brings back bittersweet memories of their son. "Certain students remind me of BJ in their passion for Christ, their hunger to know more," Brent says. At times, both Brent and Deanna find comfort in their son's journals (excerpted in the book) as well as videos and pictures of him. Music, an integral part of their family life, also serves as a source of strength.

Connecting with God and with others, especially young people like their son, helps them cope. Deanna says the loss of her son has left her more open to see the potential of these young men and women. Brent adds, "Before BJ passed, the things I taught were less experiential and more intellectual. The things the Lord has allowed me to walk through since that time have increased my own intensity and passion for seeing students truly understand what God calls them to do."

As part of a passionate declaration in one of his journals, BJ wrote, "It's time to raise a revolution. God will give me the strength." For his parents, the new normal means a commitment to extend his legacy--even when it hurts.

More details about Brent & Deanna Higgins' book here.
Click here to read an interview about the authors.

Win this gift basket.
Details here.

This blog tour is through:


Friday, May 22, 2009

Author interview with Brent & Deanna Higgins

Interview with Authors of I Would Die for You
Read about the book here.

1. Describe how BJ became involved in short-term mission trips. How did these trips impact BJ’s faith?
BJ watched other members of our family participate in church mission trips. He couldn’t wait for his turn! When Brent led a team to Kentucky to serve in a school, BJ went along. At age fourteen, he learned of an opportunity to minister in Peru. He served there with Awe Star Ministries two consecutive summers and his heart broke over the world’s lostness. His mission service ignited a passion to see the Gospel reach the nations.

2. Even as a young boy BJ’s passion for God shone through in his life. How did you see that passion then and as he grew?
In his childhood, his passion sometimes came across as judgmental. When he learned to share out of love, his witness became much more effective. He was bold and unafraid to share the Gospel in any way possible. After his mission trips, his heightened passion led him to spend more time in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, and worship. BJ could turn almost any conversation to the things of God because he genuinely loved others.

3. Share the story of BJ’s illness and the time when God called him home.
Three weeks after his 2005 Peru trip, BJ became critically ill. On the way to the hospital, he told Brent, “Dad, I know you’re scared. I believe the Lord will deliver me through this. But if he doesn’t, I’m going home to be with him, and that’s okay with me.” Friends began a blog we still maintain, It received thousands of hits as people across the world prayed for our son. After a six-week battle with a mysterious infection, BJ went to heaven days before his sixteenth birthday.

4. How did BJ’s faith journey become the inspiration for the song, “I Would Die For You” written by MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard?
Within a week of BJ’s hospitalization Bart (a friend from the band’s early years) called Brent. Our oldest daughter had posted some of BJ’s journal entries on our blog and Bart was amazed at his spiritual depth. He emailed fans encouraging them to pray. MercyMe grieved deeply when BJ died. Our son’s life and writings inspired Bart to put words to a tune he already had, now the final song on the “Coming Up to Breathe” CD.

5. BJ’s life and death have touched many people. Which of his qualities and/or experiences seems to impact others the most?
People didn’t realize it was possible to live a life as sold out to Christ as BJ’s. They’re amazed at the boldness he showed when God told him to witness to four Peruvian policemen carrying uzis. As he wrote, he was “mucho scardios,” but all four accepted Christ. His passionate declaration, “I will not be satisfied. I will not let my passion be hid in a bottle” still touches people in deep ways.

6. As you both continue to partner with Awe Star Ministries, what are your hopes and dreams for this ministry? For this book?
We hope to impact students’ lives, discipling and partnering with them in missions. We long for them to realize that surrender to Christ can occur without crossing borders. God calls us to live a missionary lifestyle within our own culture. Our hope for the book is not that our son be glorified but that God multiply his message. We pray that God draws those who read it to embrace their Savior and live for Him as never before.

7. Where can readers learn more about BJ and I Would Die For You? Where can they learn more about Awe Star Ministries? contains devotionals, complete archives, pictures, and BJ’s own words. Recently, we posted a video of his life at You’ll find I Would Die for You anywhere Christian books are sold. contains a link for a free companion Bible study. Friend us on Facebook: Brent A. Higgins; Deanna Tucker Higgins.

Visit to learn more about international missions opportunities. May God use you to extend BJ’s passion to reach the nations and “raise a revolution” in Him.

Learn how you can win this gift basket click here.

Authors share some bonus content (parenting tips & article on facing a child's death) here.

This blog tour is through:


Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Would Die for You by Brent & Deanna Higgins ~Give away

Read to the end of this post there is a basket give away included in this post.

About the Book:

(Tulsa, OK) - "It's an honor just to be nominated": familiar words for Emmy and Grammy nominees. Still, Brent and Deanna Higgins never believed the phrase would pertain to their family. Outreach magazine has recently honored the Higgins' book, I Would Die for You, with a nomination as Outreach Resource of the Year.

That nomination, however, came with a great cost. I Would Die for You chronicles the life and death of their young son, BJ Higgins; along with his faith; his passion for missions and his love for God. Compelling excerpts from personal notes, blog entries school assignments and journals reveal his clear calling and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel of Christ. BJ's challenging words and example combine to inspire readers of all ages.

After returning from his second short-term international mission trip at the age of 15, BJ became seriously ill. Six days before his sixteenth birthday, he died. His story lives on throughout the pages of his parents' book.

In spite of the inevitable grief , Brent and Deanna share their son's message of selfless sacrifice through both I Would Die for You and Awe Star Ministries, the nonprofit ministry that coordinated his mission trips. Their prayer? That countless others will embrace BJ's vision and give their all for the cause of Christ.

About the Authors:

As an ordained minister and youth pastor, Brent Higgins continues the faith journey his son, BJ, began a few years ago. He currently serves as Vice President of International Operations for Awe Star Ministries, a Christian nonprofit organization committed to equipping believers for life, speaking to more than 25,000 people each year.

As an accomplished musician and elementary school music teacher, Deanna Higgins opens the next chapter of BJ's missionary work by serving alongside her husband to lead mission trips for Awe Star Ministries. Brent and Deanna now reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

What Teenagers are Saying:

BJ was just a year younger than me, and in his short life he had such a full life and could die with no regrets. He had a sense of urgency in telling the story of the gospel and its transforming power to others. He didn't worry about what they thought or if he would be rejected.

--T. Buse

For an interview about the Authors click here.
parenting tips and bonus content that the Higgins have provided us concerning facing life after the death of a child (click here).

Now for the I Would Die for You Basket Give away

Basket contains:
* I Would Die for You book - autographed
* Rite of Passage Parenting book - autographed (Rite of Passage Parenting by Walker Moore, Thomas Nelson, 2007)
* Global Passage Creed sticker
* Not Home...Gone Global for Jesus sticker
* Awe Star blue ink pen
* Red Awe Star luggage tag
* Green Global Passage bandana
* 2 Awe Star drink containers
* Blue size L Awe Star 2009 trip T-shirt
* Orange size L God's Global Roadie T-shirt

Each blog tour host can send in one name of a person who left a comment on their site. These names will be placed in a drawing for the large gift basket. You may enter by leaving me a comment telling me if you were to go on a Missions Trip where would you go? and why? Or leave me your favorite mission scripture verse.
Be sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you are the winner. Deadline for comments will be June 4th.

This blog tour is through:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deceptive Promises by Amber Miller

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Deceptive Promises

Barbour Publishing, Inc (2008)


Amber Miller


Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my 30's, married the love of my life in July 2007, live in Colorado and just had an incredibly beautiful daughter named Victoria.

I love to travel and visit new places. Ultimately, my dream is to own horses and live in a one-level rancher or log cabin nestled in the foothills of the mountains. For now, I will remain where I am and do what I love—design web sites and write.

I got involved with web design in 1997, when I was asked to take over running the official web site for the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. That eventually led to a series of negotiations where I was offered the job of running world-renowned actress Jane Seymour's official fan site. That has branched into doing web sites for a variety of clients, including: authors J.M. Hochstetler, Trish Perry, Kathy Pride, Louise M. Gouge, Susan Page Davis, and Jill Elizabeth Nelson, actor William Shockley (the voice of AT&T and Toyota) and many others. With the help of a handful of other web site "technos," Eagle Designs was born! Feel free to visit and see our other clients.

Amber's very first book, Promises, Promises, released in February 2008. It's a historical fiction set in Delaware during the Colonial period and the Great Awakening. The other 2 books in the series are Quills And Promises (July 2008) and this one, Deceptive Promises (December 2008). In 2009, they will be repackaged for a state set entitled Liberty's Promise. She has also sold another series set in historical Michigan during the Industrial Revolution. The 3 books in that series will begin releasing in May 2009 and will be repackaged in 2010.



Is deception fair in wartime Margret Scott must deal with this question as she finds herself attracted to the enigmatic Samuel Lowe. As the tensions grow between the colonists and the British soldiers and loyalists, Margret cannot always tell where Samuel's loyalties lie.

"If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity." -Job 31:5-6

Samuel's duties have him working for both sides of this war, and he often finds himself torn between what is right and what is wrong. He promises Margret she can trust him, and Margret promises him she does. But can promises born in deception be trusted? Can a relationship built in uncertainty survive?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Deceptive Promises, go HERE.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ulterior Motives by Mark Andrew Olsen

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Ulterior Motive

Bethany House (March 1, 2009)


Mark Andrew Olsen


MARK ANDREW OLSEN whose novel The Assignment was a Christy Award finalist, also collaborated on bestsellers Hadassah (now the major motion picture: One Night With the King), The Hadassah Covenant, and Rescued. Two of his last books were the supernatural thriller The Watchers, and The Warriors.

The son of missionaries to France, Mark is a Professional Writing graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Connie, live in Colorado Springs with their three children.


When an al-Qaeda email is intercepted, threatening an attack on America, it leads to the capture of the group's leader. Yet even under fierce interrogation, the terrorist clings to his jihadist beliefs and refuses to divulge any information. Desperate, the Army resorts to extreme measures--a controversial protocol designed to break a subject's resistance. But the attempt must be masked as an offer of clemency and rely on an outside party, someone who is unaware of the protocol's aims.

They find that someone in Greg Cahill, a disgraced soldier who now serves in a prison ministry. Lured by the chance to restore his reputation, Greg befriends a man the entire country despises. And the result proves combustible, the two men having to flee for their lives. With both in need of redemption, they set out to prevent a major catastrophe...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ulterior Motive, go HERE


Monday, May 18, 2009

Mesi's Season of Change by Pam Davis

Mesi's Season of Change by Pam Davis is another title in the Girls 'N Grace series. Mesi is a young girl of the Ashanti tribe in Africa. She and her best friend Kwasi find Numu, a young boy from the Kienese tribe the rivals of the Ashanti, who has been wounded and is in need of help. Together the Mesi and Numu bring their tribes together. Mesi is able to share the story of God's grace many people. This chapter book is written at a second to third grade level with a mildly challenging vocabulary. At the end of the book, there is a short educational section talking about animals and geography in Africa. I would highly recommend this book for parents who have daughter who love to read. The book teaches about children living in another country, as well as has a wonderful lesson about God's grace.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Beloved Counterfeit by Kathleen Y'Barbo

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Beloved Counterfeit

Barbour Publishing, Inc (May 2009)


Kathleen Y'Barbo


KATHLEEN MILLER Y’BARBO is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and an award-winning novelist of Christian fiction whose first published work jumped onto the Christian Booksellers Association bestseller list in its first month of release. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.



Washed ashore on Fairweather Key, Ruby O’Shea and her three nieces─the offspring of the pirate Thomas Hawkins and Ruby’s late sister─have a chance for a new beginning as Ruby takes a job in a boardinghouse and the girls are passed off as her daughters. But will Ruby be able to confess all when she falls for Micah Tate, a widower, wrecher, and soon-to-be preacher?

Micah is determined to marry the young woman who has captured his heart despite knowing she has something to hide. But will he be able to remain true to his vows when his lady love’s shady past comes to light?

Captain Thomas Hawkins will go to any length to discover the whereabouts of his daughters. What will his determination cost the folks of Fairweather Key?

When Ruby finds herself bereft of her newfound love and protector, will she run away in an attempt to escape her present as she did her past? Will Micah’s love cover the multitude of Ruby’s sins, or will Ruby’s duplicity cost her everything?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Beloved Counterfeit, go HERE


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Author Dalton James and his featured books.....

Today we have a treat. Yep you guessed it: a young author. Dalton James. He's eight years old and has already published two books with more in the works. WOW!

A tale of a young boy, Pirate Pete, and his dad, Scurvy James, setting sail on a mischievous adventure on the high seas to find the King’s loot, stolen by Peg Leg Chuck.

A tale of a young boy Space Boy Pete, and his dad, Space Man James, rocketing off into deep space to save the day.

Thanks Dalton for taking time to answer a few author questions. Thanks to Cliff, Dalton's dad, for helping him get these questions to me. Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
I am eight years old and I'm finishing up the second grade. I like to play basketball and baseball. I take Tae Kwon Do and I'm currently a second-degree black belt.

Very active little boy, busy busy. How did you become interested in writing books?
My teacher in first grade, Ms. Shoupe gave us the assignment to write after reading "Yuck Soup" by Joy Calley. I came home from school and told my daddy that I wanted to write a book. Since then I've just kept writing.

I love teachers that inspire their students. Way to go Ms. Shoupe! You Rock! Teachers have a special place in my heart. I have my teaching degree. I have homeschooled my girls. Actually, my oldest graduates this coming Sunday. She just finished her last test this past Friday. I'm going to have to see if I can find "Yuck Soup" at my library. What is your favorite subject in school?

I should have known since you are so active this would be your answer. Is hard to get a book published?
My dad takes care of all the paperwork stuff. I just know it takes a long time to finally get a book. From the time I finish the book until it comes out is about four months.

Parents that are behind their kids is wonderful thing. Way to go Dad! Do you do your own artwork (pictures) in the books?
Drawing the pictures is my favorite part, but its also the hardest and takes the longest amount of time.

You have to be a good artist too. Imagination is needed that is for sure. My youngest daughter, just finished 8th grade, took art in school this year. She is pretty good. She's been drawing cartoon characters. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I just think about things I like or would like to be.

Sounds like fun to me. Use your imagination and what you know. Start of good authors I'm sure. What do you like to do besides write stories?
Play sports, play RockBand on my Wii and read.

You sound like a very busy boy. In your books you tell of a boy and his dad on adventures. What activities do you and your dad like to do together?
I like to play with him. We do lots of things together like play RockBand, go on vacations and wrestle.

Your dad must be super dad to keep up with your activities. Do you have any siblings?
I don't have any siblings.

Do you have any pets? If so what kind? do you think you'd ever add them to your adventures?
I have a pet rabbit named Hopper. I don't think I'll write about her but my next book is about pigs which are my favorite animal.

Sounds interesting. I read in your last book The Heroes of Googley Woogley something about a mad scientist. Now my interest is peaked. Do you like to read? if so what genre do you read? Who are some of your favorite authors to read? Could you tell us the title of some books you have enjoyed reading?
I like to read. My favorite author right now is Jeff Kinney and the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. I would like to grow up and be like Tedd Arnold or Eric Carle.

I've never heard of Jeff Kinney's series. When my girls were little we did read some of Tedd Arnold's and Eric Carle's books. I'm familiar with those authors. What is your favorite food?
Japanese and Pizza

I think everyone likes pizza. Japanese, hummmm can't say I've tried that one. I love Chinese food though. Went to a Chinese restaurant for Mother's Day lunch. Give any closing remarks to the readers:
I have fun writing and going to schools talking to kids about writing books. This year my publisher allowed us to have a contest where kids got to send us books and we got to pick one to be published. Next year we are going to do the same thing and hopefully have more children's books published. If you like my books let me know and if you are a kid send me books and enter the contest. Your teacher could send us an email about how to send them in.

I hope you get many book contestants through this interview. Sounds like fun to be a published author. If you want more information about Dalton's books or an e-mail to contact him you can find that information on outskirtspress web site.
Thanks Dalton and good luck on your next book.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Taking Tuscany by Renee Riva

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Taking Tuscany

David C. Cook (May 2009)


Renee Riva


Renee Riva writes humorous stories with a message, for both children and adults. Having been raised in a large Italian family with a great sense of humor, she has much to draw from for developing quirky characters.

She loves sharing her secrets for story starters at Young Author events, helping to spark the imagination of young minds. Renee and her husband live in Richland, Washington, with their three daughters, a dog, a cat, and until recently, her beloved hamster—may she rest in peace.


A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Country... until her family decided to stay. It's 1972 and she's turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her blonde hair makes her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she's so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent.

The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J., but she's going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. Can't anyone see that Italy isn't really home? It will take a catastrophe - and a few wise words from a friend - for A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Taking Tuscany, go HERE