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Showing posts from April, 2007

Interview with Cyndy Salzmann

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.30.2007 Today I get to interview one of my favorite people in the world, Cyndy Salzmann, and talk about her latest novel, Crime and Clutter ! A storage unit, a 1963 Volkswagen minibus, and tattered letters...reveal shattering secrets from the '60s. It's been a year since Mary Alice lost her father -- the father she never really knew. Now she's stuck cleaning out his rubbish from a storage unit. Just when she'd rather it all go away from her well-ordered life, her long-held secret is discovered by the feisty Marina, one of the six members of the Friday Afternoon Club. When these friends make it their mission to help Mary Alice tackle her stash, they arrive at the storage unit, prepared to clean. But what they discover takes them on a riotous ride through the crime and clutter of the sixties, the angst and betrayal of those caught in The Revolution, and the forgiveness that can only come through acceptance of a different kind of Cause.

Sunday Prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.29.2007 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, e-mail me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't e-mail me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for complete healing for Dineen’s daughter. Thank you for a diagnosis so they know what’s wrong. Please help Cheryl to finish writing her book quickly and that it’ll be even better than before. Help her to writer efficiently. Please also help her as she coordinates all her contests. Please protect Missy's son on his mission trip. I pray you'll bless the trip. I pray Heath

More latte art

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.27.2007 More art from Captain Caffeine’s espresso machine Isn’t this one kind of neat? This would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Red Fire Chocolate Bar

Captain’s Log, Supplemental When I went wine-tasting with my parents a couple weeks ago, we visited Rodney Strong winery and it was there I saw this chocolate bar. It's a Red Fire Bar, with Mexican ancho and chipotle chilies, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. Being the adventurous type, I bought it to try it. I’m not disappointed. I’ve always enjoyed Mexican hot chocolate, which has cinnamon in it, and this reminded me of it. It also has a kick of pepper that I don’t really taste until after the chocolate is almost entirely melted in my mouth—then I can taste the spiciness at the back of my throat. I think, personally, it could use a little less pepper—just enough to give a kick but not enough to be so noticeable. On a whole, though, this is quite good. I’m also surfing the chocolatier’s website and drooling over the unusual chocolates they have! How about you? Any unusual or fabulous chocolate you’ve had?

North and South (BBC)

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.25.2007 WOW! I’m so glad Rel suggested this miniseries from BBC. I’m not even going to go down the scoring because all aspects of it were great. Costumes were beautiful and just varied enough to be interesting, but not so much as to stand out and make me wonder that the heroine kept getting new clothes. The camera/filming was as professional as the BBC/A&E version of Pride and Prejudice , and the musical score was absolutely gorgeous. I liked the actors a lot. Richard Armitage plays the hard, yet romantic hero with as much aplomb as Colin Firth. He’s got those brooding eyes and stern jaw that were perfect for the character, and he’s mighty fine to look at, too! LOL (Just kidding, Captain Caffeine!) The actress who played the heroine reminded me of a younger, British, and slightly shorter Angelina Jolie. She also was normal in terms of body type, which was refreshing to see and made her seem more likeable and believable. I haven’t read the book by Elizab

Knitted Bible cover

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.24.2007 Yup, I’m at it again. My new Bible needs a cover, and one of my youth group kids suggested I knit one. This was a great idea because I wanted a cover that was pink and fuzzy. Isn’t it awesome? I used 7 types of eyelash yarn for the stripes. I knitted the cover with one strand of eyelash yarn held together with one strand of worsted weight acrylic yarn, and I did a simple garter stitch. I made a mistake and the cover ended up too long, so I had to fold the edges over. I also made the inside sections with two strands of worsted weight yarn, but I should have used just one strand because it’s a bit bulky. However, on a whole, I’m pretty pleased with it. What do you guys think?

Writer ... Interrupted Carnival today

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Come visit the Carnival!

TheHighCalling.org

Captain’s Log, Supplemental A few weeks ago, my debut article appeared on TheHighCalling.org: Even Pit Bulls Make Mistakes I am like any other woman out there—I hate being wrong. That's probably true of many men, too. But being a woman, I will often be emotionally passionate about completely irrational things even when the evidence is glaring me in the face…. This week, TheHighCalling.org is holding a blog tour to celebrate the opening of it’s brand-new website! I like this community because it has an unusual focus—enabling Christians to serve God through their day jobs. How many times have we dragged ourselves into work, hating what we do, thinking we should be a better witness for God but not really caring if we are?! Er … sorry, bad flashbacks of one of my biology jobs. I could have used this site then, let me tell you. This is a good place for encouragement, tips, Bible studies, and just about anything to equip yourself to serve God— really serve God—at work. Beco

Almost finished with edits!

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’m actually in the final stretch of finishing my first round of revisions on book 2 in the Sushi Series, which I think is going to be called Only Uni . I’ll finish in a few hours and get this emailed to my macro editor by the end of the day. (Hear that Rachelle? End of the day. Before midnight, so it’ll arrive before it turns into April 21st, which is on time, right? Right? ☺) As I was doing revisions, some parts still made me laugh. I think that’s a good thing, especially since I’ve gone through this manuscript a few times by now. Hopefully my readers (you guys!) will get my humor and laugh, too. And if you don’t laugh, I think I’m going to cry. A part of me wants people not to tell me if they don’t like my book. Isn’t that kind of pathetic? However, I don’t think I’m alone. I can’t imagine any writer really wanting to know if someone thinks their book sucks Lemonheads . Maybe it’s part of the step into real Writerhood, and I just don’t want to grow

Pride and Prejudice (BBC)

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.20.2007 PLEASE NOTE: This is not the BBC/A&E version with Colin Firth. This is an older production by BBC. Ugh! Talk about horrible writing on this miniseries (see below). I admit I was so disgusted that I didn’t finish the DVDs. The other BBC/A&E version is so much better written and truer to the book. Costumes: score 4. In general, nice designs and more in line with the types of gowns from the time period. However, most of the designs were a little plain for my own taste, even for the wealthier ladies who would have richer clothing. Acting: score 3. Nothing terribly bad but nothing outstanding, either. I didn’t take to the actress who played Elizabeth and didn’t quite care for Mr. Darcy, either. Charlotte is the same actress from Sense and Sensibility (BBC), and I liked her a lot although she has a smaller role. I’m not sure if it was the lines or the acting, but Mr. and Mrs. Bennett “played at” being incompatible. Mrs. Bennett didn’t seem terr

CFBA – A BIGGER LIFE

Captain’s Log, Supplemental This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing A BIGGER LIFE Navpress Publishing Group (January 15, 2007) by Annette Smith ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 1997, Annette was working as a home health nurse. She traveled the back roads from house to house, caring for ill and injured, homebound people. Because of her unique position in the lives of relative strangers, she often found herself bearing solitary witness to intimate behind-the-scenes situations full of grace and meaning. The desire to honor both a particular patient and a poignant scene involving the woman and her husband prompted Annette to write a fictionalized story, The Anniversary. That first story appeared as a column in the Houston Chronicle newspaper and as an essay in Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Later it became a chapter in Annette’s first and best-selling book of short stories, The Whispers of Angels , that has sold more than 100,000 copies Since then, Annette has penned four more

Calling tea drinkers

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.18.2007 My mom gave me a packet of loose leaf flavored tea that I personally don’t care for, but one of you might. It’s lychee flavored tea. If you’ve never tasted fresh lychee fruit, then you’re missing out. It’s sweet and juicy. I don’t know what to compare it to except maybe a sort of cherry. The texture is softer than a cherry, however, and the fruit is larger and white colored instead of red/orange. My grandma has a wonderful lychee tree that gives tons of fruit, although it's a bit fickle--some years it'll flower, and other years it won't. Mom says it has to do with the weather and also how much my dad trims it. If he's ballistic with the branch cutter, we're in for a slim lychee season next year. I love fresh lychee. It's juicy, almost like an orange. Well, juicy like a cherry. The seed can range from very large (my parents' tree) to very small (my grandma's tree). You can peel off the rough outer shell and the inside is

Nothing to say

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.17.2007 I have nothing to say today. Well, aside from the fact I have edits due in 3 days and I’m still working on them. And I just realized I have Daphne contest judging due in 3 days also, which has gotten shoved to the side in deference to Genesis. Why did I agree to judge? Oh, that’s right, because Donnell asked me to. And I feel positively fat because I haven’t exercised in two weeks. But does that stop me from eating? Noooooooooo. And Genesis stuff had me busy much of yesterday and I got so stressed I had to take a couple hours to do some knitting. I’m working on the second sock of a pair using some really cool yarn from Knitpicks.com, Memories in Rocky Mountain Dusk . Feeling brave, I sort of made up my own pattern. I altered the cable design from the Learn to Cable scarf pattern on Lion Brand yarns website. Okay, I’m back to edits. See? I really didn’t have much to say today.

Sunday Prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.15.2007 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, e-mail me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't e-mail me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Dear Lord Jesus, I pray you’ll continue to give Judy Ga. more strength each day. Help her to feel better soon. Help Donna continue to work on her new story idea. Thank you for giving her a new direction! Help Sharon H. with all the things she needs to do. Give her strength and energy. I pray things work out for the best with Missy’s family. I pray they don’t have to move, and that you give peace to Miss

CFBA – Coral Moon

Captain’s Log, Supplemental This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing CORAL MOON Zondervan (April 27, 2007) by Brandilyn Collins ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brandilyn Collins is the bestselling author of Violet Dawn, Web Of Lies, Dead of Night, Stain of Guilt, Brink of Death, and Eyes of Elisha just to name a few. Brandilyn and her family divide their time between the California Bay Area and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She also maintains an informative blog called Forensics and Faith where she daily dispenses wisdom on writing, life, and the Christian book industry. ABOUT THE BOOK: The figure remained still as stone. Leslie couldn't even detect a breath. Spider fingers teased the back of her neck. Leslie's feet rooted to the pavement. She dropped her gaze to the driveway, seeking...what? Spatters of blood? Footprints? She saw nothing. Honed through her recent coverage of crime scene evidence, the testimony as last month's trial, the reporter in Leslie spewed

Persuasion (BBC 1971)

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.13.2007 I’m rather pleased with the BBC version of Persuasion despite the fact it was done in 1971. Costumes: score 3. The costumes were nicely designed, but the fabrics were very non-authentic, which I could tell even though I’m not a designer. The fabrics were a bit dated to the 70s, which I can’t blame them for, but I don’t think they should have used fabrics that wouldn’t have been available in the 1800s, like some rather polyester-looking dress fabrics and a few jackets. There were also some rather hideous bonnets and caps. Acting: score 4. I loved the two main actors who played Anne and Frederick. Anne especially was well-done, although the actress made Anne a little more lively than I’d have expected. The secondary characters were a bit melodramatic, but not overly so. I was very disappointed in the accident at Lyme—it was not only poorly acted by the supporting cast, it lacked any drama or urgency. However, I liked the chemistry between Frederi

Interview with Laura Jensen Walker

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.12.2007 Today I get to interview my friend and fellow chick lit author Laura Jensen Walker ! Laura's latest chick lit novel is  Miss Invisible ! A feast of romance and laughter featuring a delightful and courageous heroine that you can relate to no matter what your size. Convinced that her larger size relegates her to wallflower status, Freddie Heinz hides behind the wedding cakes she creates as a professional baker. But life is about to change for Miss Invisible. First of all, Freddie's found a new friend who encourages her to come out of her shell. Then Hal, the cute veternarian, starts showing interest in the woman behind the delightful cakes. And when Freddie decides to break every rule in the "big girl's" book and find out who she really is, life gets even more exciting--and hilarious. Cinderella, look out! Miss Invisible is becoming the belle of the ball--and having a ball in the process. Because when you finally find G

Zondervan New Book Announcement catalog

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.11.2007 How silly am I? Okay, no, don’t answer that. I just got my copy of the Zondervan New Book Announcement catalog for September – December 2007, and I’m right next to Gilbert Morris’s new novel! Talk about awesome! I’m totally jazzed. So naturally I show it to Captain Caffeine. “Look! I’m next to Gilbert Morris!” He stares blankly at the catalog. Correctly interpreting his look, I say, “Gilbert Morris is a bestselling, Christy-award winning author.” Comprehension dawns. “Aaaaaah.” Maybe some of Gilbert Morris’s bestselling-ness will rub off on me since our pages rub against each other in the catalog. You think?

How good are your limerick skills?

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Tracy Ruckman is hosting a limerick contest on her blog! I suck at limerick writing, although I enjoy reading them. Are you good at it? Submit your own in line with Tracy’s theme of “critters.” Tracy’s got a neat blog. In her words, it’s “A gathering place for writers and photographers to showcase their work, and share their successes.” Many of the pics on there are great!

Please pray for me

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.10.2007 I could use some prayer… My family was here this weekend—my parents, my grandma, and my uncle and aunty. While it was great having them here, it was tough because they came on the heels of Mount Hermon Writers Conference, and I have a lot of work to do. My revisions for book 2 in the Sushi Series are due April 20th, and while I think I’ll make it, there’s still a lot to do. I could really use prayer for help to get it done. I also have the completed manuscript for book 3 due soon, and I could also use prayer to get that done by May 15th. If you’d like prayer, visit my blog post for this past Sunday and leave a prayer request, or email me. I’d love to pray for you!

Interview with Debby Giusti

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.09.2007 Today I’m interviewing my friend Debby Giusti ! Debby's debut novel is  Nowhere to Hide ! HER HUSBAND WAS MURDERED. NOW SOMEONE'S TRYING TO KIDNAP HER SON. If she'd arrived a moment later, her husband's killer would have taken her son away forever. Fearful the perpetrator would return, Lydia Sloan fled to an island of refuge off the Georgia coast. As she attempted to unravel the tangle of lies left by her husband, Lydia knew that with the murderer only a step behind, her son was far from safe. Matt Lawson, the fiercely handsome security guard, seemed to be the only one she could trust with her secret. Yet as danger rose with the evening tide, Lydia was left with nowhere to hide. And now, here’s me and Debby! How did you come up with the story idea for Nowhere to Hide? When my family and I moved into our new home, we had to learn to use the security system. Invariably one of us would make a mistake when we plugged

Sunday Prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.08.2007 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, e-mail me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't e-mail me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Dear Lord Jesus, I pray you’ll help Angie recover from her asthma attack quickly and smoothly. Give her strength and rest. Protect Cheryl and give her peace. I pray for you healing hand over Judy. Help her to get home safely and with little discomfort. Please be with Tim and his surgery this week. I pray for a smooth surgery, wisdom for the doctors, and an easy recovery.

Even Pit Bulls Make Mistakes

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.06.2007 Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer In High Places by Tom Morrisey Sorry this posting is late—I went to Sonoma with my parents today. Anyway, I am very happy to announce my debut article on TheHighCalling.com: Even Pit Bulls Make Mistakes I am like any other woman out there—I hate being wrong. That's probably true of many men, too. But being a woman, I will often be emotionally passionate about completely irrational things even when the evidence is glaring me in the face. Click here to read the rest of this essay at

Mount Hermon recap

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer In High Places by Tom Morrisey Disclaimer: I had so many great experiences, I’VE PROBABLY FORGOTTEN A LOT OF STUFF. I drove to Mount Hermon with my friend and local writer Marilyn Hilton . We had a great time talking on the way there and back. I took the Career track, taught by my agent Wendy Lawton , Janet Kobobel Grant , Sally Stuart , and Karen Ball . It was awesome! I learned a lot and had a great time meeting and getting to know people better. I met Cathy Elliott , the brilliant author who came up with the PHENOMENAL potential title for book 2 in my series (still under consideration by the Z powers that be). I met Julie Carobini and her fab family. Her son Matt commented on my blog message board, too! Had some great conversations about Asian Americans writing fiction with Russell Nakamura, who was probably the only male As

I got my ARC today!

Captain’s Log, Supplemental How EXCITING to hold this book in my hands (even if it is an ARC, which feels different from a real book somehow)! It’s an Advanced Reader Copy, which is an uncorrected proof. It doesn’t seem to have quite the same binding as a regular book, and the paper might be different, too. But suddenly this whole book contract is tangible to me. When the actual book arrives, I’m busting out the (expensive) champagne!

The Bible Experience: The Easter Story

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren I’m baaaaack… From Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, that is. It was GREAT! I took the Career Track and had a terrific time, plus I learned a lot (notice the “terrific time” is before the “learning a lot”). Anyway, I’ll recap Mount Hermon later. I just got back yesterday and I’m exhausted. Today I got an email from Audible.com . This week, their free weekly listen (also available as a free download) is an Easter Story excerpt from The Bible Experience , the new Bible audiobook from Zondervan. The Bible Experience is just WAY COOL. And yes, I’m shouting. THE BIBLE EXPERIENCE is just that--an experience--that bypasses many of the previous Bible recordings with a full show of music, sound effects, and a dazzling array of celebrity voices. The producers from Inspired By Media Group put

Sense and Sensibility (BBC 1981)

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.04.2007 Elinor and Maryanne… I’m quite disappointed in the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility . While some things were much better than Mansfield Park , other more important things were lacking. Costumes: score 4. I loved the costumes. Elinor and Marianne’s clothes were plainer than the richer ladies like Lady Middleton, although Marianne’s dress was a little too plain during her time in London, and Mrs. Jennings did not dress as richly as one would suppose from her wealth. Acting: score 3. I liked the actress who played Elinor. The actress who played Marianne was very pretty, but she was a bit melodramatic at times, and especially bad when she was ill at the end. Mrs. John Dashwood was horrible. Mrs. Dashwood was a good actress, but her portrayal of the character was very different than the book, which disappointed me. I liked Edward quite a bit, as well as Lucy. The actors who played the other characters were okay, although not quite true to the c

Off to Mount Hermon

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren Behave yourselves while I’m gone… I’m off to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference! I’ll be back on Wednesday or Thursday (which is why I won’t have a new book giveaway on Monday). I’ll be in the Career Track at Mount Hermon, so I’ll have lots of new stuff for writers to report when I get back.

Wishing on Dandelions – chapter excerpt

Mary E. DeMuth and her book: Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress Publishing, 2006) God says "I love you" in many ways, some of which are hard to hear. Like every teenager, Maranatha tries to sort out the confusing layers of love--of friends, of family, of suitors, and, desperately, of God. She struggles to find herself before the darkness of the past pulls her back to the shadow of the girl she used to be in this moving follow-up to the critically praised Watching the Tree Limbs. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This month's feature is very special. The author is one of the FIRST Day Blog Alliance Members!!! Click here for her blog! MARY E. DeMUTH has spent the last fifteen years as a writer. Winner of the 2003 Mount Herman Christian Writers Conference's Pacesetter's Award, she now splits her time between writing and planting a new church with her husband, Patrick, and two other families. Wishing on Dandelions is the second book in the Maranatha Series. The first was the