May Giveaway Madness …

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Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles”/freedigitalphotos.net

May’s a busy month for new releases from three of my favourite authors: Ronie Kendig’s “Talon”, Mike Dellosso’s “Fearless” and Erin Healy’s “Afloat”. All three authors have kindly accepted my invitation to appear on my wee corner of the e-world. Besides getting to know them a little more and their new novel, we’ll also be giving away their latest and others from their catalogues.

So here’s the plan:

Wednesday 8 May (yes, tomorrow)   Ronie Kendig

Wednesday 15 May                                Mike Dellosso

Wednesday 22 May                                Erin Healy

So lock the dates in your diaries and spread the news.

And to coincide with the Australian release of Angelguard, I’ll be giving away some copies of my wee novel as well.

My Review of “Iscariot” by Tosca Lee

Iscariot Cover FinalI was lost for words when I finished this beautifully written novel. And I’m still struggling to find the best words to describe the power of this story.

But the incredible thing about this story is it’s part biographical, part fiction and I’m left wondering how much of it was fiction.

Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, the one that Luke described “Satan entered” moments before he committed his betrayal. The gospels never tell us exactly what the discussion between Judas and the Chief Priests amounted to, but Ms Lee, having completed extensive research, provides an insight. And boy, was I shocked. I can’t say any more without revealing too much, so will leave it there.

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“Fearless” Release – Mike Dellosso’s new novel

fearlesscoverOne of my favourite authors, Mike Dellosso, releases his new novel, Fearless, in May.

Mike is a fabulous author of supernatural suspense, taking his readers on a wild adventure ride with gripping, very fast, and sometimes frightening, action. He typically explores how evil manifests itself in our hearts in terrible ways and demonstrates the power of God’s love to overcome it.

I’m also a big fan of Mike, the person. He is married with four young kiddies, works a full time job, plus churns out a new novel every six months or so. Besides having a wonderful heart for the Lord, he’s stared colon cancer in the face and defeated it.

Here’s a little snapshot of Fearless:

When a nine-year-old Louisa mysteriously appears in the middle of a house fire with no memory of how she got there or where she came from, Jim and Amy Spencer agree to take her in. Wrestling with the recent loss of their own child, they soon discover Louisa has a special gift. But when the same gift unknowingly puts her in contact with a serial killer, the grieving couple must unite to face all odds and save themselves and Louisa before it’s too late.

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Setting a Reading Goal for the Year

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Photo courtesy of “adamr”/Freedigitalphotos.net

I thought I read a lot of books. Well, I thought I did. Judging by the many I people I see over various internet sites who read 100s of books every year, my number pales into insignificance.

Oh well, I’m not really fussed by that. I’ll keep working my list and good on those who can read more.

Over the past 4 years I’ve tracked what I’ve read. I’m old school by simply recording them on a running tally I keep at the back of my moleskin. When I start a new moleskin, I simply transfer the list.

This year I’m committed to using some form of technology. It may be a simple blog post that I keep updating. Or maybe I’ll use Goodreads. No doubt there’s a groovy app I can download onto my iphone or ipad. I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

In 2009, I read 40, 2010:52, 2011:64 and 2012:75.

So some good year on year growth I reckon, but declining in percentage terms each year.

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A Q&A with Tosca Lee …

Iscariot Cover FinalToday  is release day for Iscariot by Tosca Lee. I’m been eagerly anticipating its release since hearing about last year. Tosca is the esteemed author of Demon and Havah plus she co-authored, with Ted Dekker, the three “Books of Mortals”: Forbidden, Mortal and Sovereign (releasing May 2013).

I joined Tosca’s tribe, the “Midnight Garden”, which, amongst many fun interactions, has assisted in helping promote Iscariot. Tosca has been an active participant in the Facebook forum, posting multiple times each day and night. It’s been a wonderful insight into watching the machinations of a book as it nears launch. In addition, the build-up and anticipation for the release has been exciting to experience.

Many of us in the Midnight Garden (MG) prepared questions for Tosca, which she very generously answered. I’ve selected a handful of those questions from various “luminaries” (as we are affectionately known by Tosca) including myself to feature below.

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“Invitation to Solitude and Silence”, Ruth Haley Barton

835454_w185I felt invited to adopt ” Silence” as my word for 2013.

Funnily, enough as I looked around for some wise counsel on the subject, I was led to this beautiful work that has been sitting on my bookshelves for a few months. I can’t recall why I bought it originally, however, now sense some divine purpose in it.

This is a delightful book to read. It is filled with some tremendous Biblical insight regarding Elijah’s journey into the wilderness in 1 Kings 19. This revelation underpins the gentle flow of Ruth Haley Barton’s musings.

In sharing her journey where time with the Lord in solitude and silence has become a common daily practice, Ruth guides the reader with wisdom and practical application. There are many wonderful supporting quotes from the likes of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen.

I’m 25 days into the new year and am thankful for reading this wonderful guide as I dive deep into seeking to better experience God and all He has for me. I expect I’ll be reading it a few more times before the year is up.

Highly recommended.

My Best Books of 2012

One aspect of the end of year wrap-ups I love is reading all the “Best of…” lists. So I reviewed the 75 books I’ve read in the past 12 months to determine my own Best Books of 2012.

In fact, I’ve got two lists: A Top 5 Fiction and a Top 10 Non-fiction.

Let’s start with the novels.

Top 5 Fiction

I was a little disappointed in myself this year that I didn’t read from a more diverse range of novels. So many of my favourite authors released new material that I tended to stick to a lot of tried and true authors, both in the Christian and secular markets.

As I spent a decent part of the year editing Angelguard, I also adhered to one of the common recommendations for budding authors: read in your genre. So lots of supernatural suspense type books made up my reading list.

I want to change that in 2013 by reading more widely. In particular, I’d like to read more of the classics.

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