CSFF Blog Tour – Mindflights – A Magazine of the Speculative

I have just begun to examine the MindFlights webzine and am planning to bookmark it for future exploration. As a web designer/graphic artist myself, I particularly like the choice of skins for the site and the excellent artwork. I also think the magazine name is great. MindFlights is a well designed site with enough content to keep a reader busy for awhile. I was surprised at the variety of fiction, poetry, and columns available.

I do not have the time to delve much deeper at the moment but I definitely plan to have another look at a later time. From what I have seen so far, I would definitely recommend it to fans of speculative fiction.

Check Mindflights out for yourself at http://www.mindflights.com.

See What Other Participants Have to Say About MindFlights:

Brandon Barr | Justin Boyer | Jackie Castle
CSFF Blog Tour | Gene Curtis | D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper| April Erwin | Karina Fabian | Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard | Andrea Graham | Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart | Michael Heald | Christopher Hopper | Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner | Kait | Carol Keen | Mike Lynch | Terri Main
Margaret | Rebecca LuElla Miller | Pamela Morrisson | John W. Otte
John Ottinger | Rachelle | Steve Rice | Ashley Rutherford
Mirtika or Mir’s Here | Rachelle Sperling | Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower| Speculative Faith| Robert Treskillard
Linda Wichman| Laura Williams | Timothy Wise

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Embrace Me

(Thomas Nelson March 4, 2008)

by

Lisa Samson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a talented novelist who isn’t afraid to take risks.”

In Embrace Me, the latest novel by acclaimed author Lisa Samson, readers are privy to the realization that regardless of outward appearances…hideous, attractive, or even ordinary…persons are all looking for the same things: love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This story explores a world that is neither comfortable nor safe, a world that people like Valentine know all too well. Masterfully crafted by Samson and populated by her most compelling cast of characters yet. It is a tale of forgiveness that extends into all spheres of life: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, forgiving the past.

She lives in Lexinton, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful…a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a “lizard woman,” a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster…and improbably close to grace.

Valentine, due to her own drastic self-disfigurement, has very few friends in this world and, it appears as if she may be destined to spend the rest of her life practically alone. But life gives her one good friend, Lella, whose own handicap puts her in the same freakish category as Valentine. As part of Roland’s Wayfaring Marvel and Oddities Show, a traveling band of misfits, they seem to have found their niches in an often curiously cruel world.

Residing in a world where masks are mandatory, Valentine has a hard time removing hers, because of her disfigured face but more so because of her damaged soul. It is much easier for her to listen endlessly to different versions of a favorite song, Embraceable You, and escape reality. Yet, life has more in store for her when she meets Augustine, replete with the tattoos, dreadlocks, and his own secrets. With his arrival, Valentine’s soul takes a turn.

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

My Review:

Initially I had difficulty getting into this book. I even put it down and read several others before picking it back up. But because I usually enjoy Lisa Samson, I decided to give it another chance. I am glad I did.

My main problem was all the different story threads and points of view – I would just start learning about one character when another one popped up. But with her usual skill, Lisa took all those loose threads and wove them together into a beautiful finished tapestry.

Daisy and Valentine, Drew and Augustine, as well as a cast of other interesting supporting characters are part of a compelling story of selfish ambition, rejection, the need for love and respect, and faith and redemption. The Embrace Me subtititle “believing is seeing” truly encapsulates the heart of this book.

I would recommend Embrace Me to other readers. My advice is to persevere through the first few chapters. They are essential to understanding the characters. You will be glad you did.

Healing Promises by Amy Wallace

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Healing Promises

(Multnomah Publishers – April 15, 2008)byAmy Wallace

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams, a homeschool mom, and a self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books, including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Facing a new threat.

When FBI Agent Clint Rollins takes a bullet during a standoff, it might just save his life. But not even the ugly things he’s seen during his years working in the Crimes Against Children Unit could prepare him for the overwhelming powerlessness of hospital tests revealing an unexpected diagnosis. If only Sara weren’t retreating into doctor mode…he needs his wife now more than ever.

Frozen in fear.

Sara Rollins is an oncologist with a mission–beating cancer when she can, easing her patients’ suffering at the very least. Now the life of her tall Texan husband is at stake. She never let the odds steal her hope before, but in this case, the question of God’s healing promises is personal. Can she hold on to the truth she claimed to believe?

Faith under fire.

As Clint continues to track down a serial kidnapper despite his illness, former investigations haunt his nightmares, pushing him beyond solving the case into risking his life and career. Clint struggles to believe God is still the God of miracles. Especially when he needs not one, but two. Everything in his life is reduced to one all-important question: Can God be trusted?

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

And here’s the complete list of everyone posting for Healing Promises on this tour! Go visit their sites to see what CFBA bloggers have to say!

Amy at sprightly
 Amy at My Life
 Andie at frommipov
 Angela at One Baby, Seven Dogs, and a Mommy
 April at Projecting A
 April at Living In A State Of Constant Kansas
 Becky at Savvy Mom
 Beth at The Write Message
 Betsy Ann at Betsy Ann "Writer at Large!"
 Bonnie at Bonnie Writes
 Brandilyn at Forensics and Faith
 Brittanie at A Book Lover
 Caleb at Reviews Plus+
 Camy at Camy Tang
 Cara at the law, books, and life
 Carol at Blogging With Carol
 CeeCee at Book Splurge
 Chris at Chris Wells: Learning Curve
 Christy at My Life in Words…Books…
 Dave at Dave Rhoades
 Dave at Novel Spotlight
 Deborah at books, movies and chinese food
 Debra at Soul Reflections
 Deena at A Peek At My Bookshelf
 Delia at Gatorskunkz And Mudcats
 Dineen at Kittens Come From Eggs
 E.J at Sword and Pen
 Edyth at Great Reads by Jasmine
 Ernie at Writing: My Adventures In Words
 Georgiana at Georgiana D
 Gina at Upon Reflection
 Gretchen at Inspire Me
 Janis at The Nearsighted Bookworm
 Janna at Cornhusker Academy
 Jennifer at So Many Books…So Little Time
 Jill at Christian Work At Home Moms
 Jim B. at The Bedford Review
 Jim T. at One Small Stone--CFBA Book Reviews
 Joleen at timetotalk
 Karen at Mommy of Three
 Karla at Ramblin' Roads To Everywhere
 Kelly at A Disciple's Steps
 Kim at Window To My World
 Kimberly at QuiddamChickee To Save The Day
 Krista at Welcome To Married Life
 Laura at Laura William's Musings
 Lauren at Wren Reviews
 Leah at Ponderings From My Heart
 Lundie at Lundie's Life
 Lynnae at Lynnae's Bookshelf
 Margaret at Creative Madness
 Marjorie at The Writer's Tool
 Michelle at Edgy Inspirational Author
 Michelle at Just A Minute
 Michelle at Michelle's Great Blogs
 Mimi at Mimi's Pixie Corner
 Pam at Daysong Reflections
 Peg at Sips 'n Cups Cafeteria
 Rachelle at Stifled Squeal
 Rel at Relz Reviewz
 Ruth at Booktalk & more...
 Sabrina at Hijinks From The Heartland
 Sarah at PrsGodAlways
 Sean at Bookmark Cafe
 Sherry at Everything Moms
 Stacy at Vader's Mom
 Susan at His Reading List
 Takiela at Beauty 4 Ashes
 Tami at Tree Swing Reading
 Tara at Tara's View Of The World
 Todd at A Place Called Fiction
 Tricia at It's Real Life
 Trish at Books and Book Reviews
 Virginia at CeCe Lane

The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen

My Review:

The Moon in the Mango Tree is a beautifully written story about a woman’s pursuit of her own identity while remaining dedicated to her marriage and the man she loves. Set against the backdrop of Siam and later Europe, the narrative chronicles Barbara’s life as the wife of a missionary doctor in the remote jungle area of Nan and then the bright social life of Bangkok. Her growing discontent with her growing sense of inadequacy sends her on a quest to find her dream of a music career.

Ms. Ewen masterfully crafts this tale with descriptive prose about the people, the countryside, and the customs of Siam as well as Barbara’s inner thoughts and emotions. I found myself caring about Barbara and Harvey and was anxious to learn what choices Barbara would make.

I would recommend The Moon in the Mango Tree, especially to those who love historical fiction.

About the Book:

The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings EwenBased upon a true story. Barbara Bond is beautiful, talented, smart, and she’s trained for years to sing grand opera. But for the average woman in 1919 the idea of a career outside the home was a leap into the unknown. She marries Harvey Perkins, a medical missionary, sets aside her career for the moment-she believes-and travels with him into the jungles of Siam. There she struggles with her faith and the mission, all the while becoming enchanted with the local people and their culture. Soon her love for Harvey is tested by a secret that rises between them. After several years they move to Bangkok, where Harvey is a royal physician. Life glitters here, but still she longs to sing. Can she have it all-Harvey and a career? It’s the roaring twenties: Bangkok, Paris, Lausanne, and finally Rome. Here, alone in the shadow of Harvey’s secret, Barbara faces the harsh choice between music and love.

But when you choose between two things you love, one is lost.

Based on a true story.

“You will feel the oppressive heat of the jungle, the furious love between a man and a woman, and the feelings of loneliness from living with a man who is bound by duty to give his all to his patients while having little left to give at home. Placed in a time of fun, loud parties, and impressive party guests, The Moon in the Mango Tree makes you feel like you have stepped back in time, and right into the action.”

(Kathy Fisher) The Romance Readers Connection.

About the Author:

pamelaewen.jpgUntil recently retiring to write full time, Pamela Binnings Ewen was a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P., specializing in corporate finance. She now lives just outside New Orleans in Mandeville, Louisiana with her husband, James Lott. She has served on the Board of Directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, and is on the Board of Directors of The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in New Orleans.

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him. She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing. Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production. Her new novel, The Moon In The Mango Tree (B&H Publishing Group, May 2008) will be available next spring. Set in the 1920’s and based on a true story, it is about a woman faced with making a choice between career and love, and her search for faith over the glittering decade.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning. Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well received Samantha Kincaid mystery series. Pamela is currently working on a new book titled Dancing on Glass, which was recently short-listed as a finalist for the 2007 Faulkner/Wisdom creative writing novel award.

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