Monday, December 17, 2007

New Year Cheer

Ah, Christmas time. Cold. Rainy. Windy. Snowy. Finding the right gift for loved ones. Less work, more play. Time with family. Mouth-watering food.

I guess one of the most wonderful things about this time of year, for me, is looking back on the past and, more importantly, looking ahead to the new year. Some people, my lovely wife included, don't think much about the new year. But I do! To me, it's a romantic, reflective time. And it's a time to listen to what God might be leading you to do in the new year. Something totally different. Something you've never done before!

Each year, our family goes to the Krispy Kreme donut shop for hot chocolate, coffee, and donuts. As we sit around, enjoying the warmth of the coffee shop and the smell of fresh donuts, we go around in a circle and tell the family what each of us would like them to pray for us--for the entire new year. We also go over the previous year's prayer requests and see if and how the prayers were answered. Pretty cool stuff.

Personally, I have a lot of things floating around in my mind, as far as the new year is concerned. I've got some new freelance writing opportunities I'm hoping open up. My agent is shopping my fourth novel--we'll see what happens with that. And I have some other ideas that I'm praying about. We also have three elderly parents and an aunt, who we will have our eye on this year...hoping they stay strong, but knowing anything is possible.

I've kind of rambled. That's all I have time for now. Take care and be thinking about what you're gonna do in 2008 that's going to be a big deal. If you want, share it here by leaving a comment!

Peace,

cm

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Library News From Author Gail Martin


I'm amazed how many people I speak to who want to write books. Did you realize an estimated 80 percent of all Christian fiction readers are women? When I write fiction, I write to testify--through real, gritty, contemporary suspense stories--what Christ can do in the lives of ordinary people...how he can TRANSFORM the darkest heart. I don't necessarily write for women (maybe I should...then my books would sell more). But, as a Christian suspense novelist, I have to write what God prompts me to write.

All that said, I want to tell you about a new book, coming out at the end of December 2007, by fellow author and friend, Gail Martin. In this new book, Writing The Christian Romance, Gail provides a comprehensive how-to guide that emphasizes the differences between Christian and secular romance. While the book focuses on Christian romance, it provides excellent information for writing any Christian fiction genre and includes chapters on: creating believable characters, emotions and the sense, sexuality, spirituality, point of view, dialogue, introspection, plotting and pacing. The final chapter focuses on selling the Christian romance novel with information about Christian writers conferences, contest, finding an agent and learning how to prepare a book proposal for submission.

You can order the book from amazon.com and find out more details here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Library News From Author Susan May Warren



Susan May Warren is a multi-talented author. I don't read chick-lit, but if I did, I'd read Susan's books, simply based on the great type of person she is. I encourage you to check out her latest.....Here's the scoop on it: Russia? Not again. Josey's finally living the good life - she's got the man, the (almost-perfect) wedding, the two-story Cape-Cod house of her dreams. That is until her man drags her back to Moscow! Josey knows she has the guts to follow her own dreams across the world, but she's not so sure she can play the perfect wife while her husband chases after his. Josey's set on having the perfect life…even in a world without hot water, decent take-out and size-two leather fashion. But can she find the courage to tell her man the secret that will change their lives forever?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Road Trip Therapy



Okay...I can't figure out how to put captions with the above photos. So, I'm going back and re-entering this text. As for the top photo, that's Cindy Woodsmall and Amy Wallace (l-r) and below them is our friend, author Beth White. Okay, now on with my post.....

Two of my friends and Atlanta neighbors—authors Cindy Woodsmall (left) and Amy Wallace (center)—recently asked me if I'd like to go with them on a road trip to Mobile, Alabama, to do a fiction workshop and book signing at Cornerstone Books and Gifts, the city's largest Christian bookstore. Knowing it would be a 6-hour drive each way, and that it would take me away from home for a day and a half, it really took me a long time to decide whether to do the event or not. I finally felt led to go, and I'm really glad I did.

Fiction writing is such a solitary endeavor. Not only that, but it is extremely difficult to "make it" in the industry. Therefore, the rare chances I get to spend with other authors—talking about our books and promotions, talking about our publishers and agents, discussing our latest projects—it is always totally refreshing and rejuvenating to me.

This recent trip was no exception. We had a gas, getting crowns and "BK Joe" at Burger King; calling Cindy's husband, Tommy, to have him pinpoint the next Starbucks along our right; brainstorming about our books; and spending a wonderful evening and day with fellow author Elizabeth (Beth) White. Beth and her husband, Scott, not only invited us to stay at their wonderful "beach" house, but they even had a party for us with a bunch of lovely people there in Mobile the night before our signing.

By the way, if you like great fiction, I encourage you to check out the wonderful novels written by Amy Wallace, Cindy Woodsmall, and Elizabeth White.

This trip was so much fun, I just emailed Cindy and Amy, inviting them to meet me for coffee and a little more therapy!

Later. CM

Monday, November 19, 2007

Library News from author Robin Lee Hatcher



My friend, Robin Lee Hatcher, has a new Christmas romance novel out, just in time for the holiday. It's called HEARTS EVERGREEN, published by Steeple Hill, November 2007.

Here's a bit about the new book: In A Cloud Mountain Christmas (Robin's story in Hearts Evergreen, a collection of two novellas from Steeple Hill), Maddie Scott, reeling from the news that her ex-husband has remarried and is expecting a child, heads to Idaho's Cloud Mountain Lodge to negotiate the sale of a valuable manuscript discovered there. But could the lodge's proprietor, Tony Anderson, a man she knew years before in college, be just what Maddie needs to have a merry Christmas after all?

About Hearts Evergreen, the Library Journal says: "Two holiday novellas by a Christy Award winner (Hatcher) and a rising author in the inspirational romance genre (Springer) offer romantic fare perfect for curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate."

To read an excerpt from A Cloud Mountain Christmas, visit Robin's web site by clicking HERE.

By the way, Robin is a winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ramblings

I did a Borders Book Club event last night here at the Borders Mall of GA. It was really fun and inspiring. The people who read NOBODY were very excited about the new book. One lady told me that she thought Chester Holte may be an angel in disguise, which, to this day, I think he may have been. That is precisely what I hoped readers would wonder about. This particular woman said the whole way through the book, she was hoping he may turn up alive, somewhere near the end. Does he? I can't tell. Was Chester an angel disguised as a homeless man on the streets of Las Vegas? Let me know what you think!

I'm working on a new book. It will be my fourth suspense novel. I'm really excited about it, because it is THE book I felt God leading me to write way back in 1999. In fact, I did write the whole thing, shopped it, got some interest, but it was never published. Now I am going to take the skeleton of that story and rewrite it. Really, I'm not even re-writing it, I'm simply taking one main storyline and making that one of the main storylines in this new work.

What about you guys? What are you working on? I have a lot of readers who are also writers. If you'd like, post about what book you're writing right now.

I recently got an email from my friend Brian Palmer, a writer for Infuze Magazine, who's written an interesting book called BLINDSIDED. I think he may have a shot at getting it published.

Okay, I've got to get back to work for now. Hey, if you think of it, pray for rain for us down here in Georgia. We're in our worst drought in 20 years.

Shine for Him,

Creston

Monday, October 29, 2007

Library News From Author DiAnn Mills





A Texas Legacy Christmas is the fourth and final book in the Texas Legacy Series by author DiAnn Mills. This Christmas love story is about Zack Kahler. He’s ready to head out of New York City and back to Texas to take over his hometown, newspaper. Just before leaving town, he finds himself the intended victim of a pair of six-year-old pickpockets. After learning the two are orphans, Zack decides to take them back with him to Kahlerville, Texas. Oh, but he is not ready to meet the antics of two streetwise children who are lovable and full of mischief. The heroine is Chloe Weaver, a young woman who has been an outcast all of her life. The four are thrown together into a mixture of love, tears, and lots of Christmas joy. For more info., click here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Library News From Author Deb Raney


I don't know how many of you read the book, or saw the movie, A Vow To Cherish, but it was one of the most touching films I've ever seen. My friend Deb Raney wrote the original novel, and now she's introducing a sequel called Within This Circle. This two-book set is an awesome gift for any fiction lover.

The brand new sequel to A Vow to Cherish, will release this week from Steeple Hill in mass market format. Within This Circle continues the story of John Brighton and Julia Sinclair. After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness, a fresh marriage and, now that their children are grown, a new era in their lives to revel in the promise of the future. Only such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a heartbeat. The Brightons life is turned upside down when John's daughter, Jana, abandons her husband Mark and three-year-old daughter. As Jana struggles through delayed grief over her mother's death, her actions put her marriage and her own daughter in danger. John and Julia reach out to little Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but the little girl is confused and longing for her mother. How much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure? Two very different couples––each with only their love and faith to guide them––can only pray it will be enough.

Order Within This Circle and Deborah's other books here: http://snipurl.com/orderdebsbooks

Monday, October 15, 2007

Library News From Author Lyn Cote




Hello all...hope you had a great weekend. It's beautiful here in Atlanta.

Right now, I want to tell you about three novels from my friend Lyn Cote, which have been revised, revamped, and put in one beautiful copy called Blessed Assurance, in which, the love of God conquers as three generations of women struggle to find true love in these three historical dramas.

In Whisper of Love, Civil War widow Jessie Wagstaff must fend for herself and her own son against the Great Chicago Fire.

In Lost in His Love, San Francisco heriess Cecelia Jackson meets social activist Linc Wagstaff who opens her eyes to her role of the abuse of the helpless as they face the Great 1906 Earthquake.

And in Echoes of Mercy, Meg Wagstaff, just back from volunteering in WWI, must now face the challenge of the racial barriers of the 1920's New Orleans in order to prove her childhood friend did not commit murder.

For details, please click here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NOBODY on Blog Tour

Hey visitors,

The next few days my new novel, NOBODY, is being featured on a loop called the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. This is a pretty cool group of fiction lovers who read and write about different novels in the Christian fiction arena. If you want to check out what some of these folks are saying about NOBODY, just click here, scroll down on the left, and you'll see dozens of bloggers who are featuring my new book. Thanks to each of you for doing this!

Although NOBODY has been on shelves only for a few weeks, sales are going well and we've had some great reviews. You can see those at my web site.

Thanks for dropping by. Leave a comment if you like. Until next time, warm regards. CM

Monday, October 8, 2007

Library News From Author Linda Hall



Linda Hall is a friend of mine who writes extraordinary stories. She's the award winning author of 15 novels, including the bestselling Margaret’s Peace and the critically acclaimed Sadie’s Song. She has received The Word Guild award five times for best Christian mystery in Canada, has been short listed twice for a Christy (Sadie’s Song and Steal Away) and once for a Daphne (Steal Away). When she’s not writing, Linda enjoys reading, having coffee with friends and listening to good music. She and her husband also enjoy sailing the New Brunswick and Maine coasts.

Here's a blurb about Linda's new novel, Shadows in the Mirror.

''Never go back to Burlington!" Those were the dying words of the secretive aunt who'd raised orphaned Marylee Simson. Yet to discover who she was, Marylee had to go back, sure the Lord would look out for her. But learning anything about her past was proving impossible. Why were there no records of the accident that claimed her parents' lives? No records of her parents? And who was trying to stop her from finding out? Someone whose threats were escalating. Someone close to her, such as Evan Baxter, the handsome photographer she'd entrusted with the one clue she had. For more go to WriterHall.com.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Library News From Author Christine Lynxwiler


Author and friend Christine Lynxwiler used her own love for both the hometown of her childhood and her current hometown as a backdrop for her new novel, Forever Christmas. I hope you'll check it out. By the way, when she’s not working on her next deadline, you might find Christine kayaking on the nearby river with her family, poking around auctions and estate sales with friends, or curled up alone in a quiet corner with a great book.

Here's an overview of the new book: After two broken engagements, so-called runaway bride Kristianna Harrington is content to run her shop, Forever Christmas, in her little hometown of Jingle Bells, Arkansas, and forget about romance. She reluctantly agrees to be the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding, but making it down the aisle becomes the least of her worries when a handsome newcomer threatens her precious town. Kristianna vows to stop the striking lawyer hired to change the town name and turns to her childhood friends for help. But Ami is busy with wedding plans, and Garrett seems more interested in bowling than politics. Will Kristianna get the help she needs before both her town and her Christmas spirit are extinguished?

For more details, go to: www.christinelynxwiler.com

Monday, September 24, 2007

Library News From Author Tamera Alexander



Hey all,
My friend Tamera Alexander has just released the third novel in her acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles series. I do hope you'll check it out. Here's a blurb about the series.

This bestselling three-book series (Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered) features a different historical romance in each novel. In the late 1860s, Colorado Territory is a wild and untamed land. Nestled within its mountains and sustained by one of its major creeks, three couples find adventure and love on the frontier. Each person will be called upon to stand on nothing more than faith, risk what is most dear, and turn away from the past in order to follow God's plan for the future.

For more, go to www.TameraAlexander.com!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fun With Live TV and Radio

I'll tell you, this whole fiction writing journey has been such an adventure—good and not-s0-good. Recently, to promote my new book, NOBODY, I've been doing a lot of book signings and radio and TV interviews. The live TV and radio gigs are by far the most fun, because you just don't know what's going to happen! I don't know why, but I find it almost comical, sitting off in the wings of the studio, waiting to go on the air, watching the camera people roll in and out, watching the director hold up the signs, watching the singers perform....it's been a gas! Since this is my third book, I've grown more comfortable with going "live." Of course, I'm not doing Good Morning America or anything....just some local gigs. Pictured above I'm sitting with Joanne Thompson of WGGS TV 16 in Greenville, SC. I've also done Atlanta Live, WATC TV 57 three times. DeeperLiving.Com also has a great TV talk show which is pre-recorded. I think you can watch that coming up Oct. 18. Just go to DeeperLiving.com to see the schedule and find out which satellite station to watch it on.

One of the best interviews recently was with Martha Zoller on The Martha Zoller Show, WDUN 550 AM in Atlanta. She's read my books and was totally on top of the content, asked some awesome questions. I hope to do more with Martha soon.

Okay, back to writing. Have a great weekend. CM

Monday, September 17, 2007

Library News From Author Tricia Goyer



Hey Guys,

If you're into historical fiction, Tricia Goyer is one of our industry's finest writers.

In Book 2 of the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series...Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NOBODY Hits Stores Today!

Well, I hope that title is a little misleading....what I meant was, my new novel, entitled NOBODY, hits stores today.....not that 'nobody' will hit stores to buy it! Although it's an exciting day, nothing really outrageously exciting happens on the day your book officially releases...not in my case anyway. Oh sure, we will have a few die hard fans who've been looking forward to the release of NOBODY, who will show up at stores to buy it, but nothing quite on the scale of, let's say, the Harry Potter books by JK Rowlings. Not yet, anyway.

As I'm between books, I've actually started writing two or three new novels, but can't decide which one to pursue. I am leaning toward one of the ideas, however, and am diving into that now.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of NOBODY. I got the idea to write about the homeless from some time I spent with my late father, Bernie Mapes, who pointed out a homeless man at a park we were visiting in St. Augustine, Florida. From there, the idea grew when my publisher sent me to Las Vegas to research the new novel. I met with a great guy named Brian Brooks of the Nevada Health Centers. Brian took me all over the Vegas homeless community.

Another great story behind the book was a meeting I had with Jud Wilhite, pastor of the enormous Central Christian Church in Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas. Jud shared a poem with me, which runs at the front of the novel, called I STAND BY THE DOOR. It's a poem about Christians getting so far involved in church that we forget about the ordinary people outside the doors. That's really the underlying theme of the book. It's a suspense thriller about a homeless man, found murdered, with a safe deposit box key and bankbook on him worth close to $1 million. In a race against time, a Vegas reporter named Hudson Ambrose is forced to investigate this man's life, find out why he had the money, who wanted him dead, and why the entire Vegas homeless community thought he was an angel in disguise.

Romantic Times has given the novel 4 Stars and called it "Compelling!" And here's what some best-selling authors are saying:

"Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list."

— Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle


"A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes deals a winning hand in Nobody."

— James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying


"Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves."

— Athol Dickson, Christy Award winning author of River Rising and The Cure


"Read this book where you can make a little noise. From the time Hudson Ambrose dips his hand into a dead man’s pocket until the moment this novel ends, you’re going to find yourself talking back at the pages."

— Tom Morrisey, author, In High Places

Hope to see you at the book store! For a list of places where I'll be signing, go to www.crestonmapes.com and click on "appearances." Regards, CM

Monday, September 10, 2007

Library News From Author DiAnn Mills



Hey guys, my friend, DiAnn Mills' new novel, When the Nile Runs Red, is being used to raise awareness about the atrocities taking place in Sudan. To that end, book sale proceeds will be donated to restore the Sudanese community.

Here's what Ashley Denis of FrontPage Reviews says about the book:
"I cannot put into the appropriate words how truly amazing this novel was. I felt like my heart was being pulled in all different directions; I highly recommend this novel. You get to take a look into the current events in Sudan, see the love grow and flourish between Larson and Paul, and see the fate of Ben that will have you wipe a tear from your cheek. This book is an emotional rollercoaster that is worth reading again and again."

Here's the storyline: Paul Farid, who once persecuted the southern Sudanese, now loves the weary people whose lives have been destroyed by war. Colonel Ben Alier has led his battle-hardened soldiers for two decades against the North, yet he pursues a relationship with his son even as his own demons pursue him. Dr. Larson Kerr Farid works long hours caring for the sick, but fatigue and worry about her husband, are taking their toll. And she's just learned something that will make everything more complicated. These three friends face constant danger as tensions escalate between the north and south, and as Paul's family schemes to kill him and Larson. Will Paul and Larson bridge the gap that seems to grow between them? And will Ben find peace as more than a soldier?

For more, go to www.diannmills.com


Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Cool Thing

Hey,
I just got back from Crawford Communications here in Atlanta, a really hip, high-end communications company. My publisher arranged for me to do a one-minute radio spot, advertising the new ESV Bible. I was able to introduce myself, and my new novel (NOBODY), and then read a scripture that impacted my life, and tell about it.

The guys in charge told me to prepare 2 scriptures and stories. A guy down at Crawford named Steve Warner ran the show, and we were hooked in with the producer in Nashville at the same time. They ushered me into an air-tight studio, and I got to have a couple shots at trying to sound smooth on the air.

The ads will be played on hundreds of radio stations. When I finished my two stories, I was really psyched. Not at all about getting my books out there, but about getting the testimony of God's Word out there. Here are the two scripts I read:

-----------------------------------

Hey, my name is Creston Mapes, author of the suspense thriller, Nobody.

It was 1986 and I was 25 when I heard the words of Revelation 3:15-16:

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Sitting in an adult SS class, I heard these verses and was pierced to the core. Up to that point, I had lived with one foot on earth, running with the sinners, and one foot in heaven, running with the saints. But the sword of God’s word showed me that I was a hypocrite, totally apathetic and uncommitted toward God. I was lukewarm.

This text served as one of those “hard words” from God that radically changed my life and eventually led me to understand his unfathomable love.

----------------------------

Hey, my name is Creston Mapes, author of the suspense thriller, Nobody.

This verse from 1 Peter 2:24 came to me early one morning when it was still black out, and the house was completely quiet.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

I’d been struggling with temptations from my old life when these words fell like a warm rain on me as I sat at my kitchen table. Suddenly, this truth was so simple, concise, and powerful—He took my sins to the cross. I was dead to them. He did this so I could be salt and light to the world.

Next time Satan tries to trick you into thinking you’re obligated to those old, habitual sins, remember 1 Peter 2:24: By his wounds, you have been healed!

------------------------

Any thoughts? Share with the group!

Until next time, take care. cm

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Library News From Author Angela Hunt



Angie is a friend of mine who keeps turning out great story after great story. Here's a bit about her latest:

How do you live when God asks you to bury a dream?

Jennifer Graham, the no-nonsense chief of staff for a Virginia senator, quits her job after her divorce—and finds herself an unemployed single mom. Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, her efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will uncover mysteries of love and life.

Check it out on-line and at stores everywhere. cm

Monday, August 27, 2007

Library News From Author Susan Meissner



Days & Hours, a Rachael Flynn Mystery (#3) by Susan Meissner

A newborn is found alive in a trash bin and a young, single mother insists her baby was abducted. While St. Paul police are skeptical, attorney Rachael Flynn’s strange dreams lead her to believe the mother is telling the truth. But who would steal a baby only to leave it for dead?

When the baby disappears again, Rachael agonizes over her decision to allow the baby to be returned to his mother. Did she make a terrible mistake? And where is that missing baby? Who would wish the child harm? Rachael races to see past the deception that threatens to send a young mother to prison and a newborn to a terrible fate.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Library News from Author Elizabeth White



Off the Record by Elizabeth White

Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beam as she takes the podium. Then her eyes light on a reporter in the crowd-and suddenly her past is on a collision course with the present.

Journalist Cole McGaughan, religion reporter for the New York Daily Journal, has received an intriguing call from an old friend. Private investigator Matt Hogan has come across a tip-that Laurel's impeccable reputation might be a fa├žade. Matt suggests that Cole dig up the dirt on the lovely judge in order to snag his dream job as one of the Journal's elite political reporters.

There's just one problem: Cole's history is entangled with Laurel's, and he must decide if the story that could make his career is worth the price he'd have to pay.

A sensational scoop becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can Laurel and Cole find forgiveness and turn their hidden past into a hopeful future-while keeping their feelings off the record?

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Glimpse of NOBODY This Week!

I'm so excited. My third novel, NOBODY (Random House/Multnomah) is being printed overseas right now and I am due to receive my first copy this week. Each of my three novels has taken 4-6 months to write, another 3-6 weeks to edit, another week or two to line-edit, and a bunch of time (weeks/months) doing marketing, interviews, PR, etc. So, when the big day comes and all that work and blood, sweat, and tears culminates in the form of a FedEx package on your front doorstep, well....you can imagine the overwhelming emotions.

My other two books had embossing (raised letters) on the cover. NOBODY will not. And it will also not have any spot varnish. The publisher and designer think that the bright, colorful photo on the cover is really going to "pop," and that is my prayer.....that God will really capture some attention with the homeless man on the Vegas street.

Before I leave, I want to put in another plug for some books by some friends of mine, inclduign: A Shred of Truth by Eric Wilson; The Void by Mark Mynheir; Searching for Eternity by Elizabeth Musser; and Never Look Back by Kathy Herman.

That'll do it. cm

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Eric Wilson In Town


Friend and novelist Eric Wilson was in Atlanta recently, recording some segments on Deeper Living TV. Eric and I had talked on the phone and communicated a good bit, but had never met in person until this meeting. What a great guy this dude is. I think you'll really enjoy his books. Here's a word from Eric that I pulled from his CCM profile:

"My goal is to give you great stories that'll allow you to explore questions in imaginative ways, leading to the One I believe is the Answer: Jesus. Life's messy, though, and so my characters often face messy pasts and situations. Hmmm. Sounds familiar.

Hope you get a chance to read one of my books and let me know what you think.

Books: Dark to Mortal Eyes ('04), Expiration Date ('05), The Best of Evil (06'), A Shred of Truth ('07), and Facing the Giants--novelization (Sept '07). Look for my upcoming Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, kicking off in Fall 2008."

Eric met with the makers of the Facing the Giants movie (two million sold) here in Georgia and the creators of that screenplay were extremely happy with the way he put their script into novel form. That novel hits shelves Sept. 4, I believe, and I encourage you to get a copy for all those student athletes you know, as well as any teens and big readers in your family.

I can attest to his latest novel, A Shred of Truth, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The upcoming thriller series with Thomas Nelson (Jerusalemn's Undead Trilogy) is going to be the bomb and, he says, his most spiritual work yet. He even went to Israel to research this series. Talking with Eric at length, hearing his heart, hearing what he reads, and hearing what he's been through on this writing journey, I just have a feeling he is going to do great things for Christ's kingdom...because he is a vessel that's ready and willing to be used.

Gotta run. If you've read Eric's work, share with others about what you've found.

Blessings, cm

Monday, July 30, 2007

Library News from Author Gail Gaymer Martin

Escape to beautiful Beaver Island could be the answer to Marsha Sullivan's need for a fresh start. Since her husband's death four years ago, Marsha had lost her way, but on Beaver Island, she had good memories to help guide her. Running into Jeff, her brother-in-law, in this paradise turned out to be a blessing. Not only did they share grief in losing their spouses, but also a warm bond began to form between them. Did God want her to love again? The only thing she knew for sure was that being with Jeff and his daughter felt like family.

Gail Gaymer Martin is an award-winning novelist for Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing with over one million books in print and forty fiction novels or novellas. The second book in the Michigan Island Series, With Christmas In His Heart, was recently honored with the 2007 National Readers Choice Award in Inspirational. Her book, Writing The Christian Romance will be released in December from Writers Digest.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Library News from Author Traci DePree

A State of Grace

Unveiling her deepest secret could save her daughter's life.

Kate Hanlon is at it again. Minister's wife, stained-glass artist, and sometimes sleuth, Kate Hanlon discovers more than she bargained for when she visits a woman whose daughter is battling leukemia. Before she knows it she's on the road uncovering clues that could be the girl's very survival.

Book #2 in Mystery and the Minister's Wife, A State of Grace picks up where Through the Fire left off as Kate and Paul Hanlon learn about life in small town Tennessee. Follow Kate as she comes to know the town and its inhabitants. Admire her persistence, intelligence, and strength of character as she slowly, but surely, begins to unlock the town's secrets.

About the author: Traci DePree is the author of four novels, including the Lake Emily series by WaterBrook Press. She, her husband, and their five children make their home in a small town in rural Minnesota.

About the series: Each novel in the MYSTERY AND THE MINISTER'S WIFE series is a page-turner, a good old-fashioned "whodunit." They're books that bring truth to light, that reveal dreams, and that show that trust in God always trumps fear and anxiety.

Learn more about Traci DePree and her work at www.tracidepree.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ChiLibris/ICRS...A Blast!

Last Thurs. night through Saturday I spend with some of our industry's most talented authors at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Atlanta. It was my first ChiLibris retreat. ChiLibris is a group of published Christian novelists who seek to glorify God and encourage one another. What a blast it was. I got to hang out and talk shop with Terri Blackstock, Brandilyn Collins, Liz Curtis Higgs, Loraine Snelling, Mark Mynheir, Brad Whitington, Harry Krauss, Bob Elmer, Kristin Billerbeck, Rene Gutteridge, Rachel Hauck, Deb Raney, Angie Hunt, Nancy Moser, Susan Meissner, Elizabeth Musser, Wanda Dyson, Dave Lambert, Robert Whitlow and his wife, Amy Wallace, Steph Whitson, Rachel Hauck, Mel and Cheryl Hodde (pen name Hannah Alexander), Tamera Alexander, Colleen Coble, Randy Alcorn, Randy Singer...the list goes on forever.

Everyone was so welcoming, friendly, and even outgoing. To share three days with fellow novelists who understand the dry times, the doubts, fears, dreams, victories, and challenges...well, it was just totally uplifting to me. I plan to attend next year in Orlando. My only writers getaway.

The International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) at Atlanta's World Congress Center was good, too. I did a signing at the WaterBrook Multnomah booth along with Robin Jones Gunn, Randy Singer, and my friend Cindy Woodsmall. We had long lines of people from Nigeria to the . and I also spoke and signed books at a Logos dinner....the Logos people are fantastic.

I have pictures and will post on my web site when time permits.

Until next time, blessings.

Creston

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Library News from Author Lyn Cote

DANGEROUS SECRETS is the final book of this trilogy by Lyn Cote, set in northern Wisconsin on the Shores of Lake Superior. Ridge and Sylvie have know each all their lives. A tragedy separated them for nearly 20 years and now a murder brings them back together. Will they heal at last or will Sylvie turn up dead?

Romantic Times says: 4 ½ Stars—Fantastic, A Keeper!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Library News from Author Athol Dickson

The Cure
By Athol Dickson

Imagine a medicine that cures you of your worst vice.

One dose and you’re free. How much would a person pay for such a cure? How far would they go? Would they lie for it? Steal for it? Kill for it?

Riley Keep, former man of God, former missionary, has been a beggar on the streets for years, desperate to forget the past. His wife, daughter, work, and faith were all lost in the aftermath of one far-flung act of wickedness. Believing some things cannot be forgiven in this life, lately Riley has begun to think of giving up the ghost. Then he hears the rumors.

Miracles are happening in Maine.

An old woman fleeing a horrific monster, a lonely wife and mother tempted by forbidden desire, an impoverished lobsterman lured by tainted wealth, a young girl weighing life and death decisions, a small town cop with a murder on his hands . . . these are just a few of the citizens of Dublin, Maine, a picture postcard village slowly suffocating underneath an avalanche of hungry people searching for a miracle. But only Riley Keep will find what he desires. And only then will Riley learn if it will save him, or if it’s true what people say . . . .

Sometimes The Cure is worse than the disease.

Advance praise for The Cure:

“…well-written, intelligent follow-up to Dickson's Christy Award-winning River Rising. An involving, suspenseful take on God's transforming grace, it tackles a serious issue while providing an absorbing story.” (Library Journal)

“…unpredictable and surprising, even though clues are sprinkled throughout the book. The final twist was chilling…the author does a wonderful job weaving in the deceit and the actions of those unrestrained by ethics and driven by the bottom line…a powerful book, one that will remain on my bookshelf for a long time to come.” (Crosswalk)

“Rich with local dialect and scenery…. Dickson's approach is thought-provoking, and his prose beautifully evokes the taciturn spirit of the Mainers who people this novel….full of interesting ideas and well-developed characters.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

About the author:

Athol Dickson’s writing has been favorably compared to the work of Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly) and Flannery O’Connor (The New York Times). His They Shall See God was a Christy Award finalist and his River Rising was a Christy Award winner, selected as one of the Booklist Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006, and a finalist for the Christianity Today Best Novel of 2006.

Learn more about Athol Dickson and his work at www.atholdickson.com or visit his blog at http://whatatholwrote.blogspot.com/

Buy The Cure at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764201638 or directly from Bethany House Publishers.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Library News

Hey all,

As you know, there are a lot of really wonderful books coming out these days with a Christian slant. I've decided every now and then to feature some of these titles. Some of the books I'll feature, I have not read, simply because they're brand new, and I'm behind on my reading list...but I have read and enjoyed previous books by many of the authors who will be featured here.

We're going to start this journey with The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang. Maureen thought she’d write about her experience with Fragile X Syndrome (a genetic form of mental
retardation) “someday.” After all, having a child who requires round-the-clock care doesn’t make for the upbeat, escapist reading most romance novelists prefer to write about. Still, Lang wanted to include Fragile X in a story because so few people have heard of the
disorder that affects her 12-year-old son. So she put the tale in the middle of a love story.

From the back cover:

Talie Ingram has an ideal life: a successful, devoted husband; a beautiful one-year-old son; and another on the way. But her world is shattered when she discovers
a shocking family secret in the nineteenth-century journal belonging to her ancestor Cosima Escott. Only in reading Cosima’s words can Talie make peace with the legacy she’s inherited and the one she’s passed on to her son.

Reviews:

…A lush and moving tapestry of love, fear and faith…spellbinding… Flawlessly plotted, filled with flesh-and-blood characters and a radiant faith…Very highly recommended.
Christian Book Previews

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Have Dream, Will Travel

Have you ever felt a calling to go to a certain part of the country or world that you've never been to before? In my freelance writing work, I've been fortunate to travel to many of our nation's finest cities. Years ago, I was even able to make a trip to Europe. However, one area I've never been fortunate enough to get to is the Pacific Northwest. There is something about the cities of Portland and Seattle and that whole area out there that just totally intrigues me. I'm hoping one of my clients will find some work out there and I'll get to go soon. I even got an Airtran special in the mail showing a roundtrip ticket to Portland for $200...not bad.

For those of you who've been to the Pacific Northwest, tell us more about it! And for others of you who have a dream or calling or feel a serious "pull" to go somewhere other than where you live, tell us about that. Until next time, blessings. Creston

Monday, June 4, 2007

CAVS!

Ever since I grew up in northeast Ohio, in the Bath/Akron/Cleveland area, I have been a Cleveland sports fans. I would go to bed on hot summer nights with a transistor radio under my pillow, listening to Indians games. We would weather sub-zero temperatures to cheer on the Browns at the old Cleveland stadium on Lake Erie. Yes, I was at the Ice Bowl in 1980, I believe, when Brian Sipe's pass was knocked away or intercepted in the end-zone to dash our hopes one more time. And, yes, I attended many a Cavs' game at the old Richfield Coliseum (the same venue where I graduated from high school).

And finally our day has come! The Cavs make it to the NBA finals vs. the San Antonio Spurs! The whole city is ecstatic and it's times like these that I wish I was "back home" to cheer on the LeBron, Boobie, and the hometown boys. Oh well, TV will have to do. The tip-off for game one is June 7 at 9 p.m. (EST)....don't miss it! CM

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Movies Are You Into?

When I was a junior and senior in high school, I had the best job in the world, working as an usher at the Summit Mall Theater in Akron, Ohio. What a gig. I got hired, then all my friends got hired. We suited up in blue tuxedos in a locker room up by the balcony. We knew all the girls that worked behind the candy and popcorn counter. It was a total blast. There were two screens and it was one of the nicest theaters in the northeast Ohio.

Popular movies then, several of which I still know line-for-line, include Saturday Night Fever, The Wiz, Star Trek, Superman, Every Which Way But Loose, The Goodbye Girl, Grease, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Animal House, Jaws II, Heaven Can Wait, and Kramer Vs. Kramer.

Today, I enjoy the classics, anything with Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, etc. Favorites include You Can't Take It With You and It's a Wonderful Life. More recent top picks include Cinderella Man, Schindler's List, and Gladiator. The thing is, I'm always looking for great new movies, so feel free to offer a list of your favorites here. If you like, tell who's in your favorite flicks and why you like them so much. Thanks! CM

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What's Got Your Attention?

We have a bunch of big readers at our house. All six of us love to dig into a good book or magazine. My son loves Nate the Great books. My daughters enjoy the Red Rock Canyon and Wally McDoogle books. My older daughter loves everything from Gone With the Wind to novels by Lynn Austin and Kristen Billerbeck. My wife is currently reading—and loving—Max Lucado's new book, Every Day Deserves a Chance. Beside my bed right now are the following:

The Prince of Tides - Pat Conroy
The Truth War - John MacArthur
Never Look Back - Kathy Herman
If You Will Ask - Oswald Chambers
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Gunslinger - Stephen King
Black Ice - Linda Hall
Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God - David McCasland

What about you? What are you reading? Why is it so good...or bad?!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Good Time

This past Saturday I met up with authors (l-r) Dale Cramer, Cindy Woodsmall, and Debby Guisti at Roswell Public Library in Atlanta. We had a great time, sharing about our writing journeys, answering questions, and signing a few books. As is the case every time I meet with Dale, I always get good, true insight on the world of fiction writing, and the business side of things. Cindy and Debby told about their new books and made me want to read each. There's so much to learn from other writers. I encourage you to check out these fine authors and their books. A simple google search will take you to their web sites.

Hey, by the way, I hope you've noticed I've created a new blogspot. I did this after hearing from some people that they didn't care for the amazon blog, because they had to have an account there to post a comment. Have a good one!

C

Preach It?

Recently, I read a blog in which a fairly well known author made the comment that my first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, were suspenseful, yet a bit "preachy." I don't think any author likes to be labeled preachy, so, that didn't feel too great. However, as the weeks have passed, I've gone back to the reason I began writing fiction in the first place (about eight years ago), and that was to testify—through gritty, contemporary stories—the radical love of Jesus Christ and the power He offers to change lives.

I read a lot of novels, Christian and non-Christian. In the non-Christian novels, I'm not expecting to see much of anything about God, so it doesn't surprise me when I don't. There are still a lot of incredible novels out there and a lot to be learned from reading them. However, when I read Christian novels, or "inspirational fiction," as it's sometimes called, I am often surprised to find the Christian element of the story missing almost completely, or—talk about preachy—seemingly tacked on at the last minute, or in the editing stages, in order to be able to call it "Christian fiction" and sell it in the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association).

I don't know about you, but if I'm reading a novel that's sold within the CBA and that falls under the umbrella of "Christian fiction," I'd much prefer to read a realistic story in which the "Christian" element arises from the grassroots of the tale, than to read, basically a secular novel, with God thrown in here and there as an afterthought.

CM