Monday, December 8, 2008

Library News from Author Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote knows Christian fiction upside down. Her latest title, Her Captain's Heart, is just coming out and I'm going to let her describe it for you...

Nothing is impossible—as far as idealistic Verity Hardy is concerned. The lovely widow is certain teaching freed slaves in a Virginia town torn apart by the Civil War will help heal bitterness and old wounds. But she's finding that the school's builder, cynical Captain Matt Ritter has little reason to have faith in her—or anything else.

For more on Lyn, this book, and all of her titles, click here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Library News from Author Angela Hunt


My good friend, Angela Hunt, has a new novel out just in time for Christmas, and it's getting rave reviews. The book is called The Face. Here's a bit about it, followed by a great review from Publisher's Weekly.

Born to parents who died shortly after her birth, twenty-year-old genius Sarah Sims has been hidden all her life in a secure CIA facility. Yet her days of anonymity are limited because her aunt has discovered her existence and is determined to lead Sarah out of exile. But before she can leave the only world she’s ever known, Sarah needs what most people take for granted . . . a functioning face and the skills to use it. Will she remain in her secluded fortress or summon the courage to follow her heart?

The Face Angela Hunt. Mira, $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2727-1
Compelling characterization is the driving force behind this enthralling story of hope . . . Hunt (The Elevator) fuels the completely engrossing story with dual present-tense narration by the two women. Readers are drawn into their lives, sharing their joy and fear as they approach a fulfilling and surprising climax. A touch of suspense adds to the powerful themes of second chances and new beginnings. (Nov.) --Publishers Weekly

Get details by clicking Angela's web site.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Library News from Author Elizabeth White

Hey everyone,

My good friend Beth White has a new novel out that I think you will enjoy. Beth was kind enough to host authors Cindy Woodsmall and Amy Wallace and I in her home when we did a book signing in Mobile, AL, not long ago.

Here's more on the new book:

Redeeming Gabriel by Elizabeth White

Spying for the Union army has taken a heavy toll on Gabriel Laniere. With deception a constant in his life, he can't allow himself to get close to anyone - not even God. Yet Camilla Beaumont, daughter of the Confederacy, just might be the exception. Camilla has a dangerous secret that rivals Gabriel's...and the unlikely partnership they forge could be the key Gabriel seeks to a soul-shaking truith larger than any conflict - love.

Romantic Times Bookclub says, "Elizabeth White's Redeeming Gabriel (4 stars) is a sweetly evocative story, with just the right amount of mystery to keep readers engrossed."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jerry Jenkins At His Finest

Guys, you must read Jerry Jenkins' latest novel, RIVEN. I believe it's close to 500 pages. I've not stuck with a book this thick since I don't know when. This one strikes home on so many levels. Need I say more? Find this book and read it (after you've read mine, of course)!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Okay, here's another new book from my friend Robin Lee Hatcher. Robin is a great lady who I admire and respect. She gave me some great advice at a recent writer's conference. And she loves Macs to boot. Here a little about her new book:


Alicia Harris says she's happily married and expecting a baby—but only the last part is true. She can't bear to disappoint her grandfather by telling him she's two months away from single motherhood. Then Grandpa Roger, still recovering from a heart attack, drops in unexpectedly to spend the holidays with Alicia and her husband, and to protect her beloved grandfather from unnecessary stress, Alicia needs to find a fill-in—fast. Childhood friend Joe Palmero fits the bill and is willing to play along. Still, the longer they spend playing their parts, the closer Alicia and Joe come to discovering what love, faith and marriage truly mean.

Find out more about this and all of Robin's books at her web site:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Library News from Author Susan Meissner

My friend Susan Meissner’s newest book, The Shape of Mercy, is a blend of contemporary and historical fiction, mystery and romance. Set in present day Santa Barbara and also in colonial America during the Salem Witch Trials, the book follows a young college student as she transcribes the diary of a young woman falsely accused of witchcraft in 1692.

“The story in a nutshell is this,” Susan says. “Lauren Durough is a West Coast English major at the proverbial age of discovery. Sheltered in her growing up years by family wealth, she is just beginning to grasp how people judge other people by what they want to believe about them, and particularly for her, how the poor view the wealthy. When she opts out of her family’s financial support, she takes on a job as a literary assistant to Abigail Boyles, an 83-year-old reclusive East Coast transplant. Abigail tasks Lauren with transcribing the diary of her ancestor, Mercy Hayworth, hanged for witchcraft in 17th-century Massachusetts. The lives of these two very different women converge as they jointly piece together the life — and death — of a third woman, Mercy Hayworth, who lived three hundred years earlier, and who also struggled against undeserved cultural stigmatization, but lost.”

Susan says the title has dual meaning. “Those who testified against the accused in Salem in 1692 often claimed their tormentors “took shape” in their bedrooms and tortured them as they slept. My fictional character Mercy was also accused of taking shape and torturing another young girl of the Village. She was innocent of course, as all those accused were, but in her last act before death, she shows that love has a shape. And its shape is mercy.”

Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review. I encourage you to learn more about Susan and her books at

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Kind Of Town

Man, do I love New York City. I'd been twice before, but my 18-year-old daughter and I just spent 4 days in "the City" and loved every New York Minute of it. We got Metrocards and canvassed the city via subway and on foot. From the Circle Line boat tour around Manhattan and the five boroughs, to the top of the Empire State Building, to Grand Central Station, the NY Library, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and Wall Street, we did it all. Even caught a glimpse of America Ferrara shooting on location at Centre Street. The food, the people, everything was fabulous.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Library News from Author Susan May Warren

At a recent writers' retreat in Orlando, I got to spend quite a bit of time with Minnesotan Susan May Warren (and she says it like that..."Minnesoooota" with a long O). Anyway, Suzie is a wonderful person and she writes great books. Her new one is called Finding Stephanie, and it's romantic suspense. Here's a bit about it:

When she put her dreams on hold to help run the family ranch, she never imagined they would slip out of sight. Luckily for Stefanie, those dreams are about to come knocking at her door.

Lincoln Cash has gained fame and fortune on the big screen, but a crippling secret leaves him one last chance to make his mark on the movie industry. With dreams of hosting a new film festival, Lincoln intends to remodel a sprawling ranch in eastern Montana to make it the new Hollywood hot spot.

Unfortunately, a house fire threatens his plans. So does opposition from his new neighbor Stefanie Noble, who's not thrilled about his Tinseltown changes. What Lincoln and Stefanie don't know is that the fire won't be the last disaster to threaten Lincoln or his future. Someone is out for revenge... but who? And who is the real target?

Here's a bit about Suzie's background:

Susan May Warren is the award-winning novelist of over twenty novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, and have been Rita or Christy award finalists. Her compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She loves to write and help other writers find their voice through her boutique editing blog and services. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren and her husband of 20 years, and four children, now live in a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where they are active in their local church.

Click here to order the new book and click here to visit Suzie's web site. Thanks for stopping by. Creston

Monday, July 14, 2008

Library News from Author Rachel Hauck

Hey guys,

My friend, Rachel Hauck, has a new book out called Love Starts With Elle and there's a cool book trailer you can watch right here. Rachel is a wonderful person whose work I highly recommend. You can find out more, and watch the new book trailer, at her web site.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Library News from Author Tamera Alexander

Hey all,

My friend Tamera Alexander has a new novel out and the synopsis and reviews make me want to read it. In fact, I plan to get a copy very Orlando!

Here's a bit about the novel, From A Distance, off the back cover:

What happens when dreams aren’t what you imagined,
And secrets you’ve spent a lifetime guarding are finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country’s premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.

Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he’ll do anything to protect his land and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He’s a man of his word, but repaying that debt will bring secrets from his past to light.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth’s lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met . . . from a distance.

“…a rich historical romance by possibly the best new writer in this subgenre.”
--Library Journal

“…a most amazing story. The characters are more than words on the page; they become real people.”
--Romantic Times

To order, click here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Library News from Author Linda Hall

Shadows at the Window
is the name of my friend Linda Hall's new novel, the second in her ‘shadows’ trilogy. The women in these series of books must deal with and work through the ‘shadows’ in their pasts before they can make peace and find love in the present. Linda says, "In the first of the series, Shadows at the Mirror, the main character doesn't know anything about her past. It’s a mystery she must uncover. In this release, Shadows at the Window, main character Lilly Johnson knows her past all too well, and it’s one she’d rather forget. Because it’s so abhorrent to her, she’s made up a series of lies that she tells her fiancé. But, the past has a way of catching up with the present, and when people in her past show up, her first inkling is to run. But, that would mean leaving everything behind, and that’s something she’s not willing to do."

Get all the details on Linda and her books here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sugarland, Abilene, Minneapolis...

Finally a second to write.

I've been traveling a lot lately on business, to Abilene, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. All I can say about Abilene is you must eat at Harold's Barbecue, Sharon's Barbecue, and visit Abilene Christian University. ACU has a marvelous sculpture done by Professor John Maxwell called Jacob's Dream. The thing is a true work of art. It is a combination of limestone and metal, and shows angels ascending and descending on a floating ladder that goes straight up toward heaven. You can watch a touching video about the project at some digging, you'll find it. ACU is a great school, great people, a lot of good things happening there.

Now on to North Central University in Minneapolis...another fantastic college with some sharp people. Had a wonderful visit. Right in the heart of Minneapolis. And man, once winter is over, these people come out! People walking and biking all over the city. Sidewalk cafes. Music in the open air plazas. The city was green, clean and breezy. Just a great town. I highly recommend Britt's for fish n chips and the coffee chip ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's kiosk at Peavey Plaza.

I packed up my iPod with tunes for the trips and man, I've fallen in love with Sugarland. Each song is a story. And the vocals of Jennifer Nettles (sp?) are emotionally charged. I have both their CDs and will be first in line when the new one comes out next month. I'm waiting for them to come to Atlanta so I can see them in concert. Jennifer/Christian, if you're reading this, I'd love to send you my novels. Email me and we'll get them off to you!

Orlando and NYC are next on the travel itinerary. Until next time, peace.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Library News from Author Marlo Schalesky

Hey, I wanted to let you know about a new book releasing by my friend Marlo Schalesky. It's called Beyond the Night and it's put out by my publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House. Here's some promo info about it (sounds intriguing to me, but I haven't read it yet!):

They say love is blind.
This time they’re right…

As a woman lies unconscious in a hospital bed, her husband waits beside her, urging her to wake up and come home. Between them lies an ocean of fear and the tenuous grip of memories long past. Memories of wonder. Of love. Memories of a girl named Madison and a boy named Paul…

Madison Foster knew she was going blind. But she didn’t want pity—not from her mother, not from her roommate, and especially not from her best friend Paul—the man she secretly loved.

Paul Tilden knew a good thing when he saw it. And a good thing was his friendship with Maddie Foster. That is, until he started to fall in love.

With the music of the seventies as their soundtrack and its groovy fashions as their scenery, Maddie and Paul were drawn together and driven apart. Then one night changed everything…forever.

And only now, when life tiptoes past the edge of yesterday, along the rim of today, can they glimpse the beauty that awaits them…beyond the night.

For details on Marlo and how to get the novel, click here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Library News from Author Donita K. Paul

Hey all...I wanted to let you know about the fifth book in the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, concluding the drama by my friend Donita K. Paul that has been building since DragonSpell was released in 2004. Donita has a knack for weaving eternal truths into a page-turning story and still takes time to tickle her reader with humorous characters and situations.

Here's a bit about the new novel: As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon-despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with stakes disease-has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy. Can they overcome the ominous peril they can't even see?

For more details, click here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Library News from Author Robin Lee Hatcher

Hey everyone,

I don't know how she does it, but my friend Robin Lee Hatcher has another novel out, and this one sounds like one you'll love. It's called Wagered Heart. About the book, Romantic Times Book Reviews says: "Hatcher knows how to pack romance, laughter, tears and lovable characters into her stories."

Here's a synopsis: When Bethany Silverton left the genteel life of Miss Henderson’s School for Young Ladies back in Philadelphia for the raw frontier town of Sweetwater, Montana, she had no idea how much she would enjoy the freedom and danger of this wild country.

A conservative preacher’s daughter, Bethany can’t resist the challenge of charming the most attractive cowboy in town into attending her father’s new church. She never dreamed that the cowboy would charm the lady.

But Hawk Chandler isn't the only man vying for Bethany's affections. Ruthlessly ambitious Vince Richards thinks Bethany is perfect for him: attractive, gracious, just the woman to help him become governor. And he is determined to get what he wants at any cost.

Drawn to one man, an obsession of another, Bethany's quiet life is thrown into turmoil. She wagered her heart on love. Now she has gotten more than she bargained for—and the stakes are about to become life and death.

More details at Robin's web site, here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Are Blogs Worth It?

For an author, two of the main purposes for a blog are to interact with readers, and spread the word about your books. As anyone who's visited my blog knows, I don't post very often. I just don't have time. But I try to do it once every few weeks or so, with updates from my author friends interspersed (is that still a word?).

My questions are these: Do you like blogs? What do you or don't you like about them? Do you like this blog? If not, why not? If so, why? What would you like to see more of on this blog? You can post here with your comments, or email me via the web site.

Thanks for your time.


P.S. If you're near the Atlanta area Saturday, May 17, stop out at the LifeWay Mall of Georgia store between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and say hello! It's LifeWay's big National Fiction Day and I'll be doing a meet/greet signing out there. Hope to see ya. cm

Monday, May 12, 2008

Library News from Author Angela Hunt

I have interacted with Angie Hunt on several occasions. Spent a little time with her at a writers' retreat, and have sought her input via email a number of times. The thing I can say about Angie is, she always seems to be doing things for other people--giving herself away. She is an enormous help to new writers and colleagues. She has a great sense of humor. And she seems to love God in a very real way. Her new Tyndale novel is called She Always Wore Red. Here's the lowdown:

Jennifer Graham—mother, student, and embalmer’s apprentice—could use a friend. She finds one in McLane Larson, a newcomer to Mt. Dora. While McLane’s soldier-husband serves overseas, Jen promises to support McLane, then learns that her tie to this woman goes far deeper than friendship. When a difference of opinion threatens their relationship, Jennifer discovers weaknesses in her own character . . . and a faith far stronger than she had imagined.

To go to Angie's web site, click here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Libary News from Author Elizabeth White

My good friend, Beth White, has a brand new book out that I would like to let her tell you about. Beth and her husband were so kind recently when they put up myself and author pals Cindy Woodsmall and Amy Wallace for a night at their home in Mobile. We were in town for a booksigning and Beth had kind of a small party at her home. We were so blessed by her hospitality. She's a great writer. Her new book is Controlling Interest. Here's Beth's insight on the book:

Matt Hogan's Memphis detective agency has been on the skids since a recent attack of conscience cost him an important case. When a wealthy investor steps in and saves River City Investigations, Matt thinks all his prayers have been answered-until he finds out that with the investor comes a new partner.

Fresh out of criminal justice school and a two-year stint in the Tunica County Sheriff's Department, Natalie Tubberville is out to prove she can cut it in the world of private investigations. But her reluctant partner is just as determined to have nothing to do with her--until Natalie makes him an offer he can't refuse! If Matt solves the next case before she does, she will return her share of the company.

And the race is on. As two strong personalities compete, mutual attraction grows…while a simple case of a runaway bride threatens to become an international incident. Will Matt and Natalie call off the competition-or discover an entirely new arrangement?

If you're interested, click here to visit Beth's web site!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Long Overdue Ramblings

Hey everyone...sorry it's taken me so long to do a post where we get caught up on things. We had an incredible Spring Break over at Amelia Island, FL (Fernandina Beach). The waves were outrageous and all of us did the Boogie-Boarding, Body-Surfing thing. Sunburn...a little bit. But well worth it! I made the unwise decision to use lotion on the kids' faces, rather than use the sun-stick my wife recommended. Bad move. The lotion was in their eyes before they hit the water.

We are extremely busy with activities that go along with a family of six, including coaching little league baseball for the North Metro Yellow Jackets, ballet, several different ministries at church, and all the running around that goes with getting a senior ready to graduate from high school. Sigh.

I've been reading a lot lately, including books by CJ Mahoney, Max Lucado, George Mueller, Anita Shreve, and John Grisham. Speaking of books, have you read any novels by Francine Rivers lately? Emotional. Suspenseful. Spirit-filled, they are.

Did a book talk and signing at Ebenezer Baptist Church up in Toccoa, GA, the other night. Amazing. It was their first book club meeting and they pre-sold almost 50 of my new book, NOBODY. We had a blast. Talked candidly. Signed some books. And turned them on to DARK STAR and FULL TILT. Books by Beth White and Francine Rivers will follow. That club is off to a rousing start and I am sure it will do well. Book clubs like that are a great way to reach out to neighbors and friends.

My agent is shopping a fourth novel, which is being seriously considered by several publishers. Meanwhile, I'm doing my freelance writing for various corporations, colleges, magazines, etc.

Making a day trip to Blowing Rock, NC, very soon.

Has anyone read any really, truly outstanding books lately, or seen any incredible movies? I don't mean just "okay," I mean extraordinary? Let us know the titles.

That's it for now. If you're in the Fayetteville, GA, area, come out and say hi at Fayette County Public Library on May 3, 1-3 p.m. Or up in Buford, GA, I'll be at Lifeway Mall of GA Sat., May 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate National Fiction Day.



Monday, March 10, 2008

Library News from Author Robin Lee Hatcher

My friend Robin Lee Hatcher, a very well known name in the Christian fiction arena, has a new novel out. It's called The Perfect Life. Here's a blurb about the book: Katherine Clarkson has the perfect life. Married to Brad, a loving and handsome man, respected in their church and the community. Two grown daughters on the verge of starting families of their own. A thriving ministry. Good friends. A comfortable life.

She has it all—until the day a reporter appears with shocking allegations. Splashed across the local news are accusations of Brad's financial impropriety at his foundation and worse, of an affair with a former employee. Without warning, Katherine's marriage is shattered and her family torn apart. The reassuring words she's spoken to many brokenhearted women over the years offer little comfort now.

Her world spinning, Katherine wonders if she can find the truth in the chaos that consumes her. How can she survive the loss of the perfect life?

Publisher's Weekly says: "Hatcher is a dab hand with dialogue, which is one reason her characters are so well drawn: readers will feel empathy with all members of the family. Hatcher also gets kudos for creating, in Katherine's best friend, a sympathetic non-Christian character, something all too rare in faith fiction. This will be a surefire hit with Hatcher's many fans."

Sounds like a winner to me. Robin, I'd like to get a copy of this one! To go to Robin's web site, click here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Library News From Author Deborah Raney

Leaving November is the second novel in the Clayburn Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster, written by my friend Deborah Raney. Deb is working on her 17th novel right now, and I can assure you, her fiction is good to the last page. Here's a little bit more to whet your appetite for Leaving November...

Daughter of the town drunk, Vienne Kenney has escaped Clayburn for law school in California. But after failing the bar exam—twice—she’s back home with her tail between her legs, managing Latte-dah, the Clayburn café turned upscale coffee shop. Jackson Linder runs the art gallery across the street and Vienne has had her eye on him since she was a skinny seventh grader and he was the hunky high school lifeguard who didn’t know she existed. Now it’s his turn to fall for her and suddenly Clayburn seems like a pretty nice place to be...until Vienne discovers that Jack is fresh out of rehab and still struggling with the same addiction that ultimately killed her father.

For more on this book, Deb, and her other novels, click here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are You Out There?

My publisher forwarded me a letter yesterday from a high school senior somewhere in the Philadelphia area. It was a heartfelt 2.5 page handwritten letter, written in December. The problem is, most of the return address portion of the envelope was ripped away and missing. All that's left is the zip code: 19020. This is in the Bensalem area.

I'm hoping whoever wrote that letter may read this blog. If so, please email me or write again with your return address, because I have no way of contacting you unless you do so. So sorry about that. I hate for readers to contact me and not get a response.

In other news, my 84-year-old mom continues to progress well after total hip replacement surgery. My sister is in from Belgium. And the healing process is underway.

Thanks for all the prayers and concern, CM

Monday, February 25, 2008

Library News from Author Tricia Goyer

Hi...Sorry I haven't had time to say a lot lately. My 84-year-old mom just had total hip replacement, my sister's in from Belgium, I'm busy writing, etc.

Here's the latest scoop from my friend, author Tricia Goyer.

A Whisper of Freedom is book three in The Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series. Battles heat up…not only those being waged by the soldiers on both sides fighting for Spain, but in the hearts and minds of the men and women who must sacrifice more than their dreams to save the lives of their loved ones. In this meticulously researched novel, brave and idealistic Sophie, Philip, Jose, and Deion realize their only hope for freedom is escaping Spain's borders. By continuing the story of this band of volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, A Whisper of Freedom proves that there are whispers of hope and liberty that resonate through even the darkest night.

For more details, click here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Library News from Author Sharon Hinck

Sharon Hinck is a popular author. I found that out when she mentioned my new novel, NOBODY, on her web site. I got a whole lot of visitors to my web site, thanks to Sharon. Well, Sharon now has an intriguing new novel out called Symphony of Secrets. Here's what it's about...

Talented flutist Amy Johnson's dreams come true when she wins a spot with the Minneapolis Symphony. But this amateur sleuth has trouble concentrating on the notes as she begins to see devious motives behind her fellow musicians' many mishaps. Meanwhile, her musically talented daughter wants to give it all up for—gasp—the cheerleading squad! What's a musical mom to do? Can Amy fine-tune her investigation before the symphony is forced to close and she loses not only her dream job but her promising new relationship with its conductor?

For more details, click here to go to Sharon's web site!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Library News from Author DiAnn Mills

Okay, here's the deal on my friend DiAnn Mills' new book, Awaken My Heart. Just in time for Valentine's Day, you can win not only a signed copy of the book, but a $500 gift voucher. To enter the contest, simply shoot an email to and let them know you want to enter.

DiAnn's new book tells the unlikely love story between 18-year-old Marianne, a wealthy rancher's daughter, and the infamous Mexican rebel leader who's warring against her father. Sounds interesting, huh? Check it out here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Library News From Author Susan May Warren

Hey, it's time for book two in my friend Susan May Warren's The Noble Legacy series. In this one, called Taming Rafe, two-time world champion bull rider Rafe Noble had no idea how quickly his world could end. In less than eight seconds, he lost his title, his career, and his best friend—all on the dirt floor of a noisy rodeo arena.

Katherine Breckenridge just wants to make a difference by running her mother's charity foundation. But the mysterious disappearance of half a million dollars has forced it to the brink of bankruptcy. Her last chance to save it is the annual fund-raiser, an event that's destroyed by an out-of-control Rafe Noble. Desperate to rescue the foundation, Katherine heads to the Noble family ranch to enlist Rafe's help in raising the money he cost her in lost donations. What she doesn't know is that Rafe is broke-in cash and in spirit—and that helping her could end up costing him his life.

Find out more by visiting Susan's web site here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Love Book Clubs

Last night I had the privilege of joining the ladies from the North Metro First Baptist Ladies Book Club here in Atlanta for an evening of good food, good book discussion, and good fellowship.

Since this was my second time at this Club, we did something different. I gave a little background about myself and my first two novels, but then, as we went into the discussion about the book they just finished, my new one, Nobody, I told them all about my research trip to Las Vegas. I shared photographs I'd taken on the trip and a lot of notes I'd taken and research I'd gathered along the way. They seemed genuinely intrigued by how all the ideas and plot twists "were born." And I had a blast doing it. This approach took the pressure off of me to do something "formal," and just allowed me to be myself, talk with the group, and discuss the book in a very casual and open way.

Book clubs are fantastic because they give your novel widespread notoriety. If people in the club like/love the selection, they tell their friends, and even buy the book for certain, specific acquaintances. And there's usually great food. Like last night, we had an awesome cake (photo coming), all kinds of desserts, and my favorite, these addicting chocolate-covered almonds. Those and water and I was set.

If you're wondering what that guy on the left is doing in the photo, that's John. Believe me, he had to have some pretty tight connections to get into this meeting.

On other fronts, I'm going to be doing a live author chat to discuss NOBODY on Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. eastern time. This is something we're doing with the American Christian Fiction Writers, which, if you're an aspiring writer, is a great group with which to partner. My friend Dineen Miller did a really nice interview with me at this web site. For details on all this, click here.

Take care! cm

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Library News from Author Rachel Hauck

Let me introduce you to my friend and fellow Ohio State Buckeye fan, Rachel Hauck. Rachel is a multi-published author living in sunny central Florida with her husband, Tony, a pastor. They have two ornery pets. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and, yes, a huge Buckeyes football fan. Rachel is also the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves the organization as an Advisor. Visit her blog here.

I'm going to let Rachel tell you a bit about her new novel Sweet Caroline:

For most of her life, Caroline Sweeney put the needs of others before herself. When her friends went off to college and exotic European cities, she stayed home in Beaufort to look after her Dad and brother, and whoever else needed her help. At twenty-eight, she’s invited to embark on her own adventure when a friend offers Caroline an amazing job opportunity in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, her home town is calling her to stay. Unexpectedly, Caroline inherits the run-down, money-pit Frogmore Café.

Caroline must choose between a Beaufort treasure, the Frogmore Café, and the unusual Barcelona adventure. If that’s not enough, Caroline finds herself torn between two lovesæa very hunky deputy Sheriff and a returning hometown boy, a country music star.
In the midst of her trials, Caroline shares a lot of laughter with her friends and discovers the sweet fragrance of Jesus as He pursues her heart.

I hope you'll check out Rachel's latest novel, Sweet Caroline!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Library News from Author Susan Meissner

I'm amazed how busy some of my author friends have been, turning out new books left and right. Susan Meissner is one of those friends. Her new novel, Blue Heart Blessed, is about Daisy Murien, a wounded but hopeful romantic who was left standing at the altar. Daisy opens a secondhand wedding dress boutique, hoping to soothe her broken heart while giving doomed wedding dresses a second chance at love. Her predictable days take a sharp turn, though, when the retired Episcopal priest who blesses the tiny, blue satin heart she sews into each dress falls ill. When the priest’s brooding and recently divorced son arrives with plans to take his ailing father away, a contest of wills begins between two stubborn—and hurting—souls. While fighting to keep Father Laurent close by, Daisy finally begins to understand why she has routinely convinced potential buyers not to buy the one gown that started her business—her own: She doesn’t want to give up on the dream of a fairytale romance. This compelling story is about the magnificence of unconditional love and God’s impeccable timing in bringing it about.

Publisher’s Weekly said this about Blue Heart Blessed: “Meissner tells her story well, and her Christian themes are interwoven throughout with a deft touch. Readers will appreciate some fresh elements: an Ecuadorian couple that cooks for the apartment dwellers every Sunday, and the one gown in Daisy’s inventory she does not want to sell. The ending is well told if conventional, with all the loose ends neatly tied up, which should please fans of “happily ever after” romance novels.”

Romantic Times gave it 4½ stars and chose it for one of their Top Picks for February: “Meissner's unique story is a treat. It's filled with realistic, wounded characters who rely on God's grace and guidance to see them through. Themes of learning to trust God and waiting for His perfect timing exude warmth and love.”

Here's where you can get Blue Heart Blessed, and find out more about Susan's other books: right here!

Friday, January 4, 2008

This N That

Happy New Year.

Well, my lovely wife Patty and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary by slipping away to one of our favorite retreats, Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, GA. We had a romantic dinner at Cafe Elan, enjoyed a perfect evening and a terrace view of the North Georgia Mountains, and dined at the beautiful Versailles Room for breakfast.

I gained weight this holiday and have vowed myself to carrots, grain and water for 2008.

My second novel, FULL TILT, has been translated into Dutch! I received three copies in the mail recently. The translated words for FULL TILT (new title) is: HOOG-SPANNING. You can check it out here.

All six of us Mapes have been sick over the New Year Holiday, except one...stay healthy HKM!

It was our yellow lab, Jarod's, birthday Jan. 2nd. He turned 8. We celebrate by giving him a pig's ear. He tosses it in the air, runs about the yard with it, truly savoring the crunchy treat.

NOBODY was selected as the January Book of the Month over at the American Christian Fiction Writers. I'll be doing a live chat with that bunch on Feb. 4 at 8pm (Eastern) if you want to check it out. Drop by and say hello. Dineen Miller did a cool interview with me on that web site...give it a look here.

I am reading a remarkably intriguing book right now, Water for Elephants. Okay, it's got a few parts that are rated R, but the writing is incredible.....if only I could ever write like that. It's first-person, which I love. Two of my three books have been first-person, and I enjoy that style very much.

It got down to 15 degrees here in Atlanta yesterday. Cold and sunny. Beautiful....reminds me of good ole Akron, Ohio (it will always be 'home').

My agent is shopping a 4th novel.

It's hockey season and you can't beat that. Between the Thrashers and Gladiators, I'm lovin' it!

My son got a new Game Cube NHL hockey game for Christmas this year. I've been playing it more than he has. You choose the teams, the uni's, the venue. You check and poke, shoot wristers and slap shots...pretty awesome stuff. (After everyone went to bed the other night I ALMOST got on it.)

New revelation for 2008: Writing books ain't everything (as I thought it was).

My prayer request for 2008: Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love my neighbor like I want to be loved.

I should really be writing academic one-sheets for a college in LA right now, but I can't seem to get into it.

Happy New Year. cm