Violet Dawn

I am being truly, completely lazy today. I've copy/pasted Brandilyn's new book review from the CFBA website. Thank you Bonnie Calhoun! I appreciate this time saver today!

From September 27th thru the 29th, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance presents Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins. Violet Dawn, which released in August of this year, is published by Zondervan and is part of Brandilyn's new Kanner Lake series. There are two other books to come...Coral Moon, releasing in March of '07, and Crimson Eve, releasing in September of '07.You must also stop by and visit Scenes and Beans, the REAL blog for the fictional Java Joint coffehouse in Kanner Lake. I blogged about Scenes and Beans here.

This is a unique marketing tool for the series, involving about 30 otherwriters (including several of our CFBA members), and eventually involving readers of the series who want to audition posts. Now, I've made you wait long enough.

The book is classic Brandiln Collins Seatbelt Suspense. It grabs you from the very beginning...
Something sinuous brushed against Paige's knee. She jerked her leg away.What was that? She rose to a sitting position, groped around with her left hand.Fine wisps wound themselves around her fingers.Hair?She yanked backward, but the tendrils clung. something solid bumped her wrist. Paige gasped. With one frantic motion she shook her arm free, grabbed the side of the hot tub, and heaved herself out. I'm telling you that this is suspense at it's finest! Brandilyn has a group of friends that she affectionately calls the Big Honkin' Chickens Club, because the women in the group are unnerved by Brandilyn's writing. This new series is a prime example of that kind of work!Paige Williams slips into her hot tub in the blackness of night...and finds herself face to face with death.Alone, terrified, fleeing a dark past, Paige must make an unthinkable choice.In Violet Dawn, hurtling events and richly drawn characters collide in a breathless story of murder, the need to belong, and faith's first glimmer. One woman's secrets unleash an entire town's pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.You can go HERE to read a first chapter excerpt. But using Brandilyn's famous tagline....."Don't forget to breathe..."

Sushi for One

I have always been as honest as I possibly can when I recommend a book. I take this duty as seriously as I take my Christianity.

This month's FIRST is really, really, really GOOD. I'm thrilled to present you with a first class romance that is as halarious as it is sweet and tender. It goes beyond the fluffy stuff that we have become immune to and is a shining jewel in the crown Camy Tang wears (given to her by our Lord, I'm quite sure). Her talent to take sassy up to the point of sarcasm and it come out truly laugh out loud is quite the most refreshing kind of talent I've seen this year. If this book doesn't win some kind of award, I'll be surprised. Tell you what. I give it FIVE star out of FIVE. The only book this year that got FIVE stars was Waking Lazarus by T.L. Hines (bless his heart. Pray for him because he has a very slow growing lymphoma. He's got to make a decision about his treatment.)

Back to Tang's riveting romance. Who knew? Asians eat as much and as often as Baptists. Although, they don't do the casserole as well as Baptists.

Well... here is the first chapter. I don't think you'll want to stop at the first chapter, though. I do promise you it has an extremely satisfying ending and quite a heart rending meeting with Jesus. It will be something you won't forget for a very long time.

It is September 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

and her book:

Sushi for One?

(Zondervan, September 1, 2007)


Camy Tang is a member of FIRST and is a loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick-lit. She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious poi-dog. In a previous life she was a biologist researcher, but these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service.

Sushi for One? (Sushi Series, Book One is her first novel. Her second, Only Uni (Sushi Series, Book Two) comes out in February 2008!

Visit her at her website.


Chapter 1

Eat and leave. Thats all she had to do.

If Grandma didn t kill her first for being late.

Lex Sakai raced through the open doorway to the Chinese restaurant and was immediately immersed in conversation, babies wails, clashing perfumes, and stale sesame oil. She tripped over the threshold and almost turned her ankle. Stupid pumps. Man, she hated wearing heels.

Her cousin Chester sat behind a small table next to the open doorway.

"Hey Chester."

"Oooh, you're late. Grandma isn't going to be happy. Sign over here." He gestured to the guestbook that was almost drowned in the pink lace glued to the edges.

"What do I do with this?" Lex dropped the Babies R Us box on the table.

Chester grabbed the box and flipped it behind him with the air of a man who'd been doing this for too long and wanted out from behind the frilly welcome table.

Lex understood how he felt. So many of their cousins were having babies, and there were several mixed Chinese-Japanese marriages in the family. Therefore, most cousins opted for these hugenot to mention tiringtraditional Chinese Red Egg and Ginger parties to present their newborns, even though the majority of the family was Japanese American.

Lex bent to scrawl her name in the guestbook. Her new sheath dress sliced into her abs, while the fabric strained across her back muscles. Trish had convinced her to buy the dress, and it actually gave her sporty silhouette some curves, but its fitted design prevented movement. She shouldve worn her old loosefitting dress instead. She finished signing the book and looked back to Chester. Hows the food? The only thing worthwhile about these noisy events. Lex would rather be at the beach.

They havent even started serving.

Great. Thatll put Grandma in a good mood.

Chester grimaced, then gestured toward the far corner where there was a scarlet-draped wall and a huge gold dragon wall-hanging. Grandmas over there.

Thanks. Yeah, Chester knew the drill, same as Lex. She had to go over to say hello as soon as she got to the party before Grandma saw her, anywayor Grandma would be peeved and stick Lex on her Ignore List until after Christmas.

Lex turned, then stopped. Poor Chester. He looked completely forlornnot to mention too bulkybehind that silly table. Of all her cousins, he always had a smile and a joke for her. Do you want to go sit down? I can man the table for you for a while. As long as you dont forget to bring me some food. She winked at him.

Chester flashed his toothy grin, and the weary lines around his face expanded into his normal laugh lines. I appreciate that, but dont worry about me.

Are you sure?

Yeah. My sisters going to bring me somethingshes got all the kids at her table, so shell have plenty for me. But thanks, Lex.

Youd do the same for me.

Lex wiggled in between the round tables and inadvertently jammed her toe into the protruding metal leg of a chair. To accommodate the hefty size of Lexs extended family, the restaurant had loaded the room with tables and chairs so it resembled a game of Tetris. Once bodies sat in the chairs, a chopstick could barely squeeze through. And while Lex prided herself on her athletic 18-percent body fat, she wasnt a chopstick.

The Chinese waiters picked that exact moment to start serving the food.

Clad in black pants and white button-down shirts, they filed from behind the ornate screen covering the doorway to the kitchen, huge round platters held high above their heads. They slid through the crowded room like salmonhow the heck did they do that?while it took all the effort Lex had to push her way through the five inches between an aunty and uncles
chairs. Like birds of prey, the waiters descended on her as if they knew she couldnt escape.

Lex dodged one skinny waiter with plates of fatty pork and thumb-sized braised octopus. Another waiter almost gouged her eye out with his platter. She ducked and shoved at chairs, earning scathing glances from various uncles and aunties.

Finally, Lex exploded from the sea of tables into the open area by the dragon wall-hanging. She felt like shed escaped from quicksand. Grandma stood and swayed in front of the horrifying golden dragon, holding her newest great-granddaughter, the star of the party. The babys face glowed as red as the fabric covering the wall. Probably scared of the dragons green buggy eyes only twelve inches away. Strange, Grandma seemed to be favoring her right hip.

Hi, Grandma.

Lex! Hi sweetie. Youre a little late.

Translation: Youd better have a good excuse.

Lex thought about lying, but aside from the fact that she couldnt lie to save her life, Grandmas eyes were keener than a snipers. Im sorry. I was playing grass volleyball and lost track of time.

The carefully lined red lips curved down. You play sports too much. How are you going to attract a man when youre always sweating?

Like she was now? Thank goodness for the fruity body spritz she had marinated herself in before she got out of her car.

Thats a pretty dress, Lex. New, isnt it?

How did she do that? With as many grandchildren as she had, Grandma never failed to notice clothes, whereas Lex barely registered that she wasnt naked. Thanks. Trish picked it out.

Its so much nicer than that ugly floppy thing you wore to your cousins wedding.

Lex gritted her teeth. Respect your grandmother. Do not open your mouth about something like showing up in a polkadotted bikini.

Actually, Lex, Im glad you look so ladylike this time. I have a friends son I want you to meet

Oh, no. Not again. Does he speak English?

Grandma drew herself to her full height, which looked a little silly because Lex still towered over her. Of course he does.


Yes. Lex, your attitude


Now why should that make a difference?

Lex widened innocent eyes. Religious differences account for a lot of divorces.

Im not asking you to marry him, just to meet him.

Liar. I appreciate how much you care about me, but Ill find my own dates, thanks. Lex smiled like she held a knife blade in her teeth. When Grandma got pushy like this, Lex had more backbone than the other cousins.

I wouldnt be so concerned, but you dont date at all

Not going there. Is this Chesters niece? Lexs voice rose an octave as she tickled the babys Pillsbury-Doughboy stomach. The baby screamed on. Hey there, cutie, youre so big, betcha having fun, is Grandma showing you off, well, you just look pretty as a picture, are you enjoying your Red Egg and Ginger party? Okay, Grandma, I have to sit down. Bye.

Before Grandma could say another word, Lex whisked away into the throng of milling relatives. Phase one, accomplished. Grandmother engaged. Retreat commencing before more nagging words like dating and marriage sullied the air.

Next to find her cousinsand best friendsTrish, Venus, and Jenn, who were saving a seat for her. She headed toward the back where all the other unmarried cousins sat as far away from Grandma as physically possible.

Their table was scrunched into the corner against towering stacks of unused chairslike the restaurant could even hold more chairs. Lex! Trish flapped her raised hand so hard, Lex expected it to fly off at any moment. Next to her, Venus lounged, as gorgeous as always and looking bored, while Jennifer sat quietly on her other side, twirling a lock of her long straight hair. On either side of them 

Hey, wheres my seat?

Venuss wide almond eyes sent a sincere apology. We failed you, babe. We had a seat saved next to Jenn, but then . . . She pointed to where the back of a portly auntys chair had rammed up against their table. We had to remove the chair, and by then, the rest were filled.

Traitors. You should have shoved somebody under the table.

Venus grinned evilly. Youd fit under there, Lex.

Trish whapped Venus in the arm. Be nice.

A few of the other cousins looked at them strangely, but they got that a lot. The four of them became close when they shared an apartment during college, but even more so when they all became Christian. No one else understood their flaws, foibles, and faith.

Lex had to find someplace to sit. At the very least, she wanted to snarf some overpriced, high calorie, high cholesterol food at this torturous party.

She scanned the sea of black heads, gray heads, dyed heads, small childrens heads with upside-down ricebowl haircuts, and teenager heads with highlighting and funky colors.

There. A table with an empty chair. Her cousin Bobby, his wife, his mother-in-law, and his brood. Sixcount em, six little people under the age of five.

Lex didnt object to kids. She liked them. She enjoyed coaching her girls volleyball club team. But these were Bobbys kids. The 911 operators knew them by name. The local cops drew straws on who would have to go to their house when they got a call.

However, it might not be so bad to sit with Bobby and family. Kids ate less than adults, meaning more food for Lex.

Hi, Bobby. This seat taken?

No, go ahead and sit. Bobbys moon-face nodded toward the empty chair.

Lex smiled at his nervous wife, who wrestled with an infant making intermittent screeching noises. Is that  Oh great. Boxed yourself in now. Name a name, any name. Uh  Kyle?

The beleaguered moms smile darted in and out of her grimace as she tried to keep the flailing baby from squirming into a face-plant on the floor. Yes, this is Kylie. Can you believe shes so big? One of her sons lifted a fork. No, sweetheart, put the food down!

The deep-fried missile sailed across the table, trailing a tail of vegetables and sticky sauce. Lex had protected her face from volleyballs slammed at eighty miles an hour, but shed never dodged multi-shots of food. She swatted away a flying net of lemony shredded lettuce, but a bullet of sauce-soaked fried chicken nailed her right in the chest.

Yuck. Well, good thing she could washoops, no, she hadnt worn her normal cotton dress. This was the new silk one. The one with the price tag that made her gasp, but also made her look like she actually had a waist instead of a plank for a torso. The dress with the dry-clean only tag.

Oh! Im sorry, Lex. Bad boy. Look what you did. Bobbys wife leaned across the table with a napkin held out, still clutching her baby whose foot was dragging through the chow mein platter.

The little boy sitting next to Lex shouted in laughter. Which wouldnt have been so bad if he hadnt had a mouth full of chewed bok choy in garlic sauce.

Regurgitated cabbage rained on Lexs chest, dampening the sunny lemon chicken. The child pointed at the pattern on her dress and squealed as if he had created a Vermeer. The other children laughed with him.

Hey boys! Thats not nice. Bobby glared at his sons, but otherwise didnt stop shoveling salt-and-pepper shrimp into his mouth.

Lex scrubbed at the mess, but the slimy sauces refused to transfer from her dress onto the polyester napkin, instead clinging to the blue silk like mucus. Oh man, disgustamundo. Lexs stomach gurgled. Why was every other part of her athletes body strong except for her stomach?

She needed to clean herself up. Lex wrestled herself out of the chair and bumped an older man sitting behind her. Sorry. The violent motion made the nausea swell, then recede. Dont be silly. Stop being a wimp. But her already sensitive stomach had dropped the call with her head.

Breathe. In. Out. No, not through your nose. Dont look at that boys drippy nose. Turn away from the drooling baby.

She needed fresh air in her face. She didnt care how rude it was, she was leaving now.

There you are, Lex.

What in the world was Grandma doing at the far end of the restaurant? This was supposed to be a safe haven. Why would Grandma take a rare venture from the other side where the more important family members sat?

My goodness, Lex! What happened to you?

I sat next to Bobbys kids.

Grandmas powdered face scrunched into a grimace. Here, let me go to the restroom with you. The bright eyes strayed again to the mess on the front of her dress. She gasped.

Oh, no, what else? What is it? Lex asked.

You never wear nice clothes. You always wear that hideous black thing.

Weve already been over this

I never noticed that you have no bosom. No wonder you cant get a guy.

Lexs jaw felt like a loose hinge. The breath stuck in her chest until she forced a painful cough. Grandma!

Out of the corner of her eye, Lex could see heads swivel. Grandmas voice carried better than a soccer commentator at the World Cup.

Grandma bent closer to peer at Lexs chest. Lex jumped backward, but the chair behind her wouldnt let her move very far.

Grandma straightened with a frighteningly excited look on her face. I know what Ill do.

God, now would be a good time for a waiter to brain her with a serving platter.

Grandmother gave a gleeful smile and clapped her hands. Yes, its perfect. Ill pay for breast implants for you!

) Camy Tang
Used by permission of Zondervan


Waking Lazarus con't

T. L. Hines

Yesterday's interview continued...

How have the things you’ve learned impacted your life today?

I’m still learning, I have to admit; my skull’s kind of thick. I find myself getting amped up about the book--wanting to do anything and everything I can to help make sure it’s a success--and then my wife reminds me: “You’re not in control of all that. God is.” She’s a smart one, that wife of mine. So the short answer is, I still struggle with wanting to control everything myself. But God, and my wife, keep reminding me that’s just not the case. And when I sit down to think about it, and really accept it, that’s very freeing. It can be terrifying, wanting to have total control yourself, and realizing there’s no possible way you can do it all.

What was the best advice ever given to you... The Worst?

Best advice: just write, and let the rest of the stuff fall into place. That always has been, and always will be, true.

The worst advice, to tell the truth, is just about anything that tells me “how” to write. How I write will naturally be different from how you write, and how everyone else writes. Part of our responsibility, as writers, is to discover what works best for us. Sure, it’s great to read books on craft and such; the danger comes, though, when those books begin to get quoted as authoritative sources on “the way” to write. There is no one way.

Is there a life lesson you would like people who read your book to know before they read your book?

After? Oooh, before and after life lessons. I have my thoughts on what the book really means, but I hate to say, “this is what I was trying to tell you.” I think a book can mean something slightly different to each and every person, so I’ll leave the “after” part alone. Before anyone reads the book, though, I’d offer the simple thought that a ray of light shines brightest in the darkest spots. That, to me, is the power and wonder of redemption.

Tony, thank you so much for the sheer pleasure of reading your book and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

And thank YOU, Gina, for such thoughtful comments about the book--and questions that are just as thoughtful.

Look for Waking Lazarus in your favorite Christian bookstore or go to and order it today. You will be delighted!

Tony is offering you a chance to be a part of his next book. Be a Volunteer Book Publicist, win a share of royalties or a role in my next novel:

Waking Lazarus

A truly amazing and unique story, filled with twists and switchbacks and real people. If you like Inspirational stories that are hard hitting and that are written extremely well and that keep you guessing... you'll love Waking Lazarus.

The villian is truly wicked and you get a glimpse into this wicked mind which is deeply chilling. The hero is just an ordinary janitor... well, not so ordinary. He's got a gift for coming back from the dead. What Satan means for evil, God means for Good. This is a story a little like The Wrong Way Prophet, Jonah. Jude runs away until he meets God face to face. Well done suspense fiction with the crimson thread of redemption running through it.

Yesterday I gave you a teaser. The book just gets better and better as each page you turn, and turn them you will... faster and faster. You can't relax with this book; and yet, it will be a fabulous one to curl up with one night or one afternoon because I seriously doubt you'll be able to put it down until the last page is finished. Truly, it is that good.

I have read thousands of books. Enjoyed lots of them. I have not enjoyed a book so much since I read Alistair McClean's Ice Station Zebra. It is that suspenseful. I have also enjoyed lots of books from lots of different publishers, but I have never in my life sent a letter or emailed a publisher to tell them how much I enjoyed a book. I did that with Waking Lazarus. Bethany House has a real winner with this one.

I met Tony Hines in a writer's forum at Faith*in*Fiction (the blog link is on the side bar at the left). He has a truly wonderful love for the Lord and a sweet personality. But, that isn't why I liked the book so much. Dog gone it, it is the best written Christian book I've read in months. I want more like this!

So... on to the interview...

Tony, I enjoy your BLOG very much and walking with you through this publishing process. I’ve known you for several months and have grown to love you as a person… warts and all. I have also learned that when I know the author, I’m even more intrigued by the book. You tell us a lot about yourself on your website (interesting stuff!) But, would you tell me and my readers a little more about you personally… something that isn’t on your website and gives us a glimpse into Tony Hines the man?

Thanks, Gina. Blogs really can be like personal journals--the only difference being they’re personal journals the whole world can see. I try to be as real and as honest as I can on my blog; I do more than my share of promotion on the rest of the site, and on the web in general. The blog is where I try to keep myself brutally honest.One of the first questions I get asked about the book is, “How did you come up with your main character of Jude Allman?” I tell people he comes from my own experience, with bits and pieces thrown in from other people. And that’s true. But there really is a lot more of me in Jude Allman than even I probably want to admit: he’s simply a magnified version of some of my own foibles. I have certain obsessive compulsive tendencies--I count letters of words and phrases frequently, for instance--and I’ve struggled with depression. With Jude, I just took a few of those things and exaggerated them to extremes. This isn’t to say I’m just a bundled mess on neuroses, of course. I have a wonderful, supportive family, and I really don’t know where I’d be without a faith in God. But there you go: the character of Jude hits close to home, in many ways.

You give a great insight into the reasons for this story and how it developed on your site. I’m wondering what did you learn about God while writing this book and during the process of getting it published?

That’s a great part of the story, for me. Jude’s journey mirrors my own journey to faith. I was an atheist until age 27, and when I became a Christian, one of the most startling realizations was that God had been working in my life all along. I could go back to key points of my life, seeing how God had been at work in the choices I made, and it fascinated me. So, Jude is a man who is used by God, even though Jude does his best to thwart those efforts for much of the book. Writing the story illuminated the wonder of that to me in so many ways.

I also think my personal path to publication is something that can encourage other writers. I wrote WAKING LAZARUS a few years ago, and began querying literary agents--ABA and CBA--about representation. After being turned down by 80+ agents, I chalked up the book to experience and wrote another. Then, I queried more agents, and hit up agents who were “near misses” the first time. Same result: dozens of rejections. By this time, I was frustrated, and even though I’d started another book, I stalled. I finally sat down with God and had what I consider an Abraham moment: I had to hold up my desire to be published as a sacrifice. I said to God, “I don’t know why I’m getting so frustrated about being published. What I love to do is write, and I’m going to keep writing even if I never get published.”

Two weeks later--seriously--I received an email from Dave Long at Bethany House, who had downloaded a sample chapter of WAKING LAZARUS at my web site and was interested in seeing more. I still remember how he began that email: “Don’t know if you’d consider publication with a Christian publisher, but...” I still find that amazing. After a couple years of trying to find an agent as a door into a publisher, the back door had been opened to me--by a man I’d never met or spoken to.

That reinforced the message of the book for me yet again: God is at work in all our lives. And I truly believe God honored what I call my Abraham moment, when I offered up that desire to be published as a sacrifice.

[This last statement encouraged me so much in my own crises right now. It is probably the best advice I've ever been given.]

To be continued tomorrow...

Tony Hines

Jude Alleman has died thrice

Welcome to Red Lodge.

Yes. It's a real place. I spent the night there. I didn't sleep at all the night I spent there... I couldn't. I was too keyed up. Nervous and worried because a friend of mine was in trouble. I had to sit with him through it all. I even found myself praying for him. Imagine that!!! Of all things, to pray for a character in a book!

That is something so amazing and hasn't happened to me since... well, since I was a teenager. I was walking to the back of the house to freshen up and I actually breathed a prayer for this character, Jude Allman. Then I laughed at myself and then I was struck by what a treasure this was. Tony Hines created a work with three dimensional characters. Real people. People you get carried away about. Let me share a moment with you...

Chapter 1:

Drowning, 24 years ago

The first time Jude Allman died, he was eight years old.

It happened after a day of ice fishing with his father William. Mid-January. Duck Lake. Twenty degrees above zero on the thermometer, and something far below that on the wind chill scale. Jude sat on an overturned pickle bucket most of the day, occasionally threading a hook through fresh corn or salmon eggs before dropping his line into the inky hole. A few times, when he was impatient for a bite, he put his face over the hole and cupped his hands to peer at the watery world beneath. He saw a few sunfish, but no perch--none of the perch his father considered such “good eatin.”

“Should be headin’ back,” William finally said. The comment startled Jude, partly because he himself had been ready to leave for hours, partly because it was only his father’s third sentence of the day. (The first two, respectively, had been “Ready to get goin’?” and “Hungry?”) Jude slid off the bucket and reeled in his line the last time. His hook had no salmon egg. Maybe an unseen good eatin perch had nibbled it, or maybe the egg had shriveled and slid into the chilly water, resigning itself to fate.

They gathered their gear and started toward the pickup. Jude counted each footfall: from memory, he knew it would be 327 steps.

For a long time, all Jude could hear was the steady crunch of their boots, amplified into a hollow echo by the ice. Every so often, a forced cough from his dad, one of those quick huffs to clear his lungs. Jude stared down at his boots, watching as he continued to count. Fifty-six, fifty-seven, fifty-eight. He lifted his gaze again to stare at William’s broad back, wishing he could match his father’s long, loping strides. It was 327 steps for him; how many would that be for his father? Seventy-two, seventy-three, seventy-four. He pictured his mother, waiting at home with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, maybe a cookie or two. Chocolate chip. Eighty-seven, eighty-eight, eighty--

For a moment, he felt like he was on the roller coaster at the county fair, gravity’s pull licking at his stomach.

Instantly, he knew what was happening. The lake was swallowing him, pulling him in, whispering his name.He opened his mouth to call for his dad, to scream, to do anything, but the water was alive as it raced down his throat, and the bitter cold was a red starburst as he closed his eyes, and the world was a dark, fading memory as he felt himself sinking.


Read the rest of the first chapter then tune in tomorrow when we chat with Tony for a few minutes.

Tony Hines


The Hidden

This is a good book. It is not edge of your seat suspense... it is more kick your feet up and forget to go to bed. The plot moves in a fairly fast pace with several surprising twists. And the mystery is absorbing. I have a couple of theological questions, but I can't ask them or I'd spoil the book for you. I'd never do that!

A dark ravine. A fiery death. An unimaginable secret. Some things are best left hidden.
Grieving her son's death, psychiatrist Susan Stone returns home to Colorado to help her elderly father manage his horse-breeding business. After the botched delivery of a prized foal, Susan rides wildly into the mountains, seeking release from consuming guilt. Thrown from her horse, she tumbles into a dark ravine and makes a startling discovery--a young man, chained in the darkness.

I know this character Susan Stone. You have probably met her, too. She's grieving alone and truly stubborn about it... and has no room for God in her scientific mind. Boy, does God have a plan for her! If you like mysteries, you'll like this book.

I believe you would like Kathryn, too. She has written screenplays for Fox, Disney and Showtime. She worked on the screenwriting team for Leftbehind: The Movie as well as Frank Peretti's Hangman's Curse. She describes herself as, "a middle-aged mom in Hollywood." Her story is amazing! On her website under her bio she states:

Bottom line: The month I turned 45 I sold my first book out of the
slush pile. The editor told me it was a million-to-one shot that they bought
something out of the slush pile. Three weeks later I sold my first
screenplay—out of the Hollywood equivalent of the slush pile. The studio
exec told me that it was a million-to-one shot that they bought something
that way.

You do the math. It adds up to impossible.
Because the truth is this: only God could send a middle-aged mom to Hollywood.
And He’s kept me busy ever since. Each day is a blessing, each year another

I know it's true! It is never too late for God's plan to work in your life.

Kathryn graciously took time from her holiday to answer a couple of questions.

Gina: I have to ask… I looked, but didn’t find it on your website, how did you get the idea for The Hidden?

Kathryn: Because of my recent surgery (total hip replacement that, praise the Lord, is doing great!), I haven’t done the work to get The Hidden up on my website. My webmaster has been willing—the delay is all my fault!

I can’t be too specific as to where the idea for the book came from because I don’t want to give away the answer to who Jacob is and where he’s from. Which means I’ll have to be a bit of a tease because I got the idea from an obscure verse that appears in two of the smaller epistles of the New Testament. The same verse is key to the understanding of what is going on with Jacob but not until much later in the book.

That tease out of the way, I will say
The Hidden always involved Colorado and horses. At the time I first developed the story, I hadn’t ever been to Colorado. And I haven’t been on a horse since I was in college. Sometimes stories spring to life of their own accord, with their own locales and personalities—without an author having much to do with it!

I can say that while Rick Sanchez was always a character, the murders were a late addition. I felt I needed them to help sustain suspense while we waited for Susan to complete her unraveling and ride off into the mountains (where she finds Jacob). Sometimes authors construct plot elements to keep readers interested while we roll out the core of our stories!

Gina: I love how you weave your story with Faith and with Consequences. Could you tell us what you have learned about God while writing your books and how that has impacted your life?

Kathryn: Madeleine L’Engle once said, “The nature of Love is to create.” As a writer, I have the great privilege of tapping into that creative impulse that springs from being made in the image of God. That I can write about a God that is beyond anyone we can imagine and yet show his Love in the lives of people as sinful—and yet loved—as myself often takes my breath away. Even in my so-called “secular” books and movies, I seek God among the ruins of humanity and find joy when a character experiences the same impulse to goodness and righteousness that we can name as the heart of Christ.

Because I look for redemption every day in my writing, I’m learning more and more to look for God’s hand in all aspects of life. Sometimes my life is hard. Sometimes it’s messy. Sometimes what’s worse than a blank page is a page—or a day or a chunk of lifetime—filled with failure.

But more and more, I've learned that there’s nothing worse than turning away from that creative impulse and looking for the safe place. Like everyone else, I want to feel safe. But security is not among Christ’s provisions. (Provision is but safety is not.) Every day my life is a blank page that I’ve committed to the Lord for His authorship. If I don’t like the plot or the tone of His work in me, I need to muster the faith and courage to “read” on.

Now, gentle reader, is that not the best advice you could ever receive?

If you don't like the plot or the tone of God's work, muster the faith and courage to read on... It will be well worth it. That is a promise from God.

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