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Book Club Fiction Pick of the Month – Wings of Glass (Ebook deal this week only!)

Hey, readers! If you’ve seen past posts on the blog, you may remember reading about bestselling author Gina Holmes and her beautifully poignant new novel, Wings of Glass. This month on Tyndale’s Book Club Hub, Wings of Glass is our pick for an engaging read for those looking to spur discussion during their book groups. Wings of Glass deals with difficult topics, like emotional and physical abuse, with such eloquent grace that you’ll be drawn to these dynamic women’s tales as they weave throughout the story. Below, hear from Gina as she speaks on Wings of Glass and the impact it’s had on her and her readers alike.

 ~*~

I’ve heard your writing referred to as “self-help fiction.” What does that mean, and why is it called that?

To me, the best novels don’t just entertain; they leave me changed—and that’s what I always aim for when I’m writing. In my own life, I’ve come through a lot of trials, a lot of heartache, and reading great nonfiction books has helped me heal. I think fiction can work to change our thinking and show us new viewpoints that we hadn’t thought of in the same way nonfiction can. Jesus taught in parables, and a good story can teach lessons in the same way. Sometimes it’s hard for us to look at our own lives objectively and pinpoint where our thinking may be off, but it’s much easier looking at a friend’s life and seeing where theirs is. That’s what good characters and stories can do for us—help us see through a “friend” what we haven’t been able to see in ourselves.

How do you expect Penny’s story to resonate with women?

I think the three main female characters in this book will look familiar to all women. Most of us have someone in our lives we’ve tried to talk sense into and couldn’t. Most of us have been in a relationship where our friends saw red flags love made us blind to. Every woman I know has a deep desire to love and be loved. To forgive and think the best of the person who holds her heart.

In your writing career, what are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of Wings of Glass. It was a hard book to write because it is so exposing of things I’ve witnessed, and by nature I’m a private person who doesn’t like to share my past. I know it’s something I should do, and writing about subject matters like domestic violence and giving interviews like this allow me to work on that. Sharing our testimony of what we’ve come through really speaks hope to others still in the midst of trials. God has done a miracle in my life and then has given me the gift of storytelling to maybe be a small part of someone else’s miracle. That’s so humbling and amazing.

What is the best advice or encouragement that you have received?

I love getting reader letters. The biggest encouragement has been from folks who’ve read one of my books and it changed their thinking, allowed them to finally forgive or be less afraid or more understanding.

~*~

Reader thoughts on Wings of Glass

Wings of Glass is a powerful, can’t-put-down novel, so real that it reads like a memoir.”
Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author

“Holmes handles the topic of domestic abuse with grace and compassion. All of the characters are well developed and real. You’ll be sorry to see the story end, because it is so honest and mesmerizing.”
Romantic Times, Top Pick, 4 1/2 stars

See more reader reactions on the Wings of Glass Goodreads page.

Wings of Glass is a wonderful novel for discussion and deep, thought-provoking dialogue. This week only (April 21–April 27), download the e-book version for only $3.99!

For more book club fiction and nonfiction suggestions, visit the Tyndale Book Club Hub. Get access to great book suggestions along with book group discussion questions tailored for prompting lively discussion.

If you’re interested in Gina’s writing, she can be found online . . .

At her website:

www.ginaholmes.com 

At her blog:

www.novelrocket.com

On Facebook:
www.facebook.com/authorginaholmes

Thanks for reading, and let us know in the comments and on Twitter @Crazy4Fiction: What is your book club reading, and what’s on the horizon next?

Take a Chance on … Forgiveness – Thoughts by Author Susan May Warren (and a giveaway!)

Today on the blog we welcome acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren as she writes on forgiveness.

Enjoy, and don’t miss out on the giveaways and questions for readers at the bottom!

~*~

Agent K: Do you know the most destructive force in the universe?
Agent J: Sugar?
Agent K: Regret.

Men in Black 3

Do you have a moment, a snapshot in time, that you keep seeing in your rearview mirror? I have many. Like the time I turned away from the staircase, intending to lock the gate, just long enough for my daughter to fall down the stairs in her walker. Or the time I glanced down to adjust the radio right as a deer appeared in the middle of the road.

What if, in that moment, the one you long to snatch back, you did something unthinkable, something you could never fix? Like accidentally ran over someone crossing the road?

And what if it was your best friend’s wife?

This is the tragedy behind my new novel, Take a Chance on Me. It explores the emotions in the aftermath of a terrible accident, emotions still as raw and fresh as they were three years ago, when the accident happened.

How do you move past tragedy and not let it haunt you? How do you forgive—and should you have to? My hero, Darek Christiansen, doesn’t think he should have to forgive Jensen Atwood, his former best friend, who caused the accident. It just seems too much to ask. Besides, Jensen hasn’t exactly asked for forgiveness.

But Jensen feels trapped. Sure, he’s heartbroken by the accident, but when the town—and Darek—started pointing fingers, it forced him to defend himself, leaving no room for grief. For sorrow.

Standing on the sidelines is Claire, their childhood friend, and the best friend of Darek’s late wife. Claire longs to figure out how to help them, but she feels paralyzed by their grief, and by her own.

Into this mix walks Ivy, the new assistant county attorney, who has no idea that she is the reason behind all the turmoil. See, three years ago Ivy was the clerk who helped craft Jensen’s plea bargain—an agreement that set him free from prison in exchange for community service in Deep Haven. She just knows that finally, finally, she’s found someplace to call home. And for a girl who’s grown up as a foster kid, home is all she wants.

Poor Jensen just wants to leave town as soon as his community service is finished. But it seems the town isn’t interested in helping him get the hours he needs, and if he doesn’t log more time soon, he’ll go to jail anyway. Until then, he works as a handyman around town and sneaks into the venues where Claire plays with her band, the Blue Monkeys. Thankfully, he’s also on hand to help Claire—whether she wants him to or not—after her grandfather injures himself. Maybe he can prove to her that he is innocent, or at least sorry . . . and figure out a way to show her he loves her.

More than anything, Darek longs for a fresh start, especially since he has his own regrets from that night, namely the fight that pushed his wife out of the house and onto that highway. But he has no idea he’s falling in love with the woman who set Jensen free, or that he’s walking back into the pain he longs to escape.

The good news is that there is healing—and a future—if they are willing to take a chance on forgiveness and love.

Take a Chance on Me also introduces the rest of the Christiansen family, all six of the colorful adult children and their parents, who are trying to figure out how to help their children lean on their legacy of faith in a fragile and frustrating world. Click to find out more about each member of the family.

Regret comes at you when you least expect it. But if you’re willing to take a chance on forgiveness . . . you might just find yourself no longer looking over your shoulder.

Thanks, Susan, for your thoughts on forgiveness as they relate to our lives and to the characters in your novel. 

Attention giveaway lovers, if you stop by the Take a Chance on Me page on Goodreads, you have an opportunity to enter to win a free copy! 5 winners will be chosen on 4/30.

In addition, here on the Tyndale blog enter to win a great Minnesota themed prize packed giveaway and get to know the Christiansen family! Hurry now, giveaway ends 4/30.

Click to go to product page

For more on Susan and her new novel, Take a Chance on Me, she can be found online:

At her website:

http://www.susanmaywarren.com/

At her blog:

http://www.susanmaywarren.com/scribbles-blog/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanMayWarrenFiction

Or follow her on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.

QUESTIONS FOR READERS:

Forgiveness can often be a hard pill to swallow—both asking forgiveness and giving it willingly. If you were in Darek’s shoes, what would it take for Jensen to earn your forgiveness? What does it mean to forgive? Must we always forgive the follies of others? What does God want us to do? 

Thanks for reading!

 Click to follow us on Twitter!

Tyndale Fiction’s Thoughts On: Compelling Characters in Fiction

 

Hey, readers! Today on the blog I wanted to share a fascinating article I stumbled upon recently on Writer’s Digest.

The article goes through the four distinct progressions that make for compelling, motivated characters and thus lead to great, intriguing fiction. Below, each member of our fiction acquisitions team has picked a recently read novel and dissected it by the article’s guidelines.

If you would, take a moment to read the article and let us know which of the four tropes your favorite fictional character falls under. It’s fun to take a closer look at fiction and truly see why the book is so gripping! Hope you enjoy.

KAREN
Karen

Penny Carson in Wings of Glass (Gina Holmes’s new release) is an interesting case study. If you look at Penny over the arc of the story, she is constantly growing and changing . . . both in how she behaves and in what she wants. She wants a Prince Charming, she wants to be independent and free of her parents, she wants to have a storybook marriage, she wants Trent to love her and stop being angry and abusive, she wants Trent to be faithful, she wants to have a baby because that will change everything, and she bends her personality to try and make all of this so. When I first read this story, I often found Penny frustrating. I couldn’t understand how she didn’t want more for herself than her demeaning husband, Trent. And when Penny becomes part of the triangle between Trent and her friends Fatimah and Callie Mae, the story really starts to cook! Penny is going to change in radical ways. And just as the writer of the article shows, the plot events provoke genuine change. In the case of Penny, the fear is that she won’t change in the right direction, that she won’t embrace the truth spoken by her friends. And short of the ultimate change agent—her child—I’m not so sure she would have changed. A great main character is impacted by great secondary characters. As the writer of the article said, this is a complex fiction pattern. For readers who need stories to move in a predictable straight line, this story may be just too smart for them. Okay, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Read Wings of Glass!

JAN
Jan

At an author’s suggestion, I recently read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. I don’t know that it’s one of my favorite novels, but the story continues to haunt me. The woman in the story, Catherine Land, changes her personality and her motivation by the end of the book. She’s devious and motivated by greed as she answers an ad for a mail-order bride. She pretends to be “a reliable wife” as she slowly poisons her new husband with small doses of arsenic. But as the story progresses, she begins to care for her husband and realizes she can’t carry through with her plan. It’s a dark story, but beautifully written.

STEPHANIE
Stephanie

Susan May Warren is one of my favorite romance writers, and in Take a Chance on Me (a Christiansen Family novel) she blends romance with a family drama. If you’re familiar with TV shows like Parenthood or Gilmore Girls, or with Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family Drama books, you’ll have a good feel for what this series is like. Ivy Madison—the heroine in the first book—is a character with what Nancy Kress would call a “changing personality, static motivation.” Ivy grew up a child of the foster care system. Always moving from one place to the next, she never really knew the feeling of home. That’s what she’s looking for when she moves to Deep Haven. The new assistant district attorney, she wants to put down roots, to stay in one place, to know people and have them know her back. But because of the pain in her past, she’s afraid to get too close to anyone. You can’t get hurt if you don’t care. That belief works until she meets and falls in love with Darek Christiansen, a widow with the kind of family she’d always dreamed of—parents who are supportive, brothers and sisters who are as much like friends as they are siblings. Of course, there’s a secret that could tear Ivy and Darek apart—not to mention a wildfire that is headed straight for the resort Darek’s family owns. When everything is on the line, Ivy must decide if she’ll cut and run like usual or if she’ll stay and fight for Darek and the chance to be a part of the family she’s always wanted. See what she decides in Take a Chance on Me! (and don’t miss out on Susan May Warren’s amazing Minnesota themed giveaway! Ends 4/30).

SHAINA
shaina

I love books with multiple key characters, especially when their stories overlap in the true fashion of this small world we live in. The stories of Grace Shepherd, Zach Craig, and Scarlett Jo Newberry collide on the streets of small-town Franklin, Tennessee, in Denise Hildreth Jones’s Secrets over Sweet Tea. Though the story tracks the lives of these three separate and distinct characters, each one follows the “changing personality, static motivation” character progression. Each character struggles along the way, but in the end, it is these struggles that shape them and help guide them; they are motivated by their desire to be happy and in tune with God’s path for their lives. From the first chapter to the last, I felt drawn to the interwoven tale of these complex individuals. They make several missteps along the way, such as divorce and infidelity, and uncover an array of secrets from the past. But in the end, each character starts to grow into the man or woman God designed them to be.

~*~

Hope you enjoyed our thoughts on the four ways to motivate characters. We would love to read yours in the comments! Happy Friday, all!

Meet the Christiansen Family – Author Susan May Warren on her new 6-book series

Afternoon, readers! Today we welcome to the blog bestselling, RITA Award–winning author Susan May Warren as she takes us into her world to meet the stars of her new six-book series, the Christiansen family.

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“Please, please write a book about John!”

            I got this e-mail from a reader and had to smile because when I finished writing You Don’t Know Me, I had the same thought. When John Christiansen walked onto the page as a friend of Nathan’s, I knew he had to have his own story. Maybe a few of them as I got to know his six children.

With the Deep Haven collection growing in popularity—and readers telling me how they wanted to spend more time in the north woods of Minnesota—I turned to John and his wife, Ingrid, and asked, “What stories do you have to tell?”

Ingrid invited me to sit down for a cup of coffee and told me enough tales to fill six books. Like many of my readers, Ingrid and John are in the stage of life where their children are leaving the nest. It’s an exciting yet challenging season as they watch their children become adults, but also as they have to let go and hope their children’s faith becomes their own. I understand their worries and their joys, and I hope you will too as you meet the Christiansen family and watch Ingrid and John guide their adult children into a new season. I just love the Christiansen kids—they remind me of my own!

Here’s a glimpse of the pack.

John Christiansen is the owner of Evergreen Lodge Outfitter and Cabin Rentals (aka Evergreen Resort). John is a former football player and has spent his entire life running the resort, which has been in the family for three generations. It’s a hideaway in the woods, located on beautiful Evergreen Lake, with canoeing, fishing, hiking, and lots of quiet breezes perfect for reading. (I know I’d like to visit!)

Ingrid Christiansen has spent her life raising her six kids, building a life in Deep Haven, and being John’s right-hand gal at the resort. She is the backbone of this series, with her hopes and dreams written in a letter to each of her children at the beginning of each story. Ingrid is the mother we all wish we could have.

Darek Christiansen is the oldest son, a former Hotshot (wildland firefighter)—and that job fits his personality too. “Dare,” as his siblings call him, was the family daredevil, the leader of the pack. His greatest dream was to become a fire boss until he got his hometown girlfriend pregnant, came home and married her. Sadly, as we meet Darek, his wife has been killed in a tragic accident, leaving behind their five-year-old son, Theo (“Tiger”). He’s just trying to be the best father he can be as he takes over the family resort.

Eden Christiansen is the family organizer and cheerleader. She has dreams of being a journalist, but for now she works in the obits department of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Eden appointed herself long ago as her brother Owen’s keeper, and as he makes his way into professional hockey, she’s by his side to cheer him on.

Grace Christiansen is the family chef. She currently works at Pierre’s Pizza and makes a mean spinach pizza—but her dream is to enter the culinary institute in Minneapolis. Out of all the Christiansens, Grace is the peacemaker.

Casper Christiansen is the family scamp. An archaeology major at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, he spends more time hunting for treasure—especially on sunken wrecks. More than anything, he wants to find something rare and invaluable, but for now he’s got Darek’s motorcycle and drifts in and out of school and the resort, trying to find his place.

Owen Christiansen’s entire life is hockey—he’s been playing since he was four, and he recently signed with the Minnesota Wild pro hockey team. Owen is young, brash, and headstrong. He has an amazing future ahead of him if he can manage not to get into trouble.

Amelia Christiansen can’t wait to leave the small town of Deep Haven and become a big-name National Geographic photographer. She won’t go anywhere without a camera or her iPhone, and if her family would stop treating her like a baby and realize she is just as capable as they are, then they’d all get along a lot better.

I hope you’ll pack your bags and escape to Evergreen Resort, share a campfire with the Christiansen family, and join us on the journey where faith and family meet real life.

Thank you for reading!

Susan May Warren

~*~ 

Thanks, Susan, for giving us a peek into the lives of each of these imaginative characters. Can’t wait to delve into the series and discover more. 

Enjoy the video below and join Susan as she unfolds her thoughts behind the Christiansen series.

 

Get to know Darek Christiansen in the first book in the series, Take a Chance on Me. Available now in bookstores and online.

Hurry now and head over to the blog for a chance to WIN an amazing prize packed giveaway! Ends 4/30.

To get in touch with Susan, she can be found online . . .

At her website:

http://www.susanmaywarren.com/

At her blog:

http://www.susanmaywarren.com/scribbles-blog/

On Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SusanMayWarrenFiction

Or follow her on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.

Thanks for reading!

Tyndale Fiction’s March Releases – Great Inspirational Fiction

Afternoon, readers! With March upon us, there is much to celebrate, including Good Friday, Easter—and, of course, new March books! Below, read a little about the great new inspirational stories from your favorite authors.

A Suspenseful Geopolitical Thriller

 

What if Israel
launched a massive preemptive
military strike against Iran?

What could go wrong?

New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg returns with an adrenaline-charged political thriller to complete his Twelfth Imam 3-book-series—a gripping tale snatched from future headlines.

Israel’s preemptive strike seems to go well at first, until CIA operative David Shirazi learns there are more Iranian nuclear warheads still left unaccounted for. Now Shirazi and his team must race against the clock to hunt down the warheads and keep them from being launched at Israel.

Can Shirazi find the warheads in time? Can he protect the U.S. and Israel from a nuclear holocaust? And what if events are set into motion that could spin gravely out of control and change the history of the Middle East and the world forever?

Thoughts on Damascus Countdown:

“Joel C. Rosenberg is one of the most knowledgeable people writing about the Middle East. He has a clear understanding of what is going on in today’s Iran and Syria and the grave threat these two countries pose to the rest of the world.”
Reza Kahlili, former CIA operative in Iran and bestselling author of A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran

Damascus Countdown is fantastic—intense action, blistering pace, and eerie how close it is to real events in the Mideast, especially with Iran so close to the Bomb and Syria melting down! Rosenberg always keeps me riveted.”
Rush Limbaugh, radio host

“[Joel Rosenberg’s] penetrating knowledge of all things Mideastern—coupled with his intuitive knack for high-stakes intrigue—demand attention.”
Porter Goss, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency

An Inspirational Story about Learning to Embrace Life

 

Secrets can be funny things. We think they keep us safe, but more often than not, they spill out when we least expect and make a mess out of everything. It’s a truth Scarlett Jo Newberry knows all too well—a truth Grace Shepherd and Zach Craig are about to learn the hard way. As the lives of this boisterous pastor’s wife, polished news anchor, and beleaguered divorce attorney intersect in the tree-lined streets of Franklin, Tennessee, scandal threatens to topple their carefully constructed worlds. Grasping at survival, they embark on a journey of friendship and courage, desperate to find a way back to laughter, love, and life.

Thoughts on Secrets over Sweet Tea:

“Denise Hildreth Jones has done it again!  In Secrets over Sweet Tea, Jones blends all the right ingredients – love, angst, faith and friendship – for the most fun and heartfelt read.  Only problem, you’ll come to the last page desperately wanting one sip more.”
Susan Gregg Gilmore, award-winning author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

“Jones can distill the heart of a woman better than most authors. . . . A wonderful treat that women of every stage and circumstance of life can treasure.”
Romantic Times, 4 ½ star review

A Mesmerizing Tale of Growth, Healing, and Love

 

From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson thought she’d found her Prince Charming in farmhand Trent Taylor. But Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship.
                Out of options, she resigns herself to the fate of a woman controlled by a man with no control . . . until an accident forces Trent to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who open up her life to endless possibilities, teach her to live and laugh again—and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.

Thoughts on Wings of Glass:

Wings of Glass proves Gina Holmes’s mettle as an author. This is a solid novel, for Holmes has deftly handled a story about domestic violence that is both heart-wrenching and endearing at the same time.”
Southern Literary Review

Wings of Glass demonstrates Gina Holmes’s amazing storytelling ability. As Penny finds strength, readers will too, aware that we all make choices, each and every day.”
Fresh Fiction

“Holmes creates complex, fully realized characters, deftly portraying the nuances of an abusive relationship. . . . This gripping novel is sure to appeal to Christian and secular readers alike.”
Library Journal

Interested in these three great novels? Click the cover images below to go to the author’s website for more on each title and their other works:

      

Thanks for reading, and let us know what you’re up to; what great books are lining your to-read bookshelf?  

 

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