Monday, May 19, 2008

Latest in Christian Fiction

Before I introduce a new book, I want to send out a thanks to LifeWay for hosting me this past Saturday for a booksigning for From A Distance. I had a blast meeting people, chatting, even shedding a tear or two (a booksigning just isn't complete without tears!), and connecting with readers, both new and old!

Something happened to me Saturday that hasn't happened before. A reader actually quoted a line from one of my books to me. "Death is but a pause, not an ending." It's from Remembered, and this dear woman told me she'd shared this line (and the book) with a friend who'd just lost a son, and that her friend drew comfort from the story and its perspective on death. Her story blessed me and showed me again that one of the greatest things about writing is this "connection" we have with other.

Life is a journey, and our journeys are intended, I believe, to be shared. To be intertwined. I'm so grateful we're sharing this journey together!

And now, for the Latest In Christian Fiction! A real treat today! Lisa Samon's Embrace Me. This book has one of the best first sentences I've read in a while--

"It's amazing how good a priest looks when you've got nobody else to turn to."

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

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

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

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

If you would like to read the first chapter of Embrace Me, go HERE.

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

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

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

Lisa lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.

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