Saturday, July 19, 2008

ACFW 2008 Book of the Year List

I was a judge in the ACFW Book of the Year contest and they have announced the finalists. Now here's a list of books to read! I won't tell you what categories I judged or what books crossed my desk, but I have read a lot of these (outside of the contest.)I'll announce the winners after the conference in September.

Because I'm a part of the Indiana ACFW, I did highlight the Indiana authors who are finalists. Also, the authors I have interviewed on When I Was Just a Kid blog are linked to their interviews!

You might want to print this list off to look for in your favorite genres:

Debut Author
Bayou Justice (Robin Miller writing as Robin Caroll)
In Between (Jenny B. Jones)
Sushi for One? (Camy Tang)
My Soul Cries Out (Sherri Lewis)
Petticoat Ranch (Mary Connealy)

Contemporary Novella (*six finalists due to a tie)
A Cloud Mountain Christmas (Robin Lee Hatcher)
Finally Home (Deb Raney in Missouri Memories anthology)
Mississippi Mud (DiAnn Mills in Sugar And Grits Anthology)
Moonlight & Mistletoe (Carrie Turansky in Big Apple Christmas anthology)
Remaking of Moe McKenna (Gloria Clover in the Race to the Altar anthology)
Sweet Dreams Drive (Robin Lee Hatcher)

Historical Novella
Beyond the Memories (DiAnn Mills in Mississippi Memories anthology)
Finishing Touches (Kelly Hake in Missouri Memories anthology)
Love Notes (Mary Davis in Love Letters anthology)
The Spinster & The Cowboy (Lena Nelson Dooley in Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner anthology)
The Spinster & The Tycoon (Vickie McDonough in Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner anthology)

Lits (*six finalists due to a tie)
Around the World in 80 Dates (Christa Banister)
One Little Secret (Allison Bottke)
Renovating Becky Miller (Sharon Hinck)
Splitting Harriet (Tamara Leigh)
Sushi for One? (Camy Tang)
The Book of Jane (Dayton/Vanderbilt)

Long Contemporary
Autumn Blue (Karen Harter)
Like Always (Robert Elmer)
Taming Rafe (Susan May Warren)
When the Nile Runs Red (DiAnn Mills)
Within This Circle (Deb Raney)

Long Historical (*seven finalists due to TWO ties)
Courting Trouble (Deeanne Gist)
Fancy Pants (Cathy Hake)
Lady of Milkweed Manor (Julie Klassen)
Remember Me (Maureen Lang)
Then Came Hope (Louise Gouge)
Veil of Fire (Marlo Schalesky)
Where Willows Grow (Kim Vogel Sawyer)

Days And Hours (Susan Meissner)
Death of a Garage Sale Newbie (Sharon Dunn)
Gone With The Groom (Janice Thompson)
Sticks And Stones (Susan Meissner)
Your Chariot Awaits (Lorena McCourtney)

Short Contemporary
Heart of the Family (Margaret Daley)
The Heart of Grace (Linda Goodnight)
The Perfect Blend (Allie Pleiter)
Wedded Bliss (Kathleen Y'Barbo)
When Love Comes Home (Arlene James)

Short Contemporary Suspense (*six finalists due to a tie)
Caught Redhanded (Gayle Roper)
Her Christmas Protector (Terri Reed)
Nowhere to Hide (Debby Giusti)
Pursuit of Justice (Pamela Tracy)
See No Evil (Gayle Roper)
Vanished (Margaret Daley)

Short Historical (*six due to a tie)
A Time to Keep (Kelly Hake)
A Wealth Beyond Riches (Vickie McDonough)
Canteen Dreams (Cara Putman)
Corduroy Road to Love (Lynn Coleman)
Golden Days (Mary Connealy)
To Trust An Outlaw (Rhonda Gibson)

Demon: A Memoir (Tosca Lee)
DragonFire (Donita Paul)
The Restorer (Sharon Hinck)
The Restorer's Son (Sharon Hinck)
Isle of Swords (Wayne Thomas Batson)

Abomination (Colleen Coble)
Black Ice (Linda Hall)
Coral Moon (Brandilyn Collins)
Crimson Eve (Brandilyn Collins)
Ransomed Dreams (Amy Wallace)

Women's Fiction

A Promise To Remember (Katie Cushman)
Bygones (Kim Sawyer)
Remember to Forget (Deb Raney)
The Oak Leaves (Maureen Lang)
Watercolored Pearls (Stacy Adams)

Young Adult

In Between (Jenny B. Jones)
On The Loose (Jenny B. Jones)
Sara Jane: Liberty's Torch (Eleanor Clark)
Sarah's Long Ride (Susan P Davis)
Saving Sailor (Renee Riva)

If you leave a comment of your favorite genre, I'll enter you into a drawing to win Deb Raney's Remember to Forget.(Which I got that book from the publisher, so don't get any ideas.) Be sure to leave your contact info in this code format:

Part 2: To Be Read or Not to Be Read...

Continued from yesterday....(see the post that began this here )

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

Yes, because I picked up that habit when I was a book reviewer for magazines. When I did my column, I had to read around 10 books for every 3 I reviewed. I can read really fast if I want to. I like to mix up the types of books I'm reading at one time, too. Nonfiction, fiction and various genres. I also am a huge magazine reader. I read the newspaper cover-to-cover, too.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

Nonfiction usually requires a different part of my brain than the fiction, and sometimes with nonfiction I take notes or underline or highlight or even put post-its into the text. Fiction I just read, unless I'm working on a manuscript for someone or analyzing it for a contest.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

Ok, here's the horrible thing about me--I don't belong to a library because I live in an area where I can't get a card. (ARRGH!) I can have a library card for my alma mater college, but I rarely go there, as it is a journey and parking is awful. I get many books sent to me as ARCs (advanced reading copy) because of what I do, and I buy tons of books as well. I'm a junkie, it's true. My husband hates it.

I sometimes wish I lived in Gas City, Indiana because I've heard they carry a lot of the books I like to read at their library. I sometimes win books on blogs, too. But because I get so many books, I don't usually enter unless I haven't been able to get the book they're offering.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

I either have to keep the ARCs or destroy them. I keep the ones(ARCs) I want to study. I do have way too many books and I lend many to others, give them away (either in person or on my blogs) or I donate them to that dratted library where I can't get a card, or to church libraries if they are Christian books. I've actually started a new wing in one church. ha

I, of course, keep my favorites! (And any unread ones that I am still hoping to get to!)I went out and bought the Little Women set of dolls by Wendy Lawton but I was unable to find Marmee, which was a heartbreak for me. I did love that book, of course.

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?

Oh, my. My boys are now ages 23-17. My oldest loved Go Dog, Go! I also was a teacher so of course, I shared many books with my classes. I took children's literature in college and read well over 100books in that class. I wanted to be a children's author.

Shel Silverstein was my favorite by far and I used his poetry and stories for many projects.

Lord of the Rings, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Outsiders, To Kill a Mockingbird when they were old enough, Narnia books, Ol' Yeller, Frank Peretti books. I have four boys and read incessantly to them when they were young(I bought whole libraries of books,) but when they got older I tricked them--I would start a book and stop reading in the most exciting part. I'd tell them I didn't have time to read any further and they'd practically tear the book out of my hand to finish it themselves. It's an ol' Indian trick I used as a teacher with my sixth graders. The librarian once asked me what in the world I was doing in my classroom because kids would tear into the library requesting the very book I'd just returned. Ha!

12. What are you reading now?

A Ginger Garrett ARC called In the Shadow of the Lions.

It's for review (a magazine) and I also have 3 more stacked up to read before August 15th.
Surviving the Fitness Game by JoAnna Ward
The Mommie Diaries edited by Tally Flint
Murder by Family by Kent Whitaker

Also, for my personal reading, Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle.

I'm trying to get to Joel Rosenberg's Dead Heat. Love his books.

I also want to read Sharon Hinck's Restorer series, and Jill Elizabeth Nelson's series. I am also getting Cathy Hake's latest series, the Heartsong Mysteries line, and Sharlene MacLaren's series. I read Cathy Hake's Bittersweet and Sharon's Loving Liza Jane, both historical romances which I loved both and was hooked on new authors.

13. Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?

No, but I have a rather HUGE TBR pile. Sigh. I have them and just stack them in baskets!

14. What’s next?
I just finished Writing for the Soul by Jerry Jenkins and picked up The Mind of Your Story by Lisa Lenard-Cook.

I'm finishing the rather large pile of Heartsong Mysteries. I'm really interested in their line, but had not had time to read but one of them so far (Suspicion of Strawberries by Lynette Sowell, which is set in my home area in Tennessee.)

I'm nor even mentioning the legion of recipe books, food books, diet books, fitness books and fashion books that I read just for fun.

15. What books would you like to reread?
I reread these books occasionally: My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, On Writing by Stephen King. I don't usually pick up novels to reread because there are so many new ones to read. I sometimes will flip through one to give examples to manuscript clients.

16. Who are your favorite authors? This is probably a trick question. Ugh. I love, love, love to read.

Besides the books I've mentioned above I have a fondness for picking up these authors each time they release something else:

Lisa Wingate
John Grisham (his legal thriller books)
Siri Mitchell
Joel Rosenberg
Dee Henderson (where are you, Dee?)
Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Sharon Hinck
Brandt Dodson
Ginger Garrett
Lynn Austin
Susan Downs' and Susan Warren's Heirs of Anton
Sharlene MacLaren

and I love Indiana authors:
Cara Putman
Ramona Cecil
Colleen Coble
Diann Hunt
Denise Hunter
Janet Dean
Brandt Dodson
Rick Barry
Rachael Phillips

And new authors:
Camy Tang
Mary Connealy

and my favorite children's authors:
Wendy Lawton
Andy McGuire
as well as the ones listed on my Kids Who Grew Up to Write for Kids list above.

Any Heartsongs and Love Inspireds (especially the historicals)
Heartsong Mysteries and Love Inspired Suspense

Your turn! Do this meme on your blog and leave a link in the comments! (Or comment on a question with your own reading habits here.) I will certainly listen to your comments on your favorites!

Friday, July 18, 2008

To Be Read or Not to Be Read, That is the Question

Here I am! I'm in my office. Can you see the mess?

I'm so delighted that so many of you responded to the plea to vote for the lighthouse of your choice. Such fun! Also, thank you, Susan, for worrying about me. I have had an interesting time away from the blog. Here's what happened:

1. lots of storms and unable to log on to my computer
2. finishing up judging for ACFW Book of the Year--fun!
3. took my youngest of four sons to the Indiana State Police Career camp at Vincennes--he had a blast! And may have found his post-high school career.
4. rode the motorcycle all over the place
5. played a lot of golf (and really got my money's worth if you compare cost to shots...)

Coming up: more motorcycle rides, playing in the Symphony on the Green charity golf tournament, a road trip to Champaign, Illinois and school starts for my senior in HS. I might go to the Midwest Conference. I'm also cleaning out my clothes, books and plan on getting back to my diet--I want to lose 15 more pounds.

So now for a blog about, what else? Reading!

I stole this cool meme from Camy Tang.

1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

My mother was a reader, along with her entire side of the family! I remember my Aunt Adeline, mom's older sister, got for me my first book and I have that book, The Ten Commandments, in my chest of treasures. I remember I felt like I always could read and don't remember not reading. My dog, Candy, a pekinese, was only one year younger than me and she used to steal my books and I'd chase her down.

In the private Christian school I attended 1st-5th grade I read every book in the library and loved the public library, checking out my quota every week. In 6th grade I attended public school. My teacher opened a whole new world that I had not previously been exposed to due to the restrictions of my former school. Mr. Rosen was also Jewish, and there were many things we had in common knowledge because I was drilled in Old Testament. He was fascinating to me. That was the year I started reading sports figures books. I loved Babe Zaharias and any sports story.

My cousins all liked reading. I remember we used to talk about our favorites and the cousins who lived out-of-state would write long letters about their favorites. One of my cousins, Sally Jo, who grew up in Africa and England, said she began writing because I showed her my journals as teens, and she wanted to do that(writing,) too. She published many children's books before her death last year. My cousin, Darrol, became a librarian. I remember he gave me my set of Perelandra books by C.S. Lewis for my birthday. Loved them! I remember even my sports-minded guy cousins, Mike and Danny, were always reading. Mike had a particular love for WWII books and became a pilot in the Air Force.

Two of my aunts, Mayme and Cecile, still tell me what they love to read. My mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, husband's niece and my husband's aunts all are readers and I share with them. My flower girl from our wedding, Hanna, who is now an English teacher, is starting a book club at her church and asked for recommendations.

So, yeah, reading is genetic and a family thing.

Interesting enough, though, my dad was functionally illiterate(both of my parents are dead,) and it was my greatest desire to teach reading (and I helped him before he died--with Bible reading.) He moved so often in school that he had troubles, and ended up dropping out of school in high school and running away to be a truck driver. He was so proud of me graduating from college and being a reading teacher.

I think I developed a passion for reading from a combination of these things as I grew up.

2. What are some books you read as a child?
Tiny Golden Library (which I still have)
All the Little House on the Prairie books
Any book about animals and dogs, like Black Beauty, and of course, my very favorite, Looney Coon, about this pet raccoon
Little Women books
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
All the famous historical Americans' biographies (them as children. We had dozens of them in our library and I wish I could find some.)
Sports stories and famous sports stars
The Bible and many Bible-based story books (my favorite story was Joseph)
My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
Edgar Allen Poe
Phyllis Whitney
Anything my mom was reading that she would allow (she screened my novels)

At 13 my mother let me read To Kill a Mockingbird and I read that over 20 times more. She also gave me Gone With the Wind and I read it in two days, because I was so afraid she would change her mind. I reread that one a few more times, too. That was also the time I started reading historicals like Chesapeake by James Michener and Captains and Kings by Taylor Caldwell. I loved historical settings. This was also the time I read books I'd missed as a child like Nancy Drew books, Hardy Boys, Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter, Anne of Green Gables.

3. What is your favorite genre?

Historical romance, followed by romantic suspense, but I love about any romance, and have read a wide range of genres, including speculative. I do not enjoy the sad, painful women's fiction, though, and will avoid those at any cost.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?

Whoa, I have a lot of favorite novels, but probably my all time favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

I have to mention a few of my other favorites--
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
Chosen by Ginger Garrett
Mitford books by Jan Karon
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Centennial by James Michener
My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
Eugenia Price's Lighthouse series
Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell
O'Malley series by Dee Henderson
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Any Shel Silverstein book

5. Where do you usually read?

Anywhere. I have been reading lately on my stationary bike because I'm up to 70 minutes on it. I like to read on my screened in back porch in my glider and also in bed!

6. When do you usually read?

In the morning on my daily bike ride and before bed in my bed.

To Be continued....