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Monday, April 30, 2012

Gimp Tutorial: Layers - The Basics

Book Review: Cooking the Books

Humor is difficult to write, but this debut novel by Bonnie Calhoun is a wonderful example of how to successfully mix it into a suspenseful story that keeps the pages turning. I've known Bonnie for a few years thanks to my connection with the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. My exchanges with Bonnie have always been brimming with humor (LOL), so it was no surprise to me when I began reading Cooking the Books and found ripping humor practically on each page. Sometimes I laughed out loud (just ask my wife).

Meanwhile, the humor doesn't empower a suspenseful tale in its own right. The heroine, Sloane Templeton, certainly has her share of troubles—from an angry, abusive, former boyfriend to the pain from her mother's recent death. Her most troubling problem is the fact that someone wants her dead.

To keep the conflict from turning too bleak, Calhoun has sprinkled the story with a cast of hilarious characters, the most fascinating of all is Sloane herself, who is her own worst enemy. She lies, she loses her cool, and she has an eating problem. But she quickly confesses to God that she's not the woman of faith she knows she needs to be. Flawed? Definitely. But in an endearing way. It's nice to see a character struggle through real-world faith issues.

I enjoyed this debut novel. The suspense thread offered enough thrills to keep me wondering what was going to happen, and the humor added to the entertainment value. A nice twist toward the end left me reeling in surprise. Congratulations, Bonnie, on a great debut novel. I look forward to seeing what you've got planned for the days ahead.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2012)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl


Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She is married to the handsome man she met at fencing class and lives with him and a gaggle of cats. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.

Anne Elisabeth is also the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a series of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style.


Moonblood Draws Near, and Soon the Dragons Will Wake

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.

Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed.

With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon's sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it's too late for Rose Red . . . and all those he loves.

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Common Misconceptions of the Wannabe Novelist: #5

#5: If a publisher accepts my novel for publication, I'll be rich. 

Ha! Don’t quit your day job just yet. This is one of the most ridiculous myths of all, and it’s fueled by those glossy back covers of New York Times-best-selling authors in their expensive clothes and watches, hair perfectly coifed, wrinkles air-brushed away. More

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The 13th Tribe
Thomas Nelson (April 3, 2012)
Robert Liparulo


Best-selling novelist Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first three critically acclaimed thrillers—Comes a Horseman, Germ, and Deadfall—were optioned by Hollywood producers, as well as his Dreamhouse Kings series for young adults. Bestselling author Ted Dekker calls The 13th Tribe, released in April 2012, “a phenomenal story.” Liparulo is currently working with director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) on the novel and screenplay of a political thriller. New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” Liparulo lives in Colorado with his family.

Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page:, or at Twitter @robertliparulo.


Their story didn't start this year . . . or even this millennium.
It began when Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Tired of waiting on the One True God, the twelve tribes of Israel began worshipping a golden calf through pagan revelry. Many received immediate death for their idolatry, but 40 were handed a far worse punishment-endless life on earth with no chance to see the face of God.

This group of immortals became the 13th Tribe, and they've been trying to earn their way into heaven ever since-by killing sinners. Though their logic is twisted, their brilliance is undeniable. Their wrath is unstoppable. And the technology they possess is beyond anything mere humans have ever seen.

Jagger Baird knows nothing about the Tribe when he's hired as head of security for an archaeological dig on Mt. Sinai. The former Army Ranger is still reeling from an accident that claimed the life of his best friend, his arm, and his faith in God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The 13th Tribe, go HERE.

My Review

This novel looks exciting and is in my TBR pile. I look forward to reading it. Unfortunately, while skimming through it, I came across some language that would prohibit me from recommending it and makes me feel less excited about reading it. Regardless of how good the novel is, no Christian novel should depict one character telling another character to go to the place that burns forever and ever. Sorry. It looks like a great novel beyond that small but important flaw.

Note: Thank you to Thomas Nelson and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for a review copy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cooking the Books by Bonnie S. Calhoun

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Cooking The Books
Abingdon Press (April 2012)
Bonnie S. Calhoun


As the Owner/Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Bonnie has helped use the 220+ blogs of the Alliance to promote many titles on the Christian bestseller list. She also owns and publishes the Christian Fiction Online magazine which is devoted to readers and writers of Christian fiction. She is the Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). At ACFW she was named the ‘Mentor of the Year,’ for 2011, and she is the current President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network. Bonnie is also the Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

In her spare time she is an avid social media junkie, and teaches Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and HTML as recreational occupations. She also has a novel coming out in the Abingdon Quilts of Love series. Her novel Pieces of the Heart will publish August of 2013.

Bonnie and her husband Bob live in a log cabin on 15 acres in upstate area of Binghamton, New York with a dog and cat who consider the humans as wait-staff.


After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also "inherits" a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, “What else can go wrong?”

A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cooking The Books, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

If you'd like to read interviews with Bonnie, try these:
Everbody Needs A Little Romance
A Christian Writers World
Novel Rocket
ACFW - Fiction Finder

My Review

I received the book less than one week ago and haven't finished it yet. I'm enjoying my read so far and looking forward to writing a review once I'm finished. Congratulations, Bonnie!