Sunday, August 21, 2011

Great World War II Read by Sarah Sundin

World War II stories are becoming more and more popular everyday. Having already written one historical romance myself that’s set in 1933, I’ve become intrigued with both the 30s and 40s, and for that reason, I excitedly opened author Sarah Sundin’s Blue Skies Tomorrow. I did not read the first two books in her three-book Wings of Glory series, but the story presented well as a stand alone, and anyone who enjoys WWII romance stories will love this story.

Evidence of Sundin’s extensive research into setting and WWII, both at war and on the home front, is very evident in this book. From detailed descriptions of hero, Ray Novak’s war experience as a bomber pilot to the home front where heroine, Helen Carlisle, lives in Antioch, California, the entire time period and the characters come alive to the reader.

The only drawback I found with this novel, is that the pacing of approximately the first third of the book to be a bit slow. During this time, Ray’s army assignment is at nearby Port Chicago, and even though he and Helen, a war widow with a toddler son, knew each other growing up, they've gone their separate ways. They become reacquainted toy with the idea of pursuing romance, but the emotional baggage they both carry prevents them from a committed relationship before Ray ships out to England.

At that point the pacing picks up and the story seamlessly moves forward at a fast clip between Ray’s war experiences and Helen’s struggles at home during which they both grow in their faith walks and overcome many obstacles. So much so, I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it!

I highly recommend this book, for the complex characterizations and the realistic depictions of life during WWII. For those who read the first two books in this series, you will especially want to read this as the storyline includes Ray’s two brothers, Walt and Jack, who were the heroes in  books one and two, to catch up on their lives.

You can find Blue Skies Tomorrow on line and at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore.

I will definitely be looking for more from Sarah Sundin. 

About the Author: Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody and A Memory Between Us. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during World War II. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review from Revell Publishing. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and no one else’s.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Author Pam Hillman Guest Blogs About Stealing Jake - You Can Win a Free Kindle!

Today, I'm very excited to have debut author, Pam Hillman, guest blogging here. I've known Pam since the first ACFW conference nearly ten years ago in Kansas City. Later, we both served on ACFW's operating board. She was the treasurer and I, the secretary. Good thing because I'm much better with words than numbers. But Pam is blessed to be exceptionally good with both!
Her debut novel, Stealing Jake, is published by Tyndale Publishers and is one of five books Tyndale has chosen to publish in a digital ebook format before publishing in print. This is a new approach by Tyndale and is a reflection of the changing landscape of e-book publishing.

Be sure to read to the bottom for exciting news on how you can sign up for a drawing to win a free Kindle!

Welcome Pam Hillman! The floor is yours.

Thanks, Pam. I'm excited to be here.

With ebook sales rocketing skyward, established publishers, authors and readers alike are taking a second look at electronic publishing. Tyndale House Publishers answer is the Digital First Program.

Tyndale House Publishers is a Christian publisher that publishes Bibles, fiction, and non-fiction. They’re probably best known for publishing the Left Behind series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, along with a host of amazingly talented and prolific authors. I am very blessed to have been picked up by them because they are one of the most established and well-respected publishing houses in the industry.

This past spring, Tyndale decided to offer a new model of publishing called “Digital First”, which is just what it implies, digital first with print books to (hopefully) follow. With ebooks quickly surpassing print books in sales, they asked a select group of agents to send proposals from their unpublished authors who had completed manuscripts ready to go. My agent sent one of mine, and I, along with four other unpublished authors, was offered a contract. My book, Stealing Jake, released July 1, 2011 as an ebook. Generally, it takes 12-18 months for a print book to hit the shelves, but Tyndale put these ebooks on a fast track to publication and had them available in about six weeks.

Tyndale launched the program in July 2011 with four fiction titles and one non-fiction title. Digital First’s initial ebooks include Delivery by Diana Prusik, Cash Burn by Michael Berrier, Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman, The Reinvention of Leona Harper by Lynne Gentry and a non-fiction title, 40 Days without Food: Divine Goodness to a Starving Soul by Russ Masterson.

Right after the announcements came out, someone asked me this burning question, "Why did you through Tyndale to do an ebook, when you could have gone directly to Amazon?"


First reason, because Tyndale launched a Digital First Initiative, and I was blessed enough to be one of the 5 debut authors chosen to launch the program.

Next, are you ready for this?

My publisher is Tyndale House Publishers!


I could stop right there, because that's reason enough in and of itself, but if you want more, here you go:

My book was edited by Tyndale editors. They were awesome! The entire process was as smooth as silk. My cover was designed by Tyndale cover designers. And I love it! My book is backed by Tyndale's good name. Whoa! Tyndale has marketing and publicity power. That I don't have... Tyndale did all the work to get my book listed on Amazon, CBD, B&N, and Mobipocket.

And finally, I am a Tyndale author, not just another name on Amazon.

How much is that worth to me? I can't even begin to measure that. I have no clout or pull with readers. Sure, some of my friends and family would have bought my book if I put it up on my own, but then that would have been the end of it, unless I got lucky as a few do. (And more power to them!)

And if this Digital First Initiative is as successful as it's shaping up to be, I might even see Stealing Jake in print next. This is a win-win situation for the Digital First authors and for Tyndale, and I'm over-the-moon excited to be partnering with one of the most respected publishing houses in the industry on this new venture.

Here are three wonderful articles that shed more light on Tyndale’s Digital First Initiative:

When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.
Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.
Interwoven throughout is a group of street kids arrested in Chicago and sold as child labor. Leading this band of ragamuffins is young Luke, a scared, determined orphan intent on rescuing his little brother at any cost.
Stealing Jake was offered for a limited time on Amazon, B&N & CBD. It was #1 on the top 100 Free Kindle list at Amazon for 7 days! Mind boggling and a testament to Tyndale’s clout as a publisher of quality fiction.
To celebrate the release of Stealing Jake, I’m giving away a Kindle. Deadline to enter the contest is September 30th.

Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.,,

Pam Meyers again: I have read Stealing Jake and thoroughly enjoyed the story. I can fully understand why Pam has placed high in so many writing contests. The girl can write!

As Pam said in her post she is sponsoring a Kindle giveaway at her blog. To enter the contest for the drawing for a free Kindle loaded with some of your favorite authors' books:

A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
Courting Miss Adelaide by Janet Dean
Sushi for One by Camy Tang
Love by the Book by Cara Lynn James
Rocky Mountain Hero by Audra Harders
One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson

Click on the button below to get your name in the drawing for the free Kindle!