Novella collections? by Camy Tang

I’m currently doing research for a Regency romance novella that I’m writing for the 3rd Inspy Kisses collection, Mistletoe Kisses, which will release in December. I wrote a full length Regency romance, Prelude for a Lord, under my pen name, Camille Elliot, so I’ll be writing as Camille for the Inspy Kisses collection.

For the other two collections, I wrote two romantic suspense novellas, which were pretty easy for me. But for some reason, a Regency romance novella is giving me problems. So to help jump-start my creativity, I pulled out some Regency romance novella collections from my TBR pile and I’m reading them to see the kinds of storylines and the pacing of these shorter stories.

(Yes, I know, I’m reading these books as “research.” My husband, Captain Caffeine, just rolls his eyes.)

It’s been really interesting to see the different types of stories in these Regency novellas. They don’t spend a lot of time of backstory, but they do try to develop full-fledged characters within a limited word count. Some writers are masterful at it–I just read “The Rake’s Christmas” by Edith Layton and the story is amazing. She really makes me care about the characters and I could see exactly how they fall in love just within this story.

I admit I haven’t read a lot of novellas recently–most of the time, I’m either reading nonfiction for research or I’m reading full-length novels to keep up with the market. But I’m finding such a comfort in these shorter stories. They’re sweet and uncomplicated, they have romance and varied settings and different character personalities for each story. They’re quick to read, and if there’s one I don’t care for, it’s not that huge a time commitment to read it all the way through or if I decide to stop reading it, I just skip to the next story in the book.

What do you all think about novella collections? Do you buy them? How do you read them–in spurts or all the way through? If they’re ebooks, do you read them on your computer? Your e-reader? Your phone? Or maybe a tablet? What’s the most you’ve spent on it?

Or do you prefer full length books to novella collections? Why or why not?

How long do you hang in with a book? by Camy Tang

I’m afraid I kind of offended a friend of mine because I didn’t finish a book I started. She was appalled. “How can you not finish a book?”

Me: “I don’t have time for books that bore me.”

She reacted as though I were going to burn my books rather than simply not finishing them.

I admit, I used to ALWAYS finish my books. Even if I was bored to tears, I would slog through and finish it.

Then I hit 35. (That was almost a decade ago)

And my TBR pile hit 5000 books. No, that is not a typo. Granted, half of those are ebooks, and a huge majority of those ebooks I got for free, but STILL.

(On a side note, ebooks have been very bad for my TBR pile. I used to be limited by my shelf space, or rather, the amount of surface area in my house, but now with ebooks, I am unshackled.)

I realized my TBR pile exceeded what I would be able to read before I died. Yes, Book Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy (I borrowed that from knitter Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who said something similar about yarn stashes).

How to be able to choose what books I’d read before I died and which I wouldn’t? I couldn’t. So then, whenever a book didn’t interest me, I stopped reading.

It was very hard at first. I have a slightly obsessive compulsive thing about finishing stuff once I start.

But then I would look once again at my TBR pile and I would step away from the book.

Some of you might be cringing in horror. I apologize. But I simply can’t keep reading a book that doesn’t interest me when I could move on to another book from my TBR pile that does.

How about you? How long do you hang in with a book? To the bitter end? Or do you give yourself 3 or 5 chapters before you’ll put it down?

Poll: ebook readers/iPads/Tablets

I saw this question on Goodreads and thought I’d ask this here:

If you have BOTH an ereader (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc.) AND a Tablet (iPad, iPad Mini, etc.) or a smarphone, which do you use predominantly for reading ebooks? And WHY?

I have an iPad, iPhone, and a Nook Simple Touch. I really like the e-ink screen of the Nook, but I have to admit that turning pages is easier on my iPad and iPhone because the screen is more responsive. I will usually prop up my iPad and read using my Nook app, and I’ll be able to eat or knit (something simple) while I read.

If I go on my exercise bike, then I’ll usually use my Nook Simple Touch since it’s a nice size to read on.

However, if I’m out and waiting in line or something (like at the post office) I’ll usually whip out my iPhone and start reading on my Nook app while I’m in line. It’s nice always having my books with me!

So how about you? And be sure to say exactly why you use what you use to read!

Buying cheap books by Camy Tang

I have a sickness. I can’t stop buying cheap books.

I am uncontrollable. If I see a Nook Daily Find or a Kindle Daily Deal, I can’t stop myself from clicking to look at it, and if it’s a book I think I’d like to read, I’ll buy it because hey, it’s only $1.99 or $2.99!

Unfortunately, that adds up if I do that several times a week.

Even before ebooks, I was like this with print books. I’d love to go to garage sales and thrift stores looking for books that were all less than a buck each. You can’t beat a deal like that!

And that is how I ended up with 5,127 books. No, that is not a typo. I just looked it up on my book catalog program. 2,971 of those are ebooks. Granted, I got a lot of those ebooks for free, so I don’t feel quite that bad about that.

But that means I bought 2,156 print books! Some of those print books I got for free, but the majority of them I bought!

The numbers condemn me. I have a real problem! I didn’t really relate to the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella, but then I look at my library and realize that instead of silk scarves, I’m buying books!

I have tried the library but as I mentioned in a previous post, I have a real germophobic problem with used books, which has gotten worse the older I get. I usually end up thinking more about how the book smells or how tacky the cover feels is rather than enjoying the story.

So this year, I have a BUDGET. Yes, I just used the B-word. A certain amount I can spend each month on books, and that includes those nifty ebook deals.

Let’s hope it prevents my library from going over 6000 books anytime soon …

New Year’s Reading resolutions by Camy Tang

I know some of you detest New Year’s resolutions, so I hope the title doesn’t throw you off. :) But I personally LOVE New Year’s resolutions because I feel like I have a game plan for the year, which makes me feel organized even if I’m really not.

For this next year, I’m hoping to focus my reading more. I’ve always read for one of several reasons:
1) whatever I feel like at the time I’m choosing a book
2) I need to read something for an endorsement or a review
3) I need to read a book I’ve borrowed from the library or a friend
I need to read for market research

This year, I want to be more focused on my choices, and I also want to start making a dent in my TBR pile. So here’s my plan:

1) I’m going to start reading more of my older print books so I can slowly start to clear my bookshelves.
2) If I want to read an ebook, I’ll read first the ebooks I’ve had the longest.
3) If I need to read a book for endorsement, review, the library, or market research, then rules 1 and 2 go out the window. :)

Any New Year’s reading resolutions for you?

Christians Read January Newsletter

MosesQuilt_N134101From Kathi Macias:

The Moses Quilt released January 1st!

The Moses Quilt is a contemporary novel that bridges racial and generational divides. With a realistic and compassionate look into a twenty-first-century dilemma, multiple award-winning author Kathi Macias introduces readers to a confused and apprehensive young woman, Mazie Hartford. Facing major decisions about the love of her life and her future, she must also wrestle with a nagging question about her family’s past. She finds the answer to her questions in a most unexpected way—her great-grandmother’s Moses quilt. As her great-grandmother begins to explain how each patch represents a story of courage and freedom, Mazie must decide if she has the courage and freedom to overcome her own personal fears and prejudices.

Order at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or Booksamillion.com.

 

Also, my Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named “2012 Book of the Year” by BooksandAuthors.net and came in fourth for best Christian novel of 2012 by The Book Club Network readers!

Order at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or Booksamillion.com.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
From Jim Rubart:

In January I’ll be working on the sequel to Soul’s Gate. It’s called Memory’s Door and it’s coming together nicely.

I’ll also be doing some book signings around the Seattle area to promote Soul’s Gate. Hope to see you there!

About Soul’s Gate:

  • PW- “Readers with high blood pressure or heart conditions be warned: this is a seriously heart-thumping and satisfying read that goes to the edge, jumps off, and “builds wings on the way down.”
  • RT- “Rubart’s novel is enthralling and superlative. Truly a story about freedom from things that we hold onto, this tale will captivate readers and encourage a more active, dynamic spiritual life. The original plot and well-drawn characters elevate this book to “must read” status.”

Order at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, exclusive Barnes & Noble only version, Kobobooks.com, or Booksamillion.com.

What’s really fun about this novel is I’ve partnered with Barnes & Noble to release along with the regular version, an exclusive Barnes & Noble only version which contains three extra chapters and an author’s note.

NarrowEscapewebFrom Camy Tang:

Just released is my latest Love Inspired Suspense, Narrow Escape! It’s the 4th book in my Sonoma Series, but each book in the series stands alone.

Those of you who read Stalker in the Shadows will recognize Nathan Fischer, who had a cameo in Stalker and now is the hero of Narrow Escape!

Here’s the back cover blurb:

KIDNAPPED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

Arissa Tiong and her three-year-old niece are snatched off the street by members of a notorious drug gang. Having lost her police officer brother to a drug bust gone bad, Arissa knows the danger she’s in. But she has no idea why they want her. Desperate to protect the little girl, Arissa escapes and runs straight to Nathan Fischer. She knows the handsome, weary former narcotics cop hasn’t told her everything about the night that ended her brother’s life and Nathan’s career. But he’s all that stands between her and dangerous thugs who are after something she doesn’t even know she has.

Excerpt of chapter one:

Arissa Tiong awoke to darkness and the stench of fear. Pain throbbed from a sharp point at the back of her head and radiated forward to pound against the backs of her eyeballs. She drew in a ragged breath and swallowed dust. She stifled a cough against the scratchy nubs of the frilly carpet she lay on.

Where was she? She tried to move and realized her stiff arms were fastened behind her back, and her ankles were tied together. She attempted to straighten her legs and found her feet were tethered to something. She was bound like an animal.

And Charity. Where was Charity? Her heart began to speed up, and each beat felt like a hammer blow to her breastbone. Her entire body ached.

The dim room narrowed into focus before her swimming vision. Slivers of light came from a boarded-up window. Daylight, it was still daytime. They’d taken her sometime in the morning, and she didn’t feel she’d been out for that long, so it must have only been a few hours. The rays spilled onto a rusty metal bed frame that held a thin, sagging mattress with no sheets and several dark stains. Her mind shied away from what made those stains.

The smell of mold was almost overpowering, and dust had settled on the thin carpet, pooling in holes and rips across the surface. The walls had dark water stains painted over older water stains.

She didn’t realize there was a ringing in her ears until it started to fade and she could hear noises from outside the room. The sharp hard cries of street kids playing a pickup game in the middle of a road. She made out a word or two here or there. The kids spoke in Tagalog. She was still in Los Angeles, maybe still in the Filipino community where she lived. She hadn’t seen the faces of the men who had nabbed her off the street, but if she remained in her neighborhood, they hadn’t taken her far.

What had they done with Charity? Her last memory had been seeing the three-year-old’s huge dark eyes, her mouth wide open, screaming and reaching for her as Arissa was hauled backward into a van. Had the men left Charity on the street? A three-year-old girl alone on the streets of L.A.? A cold knife blade slid under her rib cage and pricked her heart.

And why had they taken Arissa? She was only an international flight attendant. Her parents owned a tiny grocery store in a low-income Filipino community that barely earned enough to feed and house the four of them in the minuscule apartment above the store. They had nothing anyone would want.

The men must have taken her by mistake, and when they realized it, they’d kill her.

She closed her eyes. No, she had to see if she could get out of here. She would get out of here.

Arissa tugged at her hands behind her back. It felt like tape wrapped around her wrists. She twisted her arms, arched her back. Agony jabbed from her right shoulder—she must have injured it or fallen on it at some point. She gritted her teeth against the pain and pulled down her arms, getting them under her rear end.

She folded her body in half as she scooted her bound hands along the back of her legs toward her feet. Rope secured her crossed ankles, and a line ran into a tiny closet and fastened to the head of a large nail sticking out of the closet wall.

She reached down to see if she could untie her ankles even though her wrists were bound, but the line gave her a better idea. She sat up and drew her legs closer, pulling the rope taut. She set the edge of the duct tape around her wrists against the rope and started sawing back and forth.

It took forever, but soon the rope cut through and created a tear in the layers of duct tape. Then it was easier to saw through the rest and free her hands, ignoring the blood that trickled down the creases in her wrists from the tape and the friction from the rope.

She was about to untie her ankles when boot steps sounded outside the closed door, coming closer. A child’s sobbing approached with the steps.

Charity. They had her niece. Arissa wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved or terrified.

She dropped back down to the carpet, tucking her hands behind her back again. Hopefully the men wouldn’t realize the tape was gone. She settled into the same position she’d been in when she awoke, and shut her eyes.

The metal doorknob rattled as someone unlocked it, then two different footfalls sounded against the carpet—one lighter than the other, but neither were the steps of a child. One of them must have been carrying Charity, whose soft crying erupted into a wail as she saw Arissa on the floor.

“Let her go,” growled a man’s voice in Tagalog.

Now she could hear Charity’s footsteps, followed by tiny hands that wrapped around Arissa’s head and neck. “Aunty Rissa,” Charity sobbed. “Wake up, wake up. Why won’t you wake up?”

It took every ounce of willpower not to throw her arms around the small trembling body. Arissa kept her eyes shut. Thankfully, Charity’s body shielded her face from the two kidnappers.

“Now be quiet,” said a second voice in Tagalog, sharper than the other and slightly higher pitched. They were both men, both Filipino.

Charity gave a startled cry of fear, but then her sobs softened and she buried her face in Arissa’s hair.

“See, I told you it would make her be quiet,” said the sharp voice. The men walked out of the room. “Why’d you bring her, anyway?”

“It would have been better to leave her crying and screaming in the middle of the street?”

He was one of the men who’d grabbed them, then.

“All this trouble,” the deeper voice groused. “If Mark hadn’t gotten shot..” The door closed behind him and metal scraped as they locked it again.

Mark? Arissa’s brother, Mark? But he’d been killed in the line of duty over three years ago. Why would these men care about his death and kidnap Arissa now?

And would they go after her parents, too, now that they had Arissa and Charity?

She reached out to gather Charity close to her, and the little girl gave a surprised noise. “Shh, shh. We have to be quiet or they’ll come back.”

“Why did they take us, Aunty Rissa?” Fresh tears trickled down Arissa’s neck.

“I don’t know. But we have to get out of here, okay?”

The little head nodded against her ear.

Arissa sat up and worked on the rope tying her legs together. It had been knotted tightly but inexpertly. She tore a fingernail trying to loosen the first knot, but after that she was able to undo the other knots quickly.

The window had been boarded up with plywood so that only slits of light shone through, but as she leaned closer, Arissa could see that the drywall securing the boards was brittle and crumbling. She yanked at a plywood board that she was fairly certain hadn’t been nailed into a wall stud, and the bottom edge pulled away easily, with white dry-wall flakes drifting into the dingy carpet. She tried the top of the board, and it drew free.

So that’s why the window had been boarded up—cracks splintered out from the glass, radiating from a small hole. A bullet hole. She glanced behind her into the room, and saw a corresponding hole high in the wall next to the closet door.

She shuddered. Growing up in her area of L.A., she’d gotten used to hearing gunshots every night, but she never got used to seeing the damage to buildings, to people.

She tore away as many of the boards from the window as she could and set them quietly on the floor. Outside, the kids playing in the street had moved on, and the empty road echoed with the whisper of cars driving elsewhere nearby. It seemed to drowse in the bright sunlight as drug dealers slept off a busy night and nosy neighbors watched reality TV shows.

There was also nowhere to hide. The street ran in a straight shot in either direction. These small, old houses had postage-stamp front lawns and broken metal fences around the better ones. Only an occasional scraggly tree or decrepit bush. If she ran with Charity, they’d be spotted down the street in an instant. How long could she run with a three-year-old girl in her arms?

What had Mark always said to her? “Distraction evens the odds.”

She scanned the room, easier now that it was brighter, and stepped into the empty closet to look up. A square in the gray asbestos-snowlike ceiling pointed to an entry to the attic crawl space.

She used a board to nudge up the panel and slowly, quietly shift it aside to clear the opening. She wasn’t tall enough to get to it easily, or to check that it was safe. She’d have to trust there wasn’t anything dangerous in there.

Arissa picked up Charity and whispered in her ear, “You have to be brave for me, nene. Can you do that?”

The girl hesitated before nodding slowly. She wasn’t her father’s daughter for nothing.

“I need you to climb up there and be very, very quiet,” Arissa said.

“In the dark?” she whispered, her breath coming faster.

“It’s not so dark, see?” Arissa stood under the hole and could see faint rays of sunlight coming through a crack in the roof, illuminating the crawl space. “If you stay very quiet, we can get away from the bad men. Okay?”

Charity took a quick breath. “Okay.”

Arissa lifted up the girl and she scrambled into the hole. She pushed at her niece’s round bottom, covered in her favorite pink stretch pants, to get her over the edge into the attic. There was a soft shuffling, then Charity’s large dark eyes stared down at her from the edge of the hole.

“Stand back,” Arissa whispered, “and don’t make a sound.”

Arissa took the longest of the plywood boards and slid it under the flimsy doorknob, propping the other end of the board against the floor. It wouldn’t hold them long, but she only needed a few extra seconds.

She grabbed the heaviest of the other boards and took a deep breath, then swung it against the window glass with all her might.

The impact jarred her arms and shoulders and the sound of shattering glass rang in her ears, making them ache. She hit at the shards of glass left in the window, knocking them loose and shoving them outside. She glanced down and around the outside of the house, spying some dented metal trash cans a few feet to the side of the window. In order to make even more noise, she threw the board at them, knocking one down and making the other rattle ominously against the peeling paint of the house.

Men’s voices sounded outside the bedroom door, and the knob rattled. The door stuck against the board wedged there.

She ran toward the closet and took a flying leap at the hole in the ceiling just as the men began shouldering at the barricaded door with thundering blows. She grabbed at the edge and swung an elbow over with her momentum, then hauled herself up as quickly and quietly as she could. Thank goodness for the hours she spent at the gym in between her flight assignments. She drew in her legs and laid the panel back over the hole just as the men crashed through the door to the bedroom.

“They’re gone!” The voice came from the direction of the window.

“Don’t just stand there, we have to get them back.”

Footsteps raced out of the bedroom, leaving the house. There was a sound of a slamming door, then all was silent.

She waited a few seconds, straining to hear if there was a third man left in the house, but she didn’t hear anything, not even the sound of a television or radio. She pushed aside the panel and dropped down. Reaching up her arms for Charity, the girl obediently dangled her legs over the edge, then slid into her aunt’s arms.

She stepped through the splintered bedroom door, walking noiselessly into a small hallway. It opened into a dusty living room, with the open front door at one side and a kitchen door at the other. Arissa headed toward the back of the house.

There was a narrow kitchen door with a cobwebby glass panel. Thankfully it wasn’t locked. She opened it and let them into an overgrown backyard, strewn with rusting car parts and various pieces of trash. She carefully closed the door behind her, then made for the sagging back fence, which had several loose slats of wood. She wriggled through one of them, followed by Charity.

Then she picked up her niece and ran.

Nathan Fischer opened the front door and saw his dead partner’s eyes staring solemnly up at him.

It took him a moment to realize Mark’s eyes were in the face of a three-year-old girl, her dark brown curls blowing about her round cheeks in the crisp Sonoma breeze. Then Nathan’s gaze shifted to the young woman standing behind the little girl. The foyer tiles under his feet tilted sideways before righting themselves.

Arissa.

She had lost weight. Her high cheekbones stood out more, and her collarbone peeked from the wide-necked blouse she wore. It was her favorite color, a dusky rose that matched her lips. Her eyes bore into his, wide and intent.

“I’m sorry to drop in on you like this, Nathan, but I need your help.” Her voice was the same as he remembered it—low, musical, her words carefully enunciated in a way that hinted at a Filipino accent, although she’d been born in the U.S.

“My help?” he heard himself repeat idiotically. Maybe because he was exhausted—he’d pulled a double shift, taking over for one of the other security officers at Glencove Towers whose wife had gone into labor.

Arissa cast a nervous glance around the neighborhood. The gathering darkness had cast the other bungalow-style homes into shadows, but this was a safe, quiet street in downtown Sonoma—there were no monsters here. Something had spooked her badly.

Especially if she’d come to him, after the last words he’d spoken to her three years ago.

“Come in.” Nathan stood aside and opened the door wider. The little girl caught his attention again. So Arissa had had a child? The girl seemed tall for her age. So much had happened since he’d last seen Arissa.

She stepped into the foyer of Nathan’s parents’ home and he closed the door behind her, the light from the hallway lamp casting a glow across her almond-milk-colored skin. He caught a thread of rain and roses, and her familiar scent made him have a flashing urge to give her a peck on the cheek, to say, “Hi, honey, how was work?”

He exhaled a sharp breath to dispel the vision. It was the little girl causing this in him, the reminder that he had once had deeper feelings for this woman, had once wanted to have a family with her. The little girl had fooled him into thinking his dream had come true.

His dream would never come true. Certainly not with this woman, and now, not with any woman.

Order at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Kobobooks.com, or Booksamillion.com, or click here for all links to order Narrow Escape!

Contest!

Who doesn’t love a good contest for Christian books? Click here for details!

Christians Read December Newsletter

Just released is Elizabeth Goddard’s latest Love Inspired Suspense, Treacherous Skies!

Beth: I’m very excited about my latest romantic suspense release about a test pilot turned Learjet recovery man who retrieves a jet only to find the kidnapped daughter of a Colombian drug lord concealed inside. I had great input from two pilots on all the maneuvers in the story. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blurb:
After years of peace and quiet, Maya Carpenter thinks she’s safe—that her drug-lord father’s world will never catch up with her. Then she’s abducted and secretly stashed on a plane. And once she and the test pilot who finds her land in the Keys, the real threat begins….

Daredevil pilot Connor Jacobson is no one’s hero. And this time, he’s in way over his head. Yet he can’t leave Maya to face danger alone. Besides, he has a few tricks up his sleeve that might keep them safe…as long as he’s willing to put everything at risk, including his heart.

Order at Harlequin.com, Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or Booksamillion.com.

192003470Kristen Heitzmann’s new novel The Breath of Dawn is now available!

A grieving widower, and a courageous woman oppose a conman who plays a prophet—but he’s no saint.

Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the “success guru” has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he’s living for—until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.

Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.

Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counterproposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past, will they survive to build a future?

Order at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or Booksamillion.com.

ChristmasCountdownCover-copy2-189x300Christmas Countdown, the second book in Vicki Hinze’s Lost, Inc. series just released!

A simple trip home for the holidays is all former FBI profiler Maggie Mason wants. But a serial killer has other plans. Trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Maggie finds an ally in Lost, Inc. with private investigator Dr. Ian Crane. The handsome widower is reluctant to love again, and the last thing Maggie wants is to put Ian in the line of fire, too. Love could cost them everything…unless they can find their way to each other, in time for Christmas.

Click here for the book page on Vicki’s website.

Order at Harlequin.com (click for print book, Large Print book, or ebook), Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or Booksamillion.com.

Maureen Lang’s novel, Bees in the Butterfly Garden, is a finalist in the USA Best Book Award contest! Woohoo! Congrats, Maureen! (And isn’t that a gorgeous cover, too???? Camy is slightly envious in a loving Christian way. :)

Here’s the back cover blurb:

“A young lady of impeccable decorum never appears outside her home unchaperoned, uncoiffed, ungloved, or unhappy.” —MADAME MARISSE’S HANDBOOK FOR YOUNG LADIES

Raised at an exclusive boarding school, Meg Davenport has everything she needs but none of what she’s wanted most—like the love of a family, or a future not dependent on following etiquette and marrying well. So when she receives shocking news of her father’s death, Meg seizes the chance to break every rule that has governed her life. Especially when she learns John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Ian Maguire knows that John—his mentor—would never have wanted his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet she is determined to carry on his legacy, and her talent for garden design has earned her an invitation to stay with one of Fifth Avenue’s wealthiest families. With friends like those, Meg could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet.

But living in both worlds is more treacherous than Meg imagined. And as Ian’s concern for Meg turns to love, he finds himself torn between greed and guilt. Can they find the legacy they both long for, or in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

Order at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Kobobooks.com, or Booksamillion.com.

Camy Tang’s latest romantic suspense release is A Dangerous Stage! Here’s a short blurb from Camy about writing the book:

I really enjoyed writing about Tessa and Charles again for multiple reasons. Tessa’s struggles with forgiveness parallel some of my own struggles with forgiving people who have hurt me, and I hope readers can relate and also find hope that the hurt can be healed with God’s help.

I hadn’t written that much about Charles’s character in Protection for Hire, but I knew I needed to reveal more about his heart and his spiritual walk in A Dangerous Stage, and I was strongly impacted by Psalm 90:7-12:

We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.  All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I thought it was an important reminder to me that I am flawed but Jesus has saved me, and I need to remember God’s power and respect Him rather than taking Him for granted. It made me look at my life differently and make different choices, trying to follow God’s will rather than my own.

Charles struggles with these types of choices and whether he is truly passionately committed to Christ. My prayer is that his struggles will help readers make their own decisions to follow Christ with intensity and passion.

Backcover blurb:
Tessa Lancaster worked for her uncle in the Japanese mafia until she was sent to prison for a murder she didn’t commit. Now, after finding God behind bars, she takes odd jobs as a bodyguard to keep her distance from the family business.

In A Dangerous Stage, the second book in Camy Tang’s Protection for Hire series, Tessa gets caught up in the web of lies surrounding a shady singing competition. Hired by one of the contestants, she works with Charles Britton—the lawyer who sent her to prison—to discover the dark figures manipulating the contest from behind the scenes.

Tessa’s abilities will be tested like never before as she’s forced to balance the safety of her client’s family and her deepening relationship with Charles. In the midst of the chaos, she holds on to her faith to keep her safe and bring down the shadowy organization.

Check out the webpage for A Dangerous Stage!

Smelly books

Camy here, and today you’ll have to forgive me because I’m going on a bit of a rant.

There are several nonfiction books I need to get for research for my novels. Some of them are out of print, so the only version I can get is a used copy at an online book store.

I recently ordered a used copy of a book from a bookstore that said it was in “good” condition. And it was–the cover and pages were in great shape.

However, it had a faint odor of perfume that had permeated the pages. I didn’t notice the perfume at first because it wasn’t overpowering, but the more I read and handled the book, the more I began to notice it.

The smell was faintly nauseating to me, and what was even worse, it clung to my hands after I touched the pages, even if I only touched one page for a second. I kept feeling the urge to wash my hands after picking up the book and putting it down again.

Now, I’ve dealt with smelly used books before. I used to order out of print Regency romance novels that came with the odor of cigarette smoke. I tried everything to get it out, and I could usually decrease the smell so it became fainter, but I could never completely get the smell out of the pages.

I have a feeling the perfume in this book is going to be the same way! The smell is already admittedly faint, but even if I douse it with baking soda, I’m not sure I’ll ever get the smell entirely GONE. And that is the only way I’ll be completely happy with this book!

I’m so annoyed that I’m seriously considering scanning in the pages I need from this book and putting it through an OCR program so I’ll have a private ebook copy THAT DOESN’T SMELL.

Maybe I’m a bit neurotic about this. But I know I can’t be the only one affected by smells of books. Anyone else?

Rating Books

Camy here! Rating books is something I’m never very happy about doing because it just doesn’t seem nice. Someone put many hours into each book and a rating seems to cheapen that effort.

Also, I know all readers are different, and just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean another reader won’t, either.

That’s why I really don’t mind if I get 1, 2, 3 star ratings on Amazon and BN.com, because I know my books aren’t going to appeal to all readers. I understand that and accept it as a necessary fact of the career I’ve chosen as an author.

However, I have to admit that rating books can be useful as a quick guide to how I felt about a book I read, especially when I go back to refresh my memory.

It’s also helpful to see the trends of how I liked certain authors. If all the books I’ve read by an author have good ratings, then the author goes on my auto-buy list.

I was thinking about my ratings the other day and thought it would be good for me (and my declining capacity to remember anything) to write down what my ratings mean.

So here’s what I figured out my book ratings to mean:

1-star: Didn’t finish the book because I either didn’t like several elements of it, had problems relating to/liking the characters, or had issues with the plot.

2-stars: Book had at least one positive thing about it that I liked, but later I wasn’t interested enough to finish the book.

3-stars: I finished the book, but there were elements of it I didn’t like, or at least one of the characters was hard to sympathize with, or there were parts of the plot that didn’t make logical sense to me.

4-stars: I finished the book and mostly enjoyed it, although there might have been things about the plot, characters, or writing style I didn’t particularly like.

5-stars: I finished the book and enjoyed it. There might have been one or two things I didn’t quite like, but on a whole the book was entertaining and I liked it.

There are some 5-star books that I absolutely loved, but rather than give a 6-star rating or reserving the 5-star rating for those “perfect” books, I simply rave about the book in the comments section of my book catalogue (I use Booxter, which has a virtual “card” of information about each book I’ve read or have, and there’s a comments section where I talk about what I thought of the book).

So how about you? How do you rate books?

Christians Read newsletter

The first book in Vicki Hinze’s Lost, Inc. series released October 1st:

Lost, Inc. Series, Book 1
Mass Market ISBN: 978-0373445097
Large Print ISBN: 978-0373675302
Love Inspired Suspense

THE DARKEST HOURS
After losing everything, Della Jackson tries to begin again as an investigator. But she can’t forget the past . .. and neither can someone else. Someone who won’t let anyone–even Della’s best friend, former special operative Paul Mason–stand in the way. As Della is stalked and those closest to her are targeted, both Della and Paul realize there’s only one way to survive. They each have to face their greatest fears, overcome the scars of the past and dare to love again . . . before it’s too late.

LOST INC.
By finding and helping the lost, these broken investigators heal.

Watch the video

Check out the Lost, Inc. website

Kathi Macias’ Unexpected Christmas Hero released October 1st!

Here’s my latest release! FYI: The guy on the cover is Willard Parker, a guy who looks amazingly like the homeless Vietnam vet/unexpected Christmas hero in my book. Willard is also homeless and hoping having his picture on the cover will help him find his family, particularly his grown daughter. I’m posting this all over the net and talking about it on radio/TV in hopes of helping make that happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Rubart’s newest novel, Soul’s Gate, releases November 6th!

My latest novel, Soul’s Gate just released! Here’s a couple of opinions of the novel from Publishers Weekly and RT Book Reviews:

  • PW- “Readers with high blood pressure or heart conditions be warned: this is a seriously heart-thumping and satisfying read that goes to the edge, jumps off, and “builds wings on the way down.”
  • RT- “Rubart’s novel is enthralling and superlative. Truly a story about freedom from things that we hold onto, this tale will captivate readers and encourage a more active, dynamic spiritual life. The original plot and well-drawn characters elevate this book to “must read” status.”

What’s really fun about this novel is I’ve partnered with Barnes & Noble to release along with the regular version, an exclusive Barnes & Noble only version which contains three extra chapters and an author’s note.

The rest of November I’ll be working on the sequel to Soul’s Gate and looking forward to having my college age son Taylor home for Thanksgiving!

 

Camy Tang’s latest romantic suspense release is A Dangerous Stage which released November 1st (yesterday)!

Tessa Lancaster worked for her uncle in the Japanese mafia until she was sent to prison for a murder she didn’t commit. Now, after finding God behind bars, she takes odd jobs as a bodyguard to keep her distance from the family business.

In A Dangerous Stage, the second book in Camy Tang’s Protection for Hire series, Tessa gets caught up in the web of lies surrounding a shady singing competition. Hired by one of the contestants, she works with Charles Britton—the lawyer who sent her to prison—to discover the dark figures manipulating the contest from behind the scenes.

Tessa’s abilities will be tested like never before as she’s forced to balance the safety of her client’s family and her deepening relationship with Charles. In the midst of the chaos, she holds on to her faith to keep her safe and bring down the shadowy organization.

Check out the webpage for A Dangerous Stage!

NaNoWriMo!!!!!!

Camy here! Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. This month, thousands of people are committing to spending the next month trying to write 50,000 words on their own novels.

I’ve loved NaNoWriMo, because it’s fun to be part of a huge community all aimed at a common goal. It has also helped me to focus on finishing a manuscript I might have a deadline for.

This year, I’m again working on a contracted manuscript, the 22nd book in the Miracles of Marble Cove series with Guideposts. I love writing for Guideposts because the series ideas are so appealing and make me feel good about life, and the mysteries are always a bit unusual but never graphic or distasteful.

For Miracles of Marble Cove, it’s women’s fiction with a very light mystery thread running through each of the books. It’s about four women who are neighbors in a small coastal town in Maine who form a close friendship despite differences in age and home situations. I love each of these women I’m writing about and feel almost like they’re my friends, too.

Anyway, I’m excited to start on the book today!

Anyone else want to join me? You don’t have to be a writer to try the NaNoWriMo challenge–just anyone who has ever hankered after writing a book “someday.” The website is NaNoWriMo.org.

A good book about preparing for NaNoWriMo–both the writing prep but also the home life prep–is No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, who started NaNoWriMo with his friends. It’s a pretty entertaining book to read even if you don’t want to write one. :)

So who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year? Weigh in and tell me about your book!

Recurring characters

Meet Karissa!

She was one of my high school girls in youth group at my church where me and my husband have been working for the past several years. So while I was writing my last several books, I saw her pretty much every Saturday. Even though she’s now in college, I see her in the summertime when she comes home, because she helps out at youth group.

So when I was writing Single Sashimi, book 3 in my Sushi series, and I had to come up with names of kids in the youth group, I chose Karissa’s name.

Then when I was writing Weddings and Wasabi, book 4 in my Sushi series, she showed up again.

THEN when I was writing Protection for Hire, lo and behold, she showed up again. What’s more, she had a significant role as a minor character.

So of course when writing A Dangerous Stage, the second book in my Protection for Hire series, I had to have her appear again, although not in as big a role as the first book. But I think I will bring her back again for the third book. :)

I’m not sure why she kept coming back as a recurring character, but I found that I really liked seeing her. And then I realized how much I liked seeing recurring minor characters in other series that I’ve read. It makes me feel like I’m stopping in to visit for tea and cookies!

What are some series and recurring characters you’ve enjoyed reading about? Or do you not enjoy recurring characters at all? Weigh in!

Being without a book

Camy here! I saw this on Facebook the other day:

At first I was like, THAT IS SO ME!!!

And then my second thought was, Why am I so afraid to be without a book? Isn’t that kind of freaky weird? Does that mean I have some sort of psychological problem? Why is being without a book such an awful thing for me?

Because seriously, nothing annoys me more than being stuck waiting somewhere without a book to read. I have thanked God from the bottom of my heart a few times when I was able to read a book on my iPhone.

Why is having a book with me at all times so important to me? Am I somehow dependent on it? What’s going on with that?

What do you guys think? And no quips from the peanut gallery about the status of my sanity …

End of summer reading

Camy here! Now that summer is winding down, I’ve noticed that some of my reading tastes have changed a little bit. I’m reading more young adult novels, and I’m also reading a few of the mainstream novels I got at the RWA conference in Anaheim in July. I also just preordered the September Love Inspired Suspense novels on Nookbook, but I think that next month I will order the October Love Inspired Suspense ebooks from ebooks.Harlequin.com because then I can download them right away!

How about you? Have your reading tastes changed as summer ends? What are you reading now?

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