Friday, June 30, 2006

Free Chapter and Other Bits

I've posted the first chapter of my second novel online! Go to my in-progress website and click on "Evergreen Secrets." Be sure to leave a comment and browse around the rest of the site!

Sometime this weekend, Keepin' On will be putting up the July issue, with my review of River Rising by Athol Dickson. Yes, I've finally read the book! And while it didn't make my top favorite books of the year, I still enjoyed the read.

The blog tour for Waking Lazarus is still in progress. Visit T. L. Hines' blog for links to other reviews and interviews.

Brandilyn Collins provided a quick look at the makings of an ISBN number on her blog today:

Starting January 1, 2007, each ISBN (International Standard Book Number) will expand to 13 digits in order to get in step with worldwide publishing. The three extra digits will signify the country in which the book is published.

All the numbers in a bar code mean something, by the way. Example: bar code for Violet Dawn: 0-310-25223-7. 0=English language. 310=Publisher. 25223=Title. 7=Check digit. The new bar codes will place the three country digits at the very beginning, before the language digit. 978=USA.

And now if you’re wondering what the check digit’s all about—it’s a mathematically obtained number to check if the bar code was keyed in or scanned correctly. For ISBNs the check digit is computed by multiplying each digit by its place in the line. (For Violet Dawn, 0x1, 3x2, 1x3, 0x4, etc.), then adding these answers (=173), then dividing that sum by 11 (=15, remainder 7). The remainder is the check digit. If the remainder happens to be 10, an X is used instead.

I'd always wondered about the "X." Am I the only person who thinks this is totally cool?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Waking Lazarus

No, it's not Walking Lazarus. Or even Raising Lazarus. But whatever you call it, T. L. Hines' debut novel Waking Lazarus is a can't-put-down mind-twisting thriller from start to finish.

My review:

Jude Allman has died three times. Each time he returns to life, his fame grows, along with questions. Tired of being a freak, Jude changes his name and retreats to Red Lodge, Montana. As school janitor Ron Gress, all he wants to do is blend in and block all memories of his past, often repeating the Tolkien-ish mantra, “Keep it secret, keep it safe.”

But secrets of the past are about to be blown wide open. A young woman named Kristina has discovered Jude’s whereabouts, and she insists there’s a purpose behind Jude’s journeys to the Other Side. Amid his skepticism, strange things start happening. Visions. Blackouts. An odd coppery taste in his mouth. Rescues.

Meanwhile, children are disappearing in the towns surrounding Red Lodge, and the police have no decent leads. As Jude begins to shed his reclusiveness, rumors of his psychic encounters pique the interest of the authorities. It’s only a matter of time before they learn his true identity, and that will signal the beginning of the end - unless he can find the real kidnapper.

With an intriguing premise, a likeable hero, and a villain worthy of Ted Dekker, Hines has created a glued-to-your-seat read with themes to ponder long after the book is closed. Suspense is kept throughout Waking Lazarus, and each of the characters perfect the delicate balance of withholding and giving information. The plot dips, curves, and loops until the final twist at the end. Recommended for suspense fans and anyone who wants the ride of his life. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book

Monday, June 05, 2006

Something Beyond the Sky

My review of Siri Mitchell's wonderful novel, Something Beyond the Sky, is up at Keepin' On. Click on over and check it out (free registration required). Then come back here and let me know what you thought of it! For more about Siri's books, visit her website.

On a bit more personal note, I was initially interested in this book (beyond the fact that I love Siri's writing!) because several of my friends are pilots or in the military. I also really liked the cover (not that I won't read a book if I don't like the cover - I do plan to read Dee Henderson's upcoming novel despite its cover - but a beautiful cover brings an urge to own the book, not merely read it or have a galley or ARC). Another neat thing was that my church was doing a study on religions, and the sermon on Mormonism took place right as I was reading the book. I enjoyed getting the perspectives almost simultaneously.

Friday, June 02, 2006

First Fridays: Deliver Us From Evelyn

Deliver Us From Evelyn

(Harvest House Publishers)

Chris Well

Everyone from the Feds to the mob is scrambling to find the husband of heartless media mogul Evelyn Blake. But no one can decide which is worse—that he is missing, or that she is not ...

Buy now at