Friday, February 22, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Michelle Kemper Brownlow's IN TOO DEEP

What fun!  Here's the cover for new author Michelle Kemper Brownlow's first novel, and I must say it looks tempting....  Michelle is also fun to follow on twitter.  You'll find all her links below.  And now, the cover copy of IN TOO DEEP:
 
Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.
Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.
Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?
 
Michelle Kemper Brownlow
 
IN TOO DEEP, my debut romance novel, COMING SOON!!
"The day he said "I love you," should have been the day she said, "Goodbye!"
Release Date: June 6, 2013
 
Visit my Author/Illustrator blog: MICHELLE KEMPER BROWNLOW
Follow me on Twitter: @MK_Brownlow
"Like" me on facebook: Michelle Kemper Brownlow/ Author

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review of _A Light in the Darkness_ by Heather Sutherlin

As a follow-up to Heather Sutherlin's post on inspiration, here is my review of her first novel, A Light in the Darkness, a good example of fantasy and allegorical (but not obvious allegory!) presentation of faith.

This is a well written fantasy with memorable characters.  Merrilyn's faith in a forgotten god, Loian, and her strict adherance to her professional principles place a strain on her friendship with Prince Justan.  Had she not been the Alaith, Merrilyn's romantic relationship with Justan could have developed more quickly.  Instead, following her professional call and her faith, Merrilyn finds a new friend--and a love triangle.
This is a fantasy set in a capably-created world where magic is a real threat to the health and security of the people of Justan's kingdom. Merrilyn shares a nearly forgotten faith in a god who guides her personally, and an interesting part of the writing of this novel is how to share something as intimate as one's faith in a way that others will find meaningful and helpful.  That is a difficult theme, and Sutherlin handles it well.
I enjoyed this story and its delicate portrayal of shared belief and the community of women who support Merrilyn's work and encourage her faith.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Writers on Wednesday: Heather Sutherlin



This week I am happy to bring back the Writers on Wednesday feature with Heather Sutherlin, a friend and fellow Arkansan writer.  Note Heather's involvement, below, in local writers' groups here in Arkansas.  Way to go, girl!  She's also offering scavenger-hunt fun on her blog: http://heathersutherlin.com/share-the-love-scavenger-hunt/.  Heather homeschools her kids and writes Young Adult fiction while also leading a young writers group, inspiring a new generation of authors.  For this article, I asked Heather to share what inspires her.
 


Christine asked me to explain what inspires me.  Are you sure you want to know? You’re going to laugh. I promise. Most writers are inspired by other writers, by great works of literature or deeply poetic verse. Many today are inspired by the vibrant throng of humanity surrounding them or the depth of human emotion. Not me. I’m inspired by trees.
I like trees. Not just one tree. Trees, standing close together, growing thick and tall until you would call them a wood or, even better, a forest. I adore forests. There is something truly spellbinding about a forest path. I am enticed by the sounds, the way the leaves rustle over head in the breeze, like a lady shaking out her taffeta skirts. My senses heighten as a bird sings in the distance, hidden from sight as the sound drifts toward me. The trees bend and creak as the wind works it magic against their force. Squirrels chatter as they scamper along branches, sending a shower of acorns rattling their way to the forest floor and somewhere nearby a twig snaps. The sound of trickling water always pulls me to a standstill as I listen for the sweet sound of water rushing over mossy covered rocks.
I love forests. I love how the sunlight filters in through the leafy canopy, its rays somehow softened and yet twice as sparkly as it captures dust particles dancing through the air. I smile at the artistic patterns on the forest floor that dance and sway as the light passes through the branches above. When a bright ray of light breaks through to highlight a patch of fern or mossy covered ground, I find myself drawn through the darkness toward its sunny location as though it were sacred somehow, this bright spot in a dark wood.
There, in the quiet expectant wood, my heart races. I feel anticipation building within me, as though something incredible were about to happen. Here there must be magic. Here, in this still moment, I will finally make sense of some chaotic element of my world. I find myself searching for something I can’t quite explain, and that is when I find another sort of magic – Inspiration.
All of my books so far draw on these very real emotions and experiences. Every one of my main characters has found her true purpose, her greatest adventure, in the shadow of a familiar wood. It’s not a theme I believe will disappear anytime soon in my work. There, in the forest, anything seems possible. So, when I’m feeling dry and weary, frazzled and feckless, I go to the woods. I’ll take my notebook along for good company and in it capture those bits of magic that drift my way, saving them for another day. Back in the big city, tucked away at my writing desk far from the quiet calm of nature, I’ll pull out that notebook and breathe in the magic once again. Then, I’ll pour it all out for you, dear reader. I’m saving the best for you.

 
 Author Bio

1999 – B.A. in Elementary Education from Harding University
2009 - Created Write Start, a workshop for young writers.
2011 - 1st Place White County Creative Writers’ Conference First Chapter Contest
2012 – Debut novel, A Light in the Darkness, is released along with its sequel, To Light the Path.
2013 – Seen and Wandered, two books in a new YA fantasy series, will be released in the spring.
Featured Author – Arkansas Literary Festival
President - Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas

Heather Sutherlin lives in Arkansas with her husband and three children. She loves all things creative and enjoys the worlds she dreams up, longing to live the adventure alongside her characters. When she’s not at her writing desk, she is busy exploring and learning with her children or cooking big, elaborate meals in the kitchen with her husband.

You can see more of Heather at her website, HeatherSutherlin.com
Or, email her at HSutherlin@gmail.com