Monday, September 28, 2009

Review of The Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman


When teenaged Rachel Durham finds a way that she and her eleven stepsisters can sneak out of their Chesapeake Bayside home after midnight, their troubled fundamentalist father enlists the help of Paul Fester, an ex-soldier and traveling juggler, to find out what the girls are up to. A modern retelling of Grimm's fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses."


Regina Doman has written a fun and exciting tale for teens and older. I very much enjoyed the book, and think it's the best of her series I've read thus far. I'm impressed how she can take an ancient fairy tale and put it into a modern setting. The demons and magic in these tales are things you'd find in everyday life--the good-looking guy who cares only for himself, or the secret passage that promised the magic of freedom from chores and strict parents. Iliked the characters a lot as well.

However, this is a book aimed at teens, so let me tell you my daughter's reaction. Amber 14, has little use for romance, loves Lord of the Rings and has no tolerance for the abusive relationship that masquerades for True Love in the Twilight series. She devoured this book in a couple of days. She thought Paul, the hero, was absolutely cool and wants to draw him. (She's an artist.) She was fully absorbed in the story and the adventure--and would want to discuss the book with me as she read.
Definitely, if you have teen girls, you should get Midnight Dancers for them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Fairy Tale Novels by Regina Doman


If you want to escape with a good book, try these Catholic fairy tales retold by Regina Doman. The Shadow of the Bear, Black as Night, Waking Rose, and the latest book, The Midnight Dancers.

In these contemporary novels for teens and adults you'll find Fighting. Friars. Fire. Dwarves. Dragons. Princes. Priests. Knights. Nuns. Ninjas. Maidens. Miracles. Chases. Escapes. Rescues. Revenge. Torture. True love. All with Catholic characters and themes. The Fairy Tale Novels have sold over 15,000 copies and each title has made Lulu's Monthly Top 100 Sellers List. The third book, Waking Rose, is still on the Lulu All-Time Bestseller list.

If you're looking for romance and excitement without the twisted values so commonly found in contemporary fantasy, check out these adventures by Regina Doman.

See more and read sample chapters at

Order at Or from Amazon:

Monday, September 21, 2009

CSFF Presents: The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul


Tipper is a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own?

The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions--including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon--and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

Interview with Donita Paul:

1. Why did you write this story?

I wanted to explore more areas of the world I had created. I had the image of the grand parrot in my head and he demanded a story, but he wouldn’t fit in Amara, so we had to go to Chiril.

2. What was your favorite part to write?

The battle in the ballroom.

3. What was most difficult?

Getting started with the story. That's always the most difficult part for me. I stew for ages before the story gels and I can put it on paper.

4. What do you hope readers will get from it?

A perspective of how non-believers feel when they are confronted with the truth of the gospel. I have lots of missionary friends, and they've told me that the thoughts and feelings non-believers have when we evangelize are greatly overlooked. I want those emotions to be shown to the reader so that they can understand.

5. What's next for you?

I'm in the process of writing The Wandering Artist, the second book after the Vanishing Sculptor.
Also, two children's picture books will be published in 2010 an 2011 about a turtle and dragon who go on adventures. I wrote these with my daughter who has sons in the picture book age category.

This September I will be going to the annual ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. Attending the conference are agents, editors, authors, etc. I strongly encourage writers to connect with ACFW. The organization is an encouragement and a place of connection that gives practical help for writers to improve their skill, insight into our peculiar industry, and spiritual guidance for those who are weary in doing good. Being an author is tough. We need friends and councilors.

Featured book, The Vanishing Sculptor -

Donita Paul’s Web site -
Donita Paul’s blog -

*Participants’ Links:
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Rachel Briard
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Crista Richey
Cheryl Russell
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review of Freedom by Matthew Pinto


God has revealed His mystery of love through the Word made flesh Theology of the Body. This phrase is not only the title of a series of talks by the late John Paul II, it represents the very logic of Christianity. The Theology of the Body calls us to encounter the living, Incarnate Christ and to ponder how His body reveals the meaning of our bodies. This is where God meets us: in the flesh. Therefore, the theology of the body is for every-body. And, as you ll see from the stories in Freedom: 12 Lives Transformed by the Theology of the Body, John Paul II s teaching appeals to all different kinds of people: married, single, consecrated celibates, professionals, stay-at-home moms. And, as this book also demonstrates, it s not just for Catholics either. It s for anyone hungry for the meaning of life. For, as the Pope said, the TOB affords the rediscovery of the meaning of the whole of existence, of the meaning of life. In Freedom, you will meet 12 people who, through the Theology of the Body have encountered Jesus Christ in the flesh, who offered the truth that set them free. Through their new-found freedom, these people have come to rediscover the meaning of their very existence. Many have had dramatic, life-altering experiences; others had buried truths, innate in all of us, awaken within them. All of them have discovered for themselves that the Theology of the Body answers the two most fundamental questions: 1) What does it mean to be human? 2) How do I live my life in a way that brings true happiness and fulfillment? These are questions we all long to find answers to, and the world offers no shortage of answers. But the longer we seek, the clearer we begin to see the best the world can offer are counterfeits that wound us, betray us and leave us wanting. Sadly, the truth of the Christ s teaching on sex is confirmed in the wounds of those who haven t lived it. Our longings for love, intimacy, and freedom are good, but the sexual revolution sold us a bill of goods that simply can not satisfy. We haven t been liberated - we ve been bound and trapped. But here s the Good News: if we read the signs of the times, we will realize the Theology of the Body is not a fad. God is doing something. A new sexual revolution is underway spreading slowly and quietly in human hearts that welcome the truth that this Polish Pope proclaimed about the human person. The predominant cultural ideology will collapse when enough men and women realize who they really are and to what bodily glory the en-fleshed God calls them to. The TOB revolution is beginning to take root in one person, one body at a time. The world is a mission field ready to soak up John Paul II s Theology of the Body, and it s already changing so many lives around the world. In Freedom, you ll meet 12 people who asked the same questions you have and are here to proclaim from the rooftops: This is what you ve been looking for all along! In Freedom, you will discover the power of the Theology of the Body in the lives of: A man who was liberated from his addiction to Internet pornography. A woman who, after suffering terrible abuse by her family, was freed from a life of poor self-esteem, eating disorders, and drug addiction. A young mother whose woundedness from past sexual sin and a teenage pregnancy was healed, allowing her to become the wife and mother her family needed. A priest who learned how to live his priesthood mystically united with Jesus, the divine Bridegroom. An evangelical Christian whose relationship with Christ was deepened by a new-found appreciation for the Incarnation.


I've not read John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but I've heard that it's a powerful work with the ability to transform lives. Freedom demonstrates this with twelve stories of people who found healing and new direction for their lives in the writings by one of the most insightful and beloved popes of all time. Here are testimonies of Catholics who found freedom from the pain of abortion, the shackles of abusive relationships, and society's philosophies on birth control. I wish I'd had this book many years ago; I might have learned things then that took me years of experience to understand. I recommend this book for Catholics and for Christians who want to be inspired by stories of those who came to understand God's plans for us and our human bodies.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Sin of Addison Hall by Jeffrey Onorato

Breaking the Mold of a Traditional Hero Results in a Gripping Tale of Fiction... First-time author soars with his spellbinding story of a man fighting with human nature... Residing in a country where beautiful people are considered superior, Addison Hall is an anomaly. A mildly repugnant man, he is forced by the twisted hierarchy of his dictator to live in less than adequate living situations. The days become increasingly arduous as he toils in an unpleasant job, stricken with the disappointment of his current situation. Besides the dark comedy of his disastrous attempts at romance and his friend s antics, Addison s life is fairly dull. Then he meets Otka, a beautiful woman who owns the local coffee shop. After witnessing a chance encounter where Addison risks his life to save the life of a dog, Otka takes an obvious interest in him. Addison is perplexed by her reciprocated intrigue. Past experiences with such a valued creature of the opposite sex has left him tainted and doubting her motives. Jeffrey Onorato sensationally draws us into his world of relatable characters and witty dialect. He victoriously shatters the conventions of the true-blue hero to create a story that has both depth and originality. The Sin of Addison Hall entrances the reader with delicious conflicts of human wanting and wavering uncertainty with an ending that will leave you begging for more.

An Interview With Jeffery:

Why did you write this book?

Because our society collectively is superficial. We celebrate (and therefore value) physical beauty over all other individual qualities and its not getting better, rather its getting worse. I believe dangerously so... We are beginning to devalue those citizens that don't "tickle our fancy" with their appearance and if the moral slide continues, it could have horrific consequences.

One's ability to gather and show-off their wealth is a close second (and the theme for my next novel).

What was the hardest part of writing it?

In a word, "re-writing". I revised The SIN of Addison Hall 5 times, paragraph by paragraph, over the past 3 years. For me the act of creating is a wonderfully fun process, the act of refining... not so much :)

Additionally "letting go" of my novel was difficult. It will never be perfect although it is what I strive for... even now, reading the finished version makes me cringe because there are so many things, miniscule details, that I would love to change.

What was the most fun?

Finishing the first draft and realizing that I had communicated, albeit clumsily, the story that had been ricocheting around my mind like a bee in a mason jar for 10 years. It was thrilling.

Why a dystopic world?
Because I believe that is what will accrue given time and warped values. I was careful not to create a fantastical society because it would denude my warning. By morphing our existing society into a familiar but dangerous one hopefully haunts my readers and causes them to re-evaluate their own value system.

What's next for you?
I have just completed a draft of a novel that explores what horrible choices an individual will make when they choose "mammon" as their god. Now the re-writes start...yikes!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton


Upon her fiancé's death, Laney became a recluse who only left her home for emergencies. She managed to survive - barely - on food delivery service and her work-at-home job. When she tries to move on from her grief, the commemorative meal she orders is ruined. However, it leads to an unlikely friendship with an attractive man, Bojan, who speaks little English.

As he befriends Laney he continually says the wrong things, but he doesn't give up trying to win her trust. Meanwhile, she has this strange feeling of being watched and wonders if she's losing her mind.

Complicating things further, every time she leaves her house something bad happens, confirming that she is safer at home. Can Bojan convince Laney she'll be safe with him, or will his presence put her in further danger? Will he be able to protect the woman he loves before it's too late?

Interview With Michelle Sutton:

Why did you write this book?

This might sound crazy, but I'd been talking to my agent about writing a category romance and I was trying to think about what might be fun for me to write that wouldn't be too edgy. There was this handsome guy who worked at the KFC in my town who always said hi to me and I thought about how it would be fun to write a story about a guy who worked in a restaurant but actually owned the restaurant even though he seemed like a regular employee. Then I thought it would be fun to hook him up somehow with a gal who seemed rich even though she wasn't wealthy but just had a nice house she inherited but couldn't afford. So he thinks she is rich, she thinks he is poor. That's where it started. Then when I actually started writing the book I decided to make English his second language but decided Spanish is too easy and wanted something that even had a different alphabet. I decided to go with Macedonian because I met someone briefly who I thought would make a great hero. I had a writer friend who lived in NYC who was Albanian and she spoke/wrote Albanian, English, Greek, and Macedonian. So I basically wrote the story and consulted with her on the particulars. It was fun to write. There will be a sequel called In Plain Sight that is about the hero's sister. That will release in April 2010.

What was hardest about writing it?

The hardest part was waiting for my friend to write me back. She worked full-time like I did so there would be a delay sometimes in getting my chapters back.

What was the most fun?

The most fun besides writing the English blunders was writing the scenes with the Chihuahuas. You have to read the book to find out why. Hilarious!

What do you hope readers get from it?

I hope readers will learn to overcome some of their fears as the heroine has a fear of leaving her house and getting in a car accident. Ironically, while writing this story, I met two different people who said they were afraid to leave their house. That must have been providence because that helped me, too, with my characterization.

What about thrillers and romance appeals to you as a writer?

I like romance because I love romantic tension between men and women. I love reading it and enjoy writing it. I don't much like thrillers unless there is more than just a bunch of chase scenes. I like meat in the story. Something that makes the characters think about their lives and what they are living for. That is stuff I enjoy reading and writing. Simple thrillers do nothing for me.

Available on Amazon or click here.