Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Shadows at the Window by Linda Hall


Hi Friends,

Got a new Love Inspired Suspense to tell you about today -- Shadows at the Window by Linda Hall. I've read a number of Linda's mystery/suspense novels and loved them all. So I'm thinking this one's going to be great too.

Here's a bit from Linda about her new book:

Visit Linda Hall at http://writerhall.com

ABOUT SHADOWS AT THE WINDOW (A note from Linda):

Shadows at the Window is the second in my ‘shadows’ trilogy. The women in these series of books must deal with and work through the ‘shadows’ in their pasts before they can make peace and find love in the present. In the first of the series, Shadows at the Mirror, the main character doesn't know anything about her past. It’s a mystery she must uncover. In this release, Shadows at the Window, main character Lilly Johnson knows her past all too well, and it’s one she’d rather forget. Because it’s so abhorrent to her, she’s made up a series of lies that she tells her fianc√©. But, the past has a way of catching up with the present, and when people in her past show up, her first inkling is to run. But, that would mean leaving everything behind, and that’s something she’s not willing to do now.

BIO:

Linda Hall is the award-winning author of fifteen mystery and romantic suspense novels and many short stories. Her latest release, Shadows at the Window (July ’08) is a Romantic Times Top Pick for the month, and the first in her shadows trilogy, Shadows in the Mirror is a winner in The Word Guild’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards. It is also a finalist in the Reader’s Choice Awards.

In addition, both Sadie’s Song and Steal Away were short listed for the Christy Award. Steal Away was a Daphne finalist, the Beacon Award winner for Best Inspirational Novel, the Winter Rose Award Winner for Best Inspirational Novel, and was given the Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers.

Linda is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the American Christian Fiction Writers, The Word Guild and the Crime Writers of Canada.

Most of her novels have something to do with the sea. Linda grew up in New Jersey and it was there that her love of the ocean was born. In 1971 she married a Canadian and has lived in Canada since then. She has worked as a news reporter and feature writer for a number of years and also has written curriculum for adult literacy programs.

In 1990 she decided to do something she’d always dreamed of doing, she began working on a novel. Since that time she has written fifteen.
Linda and her husband enjoy sailing, are both very involved in CPS (The boating safety group in Canada) and both have achieved the highest level in that organization, namely Senior Navigator.

She and her husband have two grown children and three (soon to be four) wonderful grandchildren and they make their home in the Canadian maritime province of New Brunswick. (Just drive to the end of I-95 and turn right.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts on Walking Through the Dark & Contest Update

Hi Friends!

Today, I have some thoughts for you on walking through the dark (appropriate for Beyond the Night's release, don't you think??). But first, a quick update on the Beyond the Night contest:

Well, we've had several winners this week for the Beyond the Night contest, and the gift bags have been going out. But there's plenty left for you! So, get that copy of Beyond the Night and enter the fun contest -- solve the puzzle, tell your friends, post the trailer, or take a picture! I'm excited to see who's going to be participating and getting fun gift bags in the coming couple weeks.

And just for fun, here were the first winners of these three categories:
--Deanna Smith of Salinas, CA was the first to solve the puzzle!
--Beth Vogt of Colorado Springs, CO was the first to post the video trailer and submit the link!
--Anna Joujan of Chattanooga, TN was the first to tell 12 friends about Beyond the Night!

All right, so get those entries in, folks! And have a little fun!

Now, on to deeper topics. I was "talking" (for me that means emailing) with my friend and web designer, Kelli Standish, a couple weeks ago, and we were talking about walking through the dark times in life. And of course, I was thinking about Maddie's dark times in Beyond the Night (after all, she's going blind!) and what I learned by walking with her through the writing process.

And I came to discover that there are really three alternatives for walking through the dark. I believe that everyone has to face the darkness at times in their lives. But what we do in those times, our choices about how to respond make a huge difference in where we end up. So, here are a few quick thoughts on those three options:

1) There are those who deny the darkness, claim it doesn't exist, put on a happy face and believe that faith is just saying "God is good, all the time" as a way to run from the pain of dark times. They don't want to face doubts, to ask the hard questions, to allow their hearts to be broken by sorrow. Deep down, they fear their faith will be broken, too, if they allow any doubts or questions to surface. The only problem is that those who don't face the darkness, those who try to skirt around it, also skirt around God's efforts to help them grow deep with Him. They stick with their comfortable cliched faith, and that’s pretty much where they’ll stay.

2) There are those who God calls deeper, but in the face of the pain and darkness they turn away. They try to lessen the discomfort by turning to other things, distracting themselves to try to protect themselves … perfectly reasonable, except it results in a hardened heart, and they end up enduring the pain without gaining its rewards.

3) Then, there are those who God calls deeper, and they beat their fists bloody on His chest as they fight, struggle, doubt, hurt, wrestle, complain, cry out, accuse, rant, rave, rage, weep … these are the Jobs and Davids, the Habakkuks … they are the ones who say the wildest things, express their hearts with shocking honesty, they lay bare the wounds and face God will all the confusion, hurt, and doubt in their souls. But that’s the difference, they face Him. Always facing Him. And in time, they are changed forever. They glimpse the wonder, they put their hands over their mouths … they see God as they never could have before, and somehow they’re glad of it. And, when they say “God is good” it’s no longer a clich√©, it’s a statement born out of the darkness, and it means something completely different than the same words spoken by those who have never come through that dark night. It’s a deep and profound thing. They have come through the darkness and discovered incredible light.

And that, I think, is the hope offered to all who walk in the dark. That’s why we keep fighting on even when we can't see … because there is no other way to get to that other side, there is no other way to come to that place where we’ll see Him as we never could have before.

So, for everyone who now finds themselves facing a time of darkness, hang on, hang in there, and keep facing Him through it all. There is light on the other side ... I promise, and so does He.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CONTEST is UP!! And Today's the Day!!

Hi Friends!

Today's the BIG DAY! BEYOND THE NIGHT releases to stores. Whoo Hoo! So, hurry and go get your copy! Or, of course, you can always order online (see the links on the fiction page of my website at http://www.marloschalesky.com/html/fiction.html). You'll need that copy because . . .

THE BEYOND THE NIGHT CONTEST HAS OFFICIALLY OPENED!!!

Yes! You can win a fun-filled bag of Beyond the Night related items just by doing one of four things. There's something for everyone, so CLICK on the link below to find out how to win a distinctive canvas gift bag filled with chocolate, perfume (or cologne), bookmarks, Braille scripture, and other fun items for you to enjoy!

Click the link to be taken to my brand new CONTEST page on my website to read all about it: http://www.marloschalesky.com/html/contest.html

I hope you'll join in the fun contest and solve the puzzle, or tell your friends, or take a picture, or post to your blog! It's going to be great, so join in!!

And last but not least, a thought about the wonder of walking with God:

There is a place beyond the darkness, beyond the night, that you can only reach by going through that darkness. There is beauty, a wonder, a mystery that awaits those who persevere through trials, who hang on even in the dark. There is an incredible light beyond the night of doubt, of hurt, of struggle. But you can only get there by facing the darkness with truth, with honesty, with white-knuckled fists beating on the chest of God. Just as there was no resurrection without the blackness of the cruxifiction, so we may only reach the new, wondrous places God has prepared for us by going through our own times of darkness and hanging on to Him through them. So, for those of you in the darkness, hang on, my friends! For those coming out into a new light, rejoice and bask in the beauty. For those afraid of the dark, it's okay, His perfect love will drive out your fear. May God bless you and fill your day with wonder.

Monday, June 16, 2008

DragonLight & Other News

Hi Friends,

I have a new novel to tell you about today, and some more heads-up news, so here goes . . .


First, the news:

BEYOND THE NIGHT releases TOMORROW!!! June 17th is the big day, so keep an eye out here on my blog for the cool new contest I'll be running where you can win a super fun goodie bag filled with cool Beyond the Night related items. I'll be getting a new page on my website all about the contest, too, so watch here for the announcement of when that'll be available. And in the meantime, tomorrow your local bookstore should be getting Beyond the Night in (or you can always order online!) Whoo Hoo!


And now, on to the new novel for the week (besides mine :-)) ... this one's Christian fantasy, a cool dragon book (I LOVE dragons!) called DragonLight by Donita K. Paul. Here's a bit about it:

DragonLight by Donita K. Paul WaterBrook Press, June, 2008:
The fifth book in the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, concluding the drama that has been building since DragonSpell was released in 2004.

Donita K. Paul weaves eternal truths into a page-turning story and still takes time to tickle her reader with humorous characters and situations.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon-despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with stakes disease-has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin.
When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy. Can they overcome the ominous peril they can't even see?
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400073782


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Almost Here!

Hi Friends,

Well, next Tuesday is the big day! Beyond the Night is scheduled to hit the shelves at last. I can't wait. I hope you'll pick up a copy or order online (I've still got those handy Amazon and CBD links on my website!). Because . . .

Very soon I'll be launching a fun contest for readers of Beyond the Night. You'll have three ways to win a cool gift bag filled with neat Beyond-the-Night related items. To get a bag, you'll have to do one of three things -- solve a puzzle, or tell your friends, or take a picture. So, keep checking back here and on my website for the details. It's gonna be fun, and I know you don't want to miss it.

And lastly (for now!), I was recently asked a question about the deeper themes in Beyond the Night, the theme I hoped readers would see and find inspiring. Here's how I answered:

Funny thing is that when I first proposed this book, I thought it would be about the enduring qualities of real love. And that is part of it. But as I started to write, I soon discovered the story was really about overcoming fear – fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of getting hurt, fear of letting go – the kinds of fear that regular, not-particularly-fearful people still have to face in their everyday lives.

But the interesting thing was that as the story progressed, I began to see that overcoming fear isn’t really about “getting up the courage” or trying to be brave. Not at all! What truly defeats fear is a glimpse of the breathtaking wonder of a vivid God. It’s about the awe of knowing that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has risen to understand what God has prepared for those who love Him” (my translation from the Greek of 1 Corinthians 2:9).

Just as light drives out darkness, so fear is driven out by hope, and hope is found in God’s amazing love.

So, my friends, may you be so captured by the wonder of God's love, that fear finds no place in your life. May you find that you love Him more deeply. And may you get a glimpse, a tiny glimmer, of the beauty and mystery of what awaits you . . . beyond the night.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Facing the Ups and Downs of Life

Hi Friends,

First some news, then some thoughts.

The news:

This week Veil of Fire was named a finalist in the 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery Suspense, in the Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense Category. So, that was fun! :-)

Less than two weeks before Beyond the Night releases! Yesterday it was featured as an editor's pick on the front page of the main Random House website - so cool!

The thoughts:

The ups and downs of life have got me thinking lately. Life is like that. This week I may find out that my book finaled in a contest and see a new, exciting promotion for a book soon to be released. Good stuff! But then there have been other times too. Times when I only get bad news - your book has been canceled, your sales numbers are low, things look grim. There was a point a few years back when I came so close to quitting the whole thing. And what about children - how wonderful to get pregnant and have a baby (or two!), but how awful to go through so much infertility, to have miscarriage after miscarriage.

So, as I think about how life is, I've been considering this verse: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

And in that verse, I've discovered a disturbing fact. I'm not God. Big surprise, huh? And yet, while that may seem like an obvious truth, it defies much of what I was told as a child. “You can do anything you set your mind to,” “Achieve your dreams,” “All it takes is a little hard work.”

But honestly, I’ve come to realize that very little of my life is actually within my control. I can’t undo past mistakes. I can’t control what happens to me today – if someone will crash into my car, if it’ll rain and spoil my morning run, if I catch a cold. I can’t even guarantee my future. I could die today, or get cancer, or lose my next contract.

That’s why I’m glad God is God of today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

He is God of today. Whatever happens is in His hands. The good, and the difficult. And moreover, He is the God of how I choose to spend this day, this hour, this minute. None of my “now” belongs to me. He is God of it all. And I need to remember that.

He is God of yesterday. There’s nothing in my past that can’t be forgiven, and there’s nothing I’ve done that He can’t turn to good. He is the God who can transform an instrument of execution (the cross) into a symbol of life and hope.
He is God of tomorrow, of my hopes and dreams, and my fears. I can leave all that in His hands.

So, in the realities of life, I'm finding it's not my job to "achieve my dreams." It's not my call to grasp after what I want, and despair when things don't go as hoped. All I can do is try to be faithful to Him today, in the circumstances in which I find myself. Rejoice with the good, mourn with the bad, and seek just to know Him better, see Him better, and maybe, in that, glimpse a bit of His glory, and with it, perhaps a bit of His vision for me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wagered Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

Hi Friends,

This week's new novel to tell you about is WAGERED HEART by Robin Lee Hatcher. Here's a bit about it:

****************
WAGERED HEART
by Robin Lee Hatcher
When Bethany Silverton left the genteel life of Miss Henderson’s School for Young Ladies back in Philadelphia for the raw frontier town of Sweetwater, Montana, she had no idea how much she would enjoy the freedom and danger of this wild country.

A conservative preacher’s daughter, Bethany can’t resist the challenge of charming the most attractive cowboy in town into attending her father’s new church. She never dreamed that the cowboy would charm the lady.

But Hawk Chandler isn't the only man vying for Bethany's affections. Ruthlessly ambitious Vince Richards thinks Bethany is perfect for him: attractive, gracious, just the woman to help him become governor. And he is determined to get what he wants at any cost.

Drawn to one man, an obsession of another, Bethany's quiet life is thrown into turmoil. She wagered her heart on love. Now she has gotten more than she bargained for—and the stakes are about to become life and death.

*****************
A Bit About Robin

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 55 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

For more information about Robin and her books, visit her web site at http://www.robinleehatcher.com/ and her Write Thinking Blog at http://robinlee.typepad.com/
***************
A note from Robin:

I began my career as a novelist writing historical romances, a natural fit for a booklover who has always loved history and is a romantic at heart. When God drew me out of the general market in order to write faith-based fiction, I discovered I also had a passion for telling contemporary stories that tackled relevant topics of our time--alcoholism, marriages in crisis, prodigal children, faith in light of tragic loss. But that didn't mean I lost my love for historical romantic fiction. I didn't. I just wasn't writing them very often. That is about to change.

Wagered Heart is my first faith-based historical romance release in three years. I loved watching Bethany, a preacher's daughter, and Hawk, a rancher, come to life on the page, and it was great fun immersing my imagination in 1880's Montana. Wagered Heart will be followed in January by another single title historical, When Love Blooms. This book is also set in the 1880's but this time in the rugged mountains of central Idaho where Emily, a young governess, falls in love with her employer, a man who thinks she is ill-suited for the hard life he could offer her.

After that? I am currently writing the first book of a new series that feature heroines who have unusual jobs for their time; the series opens in 1915. Plenty of problems and romance ensue. In other words, I'm having a wonderful time when I sit down at my computer each day.

Amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310259266/