Review of Camy Tang's Only Uni

Camy Tang’s stories are called “romance with a kick of wasabi” for a reason. They're sweet and have a zing of hot Asian spice. Only Uni is Tang’s second book in the Sushi Series.

Trish Sakai is having a hard time getting away from Kazuo, her hot-looking boyfriend. Her brain knows he’s bad news, but her feelings haven’t quite agreed yet.

Spencer Wong, her new office-mate, is dreamy, but he’s obviously not interested. Besides, she’s not looking anyway. Instead, she studies First and Second Corinthians and comes up with three rules to guide her decisions.

Even though her cousins, Venus, Lex, and Jenn, try to help her, Trish can’t escape Grandma Sakai’s manipulative ways.

Sushi for One?, book one in this series, introduced Trish’s troubles in Lex’s story. It was fun catching up with the cousins’ battles with their dictatorial grandmother in book two.

If you haven't read either of Camy Tang's novels, you MUST go now to a store and get them. Her sassy characters will remind you of people you know.

There's a lot to love in the pages, including kids with animals, soap operas, and art. I enjoyed watching Trish make friends at her new church while she tried to find out if Mr. Wong could be Mr. Right.

Playing With Power

On my Seek God With Me blog, I've posted a reminder about how God encourages us to call out to Him.

Do you remember the game kids play in the pool that has one person shouting, "Marco" and the others shouting, "Polo"?

Me too.

I thought I'd mention that while you make up your mind to check out today's devotional post.

Guest Blogger Camy Tang

Today, I’m pleased to bring you a guest post from my friend Camy Tang. I met her before Sushi for One?, her first book in the Sushi Series, was released. Now her second book, Only Uni, is in bookstores. (Hint: ask for them in a bookstore near you.)

Come back Thursday for my review of Only Uni.

I asked Camy to tell me about her heroes because I love getting to know more about interesting people. Don’t you?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Web, I present to you: Camy Tang (applause).


I’ve had several heroes in my life. They’ve each influenced me in different ways—isn’t that always the way it is?

God put each person in my path at just the right time in my life. I’ve learned things and been encouraged and supported by each person.

It wouldn’t be fair to list only one, so I’ll list a few top ones.

My mom, because she encouraged me to write. She never said, “No, it’s such a longshot for anyone to be published.” Or “You won’t make much money as an author, you know.” She just said, “If you wan to write, then go for it.”

My dad, because he encouraged my love of reading. When Mom was shopping in Ala Moana, he’d take me to the bookstore and let me wander there for over an hour. He never complained about how long I was taking. He always bought me a book.

My friend Linda in college. She was the first person I had ever met who was my own age and who had a deep relationship with God like I’d never seen before. Previously, all the Christians I knew were much older than myself, but Linda was young, hip, and completely in love with Christ. Her strong faith and enthusiasm for God impacted me deeply, and I finally started walking with Christ a year after I met her.

My discipler from church, Miki. She discipled me for several years, both before and after I met Captain Caffeine. We did a weekly Bible study at her house. She really challenged me to grow in my faith and seek Christ first. Her advice ranged from encouragement to practical tips, and she was matron of honor at my wedding. She isn’t discipling me anymore, but we’re still close, and she’s one of the first people I’d turn to for advice.

My husband, Captain Caffeine. He’s compatible with me in ways I didn’t even realize I needed to be compatible. He calms me down when I’m frustrated, he steers me in the right direction when I’m confused, and he’s much more disciplined than I am. The house would burn down if he didn’t turn off the stove for me, the trash would pile up if he didn’t remember that today’s trash pick up day, and the dog would be much more destructive if he didn’t walk her every morning.

These are my heroes. Like anyone’s personal heroes, they’ve impacted me so profoundly that I would be a completely different person if God hadn’t brought them into my life.

Camy Tang is the loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick lit. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away five boxes of books and 25 copies of her latest release, ONLY UNI.

Only Uni by Camy Tang

Camy Tang's second book in the Sushi Series, Only Uni, is now in bookstores. Ask for it today!

And come back here Thursday for my review.

What Not To Do

I’ve seen a couple of episodes of the TV show “What Not To Wear”. On each of the shows, the hosts help a woman pick out clothes that make her look good. Usually these women have been doing all the wrong things with fashion. After they get their updated wardrobe, they get hair and makeup tips to complete their total look.

It’s easy for me to relate this to writing. Updating your look is like editing your story. When you edit your story, you are taking out of the story (or out of the closet) all the words and phrases (or clothes) that don’t belong. When you replace those old things with new things that fit, that brings the whole book (or person) to life and makes them feel fresh and new.

While watching the show, I got an idea. I'm not usually a rule-breaker, but I thought it might be fun to show some of the things I’ve been taught Not To Do while writing novels.

1. “Don’t use adverbs in speaker attributes,” the teacher said loudly and forcefully.

2. Don’t wield ten dollar words when a ten cent word would be unobjectionable.

3. Its always good to proofread your paragraphs. You may fined some misspellings that you’re spell check didn’t catch.

4. Not wanting to wring out all of the –ing words from her boring writing, she was willing to settle for deleting over half of the offending words.

5. Don’t be redundant because if you’re redundant over and over again, the reader will get tired of seeing the same words and phrases repeated over and over again redundantly.

6. Never use any exclamation points! Ever! Unless, of course, the dialogue calls for it – which it may from time to time, especially if a thief runs off with your pen! “Stop! That’s my pen!”

7. Jan leaned low and whispered across the table. “Ben, always let your characters speak for themselves. Don’t interrupt the characters’ voices with the author’s voice.” At the time, Jan and Ben couldn't have known that I never do that.

8. She picked up the pen, and then she picked up the paper. She set them both on the table. She knew what they were for. She was glad she was finally going to get to write something. She wondered which word she’d start her sentences with.

9. If a butterfly were to float by while you were reading outside on a sunny day, you might get distracted from the important point in the paragraph. Important points should never be hidden in the middle of the paragraph. Butterflies are fun to watch. I like butterflies.

10. Limit the overuse of unnecessary word usage in an effort to simplify sentences and minimize the reader’s time and effort in getting through too lengthy passages that were expanded just so you can fill up more and more of your pages with your precious writing. In other words, write tight.

A Fresh Look At The Gift

Are you interested in using your gifts for God?

There have been a lot of versions of quizzes you can take to determine which gifts God has blessed you with. Many people take the tests and are excited to finally know what their gift is.

When a church committee is trying to come up with a subcommittee to plan a special event, you might hear someone claim, “That’s not my gift.” It’s a guilt-free way to get out of doing something.

Or you might hear someone explain how they were able to achieve a specific accomplishment with the words, “It’s a gift.”

Everybody is good at doing something. You just have to figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. When we use our strengths to help others, it feels good. And we don’t have to feel bad about having weaknesses.

In an interview, Karen Kingsbury claimed her ability to write well and fast was a gift from God. I think she’ll forgive me if I have a different opinion.

Let me explain.

I once thanked God for giving me the gift of writing. I take great pleasure in putting my stories on the page and couldn’t write as well as I do unless He had something to do with it. He called me to write, so I know that’s where I should focus my creative energy. But when I thanked Him for it, His response surprised me.

He said, “Writing isn’t the gift. I am.”

After I thought about it for a while, I realized that every singer has a unique voice and so does every writer. Almighty God is The Creator. When The Creator uses Writer A to tell a story, He knows it will sound different than using Writer B. It’s like using an oboe instead of a trumpet. Each instrument can carry the melody well, but will sound different.

When Karen Kingsbury’s path was laid out before her, she made good choices along the way and developed into the kind of person who can do what she does. God was with her and still is. But her writing ability is not the gift. Her gift is the presence of God. When He expresses Himself in her writing, He touches the hearts of the readers. He works through her. She’s an instrument in a large symphony of writers who are all being used by God in different ways.

Knowing that He is my gift makes me appreciate the Gift even more.

God Shakes His Head Again

My blog’s description tells us all that I write about life, love, and heroes. Well, this is one of those “life” posts.

I love my kids. But they’re kids, and they sometimes mess up. That can be frustrating, especially when you know that they know how to act.

When I find myself in a test of parenting fortitude, I often am reminded that God is my parent. Sometimes my heavenly Father is frustrated with me when I don’t follow through with what He wants for me.

I shake my head at my kids and think, “When are they going to learn?” But then I realize that God is shaking His head over me with that same question in His mind.

He’s been through this a lot through the ages. He shook His head over His kids when He was talking to Moses. Jesus shook His head over the disciples who couldn’t stay awake to pray in the garden. And now, He’s shaking His head over us.

Check out my Seek God With Me post to read more on this topic.

A Heavenly Perspective

It makes no sense to sit inside a car and wonder if your tires are low. You can't see your tires very well from inside the car. The best way to find out if you need air in your tires is to get out and walk around the car.

In my Seek God With Me blog, I've written about looking at things from a different perspective. Problems always seem to look different when you step back and look at them from a different angle. Getting a new perspective helps you come up with ideas to solve the problem.

God never said you had to tackle your problems alone. Ask Him how He sees your problem.

You Can't Take It With You, 1938

James Stewart stars as Tony Kirby, son of wealthy banker Anthony Kirby. His father has set him up to follow in his footsteps, but he’d rather not go. Tony’s not interested in the land purchasing deal his father is making which will shove many people out of their small businesses and out of their homes.

The only thing he is interested in is marrying secretary Alice Sycamore, played by Jean Arthur. Alice’s family is the friendly and welcoming sort, but since she works at the bank, she knows Tony’s family wouldn’t like her family.

Tony’s father wants to complete his land deal, but a man known as Grandpa, played by Lionel Barrymore, has stopped progress on the deal. Grandpa’s way is to encourage others to be successful by developing their strengths, while he does whatever he wants. And he won’t sell his land.

Alice tells Tony that in order to marry her, he has to bring his parents to her house to meet her parents. When he brings his folks to her house a day earlier than scheduled, Alice’s family tries to make the best of it even though they hadn’t had time to prepare.

Tony’s family looks as if they’d rather not dirty their shoes by stepping into her family’s home. When Tony’s father meets Grandpa at Alice’s house, he doesn’t know he’s meeting the man who’s holding up his land deal.

At the dinner, he meets all sorts of interesting characters, gets tossed around, and is thrown in jail along with everyone in the house. The court is filled with on-lookers, and Mr. Kirby’s lawyers try to keep the embarrassing event hushed. The movie’s ending was expected, but very sweet.

James Stewart showed his character to be friendly, patient, and flexible. These heroic qualities encouraged the reader’s sympathy and helped him win the heroine.

This humorous movie was quite thought-provoking in that there were several moments that showed how hard society is on innocent hard-working people. Colorful characters and interesting situations make this a memorable experience.

I love Jean Arthur movies because she does a great job of making her characters come to life in a unique way. As usual, she's a woman who stands up for herself. And entertaining Ann Miller dances through the whole movie.

This movie won an Oscar or Best Picture. Frank Capra won an Oscar for Best Director.

Cary Grant's Amazing Adventure

In the 1936 film, The Amazing Adventure, Cary Grant is a bored, wealthy, and frustrated Earnest Bliss who makes a deal with his doctor that he will live only on what he can earn by working an ordinary job. He planned to prove that he could do this for one full year.

Convinced he’ll win his bet, he packs a bag and sets out on his amazing adventure. Initially, he has trouble getting a job, but he gets a good idea of how the working class lives.

Bliss shows heroic qualities as soon as he begins his adventure. His generosity and friendliness make him very appealing.

He’s treated kindly by his landlady and his employer, Mr. Masters, but finds selling stoves door-to-door very difficult. Mr. Masters is about to go out of business until Bliss finds a stove wholesaler who wants to work with them. Mr. Masters’ secretary, Frances, falls for Bliss, but is proposed to by Mr. Masters. She and Bliss both quit and try to find other jobs.

His challenge to not use his wealth for his own benefit makes Bliss takes note of who the hard-working people are reward them anonymously. When Bliss finds out about these common hard-working people, he discovers he enjoys being around them. His adventure costs him effort and time, but gains him a changed life.

This movie, also known as The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss, is a lesson all high school graduates should watch as they begin their own amazing adventure. Bliss learns lessons aplenty and is never bored. Really, it’s something from which we could all learn.

Keep Walking

Have you ever felt like you've used up all of God's forgiveness?

You must not be able to see how big God is.

On today's Seek God With Me blog, I've posted about letting God help you back up when you stumble. I want people to know that our mistakes do not define us. Mistakes can be forgiven.

If you're seeking God, don't stop walking toward God when you stumble. Keep walking.

Encouragement for Writers

If you're an aspiring writer and want to get a writers conference in your
inbox, consider joining The Writer View. It's free. It's amazing. And,
seriously, you'll learn everything you'd learn at a writer's conference
(sans meeting cool people face to face), only you don't have to pay airfare.

How they work: Each Monday and Thursday a panelist poses a question about
the publishing industry, the craft of writing, or anything related to the
writing journey. These panelists are agents, editors, writers who are well
known in the Christian writing industry. Then, panelists and members write
posts about the question raised. I still learn new things every week. It's a
moderated loop, so there's no blatant self promotion. Word counts are
limited to 250 per post.

For advanced, published writers, join The Writers View.

For beginning to intermediate writers, the group to join is TWV2.

You will be asked to fill out an application that you then send to the
group's leadership. You'll receive an email letting you know whether you've
been accepted.

Thank you, Mary DeMuth, for all your hard work with The Writers View and TWV2.