Guest Blogger Camy Tang

Hi there! This is Camy Tang, and Laura is letting me guest blog today!

Laura asked me to talk about the three heroes in my Sushi series, Aiden, Spenser, and Drake.

They’re all very different personalities—but they have to be, because their three heroines are so very different from each other.

Aiden is my quiet thinker. He’s actually the most like my husband, Captain Caffeine. He’s disciplined but not anal about it, he’s encouraging, he’s a quiet rock to lean on. Much like my hubby. :) Lex needs someone both strong and supportive, and her craziness is tempered by his calmness.

Spenser has more dash and style. He’s got both class and charm, but he’s also good at his job as a scientist—which, in some ways, is a lot like Trish. They each have parts of their personality that are fun, which contrast with their jobs as biologists. Spenser is teasing and tolerant, which are both traits he needs to keep up with Trish, who’s a bit flighty at times.

Drake is my alpha-male—and he needs to be because Venus wouldn’t respect him if he were weak. He’s very smart, very strong and aggressive, and also decisive, which he developed as CEO of several start up companies.

He’s also had a change of heart from the hard man he used to be. He had a small heart attack when he was still in his thirties, and now, while he’s still a good CEO, he has learned the importance of prioritizing things in his life.

Venus is still angry at him for the way he treated her years ago when they were working together, and he needs to work hard to prove to her that he’s a different man.

So there they are—the Sushi men. LOL that sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it?

Thanks for letting me guest blog, Laura!

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. 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 ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, SINGLE SASHIMI.

Oh Mercy!

God is merciful to the obedient and the rebellious.

Now, is that fair?

Of course it's fair. And I'll tell you why.

If God reserved his mercy for the obedient, no one would benefit from his mercy. There isn't a person on the earth who hasn't sinned. We've all been rebellious. In Romans 5:8 we read, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Since the blood of Jesus levels the playing field, we all have the same opportunity to call on God for help and the same ability to receive it.

God's mercy is one of the things many people do not understand. If you'd like another look at mercy, read today's Seek God With Me blog post.

First Place BOTY Winners

Congratulations to all of the First Place Winners of ACFW’s 2008 Book of the Year contest!

The Debut Author winner is Sushi for One? by Camy Tang, editor Sue Brower of Zondervan.

The Contemporary Novella winner is Finally Home by Deborah Raney (editor: Susan Downs of Barbour Publishing).

The Historical Novella winner is Love Notes by Mary Davis from the Love Letters Anthology (editor: Rebecca Germany of Barbour Publishing).

The Lits winner is Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh (editor: Julee Schwarzburg of Multnomah Books).

The Long Contemporary winner is Within This Circle by Deborah Raney (editor: Krista Stroever of Steeple Hill Books).

The Long Historical winners are (1) Veil of Fire by Marlo Schalesky (editors: Jeff Dunn/Jon Woodhams of RiverOak) and (2) Where Willows Grow by Kim Vogel Sawyer (editor: Charlene Patterson of Bethany House).

The Mystery winner is Your Chariot Awaits by Lorena McCourtney (editor: Amanda Bostic of Thomas Nelson).

The Short Contemporary winner is The Heart of Grace by Linda Goodnight (editor: Allison Lyons of Steeple Hill Love Inspired).

The Short Contemporary Suspense winner is Caught Redhanded by Gayle Roper (editor: Krista Stroever of Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense).

Short Historical winners are (1) Canteen Dreams by Cara Putman (editor: JoAnne Simmons of Barbour/Heartsong Presents and (2) Golden Days by Mary Connealy (editor: JoAnne Simmons of Barbour/Heartsong Presents).

The Speculative winner is The Restorer's Son by Sharon Hinck (editor: Reagan Reed of NavPress).

The Suspense winner is Black Ice by Linda Hall (editor: Traci DePree of WaterBrook Press).

The Women's Fiction winner is Remember to Forget (Deborah Raney (editor: Philis Boultinghouse of Howard Books/Simon & Schuster).

The Young Adult winner is In Between by Jenny B. Jones (editor: Jamie Chavez of NavPress).

Also a big congratulations to the second and third place winners as well as the finalists who didn’t place. For the complete list, go to

Brandilyn Collins, BOTY Finalist

Best-selling author Brandilyn Collins has two books vying for ACFW’s 2008 Book of the Year in the suspense category. Her Kanner Lake series books two and three, Coral Moon and Crimson Eve, tell about some of the quirky characters who stop by the fictional coffee shop Java Joint and contribute to the real-life blog Scenes and Beans.

But fiction isn’t all she does.

Collins has also educated many best-selling-novelist-wannabes with her non-fiction book Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets A Novelist Can Learn From Actors. And I’ve found her blog to be as entertaining as it is informative.

Here’s my review of Crimson Eve, the third book in the Kanner Lake series:

Kanner Lake realtor Carla Radler has a nibble. Possibly a whole bite. She’s positively elated about the chance to sell Edna San’s estate to a tall, dark, and handsome. But Carla keeps her poise in front of this charming man with rich brown eyes. When she learns that this British gentleman with a cocky James Bond attitude will pay cash if he likes the place, she really gets excited. Who wouldn’t?

What Carla soon finds out is that things are not as they seem.

Fast forward to a phone call at Bailey Truitt’s coffee shop, Java Joint. Two of Scenes and Beans blog post authors, Bailey and Carla, discuss Carla’s missed appointment with Wilbur, another Scenes and beans co-author who needs Carla’s help with a blog post. Carla’s in more trouble than Bailey knows. She can’t let Bailey know what’s going on. What if the phone lines are tapped?

Carla’s run for her life takes a desperate turn. No one can know where she is. No one. Or he’ll kill them too.

Brandilyn Collins reveals the secrets of Kanner Lake residents one by one in this series. In Crimson Eve, she again mixes real-life with fiction in her references to a real blog called Scenes and Beans, which is based in a fictional coffee shop called Java Joint.

She has woven another well-paced suspense in Kanner Lake, only this time we leave town.

If Not Now, When?

On today's Seek God With Me blog post, I've expressed my opinion about the apparent lack of gratefulness to God in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

It seems to me that the news reports are covering much of the destruction, but not as much of the things we didn't lose.

I don't understand why people stayed on Galveston island. There was a mandatory evacuation notice and phone numbers to call for help getting off the island. But people stayed. And almost everyone who stayed lived through it, even though they may have lost some belongings. The death toll (fewer than 30 right now) could have been hundreds, if not thousands, more people than it was.

Those who lived in non-evacuation areas and didn't prepare for the hurricane by storing three days worth of water and non-perishable foods don't have the right to complain about the free food, water, and ice they are given at various points of distribution within the Houston area.

But people complain anyway.

I think it's time we told God that we appreciate His hand of protection. We should thank Him for neighbors who share what they have. The whole Houston area should be on their knees thanking God. This is the time to acknowledge Him.

If not now, when?

When the Nile Runs Red by DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills has many heroes. She's written romance and suspense, fiction and non-fiction, historical and contemporary, novellas and full-length novels. If you looked for a list of her awards, you might find:

“Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.”

This month, three of her stories are finalists in the American Christian Fiction Writers 2008 Book of the Year contest: When the Nile Runs Red in the Long Contemporary category, Mississippi Mud in the Contemporary Novella category, and Beyond the Memories in the Historical Novella category.

When I read Mills’ When the Nile Runs Red, I found Larson Farid’s complicated situation very touching. If you haven’t read it, look for the book online. Here’s my review :

This is a book of conflict. Paul and Larson Farid are happily married, but wonder if they should run for their lives or stay in the danger zone where God has placed them.

This is a book of love. Larson finds herself caring for a baby that isn’t hers. She can’t just let it die.

This is a book of spiritual hunger. Paul’s brother may want to convert to Christianity, but Paul doesn’t know if this is just a ploy to trick him into getting the torturous death his family has been plotting against him for years.

Again my heart goes out to Colonel Ben Alier. He keeps fighting the stirrings in his heart. His troubles cause permanent changes to his life. Some good changes and some not.

This captivating sequel to DiAnn Mills’ When the Lion Roars brings us up to date on the characters’ emotional struggles and breaks our hearts for the people of Sudan.

For more information on any of DiAnn's heroes, visit DiAnn's website.

Where Is God Looking?

Have you ever walked into a room and found everyone looking at the ceiling?

It makes you curious enough to look at the ceiling too, doesn't it? When we see people staring off at something, watching it closely, we want to see what has caught their interest. We can't help but follow their gaze.

Have you ever asked God what He's looking at?

On today's post at Seek God With Me, I share a couple of scripture verses which might motivate you to get inquisitive with God.

Come on over and Seek God With Me.

Camy Tang, BOTY Finalist

Camy Tang’s novel Sushi for One is a finalist in two categories of the ACFW’s 2008 Book of the Year contest. She’s competing in the Lits category and the Debut Author category.

I can tell you that her writing is compelling and fun. I’ve read the first two books in her Sushi Series, and I’m waiting for number three.

When I read Sushi for One, Camy Tang's lovable characters sprang to life. Her story of four very interesting, yet very different, girl cousins who help each other through difficult situations kept me intrigued and wondering how it would all work out.

Tomboy Lex Sakai needs a boyfriend, and she needs him now. Or at least before Grandma sees her at cousin Mariko’s wedding. Grandma Sakai isn’t your average good-natured granny. She knows how to wield enough power to get what she wants, even when what she wants (a boyfriend for Lex) isn’t easy to come by due to Lex’s high standards.

Will she find a boyfriend through her volleyball friends, at her workplace, or from her brother’s long list of friends? All she knows is she’d better find one quick. If she doesn’t, Grandma will withdraw her support from Lex’s girls’ volleyball team. She was planning to take them to playoffs, but if Grandma cuts funding, how will she cover the traveling costs?

I thoroughly enjoyed the hero’s part in this story. He was visible, yet subtle. Heroic, yet had an obvious weakness. As I read, I knew they would get together, but was surprised by the ending. In fact when I turned to the last page of the story, I immediately thought, “Darn. It’s over.” I wanted the story to continue because I loved the characters.

This Asian Chick-lit is a must-read for anyone interested in a fun story with dramatic turns. According to the front cover, “Sometimes romance needs a kick of wasabi.”

Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace

I met Amy Wallace at the 2007 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I was one of the many in line to get her autograph. Amy’s face lit up when I met her. She’s encouraging and a very sweet person to talk to. But her talent speaks for itself. After reading her novel, I found that her writing is superb and her story is gripping.

This year, she’s a finalist in the suspense category of ACFW’s 2008 Book of the Year contest. That category is, for me, quite interesting and will be one to watch. The winner will be proud to have triumphed against extremely tough competition.

Here’s my review of Ransomed Dreams, book one in the Defenders of Hope series.

It was an accident. Gracie Lang didn’t lose her life, but she might as well have. The drunk driver of the truck that hit her family never stopped. How many others were in danger of losing their live s with him still on the road?

Although she find nothing but dead-ends, Gracie’s driven to find the one responsible and can’t seem to give up on her search. But it was time to rejoin the human race and begin to live again. Date again.

Steven Kessler is raising his son without the help of his ex-wife who abandoned him. His parents help out when Steven’s job as an FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit pulls him out of dad-duty. Steven’s partner keeps planting verbal seeds and waits for him to return to God, but Steven doesn’t see the point.

Steven’s job and his son brought him and Gracie together since she’ll be his son’s teacher when school starts. He’ll be seeing a lot of her in the coming months. Something he wouldn’t mind. But it can’t get serious. Not with his ex back in the picture.

The villains are wretched and scary. And real enough that I wanted to get to the end of the book where they wouldn’t be running around loose anymore.

Amy Wallace weaves superbly, showing the many hold-my-breath conflicts at the right time and allowing me to catch my breath before I fall over from lack of oxygen.

I finished reading this book a few months ago and set it aside. The story was still on my mind when I started writing this review, but I skimmed through the prologue anyway. Having already read the entire book, you’d think I could get through a few of the beginning pages without tears coming to my eyes. No chance. Wallace’s writing makes Gracie’s story real enough that Gracie’s emotions became mine.

For more information, visit her website and her blog.

Attack! (the problem)

Today on Seek God With Me, I'm on the attack.

Some people like conflict and others like conflict resolution. Personally, I like to see problems resolved, crises averted, dilemmas deciphered, and turmoil cleared up.

But that doesn't usually happen if you ignore the problem.

Many times the triumph comes after a battle, and that means you have to attack.

Being creative in your attack often helps, so join me on my devotional blog to prepare for your next problem.

See The USA

This summer, I learned the words to the Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere". Although I haven't been in as many places as he's been, I have been in all but sixteen states.

Thanks to Kaye Dacus for the idea and link to this mapping site.

visited 34 states (68%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or determine the next president