>Today we welcome Christina Berry, author of The Familiar Stranger, in the following guest post. Congratulations Christina for winning a Christy Awards nomination in the debut novel category, and becoming a finalist for the Carol Awards in the long comtemporary fiction category! Check out her book synopsis at the bottom of this post!
Having never been to ICRS (International Christian Retail Show), I had no idea what to expect in the opening gathering and PaceSetter ceremony. What a treat! Worship led by Jeremy Camp and The Museum, a Q&A with Randy Alcorn, quartets in abundance, and a moving speech by Facing the Giants co-writer and producer, Stephen Kendrick.
A secretive appearance by Mosab Hassan Yousef, author of Son of Hamas, quickened the audience’s collective breath as he shared about being a double agent, seeming to work for the terrorist group Hamas, while really feeding information to the Israeli Shin Bet. As he spoke about turning to Christ, being disinherited, abandoning fortune and status, and fighting US deportation, I was not the only one to feel I was seeing a Saul-to-Paul transformed man. (Yousef has since been granted political asylum.)
With such a historic, important presentation captured at a retail show, it seemed that this was not an ICRS of years past.
How right my feelings were. Out of all the speakers that evening, it is the wisdom uttered by Bob the Tomato that sticks with me most. Okay, perhaps it was Phil Vischer in a Bob-like voice. Continue reading / Leave a comment…
>By: Stephanie S. Smith, blog editor
As a work-at-home freelancer, I spend a lot of time haunting bookstores. Barnes and Noble, the little independent shop on the corner, Borders, the local Christian bookstore with overstuffed chairs, the city library. And if they serve coffee, all the better.
Last Saturday my husband kidnapped me by taking me to the nearest bookstore and forcing me to pick out a book to buy–which turns out, in my mind, to be an A-rate date. We browsed the shelves, brought our selections to the cafe where we read on tall bistro stools, and then amused ourselves people-watching.
An elderly man holds up a book so his wife walking up the table can read the cover. With a million dollar grin, he shows it to her: How to Retire in Europe. I am charmed and jealous
There seems to be a new trend of “re-writing” old classics, some of which I am sorry to say I cannot take seriously. Not when Anna Karenina is suddenly a cyborg, or Jo March from Little Women romps through the night as a werewolf. I kid you not: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters promises “romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem” from its back cover.
Speaking of monsters…vampirism has launched an epidemic in the Young Adult section, with every other book cover featuring a surly-looking, red-lipped youth retreating into shadows.
A few weeks ago I visited Panera to be greeted by a new policy: only 30 minute free wi-fi intervals during their “peak period”. Continue reading / Leave a comment…