Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Called Him Dancer

Welcome to Eddie Snipes, the first self-published author I have ever spotlighted! I have so enjoyed his story, I Called Him Dancer, that I asked him to join me today to tell us a little about it. I highlighted this story once before when I first heard about it, but after reading it myself, I just have to share!

Now, I would have thought, from reading this story, that Eddie had a deep knowledge of dancing and the physical demands and commitment it would put on a person, whether from personal knowledge, or from someone close to him. But you know what he told me when I asked? "My only attempt at dancing came when walking through the woods. I noticed a yellow cloud around me and I danced my way out of the woods and away from the yellow jackets. Dancing was too painful, so I quit after one lesson."

I laughed hysterically when I heard that. So, of course I had to ask what his inspiration was for this story, and this is what he told me.

Well, in 2009 I attended a meeting for the Atlanta Writers Club. The first hour was an author talking about her memoirs and journey to publishing. The second hour was a song writer. I have no interest in song writing, so I didn't plan on staying for the second hour. My wife and I headed out during the intermission. On the way down the hall, I had a sudden urge to stay. We headed back in and listened to a few songs and the two song writers discuss story telling in lyrics. They performed a song called, Dancer. It was interesting, but not my cup of unpasteurized whole milk.

Without warning, one of them said, "We have been trying to get someone to turn this song into a novel."

I looked up and saw an anvil hovering. Just as I said, "I wonder what that is," it hit me. My head vibrated for a few seconds, then I realized, this is something for me. I should write the story. In an instant, my mind raced through the plot and I saw the dancer as clear as cheesecake hiding behind cellophane. I saw what happened to the homeless man in the song, how his life played out, and how the song would end.

To make a short story long, I met with the two song writers, Tralena Walker and Tom Webster. They sent me the lyrics and gave me feedback on the novel. Two years later, it was published.

Amazing! Well, Eddie, I think this is indeed a wonderful story and a blessing from God!

I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman’s enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless man who has given up on life.

Here's a peek:

Traffic continued at its agonizing pace, but Broadway crawled into view. Raquel’s shoulders grew tense at the passing of each minute. With her extra hour gone, she now feared being late for her meeting.

A man near the intersection ahead distracted Raquel from her frustrations. She watched the vagrant in rags as he bounced from car to car with a squeegee and a spray bottle, cleaning windshields, and gathering tips.

A friend had warned her to always tip street washers. Though cleaning wasn’t invited, they expected payment. Raquel grabbed her purse and fished for cash. She pulled out a bill.

I doubt he has change for a twenty.

Other than the money she needed for parking, Raquel could only produce a dollar and some change. She poured the change into her palm and wrapped it in the dollar as the vagrant drew near. With the precision of an experienced windshield technician, the man rushed to the passenger side, sprayed the window, and drew the squeegee across it.

When the man reached for the center of the windshield, Raquel's heart stopped, frozen in a moment of shock. The window washer's crystal blue eyes looked familiar. Excitement and confusion gripped her heart, causing her pulse to quicken. Filth and a burst of whiskers obscured his face, but did she know him? Her mind rebelled at the thought, but her heart trumpeted with recognition. She tried to get a good look as the vagrant hurried to the driver's side to finish the job. In a moment, he stood at the car window with an extended palm.

Raquel brushed her hair aside and looked up, examining the man’s face, searching for Michael’s features behind the grime. The man refused to look at her, but glanced back and forth as though scanning for unknown threats. She started to hand him the money, but held it for a moment and tried to get another look at his eyes.


The man’s eyes widened for an instant, then narrowed. The whiskers around the corners of his mouth raised slightly. “There ain’t no dancers here, lady.”

Raquel stared for a moment. “You just look like someone I know as Dancer. Aren’t you Michael? Michael Camp?” Suddenly, she felt embarrassed by her question. How could Dancer be a vagrant? He is certainly a Broadway star by now.

“I’d do the Tennessee two-step, but it will cost you extra.”

The voice and the eyes seem like Michael’s, but that’s impossible. Raquel refused to accept the thought and began to deny her heart’s realization. Her thoughts warred against reason, trying to decide whether to accept the reality standing before her, or the image of Michael she’d expected to find in New York. She opened her mouth to speak again, but a blowing horn interrupted her. The car ahead had moved thirty feet.

The driver behind her rolled down his window to voice his complaint, but the sounds of car horns obscured his words as more drivers joined the protest. Words fled. Raquel handed over the money and pulled forward, followed by the line of impatient drivers. The man walked toward the traffic light, preparing for a new line of cars and reluctant tippers. When Raquel turned the corner, she adjusted her mirror to keep the man in sight until a building obscured her view.


Raquel parked her car and took a final glance at her watch. “Ten minutes late,” she moaned, then slammed the car door. Racing to the production office, she fought to push down her emotions, but she couldn’t get her mind off the windshield washer. Raquel wanted to reject the idea that he could be the man she loved, but couldn’t mistake those blue eyes. Could this be why she lost contact with him two years ago?

Her mind raced through the possibilities—and the impossibilities. Is it possible that one of the nation's top dancers is now homeless? If it is Michael, how could he have ended up cleaning windshields off Broadway?

My review:

This was such a wonderful story, I don't know where to begin! From the joy you can feel when he dances, to the sorrow Raquel feels when she finds Dancer and sees how low he has fallen, God's mercy and grace just shines through it all. Eddie draws us so deeply into the characters that you can't help but want to cry for Dancer, and cheer Raquel on as she follows God's leading.

I must admit, there were a few surprising twists in the story. Some made me laugh, others made me gasp, and yes, some made me sigh. Great job, Eddie. I can't wait for the next one!

I don't want to give one little bit of this story away. All I can say is, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!


Eddie Snipes is president of the Christian Authors Guild (http://www.christianauthorsguild.org/) and founder of Exchanged Life Discipleship (http://www.exchangedlife.com/), a teaching and discipleship ministry. He has served as a pastor and interim pastor. Eddie also contributes to several online resources including OnePlace.com. He’s a member of ACFW and the Atlanta Writers Club.

Over the last two years, Eddie has won five writing contests and in April, his first novel, I Called Him Dancer was released. I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman's enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless man who has given up on life. He has two other books in the process of being published. Watch for an upcoming release called Simple Faith.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Just the Way You Are

After Noelle’s heroic rescue of Mr. Jarvis and his cat, her unexpected reward, a true blessing from God, is a journey of a lifetime. She sets out on her journey hoping to gain an understanding of God’s will for her life. But God’s will often isn’t what we expect, what we’re willing to settle for in our limited understanding of true grace. Noelle hopes to gain peace , an acceptance of her circumstances in life, and to find simple joy in following God’s will.

When she meets Shane Thompson, it takes her a while to realize that God has so much more in His plan for her. As often as Shane reaches out to her, tries to show her that he’s truly interested in her, she continues to hide behind the scars, believing no one can see beyond them.

But God can, and so can Shane.

K.M.Daughters have written a wonderful story here. It tugs at the heart and draws you in, gives a deep understanding of a woman wounded in spirit just as deeply as the scars on the outside.

Kudos to the authors. I love Noelle’s soft, kind spirit and Shane’s generous, giving heart. I felt like I was there with them on the mountain, and felt their emotional pain in the valley.

There are so many blessings in this story, and such sweet joy in the journey that I feel blessed to have shared in it.

Thank you so much! Well done!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kylie's Kiss Review

I know I've already told you a little about this story, but I just wanted to give you the full picture of this wonderful tale now that I've had a chance to write my review. Enjoy!

Kylie’s Kiss Review

Delia Latham

On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon's Gate-Castle Creek's new Christian dating agency-and she finds herself revealing exactly what she's waiting for in a relationship: "The kiss that steals my breath away."

What she doesn't reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale-a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He's handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all...including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.

Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She'd love to say yes...but how can she, when every contact with the facility's guests-and Rick's own daughter-will make her violently ill?

Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn't stand a chance, but she's forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.

Well, first, I must say, I was not disappointed by this sequel to Destiny’s Dream. Ms. Latham has once again created characters that are near and dear to the heart.

Kylie’s true to life fears (after all, who isn’t afraid of something) make her very real. She’s the kind of character you just don’t know whether to love or hate at first. After all, how can she be so unfeeling to people who have to struggle through life facing their own deformities? But when you get right down to it, it’s not a choice she makes, to not be able to face imperfections, it’s what was unknowingly planted in her head by people who should have loved her, not judged her or compared her to anyone else—definitely a case of not judging someone else before you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up in her family.

Kylie definitely has a core of steel and a heart of gold. She’s a sweetheart underneath all her insecurities.

So just like Rick, once you get beyond her irrational reactions, you can see her heart of gold. And the way God uses Rick’s sweet daughter to help Kylie see with her heart, not just her eyes, is definitely a wonderful moment.

Once again, kudos to this author for bringing such a wonderful story to us. God bless you, Delia, keep them coming!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daffodils Review

Daffodils Review

The love of her life rejected her when she needed him most. Ten years later, he’s back and wants a second chance.

But Margaret Ellington is no longer the lovelorn young girl to whom Lukas North said goodbye even as she mourned the loss of her father. She’s a grief-stricken widow who harbors a tremendous amount of guilt for not having loved her husband enough. Peter was a good man, a beautiful soul, and he adored her. But Margaret’s heart had never been completely his, having already been lost to Lukas a decade before.

Margaret flees her life in Jamestown. Teaching in the same school where Lukas also teaches is too hard; memories of Peter in the house they shared are too vivid and painful. She starts over in a new town, with a new job, a new house…a whole new life.

But Lukas has no intention of letting her go this time, and Margaret finds herself reluctantly involved in a long-distance relationship. Slowly, she begins to trust again, and opens herself to the possibility that she might still have a future with the love of her life.

Can their blossoming romance survive the revelation that Lukas is hiding something from her?

This debut novel is an excellent showcase for the author’s talent. Daffodils is a sweet, touching story that makes the reader believe in love. Margaret’s heartbreak, sorrow, guilt—and cautiously re-emerging love—are expertly portrayed, tugging at the heart strings and tweaking the emotions. The pieces of the storyline come together, amidst a charming display of buds and blossoms, into a beautifully woven romance that won’t be easily forgotten.

Reviewed by Delia Latham

Author of The Solomon's Gate Series

Heaven's Touch in Earthly Tales...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers Hot Summer Reads

Before I begin, let me apologize for the change in my line-up. I decided that since I Called Him Dancer, and Journey's End are being presented by others, I would give you a couple different ones to choose from. So, don't be discouraged - you'll still find those two posted elsewhere.

See all the links at Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers

Check us all out! There are some great summer reads out there just waiting for you to pick them up or download! And I truly wish I could highlight all of them!

I'll start with one near and dear to my heart, Daffodils, written by none other than...moi! Here's a little peek. (So it's not in my own words, I'll just give you what long and short reviews had to say.)

Second chances at love can flourish and grow in life just like Daffodils.

Margaret Ellington has faced the tragic loss of her husband and is finally trying to move on. She has picked herself up, gotten a new teaching position, and bought a new home. Lukas North, the man who walked out on her ten years ago, is back and wants to see if there could possibly be another place in her heart for him again. Will a long distance relationship work for them? Can she trust in God's and Lukas's love to make things right? Come follow their new season in life that is filled with the sweetness of blossoms and enriched with God's love.

I truly enjoyed this sweet short story. It moves quickly and I really enjoy second chance stories. Everyone deserves a second chance and since the main characters in this story are teachers, they need it even more so in my eyes. Can you tell I have a soft spot for them? Margaret's interaction with her students was very well written by the author and it added just another bit of sweetness to the story. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a quick and very sweet story with a nice happy ending.

To buy, or learn more, go to: http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/Daffodils

Next in the lineup we have Delia Latham's first two books from her Solomon's Gate trilogy. I must admit, I stepped through Solomon's Gate into her world of Christian dating and fell in love myself. Her characters are heartwarming and unforgettable.

Destiny May and Clay Gallagher meet under "stranger than fiction" circumstances, and their relationship follows a not so traditional path.
The twists and turns to this story kept me guessing all the way till the end.

So if you’re looking for a story that will wrap you in a warm, loving cocoon, but at the same time, leave you wondering if things will ever work out right, then you need to pick this one up.
Easily found at White Rose Publishing: http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/Destiny39S-Dream-Softcover-Edition

The second book in this wonderful series, is Kylie's Kiss. When Kylie starts out by saying that she's looking for the "kiss that steals her breath away," she's certain that she's ruined any chances of finding a suitable mate from Solomon's Gate Christian dating agency. But not only is she wrong to assume that, but she finds that what may seem like the most unlikely match may still be a match made in heaven. But Kylie finds her lack of self-esteem is not the only hurdle she has to get over. Her irrational reaction to facial disLinkfigurement brings her face to face with her deepest personal fears. Learning to love with God's eyes is a lesson we all should take to heart. For more on this one go to: http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/Kylie39S-Kiss .

And last, but certainly not least is Tender Mercies by Mary Manners. When Cooper, the hometown boy who made it big comes home, can Lexi get beyond the pain he caused her when he left to pursue his path to fame and fortune? Lexi's internal battle is only complicated by the secret she's kept from him for all the years he's been away. Looks like there's forgiveness needed on both sides. Praise God for His tender mercies and guiding hand. Sometimes there's just no other way to get beyond our own stubborn pride.

I apologize for not being able to get all the covers to post, but please, follow the links and check them out! You won't be disappointed!