CSFF Blog Tour – The Vanishing Sculptor, Day 1


Announcements. Lots going on, so lest I forget, I want to take care of business before moving onto Donita Paul and her latest release, The Vanishing Sculptor (WaterBrook).

First, I’m still looking for help with a book title. If you haven’t given feedback yet and would like to, you’ll find the poll at Fantasy Friday – I Need Your Help. The poll will be open through this week.

Also we’re accepting nominations for the 2009 Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction. The developing list is posted here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction and also at the Award site.

Third, the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) held their awards ceremony this past weekend. Congratulations to Sharon Hinck, winner of the Book of the Year Award – Speculative, for The Restorer’s Journey, and to David Fry, winner of the Genesis Contest – SciFi/Allegory/Fantasy, for Lies to See. Great accomplishments! 😀

There is one other award I want to mention in particular, but I’ll get to that.

The Tour. As I’ve stated from time to time, the CSFF Blog Tour got it’s start when Donita Paul took a chance on us, sending a group of 17 bloggers copies of DragonKnight, book 3 in her DragonKeeper Chronicles series. Actually, that tour was our second, the first featuring Tim Frankovich’s excellent site Christian Fiction Review with his “Focus on Fantasy” section. But with Donita’s tour, word seemed to spread like wildfire, and today CSFF has nearly 150 members, and monthly 35 or more participating blogs.

I think, in part, the growth was due to Donita’s gracious participation in the tour, beyond providing books. She conducted interviews, too, and stopped by our blogs to comment. As I look at it, she set the gold standard for author involvement in blog tours. For example, she left comments on each of my tour posts, and came back to answer questions others left her.

Here’s her initial comment to the Day 1 post:

Becky, this is such a great idea! I had a hard time envisioning just what-all a blog tour encompassed. I was just talking to a sales rep from WaterBrook and told him what a fantastic job you all are doing on the grassroots level. Believe me, the grassroots level is what starts the fires that spread from reader to reader.

The encouragement was great, the review copies of the book were great, the interaction with a published author was great.

So, bringing us back to the present, it was no surprise to me to learn that the ACFW Mentor of the Year award went to Donita Paul! Sky-writing sized congratulations!

I hope visitors here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction learn a lot about Donita and her writing during these next three days. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, The Vanishing Sculptor might be the perfect one to start with. It’s the beginning of a new series and a sort of prequel to the DragonKeeper Chronicles. But I’ll get into book specifics another day.

For now, take some time to visit other blogs participating in the tour:

http://anewnovelistsjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/csff-blog-tour-vanishing-sculptor-by.html

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 11:58 am  Comments (15)  
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What I’m Reading


I don’t know what got into me, but I’ve gone book crazy. I’d already pulled Bryan Davis’s second book in the Echoes from the Edge series, Eternity’s Edge, off the shelf at my church library. Then I made a stop at my local Christian bookstore.

I went because I wanted to do a little research connected to a book idea I have—a non-fiction project. But then I went and bought five books. Five! True, some I’m giving away, but still.

One was Stepping into Sunlight (Bethany) by Sharon Hinck. Somehow or other I must have gotten bumped off the reviewer list for Sharon’s books. I keep hearing great things about this one, and I really like Sharon’s writing, so I just couldn’t resist.

Then I stumbled on Randy Ingermanson’s Premonition (Zondervan). I’m not a particular fan of time travel, but I like Randy’s writing, too, so I decided to take advantage of a discount and picked that one up as well.

But I wasn’t finished. I also saw a book I figured a Christian fantasy writer should have, just to understand the discussion about fantasy among Christians. Until I got online, I had no idea there were believers who thought there was something spiritually wrong with the fantasy genre. Anyway, the book I found is Harry Potter, Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings: What you need to know about fantasy books and movies by Richard Abanes (Harvest House). I’ve only dipped into it, but I’ll undoubtedly be reporting back on this one.

What else am I reading? Well our April CSFF Blog Tour book arrived: Blaggard’s Moon by (newly nominated Christy Award author) George Bryan Polivka (Harvest House), so I’ve started that one. Bryan’s writing is so good. He has a wonderful voice for his pirate protagonist and another delightful one for the entertaining storyteller. I have a feeling this upcoming tour will be a good one.

Then Sunday I was at our church library again, and I saw Wayne Thomas Batson’s Isle of Fire. I’ve read the Door Within trilogy and the Isle of Swords, so it just seemed right that I pick up this one too. I’ve liked each of Wayne’s books better than the one before it, so it will be fun to discover what goods this story holds.

Well, there was another one I saw in the library—one I don’t actually want to read, but one I think I should. I’m talking about The Shack. I’ve read so many reviews, commented, discussed, listened to just about everyone I know give their views, and I figured I needed to stop giving a second-hand opinion, and read the book for myself.

I’m also reading about three other non-fiction works—a couple history-of-the-church books and Gracia Burnham’s second book To Fly Again: Surviving the Tailspins of Life Those I nibble at as time allows. Good stuff, but not meant to be devoured.

So what about you? What’s on the top of your to be read pile these days?

Fantasy Fiction Tour, the Third Part


Here is a picture of Sharon Hinck and me at the Calvary Church Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour event in Huntington Beach last Friday, thanks to Bryan Davis who sent it.

I have just a few more thoughts about the recent West Coast tour these authors just finished, and I think this actually relates to writing, maybe to life, in general. Actually it came to me first as I was posting on the tour last week. Here’s the line:

But promoting the genre with feet on the ground are our heroic eight authors—Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, Christopher Hopper, L.B. Graham, Donita Paul, Eric Reinhold, and Jonathan Rogers.

Every endeavor needs its pioneers—people willing to step into the unknown and make a dream work. The United States is largely a result of pioneers. Space exploration is still in it’s pioneering infancy. The personal computer needed pioneers who envisioned something others pooh-poohed.

And Christian fantasy, once thought to be unsaleable in Christian bookstores and unwanted in the general market, has begun to catch on because pioneers in the book publishing industry forged the way.

Including Christian fantasy writers in with those who explored the Northwest Territory or landed on the moon or invented the Apple may seem like I’m stretching the value of fantasy, but I don’t think so. Fantasy, remember, relates a good versus evil story—the eternal story, really—and nothing has more significance.

From where I sit, the key Christian fantasy pioneer is Karen Hancock. Undoubtedly others would suggest that Frank Peretti or even Ted Dekker holds that place. I consider their works to be supernatural suspense and not precisely fantasy. Speculative, certainly, but not other-world fantasy. Of course there were earlier writers. Stephen Lawhead wrote fantasy, as did a few others. But this was pre-resurgance.

After Karen Hancock, who then? L. B. Graham was next, I think. I remember reading a Christianity Today review of Beyond Summerland, first in the Binding of the Blade series, in which the reviewer said all manner of positives, including the statement that the work was Tolkienesque. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.

Following close behind was Donita Paul and Bryan Davis. Their first fantasies came out the same year and maybe even the same month, both dragon series, but very different from each other. Donita’s books come close to classic fantasy whereas Bryan’s might be some mix between fantasy, science fiction, and supernatural suspense—not classic, but innovative.

A cluster of other authors followed, but the industry has yet to embrace Christian fantasy wholeheartedly. Hence, the authors who had stepped out into this lonely, unmapped world did so again, this time with the intent to promote their own work at their own expense.

Last year that turned into the Fantasy Four Fiction Tour up the East Coast, and this year it grew to become the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour down the West Coast.

The point is this. These authors spent time away from their families, their homes, their writing, some entirely at their own expense. They traveled hundreds and hundreds of miles in less than first class conditions, slept in less than first class accommodations, ate fast food and on the move, got up at hours far earlier than a body should be required, for what? A fan here, a sale there, and lots of free bookmarks and posters.

Seeds. For the most part, the Motiv8 authors sowed seeds that may or may not take root and turn into increased book sales. That’s what pioneers do. There are no guarantees given to pioneers. They may or may not find what they expect. (No, Mr. Columbus, this is not India. 😉 )

But one thing I learned by listening to these Motiv8 authors—they love stories and they love God. For each of them, those two loves come together in the Christian fantasy they write. That makes me want to cheer. They are my feet-on-the-ground heroes.

Fantasy Fiction Tour, continued


Bryan Davis sent me this picture today of us talking at the close of the Calvary Chapel Huntington Beach Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour event hosted by Merrie Destefano. In the background you can see Jonathan Rogers,, one of the writers I had not met in real life before. In the reflection of the door, you can just make out Eric Reinhold if you know to look.

Honestly, in spite of how tired I felt sure the Motiv8 writers must be, I thought they did an outstanding job. This was not your typical book signing. Rather it was a cross between the events they put on for schools and what you might expect them to share in a testimony time in church.

One thing that turned out kinda unplanned cool was that people started arriving as the authors were getting set up and organized just off the sanctuary. But Merrie had all the books set up and displayed on tables out in the front, so people had time to look at the books and even to make some purchases before the program.

Christopher Hopper and his wife Jennifer started things off by singing several worship songs. I thought the music put a different spin on the event from the beginning. This was not just a sales pitch, not just promotion. This was ministry, too.

Sharon Hinck spoke next about God using cracked clay pots, about how He is the real hero in our stories. Eric Reinhold followed her with a segment about God’s timing. He shared how he started writing his first Ryann Watters tale but had serious health issues that led to open heart surgery. Seven years later he returned to the story and finished it, even as God brought into his life a publisher who ended up printing the book.

Next was L.B. Graham. He talked a little about fantasy and his Binding of the Blade series. Wayne Thomas Batson followed with a reading from The Door Within, and Bryan Davis closed this segment with an impassioned defense of fantasy as a means to communicate spiritual reality.

Already the evening was well worth while, but my favorite part was yet to come. For a half hour or more, all eight authors fielded questions from the audience. A lot of credit has to go to the people asking the questions. They were thoughtful, probing questions—no fluff. Many of the times, all the authors gave an answer, passing the mic from person to person. Sometimes several answered and the rest seemed to agree. For the Q&A session alone, this event would be worth your time watching from the archives over at the Motiv8 site.

The thing was, hearing the authors side-by-side like that was really, really interesting for another writer, especially one who has read their work. Which one is an outliner, who writes as a seat-of-the-pantser? Who sold right away, who suffered the greatest pile of rejections? Who focuses on plot more, who on character? Who writes full time, who still maintains a day job? What prompted different ones to start writing in the first place? It was just a lot of fun and I was sorry when they had to cut the questions off.

But after all, there was still the signing part of the event. Lots of people bought new books. Some brought the ones they had from home. They got pictures of the authors, talked about the books, and of course had the personalized signatures included. I saw Jonathan Rogers more than once add a sketch of an alligator beneath his John Hancock. What better way for the author of The Bark of the Bog Owl to finish off an autograph! 😀

Well, I’m far over my word count and didn’t yet say what I most wanted to say about the event/tour. Just maybe, I’ll have to address this one more time.

Fantasy Fiction Tour


This is one of those posts where I just have too much to say.

I attended two events, one an elementary school and one a church event promoted in part as a fantasy writing event. Right off, my camera failed to work—low batteries, it said, though I’d put in new batteries before I left home. Thankfully Christopher Hopper snagged a picture of the two of us and emailed it to me on the spot.

He served as the moderator of the school event and did a wonderful job keeping a room of 200 or more kids attentive. He introduced other members of the tour for their parts, then engaged in a sword fight with Sir Wayne Thomas Batson. All very entertaining.

After the presentation, kids flocked to the stage or to the book tables where they had the authors sign posters or bookmarks and where they bought books they then had autographed. A few children brought in their parents, which I was happy to see.

Afterward, I asked the people from Barnes and Noble, who partnered with the school and sold the books, if they did many of these kinds of events and how this one did in comparison to others. It turns out, they do so many, one of the women I was talking to was in charge of community outreach. And they said they thought this event did better than most. Said they sold 25 percent of the inventory they brought. If they hadn’t already said this was better than most, I wouldn’t have thought that was so good, but of course, I also didn’t know how much inventory they brought. They also said they would keep it in the store until Christmas (that sounded good), and that most likely it would sell (that sounded even better). That made sense to me, since a lot of the kids didn’t have money themselves to buy the books, but they had those autographed bookmarks and posters to show their parents exactly what they wanted. Interestingly, Jonathan Rogers did a reading from The Bark of the Bog Owl, and his book sold out.

This school, by the way, hosted Bryan Davis two or three years ago when he came out west. One of the teachers read his book to her class, and when he came, he sold a hundred copies. I bring that up to make this point—readers need, more than anything, an introduction to these books. The stories, the writing, the characters can then take over.

I’ve got much more to say about the second event and already I’m pushing my self-imposted word count limit. Rather than hurry, I’ll save my remarks for tomorrow. In the meantime, you can read more and see many more pictures at Merrie Destefano‘s site (she hosted the second event and did a terrific job) and Eric Reinhold‘s blog. In fact, Eric has blogged about the entire tour, and it’s great reading.

One more thing. I should give the answers to my Wednesday contest. We have five winners, two with perfect six for six answers. I’ll be contacting our winners to make arrangements to send them their autographed books.

The authors of the excerpts I posted are as follows:
#1 Jonathan Rogers (The Bark of the Bog Owl)

#2 Donita Paul (DragonLight)

#3 Wayne Thomas Batson (The Isle of Swords)

#4 Sharon Hinck (The Restorer’s Journey)

#5 Bryan Davis (Beyond the Reflection’s Edge)

#6 Eric Reinhold (Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword)

You See It Here, You See It There—Christian Fantasy Everywhere


With all the attention on the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour, I don’t want to neglect the other ground breaking fantasy event that took place last week. Marcher Lord Press released its first books.

In one forum, I learned that there was a midnight lineup of fans trying to be the first to order. It turns out that over a hundred people had the same idea. I wonder if there’s ever been an online rush to buy books before.

Without a doubt, MLP has focused the spotlight roundly on fantasy and other speculative genres written from a Christian worldview. One bit of evidence is the fact that oft-declared non-fantasy reader Nicole Petrino-Salter conducted an interview with MLP founder, Jeff Gerke, which she posted last Tuesday.

Earlier this year Jeff taught on speculative fiction at the Oregon Christian Writers’ Conference. Here’s a man who has seized an opportunity. Not only does he recognize the ongoing popularity of speculative fiction, he’s paying attention to the development of new technology. The Marcher Lord Press model of publishing just might revolutionize the industry.

But promoting the genre with feet on the ground are our heroic eight authors—Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, Christopher Hopper, L.B. Graham, Donita Paul, Eric Reinhold, and Jonathan Rogers. Their tour is quickly coming to an end, and I can’t wait to hear in person their stories of the many encounters with fans, new and old.

Report after report mentions the fun, the crowds, the enthusiasm. The video journal has clips of happy readers walking out with stacks of books. One comment begged the writers to tour the heartland next. Others suggested the entire US. 😀 Personally, I’d like to see them return to the West Coast and stay right here in SoCal. I know of a dozen places that would love to have them.

Regardless, there are two days remaining, and you can enjoy the events live or by rerun simply by clicking over to the Motiv8 Web site.

By the way, did you discover who the mystery guests were at the beginning of the tour? Authors of the brand new, very eye-catching middle grade fantasies—the Hunter Brown series—brothers, Christopher and Allan Miller.

Who knows? The fantasy tour might grow by half next year and there will be a group of twelve. Sounds very biblical! 😉

Motiv8ing for Fun


How many books have you read? For some, you might not even be able to guess at the number. But if we narrow it down to fiction, or even further, to fantasy, how many books have you read? How about Christian fantasy? Or most specifically, Christian fantasy written by one of the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour authors?

We’ve featured a number of them on the CSFF Blog Tour. In fact, in October we’re highlighting Bryan Davis’s Beyond the Reflection’s Edge (Zondervan). So I’m guessing a number of you just might feel like you know Christian fantasy pretty well. Here’s your chance to win an autographed book of your choice—as long as you email me by Friday with four out of six correct answers.

Answers to what, you say? I will quote opening lines from six of the authors participating in the tour (I wish I could include all 8, but don’t have easy access to some of the books). You answer correctly who authored four of the six, and you will win an autographed copy of a book from the Motiv8 author of your choice. Here’s a hint—with a little internet surfing, I think you can probably figure out most of these, even if you haven’t read the books.

Here again are the authors: Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, Christopher Hopper, L.B. Graham, Donita Paul, Eric Reinhold, and Jonathan Rogers.

And now the excerpts:

#1

His Majesty, King Darrow of Corenwald,
Protector of the People,
Defender of the Faith,
Keeper of the Island
Tambluff Castle
West Bank of the River Tam
Tambluff, Corenwald

My Dearest King–

You will be glad to learn that I am still available for any quest, adventure, or dangerous mission for which you might need a champion or knight-errant. I specialize in dragon-slaying, but would be happy to fight pirates or invading barbarians if circumstances require. I would even be willing to rescue a fair maiden imprisoned by evil relatives.

#2

Kale wrinkled her nose at the dank air drifting up from the stone staircase. Below, utter darkness created a formidable barrier.

Toopka stood close to her knee. Sparks skittered across the doneel child’s furry hand where she clasped the flowing, soft material of Kale’s wizard robe. Kale frowned down at her ward. The little doneel spent too much time attached to her skirts to be captivated by the light show.

#3

“Papa, I’m scared!” the little girl cried out as she slid awkwardly across the deck. Before she could regain her balance, she crashed into her father’s arms.

“Oh, Dolphin!” he said, shielding her from sheets of rain and sea spray. “What are you doing up here?”

She looked up at him. “I heard a monster out in the sea!”

#4

My mom was freaking out.

She stared out the dining room window as if major-league monsters were hiding in the darkness beyond the glass. Give me a break. Our neighborhood was as boring as they come. Ridgeview Drive’s square lawns and generic houses held nothing more menacing than basketball hoops and tire swings. Still, Mom’s back was tight, and in the shadowed reflection on the pane, I could see her biting her lip.

#5

Nathan watched his tutor peer out the window. She was being paranoid again. That guy following them in the Mustang had really spooked her. “Chill out, Clara. He doesn’t know what room we’re in.”

She slid the curtains together, casting a blanket of darkness across the motel room. “He parked near the lobby entrance. Wed better pack up and leave anothe way.” She clicked on a corner table lamp. The pale light seemed to deepen the wrinkles on her face and hands. “how much more time do you need?”

#6

It first appeared as a gentle glow, almost like a child’s night-light. Heavy shadows filled the room as the boy lay face up, covers tucked neatly under his arms. A slight smile on his face hinted that he was in the midst of a pleasant dream.

Ryann Watters, who had just celebrated his twelfth birthday, rolled lazily onto his side, his blong hair matted into the pillow, unaware of the glow as it began to intensify. Shadows searched for hiding places throughout the room as the glow transformed from a pale yellow hue to brilliant white.

So there you have it. A mere four out of six. Email your answers to me at rluellam at yahoo dot com . Be sure to include which author you would like me to get an autographed book from. I’m seeing them on Friday, so I must have your answers no later than 9:00 am (Pacific time) Friday.

Christian Fantasy and Writers in Community


J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had the Inklings. Today we fantasy writers have the internet. Not quite as powerful perhaps, but it does mean we don’t all have to live in Oxford.

But then, along comes a group of writers like those participating in the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction TourWayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, Christopher Hopper, L.B. Graham, Donita Paul, Eric Reinhold, and Jonathan Rogers—and the power of a community of writers takes on a new meaning. While these authors haven’t fed into each other’s writing, they are feeding into each other’s promotion. What a great concept!

I suspect these days on the road just may spark more stories too. How could that many writers spend concentrated time together and not talk writing—craft, characters, process, plot, marketing and magic. Wouldn’t you love to be a moth flitting about from conversation to conversation?

Well, that brings me back to the power of the internet. As I mentioned on Saturday, this actual tour is set up to allow for live participation by those who aren’t able to be at the events. How cool!

Evidently the weather problems and the lack of internet access hindered the tour from going live over the weekend, but all that should change. The bad weather is gone and they’re in California already—no longer in the boonies. ( 😀 Just kidding. I happen to love the west, partly because even in the city you can get away from the city pretty easily.)

But the thought has hit me … is the internet enough, or do writers need actual groups? A writer friend sent me the link to an interesting article on the subject, written as a response to a book by Diana Pavlac Glyer—The Company They Keep: CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien as Writers in Community (Kent State University Press, 2007).

As it turns out, I met Glyer last February at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. . What’s more, she’s a professor at a nearby (forty-five minutes from here) university. But did I meet Glyer on our home turf? No. Instead, we both traveled some six hours north to connect.

Maybe crowded freeways and high gas prices and a society that relocates frequently make internet writing communities the only way to go. But now I’m wondering …

I’ll also add, I’m pretty excited about this coming Friday when I get to hang out with writers for real—even for a short time. But maybe that’s just me. 😉

Fantasy Friday – It’s Time to Motiv8



MOTIV8 Fantasy Fiction Tour 2008 - 8 Christian Fantasy Authors, 8 West Coast Cities, 8 Days

Yes, I do realize it’s Saturday, but isn’t it cool how we fantasy writers can ignore constraints, such as time and place? 😉

I have been working hard on fiction these last few weeks, my own and an editing client’s, so I’ve been tardy with my posts here on occasion. I’m still working to figure out how to keep all my priorities in the top slot. 😀

As some of you may know, a group of eight Christian fantasy writers started an actual tour, known as the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour, of the West Coast yesterday. Of course, as you might guess, the weather turned cold and rainy—yep, yesterday. Aside from that, this trip is a great opportunity to familiarize a lot of receptive readers with the existence of Christian fantasy.

Last year, four authors toured the East Coast. Those same writers—Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, and Christopher Hopper—are now joined by L.B. Graham, Donita Paul, Eric Reinhold, and Jonathan Rogers.

One of the cool, cool features is that these events will be broadcast live at the Motiv8 Web site—and archived for those who want to see the re-runs. Here’s the explanation:

Watch each event on the West Coast Tour live right here! When we’re not on the air, you can catch re-runs from the daily video journals. Chat with us and send your comments and questions; be sure to include where you’re watching from!
Broadcasting Live from Salt Shaker Book Store in Seattle!

So there you have it—an actual tour that all of us can enjoy virtually. Now that is too cool! Hope you take advantage of the opportunity some time this week.

And for those of you in Southern California, there are two events open to the public—one on the west side of LA and one on the east:

    Thursday Oct. 9th
    Valley Book & Bible
    5:00pm – 7:00pm
    6502 Van Nuys Blvd.
    Van Nuys, CA 91401
    Toll Free: 800-421-8906

    Friday Oct. 10th
    Calvary Chapel Church
    7:00pm – 9:00pm
    7800 Edinger Ave.
    Huntington Beach, CA 92647
    (714) 891-9495

One more thing. The Motiv8 home page has been including prayer requests for the last several months. If you haven’t stopped by the site before, it’s not too late. These authors are going to need as much prayer during the tour as in preparation for the tour. In that way, everyone interested can be a part.

Did I mention that you can also read bios and interviews with the authors at the Motiv8 site, so you can get to know the people you’re praying for. Quite an eclectic bunch! 8)

Fantasy Friday (Posted Saturday) – The Best Bookstore


It felt like a fantasy. There I stood, in a Christian bookstore, with a fiction shelf extending across three aisles. All the books were face out except some multiple copies. And the capper—the books were organized according to genre, with Fantasy/Futuristic/Allegory one of the categories.

Pinch me. Was it real? You can see it for yourself, if you’re in the Los Angeles area. The bookstore is Lighthouse Christian Store (3008 N Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90808, phone 562-425-1211).

As if to bring me back to reality, about half the store carries gift items, cards, and apparel, but as you can see by the name, it is not pretending to be an exclusive bookstore. Nevertheless, I think this development—a store that thinks enough of Christian fiction to sort the books by categories—is a positive sign.

And even more so is the inclusion of Fantasy as part of the name for the “speculative” category. Of course, this left Austin Boyd’s Mars Hill Classified science fiction trilogy to be shelved with the suspense/mystery books. But then Robin Parrish‘s superhero books (latest release, Merciless, Bethany House) were there as well. However, that’s by publisher’s choice, since BHP markets those as suspense, not fantasy.

I was gratified to see all the best fantasy authors represented, though Bryan Polivka‘s books were sadly misplaced. Somehow, someone thought The Trophy Chase Trilogy, with a first book entitled The Legend of the Firefish, belonged in the Contemporary Fiction section. 😮

But I’m not complaining. I was thoroughly delighted to see Auralia’s Colors (Jeffrey Overstreet, WaterBrook), The DragonKeeper Chronicles (Donita Paul, WaterBrook), The Return of the Guardian King (Karen Hancock, Bethany House) two of the Swords of Lyric series (Sharon Hinck, NavPress), and others all collected in one location.

The books for youth didn’t fare quite as well. The placement was odd for one thing—sandwiched between the books for toddlers and the DVD’s for pre-schoolers. The selection wasn’t great, just half a section of shelves. Wayne Batson (The Door Within Trilogy, The Isle of Fire, and The Isle of the Sword; Thomas Nelson) had the best display (of course his books have those beautiful covers, so I guess that’s not a surprise). Other fantasies were there, too: Andrew Peterson‘s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Bryan Davis‘s Eye of the Oracle, and a number of the Landon Snow books by R. K. Mortenson. Since it seems so many of the new fantasies coming out are aimed at middle grade or young adult readers, I guess that small selection was the biggest surprise to me.

Still, I came away from that bookstore feeling happy that Christian fantasy has taken another step forward.

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