Monday, January 31, 2011

A Long Walk Home - But a Short Hop to a Giveaway! - Updated with Winner!


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Timestamp: 2011-02-07 02:54:55 UTC

Congrats to Barbara H! I guess thought a Barbara should win the books written by a Barbara! Email me your address, and once UPS gets the books here (they got delayed by the snowstorms), I"ll have "my Barbara" autograph them and they'll be on their way to you!

If anyone is interested in ordering Barbara Andrews' first book A Walk in the Park directly from her rather than from the publisher, just email me!
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2/1/2011 - Updated to add: It may be a little difficult to find the first of Barbara Andrews' books, A Walk in the Park, without ordering directly from the publisher. However, Barbara tells me she does still have a personal supply available for sale. If you live in the USA and are interested in purchasing one of these books, please let me know and I will take care of mailing it to you.

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It's been a thrill to meet several authors in person. But even more exciting is having a friend I've known since my college days become a published author!

I first met Barbara Andrews before a few of you were even born a number of years ago when we were in college and singing in our church's college choir together. She married and moved to Ft. Worth while her husband attended seminary to become a music minister. Our paths crossed a few times when they returned to this area, and what a joy it was a little more than seven years ago when God led us to the church where they now serve.

One of the new things I discovered when we reconnected was that Barbara has a passion for writing within her! Long before I even dreamed I would blog or review books, I eagerly anticipated the complettion of her first novel, which was published early in 2007. The joy of its release was greatly diminished however, by a personal tragedy within Barbara's family, the sudden and tragic loss of her daughter and son-in-law, which occurred just weeks before the book's release.

That first book, A Walk in the Park is one of the most tender books I have read. It is a beautiful story of love and loss, and only God in His sovereignty knew the greater meaning the book would have on the heels of such unimaginable heartache. It is still available here.

As Barbara and her family walked the road of grief and healing--and I can unequivocally state that, though they still fiercely miss their beautiful girl, they are amazing testimonies to God's grace, strength, and comfort absolutely shining through them--she put down her pen for awhile. Eventually, with prodding and encouragement from family and friends, she wrote the second book in The Sand Dollar Series. A Long Walk Home has just been released and Barbara gave me a copy and asked if I would read it, give her my honest opinion, and review it on my blog. She didn't have to ask twice, but I secretly wondered if the second book would impact me as much as the first since it didn't have the emotional connection.

Well. Not to worry. I think I called Barbara when I was on page 30 or so to tell her how much I loved not only the story, but the way it was written. Barbara is a master with words. Like an artist holding a palette of simple reds and greens and blues, she takes very ordinary words, mixes them together, and with a skilled hand spreads them across the page until the scene is rich and vibrant without being overdone or exaggerated. And the story itself will tug at your heart. This would be a great book to share with an unbelieving friend, as Berdine is completely disinterested in anything remotely connected to church but finds herself increasingly dissatisfied with the emptiness within her. The gospel is clearly presented within this story, yet it is not heavy-handed or preachy.

You don't have to read the first book to enjoy the second one; A Long Walk Home is somewhat of a prequel as it portrays the early life of a secondary character in A Walk in the Park. But of course, I recommend that you read them both! I can't wait to see which direction the third novel takes.

Here is the summary of A Long Walk Home, a little bit more about Barbara, and a very special giveaway!

A Long Walk Home
Barbara Andrews
(Tate Publishing)
ISBN: 978-1616633479
November, 2010/252 pages/$15.99

Set in the idyllic 1950s, A Long Walk Home features Berdine Williams, a tomboy always ready for an adventure with her close friend Michael. As time passes, their differences pull them apart. Michael has a difficult home life and often gets into trouble. Berdine's family doesn't want her getting involved. As Berdine grows into a young woman, she becomes convinced that Michael is meant for her. But when Berdine stands up to a bully on Michael's behalf, Michael walks away without a word to her. And when she goes to his house to apologize, she learns that he's moved to the home of his aunt and drill sergeant uncle on Parris Island.

Author Barbara Andrews delves into the life of a younger Berdine, who is featured in Andrews's first novel, A Walk in the Park. As secrets unfold, Berdine closes herself off from her parents and sister, Kathryn, who don't understand her pain. Years later Michael and Berdine are brought together by a chance meeting, and Berdine sees a solemn recruit who gazes at her with coldness. Will time heal old wounds, or will past misunderstandings keep them apart? Follow the ups and downs of this tumultuous love as Berdine pursues her dreams and Michael takes A Long Walk Home.

Barbara Andrews works as an assistant to the discipleship pastor and youth pastor at a church in Austin, Texas, where she is also active in youth and music ministries. She and her husband, Damon, have a daughter, who is now with Jesus, and two sons. When not involved in writing or church activities, Barbara enjoys watching sports, especially when the sporting events involve one of her sons, Dustin or Parker.

If you live in central Texas, you can meet Barbara at a book-signing at the Barnes & Noble in Round Rock in early March. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the information.

I have purchased both of these books to give away right here to one of you, and Barbara has graciously agreed to autograph them before I mail them to you! To enter, leave a comment on this post no later than 8:00 pm CDT Sunday (2/6/11) and I will choose a winner using the random number generator. US Residents only, please, and you must include an email address if you don't have a blog. Receive additional entries by telling me you posted about the giveaway on your blog, FB, Twitter, or told a friend via email, and commenting with the link (or copying me on the email. My email address is in the sidebar just below my profile.)


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My ADHD Me said...

First of all...Hi!!

Your description of the author and her writing style had me sold even before I read the actual book review!

Hope all is well! I am trying to get back on the blog-track. I miss it but for the last few months I would sit down to write and ....nothing.

I have cleaned the cobwebs off of the computer an am going to try again.

(I hope your friend is able to find peace. I just cannot imagine her pain. As I try to emphasize, I find it impossible to do so as I can not get past how horrible it would be. However, I can and will pray for her to find peace and to understand the unimaginable.)

Barbara H. said...

These sound wonderful. I'd love to read them. Thank you and Barbara.

Amber Holcomb said...

How neat to have known someone who later became an author! It's a pleasure to learn about Barbara, although I am so sorry for the loss she had to endure.

I would appreciate the chance to win her books--they look very powerful! Thank you!



Linda said...

Wow! What powerful story lines! I would love to read both books. Please enter me. Thanks.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Count me in, Linda!!

sara said...

I am with My ADHD had me sold before I even read the book review!!! count me in!

Nel said...

These sound wonderful! Count me in on the drawing. Thanks!
until next time... nel

quilly said...

Both of these books sound wonderful! i would love to read them!

Liesa said...

I would love to read these books.
I know I'll need tissues when I do!
Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Charlotte Kay said...

I thank you for the opportunity to win these books:)
Please consider me for a chance to win!
I am most grateful!
Blessings and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay
charsaltz at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

what a great story!!!

thanks for the chance to read these fabulous books.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mary Lou said...

These sound like a great read. Thanks for doing this.

Mary Lou

Diana Ferguson said...

Absolutely count me in!!! Thanks for the great giveaway.

SusanD said...

Oh yes, please count me in too. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

riTa Koch said...

I am so glad I came across this giveaway, even if for nothin else than to lean about this author and her books. Thank you!

Barbara H. said...

How exciting! Thanks, Linda, and my fellow Barbara. :-) I am looking forward to reading them.