Friday, March 20, 2009

...And (My) Last Word on the Twilight Series

My rather long-winded reflection is up on if any of you care to read it. For you moms who've been asking my opinion of the series, this article is for you. Thanks for wanting to know what I thought!

Here's an excerpt:

So I suppose I consider the books . . . problematic, especially (now here I’m going to speak to the moms who are reading this) for those readers who are still growing up. Considering that many girls aged ten and just above are reading books, since the word is out that the books are ‘clean’ with ‘no sex,’ I’m afraid too many impressionable minds are being primed learning to fall in love with a man who just doesn’t exist. I actually feel really sorry for the teenage boys who are having to compete with Edward.

As a romance writer myself, I try to be kind to the average guy. While it’s laudable to create an idealized hero that will raise the standards of girl readers, I’m not sure it’s fair to make him so beyond the pale that no average guy can aspire to be like him. read more...

ADDENDUM: Arianna Clark commented on my post on HJ and brought up this one point which is SO obvious I can't believe I overlooked it:

Furthermore, I never really noticed a meeting of minds or of a friendship between Edward and Bella, which I have always understood to be essential to a marriage or any meaningful relationship.

AMEN! Yes, THAT was missing from the series in a very large way. In fact, there are notable instances of Edward making fun of the things that Bella loves, such as her vintage truck and Wuthering Heights. If there *is* really common ground between them aside from each other, it's really buried deep.

Tickled a Sleeping Dragon Today?

Harry Potter and the Sleeping Dragons Harry Potter and the Sleeping Dragons by Nancy Solon Villaluz

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I thought I couldn't learn any more about Harry Potter. NOT that I am an expert, but I'd thought that my several re-readings of the seven Harry Potter books, plus reading analyses of the books by Christian analysts John Granger and Janet Batchler (as well as other forgettable secular ones who were more concerned with fitting Harry Potter into the Hero's Journey or getting facts wrong in their rush to come out with a book to please screaming HP fans) had covered me. It took this book by Nancy Solon Villaluz to prove me wrong. Talk about the tip of the iceberg!

Once I signed on to her quirky style (which is laid on a little too heavily in the beginning: I got impatient, particularly with the autobiographical material, and nearly put the book down in the early chapters) the book revealed itself, like Dumbledore, to be more than just a funny old schoolmaster. I am pleased to have discovered this treasure. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, especially if you aren't convinced of its Christian roots, read this book.

If you're NOT a fan of Harry Potter, I'd recommend the books of John Granger instead, as Does Harry Potter tickle Sleeping Dragons? is really for the diehard fan who has exhausted herself reading the Septology over and over and is looking for something else to chew on. Read and enjoy tickling! PS: There is a planned sequel: apparently Ms. Villaluz has more up her sleeve....

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Snow White and Rose Red Cake Topper!

Planning a Fairy Tale Novel wedding? Hoping for one someday? Check out this so neat floral cake topper by longtime Shadow of the Bear fan Therese Heckencamp (she's also an author of teen fiction!). Therese wrote one of the first reviews of Shadow of the Bear on Amazon, and it's hard for me to believe that she's now married, having kids, still writing books of her own, and creating cake toppers on the side! And if you need a cake topper for any occasion, visit

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Belatedly Breaking Dawn!

I just realized that my article on Breaking Dawn was published on back in January, and I never told you all! Here's the link to it, and an excerpt:

Stephenie Meyer took on the question of whether or not it’s worth it to be a human being and answered it with all the logic of a romance novel: not really. Better to be a vampire, with lots of money and designer clothes and a dangerous lifestyle with your soul-mate for eternity. The Twilight saga started out as a fantasy that could have been a novel about real things. It ended up being just another fantasy. read more...

I've promised a retrospective on the series that gives my overall take on the books, but it hasn't been published yet. I promise to let you know when it's posted -- hopefully earlier than three months later!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm Be-Zazzled!

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

I am very pleased to announce that we have switched over our t-shirt line to Today I uploaded the last of the "classic" designs and am pleased to introduce a number of new t-shirts in color as well!

I made all the t-shirts as "customizable" as possible, so it's possible to get any design in just about any color or style. You can also choose whether or not to get a design as a hoodie, unisex tee, kid's size shirt or -- the options are nearly limitless!

Also I threw together a few new designs for coffee mugs, tote bags, even a "Bear Lives " beer stein. And I'm very proud of the "Winsome" button I made for those of you who want something small to give to a potential "Fish."

So go ahead and check out my gallery at Zazzle! (*) And if you can't find what you want, email me, and I can probably make it up for you! Have fun!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coming Soon: Trepasses Against Us!

Yes, Book Two of John Paul 2 High is almost here: I just sent Trespasses Against Us to the publisher for proofing last night! We're still working on the cover photo, or I'd post it here for us. I really hope fans enjoy this book: Christian Frank has pulled it off again, and I think this book is even better than the first one! It chronicles George Peterson's "descent into darkness" as he starts seeking revenge against his enemy, Tyler Getz. Meanwhile, Celia Costain is trying to deal with the effects of dating as the school splits up into couples -- and she's not allowed to date. So more tension, more craziness, and more Catholic truth -- coming soon at John Paul 2 High!

Stay tuned for the cover and Chapter One -- coming soon!