Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Restorer

My friend Sharon Hinck's fantasy novel The Restorer, first in the Sword of Lyric series, released the fifteenth of May. I mentioned her book in a previous blog when I spoke of how I had "met" her. She wrote to me about Arena and attending the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference (of which I had a bit to say!). We started up an email correspondence and about six months later she asked me to read her as yet unpublished fantasy manuscript for possible endorsement -- this at the urging of her then-agent.

She sent me the ms with many apologies and the caveat that she would fully understand if I deleted it unread. Even so, I was afraid. By that time we'd become friends. What if I didn't like it? Then what would I say? What would I do? I hate telling anyone that I didn't love their book, especially a friend who has said very kind things about my own work, but I have never been able to bring myself to lie about such matters either. And this time it was about an endorsement. For days I let the manuscript languish in my inbox, unread. Finally, I ran out of excuses to put it off, printed the thing up and dived in.

And was delighted to discover I enjoyed it. Enough to be able to endorse it pre-publication. Here's what I had to say:

“A compelling adventure, an engaging heroine, a unique and fascinating other world—The Restorer satisfies on many levels. Skillfully incorporating themes of faith, sacrifice and the power of words to deceive or deliver, Sharon Hinck has crafted a tale that resonates in both soul and spirit. A welcome addition to the expanding genre of Christian fantasy. Don’t miss it!”

And here's the back cover blurb:

Susan Mitchell needed a change--any kind of change. Nearly twenty years of marriage to her college sweetheart, Mark, had given her two teenagers and two grade-schoolers, along with miles of unmatched socks, sticky countertops, and the ever-growing hum of sheer bedlam. When had she become so . . . insignificant? Hadn't God once had a plan for her?

Well, at least Mark had a plan: for an attic hideaway free of iPods and science projects and cookie crumbs. But before Susan can finish her first journal entry, she finds herself pulled through a portal into a world grappling for its soul and waiting for a promised Restorer. Someone does have a plan for her--one she never would have imagined. While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture full of unfamiliar technologies and taboos, she faces unexpected battles, mind-poisoning enemies, and a profound spiritual journey. Her adventure will forever change her family, her faith, and how she experiences love--from the One.

Find out more at Sharon's webpage where you can read an excerpt from it, watch the trailer, find out what others have to say about it, and check out some interviews of Sharon.

There are even links that will take you straight to Christianbook.com to buy it, though I recommend that first you try to find it in your local bookstores. If they don't have it, ask to order it. That way they will know that there are people in their community who are interested in Sharon's books and will be more likely to stock them next time -- like when book 2 is released in September. Also they will know there are people in their community who are interested in Christian fantasy and again, will be more likely to stock other books of the same genre. You also get the chance to talk to the people in the stores about her books.

You can order it online, of course, from all the usual sources, but my preference is to try the local outlets first...

Finally be sure to check her blog for links to additional reviews, interviews and posts about the book and to find out about free bookmarks.