April 13, 2017

Film Review: ‘The Case for Christ’ (2017, Drama) PG

When an entire theater breaks into spontaneous applause at the closing credits, it’s probably a film I’ll want to recommend. And see again.

The title (if you somehow haven’t heard that ‘The Case for Christ’ is the title of a best-selling book) might make a viewer think the film is some kind of documentary.

This is no documentary, but rather an intense, gut-wrenching drama. Based on a true story, an award-winning investigative journalist and self-proclaimed atheist sets out to disprove the existence of God after his wife becomes a Christian.

Lee Strobel’s passion and drive will resonate with anyone who has ever felt determined to be vindicated. Even as a Christian, I genuinely sympathized with this man as he worked hard to gather evidence and disprove Christ’s resurrection. Strobel is logical to a fault, and to this viewer, logic is his — and the film’s — strength, ironically. I applaud the filmmakers for letting us follow Strobel at every turn and allowing us to see what he discovers at every angle and crossroads of his investigation, through the eyes and mind of a man driven (and earning a living) to believe nothing but instead “check it out.”

The writing and acting are superb—on par with Hollywood's best. L. Scott Caldwell (Alfie) was genuinely convincing as the “happenstance” heroine who suddenly plays a pivotal role in the Strobels’ life and future. Christensen (Leslie) and Vogel (Lee) quite naturally give dimension and heart to a couple that could be real—and just so happen to be. We (I speak for the entire theater, I think) loved them instantly.

The acting and writing also offer a refreshing break from 'Us Against Them' faith-based storytelling. There is no atheist/Christian stereotyping here—just a family who loves each other struggling with a sudden cross-purposed core value in their life. Conflict intensifies as the couple’s opposing beliefs become unavoidable. Powerfully genuine. Powerfully emotional.

And powerfully true.

It’s a deeply personal story, one that can’t help but touch every viewer on some level. If you’re not a Christian, be prepared to process some mind-blowing, indisputable facts. If you’re a believer, be prepared to hear evidence of Christ’s resurrection you may not have known.

This is not a faith film that preaches (to the choir or anyone else), uses unnatural dialogue, or tiptoes around the rawness of reality—the weakness, self-indulgence, and resentment humans are so capable of, believer or not. There is without question a need for clean, wholesome, family-safe, faith-friendly storytelling, and I don’t mean to say that this film is not clean or appropriate for family viewing. But it is also not a story created for the sake of offering a well-meant but sometimes inferior alternative to Christian viewers. This is a gutsy detective story that takes an unrestrained pickax to Christianity’s core root in an attempt to uncover truth and and comes away with not only a love of truth intact, but something far, far more precious. It will move, entertain, and leave viewers breathless. And applauding. 

10 stars, Highly recommended. And bring tissues.

-Camille


A Pure Flix Entertainment release of a Pure Flix, Triple Horse Studios production. Director: Jon Gunn. Screenplay: Brian Bird, based on the book by Lee Strobel. Stars: Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway

March 28, 2017

Oscar the Octopus: The Story Behind the Story

A few weeks ago, while I was babysitting my grandchildren, my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter and I hung out while baby brother napped. She wanted us to color, so out came the sketchpad which was already full of her "sketchings." She asked me to draw an Octopus, so I scrawled one out quickly, because, you know, the attention span of a preschooler. I asked her to name him and suggested we tell his story (storytellers can be so singularly focused...).

She agreed and asked for more creatures in our story and insisted that Oscar, the Octopus, needed a Mommy, and that Chickie, the Seagull (whom she also named), needed a baby. I dutifully obeyed and quickly scrawled out all the characters in our tale, with no more than a line or two of story on each "page."

I am a Plotter, not a Pantser, which, if you are a writer, know is the subject of debate and dilemma. I am not one to come up with a story by the seat of my pants but rather spend a great deal of time plotting and planning. So I was pleasantly surprised that we actually came up with the basic nutshell of a story. I chalk it up it to the inspiration of an intelligent child with a short attention span and a deep appreciation for family (she thoroughly adores her old baby brother and is surrounded by loving relatives).

The Story in a nut seashell: Hero wants something. Hero sets out to get said something. Hero has a dark moment, followed by an epiphany. Hero is rewarded for his perseverance and lives happily ever after (or HEA to us word nerds). All told in 8 pages, with just enough text per page for the big reader to finish reading aloud before the little reader is done looking at the picture and is turning the page.

Hello, Flash Fiction. :)

So this is how Oscar the Octopus, the tentacled little trooper, was born. The story is available on Kindle for .99, so take a minute download it and see what a novel-writing Grammy, a smart little cookie, a used sketchpad, and a handful of colored pencils created, and all while baby brother slept.

~Camille

March 3, 2017

ONE DAY 99 Cent Sale: The Memoir of Johnny Devine


will be available for .99 (Kindle) 
ONE DAY ONLY: SATURDAY, MARCH 4

 
“The romantic tension sizzles nearly from the beginning, and readers will often find themselves breathless from the sheer delight of it. The message of redemption is conveyed with such poignant elegance that it will linger long after turning the last page.”

-Carrie Townsend, RT Book Reviews, 5 Gold Stars, Top Pick
"I had the pleasure of reading this book and it instantly went to the top of my all time favorites list. I won't share much about the plot as it's just way too fun to discover so I'll just say this - I started it at noon and finished it a bit after midnight and somewhere in between HAD to cook dinner and sort of have a life (which was really difficult!) so OH BOY...this book was so fantastic. Absolutely no surprise that it got 5 stars from RT book reviews. It's one that I read on eBook and plan on getting in paperback as well to have on my keeper shelf and to share with friends!"

-Joanne Bischof, Author
 
The Memoir of Johnny Devine is a dramatic story-within-a-story of a bad boy reformed and a good girl in need of reform. It’s a powerful tale of love, redemption, intrigue, and the miracle of deliberate grace.
The Memoir of Johnny Devine

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August 24, 2016

Wait Until They Actually Call Your Name: Lessons in Surviving Award Ceremonies

For one moment, I couldn't breathe.

Two, actually.

At the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference last week, after dinner Wednesday night, the Cascade Awards were given for published and unpublished works. What a tremendous boost to writers, to be acknowledged for the time, effort, and heart that goes into our work. 

My latest novel, The Memoir of Johnny Devine, was a finalist in the Historical Fiction Category, rubbing shoulders with Peter Leavell's West for the Black Hills and Sins of the Mother by Caryl McAdoo. The winner is announced with the first line of the book (or piece) followed by the title and the author. 

When the "Historical Fiction" category came up, I held my breath. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the first line of Johnny's story. 

Then I heard this...

"After all the women I've known and all the illusions of romance I've helped create on stage and film, you'd think I was Hollywood's leading expert on love. In fact, many people not only believed this, but banked on it." 

I think I stumbled to the stage before my name was actually read---awkward. (I never really know what to do in most important situations, so I'm really lucky if I actually do what I'm supposed to.) 

What an honor for Johnny to win this award, and what an honor to be included with such fine authors!

Back at my table, my husband and my publishing team (Ashberry Lane's Christina Tarabochia and Sherrie Ashcraft) were beaming and quietly congratulating me as the award program continued. I confess I was in a fog and didn't catch the winners in other categories I'd hoped to hear. 

Then the ceremony turned to the two special awards OCW gives each year. Prolific author and generous mentor Melanie Dobson was awarded the Trailblazer award and everyone cheered.

As the next award was presented, a hush settled across the room. Marilyn Rhoads began to describe the author receiving the 2016 Writer of Promise award. The bio sounded strangely familiar. As Marilyn went on, I heard muffled sobs beside me. Christina and Sherrie were crying--Sherrie audibly. Traci, my super cool conference roommate at the next table, was grinning at me with tears in her eyes. As more of Marilyn's description of this author and her work became clear, my lungs stopped working. (The best thing to do in a situation like that is to actually breathe in AND out so you don't pass out in front of 300 people, and to think of something to say--asap.)

When Marilyn said, "and her book, The Memoir of Johnny Devine is this year's Historical Fiction Cascade Award winner--" the room exploded in cheers and applause. 

Marilyn was looking my way, so I of course rose and climbed onto the stage, quaking from the thundering energy in the room. 

It wasn't until I reached Marilyn that we all realized she hadn't actually SAID MY NAME yet. Awkward, again, but funny this time--I hope.

As best as I can remember, I thanked the organization, the mentors, and the writing community that I've been blessed to know as a result of being part of OCW. I realized later that I neglected to thank the One whose promise is steadfast and true, and whose gifts and abilities are treasures to be used with confidence and for His glory. 





So to Christ, I give my deepest thanks and my renewed commitment to write as he leads and to surrender the work of my hands to his purposes. May he be glorified in each word I write.

And may I remember to breathe. 

June 18, 2016

2.99 eBook Sale & Author Panel/Booksigning


2.99 e-Book Sale!
Like a Love Song and The Memoir of Johnny Devine are finalists in the OCW Cascade Writing contest! To celebrate, all 3 of my novels will be available for 2.99 for a limited time. Get yours now! And be sure to spread the word!

 Happy Reading!
~Camille



Book-signing & Author Panel - June 25





















If you're in the Corvallis, OR area on June 25, we (Leslie Gould, Rebecca DeMarino, Karen Barnett and I) would love to see you! Drop by to chat, hear about the road to publishing from 4 inspirational authors, get a book signed, or browse the bookstore. Open house from 10:00am until 4:00pm, with author panel beginning at 1:00pm
Willamette Valley Christian Supply
916 NW Kings Blvd
Corvallis, OR 97330

Hope to see you there!
~Camille

May 23, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Laura Luzzi of NJ for winning a copy of Like There's No Tomorrow!

A big Thank You to the 640 who entered the giveaway. Watch for another one coming soon!

April 26, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway: Like There's No Tomorrow



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Like There's No Tomorrow by Camille Eide

Like There's No Tomorrow

by Camille Eide

Giveaway ends May 22, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
WHAT IF LOVING MEANS LETTING GO?

Scottish widower Ian MacLean is plagued by a mischievous grannie, bitter regrets, and an ache 
for something he'll never have again. His only hope for freedom is to bring his grannie's sister 
home from America. But first, he'll have to convince her young companion, Emily Chapman, 
to let the woman go. Emily devotes herself to foster youth and her beloved Aunt Grace. Caring for others quiets a secret fear she keeps close to her heart. But when Ian appears, wanting to whisk Grace off to Scotland, everything Emily holds dear--including her heart--is at risk.

"Like There’s No Tomorrow is so much more than a love story. I would almost say that the romance is only a small part in the overall story, but that’s not exactly true either. The romance becomes the backdrop onto which Camille Eide paints a beautiful landscape of truth and hope and most especially courage. Bottom Line: Camille Eide has a way with characters. They get into your heart and set up camp, and you are all the better for having spent time with them. She also has a great talent for creating a scene that appears one way at face value but in fact can be immensely symbolic as well. Like There’s No Tomorrow will linger with me for many reasons – the characters, the setting, the romance. But especially the message of courage – of living life in spite of your fears – and of cherishing each day as though it’s all we’re to be given."  -Carrie Schmidt, Reading Is My Superpower

Enter to win a free copy of this tender, faith-inspiring love story today! 

The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply put: Breathtaking.

The Wood's Edge is full of heart, passion, fresh faith, and fascinating history. I didn't realize when I finally reached for this book on my list of must-reads that the sequel (A Flight of Arrows) was about to release. Perfect timing, as the saga of Anna, William, Two Hawks, Lydia, Good Voice, Major Aubrey and all the others continues to its conclusion. You can definitely enjoy this story alone, but if you're at all impatient, you have better have the second book on hand when you finish The Wood’s Edge.

The first thing I noticed about this book (beside the fact that I was gripped HARD from page one) was that I didn't "notice" the writing. And that's good. I had read at least 60 pages before I realized that I hadn't stumbled over writing issues or flaws, which can be a distraction. It's full of delightful turns of phrase and evocative description. Reaching, meeting, or living at the "edge" of things seems to be a motif in this story. Lori Benton is not only a masterful storyteller, but a master word artist, which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable read.

Yes, I just downloaded A Flight of Arrows, book 2 in the series, so you won't be seeing me for a while...

~Camille

March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday 5-Star Christian Fiction Favorites

Wow! I woke to find all THREE of my novels featured on blogs as Top Ten Tuesday recent 5-Star favorite reads. Beckie at By The Book lists The Memoir of Johnny Devine along with 9 spectacular titles to add to your reading list.



Carrie at Reading is My Superpower listed not one but TWO of my books on her 5-Star must read shelf today. Check out the other titles and be sure to add them to your "Want To Read" shelf at Goodreads (very helpful to authors!).

Here's what Superpower/Carrie said about these titles:

Like a Love Song went straight for my heart. The characters, their histories, their futures, the setting, the plot.  All of it spoke to me on a level that went beyond the romance and aimed steadfastly toward Jesus.  Joe and Sue’s love story was, of course, a highlight of the book for me – it was cute, sweet, and even breath-stealing on occasion. But in all honesty, it paled in comparison to this truth that Camille Eide framed so gorgeously:  God’s love never fails.”
“Camille Eide has a way with characters.  They get into your heart and set up camp, and you are all the better for having spent time with them.  She also has a great talent for creating a scene that appears one way at face value but in fact can be immensely symbolic as well. Like There’s No Tomorrow will linger with me for many reasons – the characters, the setting, the romance.  But especially the message of courage – of living life in spite of your fears – and of cherishing each day as though it’s all we’re to be given. If you love to become emotionally invested in the books you read, I highly suggest you try one by Camille Eide!”

I love book bloggers. :) 
-Camille

ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF. . . .

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

MY ROOTS:
I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.

Camille's Books

Visit www.camilleeide.com to sign up for book updates and giveaways.

Visit www.ashberrylane.com and sign up for book news.

Like There's No Tomorrow, Like a Love Song, and The Memoir of Johnny Devine are available in print & eBook at Amazon, B&N, Audible, Smashwords, iTunes, & Kobo.