February 14, 2021

Book Signing: May 1, 2021

Just a little heads up: 

On Saturday, May 1, I'll be hosting a "real" open house style book signing from 10am to 12 noon at Sandy Assembly of God at 39800 Hwy 26, Sandy, OR. 

You can get a signed copy of my upcoming book, The Secret Place, which releases April 15.

And since it's a mothers-daughters-sisters story, you might want to grab a copy for Mother's Day...


If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, I would love to see you there!

February 7, 2021

Coming Soon: The Secret Place, a Novel

I am excited to announce that my latest novel, The Secret Place, will be released (paperback & ebook) on APRIL 15, 2021 by WhiteFire Publishing.

It's contemporary Christian Women's Fiction with Romance, or what I call Relational Drama woven with a Love Story, or what others call "more than a romance" as readers have come to expect from me. You might compare my storytelling to a blend of Karen Kingsbury (Christian) meets Kristin Hannah (General). Maybe. I write about faith, hope, love, and the trials and triumphs of relationships.

The Secret Place is a story of mothers, sisters, and daughters set along the banks of the McKenzie River in Oregon's Willamette National Forest, with the Three Sisters mountains in the background, and featuring one of Oregon's historic covered bridges as a "secret" motif.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I took a road trip to experience the sights and sounds of the McKenzie as story research, but we didn't know that a nearby forest fire had made the air quality too poor for Dan's asthma, so we snapped a few hazy photos, left, and rescheduled our stay for another time. The second trip proved more fruitful and I have a lovely gallery of photos, my favorite shots centered above the river from various bridges. 

Then last summer (2020), some friends joined me on my birthday for a hike to see Tamolitch Lake, also known as the Blue Pool, a stunning little lagoon you can only reach by a 2.5 mile trail. The pool is actually a sunken a lava bed fed from underground by the McKenzie. 

When I first heard about the Blue Pool, I wanted to see for myself if the water was truly the color depicted in photos and Grant McOmie's videos. We planned to arrive at the pool around noon on a clear July day, when the sun would be directly overhead. What we saw was unbelievable and far better than any photos (including mine below) could do adequate justice. The water is the most stunning shade of neon turquoise I have ever seen in nature. It was absolutely breathtaking.

The trip to the pool was meant as research so I could describe the setting firsthand for a special scene I had in mind for the story. Unfortunately, as one of my wise friends gently pointed out, the scene in question takes place in October and in the evening, so an after-dinner hike to see the pool in the dark was not going to work for the scene, and sadly, the setting couldn't really be worked into the story anywhere else. But even though I couldn't use the pool for the book, I will treasure my Blue Pool Birthday Chick Hike forever. It was a purely amazing experience. If you're a lover of nature and water, and are ever in the Willamette National Forest, I highly recommend you make the hike to see it. For optimal viewing, plan to see it when the sun is high on a clear day.


So about that new novel... 

Josie Norris became an instant mommy when her twin sister Nadine handed over her newborn son and vanished. What Josie saw as a temporary arrangement grew into a mother-son bond too deep to uproot. But with her irrational sister threatening to steal him back, Josie has been living the last few years with Kennedy in hiding, afraid to go home.

When Aunt Libby—the only person who knows the truth about Kennedy—suffers a traumatic head injury, Josie rushes to her McKenzie River home to help Gram care for the woman who raised her. But not only is Libby’s injury causing family secrets to spill, it’s forcing Josie to see the women in her life in a new light.

Will—a ranger who Kennedy adores and who Josie is determined not to—is desperate to help the woman who has stolen his affections. But can Josie ever truly be authentic with the man she loves? With her son’s fate hanging in the balance, she is faced with the choice to risk everything she loves in order to bridge the most impossible gulfs.

In this story of mothers, daughters, and sisters, Josie must find the grace to forgive people for not being who she needed them to be…and the courage to surrender her fears to the God who has never once left her side.

The Secret Place releases April 15 and is available for preorder now (kindle) and soon for paperback at Amazon, B&N, and WhiteFire Publishing. Visit my website for more info, and be sure to sign up for Book News.

August 19, 2020

Wings Like a Dove wins OCW's Cascade Historical Fiction Award

Wings Like a Dove is the recipient of the 2020 Oregon Christian Writers' Cascade Award for Published Historical Fiction!


What an honor and a blessing. I had no idea what at timely story this would be when I first plotted it out several years ago. But the Lord knew. It's a story for such a time as this, but fear not, it won't take you into heavy topics and leave you there. This award-winning story is also full of love, friendship, courage, and hope. 


Find out what readers are saying about Wings Like a Dove at Goodreads or on Amazon.

December 9, 2019

Christmas BOOK Giveaways

Looking for a thoughtful yet inexpensive Christmas gift? WhiteFire Publishing is giving away 5 books in a Christmas Gift Giveaway. Nominate a friend to receive a WFP title as a gift now through 12/11. Winners will be selected & sent a GIFT WRAPPED book!
1. Browse WFP titles HERE
2. Then fill out THIS FORM telling WHO should receive WHAT book and WHY.
WFP will gift wrap and ship the winners' books (12/13) either directly to them, or to you to give them personally.
Fill out the form as many times as you like for as many books and recipients!

And while you're entering book drawings... I'm giving away a signed copy of Wings Like a Dove. Enter through midnight, December 10, by leaving a comment on THIS POST telling us who inspires you. Winner announced December 11.

December 1, 2019

BOOK RELEASE NEWS: WINGS LIKE A DOVE IS HERE!


It’s HERE!! My Book Baby has finally arrived!


(And, coincidentally… there is a birth scene in this book, but let’s not camp on that topic just yet, since you probably haven’t had a chance to read the book. But soon, I hope to get some conversations going about the journey each of the characters take in this story, including a couple of intense scenes…)

Needless to say, I’m so excited to finally be able to share Anna’s story with you!

THREE WAYS YOU CAN PARTICIPATE:
1. You can enter a DRAWING for a signed copy of Wings Like a Dove HERE. Just follow the link and leave a comment about someone who inspires you, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a paperback or e-copy of the book (US only, sorry). Winner will be announced December 11th.

2. You’re Invited to TODAY’S “BOOK BIRTHDAY” PARTY! Since today is Launch day, I’m celebrating by hosting an “in real life” party, so if you’re in NW Oregon, come on over to Sandy Assembly of God Church between 3 – 5pm (PT) today.

Note: this party is NOT limited to local folks. We are also hosting a Facebook LIVE “virtual”party which will magically coincide with the “IRL” party, so you can celebrate with me from wherever you are. We will be giving away some great prizes, both in person and online, so I hope you'll join us! If you do, be sure to say HI! and let me know you’re there! All attendees will be entered in our drawing pool – online attendees just need to check in on the PINNED post & let us know you’re there. It should be fun!

3. If you can’t make it to either party, or are more of an introvert (totally get THAT), did I mention that the book is now available (yay!)? So another way you can join me in celebrating its release is to read the book and then EMAIL ME to discuss Anna’s story and some of the topics & themes in this novel. I’d love to hear from you!

-Camille

November 17, 2019

Two Weeks to Launch!

My upcoming novel Wings Like a Dove releases in two weeks, but here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions that might be handy to have in one spot.

First, a little about the story:
In 1933, Anna, a young Jewish immigrant, discovers to her shame and horror that she is with child. Forced to leave home, Anna travels in search of her missing father, but stumbles upon six orphans in need of a tutor and their deep-hearted mentor with troubles of his own. She dares not risk staying too long, opening her heart, letting her secrets out. 

But with the Klan presence in town growing stronger, and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe … and staying to fight beside them. It’s a tale of love, loyalty, and the power of grace.

Wings Like a Dove releases December 1, 2019 in paperback and ebook.

WINGS LIKE A DOVE FAQ

1.  Should I pre-order the book?
Yes! Preorders help authors in several ways: they count toward the book’s first week sales, and a strong first week gets bookstore and readers’ attention. A strong first week shows bookstores this is a title they should stock, and being on store shelves is a delightful thing for a book (and author).

·         2.  When will I receive my pre-order book?
Ebooks will show up on your device on Sunday, December 1st (if not sooner). Paperbacks a day or two after that, depending on your shipping selections.

·         3.  Is this book available in paperback?
Yes! And the cover is stunning, thanks to the artwork of Roseanna White, designer.

·         4.  Where will the book be available?

·         5.  Will Wings Like a Dove be a series?
Anything is possible. Anna’s siblings may have stories of their own… stay tuned.

6.  I love this book! What can I do to help spread the word?
ü Ask your local bookstore and library to stock it
ü Leave a review at one or more of the sites where the book is sold, also Goodreads and Bookbub
ü Tell your friends, neighbors, co-workers, bookaholic aunties, book clubs, church librarian, dog groomer, bank teller—you get the gist
ü Post a photo of the book in a cool arrangement or pose, or in some interesting setting, etc
ü Share quotes on social media, or make memes to share
ü Share in your online reader groups
ü Share with colleagues or groups with a focus on social/familial elements touched on in the story

November 1, 2019

Publishers Weekly Weighs In on WINGS

November 1st marks one month until the release of WINGS ... and, to my breathless surprise, I just discovered that Publishers Weekly recently posted a review of Wings Like a Dove. I confess I forgot that we submitted the story for a possible PW review, and I really wasn't expecting one because they don't review every book they receive. I'm thrilled to learn that the reviewer thinks it's "powerful" as well as a "harrowing, enthralling" tale. This is good!

(On a side note, I'm not sure how, but the reviewer somehow got the idea that Thomas is a chef (?). He is not. He is a carpenter who runs a woodworking trade school for orphan boys. In fact, anything Thomas cooks tends to be scorched, and the boys are all too eager to let Anna take over the cooking.)

The reviewer believes this story will appeal to fans of Linda Byler. I am embarrassed to admit that I had to Google Ms. Byler, but by the looks of her strong legacy in historical fiction, I am most honored by the comparison.

Anyway . . . one month to go! And a Publishers Weekly review! 

Here's a snippet of it:


October 20, 2019

Preview: Wings Like a Dove


Just wanted to share this little snippet of the Wings Like a Dove endorsement from award-winning author, Melanie Dobson. Check out Melanie's newest book HERE.

Thank you, Melanie!

-Camille

August 24, 2019

BETWEEN THE PAGES: Burned Bridges & Lost Lambs



Hey, there!

I’m kicking off a new series of weekly blog posts under the heading Between the Pages. We’ll be taking a look at precious gems of Truth found in fiction and film. Each week, we’ll talk about some of the novels, characters, films, and other forms of story that have left an impression on our hearts, or have impacted our lives in some way.

Bridge-to-Haven_3001I recently read Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. It’s a beautiful allegory, and it doesn’t take long to see how Ezekiel and his son Joshua—a carpenter—symbolize God and Jesus. How a fast-talking charmer deceives and lures the main character, Abra, away from those who love her and into a path of ruination. How quickly she becomes enslaved, and how, with every bridge she burns, she feels more and more separated from her father. How unforgivable and unlovable she believes herself to be.

It’s a powerful and painfully raw story. But life is often painful and raw. Gritty. Enslaving. And the consequences of our choices often hurt more than we ever anticipate. But to me, the most heartbreaking consequence isn’t Abra’s lost innocence or the degrading enslavement she finds herself in. It’s the assumption she is too far gone, and her bitter resolve to keep running away from God and never look back.
sad girl bridge

Have you ever believed a lie like this? Felt you'd burned too many bridges? Believed that God is fed up with your repeated failures and you might as well just give up? 

We see God through human eyes, and assign him human qualities, such as impatience, resentment, frustration, etc. Even the enemy of our souls, the father of lies, knows that God will not write you off, let you wander off, lost and alone.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  Luke 15:3-7
Jesus leaves the 99 and goes out in search of the one, his precious lost lamb, his beloved. He won’t force us to come home, but he will climb every hill and ford every stream and beckon to us, show us there is no place we can go that he has not already gone, no place we can hide that he is not already there.

The idea of leaving loved ones behind and believing oneself beyond redemption runs through my next book, Wings Like a Dove (Dec 2019). We’ll talk more about Anna’s story soon.

But in the meantime, let's talk about burned bridges.
  • Have you ever burned a bridge with someone in your life? Left a trail of burned bridges? 
  • Have you ever felt you'd reached a point of no return with God or people in your life? 
  • Have you ever wanted to make amends, but didn't know where to begin? How did you deal with it? If you haven't, what are you waiting for?
  • What advice would you give someone who feels they are truly unforgivable?
  • What stories or characters have left a lasting impression on you about the relentless love of God?

July 15, 2019

Longing to Belong

As a Jew growing up in Poland in the 1920s, Anna, the main character in my upcoming novel, lived through many upheavals and displacements and has never truly felt at home. This feeling intensifies when she lands, yet again, in a place where Jews are despised, but this time, she has been cast from her family and is far away from any reinforcements. She is wired to flourish in a community setting, so now, with no people of her own in this hostile environment, she is forced to face not only the danger she is in, but the loneliness of her heart.

Have you ever felt as if you didn't belong anywhere?
If you've moved a lot growing up or in life, what anchors you?

ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF. . . .

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

I've published five novels and 2 novellas (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 six (going on seven) grandkiddos. Decent trade, really.

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.