Monday, May 19, 2008

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing
Embrace Me
(Thomas Nelson March 4, 2008)


Lisa Samson

My take:

Lisa has been writing wonderfully characterized books for some years now and is finally seeing some of the recognition she deserves. (I'm sure she'll see much more to come.) Reading Lisa's books is an escape into character. Sit back, let the worlds of her characters wash over you. This is not to say you'll relax. I don't find Lisa's novels easy reading, and I'll bet that's just the way she wants it. Reading Embrace Me, I at first didn't want to be in those characters' worlds at all. Their worlds were too grief-stricken, too raw. Too ugly. Yet I was drawn there anyway. The dichotomies of each character pulled me in. A freak show woman who defiantly displays her lizard face in shows, but won't go out in public without wearing a scarf over the disfigurement. A woman without arms and legs, yet so sweet and thoughtful of everyone. A man who could be a walking freak show of his own, with a heart of forgiveness for others. But what about for himself?

Lisa is up for two Christys this year--in the contemporary category for Quaker Summer and the young adult category for Hollywood Nobody.


Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks."

Embrace Me, the latest novel by acclaimed author Lisa Samson, readers are privy to the realization that regardless of outward appearances…hideous, attractive, or even ordinary…persons are all looking for the same things: love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This story explores a world that is neither comfortable nor safe, a world that people like Valentine know all too well. Masterfully crafted by Samson and populated by her most compelling cast of characters yet. It is a tale of forgiveness that extends into all spheres of life: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, forgiving the past.

She lives in Lexinton, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.


Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful...a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster...and improbably close to grace.

Valentine, due to her own drastic self-disfigurement, ahs very few friends in this world and, it appears as if she may be destined to spend the rest of her life practically alone. But life gives her one good friend, Lella, whose own handicap puts her in the same freakish category as Valentine. As part of Roland's Wayfaring Marvel and Oddities Show, a traveling band of misfits, they seem to have found their niches in an often curiously cruel world.

Residing in a world where masks are mandatory, Valentine has a hard time removing hers, because of her disfigured face but more so because of her damaged soul. It is much easier for her to listen endlessly to different versions of a favorite song, Embraceable You, and escape reality. Yet, life has more in store for her when she meets Augustine, replete with the tattoos, dreadlocks, and his own secrets. With his arrival, Valentine's soul takes a turn.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go


Pam Halter said...


Karen said...

This book sounds good! Cool cover art.