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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Take A Chance On Me

Susan May Warren is the RITA Award-winning author of more than thirty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. 
She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Susan holds a BA in mass communications from the University of Minnesota. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times and won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Four of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives.
Susan can be contacted through her website at, Facebook and Twitter.  
Take A Chance On Me is the first in a new six-part series involving six siblings in the Christiansen family.  This new series is a spin-off series from Warren's Deep Haven novels.

Book Synopsis:
Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.
New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.
Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.

You can go HERE and watch a video lasting about 2 minutes where Susan talks a little about this new series and particulary Take A Chance On Me.

Author Q&A: 
1. This is the first installment in a brand new six book series. Can you give us a bit of background on this series?
I love stories about families,watching the members interact and grow together through challenges and victories and I conceived this series as I watched my own children begin to grow up and deal with romance and career and futures. I love Deep Haven, and it’s the perfect setting for a resort, so I crafted a family, much like the families I know, who run a resort. They want to pass on their legacy to their children...but their children don’t know if they want it. It’s sort of a parallel theme to the legacy of faith we instill in our children. As they grow older, they need to decide whether it is their faith too. It’s a saga about family and faith and what happens when
those collide with real life.

2. This Christiansen Family series is set in Deep Haven, Minnesota. Tell us about this setting.
Deep Haven, Minnesota is based in a small vacation town in northern Minnesota where I spent my childhood. It’s located on Lake Superior, surrounded by pine and birch and the sense of small town and home. Populated by everyone from artists to lumberjacks, it’s Mitford, or perhaps Northern Exposure gone Minnesotan. Quaint, quirky and beautiful, it’s the perfect place to escape for a vacation.
3. What was your inspiration for this particular book and the main character Darek Christiansen?
As I started to put together this series, I began to think about our culture and our children today. I started to take a look at the big questions we are faced with as parents and as young people; the issues that affect us as a culture, as well as personally. I wanted these books to go beyond family drama, beyond a great romance to raise bigger questions and stir truths that we might pass along to others. This story is about our propensity in our culture to blame others for what goes wrong in our lives and how this alienates us from each other, and ultimately, God. Darek is the oldest brother in the family; the leader and a real hero. He’s a wild land firefighter and a widower who’s had to give up his job to come home and run the resort and care for his young son. Darek doesn’t realize he has a problem. He lives with anger on his shoulder, hating the man who killed his wife (his best friend). His real problem is that he can’t forgive himself. In this first story, readers meet the family, hang out at the resort and discover that God can redeem even a heart of stone, if we take a chance on Him. 
Read Chapter One of Take A Chance On Me by going HERE.

My Thoughts:
Susan May Warren is a uniquely gifted Christian Fiction author.  Her writing is set apart by virtue of her ability to weave a story with romance, suspense and a clear picture of the transforming power of the gospel.  Her characters are so well developed that I was immediately drawn to this family - the Christiansens.  She captures in living color the family dynamics between parent and child.  The emotions in this story jump right off the page. The thing I appreciated most about this story is that everything wasn't neat and tidy for the characters.  Warren writes vividly of the brokenness and struggle that is a part of living in a fallen and sinful world and God's amazing power to rescue and save is front and center.
I will be following this series and I think you should as well!  The Christiansen family books will most assuredly be on my "keeper shelf"!
Be sure and visit the Tyndale Blog for a chance to win some fun prize packs that include a copy of Take A Chance On Me and other Deep Haven Novels by Warren as wells as some other fun Minnesota themed prizes. 

*I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of this review. 

Happy Reading,