I love to give books as gifts because I love reading. A book is a great gift to give for Christmas. You can find books for people who don’t like to read by finding what their passion is–whether it is a big coffee table book with lots of pictures or a how-to guide to something they enjoy.

As I said in my previous post, I’ve been a little under the weather and haven’t felt well enough to spend time reading. But now, I’m back in the saddle, and I’ve read an unusual but great book–Embrace Me by Lisa Sampson. The author acknowledges its unusualness(is that a word?).


I wanted to read the book after listening to a session on how not to be preachy in writing Christian Fiction (I forgot the actual title of the session from the 2008 ACFW conference). And as the session leader says, Lisa Sampson does a great job at not being preachy. In fact, I’m amazed she could pull that off considering her main character is a preacher and well, preachers preach–that’s what they do.

When  a preacher hears a woman sing in a Christmas program, he feels she could become an important part of the ministry in his mega-church. But she has some flaws in her physical appearance. The preacher helps pay for her many body altering procedures.

The preacher becomes disgusted with himself when he sees that his own ministry has become a circus act and finds himself confessing his sins to a Catholic priest(the preacher is non-denominational).

There is another story plot that parallels(two different time periods) the preacher’s story–the story of members of a freak show act–this really makes the story a bit on the odd side, but in the end the two stories come together in a  way that I didn’t see coming, but should have. I guessed the identity of one of the characters in the parallel story, but I didn’t the other–you’ll have to read it for yourself to understand.

I don’t get emotional reading books, usually. Maybe a giggle hear or there, but generally not tears(Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember did elicit tears). I cried reading this book, but I can’t tell you why because it would reveal the plot surprises and I don’t want to do that.

If you haven’t purchased all your gifts this Christmas, consider buying Embrace Me, by Lisa Samson. A word of caution: this book is “real”.

P. S. I’m still not 100% well, so please forgive the cliches.

Under the weather

Back in the Saddle

under his wing