Lots going on with this week's assessment. Click here to find out more!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
There's still a chance to win a 3-chapter assessment from a therapist viewpoint of your WIP! Keli Gwyn over at Romance Writer's on the Journey did an author interview of me here. Just click on by and leave a comment to be entered!
And you can still win a copy of K.M. Weiland's Behold the Dawn if you leave a comment in the comment section here!
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 10:52 PM
Today I'm doing a review and book giveaway of K.M. Weiland's newest release, Behold the Dawn. For those vampire enthusiasts out there (of which I am one), this has nothing to do with vampires meeting the sun. :) Instead, it's a very well-written medieval historical set during the Crusades.
Here's a blurb about the book from the author's website:
Marcus Annan, a tourneyer famed for his prowess on the battlefield, thought he could keep the secrets of his past buried forever. But when a mysterious crippled monk demands Annan help him find justice for the transgressions of sixteen years ago, Annan is forced to leave the tourneys and join the Third Crusade.
Wounded in battle and hunted by enemies on every side, he rescues an English noblewoman from an infidel prison camp and flees to Constantinople. But, try as he might, he cannot elude the past. Amidst the pain and grief of a war he doesn’t even believe in, he is forced at last to face long-hidden secrets and sins and to bare his soul to the mercy of a God he thought he had abandoned years ago.Okay, before I put on my therapist cap, I just want to say that as a reader, this book was truly incredible. Katie does such a great job of keeping the reader turning the pages. There's something in this book for everyone: there is enough action to satisfy the adventure lover; enough impossible awakening love to satisfy the romantic; enough research to satisfy the historian, enough intrigue, betrayal and murder to satisfy the mystery lover, and enough mercy and forgiveness to satisfy the Christ-follower.
I was impressed with how Katie portrayed Marcus Annan's hopeless depression. He feels he's being punished by God simply for living such a long life as a tourneyer (an occupation where most people did not live for 16 years). He asks himself when he became "less than meaningless" because of past actions he can't mentally or emotionally release. Since he can't forgive himself, there's no way in his mind Christ could ever forgive him. His past is an insurmountable obstacle to accepting the love and grace God so freely gives.
Katie really gets in deep with Annan's pain and misery. If Annan was in my office with such despair, I'd have to do a suicide assessment on him and would end up checking him in somewhere. (You're such a meanie, Katie!) He's got suicidal ideation (thoughts of wanting to die) and he's got the plan (if he can just get an opponent with a stronger arm than him to smote him). He's got the means (he is a tourneyer) and he's got the motivation ("less than meaningless"). Prime candidate for self-termination.
But the story only begins here, folks. Annan has a wild ride ahead of him as he encounters this monk bent on vengeance. The monk definitely has his own emotional and psychological issues. He went from a devout, God-fearing monk to an altered man willing to stop at nothing for revenge. The desire for revenge can destroy a man, because when the mind dwells for years in hatred and anger and bitterness, the result is a blindness to truth and a victory for Satan.
Katie's book is one of hope. Nothing is too great to separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39). He came to heal not the righteous, but the sick (Matt. 9:12-13). I was reminded of these verses reading this book. Behold the Dawn is a great message of new beginnings.
In a nutshell, Behold the Dawn has beautiful prose, engaging plot, secrets that explode off the page...it's a compelling read.
If you're interested in winning a copy of this book, then please leave a comment in the comment section with your email address. I'll post the winner Saturday!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Hello all! Greetings from California still. I've been here for a little over a week, and have had such an amazing time. God has been so good...I had TWO job offers. Looks like the Lord is leading us back to California...right where we were. It's an amazing story, but I'll save that post for some other time. I've still yet to accept a job, as I'm looking to do some negotiations on Monday, so please be in prayer about that.
In other news, my first author interview is today over at Romance Writers on the Journey. Please stop on over and say hello...just to be totally transparent here...I don't want to be interviewed all by myself! :)
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 10:13 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today I'm guest blogging on why not to "kill your babies" over at WordVessel. Click on over and come say hello!
The third installment in the Personality Disorder Parade is up today over at The Character Therapist. Learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and why it's so hard for these people to maintain relationships.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
If one of your characters is a bit wishy-washy...and everything hangs on the idea that they've finally made up their mind, click on by The Character Therapist for some suggestions.
And one more little tidbit.....
Today's my birthday, friends! So happy birthday to me. :)
I'm celebrating in California, missing my husband very much! But I'll see them soon. :)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sandra Byrd's third installment in her French Twist series, Piece de Resistance, recently released, and I was given the pleasure of a complimentary copy to review on my blog.
This is a series you don't want to miss. In previous times, I would call this chick lit at its finest, but since that word is so faux pas now, I'll call it women's fiction. It follows a young woman on her journey to self-discovery. Here's a blurb from the back of the book:
Having earned her chef’s hat, Lexi Stuart bids au revoir to her glamorous and deliciously satisfying pastry mentorship outside of Paris and returns to her hometown of Seattle, Washington. There, she finds life unexpectedly complicated.
She’s put in charge of a high-end catering bakery called Bijoux, which should be her dream job, but there’s a catch: She has to make this lavish bakery into a successful business in just a few, short months, which will require more than her ability to make an amazing wedding cake. Stir in a complicated relationship with her French beau Philippe and his daughter, Celine, then add a dash of romance with down-to-earth lawyer Dan, and life suddenly contains more ooh la la than Lexi can handle.
Since this is the third book, there's a lot from Book One, Let Them Eat Cake, and Book Two, Bon Appetit, about Lexi's journey that I don't want to spoil here. So, typical for my reviews, I like to focus on characterization from a therapist's point of view.
I liked the fact that Sandra doesn't have Lexi coming from some horrible past. She's basically a typical, average twenty-something who speaks French, thanks to her degree in college. She doesn't have a traumatic history. She doesn't come from a divorced family. She's got really good friends. She's got career troubles and romance woes, but nothing out of the ordinary.
That doesn't mean the book is ordinary, though. I think anybody who doesn't know exactly what they want to do with their life will be able to relate to Lexi Stuart. She's on the dawn of true adulthood and everything that means. She's trying to live up to expectations of her parents and herself with regards to her job, her faith, and romance. I find this all too common among this age group (early to mid-twenties).
Lexi suffers from a bit of a self-esteem problem. She's surrounded by those she feels are more successful than her. She's got a retired Marine for a father, a lawyer for a brother and sister-in-law, her best friend's happy as a teacher. Even once she gets her chef hat, she still is under pressure to perform a certain way, to be outwardly successful. And Sandra puts poor Lexi through the ringer as far as career mishaps and misunderstandings.
And for romance, Lexi's got a couple sexy French men and American stud lawyer Dan in her life. I just have to say the way Sandra ends Lexi's romantic story in Piece de Resistance is simply sublime. There couldn't be a more perfect ending, seriously. But before Lexi can get there, she's got to get a little more comfortable in her own skin, to know herself and what she wants/needs better.
As for her faith, I really like how Sandra seamlessly weaves Lexi's Christianity into all the books, but especially Piece de Resistance. In each book, Lexi follows through a book of the Bible. I'm a believer in how God can speak to believers through his Word. Lexi reads just what she needs to read right when she needs to read it. She figures out things about herself, future ministry opportunities, and spiritual truths to live by. There's so much to be gleaned from Scripture for our everyday activities. I think it's a fallacy to think to have a devotional you've got to read three chapters and journal about them. Lexi's devotionals are short and sweet, a verse or two that she ruminates over through the day. If only we could all do that a little more often, a little more consistently.
Great read, folks. Makes you laugh out loud at times, sigh at times, and keep flipping the pages for the next romantic encounter. Lexi is endearing, so I'd suggest you buy all three of these books at once, so that you can go right through them without stopping...took me four days, max (and that's because I've got a toddler).
You can find Sandra on the web at http://sandrabyrd.com and her facebook fan page is at http://www.facebook.com/sandrabyrdbooks.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I was given five words to jump start a post from Wendy at All in a Day's Thought. She got five from Kristen Torres-Toro, who got five from JungleMom...but I have no idea where it started before that because I lost the trail.
The gist is that I'm to build a great post around these five words. Being a therapist, my twist might be slightly different. I'm going to free associate (write down the first several words that come to mind when I think of these following words below) and then expound on one or two. So here goes:
Innovation - new, different, ground-breaking, under-appreciated (at first, maybe?)
I'd like to think that I'm innovative with my web presence and my writing, in particular. I'm doing something different with Character Therapy, and really enjoy mixing the two biggest hobbies of my life: writing and counseling.
I'm always searching for something new and different, except in the kitchen. Tried and true is great there. But I like a surprise, a cool idea, a shocking twist.
Group - group work, community, friends, clique
My first thought was not pleasant, I'm afraid. Group work was the bane of my existence in junior high and high school, mainly because I'm so OCD that I took on all the work myself just to make sure things got done right and then everyone would get MY grade. So not fair.
But then I thought about how a group can be such a positive thing, like your community of friends. Even our blogging group of writers, encouraging each other.
Movie - actors, Hollywood, theater, New Moon
Okay, I was a bit surprised at that last one. Guess I'm already looking forward to it coming out in November. But after further thought, I don't want to reflect on any of the words I free associated. I'd rather talk about the medium of motion picture, and how easy it is, with one span of the camera across a room, to capture what could be pages in a book. There are some who prefer the written word (I actually fall into this category), but it's amazing what can be done on film. Premises can be set off in just a few seconds. Narrators can make or break, much like a book. Just an interesting thought.
Expression - face, bright, personal, communicates
I've been told I have an expressive face, in particular my eyes. This is not always a good thing, especially for a therapist. I've had to really work at controlling my features, making sure I'm looking slightly down fro a client, whenever I hear something shocking or unexpected or disgusting. (And it happens, believe me.) That person isn't seeing me to get some commentary (spoken or not) from me, and my expression will do just that: communicate my thoughts. I've gotten better at it with practice. But other times, It's truly a job to be able to communicate TONS of info through an eye blink, slitting my eyes over at someone, puckered lips, what-have-you. There are people who can't do this very well. So even though its somewhat of a professional hazard, it's great to take off my therapist cap and be myself around others.
Memory - remember, fondness, bitterness, soothing
I can only think of two reasons why a person would really remember something. Either the memory was positive or negative. We don't likely remember much about what we ate for dinner unless it was really good or really bad. That makes it memorable. But a run-of-the-mill meatloaf two Sundays ago? Not so much.
Same with emotional memories, I think. Most of our daily lives get dissolved into good or bad memories, while the quaint day-to-day operations generally dissipate and we find ourselves wondering where all the years went. The answer is that the years were filled with average things that didn't warrant a bookmark in our life, so we glazed over them a bit more than we intended. But that stellar performance at work that landed a pay raise, corner office and award? Oh yeah. All over that. Playing catch with your son on a truly incandescently beautiful summer day in a beautiful field? Yeah. We'll remember. Same as when we remember our first break-up or falling from the monkey bars and breaking our arm.
I'll be happy to pass on 5 words to any one who indicates in the comment section that you'd like me to. Makes for an easy post...and you can free associate or not. :)
Q4U: Can you think back (like over a year) to some run-of-the-mill memory? Something that was neither fantastic or horrible? Just curious if people see this the way I do.
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 12:54 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Click on over to The Character Therapist to find out everything about sociopaths.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I like being a part of the American Christian Fiction Writers. One big benefit is being a member of the main email loop. Industry topics are brought up all the time. Recently, a lot of discussion has been going on about Thomas Nelson's new self-publishing option (read about it on Michael Hyatt's blog here). This sparked a lively discussion about ebooks v. print books and self-publishing stereotypes.
I must confess I read every one, curious what the prevailing opinion is about both. One blogger friend, H. Charles Dilmore, went the self-publishing route with his first book, My Quirks and My Compass. His blog garnered a lot of attention (rapid following), and I honestly think it was because he was so encouraging and inspiring to authors everywhere. Here was a guy who was going to try the traditional route, but wasn't going to sweat bullets over getting an agent. He set a deadline for himself, and then stuck to it. The book was going to be in print by that time. And it was. And we all wished (deep inside) we could be just like him.
I haven't read his book, although his excerpts at the blog address above were really, really good. (No, Chuck isn't paying me for any kind of endorsement, Federal Trade Commission.) I think that there plenty of authors out there who have quality work, like Chuck, who don't want to stress out over getting published.
The whole ebook thing is wonderful to me. Authors getting more royalties, not having to worry about returns on books, cost of production is down, not to mention the "green" factor of saving trees. Ebook readers are SO convenient, too. I don't have a Kindle, but I have the Kindle foe iPhone and LOVE it. I can read while I'm eating and not have to worry about the spine of the book closing on me. I can travel and bring TONS of books with me without the weight. I can pay less for the SAME book. I don't have a problem with this at all. All good things, and this from someone who said she'd never buy them. Sheesh.
But I've gotten to thinking about self-publishing in the same light. I said I'd never do it. I wanted the traditional route all the way. Blood, sweat, and tears. But I remember at the ACFW conference a few weeks back when they announced that ebooks were going to be considered "books" for all practical purposes. Ebooks are coming into their own! Self-publishing is right up there with it.
I'm not saying I'm going to self-publish. I've currently got a manuscript out on submission to an agent who requested it. We'll see where things go. But I'm just looking at viable alternatives to this crazy route I've chosen with a new eye.
Anyone else have any thoughts?
Monday, October 12, 2009
Today has been incredibly busy. Things are going down here...and I mean this in a good way. For those who don't know, I moved from California to my home state of Mississippi back in May. I had several job possibilities, and even though I knew my license wasn't going to transfer, we moved thinking everything would be cake when we got here.
Well, it wasn't. At all. Every possible option I thought I had fell by the wayside. Doors didn't just shut....they slammed on jobs of all shapes and sizes. My husband started his fall semester at school, so we were committed here until December. I got tired of being told I was overqualified for everything.
So, being prayerfully proactive, I started applying for jobs away from my hometown, in several states. Needless to say, my parents (the doting grandparents they are), are not happy. Well, neither of we! I need a job. I applied back in California for about 7 jobs...several in the same county we had just moved from.
Now....wouldn't you know that I haven't heard ANYTHING from any of the other jobs EXCEPT in that county? I now hold in my email airplane ticket confirmations for a flight back there to go to several interviews. SEVERAL. (To be juxtaposed against the ZERO here in Mississippi.) I even scored a nice picture of a plane that appears to be flying to the West. And it's United, which is what I'll be on. Hmm.
We're not sure God has planned for us to go back to California, but the doors seem to be opening in that direction. So I'm asking for your prayers. I'll keep you updated about the interviews!
And since it's so close to Tuesday, I'm just going to post the link to Treatment Tuesday over at The Character Therapist, even though it won't be up until 6 a.m. Central time Tuesday.
Have a great Monday evening and Tuesday!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I got a fun blog award this weekend from Cathy at Word Vessel!
2. Your hair? Shoulder length, light brown, and worn wavy today
3. Your mother? Barbara to others, Ms. Mood to former students, Mom to me
4. Your father? Terry to friends, Mr. Mood to former students/younger people, Dad to me
5. Your favorite food? pasta (any size, shape or flavor)
6. Your dream last night? That I had another baby. It was a nightmare, actually.
7. Your favorite drink? Sweet tea (with Splenda)
8. Your dream/goal? To be published (if that's what God wants)
9. What room are you in? Living room
10. Your hobby? Writing/Reading
11. Your fear? That I'll outlive my daughter
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? doing what I love best--writing or counseling--at whatever geographic location the Lord wants us
13. Where were you last night? Dinner with friends at my house
14. Something that you aren’t? Shy
15. Muffins? Blueberry cheesecake
16. Wish list item? an agent
17. Where did you grow up? Oxford, MS
18. Last thing you did? Helped a friend develop their blog
19. What are you wearing? khaki corduroy pants and a red sweater
20. Your TV? Playing the Ole Miss v. Alabama game (unfortunately)
21. Your pets? My cat Cookie is currently in relative foster care
22. Friends? Scattered all over this big wide world
23. Your life? Confusing, full, and overwhelming
24. Your mood? Anticipatory - not sure what God's up to!
25. Missing someone? My friend Sue
26. Vehicle? Subaru Outback
27. Something you’re not wearing? Trust me on this...you don't want to know.
28. Your favorite store? Borders
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When was the last time you laughed? About twenty minutes ago at my daughter's antics
31. Last time you cried? A week ago when yet another job opportunity fell through
32. Your best friend? Kristie
33. One place that I go to over and over? Grocery store
34. One person who emails me regularly? Katie G
35. Favorite place to eat? Chick-Fil-A
I'd like to pass the award to Marybeth at Desperately Searching for My Inner Mary Poppins and Tess at Tess Hilmo. Their blogs are definitely over the top. :)
Have a great weekend!
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 5:22 PM
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Before delving into individual personality disorders, The Character Therapist gives an overview.
Stop by and make sure your burning questions about personality disorders are answered in the coming weeks!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I wasn't kidding when I said I was trying to get my hand on everything Donald Maass has written. The man has a way of explaining things that just make sense to me.
So here's a little freebie for Wednesday.
If you haven't already read Donald Maass' The Career Novelist, he's offering it free from his agency website.
And doesn't everybody like free?
You can also download it just by clicking here.
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 6:00 AM
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
They are vast and varied. Click to find out at The Character Therapist.
Monday, October 5, 2009
For those who missed Friday's announcement, here it is again:
* IMPORTANT *
My blog address had changed. It's no longer http://mindhealingfiction.blogspot.com but http://jeanniecampbell.blogspot.com. I figured this address would suit me better in the future.
HOW DOES THIS EFFECT YOU?
If you FOLLOW ME or link to my blog from your blog, you'll want to change the address, or the link won't work. Also, any new posts won't show up in your dashboard.
So the best thing to do is un-follow me (I know, crazy to ask this of my followers, who I love dearly!) and then re-follow me at the new address. The name of the blog is the same. I miss some of my regular commenters, and I don't want you to miss some future book giveaways!
Sorry for the confusion and blog drama. If you ever want to change your blog address...email me FIRST for the best way to go about doing it (i.e., not like what I did). Hindsight's 20/20.
The Character Therapist remains unaffected...but those who would like can also drop by over there and follow the genius at work. (ha!)
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 6:00 AM
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Posted by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT at 3:52 PM
Saturday, October 3, 2009
As a therapist reading this book, I felt like I had been transported back to my office, sitting before a husband and wife as they told me about their version of the same event. Christina's literary device of "His" and "Hers" to indicate the point of view character was creative. Not because other authors don't swap POV of the major characters, but I've never read anyone who did it to give the reader the internal thoughts of each character about the same event. Brilliantly done! Like being in a counseling session, the man inevitably has different thoughts about what they're describing than the woman. And I do mean different. It's riveting in real life...so of course in fiction it's a page turner.
The emotions Denise and Craig both feel are so real, too. Not once did I read through some emotional scene and think, "That wouldn't have happened. No way." This stuff definitely would have been feasible. How each one felt, thought, acted...essentially lifted from the lives of thousands of Americans and people all over the world. Page turner.
Obviously this book strikes a chord at discordant marriages. Craig and Denise have major problems prior to his trauma, as evidenced by the first chapter. We're talking about lack of communication, intimacy, affection...they are essentially roommates instead of husband and wife. Then there is the trauma Craig suffers, and the ensuing secrets uncovered put Denise through a refining fire unlike any other. Page turner.
These secrets, which will have to be skimmed over for the purpose of this review (so that you have to go to amazon.com and buy this book for yourself!), are nothing to shake a stick at. Each one of the revelations uncovered would send a normal couple into therapy for a long time. And there's not just one, either. Oh, and did I mention that they are progressive in nature? Page turner.
Not because of any plot similarity, but I was reminded of the book A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. Gripping read, as well, and a true story of Sheldon's relationship with God and his wife. Through Christina's prose and dialogue comes God's "severe mercy" to Denise...and even to Craig and his associations. Page turner.
This book ends with a twist, folks...think Ted Dekker or William Diehl who wrote Primal Fear. But the ending is truly extremely satisfying. All loose ends are tied up and you turn the last page with a sense of hope. Hope for troubled marriages and hope for prosperous futures. Page turner.
Now for a bit about Christina:
Single mother and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, releases from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!
You can read more about Christina at her website, www.christinaberry.net or her blog, www.authorchristinaberry.blogspot.com.
You can BUY THIS BOOK HERE. Don't miss this terrific read.
Friday, October 2, 2009
My new article is up for Sage Ministries Online. Learn the difference between Parenting and mentoring by clicking here or on the Parent Pointer icon above. I'm excited about where the ministry is heading, so check it out!
And thanks to Roni over at Fiction Groupie for giving me the Heartfelt Award!
Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you're relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family and friends? You know the feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea, or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt Award is all about, feeling warm inside.
Rules:Put the logo on your blog/post. Nominate up to to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside. Be sure to link your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.
Without further ado, the blogs that usually give me a warm fuzzy when I visit them (but don't always comment on said warm fuzzy) are listed below in random order:
1) Eileen Astels over at A Christian Romance Writer's Journey
2) Stephanie over at Steph in the City
3) Cindy at Cindy R. Wilson
4) Jody at On The Path
5) Lynnette at Chatterbox Chit Chat
6) Kiersten at Kiersten Writes
7) Suzy at Tales of Extraordinary Ordinariness
8) Susan at A Walk In My Shoes
9) Shelli at Market My Words
Congrats, girls! If any of you decide to nominate a male, Roni added a more masculine image for their blogs (which was very nice of her, as I can't think of many males who'd want the mouse in the teacup thing). :) Here's the image:
On to other blog business.
You still have an one more day's worth of opportunity to win Mary DeMuth's new book, A Slow Burn, and its prequel, Daisy Chain, if you visit the link here and put your name in the comments section! I'll be announcing the winner Saturday sometime.
* IMPORTANT *
My blog address had changed. It's no longer http://mindhealingfiction.blogspot.com but http://jeanniecampbell.blogspot.com.
So if you link to my blog from your blog, you'll want to change the address, or it won't link (or continue with my feed every time I post). Sorry for the confusion, but I figured this address would suit me better in the future.
I think that's it. Happy weekend writing, everyone!