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Monday, October 1, 2012

Review and Giveaway of Krista Phillips' Sandwich, With a Side of Romance!

I'm so pleased to host debut author and fellow blogging buddy Krista Phillips at my blog today. Her first novel, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, launched September 1st from Abingdon Press.

Here's a blurb from Krista's website:

She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.

Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.

He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process.

And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

I devoured (gotta love puns....) Krista's book in a sum total of about four hours, and not just because I'm a fast reader. Krista's voice simply sparkles on the page, and Maddie was instantly endearing, humorous, and real. (Not unlike reading one of Krista's blog posts....if you aren't following her here, shame on you!)

I emailed Krista around chapter 13, stating that I couldn't wait to get to the bottom of the trauma from Maddie's well as some daddy issues Reuben has. I wasn't disappointed! We all go into our futures with baggage from the past, and many aren't able to get past it. Maddie's choices--her goals and motivations--were very clear given the tragic past she endured (and indeed, so many foster children still endure).

And then there are people who really didn't have a traumatic past, but who suffer from an event (like the passing of one's father) that ends up defining who they are today...and not in a good way. They can get "stuck," and unable to see the whole picture like God can.

I really liked Krista's book because it wasn't like some huge life or death question the heroine had to ponder. Instead, she has her wrestle with pride, and being humble enough to accept help from others when that help is needed. This is a universal tendency within humanity. We want to be self-sufficient, but God has other plans for us. It's through our weaknesses that his strength is made known. Krista's book really brings this home.

I'm offering a giveaway of Krista's book to one lucky commenter below. As I like for my giveaways to be a perk for my readership, please click "Follow" in the Google Friend Connect box, leave your email address (even if you think I have it), and I'll enter you in the drawing! Tweets and Facebook likes will get you extra entries. For the lower 48 states only, please!

Let's Analyze

Have you ever refused help that's been offered? Have you ever tried to offer the right hand of fellowship only to have it thrown back at you? How have you dealt with the issue of pride and humility in your own life?