Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reinventing Leona by Lynne Gentry

by Jennifer AlLee

Ebooks. They're everywhere. Some bemoan the existence of the ebook, worried that it spells the demise of print books. I'm not one of those people. To me, there's always room for another great book, whether it's on my Kindle, or my nightstand.

Today, I'd like to share a wonderful ebook with you. Reinventing Leona is one of the launch titles in Tyndale House's Digital First line. Just like it sounds, these books come out first in electronic form, and later in print.

Author Lynne Gentry's novel begins with these words: "Living in the parsonage is not for sissies." This is our introduction to Leona Harper and her pastor-husband, J.D. Leona has made a career out of being the consummate pastor's wife, miracle worker who stretches little into much, and the perfect hostess. So when J.D. drops dead in the pulpit with the word of God on his lips, a piece of Leona dies, too.

What does a woman do when the very thing that shaped her identity is ripped away? And how do the people around her act? What about her adult children, who are facing identity issues of their own? Gentry addresses all these issues, and more, in a style that is wonderfully genuine. There are times when you might wonder how Christian people could think such things, or act in such a way. But if we're honest, I think we all know times when we've done the same. Gentry doesn't sugar-coat the heartache, confusion, and desperation that grief can cause. At the same time, she delivers a story full of sass, hope, and the abiding love of family: both the kind we're born into, and the family of God.

I thoroughly enjoyed Reinventing Leona and highly recommend it. Congratulations, Lynne, on a fabulous first offering. I look forward to many more!

How about you? What are you reading now that has you intrigued? What do you think about ebooks? Have you caught the new wave?

 JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her first novel, The Love of His Brother, was released by Five Star Publishers in November 2007. Her latest novel, The Pastor’s Wife, was released by Abingdon Press in February 2010. Her upcoming novel, The Mother Road, will be released by Abingdon Press in April 2012. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. - Jennifer's website - A safe haven for women living on the front lines of ministry.


  1. This sounds like a great book, Jen. I don't have a problem with ebooks. I'll read either ebook or paper format, as long as the book is good and it's edited well. I really, really love my Nook and I'm never without it or the 80+ books loaded onto it. :)

  2. I second that emotion. Great books...surround me with them, though Suzie Jo has me beat by about half (80 on your Nook? wow!)

    Jen, I found myself taking a relaxed sigh when when you described how realistic Leona's reaction and emotional turmoil was. I'd love to read this.

    Happy WEEKEND!!!!!!!!

  3. Okay, just when I thought my TBR list was long enough...

    I love ebooks, and now prefer them to paper books. I love being able to increase the font size. I wouldn't say I NEED large print books, but they certainly help ease the strain.

  4. Sounds like a good book. I love honesty, even the ugly, gritty kind. However are we to explore and remedy the dark places inside us if we refuse to acknowledge they exist.

    I'm afraid I haven't jumped on the ebook revolution yet. My husband has been looking a kindles/ipads/nooks for me, but I'm not ready yet. Probably soon, but not yet. I've tried to read ebooks on my computer, but I don't especially enjoy it.

  5. CJ, I can't stand reading books on the computer, either. The nook is very easy on the eyes. And like Barb said, you can adjust the font. On the color nook, you can also change the page/font color. You can also check email, read the internet and put all kinds of apps on it. Okay, sales pitch over. ;)

  6. I've been seeing this book everywhere recently.

    And I've recently noticed that I'm starting to prefer my kindle to real books. Does that mean I've gone over to the dark side?

  7. Dina, it probably just means you're getting old ;)

    Wait until you get the paper copy of your first book. The first thing I did after opening the box was to pick up the top book, open it to a random page in the middle, and inhale. There's just nothing like the smell of the fresh ink in a new book.

    Maybe it's a good think I never worked in a bookstore. Customers might find it a little unnerving to watch the woman sniffing books as she stocks them on the shelves.

  8. Oh, I love real books. My house is bursting with them! But it would be nice to have them all contained on one little palm-size device.

    I wouldn't like to read a whole book on my computer. I sit in front of it reading and writing all day. I need something different when I want to relax, but I could see how a Nook or a Kindle would be booklike enough to be all right. I haven't tried one yet, though I do have Kindle for PC.

    As far as e-publishing is concerned, it's awesome -- as in inspiring awe, terror and wonder. It's certainly changed everything. Any and everyone can be "published" now, and it's harder and harder for a book to be noticed in that vast ocean of titles.

    But good authors who put the time, money and effort into (a) learning their craft and writing a great story, (b) paying for a top-notch editor, (c) paying for a first-class cover design, and (d) promoting their work can do extremely well. And they have the freedom to write what they want without the publishers trying to fit them into a certain mold.

    If only anyone could figure out what makes one book successful while another one, equally well written and produced and marketed, falls flat . . .


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