Thursday, November 14, 2013

4th Annual Gratitude Giveaway Hop!

gratitude 2013
Welcome to the 4th Annual Gratitude Giveaway Hop! hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer.
What is this? This is my way of saying THANK YOU for being a faithful follower of my blog. I've got a great post for y'all today: a review, an interview, AND the giveaway! Brace yourselves for this fantastic post!

My Review of Sushi For One?:  I could not have asked for a better book. Camy Tang is a phenomenal writer! The dialogue was entertaining and had me laughing out loud. Lex Sakai is a character to be reckoned with. She is strong, stubborn, and determined to make her way in the world, regardless of what her grandmother thinks is best for her. Aiden is patient, caring, and a bit close-minded (in the beginning). I loved watching their relationship blossom. I loved watching Aiden's relationship with the Lord blossom as well. Camy didn't make it feel rushed and she showed us, through side characters, how sitting back and listening and really trying to connect with the other person can open their eyes to the Lord. 

The story, itself, was absolutely fantastic. I loved getting a look into the Japanese and Chinese cultures. It was interesting to see how Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans still practice some of their cultural norms. The message of the book is waiting on the Lord and seeking Him in all areas of our lives. Trust him with everything. Be patient and wait on Him. It was phenomenal to see how Lex's decisions affected her life and at the end she realized she made her life harder than it had to be. I absolutely loved it. I can't say enough great things about this book and I can't wait to get my hands on the next books in the series, Sushi Series.

Formula for DangerFormula for Danger by Camy Tang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was absolutely fantastic. I loved the characters. Rachel reminds me of me. She starts off reserved, easily intimidated, and dedicated to her job. By the end of the book, she has begun a journey of change for the better. I love Edward's protective nature. He is independent and loyal.

I wish the story could have been longer! The action kicks off from the very first page of the book. I loved the mix of suspense and the romance between the characters. It was also nice to hear from Naomi and Devon again. The message was one of trust. Trust in the Lord, who created everything and is in everything on Earth to take care of you.

Overall, I loved this book and will definitely be reading more in the Sonoma series!

Interview! With Camy Tang
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
I’m Camy Tang, an author with Zondervan, Love Inspired Suspense, and Guideposts. I grew up in Hawaii but I now live in northern California with my engineer husband and my rambunctious dog. I graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology,  but for nine years I worked as a biologist researcher. Then God guided my path in a completely different direction and now I’m writing full time, using my original psychology degree as I create the characters in my novels. In my free time, I’m a staff worker for my church youth group and I lead one of my church’s Sunday worship teams. I also love to knit, I recently learned how to spin wool into yarn, and I’m training to (very slowly) run a marathon.

2. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love knitting and I’ve also taken up spinning wool into yarn--I bought a used spinning wheel on I also enjoy running, although lately I’ve been nursing an injured ankle and a few blisters from my last run. :) I ran my first marathon in December 2010, and I hope it won’t be my last.

3. What challenges did you face in getting your first book published?
I’ve always loved writing. I wrote my first novel in high school—a 600-something page monstronsity. High fantasy. :)

But then I felt God convicting me that my writing was for me, not for Him. That I was more interested in my name on a book cover than writing for Him. And He told me to lay it down.

Boy, that was World War 3. But I eventually did it, and stopped writing for years. I still had ideas filtering through my head, but I rarely put them down on paper.

Then I got laid off from work (I worked in biology research) and I felt God telling me to take up writing again. Didn’t have to tell me twice!

From that day until the day I sold was about 3 jam-packed years—reading hundreds of online writing articles, a couple dozen writing books, taking the Fiction 101 track at Mount Hermon taught by Randy Ingermanson and Brandilyn Collins, and several dozen workshops.

I got lots of rejections. I had horrible comments from judges in the contests I entered. I wrote five complete manuscripts with Asian American characters during a time when publishing houses weren’t actively looking for multicultural stories. And I had to eventually go back to work because it’s just too expensive to be a writer without a contract in the San Francisco bay area.

I guess I had an advantage because I had already laid down my writing once, and God had clearly told me to take it up again. I knew without a doubt that I had His blessing for my writing, so even though things were really hard, I didn’t give up. I knew this was what God wanted me to do.

Sushi for One released in 2007. My husband was so proud of me—holding that book in his hands affirmed to him that this “writing thing” really is what God wants me to do.

4. What project are you working on now? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I just finished the full manuscript for a Christian Regency romance with a bit of suspense, titled Prelude for a Lord. It will release next summer with Zondervan under a pseudonym, Camille Elliot. I’m really excited about it since I’ve been reading Regency romances since I was 14 years old but never tried writing one until now. I went to England last year as my 40th birthday present to myself and did a lot of research for the book.

5.How did you know you wanted to be a writer? Where did you get your inspiration from to become a writer?
I love writing. I couldn’t not write. Even those years when God had asked me to lay down my writing, I was still making up stories in my head (just not writing them down).

My family is always great about supporting and encouraging me. My mom was a high school English teacher, and she always encouraged me to read. When I said I wanted to be a writer, she and my dad never tried to discourage me with the reality that writers don’t make much money, and they never pushed me to be a doctor or lawyer or something with a more stable income.

My greatest motivation is knowing that God wants me to do this. It’s like when I first started working with the youth at my church—I knew, deep down, deeper than emotions, that the youth work was what God wanted me to do. My writing is the same way—although I keep it in constant prayer, too.

The knowledge that God has given me this to do—even if I never contract another book, if I’m only writing for myself—is what keeps me going.

6. If you could pick any author to interview, who would it be and why?
Hands down, Jane Austen. She’s my favorite author and I want to know where she got her ideas for her characters, because they’re so complex and yet so relatable to real life.

7. What was your favorite part about writing Sushi For One? Which character do you connect with most?
I’m not sure if this was my favorite part of writing Sushi for One, but it was the part that drove me the most deeply. One common theme I notice in all my writing is the theme of submission to God. No one likes the word “submission,” but it’s become a key word for my own life. Everything about being a Christian is about submission—but in a positive way. When I submit to God, He’s always faithful to me. I’m always glad to submit to God because I trust Him to know what’s best for me. My characters tend to learn the same lessons.

The one issue my heroine deals with is realizing that she can’t do it all for herself. As a Christian, I struggle with this a lot—I want to fix my own problems, and often I’ll forget to ask God what HE thinks about it. And there are times when nothing else matters but God’s love for us, and that we just need to be quiet and be held by God’s grace and love.

8. Can you give any advice for aspiring writers who are trying to get published?
At my first Mount Hermon Writers Conference, Brandilyn Collins mentioned how all writers should be constantly striving to improve their craft. That advice has stuck with me for years.

I started off voraciously reading writing craft books and articles, avidly listening to workshops on MP3s, and forking out the money to take classes at conferences. That desire to keep learning helped me to improve my craft a great deal in the first few years I started writing.

I think a lot of writers just start writing—and keep writing for years afterward—without learning enough about the craft. While it’s important to just write, it’s also important to learn how to write well.

I can honestly say I spend about 30 minutes a day, five days a week either listening to a workshop or reading a writing craft book or article. That’s not a boast—that’s a challenge to other writers to keep striving to improve your craft. There is never a point when a writer has “made it.”

9. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Some novels are allegorical. Others are outright evangelical. Mine are neither of those. My novels are, first and foremost, fun reads. Second, the characters are Christians like you and me, with flaws and skills, with good choices and bad choices. Some readers will relate to the good choices, some will relate to the bad choices. I am praying that God will use different things in my novels to speak to different people. But most of all, I hope people will just relax and enjoy the read.

10. A little bit of fun!:
a.      Chocolate or Vanilla? Depends on my mood. I can honestly say I’m 50/50 on this.
b.      Tea or Coffee? Tea!
c.      Favorite Color? PINK! PINK! PINK! PINK! PINK! PINK!
d.      Dogs or cats? Dogs--my doggie is named Snickers, and she’s a pound puppy we rescued from the Santa Clara Humane Society. God has really blessed us through her.
e.       Favorite Food? I’m not sure I can answer this one because I love food so much! Mayb French fries. But I also just tried a Creme Feuillete that my husband brought home that was TO. DIE.FOR. And then ... but I’ll stop or I’ll talk about food all day!

Thanks so much for the interview! Fans can read more about my books, read free short stories, and sign up for my email newsletter at
Visit Camy Tang*Camy's Loft*Follow Camy on Facebook*Twitter

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  1. Thanks, Shannah. I've been looking forward to this for awhile. :) Always exciting.

    1. Amanda, you will enjoy these books! Good luck!

  2. Thanks so much for the reviews and interview, Shannah! I'm so glad you enjoyed my books!

    1. Hi Camy,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my reviews! I can't wait to read the rest of both series! I hope to get to them soon..

  3. Thanks for the great giveaway! I'd like to invite you to join our book-loving community at Booknificent Thursdays on!

  4. Wonderful giveaway and reviews. I love Camy Tang. I used to read her b log all the time. I need to get back there. Thank you for the chance to win. KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com