GCC presents Melissa Walker

Today I’m touring the lovely Melissa Walker – who I like very much despite the fact that she appears to be a super woman!!!!! But seriously, if you haven’t read any of Melissa’s books then march forth and do so. Today we’re looking at Small Town Sinners, which has just been released in paperback, and has the prettiest cover in the whole entire world (it’s actually part of the original cover but they’ve just zoomed up on the apple)

Also, because Melissa is an angel, she has given us one little tidbit that no one else knows about the book:

The character of Starla Joy was originally named just “Starla” but I wanted to remind myself to channel a little of my friend Joy into her. So I started writing “Starla Joy” and then it just stuck as a great two-name name! I couldn’t change it!  (I’m pleased because it’s a gorgeous name. In fact, I think I want it for myself. Starla Joy Ashby. Yup, it definitely suits me!)

Small Town Sinners
“Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver’s license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church’s annual haunted house of sin, Lacey’s junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn’t know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.”

Read an excerpt.

A few reviews:
“Walker has written a credible and tender evocation of the moment when a young person’s beliefs begin to emerge and potentially diverge from the teachings of a family’s religion… Near the end, Lacey contemplates a verse from the prophet Isaiah: ‘Come now and let us reason together.’ It’s a good summation of what Walker asks of her characters and, by extension, of her readers.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A non-judgmental, nuanced, fascinating look at the teenage religious right… Walker writes an outstanding contemporary novel with a cast of characters who, far from being portrayed as hateful zealots, are relatable for readers of all faiths. The extremism of Hell House is tempered by the perfectly understandable attitudes and intentions of Lacey Anne, who struggles with what it means to grow up, to question and to think for herself.” —Romantic Times

“Both tender and provocative… Walker creates an astutely balanced portrait of a conservative congregation’s in-your-face response to perennial issues of domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide, as well as of those who struggle to fit the prescribed Christian mold.” —Publishers Weekly

“This secular story about religious people could easily devolve into camp mockery, but because Walker takes her character’s crisis of faith seriously and sensitively, readers will, too.” —Kirkus Reviews

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