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Burning Down George Orwell's House
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Robert Stone describes Burning Down George Orwell's House as a "… most enjoyable, a witty, original turn … one part black comedy and one part a meditation on modern life. It is well-written and truly original." Learn more about the author, Andrew Ervin
LYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards and from there went on to write articles and short stories in print and online. She currently works behind the scenes for FaithWriters.com and is a regular monthly book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com.
Mom of two teenagers, Lynda lives in Michigan, where she works as an administrative assistant and freelances on the side, while trying to sneak as many moments as she can to work on her fiction.
The Madi Series is near and dear to her heart. Lynda admits she has a lot in common with the character of Madi. Not only are they both addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and computer games, they struggle with the same types of insecurities and continually require a hefty dose of God's grace.
Madi McCall can be a lot of things: Narcissistic, neurotic, and nutty. Queen of the Morons and Princess Pathetic. And one who thinks that denial is a river in Egypt.
In other words, she is just like us.
When we meet Madi, she is struggling with insecurities, body image, and general boredom with life. She tries to find a job, but her skills are limited to acing computer solitaire and personally boosting stock for Edy's Dibs. (Not much demand in the job market for those talents.)
Before long, things get interesting as Madi jumps to conclusions faster than Super Man leaps tall buildings. Her insecurities get the best of her and her husband moves out of the house...and in with her detestable brother-in-law. Could it get any worse?
Life marches on, despite the fact that Madi's world has been knocked off its axis. Her children struggle with various assorted kid issues, her best friend is acting weird, and then there's her mother, Maxine...
Maxine has chanted a mantra of "all men cheat" for as long as Madi can remember. And even though her father eventually turned his life around, her mother isn't about to let anyone forget what he did. And she certainly isn't going to forgive him. According to Maxine, he is the culprit of every rotten thing that has ever happened and ruined her life.
Maxine could win a medal in grudge-holding if it was an Olympic sport.
Madi's own issues ramp up as she ignores God and tries to `wing it' which of course, doesn't work out so well. It all comes to a head when she's dragged to a class reunion she doesn't want to attend. Everything snowballs out of control until Madi finally figures out she doesn't have to do it all on her own.Read more ›
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Over the years I watched Mind Over Madi win as runner-up in the 2007 FaithWriters Page Turner contest. I remember reading it was a finalist in the 2007 RWA Get your Stiletto in the Door contest, and won second place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, Chick Lit category.
Mind Over Madi is now out of contest judges' hands and finally available to be in yours. This is a type of story I relish because it's my favorite kind of read, and it's the style I use in my own writing. As I read Mind Over Madi I realized it's more than a wife and mom addicted to chocolate who relates to princesses, it's a heart check for readers who grew up in less than ideal situations and makes readers wonder if they took any baggage from those days and place them on our spouse's shoulders.
Mind Over Madi was an engaging read for me because Lynda created a fun, sassy character I relate to on a number of levels. Here is the back cover copy:
Madi McCall admits her husband lacks a little in the romance department, but all in all, he's been a good husband, a good father. Now, though, she suspects Rich is having an af air with Fawn Witchburn, the mother of one of his fourth-grade students. To say Fawn shows of her "assets" more than should be legally allowed in public is an understatement, and Madi's insecurities kick into high gear. When, in a heated moment, she asks Rich to leave and he complies, Madi is forced to deal with her issues. Issues of love and trust she's tried so hard to avoid. Issues that trail all the way back to her childhood and make her act like a total moron.
I relate to Madi because she's busy with the wife and mom thing, and has a touch of sass to her. When the going gets tough, she reaches for the chocolate. I so get that.Read more ›
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Q: What's true-to-life, drop-dead hilarious, inspirational, eye-opening, and sometimes hits a little too close to home?
A. Easy--Lynda Lee Schab's new novel, Mind Over Madi.
When too-close-to-forty Madi McCall decides her husband, Richard, is cheating on her with town siren Fawn Witchburn, she asks him to move out. No, it's not the smartest move Madi could make, but her insecurities, coupled with her mother's constant haranguing about the evilness of all men, blind her to common sense and her husband's assurances of his undying love.
Left with their twin teens, Christina and Max, and youngest child, Emily, Madi forges ahead with her life. While she juggles her hormonal teens and a little girl who misses her dad, tends to household responsibilities, spends time with her fashionista friend, Sylvie, and tries to straighten out her insecurities with her counselor, Sarah Price, Madi turns to her guilty pleasure for solace.
Schab has turned the insecurities that so many of us feel into a witty, thought-provoking debut novel. What transpires will have you laughing out loud, cringing, sighing, commiserating, and wondering just how Lynda Schab knew your innermost thoughts--let alone your guilty pleasures. Her characters could be our next door neighbor or sister or co-worker. Her descriptions are fresh and spot-on. Her plotting is superb and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what new dilemma Madi would find herself in--and what hilarious or heart-rending way she would use to get herself out. Prepare yourself for some unexpected twists as Madi discovers a few secrets and realizes she needs God in her life as much as she needs her husband.
Thankfully, Mind Over Madi is the first of a three-book series. Looking forward to Lynda's next two novels, Madily in Love and Sylvie and Gold, will help you get over coming to the end of a great debut novel.
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