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Embrace Me [Paperback]

By Lisa Samson (Author)
Our Price $ 11.19  
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Item Number 81711  
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Item description for Embrace Me by Lisa Samson...

Devoid of romantic prospects, Valentine enjoys a deepening friendship with a quadriplegic companion and learns the story of a scarred local with mysterious ties to a traveling circus.

Publishers Description

Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful . . . a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattoed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster . . . and improbably close to grace.

Community Description

Embrace Me
By Lisa Samson

Binding: Softcover
Dimensions: 5 7/16 x 8 3/8

Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful . . . a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattoed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster . . . and improbably close to grace.

Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

Awards and Recognitions
Embrace Me by Lisa Samson has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Christy Awards - 2009 Nominee - Contemporary category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Embrace Me by Lisa Samson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 02/01/2008 page 56
  • Romantic Times - 03/01/2008 page 63
  • CBA Retailers - 03/01/2008 page 40
  • LJ Best Books of Year - 12/15/2008 page 67
  • LJ Best Books of Year - 12/01/2008 page 67

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   314
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.62" Width: 5.37" Height: 0.84"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2008
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  1595542108  
ISBN13  9781595542106  
UPC  020049131602  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lisa Samson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lisa Samsonis the author of more than a dozen novels, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird, the critically acclaimed"Women s Intuition"and"Tiger Lillie."Her other titles include"The Church Ladies"and"The Living End."Lisa also serves as worship leader at her local church and volunteers as a creative writing instructor. She and her husband live with their three children in Maryland."

Lisa Samson currently resides in the state of Virginia. Lisa Samson was born in 1964.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > General
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about Embrace Me?

Wow! Her best book ever!!  Jul 31, 2008
Wow! This book is amazing. I could not put it down. Lisa Samson has an amazing gift at creating real believable characters, ones that you can relate to no matter where you are in life. This book is no exception! I have read almost all of her books and this is by far my favorite. This book would be great for all ages! A great book for a reading group, a small group, or youth group to read together. Whoohoo! Ms. Samson!
A gritty story of forgiveness and redemption by one of faith fiction's best novelists  Jul 14, 2008
In EMBRACE ME, Lisa Samson pens a powerful story of forgiveness, full of surprises and a cast of interesting characters --- including one making a return appearance from a previous novel.

The story is told from several first-person points of view. Drew Parrish is the slick red-headed prosperity gospel pastor of a megachurch, 12,000 members strong and growing. He knows all the right moves and words to say, but his sincerity barely runs skin deep. When the chance comes to move to television --- and a possible show of his own --- he settles on Daisy Boyer, a pretty young singer in his congregation, to serve as co-host.

But for Daisy's scheming mother (who sees her daughter as her ticket to fame and fortune) and for Drew, Daisy isn't quite good enough. Her face is a little less angular than needed for television, her weight a few pounds too heavy, her nose a bit too long. Daisy endures a strict diet and exercise regime and undergoes plastic surgery after plastic surgery. Eventually, she cracks.

Drew is also feeling a growing dissatisfaction, evinced by his habit of burning himself with cigarettes to try and feel something besides the pain of his life. His father, a Washington D.C. lobbyist, is clear that Drew never quite measures up to his expectations, and his mother, he believes, committed suicide when he was still an adolescent.

The opening of the book finds Drew at the end of his rope, and relying on the guidance of a young Catholic parish priest to help him figure things out. Samson then alternately fast-forwards and rewinds her story six years, time jumps for the reader that work because of her tremendous writing skills. In this way, we meet Valentine, a freak-show oddity with a terribly burned face who tours as Lizard Woman with "Roland's Wayfaring Marvels and Oddities." Her best friend is Lella, the Human Cocoon, who has no arms or legs. Valentine is bitter about the past and her disfigurement, and wraps her hopes for the future up in a dream of a home of her own with Lella.

But when Lella's life takes a new direction, Valentine finds herself thrown into the company of a heavily tattooed and dreadlocked minister, Augustine, whose vocal cords were damaged in a motorcycle accident. Both Augustine and Valentine find solace in the company of the surprisingly likeable televangelist Charmaine Hopewell, who readers may remember from Samson's book SONGBIRD.

Together, Augustine and Valentine wrestle with the difficulty of forgiving those in their pasts who have wronged them. But the biggest test of all lies ahead. Is it possible --- truly possible --- to always forgive? Forgiveness of ourselves and others, Samson shows through her narrative and characters, doesn't mean you can always return to who you once were. " I realize we can destroy ourselves in ways so deep we'll never return to the place we were before we started the destruction," muses one character. Another character learns that words of forgiveness come first; the emotional feeling of being able to forgive follows later.

Making the time jumps back and forth from character to character is a lot to ask, but Samson succeeds in helping the reader do it. The oddities of the characters, while a little exaggerated, are vintage Samson, as are the themes of social justice and grace. The setting of a "new monastic" community, in which the members are not necessarily Catholic, but take vows of different sorts and extend hospitality, serves as backdrop for the later part of the novel and echoes the community settings of past Samson novels.

Some readers may feel the reconciliation between Augustine and a relative from his past is too neatly wrapped up toward the end while others will applaud the power of grace. But what comes through, clear and strong, is that every person is beautiful and loved in the eyes of God, and all may find forgiveness --- and offer it to another --- if it's their true desire. Samson, who also penned QUAKER SUMMER, is one of Christian fiction's finest novelists, and her fans will find plenty to enjoy and ponder here.

--- Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Embracing the Body of Christ  May 31, 2008
Embrace Me by Lisa Samson took me a little bit longer to get into than some of her others, but once I did, it was well worth it. I spent an entire weekend letting Lisa's words wash over me.

Once again, her word choice is impeccable. Look at these: from inside a church--"Thomas, his stained-glass face eating up the late afternoon sun, looks doubtful of my presence and I can't blame him." Or "Which much pretty ruins it for those people who don't exactly cotton to a three-piece suit, or a cassock, or even jeans and a polo shirt." Love it!

Embrace Me is about a "lizard woman" from a freak show trying to accept who's she's become after some nasty burns, a pastor who's realized how he's led his church astray in the name of power, and the communities that love them. It's a beautiful portrayal of gnashing-of-teeth forgiveness. It takes it out of the abstract and puts it in your hand.

Her characters, as usual, are amazing: each their own. Each flawed, redeemable, and marked with the Imago Dei. Their dialogue flows from the personality of the character and is distinct to each.

Embrace Me is sometimes borderline preachy (even if I could say amen! to the sermons), but it presents the frustrations and beauty of the Body of Christ.
Freaks and geeks  May 20, 2008
Lisa Samson's book always makes you think and this one is no different that the rest. Can you say EDGY?! I don't think I've ever read a Christian fiction book that deals with the type of people mentioned in this story. But these are stories that need to be told, because not everyone is living a picture perfect streak free Christian life. It's a heartbreaking story as you read what has happened in Drew and Valentine's lives. I nearly wanted to cry at times when reading because I felt the character's pain and suffering. Even though there are very few sideshow attractions such as the one portrayed in the story surviving today, it makes the reader think about what life is like for these "so-called freaks." How hard their life must be because they aren't born "normal" like the rest of us. I really don't know how Lella was able to be so upbeat and genuinely happy all the time. I don't think I could have accepted her situation quite so well. This isn't your normal happy ending novel. There is a lot of in your face stuff that a lot of Christians don't like touching. It will make you feel uncomfortable at times but it will also help you to understand more about God's infinite love and acceptance. This book is definitely edgy Christian fiction at its best. Lisa Samson has created another winner. HIGHLY recommended.
Haunting, life-changing, brave book about the power of forgiveness  May 19, 2008
Embrace Me by Lisa Samson is another jewel in Samson's crown. Valentine stars as the Lizard Woman in a travelling freak show along with her friend, Lella, the Human Cocoon. While it's not a great life, it's one that she has come to terms with until returning to winter in a small North Carolina town. There she encounters Augustine, a tattooed and dread locked monk, who shakes up her ordered existence with his talk of God and faith. Samson's books are not for those readers who want to be comfortable and comforted in their reading. Her books with self-mutilating pastors and chain-smoking characters make me squirm in my seat like a good sermon. She delves into topics and places few Christian books dare to go, and God bless her for it. Her books are not to be read lightly and tossed aside. They weigh on my soul and heart and never leave me untouched. Augustine quotes Mother Theresa: You only love Christ as much as the person you love the least. Did that make you squirm in your seat? That's what Embrace Me will do to you, make you re-evaluate the strength of your faith and love for God. Samson writes like no one else in the business; each sentence is carefully crafted and weighted. Read this book and be transformed within.

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