Samson, Lisa 1964–

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Samson, Lisa 1964–

PERSONAL:

Born May 8, 1964, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of William (an optometrist), and Joy Ebauer; married William "Will" Samson (a computer engineer, project manager, and graduate student), February 13, 1988; children: Elizabeth Tyler, Jacob Patrick, Gwynneth McLeod. Education: Liberty University, B.S., 1987. Politics: Conservative Republican. Religion: Presbyterian. Hobbies and other interests: Art, cooking, reading, church ministries.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Lexington, KY.

CAREER:

Writer. Writing instructor; church worship leader.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Christy Award, 2004, for Songbird.

WRITINGS:

"HIGHLANDERS" SERIES; HISTORICAL ROMANCE FICTION

The Highlander and His Lady, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1994.

The Legend of Robin Brodie, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1995.

The Temptation of Aaron Campbell, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1996.

"ABBEY" SERIES; HISTORICAL ROMANCE FICTION

Conquered Heart, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1996.

Love's Ransom, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1997.

The Warrior's Bride, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1997.

OTHER

The Moment I Saw You (novel), Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1998.

Indigo Waters (novel), Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.

Fields of Gold (novel), Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2000.

The Church Ladies (novel), Multnomah Publishers (Sisters, OR), 2001.

Women's Intuition: A Novel, WaterBrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2002.

The Living End (novel), WaterBrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2003.

Songbird (novel), Warner Faith (New York, NY), 2003.

Tiger Lillie (novel), WaterBrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2004.

Club Sandwich: A Novel, WaterBrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2005.

Apples of Gold (nonfiction; for girls), WaterBrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2006.

Straight Up: A Novel, WaterBrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2006.

Quaker Summer, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2007.

Hollywood Nobody: A Novel, Th1nk Books (Colorado Springs, CO), 2007.

(With husband, Will Samson) Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of Jesus Wherever You Live, Baker Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2007.

Finding Hollywood Nobody (sequel to Hollywood Nobody: A Novel), Th1nk Books (Colorado Springs, CO), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Lisa Samson began her career writing historical romance novels, but after several years she turned to penning contemporary stories with Christian themes that particularly focus on women's lives and issues. Her novel The Moment I Saw You is the story of Natalie St. John, an affluent city woman who moves to the Blue Ridge Mountains where she purchases an inn. An attractive professor, Alexander Elbert, comes to stay, and they begin a romance. As the story unfolds, Natalie's mistrust of men unravels the relationship. The novel was "highly recommended" by Library Journal contributor Melissa Hudak, who believed the work has "enough substance to make it a standout contemporary romance."

Pastor's wife Poppy Fraser struggles with her own problems as well as those of parishioners in The Church Ladies. She and the other ladies of the church pray for her best friend Chris, who has lost a son in a college hazing. Privately, Poppy carries guilt for an affair she had years earlier and struggles with her eldest daughter, who has left the church and favors body piercing and sex. In addition, Poppy is unsure how she feels about the changes in her life due to her husband leaving a high-paying job to become a minister. With support from another pastor's wife, her faith is strengthened. They also form a support group to include wives of other denominations who are facing similar issues. Library Journal contributor Melanie C. Duncan concluded her review by writing that Samson "departs from historical romance to focus light on an aspect of ministry usually kept in the dark.

Women's Intuition: A Novel features Larkspur Summerville, a recluse who runs a toll-free prayer line. The Living End is a story of faith and healing. Pearly Laurel did not share the faith of her husband of thirty-five years, and when Joey dies, she finds life unbearable. She decides to take her own life, but before she can act, she discovers a list Joey had made of seven things he wanted to do in his life. They include getting a tattoo and climbing the Peruvian pyramids. With renewed purpose Pearly adds a few of her own wishes to the list and sets out to accomplish them all. The list includes whale watching in Alaska, spending a winter on a mountain, and hiking the Appalachian Trail. Her adventures lead her to meet a great many people, including a teen who needs help. She wonders why God is using her to accomplish his works when she had failed to believe in him for so many years. "This is a fine example of the strides being made in evangelical Christian fiction," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

Songbird is Samson's award-winning story of Myrtle Charmaine Whitehead, who survives never knowing her father and being abandoned by her mentally ill mother at the age of eleven. Myrtle grows up to be a nurturing wife and mother and a successful gospel singer, but her feeling of abandonment never leaves her, and she suffers from depression and a fear for her own mental health. Samson deals with serious issues in this novel, including scandal in the church.

Samson created several intriguing characters for Tiger Lillie, including Lillie Bauer, whose nickname is the novel's title. Lillie is a voluptuous Hungarian asthmatic, who with Cristoff, a celibate, gay epileptic, runs Extreme Weddings and the Extremely Odd Occasion in Baltimore, Maryland. A third major character is Tacy, Lillie's sister, who is married to fundamentalist Rawlins McGovern. "Samson pushes the boundaries of sexual innuendo and spirituality farther than in her earlier work, which gives her writing more authenticity," noted a Publishers Weekly critic.

Ivy Schneider, the protagonist in Club Sandwich: A Novel, is a member of a family that owns a diner. Ivy's husband has been away for several years on a gospel singing tour, leaving her to deal with their three children, whose teen problems and those of the rest of the family fall on her shoulders, as well as a growing attraction to her friend Mitch. Her parents are divorced, and her sermonizing mother lives in what was the dining room. Her father moves into the basement, her brother suffers from addictions, and her sister is having marital problems.

Apples of Gold is an illustrated book for older girls in which Samson studies the reasons for abstaining from sex before marriage, including the threat of AIDS.

Georgia Ella Bishop, the daughter of a famous jazz pianist and well-known news correspondent, minimizes her own potential in Straight Up: A Novel with her alcoholism. In spite of her bad choices and failures, she is supported and encouraged by an uncle, cousin, and her estranged husband, and a move to another city may be the change she needs to straighten out her life. A Publishers Weekly contributor praised Samson's writing and commented that she "pulls few punches in this sobering yet sanguine account of God's patience, mercy and eternal optimism in the face of human folly."

Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of Jesus Wherever You Live is a story about Matt and Christine Marshall, suburban a couple who make a life change after visiting an inner-city mission, but it also includes commentary about the lives of Samson and her husband, Will, who is her coauthor for this story. They made such a change, moving from Maryland to Lexington, Kentucky, so that they could more easily minister to the poor and needy. Speaking to a FaithfulReader.com interviewer, Samson said: "We live intentionally. That means we try and make whatever we do intentionally count for the kingdom. This includes what we buy, where we buy it, as well as serving those Jesus would have us [help]….We all realize that a cup of cold water in His name is a precious gift. And we fail, sure, but in our community even our failures become a holy offering to God. And we can actually admit we've failed without that horrible shame that keeps most Christians silent." Each chapter of the book ends with a short meditation by a Christian author. A Publishers Weekly reviewer described this unique volume as being "challenging and inspiring."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, April 1, 1998, Melissa Hudak, review of The Moment I Saw You, p. 78; February 1, 2000, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Fields of Gold, p. 68; April 1, 2001, Melanie C. Duncan, review of The Church Ladies, p. 88.

Publishers Weekly, March 19, 2001, review of The Church Ladies, p. 71; September 23, 2002, review of Women's Intuition: A Novel, p. 50; August 11, 2003, review of The Living End, p. 253; September 15, 2003, Dale Buss, "In Profile: Authors Take a Novel Look at Faith," p. S9; August 23, 2004, review of Tiger Lillie, p. 36; May 2, 2005, review of Club Sandwich: A Novel, p. 178; June 19, 2006, review of Straight Up: A Novel, p. 39; January 22, 2007, review of Quaker Summer, p. 161; June 11, 2007, review of Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of Jesus Wherever You Live, p. 57.

ONLINE

FaithfulReader.com,http://www.faithfulreader.com/ (November 10, 2007), interview.

GraceReign,http://gracereign.blogspot.com/ (June 11, 2006), Paula Moldenhauer, "Interview with Author Lisa Samson"; (November 3, 2006), Paula Moldenhauer, review of Straight Up.

Lisa Samson Home Page, http://www.lisasamson.com (November 10, 2007).

Romantic Times Online,http://romantictimes.com/ (November 10, 2007), Bev Huston and Roberta Blair, review of The Church Ladies, Kelly Rae Cooper, review of Women's Intuition, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, reviews of Songbird and The Living End, and Roberta Blair, review of Indigo Waters.

Shauna rumbling,http://shaunarumbling.blogspot.com/ (June 19, 2007), Shauna, "Interview with Lisa Samson."

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