Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Celebrating A New Story In Michelle Levigne's Tabor Heights Series

Today on our Cyber Launch Party Blog, we're celebrating the release of FIRESONG, a new novel in Michelle Levigne's Tabor Heights, Ohio Series.

A story addict since an early exposure to Dr. Seuss, award-winning author of over 30 novels and novellas, Michelle Levigne has been creating her own stories, heroes and adventures since junior high. She ventures into many sub-genres of science fiction, paranormal, romance and fantasy, including Greek mythology, Narnia spin-offs and her futuristic universe, the Commonwealth.

Michelle writes something for everyone! After all, since she likes to read all over the board, why not WRITE all over the board?

FIRESONG - A Tabor Heights, Ohio Story From Michelle Levigne

Dani Paul's parents died when she was eleven. She threw herself into her brother and cousins' fledgling band and devoted herself to ministry. Nine years later, Firesong was ready to break into the big-time.

Kurt Green came back to Tabor Heights to prepare for a crusade and celebrate his cousin Katie's marriage to Dani's brother, Andy. As the summer wore on, he found more and more in common with Dani -- music, dedication to ministry, love for Katie and Andy, pain and faith during tragedy, and a belief that ministry and marriage didn't mix. But Kurt realized he might be wrong, especially where Dani was concerned.

Now he just had to convince her that two could handle a traveling ministry just as well, if not better, than one.


Photo and video editing at http://www.onetremedia.com/

WIN - Leave Michelle a question about her new book at her Cyber Launch Party today and your name goes in the hat for a free T-shirt!! Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are today's winner - Good Luck!


  1. Super congrats on the new release Michelle!!! I know you had said this book was a long time in coming. Can you tell us about it's journey to publication?

    Also, for those not familiar with your Tabor Heights stories, can you tell us a bit about this series and how the books fit together?

    Love the cover on this one and just finished reading the excerpt, can't wait to read the rest of the book!!!

    Wishing you your biggest seller yet!

  2. Good morning, everybody!!

    What's the inspiration for Firesong?

    Well, I wanted to be a singer when I was in junior high and high school. I went through the whole routine, singing along with my favorite groups' records, in my mirror, doing the hairbrush routine.

    My friend Lynn and I invested in songbooks, she played the piano, and we made up harmonies ... and got distracted around college time. Plus the fact we went to different schools/different states. The dream kind of fell by the wayside. And we let comments from well-meaning but discouraging people derail us.

    Then in grad school I was in a traveling choir, and I realized I was definitely a homebody. No life on the road for me, thanks!!

    It's been so many years since I first wrote Dani and Kurt's story, I couldn't clearly tell you where the bits and pieces came from, the ideas -- but I know some of the behind-the-scenes things were based on stories I heard about other Christian bands trying to get their start, the self-righteous twits and glory hounds they ran into, the Spirit-directed performances and amazing outreaches, and then the "we never did it this way before" Pharisees who always showed up during a high point and brought you back down to earth.

    So Dani's story is "real" in a lot of ways. And encouraging, I hope.

  3. Tabor Heights stories revolve around the members of one church, who live in the town, have their businesses there, teach there, work there. Their ups and downs, romances and heartaches, triumphs and catastrophes.

    The stories overlap -- which is part of why I put in dates and days, so if you care to check from one book to another, you can see when people "visit" from one book to another, and their lives and activities intersect -- and sometimes their viewpoint on the exact same event or encounter or conversation.

    Firesong is the 8th book in what I call "Year One" of the Tabor Heights books. There are 4 more in the pipeline to finish Year One -- Forgiven is Nikki James' story. You met her in Common Grounds, and you'll meet her in Firesong.

    Later on this year, White Roses finishes out the story of the serial killer called the White Roses, who first appeared in Common Grounds back in 2009. Then there's the Mission -- which features in a number of stories that have already been published. Then the final one is Accidental Hearts -- the heroine is a pilot who runs a courier service. She meets the new director of a local community theater and things just .... accidentally bring them together. Whether they want to be or not!

  4. Michelle, It must have been hard to mingle the two worlds of band music and ministry into this novel. Please let us know where that inspiration came from?
    Are you personally "in" the book at all?

  5. Congratulations for another good work, Michelle. The excerpt makes me wonder if Kurt goes through his own refining flames. Does He?

  6. Well .... it's a Christian band, and they see their music as a ministry.

    In fact, at some point they have to make a choice of taking a once-in-a-lifetime ministry opportunity, and possibly destroying their careers and reputation in the music industry to do so.

    As for Kurt ... he more or less had his refining time before the book starts -- to make him worthy of Dani, and ready to be there for her when she goes through her crises. And give her a couple of good hard raps between the eyes when she needs them.

    Something along the lines of blows given by someone who loves you are preferable to kisses from strangers....

    Nope, I'm not "in" the book at all. But I did so very much want to sing with the Imperials and Petra and Amy Grant when I was in high school ..... *sigh*

  7. Congratulations Michelle. The book sounds fantastic.

  8. Congrats on the new release. Sounds like a really great story.

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  9. Way to go, Michele. I didn't know you were a songbird too. Amazing. I wish you all the success for this book and the series. I love Dani's story already. All the best. Now go sell a million copies.

  10. Thanks, everybody, for stopping by.

    Anything you want to know about Tabor Heights, in general?

    Who's being slammed with this horrid freezing rain, and contemplating staying hom for the rest of the month? [G]

  11. I wanted to know which direction you will take Tabor Heights next??


  12. I'm just going to keep exploring all the lives of the people who have wandered through the books that are already published. We have 4 books left in Year One. Then we can get into Year Two -- more crises, more romance, people are a year older.

    I have a short story where Max's Aunt Rose is being pursued by a man from the old neighborhood -- and is rescued by the owner of the newspaper when the charmer turns out to be a spoiled brat who never grew up. So I plan on a book in the future going into Aunt Rose and Mr. Coffelt's relationship -- and with a mystery tossed in.

    We have some weddings to attend -- all the people we've seen fall in love so far -- some proposals to seal romances. And that problem Max had, with a stolen identity, needs to be resolved -- as in a baby showing up on her doorstep, with a note claiming "Max Keeler" is the father! Umm, Max Keeler is Maxine Keeler's pen name, so there's no way SHE could be the baby's father. It's enough to put a crimp in wedding plans, if you know what I mean.

    And lots more situations to resolve. There's Xander and Hannah's wedding, Bekka and Shane's year-long engagement -- and there's the relationship hinted at between Hannah's roommate Rene and her business partner, Vic, with the shady past and hints of Mob connections. And gee, there are all those college kids who could be falling in love. And we have to see Lisa and Todd Montgomery's baby be born.

    So lots of things to keep up with.

    I hope you'll keep checking back and keep up with all the people you've met in other books, while meeting new friends.

  13. Congrats on the new release!

    About how long does it take you to write one of the Tabor Heights books?

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  14. It's hard to say how long it took me for any one book -- all the books that have been printed so far have been in my files for, literally, years. I rough draft them, put them away to work on something else, take them out to polish and revise, put them away, on and on .... until I found the lovely people at Desert Breeze who wanted to publish them!

    I've written a full-size book -- first draft -- in a month. I've done NaNoWriMo 3 years in a row, so I know it's possible. It's the revisions that take up so much time!

  15. Hi Michelle,
    Love the blend of music and ministry in your latest Tabor Heights. Music uplifts and transcends our humble circumstances. It's a way to bring many (or bring them back) to the Lord. I saw Denver & the Mile High Orchestra last month in Medina. He (Denver) talked about how difficult life on the road as a musician can be. Good luck with this release and with the rest of the series. By the way...is that a new photo. Absolutely love it!