Face-Off with Tosca Lee!!

Believe it! She is in the HOUSE!!16523_10151414115973118_567953729_n Multi-award winning and New York Times Bestselling Author, Tosca Lee, is here to play!!

I couldn’t possibly tell you the amount of awards this chica has won. I will list some here though:

  • 2015 Finalist, ECPA Christian Book Award for Fiction (“Legend of Sheba”)
  • 2014 A Library Journal Best of Christian Fiction Title of 2014 (“Legend of Sheba”)
  • 2014 Life is Story Runner Up (tie) for Best Biblical Fiction (“Legend of Sheba”)
  • 2014 ECPA Christian Book Award for Fiction (Iscariot)
  • 2014 Christian Retailers Retailer’s Choice Award Finalist (Iscariot)
  • 2013 A Library Journal Best Christian Fiction Title of 2013 (Iscariot)
  • 2013 Lime Award for Excellence in Fiction
  • 2013 ECPA Bestseller List (Sovereign)
  • 2013 CBA Bestseller List (Sovereign)
  • 2013 CBA Bestseller List (Iscariot)
  • 2012 Christian Retailers Retailer’s Choice Award (Forbidden)
  • 2012 ECPA Bestseller List (Forbidden, Mortal)
  • 2012 CBA Bestseller List (Mortal)
  • 2012 New York Times Bestseller List, Hardcover Fiction (Mortal)
  • 2012 Christy Award Finalist (Forbidden)
  • 2012 New York Times Bestseller List, eBook (Forbidden)
  • 2011 ECPA Bestseller List (Forbidden)
  • 2011 NY Times Bestseller List, Hardcover Fiction, #17 (Forbidden)
  • 2009 ForeWard Magazine Book of the Year Bronze Award Winner (Havah: The Story of Eve)
  • 2008 Christy Award Finalist (Demon: A Memoir)
  • 2008 ForeWard Magazine Book of the Year Silver Award Winner (Demon: A Memoir)

— Unbelievable, right? And, check this out! You can pick up one of her books for FREE right now! (Thanks, Sam!!)

IsmeniNot only does she write some first person fiction based on characters from the Bible, but she also co-authored a dystopian future series with Ted Dekker (among may things…).

Let’s have some fun, shall we?


The rules are simple. I ask Tosca some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever gone whale watching?

Tosca – Yes! While halibut fishing in Alaska, where I caught a 60-pound halibut. Took me nearly an hour to reel that sucker in as humpback whales breached off the side of the boat. But the more important question is did I eat sandwiches–and the answer is “yes.” Because we know that fishing is all about eating.

Charity – Ha! That is so true… How cool! You are a fancy pants fishing in Alaska with whales. I am going to quit right now!!!

— Uh, Obviously…

Charity 0 / Tosca 1

2. What song gets stuck in your head and won’t get out? (You’re welcome)

Tosca – The Barney song. GAH!

Charity – Well, it used to be It’s a Small World, but now…It’s mostly just Taylor Swift. On repeat. Always. Constantly. Never Ending.

I get one song out and another one turns on.

— At least mine is semi-cool…

Charity 1 / Tosca 1

3. What’s the strangest food you’ve been served?

Tosca – Maybe sea urchin or sea cucumber? Though my fiancé swears by grilled peanut butter and miracle whip sandwiches with pickles, which I think is way weirder.

Charity – Ugh. And, are you completely sure about marrying this guy? 😮 ha!

— Tosca and her man!!

Charity 1 / Tosca 2

4. Once Upon a Time or Grimm? Why?

Tosca – Grimm. It’s scarier. I like scary.

Charity – Ooh. I like scary too!! All though, I do prefer Once Upon a Time because it’s something we can watch with both of our kids (16 and 7). But, when the little one is in bed, the creepy and bloody (<3) movies come out!

— Tie

Charity 1 / Tosca 2

5. What’s your best roller skating move?

Tosca – Staying upright. That’s the best I got.

Charity – Hey, that’s something! Woot!! That’s about all I’ve got too. I can rock a couples skate though. (I really don’t know what that means).

— Tie

Charity 1 / Tosca 2

6. Any fun roller rink stories to go with it?

Tosca – I don’t, except for–remember those roller skates that are metal that used to be strapped on over your shoes? The outdoor kind? Those were my first roller skates (hey, it was the early 70s). I think I could sell them as antiques on eBay now. I used to love those things.

Charity – Oh yeah! I remember!! I was born in the 70’s, so those were my first skates too. In fact, I was born a few weeks after Elvis died. I wonder if I am him re-incarnated. Probably.

So, growing up…We used to go roller skating every month with the youth group. We went with another church as their guests. The only problem was, they made us listen to The Carpenters and Anne Murray on repeat. They literally had about 5 songs they would replay over and over and over the whole 3-4 hours we were there. Oh. My. Gosh. You can only listen to Can I Have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life once without wanting to stab your ears with pencils. Wait. Nope, not even once.

— Mine.

Charity 2 / Tosca 2

7. Coolest historical or quaint town you have been to? Why?

Tosca – Deer Island, Maine. When the fog rolls in, it looks like a cross between The Mists of Avalon and something from a Stephen King novel.


Charity – Ooh! Very creepy!! hmm.

I live in Virginia and there is this awesome little town on the Eastern Shore. It’s called Cape Charles and it is freakin’ adorable!! They have this sand bar that goes on forever, so you can walk out in the water really far. Here’s an overhead pic.


— Tie

Charity 2 / Tosca 2

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Tosca – By exercising my talents and gifts in some way every day–whether it be something as simple as cooking a meal or writing a novel, and by showing love and acceptance to those I encounter throughout the day and seeing them through God’s eyes.

Charity – Love it. Beautiful.

— God Wins!

Charity 2 / Tosca 2

9. If you had to go undercover, what would your disguise be?

Tosca – A Ninja, of course. I’m Asian. And everything I own is black. And I have moves, too. Maybe.

Charity – Hmm. I like it. I saw one of your moves at the top of this page…Fancy.

I took Kali for a bit. It’s a form of stick and knife fighting. I. Love. It. So much fun!!!! Unfortunately, I’m as white and pasty as they come, so I am not cool enough to be Asian and a ninja.

— Tosca gets it!

Charity 2 / Tosca 3

10. Favorite childhood toy?

Tosca – I used to have this beanbag frog that my parents would make have conversations with me. Hey, it was 1970. Elmo wasn’t invented yet.

Charity – See, that’s one of those things you don’t tell people. Kinda like the fiancé thing. 🙂

It was all about Strawberry Shortcake for this girl!

— Tie


Charity 2 / Tosca 3

41pQGKwBBLL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ again.

Thanks, Tosca! Fun getting to know you a bit 🙂 Balloons-for-Birthday-Party

Aright, peeps! You know what this means! It means that TOSCA IS AWESOME and she’s giving away a copy of her bestseller, Havah (the story of Eve)!!

So, just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!!

*U.S. Rez only (we do love the rest of you too…)

**Entries will be checked. Any falsified will be KICKED OUT! haha 🙂

Q&A’s with Todd Bruce

Please check out Todd Bruce’s new book, Nine Passes.The Amazon link is in the pic.

If you would like to read my review, just CLICK HERE.

I thought it would be fun to ask Todd a few questions about his journey.

Charity – You seemed to be traveling along with some people and seeing them often. Did you grow lasting friendships, or was it just on the trail?

Todd – Interestingly, it was a little of both. At the beginning of the trip, I had met Taka and Alan. We seemed to be leap-frogging along for several days. I have lost contact with both of them. Later on, I had met Dan and his 80 year old mother on the top of Silver Pass. I have kept in contact with them and have also visited them in Bend, Oregon. A fond friendship has grown between me and John and Towner Menefee. We hiked and camped together for three days and have also visited each other since the trip. We are very similar people and talk frequently.

Charity – Do you think you will take the trip again?

Todd – No. One thing that came out of the trip for me are new places to explore. All along the trip, I kept finding side trails and locations that interest me and I will spend time to go back and explore. Another by-product of the trip, was realizing that I am the kind of guy that enjoys a focused project. This project from beginning to end was exciting and kept me interested and driven. It is about time to start ramping up for the next project.

Charity – Oh my goodness! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!

What was the hardest part for you?

Todd – I would have to say being is such a beautiful place, day after day for almost 5 weeks, without being able to share it with my wife and kids. They are so much a part of my life and have shared many beautiful experiences with me in the past. I just wanted them to be there too.

Charity – I am sure they missed you! Perhaps they can join you on your next adventure.

What was your favorite part of the journey?

Todd – I really enjoyed exploring new areas and being surprised with what I found under every bit of water I fished. Constantly, I would approach a stretch of water and expect one thing and get dealt with something that I did not expect. Frequently, I caught fish species and sized that I was not expecting. That was fun for me. Although, I have been to many of the areas long the route before, I enjoyed the visits to familiar locations and sights.

Charity – Did you run into anything frightening that you didn’t write about? Storms, animals, etc?

Todd – No I did not. I have a lifetime of outdoor experience. I have endured bears (black bears and grizzly bears), snakes, fires, and extreme weather many times before. This trip was tame from that stand point.

Charity – Ahh! What in the world? That’s crazy! You need to write a book about that!!

Ok, so what’s the most important “tool” to have on a hike like that?

Todd – This is a good question. I would have to say it is your brain. One needs to have the skills to survive, navigate, explore, and work through issues while in the backcountry. I had several equipment issues that I needed to mitigate “McGiver-style” to keep going. When hiking solo, you only have your own skills to rely on to keep your safe.

Charity – Tricky! Ok, I like that answer.

How about some fun questions?

Best childhood memory?

Todd – I was fortunate to grow up in an era and in a neighborhood that allowed me to explore the outdoors. Fishing the creeks and lakes, hiking the hills and valleys, and having the freedom to make our own fun will always be with me. My parents encouraged it and we embraced it while thinking it was how everyone grew up.

Charity – That sounds so amazing. I know my boys would sure love that. My oldest son is a major outdoors fella. He would be so happy!!

Did any of your family (grandparents, etc) live in the wild west and do anything exciting? (Indian fighters, covered wagon trips, gold rush, civil war). My father’s parents, grandparents and uncles all had these types of experiences. It’s so fun to hear about them!

Todd- My great grand uncle, Edward Alphonso Goldman, was a mammalogist and naturalist that worked for the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey. He worked and explored all over the U.S., Mexico, Panama, and France. His most impressive expedition was in Baja, Mexico. In 1905 and 1906, he and his partner traversed the peninsula from north to south on horseback to study the flora and fauna. Over two thousand miles were covered, thousands of specimens collected, and numerous plant and animal species found for the first time. Approximately fifty mammals, birds, reptiles, mollusks, and plants bear his name. Goldman Peak in Baja California was also named in his honor. If you notice, on page 149, there is a picture of my mom, her grandfather, aunt, and great uncle on top of Colby pass. Edward Goldman was on that trip in 1945.

Charity – Wow! That is quite the legacy!!

Go to store for all your outdoor needs?

Todd – Not sure what this question is asking. If you are asking which outdoor store I shop for my equipment, it is REI.

Charity – I am sorry. That should have been “Go To”, as in, you answered it correctly (:

Favorite state you have visited?

Todd – I would have to say Montana. I spent a summer fighting fires there and had a chance to see much of the state. I have since been back to backpack and fish this beautiful place.

Charity – Thank you, SO MUCH for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I really enjoyed reading through this and seeing all the gorgeous photos.

Todd – You are very welcome Charity. I enjoyed the interview and look forward to seeing your post.

Nine Passes – Fly Fishing Through the Past and Present of the High Sierra

by Todd Bruce

Growing up in the High Sierra (Desert), Todd fell in love with the land. Running free and living his childhood roaming the outdoors and learning to fish at the age of four, he decided that he wanted to go back and relive some of those experiences. Using a book, that his brother was given when they were children, as his reference, he started out on his 300+ mile trek through the Sierra Desert.

Oh, did I mention that he was 51 years old when he decided to hike over 300 miles in 1 month 12,000+ feet above sea level by himself? I didn’t think so.

This is a BEAUTIFUL book. It is full of many breathtaking pictures. Todd’s idea was to relive his childhood memories and to see how much had changed over the years. I was particularly interested because of the stories I had heard from my father. He had the same type of childhood. He would wander around for days in the desert as a child. He also learned to fish at a young age and grew up thinking that’s how everyone lived. When I saw this book, I was excited to hear another perspective and to live somewhat vicariously through Todd’s journey and pictures. I was finally able to put a “face” on what I have always heard.

I highly recommend this book. I am no fisherman and can barely walk a mile, let alone 300! However, it is well written, it holds your attention and, as previously mentioned, has MANY breathtaking photos. This is the perfect “coffee table book”. If you’ve been looking for one, you’re welcome! The link is in the pic above.

Thank you, Todd Bruce and Black Swift Press Publishing, for this wonderful book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!