Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Verse of the Day

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. (Romans 4:18 MSG)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Verse of the Day

Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 150)

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Reluctant Detective
Monarch Books (April 30, 2011)
Martha Ockley


Martha Ockley is the pen-name of Rebecca Jenkins. She read history at Oxford University, and spent several years working alongside her father, the Rt. Revd. David Jenkins (Bishop of Durham 1984-94) during the turbulence of the 1980s. She lives in Teesdale in the North East of England where the landscape and history provide the inspiration for her Regency detective, F R Jarrett. Since September 2009 she has been Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Writer in Residence at York St John University. She is a full-time author, writing both fiction and non-fiction. (She should not be confused with a Canadian actor and singer, also called Rebecca Jenkins.)  


The Reluctant Detective sees Faith Morgan arriving back in the region of her birth - Winchester in Hampshire. Recently ordained, she had been working as a curate in an Anglican inner-city church. Within an hour of her arrival at Little Worthy, she witnesses the sudden shocking death of a fellow priest during a communion service at St James's. He had been poisoned with a pesticide mixed with the communion wine. The senior police officer who arrives at the scene turns out to be Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, Faith's ex long-term boyfriend.

She is urged by the Bishop to stay on to look after the parish of Little Worthy. As she meets her parishioners she learns some surprising facts about her apparently well loved predecessor, and starts to suspect a motive for his death. And it is she who finally identifies the murderer.

The story gets off to a dramatic start with the previous vicar collapsing as soon as he drank the communion cup, and it holds the interest throughout. There is some romantic interest too. Inspector Ben Shorter starts by sneeringly telling his sergeant, "Ms Morgan is a vicar. One of the ordained," Ben emphasized the word. “She's a card-carrying professional at the touchy-feely stuff.” But he soon starts to feel differently about her again, although she is well aware that he "didn't understand the reality she experienced through her faith. He didn't even recognize its existence. That was the gulf between them." Her own beliefs and doubts are convincingly described, for even she can't help wondering, "What if there is no truth to it?" But for her, as for Pascal before her, it was a gamble worth taking.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Reluctant Detective, go HERE

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7 ESV)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Verse of the Day

I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness. (Psalm 145:1–6)

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over the Edge
B&H Books (May 1, 2011)
Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."®  Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.

In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.


Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Even as patients across the country are getting sicker, the committee Brock chairs is about to announce its latest findings—which will further seal the door shut for Lyme treatment.

One embittered man sets out to prove Dr. McNeil wrong by giving him a close-up view of the very disease he denies. The man infects Janessa with Lyme, then states his demand: convince her husband to publicly reverse his stand on Lyme—or their young daughter will be next.

But Janessa's marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly move or think. And her husband denies she has Lyme at all.

Welcome to the Lyme wars, Janessa.

“A taut, heartbreaking thriller. Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages.”

--Publishers Weekly

“Tense and dramatic. Holds its tension while following the protagonist in a withering battle.” –NY Journal of Books

“A frightening and all-too-real scenario. Very timely and meaningful book.” –RT Reviews

“If you know someone who suffers from Lyme, you need to read this compelling novel.” –Lydia Niederwerfer, founder of Lyme-Aware

If you would like to read the Prologue of Over the Edge, go HERE

Watch the book video:

Review to come later.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Verse of the Day

He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, . . . "I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding." (Daniel 9:22–23)

2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Finalists

2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Finalists
Women’s Fiction
The House on Sugar Plum Lane by Judy Duarte (Kensington)

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart (FaithWords)

Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson)

Long Contemporary
Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes (Tyndale)

The Six-Liter Club by Harry Kraus (Howard)

Long Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena Miller (Summerside)

Short Contemporary
Tender Mercies by Mary Manners (White Rose)

White Roses by Shannon Taylor Vannatter (Barbour)

Rodeo Redemption by Teri Wilson (White Rose)

Long Historical

The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House)

Abbie Ann by Sharlene MacLaren (Whitaker House)

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin (Revell)

Short Historical

Walker’s Wedding by Lori Copeland (Harvest)

The Substitute Bride by Janet Dean (Steeple Hill)

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher (Zondervan)

Romantic Suspense
Too Close to Home by Lynette Eason (Revell)

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze (Waterbrook)

Nightshade by Ronie Kendig (Barbour)


The Snowflake by Jamie Carrie (Broadman and Holman)

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Anita Higman (Summerside)

A Bodine Family Christmas by Marta Perry (Steeple Hill)

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Christy Award Nominees

These were announced several weeks ago, but with the conference and other obligations taking up most of my time, I am just now posting them. The winners will be announced in July.

The 2011 Christy Award nominees are:

Contemporary Romance/
Blood Ransom
by Lisa Harris (Zondervan)
by Kristin Heitzmann (WaterBrook Press)
Sworn to Protect
by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers)

Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas/
The Reluctant Prophet
by Nancy Rue (David C. Cook)
The Thorn
by Beverly Lewis (Bethany House Publishers,
a division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Waiting
by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell Books,
a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Contemporary Standalone/
Almost Heaven
by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
Lady in Waiting
by Susan Meissner (WaterBrook Press)
A Season of Miracles
by Rusty Whitener (Kregel Publications)

First Novel/
Crossing Oceans
by Gina Holmes (Tyndale House Publishers)
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
A Season of Miracles
by Rusty Whitener (Kregel Publications)

Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther
by Ginger Garrett (David C. Cook)
For Time & Eternity
by Allison Pitman (Tyndale House Publishers)
While We’re Far Apart
by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers,
a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance/
The Girl in the Gatehouse
by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
She Walks in Beauty
by Siri Mitchell (Bethany House Publishers,
a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Within My Heart
by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Bishop
by Steven James (Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Bride Collector
by Ted Dekker (Center Street)
by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan)

To Darkness Fled
by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press)
Konig’s Fire
by Marc Schooley (Marcher Lord Press)
The Last Christian
by David Gregory (WaterBrook Press)

Young Adult/
The Charlatan’s Boy
by Jonathan Rogers (WaterBrook Press)
The Healer’s Apprentice
by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan)
Motorcycles, Sushi, and One
Strange Book
by Nancy Rue (Zondervan)

Verse of the Day

Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! . . . Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I take refuge in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:1, 8–10)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The DMZ by Jeanette Windle

Today I'm focusing on a re-release of Jeanette Windle's book, The DMZ. I received my copy through LitFuse Publicity who has done a lot of the publicity on this book. At the Colorado Christian Writers Conference last week, I asked Jeanette if she would do an interview for us, and she graciously agreed. The DMZ is an intriguing read for those who like political thrillers.

1. How did you get started writing, and where has that journey taken you that you may not have expected starting out?

I have written much of my life, whether thesis papers, journals, or communication to family and ministry constituency. During my growing up years at a missionary kids boarding school, we had a heavy emphasis on writing and literature; we were doing full papers with footnotes in middle school and thought that was normal. But as for publication, I had one story published in college, then became a missionary and pastor’s wife and never really thought again about writing for publication until I was stuck down in a small town in southern Bolivia with three preschoolers, no transport, phone, radio, or TV, and my husband gone for two weeks at a time to the Bolivian jungle and mountain churches. By the time I’d read my few English books until I had them memorized, I was so bored I wrote my first book in the evenings once my babies were asleep. That became Kathy and the Redhead, a children’s novel based on my growing-up years at an American missionary kid boarding school in the Andes mountains of Venezuela. 
From there I began writing Spanish-language material for women and children at risk as well as writing as a journalist for a variety of international and Christian ministry publications. I branched out to fiction in part because I was sitting in the middle of stories too big—and sometimes too sensitive—to tell in any non-fiction format open to me. A YA mystery-suspense series, The Parker Twins Adventures, set in a multi-cultural background, led to my first adultfiction release, CrossFire, a 630-page political/suspense novel set in the counter-narcotics war in Bolivia where we were living at the time. Since then have come five more political-suspense novels, most recently Veiled Freedom, a 2010 Christian Book Award and 2010 Christy Award finalist, and its sequel Freedom's Stand, set in Afghanistan.
What I love about writing fiction is the tapestry it offers to weave together countless scattered threads—historical, political, social, spiritual—and the very real people involved,  to create a single impact, a single focused spiritual theme. While the books I write are fiction, the peoples and places and issues they bring to life are only all too true. As to where this journey has taken me that I didn't expect, when I wrote those first articles, stories, and even children's book, I definitely never dreamed I'd ever write full-length political-suspense or that I even had that capacity in me. All to say, learn your craft well now, use your gifts faithfully as God opens the doors, and who knows where God's life path for you may lead!

How do you balance family life with writing?

One task at a time! The reality is that we each have only 24 hours a day. We all have a little bit more to do than we would like to fit into that period. Yet with God's help, we all manage to get through one more day. I will say that my writing life has changed greatly since my children were small. Then I wrote much smaller projects, largely in missions journalism and ministry material. As my children grew, and I had more hours with an empty house, I began writing full-length books.
Now I am basically an empty-nester with three adult sons and a 19-year-old daughter rarely home, so solitude for uninterrupted writing isn't so hard to come by. But my husband is president of an international missions organization, and both of us are involved in ministry that involves extensive travel, so balancing our ministry schedules with quality writing time is the biggest challenge at this stage. Basically, when I'm off the road, I am at my computer writing by 7 AM every day but Sunday.

How does your walk with the Lord affect your writing? And how do you balance time with the Lord with your writing schedule?

The most vital way in which my walk with the Lord affects my writing is that it is always the spiritual struggles, lessons, hope and redemption through which God has brought me that come alive in the pages of my books. If I am madly scribbling away with tears pouring down my cheeks as my characters wrestle through issues birthed out of my own spiritual journey, I've learned by experience those are the very scenes readers will write me about later, sharing how that message impacted their own lives--and how tears streamed down their own faces as they read. As to time with the Lord, I spend time in personal devotions and prayer every morning before diving into my writing, a spiritual discipline I was taught well as a child and still maintain as a non-negotiable in my life.

Since my blog is geared to writers who want to improve their self-editing, could you briefly take us through your process of writing a novel—from conception to revision?

Hmm, that could be an entire book in itself. To describe my process in one word: messy! I'm not one of the 'plan to the last conversation' writers. I begin with research. Before I tackle a book set in a new country or political environment, whether Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, or most currently, the Democratic Republic of Congo, I saturate myself in that place. Histories, biographies, political commentary, regional literature, travelogues, video documentary--I will have easily read 20,000 pages material before I ever pick up a pen or computer keyboard. 
From there I do use internet, video documentary, country maps on my wall, tourist guides giving details of every town and even streets (Google Satellite Maps are incredible for detail). For every place I write about, I also keep a Google Alert set for daily news digests. I follow blogs and travelogues of 'boots on the ground' whose lives and professions mirror the characters I am writing about. And of course on-site travel and extensive input from contacts on the ground who are real-life counterparts of my characters, whether Special Ops, DEA, humanitarian aid, jungle pilots, locals on the ground, etc. Every part of my manuscript will be read by these same sources before going to print to make sure I have no mistakes.
Once I've researched the setting, I have a detailed idea of characters and the first part of the story, a basic outline, what political and spiritual theme I want to weave through. AND I know the ending ( an essential because if you don't know the ending, I can testify by experience that you can end up painting yourself into a corner or wasting months of dead-end writing you have to cut). But my middle outline tends to be rather broad, the details filling in as I get to that part of the story.
In rough draft, I will take a week or two brainstorming all kinds of speeches, personal feelings and spiritual thoughts, descriptions of places I've been or researched, thoughts, interviews with DEA, Special Forces, etc. that give me authenticity to those characters, ideas I plan to work into the book, even if I don't know the order they will come into the story. Then as I actually write the story, I will go back and pull those nuggets from my files. I also keep a notebook through each book so that if I think of anything, even if it is for a future part of the book, a conversation, thought, etc., I jot it down so I have it when I get to that part of the story.
As you can see, my books tend to grow rather like an out-of-control tree rather than a nice, neat building. Which is why if there is one piece of advice I'd give writers, it is to give yourself permission to write badly. Too many new novelists I work with get bogged down in their first chapters because they are trying to write them perfectly. Instead, be willing to write badly, but just get the story down. By the time I’m done my rough draft, I will have a great story with terribly messy prose. Then it is time to prune that overgrown foliage. My brain switches over into edit mode once the story is birthed. Starting back at the beginning, I focus on rewriting, rearranging, filling in plot holes, etc. Then comes one last polish for actual prose and grammar. Since I am as excellent an editor as I am a messy writer, at this point, I am always surprised and excited at how well it has all come together.

What kinds of things do you have to revise once the editor at a publishing house gets done with your manuscript?

In my case, it is ALWAYS basic word count. I am a very 'full', detailed writer, my books running closer to a Tom Clancy or Fredrick Forsythe in length than an Agatha Christie or Mary Higgins Clark. No matter how much I trim myself, the project editor can always find more to trim and tighten. Because I research well and have experts reading the manuscript before it is turned in, I rarely have technical mistakes or plot holes that need addressed. But often the project editor will have good ideas on how to combine or shift around scenes to tighten up the book and action (it always helps to have that fresh eye, because after writing a book for months, you get to the place where you can't see your own faults).

Would you tell us a little about your future projects?

Along with Kregel release The DMZ, set in the guerrilla zones of Colombia where I grew up, my Tyndale House release, Freedom's Stand, sequel to Veiled Freedom, set in Afghanistan, hits bookstores this month. Because of the strong human rights, freedom of faith, and persecuted church themes of Freedom's Stand, I am just beginning a radio/TV interview tour addressing those urgent issues. And of course I am always writing that next fiction title, currently Congo Dawn, set as the name suggests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, specifically in the conflict zones of its northeast Ituri rainforest.

Finally, would you discuss The DMZ? The research, the idea, and the scope of the project?

The idea originated simply because I'd written my first suspense novel, CrossFire, set in the counternarcotics war in Bolivia where I'd spent 16 years, and my publishers wanted another. I'd grown up in what are now the guerrilla zones of Colombia, so it was an obvious setting. But as I began to research, I was stunned to uncover the completely unpublicized involvement of Islamic militant groups in Colombia's guerrilla conflict. Then I came across a Colombian news item that never made our media of Iran trying to push through a “humanitarian aid project” to build a meat-packing plant, complete with airport, in a small jungle town smack in the middle of the guerrilla demilitarized zone, or DMZ--and incidentally 300 kilometers from the closest cattle ranching area. That set me to questioning just what Iran was doing there, which birthed The DMZ.  
In real life, the U.S. embassy managed to derail that Iranian project, which permitted me to use it for my fiction plot. But I'd always wondered what Iran's Plan B was. Interestingly, that Plan B has actually materialized very closely to my plot line within the last year on the Venezuelan side of that same jungle zone in an alliance between Iran and Hugo Chavez, another startling example of seeing my fiction in the headlines.
The theme of The DMZ is best summed up by a statement made by one of the characters in the book: "Those who are not willing to bleed and die for what they hold dear will always be held captive by those who are." A brief synopsis of the story:
When the US loses three major military assets in Colombia within weeks, attention turns to the demilitarized zone, a Switzerland-sized piece of territory handed over to the guerrillas in the vain hope it would make them start talking peace. The death of three American environmentalist activists in the same area bring a UN inspection/ media team to the scene, including environmental journalist Julie Baker. For Julie it is at once a career opportunity of a lifetime and a revisiting of old hurts and terrors as she returns to the place of her birth—and her parents’ deaths at the guerrilla hands.
As Julie’s probing unleashes a terrorist plot that spans from the rainforests of Colombia to the Middle East and the very heartland of America, she must confront resurging issues from her own past. Does God have a right to demand our total sacrifice? Does He have the right to demand our sacrifice of those we love? "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds . . . If anyone comes to me and does not hate (count as of lesser importance) his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters¾yes, even his own life¾he cannot be my disciple (John 12:24; Luke 14:26). Are these just words or a philosophy of life God seriously expects us to apply beyond our comfortable suburban neighborhoods?
When Julie’s own abduction sets off a time bomb that has been ticking under the figurative feet of the United States for more than a decade, her answer to these questions becomes the catalyst that will determine the future course of at least two countries, if not the entire world.

Thank you so much, Jeanette! We appreciate your time and the opportunity to spotlight your work.

Friday, May 20, 2011

ACFW May Releases

I'm a little late getting these up this month. Last week's conference and editing have taken most of my time so far this month.  

May ACFW Authors New Releases For Your Reading Pleasure! 

With the beginning of a new month, we have a brand new list of new releases for our reading pleasure. Please note that at any time, you can access Fiction Finder to read about upcoming new releases as well as your favorite authors' backlists. Make use of the left-hand sidebar to search and sort titles and authors by months and by ACFW members and nonmembers.

All this information and more in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad — General Fiction from Revell. She wants to change the world. He wants to change her mind.

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason — A Thriller/Suspense from Revell. Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. The new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case.

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy — A Romance from Barbour. Gabe Lasley finds Shannon Dysart stranded in a mountaintop cave and saves her. She is on a quest to prove her father’s research isn’t the work of a madman, that he really did find a treasure in the wild west.

Died in the Wool by Elizabeth Ludwig — A Mystery from Barbour. Can Monah and proven sleuth Casey Alexander find the real killer before this librarian is booked for murder?

Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini — A Romance from B & H Publishing. When confronted with her most painful, past decisions, will Suz Mitchell second guess herself? Or will she learn to let God restore all that once seemed lost?

Journey's End by Dora Hiers — A Romance from White Rose.  When Chelsea Hammond is snatched from her home, can she put aside her fear, and trust Trey Colten with her life? Can she forgive him for destroying her past and let him help to rebuild her future?

Montana Marriages Trilogy by Mary Connealy — Romance from Barbour. The complete Montana Marriages series all under one cover. One volume encases three acclaimed novels by Mary Connealy.

Over The Edge by Brandilyn Collins — Thriller/Suspense from B & H Publishing. Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore — A Romance from Barbour/Heartsong. Time promises to heal all wounds, but will Ellie and Theo allow God to work His timing in their lives and bring a new promise of love?

Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens — A Romance from Barbour/Heartsong. Two people in their September years are blessed with a second chance at happiness, but unexpected arrivals of a long-estranged son and a long-forgotten former admirer threaten to unravel the cords that bind two hearts.

Secrets of the Heart; Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One by Jillian Kent — A Romance from Realms. When Lady Madeline Whittington rescues a runaway from a nearby lunatic asylum her life will be forever changed.

The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus — A Romance from Barbour. Two artists are drawn together by matchmaking matriarchs.

The Unexpected Bride by Debra Ullrick — A Romance from Love Inspired. Haydon Bowen has no intention of marrying. Unfortunately, his brother has other plans. Even when beautiful, cultured Rainelle Devonwood learns she's a mistakenly ordered bride, she won't let Haydon drive her away.

Threat of Exposure by Lynette Eason — A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired. In book 5 of the Texas Ranger Justice series, DEA Brock Martin and Texas Ranger Gisella Hernandez must work together to decipher codes, uncover clues, and protect themselves from a killer who doesn't want his secrets known.

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer  A Romance from Bethany House. A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Undercurrent by Michelle Griep — A Science Fiction/Time Travel from Risen Books. People go missing every day—many meet with foul play, some leave the social grid by choice, but others are never accounted for. . .where do they go?

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley — A Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah. When an isolated homeschooling widow makes a stealthy bid to escape a cultic group, an outspoken professor encourages her to stand up to her abuser but brings his own set of complications.

Wyoming Weddings by Vickie McDonough Susan Page Davis, and  Diana Brandmeyer — Romance from Barbour. Three modern Wyoming women face mountains on the road to love.

Verse of the Day

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23–24)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Verse of the Day

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:7–8)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Verse of the Day

I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. (Psalm 138:1–3)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hidden Affections by Delia Parr

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hidden Affections
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
Delia Parr


Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.


Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Tyler wears the burden of legally being a divorcee, a difficult position for an upstanding young woman to find herself in.

While attempting to start a new life for herself, an unexpected turn of events once again has Annabelle married--this time to Harrison Graymoor, the most eligible, yet elusive, bachelor in Philadelphia. Harrison assures her that he will secure an annulment immediately, unaware that the constable has sent word of the marriage to the press in Philadelphia. And here things continue to go awry.

Harrison's past, a philanthropic cousin with his eye on Annabelle, and the appearance of Annabelle's ex-husband threaten the tentative relationship growing between Harrison and his "wife." For two individuals set against marriage, there are certainly a lot of second thoughts regarding the one forced upon them.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden Affections, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Friday, May 6, 2011

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
To Win Her Heart
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
Karen Witemeyer


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.

Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House. When she visited her publisher back in January of 2010, she was interviewed by the staff. If you'd like a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how she develops her story ideas and a description of her bumpy journey to publication, click here to listen to a podcast of that interview.  


After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she's reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she's finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi's prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

If you would like to read the first chapter of To Win Her Heart, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27 AMP)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Verse of the Day

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Gift by Bryan M. Litfin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Gift
Crossway Books (April 30, 2011)
Bryan Litfin


Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education. 


The Chiveis Trilogy takes readers hundreds of years into the future. War and disease have destroyed civilization as we know it. Much technology has been discarded and history is largely forgotten. Slowly, the few survivors have begun to build new communities, and kingdoms now prosper in a kind of feudal order. But the Word of God has been lost for centuries.

After the finding of an Old Testament in book one of the trilogy, The Gift picks up the story of Teo and Ana. Exiled from their homeland and trying to survive in unknown and dangerous lands, they search for any record of the missing Testament.

Their journeys lead them into the region we know as Italy. An elite society welcomes Ana, who finds she must choose between her new life and her dream of returning to Chiveis. Will Teo and Ana’s relationship withstand the circumstances and new enemies pulling them apart? And can Teo keep ahead of a powerful and mysterious force opposing his search for the New Testament?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Gift, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

The Gift Trailer from Crossway on Vimeo.

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. (Isaiah 59:1)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Verse of the Day

"The LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell." (Isaiah 58:11–12)

The Judgment by Beverly Lewis

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Judgment
Bethany House (April 5, 2011)
Beverly Lewis

Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


Rose Kauffman is engaged to Silas Good, a well-liked Amish fellow, so why does she still pine for Nick Franco, the former foster son of the bishop? Especially now that Nick has left the Amish community under a cloud of suspicion after the death of the bishop's biological son? Will Rose marry Silas, even while struggling with romantic feelings for Nick? Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, has returned to live at her parents' farm with her young daughter. Hen and her modern husband, Brandon, are separated by mutual agreement, although he is threatening to sue for custody of their daughter if Hen does not return soon. Will the judge rule in Brandon's favor? Is there any way Hen can reestablish her place among the People without sacrificing her marriage?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Judgment, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:

Review to come later.