Thursday, June 30, 2011

Verse of the Day

Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me. Love GOD, all you saints; GOD takes care of all who stay close to him, But he pays back in full those arrogant enough to go it alone. Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up. Expect GOD to get here soon. (Psalm 31:14-15, 23-24 MSG)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Constantine Codex by Paul Maier

From Glass Road Public Relations:


Dr. Paul L. Maier is The Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. His novels include two historical documentaries: Pontius Pilate and The Flames of Rome, as well as a theological thriller that became #1 national bestseller in religious fiction: A Skeleton in God's Closet.  A sequel,More Than a Skeleton, appeared in 2003. His non-fiction works include In the Fullness of Time, Josephus - The Essential Works, andEusebius -- The Church.  More than five million Maier books are now in print in twenty languages, as well as over 250 scholarly articles and reviews in professional journals. He has also penned seven children's books, and produced three four-hour video series dealing with Jesus, St. Paul, and the early church.


A shocking discovery throws Harvard professor Jonathan Weber into the international spotlight---and could change the way the world sees the Bible. While touring Greek and Turkish monasteries, he finds an ancient manuscript that includes a lost ending of Mark and a 67th book. When the codex is stolen, Jon races to recover it---before it's lost forever!

Renowned church historian and novelist Dr. Paul Maier revives the beloved character Dr. Jonathan Weber (Skeleton in God's Closet, and More Than a Skeleton) to envision the lost ending to Mark...and a Second Acts. His seamless inclusion of canonical history into the suspenseful tale ensures readers come away with a greater understanding of the origins of Scripture and the lengths to which early Christians went to ensure the continuation of the gospel story throughout time.

Aside from fascinating details and engrossing storytelling, The Constantine Codex includes an open, rigorous debate between Dr. Weber and a moderate leader of Islam that should serve as a worthy example for real-world engagements.

MARGIE'S COMMENTS: I'm behind on my review reading, but I have read the first couple of chapters of The Constantine Codex. Very interesting. I'll be finishing the book soon and will post a review then. So check back sometime next week.

Verse of the Day

Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble. (Psalm 119:165)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Verse of the Day

O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness . . . make Your way straight before me. (Psalm 5:8) Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:5) In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6) Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Verse of the Day

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. (Psalm 23:1–3 NLT)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Winning Him without Words by Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Winning Him Without Words
Regal (February 15, 2011)
Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller


Lynn Donovan

Verse: John 15:5 Apart from Me you can do nothing.

Tagline: Challenging Women to Live in Truth

A passionate writer and speaker, Lynn is a woman who presents a compelling message to encourage women to thrive in their marriage. She speaks at events nationwide where she challenges the myths women believe about love, pointing them to life-changing freedom through a relationship with Jesus. She reveals the zany yet meaningful stories of marriage challenges, truths, and triumphs in her life and invites women to share her view from her front row seat to an amazing journey; life lived for Christ.

Married since 1992 to her best friend and biggest enthusiast, Mike, she lives in Temecula, California. They have a son and a daughter and a wacky dog named Peanut. She loves to laugh, enjoys a strong cup of coffee and Fantasy Football and not necessarily in that order.

She lives each day in awe of the grace of God in her ordinary life.

Dineen Miller

Verse: Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Tagline: Igniting the Soul

Dineen readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. And it’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories will always be of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family.

Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader, and a small group leader have prepared her for God’s calling on her life—to write for and speak to those in mismatched marriages like hers.

In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Dineen writes for Laced with Grace and various other fiction online magazines and newsletters. She’s also won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine.

Married for 23 years to a guy who keeps her young, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two precious daughters, and their dog Shasta, who no doubt is an angel in disguise.


Week after week, they sit in church . . . alone. They are the spiritually mismatched, those who are committed to a spouse who does not share their faith. Feeling abandoned by their spouse and forgotten by their church, they live out their faith in survival mode, guarding the spiritual flame yet never feeling free to share it. But God wants them to thrive—not just survive.

Winning Him Without Words presents 10 Christ centered keys to thriving in a spiritual mismatch. Readers are encouraged to commit to Christian community, to release their spouse to God’s capable hands, to find peace in their relationships with Christ and with their spouse, to continue their pursuit of a growing faith and to love their spouse with fresh enthusiasm. God wants every marriage to exude peace and love, and Winning Him Without Words empowers readers to create that environment in their homes and thrive as God works.

Watch their book video:

If you would like to read a sample chapter of Winning Him Without Words, go HERE.

Margie's comments: Several years ago, Dineen told me of this book she was writing with Lynn. When she asked me later to edit a portion of the book, I was drawn into their topic by the wisdom and grace both authors portrayed as they expertly handled this difficult topic. If you are a woman who is in an unequally yoked marriage or know someone who is, I highly recommend this challenging yet encouraging book. You are not alone, as you will find as you read through these ten keys "that will release God's love into your marriage."

Verse of the Day

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:1–2 NLT)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Verse of the Day

To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power. (2 Thessalonians 1:11) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Verse of the Day

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf

About the book: A Reluctant Queen

An inspiring re-imagining of the tale of Esther, a young Jewish woman thrust from a life of obscurity into a life of power, wealth, intrigue . . . and tender love.

See the story of Esther in an entirely new way-with all the political intrigue and tension you remember, but told as a passionate and tender love story between a young man and woman. Misunderstood by many, King Xerxes was a powerful but lonely man. Esther's beauty caught the eye of the young king, but it was her spirit that captured his heart.

Imagine anew the story of Esther, one of our faith's great heroines, destined to play a key role in the history of Christianity. More here.

About Joan: Joan Wolf was born in New York City but has lived most of her adult life with her husband in Connecticut, where she raised two children and countless numbers of assorted animals. Joan is the author of numerous historical novels including The Road to Avalon which Publishers Weekly lauded as “historical fiction at its finest.”
For more about Joan and her other books, please visit

Link to buy the book:

Q & A with Author Joan Wolf
A Reluctant Queen, Thomas Nelson, June 2011

What draws you to historical/biblical fiction?
I have always adored history, a love I inherited from my father.  He used to discuss people from history as if they were people in the current newspapers.  I think almost 90% of my books must have an historical setting.

You’ve had a successful career writing for the ABA, why start writing for the CBA now?
A few years ago I had an extraordinary experience where God touched my life.  This encounter stirred my interest in writing about other people who had experienced the presence of God in their lives and the CBA seemed to be the best place for me to do that.

What is it about the historical account of Esther that led you to write a romance story about her?
When I was a girl Esther fascinated me.  It seemed wonderful that God had chosen a woman to be the person who would save His people.  And, since I am a romantic soul, I also thought that there must have been a great love between her and the king for him to have done as she asked.

Why did you move away from the traditional interpretation of King Ahasuerus’ conduct?
I always thought that Ahasuerus must have loved Esther deeply because he listened to her and revoked the edict that Haman had sent out.  A king who not only allows his wife to break into his religious feast without punishment, but also comes to have dinner with her the following day, must care for her very much indeed.  And such a man must be a much nicer person than the king traditionally portrayed by Xerses/ Ahasuerus.

You love animals.  Do you ever incorporate them into your books?
Do I not ever incorporate animals into my books?  I am famous for my horses, but dogs play their part as well.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t put Esther on a horse, but I did make Ahasuerus a fanatical horseman.

What is your favorite historical era to write about?
I love to go way back in time, to periods where the records are mostly archeological.  I actually did three books set in the Upper Paleolithic, the period of the last ice age.  My next book is about Rahab, and I’m having such fun reading about pottery and stone remains from the late Bronze Age.

Margie's comments: I've always been fascinated by Esther's story. And I've long been of Joan Wolf's opinion that there must have been a true love between Esther and Ahasuerus for him to do what he did in removing Haman and giving Esther's people a way to defend themselves against the threat Haman posed. So when I was given a chance by Litfuse to review Joan Wolf's debut CBA novel, A Reluctant Queen, I jumped at the chance. It also helps that I'm leading the discussion as my Sunday School class studies Beth Moore's study on Esther.

I'm fascinated at the perspective Joan Wolf has taken with fleshing out the story of Esther, bringing the characters and the time alive a little differently than the traditional interpretations of the times usually give us. But as always, I'm pulling for Esther, the brave woman who yielded herself to God to be the servant queen He needed her to be "for such a time as this."

If you are a fan of biblical fiction, I highly recommend this retelling of a familiar Bible story, A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf.

To celebrate Joan Wolf’s debut Christian Fiction title, A Reluctant Queen, Joan and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away A Reluctant Queen prize package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf (for KINDLE)

To enter, just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the contest ends on June 20th. Winner will be announced on June 21st during Joan’s A Reluctant Queen Book Club Party on Facebook (details below)! Hope to see you there – bring your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Join the fun on June 21st! 

Joan will be wrapping up the blog tour and Kindle giveaway promotion during her A Reluctant Queen FACEBOOK party on her FB author page. During the party she'll announce the winner of the Kindle, host a book chat discussion, test your trivia skills (Is Esther's story in A Reluctant Queen fact or fiction?), and more. Don't miss this chance to meet the author and make some new friends!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pompeii by T. L. Higley

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
B&H Books (June 1, 2011)
T. L. Higley


A fiction aficionado since grade school, T.L. Higley, author of Pompeii: City on Fire (B&H Publishing House, June 2011) started her first novel at the age of eight.

Now the author of nine historical fiction novels, including the popular Seven Wonders series, Higley isn’t just transporting readers: She’s transporting herself, too.

“My Iifelong interest in history and mythology has taken me to Italy, Greece, Egypt, Rome, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, where I’ve gotten to study those ancient cultures in rich detail,” says Higley. “It’s my desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past, and I figure what better way to do that than to visit the cultures themselves?”

In addition to her accomplished novelist career, Higley is a business entrepreneur and a mother. In fact, for Pompeii, she brought her daughter along with her to Italy for the research trip.

“We gave it to her as a graduation present, not only because Italy is terrific, but because I believe in exposing children to global cultures,” says Higley, who became a student herself again this year. She’s now a graduate student at American Public University, earning her master’s degree in Ancient and Classical Studies.

When Higley isn’t traveling on research trips, writing her novels, or studying for class, she operates four online retail companies, including – a family-run business that began as a way for her oldest daughter to make some extra money for camp. Today, it is a go-to site for parents, children and teachers all over the country, looking for beads and other kid-friendly craft supplies.

Higley lives with her husband and her three other children (aforementioned daughter now in college) just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   


Pompeii, a city that's many things to many people. For Cato, it's the perfect escape from a failed political career in Rome. A place to start again, become a winemaker. But when a corrupt politician wrongfully jails Cato's sister, he must oust the man from power to save her.

For Ariella, Pompeii is a means to an end. As a young Jew, she escaped the fall of Jerusalem only to endure slavery to a cruel Roman general. She ends up in Pompeii, disguised as a young man and sold into a gladiator troupe. Her anger fuels her to fight well, hoping to win the arena crowds and reveal her gender at the perfect time. Perhaps then she will win true freedom.

But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii. Political corruption, religious persecution, and family peril threaten to destroy Ariella and Cato, who are thrown together in the battle to survive. As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, the two must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love, before the fiery ash buries Pompeii, leaving the city lost to the world.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the Prologue of Pompeii, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Verse of the Day

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:1–2)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Verse of the Day

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night, I have set the Lord before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. . . . You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:5–8, 11)

Tuesday, June 14, 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. Abraham didn't focus on his own impotence and say, "It's hopeless. . . ." Nor did he survey Sarah's decades of infertility and give up. He didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. (Romans 4:18–21 MSG)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Verse of the Day

Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3–4)

Friday, June 10, 2011

ACFW June 2011 Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.

 A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley — Romance from Thomas Nelson. Trouble may follow Lucy wherever she goes, but with the help of God and the rugged, reclusive David Wolf, she'll never face adversity alone.

Behind the Badge by Susan Sleeman — A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired Suspense. Can a rookie sheriff's deputy find a killer before the killer takes the lives of the people she loves?

Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love — General Fiction from Thomas Nelson. Unless she can let go of her fears and learn to trust again, Ada may lose the heart of a good man.

Broken Wings: A Novel by Carla Stewart — General Fiction  from Faith Words (Hachette). One woman clings to her memories. The other wants to erase hers. A story of an unlikely friendship birthed in providence and bathed in grace.

Forever After (A Hanover Falls Novel) by Deborah Raney — General Fiction from Howard (Simon & Schuster). A series of arson fires at Hanover Falls rebuilt homeless shelter threatens its residents and casts new suspicions about the original fire.

Home Sweet Home by Kim Watters — Romance from Love Inspired.  Finding a home is all Abby dreamed about, until she discovers the man she falls in love with has a less permanent agenda.

Idaho Brides by Erica Vetsch — Romance from Barbour. Experience the Wild West through the eyes of the three McConnell brothers who long to overcome their troubled childhood as drunkard’s sons.

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa by Melanie Dobson — Romance from Summerside Press. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace—until now.

Protecting Her Own by Margaret Daley — Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired Suspense. Protecting her own father when an assailant targets him, bodyguard Cara Madison with Connor Fitzgerald, an ex-boyfriend, searches for a would be killer while fighting her feelings toward Connor.

Purple Knot by Raquel Byrnes — Romance from White Rose. With her faith shaken and her world cast in shadows, can Reyna trust the God she believes abandoned her?

Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond — Romance from Thomas Nelson. How could a marriage possibly work when the couple has only exchanged a few letters?                            

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo — Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House). Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away.

The Irresistible Earl by Regina Scott — A Romance from Love Inspired Historical. If Chase Dearborn, the powerful Earl of Allyndale, found Meredee Price's family in Scarborough, surely he'd continue his quest to challenge Meredee's stepbrother to a duel. Meredee is determined to avoid the earl at all costs.

The Story in the Stars, Gateway to Gannah, Book 1 by Yvonne Anderson — Fantasy from Risen Books. The inhabitants of the planet Gannah are known as bloodthirsty savages who once tried to conquer the galaxy. Now a plague has ravaged the planet and only one survivor remains.

The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser — General Fiction from Bethany House. The Sweetest Thing is the story of two girls—opposites in every way—fighting for the same thing: survival amidst tumultuous change.

The Wedding Season: The Gentleman Takes a Bride by Louise M. Gouge — Romance from Love Inspired Historical. Surely Elizabeth Moberly was born to be a nobleman's bride. She can't possibly be attracted to the untitled stranger who interrupts her cousin's wedding.

Under a Desert Sky by DiAnn Mills — General Fiction from Summerside Press. A race from danger. . .straight into the arms of love.

Verse of the Day

"Keep up your courage, . . . for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told." (Acts 27:25)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Verse of the Day

The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:9–10)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Verse of the Day

O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! . . . When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! (Psalm 8:1–5)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Verse of the Day

I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Verse of the Day

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. . . . But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him. Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD. . . . In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety. (Psalm 4)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Darkness Follows
Realms (May 3, 2011)
Mike Dellosso


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, the International Christian Writers, and International Thriller Writers. His short stories have appeared with Amazon Shorts and in Coach's Midnight Diner genre anthology. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

Mike Dellosso writes novels of suspense for both the mind and the soul. He writes to both entertain and challenge. In addition to his novels, Mike is also an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and a faculty member at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference. 


Sam Travis lives in a Civil War era farmhouse in Gettysburg, PA, where he awakens one morning to find an old journal with an entry by a Union soldier, Lt. Whiting…written in Sam’s own handwriting. When this happens several more times, both at night and during waking “trances,” Sam begins to question his own sanity while becoming obsessed with Lt. Whiting and his bone-chilling journal entries. As the entries begin to mimic Sam’s own life, he is drawn into an evil plot that could cost many lives, including his own.

Can the unconditional love of Sam's daughter, Eva, break through his hardened heart before a killer on the loose catches up with them and Sam’s past spurs him to do the unthinkable?

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Darkness Follows, go HERE

Watch the book video:

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

"I am the LORD, I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness." (Exodus 34:6 NLT)