Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Seed by Erik Guzman

About the Book:
The Seed (New Growth Press, May 2016)

Young Madeline and Roark are desperately running from the shadow that destroyed their home and is threatening their lives.

One day, they encounter Tatus, an older man who has sworn to avenge the death of his family at the hands of the shadow, and they form an alliance with him. Tatus promises that he can keep them safe from the shadow if they will help him build a fortress. So they build.

But as fortress-building consumes their lives, Madeline and Roark are increasingly filled with anger and fear, and an unseen evil threatens to ultimately destroy them. When they finally face the shadow, he presents them with an unthinkable offer that will reveal shocking secrets of the forgotten past, the unseen present, and the unimaginable future.

We’ve all had the feeling that something’s not quite right with our lives. It’s bigger than any specific failure or disappointment. It’s bigger than any person. No matter what you achieve or how much you drink or sleep, you can’t shake it. It haunts you-night and day-and propels you to do something. So you build. You build and build the maze that is your exhausting life. Sound vaguely familiar?

The Seed: A True Myth is a journey into the personal labyrinths we create to protect ourselves and those we love from the pain of living in a broken world. Guzman’s “true myth” takes the reader on an unforgettable journey that is, in essence, the grand narrative of God’s redemptive work in the world. This page-turning Christian fantasy tale is packed with mystery and drama, and readers will feel the weight and power of redemption as they journey alongside Guzman’s characters in their epic battle. The Seed deftly communicates the heart of Trinitarian theology through story—without using theological language or Christian terms—and reinforces biblical themes such as God’s character and man’s true identity and calling.


About the Author:
Erik Guzman is Vice President of Communications and Executive Producer at Key Life Network. He’s the cohost of the nationally syndicated talk show Steve Brown, Etc. and announcer for "Key Life." His writing has been featured in Key Life's magazine and online at,, Burnside Writers Collective, and Sojourners ( He is also a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a drummer, and a 5th degree black belt in Aikido. Erik, his wife, and three children live near Orlando, Florida.

Margie’s Comments:
The Seed is an interesting book on several levels, though I found it somewhat difficult reading. I’m not sure why. I don’t normally mind reading allegorical or mythical books. In fact I’m in the minority when it comes to other writer/editor friends in that I like speculative/fantasy/allegorical fiction.

But this was hard for me to get into. Maybe because it started out rather dark. But I kind of expected that, knowing the basic subject matter. Maybe because the timeline jumped about rather than in a straight line. But even that I could handle once I understood why the author chose to write it that way.

The characters were okay, though I had trouble getting into them at first as well. Again I think that might have been the timeline-jumping thing. Also the lack of names and then name changes for each of the characters was a little tricky to keep up with.

But in the end, I did like the book. However, I think you’ve really got to enjoy this genre if you’re going to read this book. And it does help to have a good grasp of allegory and allegorical features and the theology behind the story. So not a highly recommended book, but not a “don’t ever read this book,” either.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Medical Judgment by Richard L. Mabry, M.D./eReader Giveaway & Review

Author: Richard Mabry

Just what the doctor ordered: heart-thumping suspense and intrigue, courtesy of Richard Mabry’s new medical drama, Medical Judgment. Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her and set a fire at her home. Trying to recover from the traumatic deaths of her husband and infant daughter is tough enough, but she has no idea what will come next. As the threats on her life continue to escalate, so do the questions: Who is doing this? Why are they after her? And with her only help being unreliable suitors in competition with each other, whom can she really trust?

Join Richard in celebrating the release of Medical Judgment by entering to win an e-reader!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Medical Judgment
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 21st. The winner will be announced June 22nd on the Litfuse blog.

# # #

About the Book:

Medical Judgment (Abingdon Press, May 2016)

Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she’s about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn’t think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her—and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, and they’re both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won’t protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?

About the Author:

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.

Find out more about Richard at

Margie’s Comments:
Once again, “Doc” Mabry has come through with another excellent medical suspense. Medical Judgment is his latest release from Abingdon Press. As I read, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the story with Mabry’s latest characters, who are varied and well developed. Although the stage was set for the ending, it was still a surprise when Sarah’s stalker was revealed. So kudos to “Doc” for another excellent read. Again, I can highly recommend Medical Judgment to anyone who loves to read medical suspense.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

 About the Book:
The Beautiful Pretender (Thomas Nelson, May 2016)

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?


About the Author:
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

Margie’s Comments:
I love Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale retellings, and her latest book The Beautiful Pretender does not disappoint. Of course who doesn’t respond well to any “Beauty and the Beast” tale? Including Disney’s rendition of the old fairy tale. But I think the most satisfying aspect of Melanie Dickerson’s books is the faith element that she includes. When Avelina is forced by her master, the Earl of Plimmwald, to stand in for his daughter at the Margrave of Thornbeck’s test for a bride she has nowhere else to turn to for help but to her faith in God. So when she finds herself in a situation with worse consequences than her failure to the Earl of Plimmwald, her only recourse is to tell the truth . . . no matter the cost. The main characters in The Beautiful Pretender are endearing, even “the beast.” And the plot is well developed, making for a very satisfying, and surprisingly quick, read.