Friday, February 27, 2009

Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Daisy Chain

Zondervan (March 1, 2009)


Mary DeMuth


Mary E. DeMuth is an expert in Pioneer Parenting. She enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow.

Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005).

Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, Watching the Tree Limbs (nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing On Dandelions (NavPress, 2006).

Mary has spoken at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW Conference, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and at various churches and church planting ministries. Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, and planting a church.


The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.

In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom.

Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Daisy Chain, go HERE

Margie's Comments: Mary DeMuth has once again brought us a story of pain, anger, and guilt in the midst of the hope we have in Christ, of truth, love, and freedom. Redemption is a theme that runs through all of Mary's books. And I can appreciate that, since I have experienced all of these. God's love and grace continue to amaze me when I honestly assess who I am without Christ.

Mary doesn't shy away from the most difficult issues of life. And Daisy Chain is at times dark and difficult to read. However, Mary's literary style draws the reader into the fictional world of Defiance, Texas. While I like to read fiction that allows me to escape into another world, I also enjoy fiction that challenges me to stand strong in the battle against evil. In Daisy Chain, Mary definitely challenges.

In some ways Daisy Chain was very hard for me to read in that it reminded me of things I would rather forget. Things I wish weren't true in the real world. But the sad fact of life is that we are a fallen people. And we can't fix things on our own. We all need a Savior, and many who choose to hide their sin under the cloak of the church or religion haven't confronted the fact of their own depravity and have refused to accept the responsibility of their actions.

Mankind's hope is in knowing and experiencing God's everlasting love and learning to accept God's amazing grace. He knew us before He ever created this world . . . and He loved us even then, in spite of our sin. Daisy Chain is a strong reminder that because God knew what sin would do in this world, He made provision for our salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. He also made us with free will, able to choose our path through life. What I think most of us don't realize is the long-term effects of choosing to go our own way rather than choosing to follow Christ.

I appreciate Mary and her willingness to write about some of the toughest issues of sin's consequences. I appreciate her literary style of writing that pulls me gently into the story of her characters. But be warned . . . it's not always easy reading. And it will challenge you to think about your own choices in life and how those choices affect others for generations to come.

Verse of the Day

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Verse of the Day

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:8–9)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Verse of the Day

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not man who walks to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Book Therapy

One last post about My Book Therapy. Here are a couple of YouTube links for you to hear from Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren, two of the therapists at My Book Therapy. They are excellent writers, coaches, and encouragers who believe in hard work. It's not easy to write a book. At least not as easy as we think it might be when we first get started. So check them out. Become a part of My Book Therapy voices. I hope that many of you will be encouraged to stay to the course until you can write The End on your manuscript. There's nothing like that feeling, knowing that you've done something few others can say they've done. (Of course, just because you can write The End at the end of the manuscript, it doesn't mean that you have a publishable manuscript. In my opinion, writing the first draft is the easy part! The revisions and polishing are the hard work. But it's a process I really enjoy. *smile*)

Don't forget to enter the contests. The deadline for these are coming up fast!

Enter the contests for the LOVE TO WRITE blog tour!

You have two chances to win!

Want to win a copy of From the Inside…Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You for your very own? Leave a comment here and tell us what kind of novel you have in YOU.


Do you already have your novel down on the page? Does it need a little THERAPY? Enter to win 10% off a Book Therapy Session (that’s a savings of $30+) by leaving a comment here telling us a brief synopsis of your story!

All winners will be chosen at random. Contest ends 2/28 and the winners will be announced on March 2nd!

Verse of the Day

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Verse of the Day

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tender Grace by Jackina Stark

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Tender Grace

Bethany House (February 1, 2009)


Jackina Stark


Jackina has spoken nationally and internationally at many retreats and seminars and enjoys running into many readers and former students. I have written frequently for both Christian Standard and Lookout, periodicals of Standard Publishing. Years ago I wrote two non-fiction books, published by College Press, but currently out of print. These days, I’m exploring fiction. My first novel, Tender Grace, will be released by Bethany House January 30, 2009, and a second, Things Worth Remembering, will be released in October, 2009. I’m working on new projects, including a third novel, as time permits. Whether speaking or writing, I love the opportunity to tell about Him whom Jesus called “Holy Father” and “the only true God.”

She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband, and she spends most of her free time doing is reading and writing. That is what she usually does when she's not teaching, enjoying the children and grandchildren, or sitting on the back porch drinking a Diet Coke and watching her husband till the garden!


Audrey Eaton awakes at three in the morning and gets up to retrieve her husband, Tom, from the recliner where he has fallen asleep watching a ball game. But when she enters the living room and looks at his gentle face in the soft lamp light, she knows their time together is over. Grief attacks her until all she can think about is how much she wants her old life back. Determined to find healing, she embarks on a journey to the one place Tom and she always intended to visit but never did. Along the way, she discovers, through shared experiences with friends old and new, the meaning of the "tender graces" God provides each and every day.

I've quit reading—even bestsellers, even the newspaper, even my Bible. I've also quit listening to music. This lack of appreciation for things I once loved is beginning to define me. More mornings than I can count, I say to myself before I open my eyes, "I don't want to do this." In the days shortly following Tom's death, that made sense, but what does it mean now? That I'm in trouble? One of the best qualities of the former me was thankfulness. As I was trying to sleep last night, needing Tom to be curled up behind me, his left arm slung across me, I realized to my horror that I couldn't remember the last time I was truly thankful. I think of a line from an old hymn: "Awake, my soul, and sing." I miss Tom. I also miss me.

Determined to find healing, Audrey Eaton embarks on a trip to the one place she and her husband always intended to visit but never did. When things don't go as planned, will she embrace the unexpected graces that guide her journey?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tender Grace, go HERE


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Verse of the Day

God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.


From the Inside…Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You!

Monday I mentioned that My Book Therapy blog took a writer step-by-step through the process of writing a novel. Since then that material is compiled into book form that is now for sale. Following is more information about the book, including the introduction and an excerpt from the book. I've included the link at the end when you can go to buy it. Remember you can win a free copy in one of the two contests I included info. Please check Monday's blog post for that as well.

Have you always wanted to write a novel, but didn’t know where to start? This book is for you. With proven techniques, easy to understand explanations and practical steps, From The Inside. . .Out will teach you how a story is structured then take you through the process of creating and marketing your novel. Topics include: Character-driven plotting, How to HOOK your reader, The elements and flow of SCENES, How to build STORYWORLD, Secrets to Sizzling Dialogue, Proven Self-Editing techniques, Synopsis and Query letter writing, How to manage your writing career. . .and everything in between! By award-winning authors Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck

Introduction page:
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel…This book is for you

We all have goals, right? Dreams, desires, hopes that have been niggling at us for years. For aspiring authors, it’s the dream of writing a novel. You’re a writer if every time you hear an interesting job description or read a compelling story in the newspaper, you think, hey, that would make an interesting premise for a novel. You’re a writer if, when you get introduced to someone new, you can’t help but ask about their lives and can barely resist the urge to take out a pen and paper and jot down some notes. You’re a writer if, when you’re reading a novel, you occasionally take a breath and say, wow, I want to write like that. If you’re a writer, this book is for you.

I remember the day when I decided to write a novel. I was in Siberia, in the middle of a solemn and icy winter. I had four children, all under the age of six, and my husband was gone, again, planting a church. I had read everything in the house at least twice and decided that my own imagination could do at least as well as one of the books I’d devoured in a day. (Boy, did I have much to learn!) I sat down at the computer and said, “I’m writing a book.”

That’s about as far as I got. Because once I actually sat down and stared at the computer, I HAD NO IDEA HOW A BOOK WAS PUT TOGETHER. Where did I start? How did I develop characters? What’s my point? And most importantly – how did I get it from my brain to the computer and into print?

It took me a year of writing, first on Saturdays, and then every day. But I finished my first book. (To all who think that then I ran out and found a publisher – not! 4 books later…)

What I learned through that first novel was that:
1. Writing a good novel was harder than I thought, and I needed a lot of work.
2. I love to write and was willing to make the journey, whatever it took.
3. Even if I never got published, God could use my writing journey for good in my life.

A writer’s life is solitary, hard work, fraught with rejection, frustration, and even envy. BUT, if you look at it as another way that you will grow and experience your world, then it’s a journey that is ripe with rewards.

This is the book I wish I had when I first started. It’s because of those years of angst and study that I started My Book Therapy, a blog about how to write and a fiction editing service to help writers along the way. Because, see, I was in Siberia. As in RUSSIA. Alone. Just me, some novels, and my imagination. I wished I had a reference guide, something to organize all the information I needed in one place, maybe a step-by-step journey, and a companion/encourager to help me complete my dream. Sure, I had writing books, but they made the process so…complicated. I knew it had to be easier. Inside Out is MY writing manual – what I developed and now use to create stories. It’s my successes, my systems…and my secrets. And, as a bonus, you also get the perspective of Rachel Hauck, my pal and My Book Therapy partner, thrown in to add another rich perspective. It’s the manual of writing the books we know how to write.



Four Keys to a Writer's Life

As you prep for our journey, I want you to start exercising! We're going to get in shape! Work off the dust of our minds and tighten the flab of our daily schedules so we can utilize the writing time we have in our days.

Writing is much like every other discipline. It takes commitment. After all, as much as we'd like it to happen, those books don't just download from our brains automatically! It takes nurturing. Did you know that your brain has a well of words for each day, and you need to replenish those words after you use them? It takes time (something we're going to figure out how to get!), and it takes a game plan.

Let's start with Commitment. The fact is, writing will take you away from your family, your health club, your church, your social groups, your online gaming, your Sudoku, your television…you get the drift. There are costs. The keys to keeping those costs in line are:

1. Priorities
2. Balance
3. Perspective

Writing should ALWAYS come after spending time with God (that's also the nurturing part!) and rarely above family and church, but sometimes it does come before workouts and social life.
My friend Judy Baer (writing coach, extraordinaire) shared this illustration with me once: “Stand on one foot and balance. You can’t stand perfectly still, but rather, you have lean to different sides to keep your balance.”

Writing and life should be like this -- different sides require attention in different waves. If you are to invest in writing, then know that you might have to give up other things. Don’t worry—it’s not forever!. But for a while. If you were training for the Olympics, you'd have a training schedule, and it would ramp up when you had specific events to meet. Take a look at your life and see if you can carve out one hour per day, or three per week to invest in writing. Then, put that on your calendar in RED. It's an appointment. Be there.

Nurturing: Your brain needs a steady supply of new words, spiritual nourishment, research facts, and good writing to keep it fresh and ready to put prose on the page.

Spiritual Nourishment: Writing is largely a spiritual event. You are connecting on a thematic level with your reader, and that happens in the spiritual realm. Sure, we access many of these metaphors through emotion, but looking past feelings to their deeper meaning and sources helps broaden your understanding of your book, your character’s journey, and most importantly WHY you are spending time writing this book. Make a habit of spending time soaking in God's Word, or a devotional book like Streams in the Desert, or whatever form of spiritual food you need for your diet. I like to read theology books, but sometimes a great devotional book puts my spirit into the right frame to see beyond myself, to tap into the bigger picture and inspires me to write.

Research: make it your goal to keep up with the world. Technology. Medicine. Trends. Don't be afraid to use the Discovery channel for interesting plot ideas! Know what’s happening in culture and politics. Read biographies, current, and past – you’ll be inspired with new story ideas. Subscribe to Reader’s Digest and National Geographic. (At least TiVo the channel!) To communicate to our world, you need to understand it.

Read Up: Fill your mind with great writing. Start your writing time reading the Psalms, or perhaps a book of poetry. Read the classics, yes, but also make it your goal to read in your genre! Most importantly, find authors that are better than you and soak in their words, analyzing why they are fabulous. Feeding your mind and your soul will give you the materials you can draw from as you create.

Time: This is one of the hardest areas for new writers. Most of us don’t have hours in the day to wait for the muse to find us. We have thirty minutes after supper, or perhaps three hours on a Saturday morning.

Here's a few strategies for maximizing that time:

1. Plan ahead for your writing time and get your family to help you protect it. I have a sign on my door that reads, “Cry Me a River.” In short…they’d better have a good reason to come through that door when it’s closed (only if there’s blood or fire is the general rule). When my children were young, I always had an open door policy. However, I asked them to respect my time, just like I respected theirs. That meant that I spent time with them first – reading, helping with homework, fixing dinner – whatever they needed. I also involved them in the writing process. If they allowed me to finish a chapter, we’d celebrate with something fun (yes, there was a lot of ice cream in those early days). And I promised that when my first book got published, I’d take them to Disney World. I kept that promise. Enlisting your family’s help will free you from guilt AND give them an opportunity to share in your victories as you write. Make them your partners.

2. Keep a notebook of ideas that will invariably come to you as you wash dishes, walk the dog, clean the bathroom, drive to work, sit in a boring meeting, or even in the middle of the night. Sometimes you can't dash to your computer to put in that perfect sentence--so put it in your notebook. You'll have a collection of words and sentences to jumpstart your creativity when you sit down to write.

3. Don't clean up your writing space mid-project (okay, I know, that sounds like a messy person's excuse but...) if you simply walk away from your computer after you finish a scene, you'll be able to slip right back into it when you come back. I always suggest having a special room to write in so you can close the door, even if it's a section of your bedroom--something I did for years. I had a little garage-sale chair with a pile of books on the opposite side of the bed--my little alcove. But, if you can't find a separate space, invest in a little basket to throw all your writing gear in (research books, etc), and then set it somewhere where it won't be
“reorganized” (as my husband calls it!). Keeping your research handy helps you maximize your time when you sit down and dive back into your story.

Finally, you need a Game Plan, and I'm not talking plotting versus seat-of-the-pants writing here--I'm talking about a little journal that you keep AFTER your writing session. Write down any thoughts you have for the next chapter, as well as your goal for the next writing session. Maybe you want to go back and revise the previous chapter or fix certain words. Maybe you need more research. Maybe you just want to plow ahead, but have notes for revisions.

Keeping a journal of your writing time helps you focus on each writing session without having to ask, "Now, where was I?" This is especially true if a week or more has gone by in between writing sessions.

Now, for all of you who have little children and think, "Hey, I don't even have time to wash my hair—I can't possibly find time to write,” my words to you are, well, let's see, greasy hair versus seeing your dreams come true. You can wash your hair when your kids go to school. No, I'm not that bad! I like clean hair, but I well remember the days when I typed with my children on my lap, or stayed up late with my laptop while my husband snoozed beside me.

He sure woke up when I got that first contract.


Join me on the journey and learn how to write the novel in you!
God bless you on your writing journey!
Susan May Warren

Link to buy the book:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gingham Mountain by Mary Connealy

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Gingham Mountain

Barbour Books (February 1, 2009)


Mary Connealy


Mary's writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence—oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. She just kept typing away. She thinks the reason she did it was because she was more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when she really ought to speak up (or far worse, speak up when she ought to sit silently).

So, Mary had all these things she want to say in her head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store; the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves; the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. She keep all this wit to herself, much to the relief of all who know her, and then wrote all her great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic, if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.

So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.

Mary's journey to publication is the same as everyone’s except for a few geniuses out there who make it hard for all of us. And even they probably have an Ode to Roast Beef or two in their past.

There are two other books in this Lassoed In Texas Series: Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon


All aboard for a delightful, suspense-filled romance, where a Texan is torn between his attraction to a meddlesome schoolmarm and the charms of a designing dressmaker. When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, she's determined to keep him from committing her orphans to hard labor on his ranch. How far will she go to ensure their welfare?

Grant Cooper is determined to provide a home for the two kids brought in by the orphan train and runs head-on into the new schoolmarm, who believes he's made slave labor out of eight orphaned children. He crowds too many orphans into his rickety house, just like Hannah Cartwright's cruel father. Grant's family of orphans have been mistreated too many times by judgmental school teachers. Now the new schoolmarm is the same, except she's so pretty and she isn't really bad to his children, it's Grant she can't stand.

But he is inexplicably drawn to Hannah. Can he keep his ragtag family together while steering clear of love and marriage? Will he win her love or be caught in the clutches of a scheming seamstress?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gingham Mountain, go HERE

Margie's comments: The third book in Mary Connealy's Lassoed in Texas series is as wonderfully funny (and serious) as the first two books, Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon. I love it when Barbour asks me to proofread any of Mary's books because I know I'm going to have laugh out loud moments throughout a well-written novel. Mary has the wonderful ability to find humor in almost every situation. Her characters are real and deal with real-life fears and circumstances. And by the end of the book, they, too, can see the humor God brings into serious and difficult issues. I highly recommend the entire series, but you don't have to have read the previous books to enjoy a great read with Gingham Mountain.

Verse of the Day

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. (Psalm 59:16)

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. (Matthew 14:31)

Father, I praise You. You always hear my cry for help. When I am stressed, You give me rest. Though I fall, I am not utterly cast down, for You are there, lifting me up. When I make wrong choices, You often allow me to go to the end of my strength and beyond my ability to cope. But because I am Yours, You hear my cry for help and You give me the strength and ability I need. Your love never fails. Your strength keeps me going no matter whether the circumstances surrounding me, draining me, are of my own making or not. You are my refuge and strength in times of distress. Even when I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel You are there holding me, guiding me. You remind me to look up, to let go of the weights that are hindering me, and to call on You for all I need. Thank You.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Verse of the Day

The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. (Psalm 12:6)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Write a Book with My Book Therapy Voices in 2009

Last year I posted about My Book Therapy Voices because they were giving us step-by-step instructions on how to write a novel. This year we get to write a novel as a group, so we get to put into practice what we learned. Read below and then check out the entire blog tour here.

Remember those games you used to play where your friend started the story, and you finished it? Or the “Choose your own ending” books? Ever wanted to be a part of the story process, giving input on the character’s decisions, learning how to write a book as you go? Me too!

Here at My Book Therapy, we love to write, and we love to teach writers how to find their voice. So, in 2009 we’ll be writing a book together! Starting in January, we’ll create characters, a plot, develop conflict, the black moment, the epiphany and finally…the happy ending. Then, week by week, you’ll be a part of the creation process, voting on the next step of our hero’s journey, watching the book take life, and learning the nuances of crafting a story. You’ll Blog-A-Book with the My Book Therapy authors and get tools to help you how to write your own novel.

And, at the end of the year, we’ll have a book we’ve all created, something that we’ll publish! And, best of all, the proceeds will go to support IJM, an organization that fights human trafficking around the world.

I’m really excited about our new project, and can’t wait to see what the collective mind put together.
So, Come and Blog-A-Book. Learn. Fellowship. Bless.

My Book Therapy…Discover the writer in you.

For more information check out the My Book Therapy blog.

Here's information on the contests (yes, plural!) associated with My Book Therapy:

Enter the contests for the LOVE TO WRITE blog tour !

You have two chances to win!

Want to win a copy of From the Inside…Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You for your very own? Leave a comment here and tell us what kind of novel you have in YOU.


Do you already have your novel down on the page? Does it need a little THERAPY? Enter to win 10% off a Book Therapy Session (that’s a savings of $30+) by leaving a comment here telling us a brief synopsis of your story!

All winners will be chosen at random. Contest ends 2/28 and the winners will be announced on March 2nd!

Verse of the Day

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Verse of the Day

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Cry in the Night by Colleen Coble

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Cry In The Night

Thomas Nelson (February 3, 2009)


Colleen Coble


Author Colleen Coble's thirty novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best awards. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.

2004 More Than Magic winner for Best Inspirational Romance
Without a Trace, Thomas Nelson
2004 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year


The highly anticipated novel that delivers what romantic suspense fans have long awaited—the return to Rock Harbor.

Bree Nichols gets the shock of her life when her husband—presumed dead—reappears.

Bree Nichols and her search and rescue dog Samson discover a crying infant in the densely forested woods outside of Rock Harbor, Michigan. Against objections from her husband, Kade, who knows she'll become attached, Bree takes the baby in. Quickly she begins a search for the mother—presumably the woman reported missing just days earlier.
While teams scour the forests, Bree ferrets out clues about the missing woman. But she soon discovers something more shocking: Bree's former husband—long presumed dead in a plane crash—resurfaces. Is he really who he says he is? And should she trust him again after all these years?

An engaging, romantic suspense novel from critically-acclaimed author Colleen Coble.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cry in the Night, go HERE

Margie's comments: Colleen Coble has delivered yet another excellent book in the Rock Harbor series. When I got the galley pages to proofread, I was excited to learn that Colleen wrote another chapter in Bree Nichol's life. It felt like old-home week. I love Bree, Samson (her search-and-rescue dog), son Davey, and husband Kade. What a fun—and surprising—read. It was great to reconnect with all the characters who make up this series, as well as enjoy another great mystery. Even if you haven't read the other books in this series, if you're a mystery lover, you won't be disappointed with Cry in the Night.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Self-Editing TIps

Another use of commas that raises a lot of questions is the introductory comma—or more specifically, the comma used to set off introductory material in a sentence.

Let’s look at the following sentences without commas. Try to determine if a comma is needed, and if so, where the comma should go. (The examples I’m using come from Punctuation Plain and Simple by Edgar C. and Jean A. Alward.)

1. Walking through the woods on a brisk fall day can provide us with many rewarding experiences.

2. Having checked all accounts receivable the clerk concluded that somebody must have given him $24 too much.

3. To achieve the highest standards possible the school committee hired the best-qualified teachers available.

4. Without any obligation order your sample record today.

5. In a few cases you will find a winner.

6. At the edge of the deep Main woods near Moosehead Lake he built a small log cabin.

7. Consequently Tom must make the decision.

Okay, now let’s look at the answers and the reasons we use or don’t use a comma in these sentences.

1. Walking through the woods on a brisk fall day can provide us with many rewarding experiences.
This sentence doesn’t need a comma. The gerund phrase (Walking through the woods on a brisk fall day) is the subject of the sentence and can’t be separated from its predicate (can provide).

2. Having checked all accounts receivable, the clerk concluded that somebody must have given him $24 too much.
This is a participial (adjective) phrase describing the clerk. So it needs to be set apart from the rest of the sentence with a comma. Even if we moved that phrase to after clerk, we would need to set it off with commas: The clerk, having checked all accounts receivable, concluded that somebody must have given him $24 too much.

Hint: If you can put the phrase from the beginning of the sentence into the sentence somewhere, it needs a comma when used as an introduction to the sentence.

3. To achieve the highest standards possible, the school committee hired the best-qualified teachers available.
This is an infinitive phrase (to achieve is an infinitive: to + a verb). Again, for clarity and because of the natural pause after such a phrase, we need the comma.

That’s enough for today. Next time we will cover the four other examples of introductory commas.

Verse of the Day

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Isaiah 62:3

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Against All Odds by Irene Hannon

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Against All Odds

Revell (February 1, 2009)


Irene Hannon


Irene Hannon is an award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay . . . maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut.

Since then, she has written more than 25 romance and romantic suspense novels that have sold more than 1.5 million copies. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA award from Romance Writers of America (the “Oscar” of romantic fiction), the HOLT Medallion and a Reviewer’s Choice award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full-time. She is happy to say she has no regrets! As she points out, leaving behind the rush-hour commute, corporate politics, and a relentless BlackBerry that never slept was no sacrifice.

In her spare time, Irene enjoys hamming it up in community musical theater productions. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including South Pacific, Brigadoon, Oklahoma, The King and I, and Anything Goes. She also regularly performs with a six-person musical review troupe and is a cantor at her church (where she does NOT ham it up!).

When not otherwise occupied, Irene loves to cook and garden. She and her husband also enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop, and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.


For FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Evan Cooper and his partner, dignitary protection duty should have been a piece of cake. Unfortunately, Monica Callahan isn’t making it easy. Estranged from her diplomat father, who is involved in a sensitive hostage situation in the Middle East, she refuses to be intimidated by a related terrorist threat back in the States . . . until a chilling warning convinces her that the danger is very real—and escalating. As Coop and his partner do their best to keep her safe, David Callahan continues his work—triggering an abduction that puts his daughter’s life at risk. And with every second that ticks by, Coop knows that the odds of saving the only woman who has ever managed to breach the walls around his heart are dropping. Because terrorists aren’t known for their patience—or their mercy.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Against All Odds, go HERE


4 ½-star, “Top Pick” rating from Romantic Times BOOKreviews!

"Brava! Award winner Hannon debuts the heroes of Quantico series with a wonderful
array of believable characters, action and suspense that will keep readers glued to each page. Hannon’s extraordinary writing, vivid scenes and surprise ending come together for a not-to-be-missed reading experience.”
~Romantic Times BOOKreviews~

“I found someone who writes romantic suspense better than I do. I highly recommend Against All Odds as one of the best books I've had the privilege of reading this year. This is a captivating, fast-paced, well written romantic suspense destined for my keeper shelf. I loved this book and highly recommend this author."
~Dee Henderson~ Author of the O’Malley Family Series

Margie's comments: This is my first Irene Hannon book. However, even though I started reading it over the weekend, I've got a long way to go to be able to give it a proper review. (Deadlines are looming!) So . . . for now, let me say that her characters already have me hooked. So . . . as soon as I get it read, I'll post a full review.

Verse of the Day

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7–8

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazing Grace, Amazing Love

We all probably know the story behind the hymn, "Amazing Grace." How John Newton was raised by a godly mother who prayed long and hard for him, though he wandered far from his upbringing. How God patiently called and wooed him back to Himself. How instead of a life of slave trading, John became a preacher of God's Word and a hymn writer.

Last Sunday, we sang this old, familiar hymn, and as I concentrated on the words, I was struck anew with the amazing love and grace God shows to all people, even though we don't deserve it. One stanza in particular stood out to me:

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Jeremiah 29:11 says God has plans for us that a good, not harmful. Sometimes when the circumstances of life seem put there to crush me, it's hard to remember that "the Lord has promised good to me."

I remember many times when it seemed God wasn't listening. He definitely wasn't on the same page as me. Everything I did created more problems. I hated my life, even though I had all I dreamed of—a loving husband, two great kids, a comfortable home, a good church, loving friends and family. However, in the space of a few years, several of my close family members died (all with the Lord), I'd had two miscarriages, and my dreams of becoming a writer was farther and farther out of reach.

Instead of focusing on God and the blessings He'd given me, I focused on what I didn't have. I became more and more self-centered, and I saw everything (mostly little things—delays, disappointments, plans going awry) as God determined to make me miserable. The more I struggled for control over my life, the less I had. I allowed my daydreams free reign—a trait I developed as a child, carried though into my teen years (where my rebellion found its expression), and on into my adult life. When things were less than ideal, I escaped into my fantasy world, where my "prince" would come to rescue me and take me away from all the crappy stuff and never allow me to suffer again.

Finally my attitude landed me exactly where I said I'd never be—in a major depression. My mother and husband both tried to get me to see it. Friends at church questioned my frantic need to be involved in (and in control of) every area of ministry. I'd assure everyone that once I got through whatever busy time I was going through (mostly of my own making), once I'd guided my children through the next "stage" in their lives, once I had a few moments of "spare" time, then everything would be fine. Only it never happened. I'd hear messages at church, teach Bible lessons myself, of building a relationship with the Lord, of walking in faith, of the rewards of godly living. And I'd long to actually experience that . . . But I came to the conclusion that God wasn't pleased with my efforts. He certainly never spoke to me. If He wasn't going to step in and take all of the crud away, then I would work even harder to control the circumstances and the people who were bent on making life miserable.

I told my mother, Roger, and friends who tried to intervene to mind their own business, pray for me if they wanted, but don't try to "handle" me. I was fine! Thank you very much. Until one morning I reached out to help my son with the zipper on his coat, and his sister stepped in between us, thinking I was getting ready to slap him. In that moment, I really heard for the first time what I was saying to them both—horrible things that I'd grown up hearing from my dad . . . and had vowed I would never, ever say to my children or husband.

It was then I realized that God had been standing a distance away (where I'd put Him), patiently calling me in His still, small voice. Patiently beckoning me to come to Him and rest. Allowing me to run until I was too tired to run any longer.

A portion of the book I reviewed last Friday (Word Gets Around by Lisa Wingate) gives a wonderful picture of God: “There’s a lot of us think God is like my father was. They think He just throws on the rope and keeps the pressure up until we choke down, and when we go the wrong way, He lays on the blacksnake and the spur. . . . But you see, that’s now how a good horseman works. A good horseman is patient. He’s quiet. He knows that the horse’s natural state is to live in partnership. Deep down way down in its instincts, that animal realizes that isolation puts it in danger, makes it vulnerable. The horseman sees that truth all the while the animal is circlin’ the corral, squealing and kicking and trying to keep as far away as he can, and so the horseman just waits. He waits because he knows the nature of the horse. He waits when the animal does wrong. He waits when it fights and runs away. He just moves real quiet around the corral. He lets that horse run all its wants, wear itself out as much as it needs to. Eventually, the horse figures out things aren’t good out there by the fence. It stops and turn to the horseman, and comes into the center, and sees that’s wehre peace is. That’s where safely is. That’s where rest and comfort lie. . . .

“God is a good horseman. He waits while we circle the fences of our lives—whatever they are, whether it be a bad childhood or a destructive habit, family problems, an addiction, a personal tragedy, an inability to forgive someone else or to allow ourselves to ask forgiveness, or believe we deserve it. The Good Horseman waits, and each time we turn and look at Him, He stretches out His hand, slow and quiet, until finally, sooner or later, we reach for it, and we come to the center with Him, and find that peace was waiting there all along.”

I was that horse, going through the many danger, toils, and snares, and trying to control them to fit into my picture of a perfect life. That February day seventeen years ago, I finally reached for God's hand, I finally gave up. And found the peace I'd been looking for.

Since then, life hasn't really gotten any easier. In many ways, it's been harder. But I now rest in the strength of God's amazing grace and love. He has promised good to me. He helped me break the pattern of daydreaming, helped me "look to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith," helped me see that true peace and joy comes when I stop running, when I stop pushing against the boundaries He protects me with, stop trying to control things I never had control of in the first place.

I'm not perfect at it, but I'm learning. And I praise God for continuing to "grow" me and draw me closer to Him.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Verse of the Day

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Verse of the Day

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Word Gets Around by Lisa Wingate

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Word Gets Around

Bethany House (February 1, 2009)


Lisa Wingate


Lisa Wingate lives in central Texas where she is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books. Her novel, Tending Roses, received dozens of five-star reviews, sold out ten printings for New York publisher, Penguin Putnam, and went on to become a national bestselling book. Tending Roses was a selection of the Readers Club of America, and is currently in its tenth printing.

The Tending Roses series continued with Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, Drenched In Light, and A Thousand Voices. In 2003, Lisa’s Texas Hill Country series began with Texas Cooking, and continued with Lone Star Café, which was awarded a gold medal by RT BOOKCLUB magazine and was hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as “A charmingly nostalgic treat.” The series concluded with Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner.

Lisa is now working on a new set of small-town Texas novels for Bethany House Publishers. The series debuted with Talk of The Town and continued with Word Gets Around. A new series is also underway for Penguin Group NAL, beginning with A Month of Summer (July 2008), and continuing with The Summer Kitchen in July, 2009. Lisa’s works have been featured by the National Reader’s Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, The Literary Guild, American Profiles, and have been chosen for the LORIES best Published Fiction Award.


When Romance Is In the Air, Word Gets Around.

Lauren Eldridge thought she'd wiped the dust of Daily, Texas, off her boots forever. Screenwriter Nate Heath thought he was out of second chances. Life's never that predictable, though. Cajoled by her father, Lauren is back in town helping train a skittish race horse set to star in a Hollywood film. But the handsome screenwriter gives her more trouble than the horse. And Nate is realizing there's a spark of magic in the project—and in the eyes of the girl who is so good with horses. Daily, Texas, has a way of offering hope, healing, and a little romance just when folks need it most.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Word Gets Around, go HERE

What people are saying:

"Lisa Wingate writes engaging stories that strike the heart. God has gifted her with a marvelous talent and I, for one, am most grateful."
Debbie Macomber, New York Times #1 bestselling author

Margie's comments: In Word Gets Around, the author has beautifully captured the sense of small-town Texas and depicts wonderful insight to her characters. The tone of the storytelling through first person viewpoint captured my attention right from the start, drawing me into a nostalgic read. Nostalgic, because while I'm not a native Texan, I did grow up there. And fell in love with the entire state and its wonderful people. While I've lost most of my accent it is no difficulty "hearing" these characters populating and visiting Daily, Texas, on the pages of this book.

Lisa Wingate deals with some very tough life issues in this book, but the humor, the ability of her characters to laugh at themselves and to recognize truths about themselves makes the impact of the message dig that much deeper into the reader's heart. This is storytelling at its best, drawing the reader in just as Lauren draws in and gains the trust of the horses she trains.

While this is the first book I've read by this author, it most certainly won't be the last.

Verse of the Day

I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quote and Verse of the Day

Real faith is not simply stated. Real faith is demonstrated.

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27

Self-Editing TIps

Now that my new hard drive is up and usable again, this week has been much easier for me to keep up with the blog. So today we'll talk about the comma again.

This time the series or serial comma. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, The series comma is the one before the conjunction in a series of words, phrases, or independent clauses. It helps keep the meaning clear to the reader, in my opinion. So I use it and recommend to my clients that they use it as well.

For example:
Roger used a hammer, nails, and glue to repair the cabin’s window.
You may write an essay, read a book, or do your homework in this study hall.
Mary went to the store, Carol walked around the track, and Sharon stopped in for coffee.

However, if a conjunction is used between each of the elements in a series, no comma is needed.

For example:
Roger used a hammer and nails and glue to repair the cabin’s window.
You may write an essay or read a book or do your homework in this study hall.
This morning Mary went to the store and Carol walked around the track and Sharon stopped in for coffee.

While most book publishers follow the Chicago Manual of Style and use the serial comma, I know of several who don’t. One of the trends in grammar today is to use fewer commas, and this is one area some choose to delete.

Consistency is the key to including or excluding the comma before the conjunction. Choosing to use or not use this comma isn’t something that’s going to be a major roadblock to getting a contract. Once your book is contracted, the copy editors and proofreaders will make sure the series comma is used according to house style.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Desires of Her Heart by Lyn Cote

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Desires of Her Heart

Avon Inspire (February 10, 2009)


Lyn Cote


Lyn Cote married her real-life hero and was blessed with a son and daughter. She loves game shows, knitting, cooking, and eating! She and her husband live on a beautiful lake in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Now that the children have moved out, she indulges three cats: V-8 (for the engine, not the juice), Sadie, and Tricksey. In the summer, she writes using her laptop on her porch overlooking the lake. And in the winter, she sits by the fireplace her husband installed with the help of a good neighbor during their first winter at the lake.

Lyn's inspirational novels feature American women who step up to the challenges of their times and succeed in remaining true to the values of liberty and justice for all. The story of America is one of many nationalities and races coming together to forge our one nation under God, and Lyn's novels reflect this with accurate historical detail, always providing the ring of authenticity. Strong Women, Brave Stories.


A New Orleans lady and a half-breed frontiersman become unlikely allies as they travel the wilds of Texas.

In 1821, when circumstances make it impossible for her to remain in New Orleans, Dorritt and her family head west to join Stephen Austin's settlement and recoup their fortune in Texas.

Quinn is a man of the frontier who has made a name for himself as a peerless scout. But as he and Dorritt's party begin a grueling trek across untamed Texas, the success of their journey is in grave doubt. Mexico has broken with the Spanish Crown, and armies from both countries—plus marauding Comanches—roam the pine forests and prairies. And one of the party is plotting destruction.

Now, with their lives joined in a virgin land fraught with peril, can Dorritt and Quinn put all their trust in God and receive the desires of their hearts?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Desires of Her Heart, go HERE

Verse of the Day

"And 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." Isaiah 58:11

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

God Is My Strength

This morning in my quiet time, I read about the children of Israel leaving Egypt under Moses' leadership. God didn't take them the shorter but more dangerous route through the land of the Philistines. He led them right into the wilderness to the Red Sea. Back in Egypt, Pharaoh and his people felt the effect of losing their slave force. So Pharaoh gathered his army and pursued the Israelites. When the Israelites saw the army coming up behind them, they cried out in fear, blaming Moses for bringing them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness.

Speaking through Moses, He said, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. . . . The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."

God told Moses to stretch his staff out over the waters in the sea; then He moved behind the camp and prevented the Egyptians from getting too close until He could prove His continued protection for His chosen people. We all are familiar with what happens next. Moses stretches out his staff, a mighty wind blew and parted the waters, and the Israelites walk across the sea on dry land.

When God let the Eygptians see the dry path through the Red Sea, the mighty army followed them. But they didn't get very far. The Bible says that God caused the muck and goo of the sea bottom to gunk up the wheels of the chariots. And as soon as the last Israelite crossed over safely, the water came crashing down on Pharaoh and his entire army.

The last few weeks and months have been difficult ones for me, mostly in little ways. Even though I know that this testing is because of my prayer of the last two years of "Whatever it takes to be more like Christ," it still is hard to allow patience to have it's perfect work in me (James 1:4). Yes, there have been times of great blessing and the realization of long-held dreams. And I rejoice that I can see growth in my life.

Still, when a guest speaker spoke at our church a week ago on 1 Peter 1:3–9, I could not stop crying. Not because of the pain of being broken, though that certainly was part of it, but because of the encouragement I received from realizing once again that I'm not going through this breaking process without reason or alone. God has a purpose for everything He allows into our lives. Through breaking He draws us closer to Him . . . and that has long been my primary desire.

Since then, my laptop's hard drive crashed with no warning (or I didn't recognize the warning signs in time), and while I had all my files in several applications backed up on Mozy, I'm now learning that the newly installed applications don't always recognize them, nor did all the new files I added in January get backed up. Oh, did I mention that all my work is on this computer? So now I'm into day 4 of trying to restore my files and catch up with deadlines. Then last night I fell onto the entry way tile (I'm in our condo rental in Phoenix) when I missed the bottom step. The light wasn't on over the stairs, and my depth perception in my right eye is really bad as the cataract continues to grow. I landed on my left side, on the knee I hurt in a fall last summer and made contact with my elbow. Shook me up, skinned my knee and elbow, bruised the same, and now I'm generally achy and stiff all over. Can't wait until the full twenty-four hours to feel the full effect! Ha! But otherwise I'm fine.

I'll have to admit that I woke less than anxious to face yet another day of computer recovery and extra pain. No energy. A little gunshy of what could possibly happen today that would continue the breaking process. And God brought me the story in Exodus 13–15. So far this morning, everywhere I've turned I've received assurance after assurance that He will give me the strength, the ability, the victory. All I have to do is be obedient—stand still, be quiet—and allow Him to work through me.

LOL I just now opened an online devotional I get from Proverbs31 Women titled "You Are Not Alone." Guess what? The author tells the same story I opened with in this post.

I get the point, Lord! You alone are my strength. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am not alone. While I'm sure the breaking process is ongoing, today I'm rejoicing that God loves me enough to accompany me each step of the way.

And I'm reassured by the gospel song that it truly "will be worth it all when we see Christ." (Though I still can't sing it without crying.) For then I will be tried and tested and only the gold will remain.

“Be strong . . . work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:4

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Verse of the Day

I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong, and of a good courage. Joshua 1:5, 6

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gatekeepers by Robert Liparulo

Again, this is a late post because of my computer problems last week. Hopefully after today I can get back to my regular blogging schedule. *smile*

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(Dreamhouse Kings #3)

Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)


Robert Liparulo


Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.

Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!

And his third book, Deadfall, debuted to rave reviews!


Bob Liparulo wants to give away a signed 3 book set of the DreamHouse Kings books! Send an email to Bob [at] Liparulo [dot] com and put "CFBA" in the subject line. He will pick a winner this week!!!!

In the third novel of this young adult series, the mystery deepens in a house that is more than meets the eye.

The Kings have been in the creepy old place, their new home, for only a few days, but they've experienced enough terror to last a lifetime. And the mystery is growing even more baffling. Shadowy and shifting, the big house conceals doors into other worlds that blur the line between memories and dreams—and the slightest misstep can change history forever.

At least, that's if they believe the trembling old man who shows up claiming to know them. "There's a reason you're in the house," he tells them. "As gatekeepers, we must make sure only those events that are supposed to happen get through to the future."

The problem is that horrors beyond description wait on the other side of those gates. As if that weren't enough, the Kings are also menaced by sinister forces on this side—like the dark, ancient stranger Taksidian, who wants them out now.

It's hard to believe that things could have gotten worse for the King family—but they have. Dad's in handcuffs, the school bully has just found the secret portal that leads from the high school to the house, and Xander is sure he's found Mom, but they can't get back to her. Then Jesse arrives, and he seems to be a virtual Obi Wan of knowledge about the place. But is he the key they need to unlock the secrets, or just a crazy old man?

Dangers are increasing from within and without when Xander makes a startling discovery that explains why they haven't found any rooms that lead to the future. Alongside the threats, though, they're also starting to find some surprising allies.

All they have to do is get organized, get psyched, and get Mom. But that isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.

Xander, David, and Toria must venture beyond the gates to save their missing mother-and discover how truly high the stakes have become.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gatekeepers
(Dreamhouse Kings #3)
, go HERE

What they're saying:

"If you like creepy and mysterious, this is the house for you! Every room opens a door to magic, true horror, and amazing surprises. I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?" —R.L. Stine (Goosebumps)

"A powerhouse storyteller delivers his most fantastic ride yet!"
—Ted Dekker, bestselling author of Kiss, Chosen and Infidel

Margie's comments: This third installment in the Dreamhouse Kings series by Robert Liparulo did not disappoint. The action, covering only twenty-four hours (or less) picks up where Book 2 ended, and left off in an equally abrupt manner. *smile* Since it had been several months after I read the first two books in this series, I had to struggle to get into the story. But that didn't take long. By the second page I was hooked once again. And I'm looking forward to the next book already. So many old twists and turns to navigate . . . and many new ones, as well. This is definitely a house you would love to hate! And the house is as much a character as any of the people who live there. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. I highly recommend adding this to your reading selections.

Verse of the Day

The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials. 2 Peter 2:9