Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Anonymous Bride
Barbour Publishing, Inc. (April 1, 2010)

Vickie McDonough


Award-winning author Vickie McDonough believes God is the ultimate designer of romance. She loves writing stories where the characters find their true love and grow in their faith.

Vickie has had 18 books published. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently serving as ACFW treasurer. Vickie has also been a book reviewer for nine years.

She is a wife of thirty-five years, mother of four sons, and grandmother to a feisty four-year-old girl. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and traveling.


How many brides does one man need?

It's been years, but Luke Davis is back--older and wiser--and still alone. Returning as Lookout's new town marshal, Luke is determined to face the past and move on. He flippantly tells his cousin he'd get married if the right woman ever came along. But then he discovers that the woman who betrayed him is now a widow, and all his plans fall at his feet.

Rachel has carried her guilty shame for eleven years. Her marriage to James Hamilton was not what Luke or the town thought it to be. Now James is dead, and her long-time love for Luke is reignited with his return to town. So when three mail-order brides appear, she panics.

Could they possibly find love a second time?

Rachel begs his forgiveness, but Luke finds he has none to give.

And then the brides arrive. Three of them--ordered for Luke through newspaper ads by his incorrigible cousins. The only place in town for them to stay is Rachel's boardinghouse. And none of the ladies is willing to let Luke go. When choosing a bride becomes a contest, the chaos that ensues is almost funny.

When the mayor forces Luke to pick a bride or lose his job, will Luke listen to his heart that still longs for Rachel or choose one of the mail-order brides?

Will Rachel find the courage to tell Luke that she loves him? Or take an anonymous part in the contest for his hand?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Anonymous Bride, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. (Colossians 1:10 MSG)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Verse of the Day

Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it's written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. (Romans 15:4–5 MSG)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Blood Ransom
Zondervan (April 1, 2010)

Lisa Harris


Award-winning author Lisa Harris has been writing both fiction and nonfiction since 2000 and has more than fifteen novels and novellas in print. She currently lives with her family in Mozambique, Africa, where they work as missionaries.

From Lisa:

Have you ever noticed how God often uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things? In writing Blood Ransom, I wanted my heroes and heroines to be ordinary people, faced with extraordinary circumstances. Chad and Natalie’s lives were changed not only through the challenges they faced, but also through their reliance on God. And when they set off on their journey to the capitol to save Joseph’s family, they never imagined that God would call them to a task that was beyond the scope of their own power.

But while this story is fictional, the issue of a modern day slave trade is very real. It is estimated that there are currently more than 27 million slaves on the world today from Africa, to Eastern Europe … to the United States of America. The fact is, we don’t have to travel around the world to see people hurting and exploited. They’re real people we pass every day, living in our neighborhoods, and attending our churches and schools. They’re empty and broken, searching for freedom and hope in an often hopeless world. 


Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.

Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade—and a high-ranking political figure involved in it—disaster nips at their heels.

Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?

Romance and adventure drive Blood Ransom, by Lisa Harris, a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Blood Ransom, go HERE.

Review to come later.

Verse of the Day

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. . . . They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my stay. . . . For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? (Psalm 18:2, 18, 31–32)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Verse of the Day

[God's] love for me is very great. [He has] rescued me from the depths of death! (Psalm 86:13 NLT)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Verse of the Day

My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God. Pray About Everything (Philippians 4:1 MSG)

The Sword by Bryan M. Litfin

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Sword
Crossway Books (April 30, 2010)

Bryan M. Litfin


Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.

In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.

On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limited to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.

This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).


This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"

Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snow-capped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.

With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.

Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!

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

Review to come later.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Verse of the Day

 1-3 Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks.
   I kneel in worship facing your holy temple
      and say it again: "Thank you!"
   Thank you for your love,
      thank you for your faithfulness;
   Most holy is your name,
      most holy is your Word.
   The moment I called out, you stepped in;
      you made my life large with strength.

 4-6 When they hear what you have to say, God,
      all earth's kings will say "Thank you."
   They'll sing of what you've done:
      "How great the glory of God!"
   And here's why: God, high above, sees far below;
      no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.

 7-8 When I walk into the thick of trouble,
      keep me alive in the angry turmoil.
   With one hand
      strike my foes,
   With your other hand
      save me.
   Finish what you started in me, God.
      Your love is eternal—don't quit on me now.

Psalm 138 The Messsage

Monday, April 19, 2010

Verse of the Day

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?" (Matthew 16:24–26 MSG)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Verse of the Day

When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15 ESV)

2010 ACFW Colorado Retreat

Overwhelmed? Discouraged? Not sure where to turn, what to tackle first?

Believe me, I’m there! I’ve been trying for three days to get this written, knowing what an encouragement to me God’s Word is.

Next week is our Third Annual ACFW Colorado Retreat. See the details below. With the help of the officers in our ACFW Colorado chapters, I organize and run the retreat. This year, I’m also the speaker. And it seems that everything is conspiring to derail my much-needed prep time. I’m so thankful for friends who pray for me. I wouldn’t make it through this time without them.

And God has proved faithful. He’s constantly giving me the things He wants me to say on the topic of being prepared to give His answer through our writing. In creative ways, through unexpected means. He is always faithful. He is always good. And He’s used His Word to remind me of that!

Psalm 30 (nasb)

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.” O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.

To You, O Lord, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Over the last few years, I’ve been blessed through the writings of Frances J. Roberts. She writes much of her poetry and devotional thoughts from God’s point of view. The following excerpt is from her book On the Highroad of Surrender (Barbour Publishing 1973).

“O My child, do not weep. I am doing a beautiful work. Stress and pressure and pain are often the path to victory and understanding. Penitence is a mother to purity, and contrition a father to total consecration.

“I am in the midst, and I am a strong deliverer. You need not be concerned. You must not be sad. Courage is the greatest contribution you can make at this point. To be strong now will make the path of recovery easier. Faith is an essential ingredient in every solution. . .often it is the solution itself.

“Never underestimate the power of faith. Faith is your ability to bring Divine Action to bear upon any given situation. Hold fast. Trust. Unseen angels assist you. Doors are opening to let you pass into safety.

“Pour all the intensity of your soul into serving Me, and you will receive great consolation. It is My way provided for your solace and preservation. I will bring you other mercies as I see you have need.

“Be strong! I will measure the trials according to your strength and My mercy, but I expect you to stand true. No one can do this for you.

“It is your supreme hour of destiny. Throw your whole being into winning.”

And with these words, I push on toward the goal He has set before me, knowing He never leaves me alone. Knowing that He is accomplishing His purposes in me. To God be the glory! He indeed is good.

Join us for a weekend designed for encouragement, refreshment, fellowship, as we take an in-depth look into the Word of God and how we can be prepared to write His answer—to Christians and non-Christians, through fiction or nonfiction. Through Bible study and prayer times we will explore what God has to say about His Word and its relevance to us today.

Speaker: Margie Vawter
Topic: Prepared to Give His Answer


There will be three registration options this year:

Option #1 - Overnight at Camp Eden. $60 members/$65 non-members
Option #2 - Overnight at Eldora Lodge. $70 members/$75 non-members
Option #3 - No overnight. $30 members/$35 non-members

Walk-ins welcome.

Financial arrangements available. Please contact Margie Vawter at

You may register online, by mail, or as a walk-in.

To register online, go to and click on the online registration link. ACFW Colorado accepts PayPal.

To register by mail, go to and click on the mail-in registration link. Download the form, print it off and mail it, along with a check made payable to HIS Writers, to HIS Writers, PO Box 19741, Denver CO 80219.

Brochure with complete details can also be downloaded at the above website.

The retreat is open to ACFW members and non-members.

Camp Eden is located off CO Hwy 72 in Coal Creek Canyon in the Roosevelt National Forest (see map).

Eldora Lodge is located about 1/4 mile west of the Camp Eden Rd turnoff. To view the lodge go to

Sworn to Protect by DiAnn Mills

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sworn To Protect
Tyndale House (April 2010)

DiAnn Mills


Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.

DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.

Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.


Border Patrol Agent Danika Morales sends illegal immigrants back to Mexico; a job she's paid dearly for. Her husband, Toby, was murdered two years ago trying to help and his murder's never been solved. Now a string of attacks and arrests leads her to believe that someone from McAllen profits from sneaking undocumented immigrants into the country and somehow this illegal activity is tied to her husband, Toby's death.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sworn To Protect, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer video:

Margie's comments: I've featured DiAnn's books on this blog before. I met her several years ago, just before the first ACFW conference held in Denver. She came to the school where I was teaching to present and all-morning workshop to all our students in grades 7–12. A very gracious lady. You wouldn't think she could write such compelling stories that include murder and mayhem! But she does. And I'm looking forward to a great read in Sworn to Protect. Especially since it features McAllen, the town I consider my hometown. We moved to McAllen when I was nine, didn't leave until I married at twenty-one. (And that's MAC-Allen to the uninitiated! LOL) The read will have to wait until after I finish some judging for various contests whose deadlines are fast approaching.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Verse of the Day

Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (Psalm 73:25–26 NLT)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Verse of the Day

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night. (Psalm 63:5–6 ESV)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Verse of the Day

Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Luke 12:31 MSG)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Verse of the Day

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:24)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Verse of the Day

I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us. (Isaiah 63:7 ESV)

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2 ESV)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Verse of the Day

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:4–5)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Verse of the Day

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat--I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?" (Luke 9:23–25 MSG)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Verse of the Day

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you. (Psalm 9:10 NLT)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Verse of the Day

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138:8 ESV)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Songbird under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer

Songbird Under a German Moon
The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler's Germany. The first night's performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they're housed in, and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty's dear friend, Kat, turns up missing. Betty soon realizes Frank's photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences, and the two lovebirds' hearts may find the answers . . . in each other. But  will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored  with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes nonfiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions.  She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana. Find out more about her and her books at

Margie's comments: Tricia Goyer's extensive research into the World War II era, including many firsthand accounts from WWII vets, shows in every book she's written about this time. Songbird Under a German Moon is no exception. Betty, Frank, and all the other characters in this book are real, fun, and I got to the end of the book feeling as though I'd made a slew of new friends. Of course, the intrigue and mystery always capture my attention, and that did not disappoint in this latest story from this author. A truly enjoyable read. 

(I received this book free from litFUSE and the publisher, Summerside Press, in exchange for a review.)

To follow the rest of the blog tour and see what others have to say about Songbird Under a German Moon, click here.


Leave a comment on Tricia’s blog or send an email through her website CONNECT page and answer this question: What era in history do you wish you'd lived in and why?

Earn extra  entries by signing  up for Tricia's newsletter here, becoming a Fan on Facebook, or Tweeting about the contest on Twitter (use hashtag #songbird)!

You’ll be entered to win one of three signed copies of Songbird Under a German Moon.

Spiritual Thread

I've posted on this topic at The Inkwell today. Please check it out!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Verse of the Day

"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never--I promise--regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. (Luke 6:35–36 MSG)