Thursday, October 31, 2013

Verse of the Day

"Don't be fearful. . . . Don't turn your back on GOD. Worship and serve him heart and soul! . . . 
GOD, simply because of who he is, is not going to walk off and leave his people. GOD took delight in making you into his very own people. (1 Samuel 12:20–22 MSG)

God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us. (Hebrews 6:18–20 MSG)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Verse of the Day

"You won't have to lift a hand in this battle; just stand firm, . . . and watch GOD's saving work for you take shape. Don't be afraid, don't waver. March out boldly. . . . GOD is with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17 MSG)

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. (Galatians 6:9 AMP)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Verse of the Day

Let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. . . . Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. (Hebrews 12:1–3 nlt)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dark Biology by Bonnie Doran

Today I am thrilled to feature one of my long-time critique partners—Bonnie Doran—with her recently released debut novel, Dark Biology.

About Bonnie: Bonnie’s debut novel, Dark Biology, released September 2013 from Harbourlight, an imprint of Pelican Book Group.

She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband of thirty years. They’re owned by two Siamese cats. John is an electrical engineer who works with lasers for a living. He’s also a Mad Scientist who owns a 2,300-pound electromagnet.

Bonnie’s other interests besides writing include reading, cooking, solving Sudoku puzzles, volunteering at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and telling groan-producing puns. She attends a local science fiction convention as well as various writers conferences each year. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, its North Denver Chapter, and the Denver Area Science Fiction Association.   

You can find Bonnie online at the following places: 
Website: Where Faith and Science Fiction Collide:
Twitter: @bonniedoran
Twitter hashtag: #DarkBiology

About the Book: Renowned vaccinologist "Hildi" Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal. Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. But now he'll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father's marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it's only a mild influenza strain. . . . Or is it?

Interview with the author:

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

My journey started in fifth grade, when my poem “Mercury” was published in the school’s anthology. Even then, I had an interest in astronomy and science.

I took journalism classes, wrote a weekly devotion column for a local newspaper, wrote a few magazine articles, and penned dozens of devotions over a number of years.

The unexpected turn came when a workshop leader challenged me to “write what I read,” which was science fiction. I never thought I’d write fiction.

How do you balance family life with writing?

John and I spend a lot of time together. We don’t have kids but two demanding Siamese cats we play with as often as possible.

I’m not always successful with balance. At this moment, I have a timer set for 25 minutes so I’ll take a break after that time and switch to household stuff. The method works fine as long as I obey the buzzer. Otherwise, dishes and laundry pile up.

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

I pray about the story and sometimes find it takes an unexpected turn. In Dark Biology, a red tie showed up in the story. The character wouldn’t tell me why he wore it. When I Googled “red tie,” I discovered it was a symbol of both sin and forgiveness. God directed the story when I wasn’t aware of it.

Regarding time with the Lord, it’s the first thing I do in the morning. Without it, I do feel unbalanced.

Would you discuss Dark Biology? The idea, the research, and the scope of the project?

The idea came from my anger upon hearing about yet another pastor caught in adultery. I thought, what if a character’s son was angry enough to unleash a biological weapon at his philandering father’s marriage seminar? The story developed from there.

Research included a lot of Internet searching. I also read The Great Influenza about the H1N1 outbreak during World War I and Panic in Level 4. The author wrote about his experience in entering Biosafety Level 4 while scientists worked with a deadly virus. That’s more on-hands research than I wanted to do!

A former astronaut candidate checked my novel for errors regarding the space program.

What kinds of things did you have to revise once the editor at your publishing house got her hands on your manuscript?

Lots! As a condition of the contract, I had to cut the number of POVs from nine to six. One of my characters wasn’t happy about being demoted.

The first edit after that eliminated whole chapters and tightened the story.

The second edit was the hardest. Besides fixing some nitty-gritty stuff, I was correcting the NASA stuff from the input I received. I also had to re-write a scene with a defibrillator.

Would you tell us a little about your future projects?

My next project is a science fiction novel, possibly for the mainstream market:

High Concept: Do aliens need God?

Summary: The opportunity of a lifetime forces a Christian agoraphobic linguist to rocket to a remote planet. Her blunders in translating the language of the first-discovered alien race results in a declaration of war.

I’m halfway through a rough draft of Terror on Targus Three.

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

Finally, an excerpt from Dark Biology:

Dark Biology by Bonnie Doran

Hildi’s nose itched.
She ignored it. While she waited for her lab partner to emerge from the airlock, she checked the seals of her blue biocontainment suit again. Good habits could save her life.
Hildi pulled a coiled yellow air hose suspended from the ceiling and plugged it into a socket near her waist. The deflated suit expanded as air roared past her face. The familiar ballooning sensation saddened her for a moment. She’d miss her work here.
Then she grinned. She’d be wearing a pressure suit in her new job and performing similar cutting-edge work in an even stranger environment.
Her practiced eyes appraised Biosafety Level 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most dangerous lab. Everything “down and cold.” But an adjoining room held liquid-nitrogen freezers filled with hot agents, the deadliest diseases known to man. Francine stepped from the airlock. Hildi’s college friend had never worked in Level 4, but she moved with confidence. Hildi stared into Francine’s faceplate and noted her calm expression. She’d do fine.
Hildi maneuvered past the stainless-steel tables dominating the room. She pulled two-inch test tubes, a push-button micropipette, and other tools from drawers and placed them in the biosafety cabinet, a glorified box with a fume hood and clear front that rested on the work counter. She detached her hose, inhaling the reserved air in her suit.
Humming to herself, she walked into the adjoining room and attached her suit to another hose. Every time Hildi moved in the lab, she repeated the procedure, a necessary inconvenience if she wanted to continue breathing.
She punched a code into the lock of one of the stainless-steel freezers and extracted a vial of the latest X virus that may or may not have killed John Doe.
Returning to the biosafety hood, she slipped her yellow-gloved hands under the clear protective shield, a sneeze guard at a toxic salad bar. She withdrew a tiny sample of the unknown and released it into one of the tubes. After Hildi repeated the protocol many times, she keyed the information into the computer.
Hildi glanced at Francine just as she straightened from a hunched position over a microscope. Francine turned, her movements jerky like a marionette’s. Her suit’s chest zipper gaped, exposing her blue scrubs underneath. She seemed to shrink as her biosuit deflated.
Hildi froze.
“I’ve got a problem here!” Francine yelled, her voice quavering. The rush of air in their ears turned conversations in Level 4 into a shouting match. Francine fumbled for the zipper with trembling fingers.

Verse of the Day

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3–5)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Christmas Quilt

This week, the
is introducing

Abingdon Press (October 15, 2013)


A Word From The Author:

I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups.  I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.


Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Quilt, go HERE.

Margie's Comments: The Christmas Quilt is another delightful addition to Abingdon's Quilts of Love series and another well-written book by Vannetta Chapman. I love the fact that the characters are the same as the ones in A Simple Amish Christmas. It was nice to spend time with old friends again. The characters, as in all of Vannetta's books, are well-developed and real, facing very real situations. I love the family feel to the story as it deals with family and family relationships. The spiritual thread running through this book is also well done and gives the reader, along with the characters, a different look at the Christ child, outside the traditional Christmas story. And the Christmas quilt is an extension of what Annie and Leah learn. An excellent, heartwarming read.

Verse of the Day

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. . . . "Cease striving and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:1–3, 10 NASB)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Verse of the Day

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NLT)

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 NASB)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Greetings from the Flip Side

This week, the
is introducing

B&H Books (October 15, 2013)



Rene is the author of seventeen novels. She also has extensive experience writing comedy sketches, and worked for five years as the director of drama for a church. She has a degree specializing in Screenwriting, for which she earned the Excellence in Mass Communication Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

She is married to Sean, a musician and worship leader, and has two children. They reside in Oklahoma, where Rene writes full time and enjoys instructing in college classrooms and writers conferences.


Hope Landon has been rewriting other people's greeting cards since she was six years old -- there's always a funnier caption. She's all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can't write a song for her. That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple's month long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral -- everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it's not that easy to rent a place when you've been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YWCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization's humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh.

Is there anything in the cards for these two? Find out in the truly original Greetings from the Flipside by authors Rene Gutteridge (Boo) and Cheryl McKay (screenplay for The Ultimate Gift).

If you would like to read the first chapter of Greetings from the Flipside, go HERE.

Margie's Comments: What a wonderfully delightful story to read! Even with the "bad" stuff that happens to Hope, she soon learns that God can bring incredible good out of the hard stuff in life. The characters are well-drawn from Hope's grandmother, mother, best friend to Sam, Jake, and the rest of this wonderful cast of characters. Soon after the beginning of the book, events take a surprising twist and some fun scenes follow. It gives a whole new meaning to seeing a story from two sides. Hence the title. Truly loved this fun read.

Verse of the day

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7–7 NLT)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Verse of the Day

In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power is his forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10–11 NLT)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Verse of the Day

I suggest that you finish what you started . . . for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. (2 Corinthians 8:10–11 NLT)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Verse of the Day

The LORD's searchlight penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive. (Proverbs 20:27 NLT)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Verse of the Day

But this precious treasure – this light and power that now shine within us – is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7–10 NLT)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower

This week, the
is introducing
B&H Books (September 1, 2013)



Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.


USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it “the first Amish rom-com . . . bring on the next one!” As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she’s back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery, A Plain Disappearance.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Plain Disappearance, go HERE.

Margie's Comments: I didn't get as far in reading A Plain Disappearance as I had hoped to be able to write a review. This is the first book I've read in this series, and I'm enjoying it so far. I already know I want to go back and read the other two books. I will post a review when I've finished reading this book.

Verse of the Day

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:1–6)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Verse of the Day

GOD is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout; my mountaintop refuge, he saves me from ruthless men. (2 Samuel 22:2–3 MSG)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. (Psalm 28:7 NASB)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Verse of the Day

He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their [pits (of)] destructions. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the children of men. Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing. Psalm 107:20–22

Friday, October 11, 2013

An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus

This week, the
is introducing
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)


Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and educator who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an academic advisor and English Composition instructor for Bethel University.


Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, An Honest Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honesty—both men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddy’s choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her.

Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?

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

Margie's comments: Review to come later.

GADLY PLAIN A Novel by J. Michael Dew

Trade Paperback
224 pgs / 5.5" x 8.5"
Illustrated: original drawings by Raw Spoon
ISBN: 9780981892993
Category: Christian Fiction/ Literature
Price: $14.00

What do you get when you mix an orphaned girl just coming of age, a grieving, pain-filled family, a rural Kentucky barnyard, a donkey who has lived since Adam and has stories to tell, a mentally handicapped man, and an apocalyptic climax? Happily, you get a literary novel that maintains its lyrical language and dramatic pace from the first to the last page and leaves you thinking, smiling, wondering, looking at this life and the next with eyes to see in fresh, new ways.

When a young girl's father dies, and her mother abandons her at her paternal grandparents' home in Kentucky, no one helps her cope with the cloud of death that hovers over the family ... until she wanders down to the neighbor's barn. There in an earthy, unlikely haven, vistas open to Spring-baby that transcend time and place and even death.

For readers who love well-written fiction that is both personal and sweeping in scope. If you enjoy novels with literary merit that show the intersection of the grit and grief and glory of life on earth with the presence and power and persuasion of the supernatural and heavenly ~ you'll likely be enthralled by this story.

At the back of the book is a discussion guide for reading groups and book clubs.

Creative drawings by Raw Spoon, at the head of each chapter, bring visual life and added sensory dimension to the experience of reading this book.

J. Michael Dew lives with his wife and three young daughters in Atlanta, Georgia. He was born and raised in Warren County, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. in English from Lock Haven University and an MA and PhD in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is an Associate Professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College where he is also the Honors Coordinator for the Dunwoody campus. In his spare time he enjoys being a husband and a dad. And fishing. He loves a glinty, trouty stream.

Margie's Comments: I enjoyed reading this coming-of-age novel about Spring-baby and how she was left to deal with her young father's death. When she's abandoned by her mother with no explanation of why, Spring-baby is virtually alone with her own grief. The grandparents her mother left her with are dealing with their own extreme grief and have no idea how to help their granddaughter. Through the unlikely friendship with the neighbor and his donkey's stories, Spring-baby learns much more than she could have if she'd been left totally on her own. The donkey's stories told in the neighbors back-woodsy southern accent and vernacular hit home in ways reading the Bible never could have appealed to a twelve-year-old girl. The characters are well-drawn, the story follows a natural progression once the reader gets into the rhythm of the story. Definitely a book I can recommend to those who love a touch of the unusual in their reading.

1. This story is remarkably creative yet feels warmly authentic. One would think you have experienced it yourself.
Dew: I suppose I could say that Gadly Plain began for me the day, at age nine, when I found out my father had passed away. It is, I suppose, a working out of that sadness. The story is based on conclusions I reached after years of introspection. I will admit, however: The German woman in the beginning is not a made up character. She was real. I met her as did my sister. But nobody else remembers her presence.

2. Some authors take years to write a book while others take only months. What was your process for writing Gadly Plain, and how long did it take?
Dew: To give readers a practical answer, one afternoon, I went out and purchased a large piece of cardstock paper on which I began to diagram plot points. The diagram grew to include characters, biblical references, and other details I felt were important to the story. I used this diagram of sorts as an outline, keeping it in front of me each time I sat down to move the story along. All in all, it took a year to complete a first draft. Copies of that draft then went to professionals in the fields of theology, speech pathology, and creative writing. Once I got their very valuable feedback, I revised the manuscript then sent that version to another set of readers. It took a dogged effort, but it was worth it.

3. Tell us about the title of your novel. Why did you choose such an enigmatic title as Gadly Plain and what is its significance?
Dew: The title was discovered on a Pennsylvania back road somewhere between Interstate 80 and Warren. I was driving home from graduate school under a cloud-splotched sky, and I happened to pass one of those roads that was probably a driveway but was nevertheless given the distinction of a name: Gadly Plain. It was a rutted dirt road that more than likely led to a simple hunting camp or some far-flung place of retreat and rest. I didn't stop to inspect. Instead, I made a mental note of the catchy name, and when I pulled off the road to fish for trout further into my journey (as was my happy custom), I jotted down the name in my journal, thinking this would make a great title for a book. This was years ago. It took a lot of time since to construct my own getaway. Much of that time was spent learning why I needed to do so in the first place.

"Gadly Plain" could be "way away" or "heaven" or "paradise" or "across the rainbow bridge" or "in the bosom of God" or "Narnia." I didn't want to be too specific, thereby robbing the reader of his/her ability to imagine Gadly Plain, and I wanted to be (in my humble way) poetic. Gadly almost sounds like Godly, and the existence of heaven is a "plain" truth - nothing complicated, something a child can understand, no need for an advanced degree in theology, etc.

4. What themes are you interested in writing about next?
Dew: At least since the dawn of postmodernism, writers have largely been asserting, in various and sundry ways, the viewpoint that all values are relative, that everything is and should be deconstructed. I know I am generalizing here, but I feel this to be a safe assessment of modern literature. I believe in taking up the call issued by Wendell Berry who says that an author's duty today is to rescue some values from the dustbin of relativism and go about bravely building meaning and relevance in a world at direct odds with them both. The themes I'm interested in exploring are themes that do just that.

5. Reading this succinct but sweeping novel, one cannot doubt you believe in the over-arching story of the Bible and the final victory of good over evil. Will you share something of your personal faith?
Dew: I am deeply devoted to Christ and strive daily to be the man he wants me to be.

"As a reader, it's not often I come across a small literary miracle, an unexpected gift. Gadly Plain is that type of book. It sweeps us up into the rich yet simple world of an orphaned girl and a mysterious donkey, a world both familiar and mystical, melancholic and full of hope. Do yourself a favor and open this gift.." ~ Eric Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Fireproof and October Baby

"Gadly Plain is a book about sorrow, regret, and grief--but it is also about the fleeting spirit of childhood and the choices we make to believe in the stories that give us hope. Gentle and reflective, this is a story about stories and the incredible power they hold to heal and redeem broken hearts." ~ ForeWord Reviews

On Amazon
From the Publisher


Verse of the Day

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. (Psalm 145:18–19)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Verse of the Day

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23–24

“This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!” John 16:23–24 msg

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the

is introducing

B&H Books (October 1, 2013)



Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."®  Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences.


If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.

Margie's Comments: I always look forward to a new book from Brandilyn Collins, and Dark Justice did not disappoint. Classic Collins' style, the story zips from start to finish in a hard-to-put-down read. Great characters with compelling personal issues compounded by the situation they are thrust into. Hannah Shire, her mother who suffers from dementia, and her daughter are all thrown into a terror of circumstances set off by a seemingly spur-of-the moment decision to drive home by a little-traveled scenic route. All the action is crammed into two terrifying days, as Hannah strives to keep her mother and daughter alive and out of danger. I highly recommend Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins.

Verse of the Day

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Q&A with Davis Bunn on Unlimited

The storyline in Unlimited is inspired by true events. What actual events inspired the story?

Harold Finch was formerly the founder and CEO of the first management-leadership consulting groups in the US. In the mid-seventies he sold the company to H&R Block for over a hundred million dollars—back when a hundred million actually meant something. Answering God’s call, he has spent the past three decades traveling the world, teaching his concepts for free and helping underprivileged children learn that they do indeed have both a purpose in God’s eyes and the potential to succeed. His experiences form the basis for this story.

What ignited your idea for the characters to create a device that would convert raw wasted energy into useable power?

I actually wrote the screenplay for the film before writing the novel. This happens occasionally—Godfather and Love Story were both conceived in this order. While working on the film script, the producer and Harold and I were discussing what might work as a basis for the story’s suspense element. We were looking for something that had the means of revealing this ‘unlimited’ potential in people. I don’t actually remember who first came up with the idea of wasted energy, but soon as it was said, we all jumped on it.

Simon Orwell, the protagonist in Unlimited, is a brilliant, cynical electrical engineering student who finds danger irresistible. Did you model his character traits after yourself or anyone you know?

Alas, we all know a Simon. These days, this type of person is all too common. An individual with huge potential, who allows himself or herself to become distracted by the multitude of temptations that basically define modern life. And yes, I do know several such people. Some turn this into hugely productive directions, thank goodness. Usually to do so requires divine help, a clarification of focus, and strength they must reach out and ask to receive.

Armando Vasquez and Harold Finch are important mentors in Simon’s life. Who has been a critical mentor in your life, Davis? How has that person encouraged you to push beyond the boundaries of what you thought possible?

There have been several such mentors, for which I remain extremely grateful. One such person is Carol Johnson, who recently retired as editor-in-chief at Bethany House Publishers. Carol has been instrumental in my becoming the best writer I could be, and continues to act as a sounding board for new ideas and characters. Another, I am happy to say, is Harold Finch. His lessons on combining God’s teachings with lifelong aims have been a genuinely rewarding experience with far-reaching results.

Many of the characters in the story are orphans. What parallels do you see between the orphans in the story and real-life spiritual orphans?

A beautiful question. While researching the core components of this story, orphanage leaders repeatedly stressed the need to teach orphans to believe in themselves and their natural abilities. Too often they see themselves as lost, without purpose, without a role to play, without chances, without love. What made this story work, I think, is how Simon Orwell shares these same feelings about himself. And how he comes to realize God is the only one to fill this need.

Many people believe they must wear a mask to hide the parts of themselves they are ashamed of. How is this story about removing that mask?

So much of life remains hidden away. The darker elements of a life without God only amplify this falseness. Simon has spent so much of his life, so much of his energy and time, in hiding. As the story unfolds, he discovers that an essential element of arriving at his full potential is being honest with himself. This is where the mask is most damaging, and also where it is often hardest to release. We seek to hide the truth, even when we know the act is a lie in itself. And the mirror we require to see the truth about ourselves is the one that God offers, in infinite patience, in gentle love.

The title, Unlimited, has multiple layers of meaning. What does that title mean to you?

Unlimited was the title brought to me by the film’s producers. When I first began working on this story, it was just that, a title. But as I grew to know Harold, and heard him teach, and read his lesson plan, and then actually applied what he has come to call his ‘Dynamic Life Retreat’ (see Harold full teachings on his website, I have come to agree with them in their choice. Bringing God into the equation of life’s direction, success, and reaching full potential does reveal the true meaning of Unlimited.

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