Friday, July 30, 2010

CFBA: Dark in the City of Light by Paul Robertson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Firefly Theme

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Dark In The City Of Light
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)


Paul Robertson


Dark in the City of Light is a book I found hard to peg. Robertson's descriptions of Paris and the surrounding area are nearly poetic. The city comes to life. It's better than a painting, it's the best cinematography you can find. His characters however, were a little less inspiring. I found it hard to connect with the story itself. The history, although at times interesting and I'm sure very accurate, tends to overwhelm the tale in my opinion.

The layout of the book itself was unique, with mini chapters within regular chapters. At first I found that jarring and it made the flow difficult, but once I adjusted to that, I didn't even notice the jumps. I wouldn't call this a fast paced intrigue, but once invested in the story, I found it interesting. I think this would be well suited to those fascinated by history and politics, but if you're looking for fast paced political intrigue, you might find this a little too sedate. However, if you want to step into 1870's Paris and see it live and in full color, lights and all - this would be the ticket. Robert's has a gift for bringing setting to life.


What Evil Haunts the Shadows of 1870s Paris?

Baron Ferdinand Harsanyi — After his wife's mysterious death, this Austrian attaché holds control over mines whose coveted ore could turn the tide of war.

Therese Harsanyi — Swept up in new romance and the spectacle of Paris, the Baron's daughter is blind to the dangers stalking her family and the city she loves.

Rudolph Harsanyi — Unsure whom to trust, the Baron's son's grief over his mother's death twists into growing anger and a desire to break free.

As France and Prussia plunge toward war, one family is caught in a web of deceit, political intrigue, and murder that threatens to tear them apart.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dark In The City Of Light, go HERE.


Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Friday 56: Murder Among the Owls by Bill Crider

Friday 56

Today's Friday 56

comes from

(A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery)


"No one knew how old Billy Joe was. He'd been around Clearview as long as Rhodes could remember, but the only real sign on his age was the grey hair at his temples and in the day old stubble on his face."

Want to play? Here are the rules...

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.

* Turn to page 56.

* Find the fifth sentence.

* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.

* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.

* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CFBA: Nightshade by Ronie Kendig

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Wanna Kiss a Girl by Keith Urban

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Barbour Books (July 1, 2010)


Ronie Kendig


I was impressed with Ronie's first book Dead Reckoning. I think she just outdid herself. Nightshade is intense not only with suspense and action, but with very compelling spiritual and emotional intensity. You can't help but enjoy the ride with the Nightshade team, but the personal journey of Max and Sydney make the book worth reading. The balance between fun and self discovery is perfect. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

And here's to hoping that Cowboy is in the next book. There are times I wish I could meet a character in real life and this is one of them. Cowboy, you can make a girl stutter. :)


After a tour of duty in a war-torn country, embattled former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs finds himself discarded and alienated from those he loves as he struggles with war-related PTSD. His wife, Sydney, files a restraining order against him and a petition for divorce. Max is devastated.

Then a mysterious a man appears. He says he's organizing a group that recycles veterans like Max. It's a deep-six group known as Nightshade. With the chance to find purpose in life once again, Max is unable to resist the call of duty and signs on.

The team handles everything with precision and lethal skill...until they're called upon to rescue a missionary family from a rebel-infested jungle and
avoid a reporter hunting their identities.

Will Max yield his anger and pride to a force greater than

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nightshade, go HERE.

Watch the trailer:


Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series begins in July from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday 56: Less Than Dead by Tim Downs

Friday 56

Today's Friday 56

comes from

(A Bug Man Novel)


"She was probably a political science major, pre-law, trying for one more impresive entry on her resume before she sent off her application to Georgetown or UVA. Not Harvard- definitely not Harvard-at least that's what she probably told the guy who hired her, since this was the office of the senior senator from Virginia, and a man with the deep roots of John Henry Braden wouldn't want a Virginia malcontent on his staff."

Great novel by the way. Click HERE to see my original post and review.

Want to play? Here are the rules...

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.

* Turn to page 56.

* Find the fifth sentence.

* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.

* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.

* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CFBA: Stars in the Night by Cara Putnam

Song Stuck on the Brain: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf... Don't ask, I don't know where it came from.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Stars In The Night

Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)


Cara Putnam


Okay, this one is in strong competition for favorite book read this month. I'm a huge fan of the 1940's. The films, the style, the history; it's always fascinated me. Jimmy Stewart, Danny Kaye, Audrey Hepburn and Maureen O'Hara. Some of all time fav's.
Cara's twist on an Orient Express style mystery/suspense cast with '40's rising stars was brilliant. Books always play out like a movie in my head as I read, but Stars in the Night was especially unique. I felt like I was watching a '40's silver screen film. Maybe one Alfred Hitchcock would have enjoyed. I even casted the players.

I know as a writer, I find it an important part of my character creation, to put a face to the name. Choosing a face (famous or not) helps fill in the background of a character. I'll go through dozens of photos until I find the one that just looks and feels like my character. No one else that reads one of my story would probably ever see that photo in their head. It's unique to me and my characterization. I'm sure Cara is no exception. The character image she sees as Robert Garfield is probably different than mine, but I couldn't help but cast Cara's characters as I read them. Which of course made it feel so much more real.

I don't want to give away any of the story, it's too good to ruin with a spoiler. Just read it, I promise you'll enjoy it. When you're done, tell me if my cast pics look anything like what you pictured in your head. Here are a few that jumped right out at me.

Dennis Morgan as:
Robert Garfield

Joan Fontaine as:
Audra Schaeffer

Veronica Lake as:
Lana Garfield

Ella Raines as:
Veronica Hyde

I could go on, but you get the idea. The whole cast was so vivid. Just a great book.

Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer's sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her.

Any day Audra might have been flattered by the friendly overtures of Robert Garfield, a real-life movie star. But on the flight from Indianapolis to Hollywood, Audra can think of little else than finding her missing sister. When Audra arrives in the city of glitz and glamour, and stars, and learns her rising starlet sister has been murdered, all thoughts of romance fly away.

Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan.

Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister.

Could the killer be the man with whom she's falling in love?

If you'd like to read an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Stars In The Night, go HERE.

Contest: Lots of opportunities to win and great prizes, and the grand prize contains some of Cara's favorite classic movies as well as all of her WWII novels: Launch Contest!


A Word From Cara:

I graduated from high school at sixteen, college at 20, and completed my law degree when I was 27.

My writing journey started in 2005 when I decided to write my first novel. Now I have eleven books published with more on the way.

People say I've accomplished a lot and that I must have life by the proverbial tail. Hardly! I grew up as a home schooled kid when home schoolers were misunderstood and oddities.

I struggle with balancing my writing and law career, plus being a good mom and wife.

I often fear people won't like my books.

I've walked through the deep pain of miscarriage.

Really, I'm just like you – I don't have it all together and have gone through tough times. But in His strength, I've discovered a strength I never knew I had. A strength I want you to discover, too.

In the end I'm just an ordinary mom who has seen God do some wonderful things as I've been obedient to step into the calling He's led me into.

Stars in the Night Background

Stars in the Night was an idea that had begun to percolate in my mind. I’d written two World War II series and was actively looking for my next setting. My husband, a huge World War II history buff, and I were kicking ideas around, and I’d decided Hollywood was probably the next place for me. I’d gone to the library and gotten a stack of research books when I got the call. An editor I knew but had never worked with wanted to know if I might be interested in a new line they were starting. As we talked, I got so excited. And then she emailed me their guidelines, which listed that Hollywood was a location they were interested in setting books.

Only God could have known ahead of time. But because I followed His prompting I was ready to run with an idea. Stars in the Night is the result.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CSFF: Starlighter by Bryan Davis

Song Stuck on the Brain: New Divide covered by Gavin Mikhail

This week the CSFF is touring:

Book 1 in Dragons of Starlight



Reading Bryan Davis work is like eating chocolate. Addictive, a little intoxicating and makes you feel downright wonderful. Besides Donita K. Paul, Bryan is my second favorite fantasy writer. His creativity knows no bounds and I feel like a little kid every time I see a new book - I have a strong urge to giggle and jump up and down. Starlighter was certainly not an exception. I waited for my review copy anxiously and once I had it in hand, I dove right in.

Bryan deftly wove two stories in to one, bringing Jason's and Koren's worlds together in a fast paced, seamless tale of adventure and bravery. I can hardly wait for the next book.


Jason is an excellent swordsman who grew up pretending to slay dragons with his older brother. There have long been rumors of dragons stealing people to another realm and enslaving them, but Jason did not believe the myths. Now, both his brothers are missing, and it turns out that dragons really exist. Jason journeys to find the portal to this mysterious realm in order to rescue his brothers and free the slaves. Meanwhile, a slave girl named Koren has long thought that the myths about a planet where humans are free was a myth. She dreams of freedom but because she is a Starlighter, a powerful visionary, the dragons will never set her free. Told in alternating chapters, Koren's and Jason's stories merge as both use their gifts to battle the dragons and liberate the captives. Both are strong characters who readers will root for from the very beginning. The first in a planned four-book series, there is just enough of a resolution to satisfy readers, yet leave them eager for book two.


Bryan Davis is the author of the Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire series, contemporary/fantasy books for young adults. The first book, Raising Dragons, was released in July of 2004, followed by The Candlestone, Circles of Seven, and Tears of a Dragon. Eye of the Oracle launched the Oracles of Fire series and hit number one on the CBA Young Adult best-seller list in January of 2007.

Bryan is the author of several other works including The Image of a Father (AMG) and Spit and Polish for Husbands (AMG), and four books in the Arch Books series: The Story of Jesus’ Baptism and Temptation, The Day Jesus Died, The Story of the Empty Tomb (over 100,000 sold), and Jacob’s Dream.

For more information about Bryan's other books, Click Here for his author website.

Bryan lives in Western Tennessee with his wife, Susie, and their children. Bryan and Susie have homeschooled their four girls and three boys.

Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern U.S. From the time he taught himself how to read before school age, through his seminary years and beyond, he has demonstrated a passion for the written word, reading and writing in many disciplines and genres, including theology, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and humor.

Bryan is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. in Industrial Engineering). In high school, he was valedictorian of his class and won various academic awards. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and voted Most Likely to Succeed.

He continues to expand his writing education by teaching at relevant writing conferences and conventions. Although he is now a full time writer, Bryan was a computer professional for over 20 years.

Be sure to check out the other tour members blogs as well:

Brandon Barr
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
R. L. Copple
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Jane Maritz
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
KM Wilsher

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CFBA: Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Song Stuck on the Brain: Heartless by Kris Allen

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Bethany House (July 1, 2010)


Anne Elisabeth Stengl


What a fantastic debut! Stengl blew me away with Heartless. Although it's obvious that the story is very allegorical in nature, it was told in a way that didn't throw me out of the story line by it's heavy handedness. Not always an easy thing to do. Prince Aethelbald was an obvious favorite for me from the very first moment his very "stodgy" self appeared. I appreciate a man with his traits. And yet I couldn't help but remember what it felt like to be in Una's head with all her romantic fairytale notions. I'm not sure any of us truly out grow those fantasies, but her journey to understand the worth of true love is a story well worth reading and taking to heart. Especially as it compares to our journey to find Jesus and the true love He offers.

Her representation of evil and dragons were truly unique to me as well. I've never seen dragons represented in quite this form and I applaud her creativity. This book is so worth reading. I adore fantasy, but I really believe that this can be appreciated by those outside the typical fan base.


Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. When Una makes the wrong choice, catastrophe ensues for the princess and her family, and love, courage, and trust are needed when darkness engulfs the kingdom.

Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

There are some delightful things and scenes: the Twelve-Year Market that appears in its own good time and sells fairy goods; a clever blind cat who is invariably underfoot and has, of course, a secret!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Heartless, go HERE.


Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday 56 - Web of Lies by Brandilyn Collins

I found a fun post while perusing Michelle Sutton's blog Edgy Inspirational Author. It's called the Friday 56. Here's how it's done.

This fun meme was originally hosted at
Storytime with Tonya.

Want to play? Here are the rules...


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.

* Turn to page 56.

* Find the fifth sentence.

* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.

* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.

* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST

SO, since this seemed like an incredibly fun idea, I decided to join the fun. The book I grabbed is Brandilyn Collins Web of Lies. Here's page 56.

"For some masochistic reason I'd stuck her phone number in my purse, and now it practically burned a hole through the leather. "

How fun is this? Give it a try and let me know what you post.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Firestorm by Kelly Ann Riley

Song Stuck on the Brain: Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr... Anyone ever watch Big Bang Theory? Then you get it. I was singing this song to my 5 1/2 mo old grt nephew this morning. He loved it.

SOOOOO... drum roll please. The release of Firestorm finally arrived. I've been alerting you all along about the books my friends have releasing this year and Kelly Ann Riley's has arrived. I finished the book this afternoon and I have to say , Great Job!

Firestorm follows Kitty McGuire and Luke Tanner as they track an arsonist setting the forests ablaze in the small mountain town of Pine Lake. Kitty's deceased father, the former fire chief, is the prime suspect. Kitty isn't about to let her dad's name be destroyed, so she takes a vacation from her job as a firefighter in LA to come home and prove his innocence.

Meanwhile, ex-FBI agent Luke Tanner has been pulled in as the new fire chief to help solve the case. Luke has his own issues, like worrying over his traumatized son. He just wants this case settled so he can go back to focusing on his family.

The arsonist isn't co-operating though, and blaze after blaze crop up to terrorize the town. Kitty becomes a target and Luke begins to realize that he has a whole lot more to lose now that Kitty is in his life. Sparks fly everywhere, and not just from the mountainside blaze.

Kelly has done a great job of interweaving suspense, faith, love and human growth into a story you just don't want to put down. The action really doesn't stop. And I dare you to figure out who the real bad guy is before the culprit is revealed.

If you want to learn more about the main character, Kitty McGuire, she did a great interview at Craftie Ladies of Suspense. You can read it HERE.

Kelly also did a really great interview on eHarlequin about becoming a published author. Click HERE to read all about it.

Be sure to check out Kelly Ann Riley's web page as well to keep up to date on her upcoming projects.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CFBA: The Sister Wife by Diane Noble

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Sister Wife
Avon Inspire (June 22, 2010)

Diane Noble


When I first saw this book offered for review, I knew it was the most important book on this month's list for me to review. There is so much to say about Diane's latest novel. First, I will say her writing style is very good. Her research however is plainly one sided. It's clear that it was all done through Utah based Latter Day Saint's church records and history. What many might not know, is that the Utah Latter Day Mormons, are not the original church as founded by Joseph Smith Jr.

Joseph Smith Jr. was an inspired prophet and did receive and interpret the gold plates, or the Book of Mormon. Most of the historical instances she reports are accurate enough. However, Joseph Smith Jr. was NOT a polygamist. Nor did he claim to receive a revelation from God that plural marriage was to be instituted. It is true that some in the church were deceived into this practice by some very evil men, but Joseph was not one of them. In fact, he spoke loudly against the practice and many historians witnessed that. Also, the book of Jacob found in the Book of Mormon, speaks strongly against the practice.

But the word of God burthens me because of your grosser crimes.

For behold, thus saith the Lord, This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures: for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives, and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord,

Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none: For I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women.

And whoredoms are an abomination before me: thus saith the Lord of hosts.

Further proof of this can be found in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Church History, Vol. 2, chapter 26.

After Joseph Smith Jr. and his brother's murder, the church was shaken tremendously with grief. It was not long after this that Brigham Young stepped forward claiming to be the new, rightful prophet and led a large group of the saints west. This group became what is now the Utah Mormon Latter Day Saints. However, he did not have the right or the call to do this. Joseph Smith Jr's son, Joseph Smith the III, would become the next prophet. He did reorganize the church later and it was renamed the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (RLDS)

During all of the upheaval in the church, policies -like plural marriage- were accepted by Brigham's group. In order to legitimize his claims, documents were created in Joseph's name that were not real. Such as the supposed revelation about polygamy. Utah church records show that Joseph had many wives, but all those that were supposedly married to him, were married to him after his death by the Utah group. Emma was Joseph's only wife and he loved her dearly.

Sealings, or Celestial Marriages, as well as man becoming god, etc. are all creations by Brigham's group after Joseph's death. Those were also not of the revelations God gave to Joseph Smith Jr. All marriage vows are still stated as until death do us part. Secret names and all that are solely part of the Utah Mormon's doctrine.

Nowhere in the Book of Mormon does it teach those principals, just as they are not taught in the Bible. In fact, nothing in the Book of Mormon goes against the word of God in the Bible. They are two separate and divinely inspired books that together witness of Jesus Christ as our savior, the eternal Son of God and the only God to worship. One a record of the tribe of Judah, the other a record of the tribe of Joseph. Together they form a more complete picture of the gospel working within the tribe of Israel.

There is a distinct tone of derision toward the Latter Day Saints in this novel, and I understand that there should be a tone of disgust against anyone that would accept polygamy. However, it's important to understand that there needs to be a separation between the Utah Mormon's beliefs and what is the truth. In the Sister Wife, neither Gabe or Mary Rose read the Book of Mormon. Their belief or disbelief is based solely on assumption and hearsay. That is not acceptable. Also, there is an obvious point made that a miracle performed by Brigham Young is a sham. Brigham Young may have later become confused and pulled away from the original beliefs of the church, but before that time, he and many ministers in the church performed great miracles in the name of Jesus Christ. They can be found recorded in many places, and not just church history. Contemporary historians not of the church recorded a great deal about Joseph, his inspired work and the miracles that came through the restoration.
Second, I found it disturbing that in the prayers quoted in this novel, all non-Mormons pray in the name of Jesus Christ; but not once does a prayer given by a Mormon use the name of Jesus Christ. This is an inaccuracy. We are told in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that no man comes unto the Father except it be through His Son Jesus Christ. That includes through prayer. Showing Book of Mormon believers as non-Christian, or implying that we don't pray in the name of Jesus, is false.

I believe in the divine inspiration of the Book of Mormon. In no way does it take away from my equally strong belief in the divinity of the Bible. The Book of Mormon does not REPLACE the Bible. Jesus Christ is my only savior and God.
For those that would seek to know more, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon and judge it for yourself and not dismiss it based on hearsay or rumor alone. You can read it online HERE. If you choose to buy a copy, click HERE. Please be aware, that the Utah Mormon church removed and/or changed portions of the book so that it would not conflict with their new doctrine. Especially the reference from Jacob mentioned above that speaks clearly AGAINST polygamy.
Diane has written an interesting story that is skewed by her one sided research. Her main characters were realistic and I felt the agony that Bronwyn and Mary Rose felt. I would be just as revolted and sickened by the idea of Plural Marriage. Although, I enjoyed the characters for the most part, I can't recommend the book due to it's inaccuracies. If you choose to read this book, I pray that you'll remember what I've shared and pray and ask Jesus to lead you to truth.
If you would like to know more about Joseph Smith Jr.'s testimony, you can read his experience in his own words by clicking HERE.

You can also read our Epitome of Faith HERE.


What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife? What if that woman was your best friend?

Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith.

When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Bronwyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage.

But can she really be married to the same man as her very best friend? Can Mary Rose and Bronwyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what they feel is right?

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of The Sister Wife, go HERE.

Watch the book video!


Diane Noble is a former double finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for Best Inspirational Fiction, a finalist for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Reviewers' Choice Award, and a three-time recipient of the Silver Angel Award for Media Excellence.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She is currently writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one is The Sister Wife.

Diane’s hometown is Big Creek, California, a tiny village nestled in the rugged Sierra Nevada back country. As a child, Diane’s older brother Dennis fueled her creative streak by entertaining her with his own gift of storytelling. Growing up without TV and iffy radio reception, Diane became an avid reader, inhaling more than one hundred novels—both YA and adult—in a single

year by the time she reached seventh grade. Her passion for reading continues to this day.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

Monday, July 12, 2010

CFBA: Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand

Song Stuck on the Brain: Figaro and Cleo from Disney. Sang it to my great nephew this morning.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Back On Murder
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

J. Mark Bertrand


Back on Murder takes me back to old school murder mysteries. The gruff detective battling his way back into the saddle while healing old wounds. The case that can either save his career or ruin it permanantly. The new partner he's not sure he wants. It's great. And looking at those story bones you might think, "ho hum, been there read that". But Bertrand has done a great job in creating the cast and the plot. The story quickly begins to feel like a long lost friend. Familiar in goodways, but with so many new layers to uncover. The mystery is well done, with mulitple cases woven together seemlessly. I closed the book and felt a little sad that I was done. I look forward to his next release.


Det. Roland March is a homicide cop on his way out.

A missing girl. A corrupt investigation. They thought they could get away with it, but they forgot one thing:

Roland March is BACK ON MURDER...

Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details. But when he's the only one at a crime scene to find evidence of a missing female victim, he's given one last chance to prove himself. Before he can crack the case, he's transferred to a new one that has grabbed the spotlight--the disappearance of a famous Houston evangelist's teen daughter.

All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. With the help of a youth pastor with a guilty conscience who navigates the world of church and faith, March is determined to find the missing girls while proving he's still one of Houston's best detectives.

Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Back On Murder, go HERE.


J. Mark Bertrand has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, he left Houston and relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota.

Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead. Besides his personal website, visit his Crime Genre website at

The next book in this series, Pattern Of Wounds will come out in the summer of 2011.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

CFBA: Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady

Song Stuck on the Brain: Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Tomorrow We Die
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

Shawn Grady


Loved it! I thought Shawn's first book Through the Fire was impressive, but he knocked this one right out of the park. The story is fast paced, exciting and keeps you guessing clear to the end.

Jonathan Trestle is so real, I feel like I could fly to Reno today and meet him at the coffee shop. I know as writers we all do the research and put as much reality in our characters as possible. We want them to live and breathe in the readers minds. Shawn made that happen. His experience in the field of emergency services is obvious, but it takes talent to turn that experience into a character that surpasses paper and lives in our minds. He did that, not only with Trestle, but his field partner Bones and every other character you meet. In fact, Bones cracked me up. I want to meet him in real life too.

True to life characters wouldn't stand much of a chance though, if the setting didn't seem just as real. Shawn's descriptions of the city and nearby mountains were crystal clear, and I love his use of music and lyrics to show you emotion and mind set.

This is one of those books that I read with two halves of my brain arguing with the other. Every page was devoured by the book addict in me, with hardly the strength to set it down when necessary. When the book did get set down (briefly) the writer half couldn't stop analyzing everything written.

If it isn't obvious yet, I highly recommend this book. Shawn Grady deserves the title of Most Promising New Writer.

If you want to read an interview with Shawn, visit Mark Young's blog Hook'em and Book'em.


Chase the Angel of Death and You Might Catch Him

Jonathan Trestle is a paramedic who's spent the week a few steps behind the angel of death. When he responds to a call about a man sprawled on a downtown sidewalk, Trestle isn't about to lose another victim. CPR revives the man long enough for him to hand Trestle a crumpled piece of paper and say, "Give this to Martin," before being taken to the hospital.

The note is a series of dashes and haphazard scribbles. Trestle tries to follow up with the patient later, but at the ICU he learns the man awoke, pulled out his IVs, and vanished, leaving only a single key behind. With the simple decision to honor a dying man's last wish, Jonathan tracks the key to a nearby motel where he finds the man again--this time not just dead but murdered. Unwilling to just let it drop, Jonathan is plunged into a mystery that soon threatens not only his dreams for the future but maybe even his life. He must race for the truth before the Angel of Death comes calling for him.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tomorrow We Die, go to HERE.


Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire & Tomorrow We Die.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dubai Water Feature

While visiting author Angela Hunt's blog, A Life In Pages, I came across this video of a water feature in Dubai. The song playing is Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. It was so amazing I had to share it. Stop by Angela's blog too, she's got great posts.

Monday, July 05, 2010

CFBA: Nightmare by Robin Parrish

Song Stuck on the Brain: Love is Like a Butterfly by Dolly Parton.
Love Dolly. Watched her 25th Anniversary show for Dollywood and couldn't help but think of this song. Between her and Kenny Rogers, my musical senses were formed at a VERY early age. I was going to marry Kenny at the age of 4...

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

Robin Parrish


Hmmm, what can I say other than that the title is very appropriate. This one was a whole lot more than I bargained for. At a little over a third of the book, I had to stop. I was just to freaked out. I expected more of a suspense style and got more horror. Not my thing at all.

However, Robin's writing style is fantastic. You feel every moment and it's hard to put down. I had a hard time stopping, despite being freaked out beyond belief.

If this is a genre you enjoy, then I don't think you'll be disappointed. His writing is amazing, even if I don't appreciate the story topic. Not even Frank Peretti scared me like this.

With that said, I'll leave it to your own judgement. Not having completed the book and considering how creeped out it left me, I can't personally say I recommend it. However, if you do read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. For once, I wish someone would just tell me how it all turns out... without having to read the book.


The Nightmare is Coming...

Ghost Town is the hottest amusement park in the country, offering state-of-the-art chills and thrills involving the paranormal. The park's main ride is a haunted house that promises an encounter with a real ghost.

When Maia Peters visits during her senior year of college, she's not expecting to be impressed. Maia grew up as the only child of a pair of world-renowned "ghost hunters," so the paranormal is nothing new and to her most of the park is just Hollywood special effects. In fact, the ride feels pretty boring until the very end. There, a face appears from the mist. The face of Jordin Cole, a girl Maia knows who disappeared from campus a few months ago.

Convinced what she saw wasn't a hoax and desperate to find answers to Jordin's disappearance, Maia launches into a quest for answers. Joined by Jordin's boyfriend--a pastor's kid with very different ideas about paranormal and the spirit realm--Maia finds herself in a struggle against dangerous forces she never expected to confront on the edge of the spirit realm that try to keep the truth from emerging.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nightmare, go HERE.


Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about the intersection of faith and pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture.

He had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract with Bethany House Publishers. They contracted him for the rights to The Dominion Trilogy: Relentless (2006), Fearless (2007), and Merciless (2008). His science fiction thriller, Offworld came out in 2009. This summer debuts Nightmare, and he's working on another for 2011. Robin and his wife and children live in North Carolina.

Friday, July 02, 2010

CFBA: Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Enterprise Theme Song

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Refuge on Crescent Hill
Kregel Publications (March 11, 2010)


Melanie Dobson


Great read! I've always been intrigued by the Civil War era history, especially the underground railroad. Melanie's story weaves the intrigue of past and present into an intense story that's hard to put down.

The main characters seemed at first to be wide set, unconnected to what the story set out tell. As the plot progressed, it was amazing to see each twist and secret uncovered, revealing how each was connected in a way I hadn't anticipated.

And amidst all of the secrecy and intrigue, each character discovered a new form of compassion and grace. I found myself identifying in some way with all of them. Camden, Alex, Stephanie... When you can see yourself reflected back in the story, it makes it more real and all the more compelling. It's a great book.



Jobless, homeless, and broke, Camden Bristow decides to visit the grandmother she hasn’t seen in years. But when Camden arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother has passed away, leaving her the 150-year-old mansion on Crescent Hill. The site of her happiest summers as a child, the run-down mansion is now her only refuge.

When Camden finds evidence that she may not be the mansion’s only occupant, memories of Grandma Rosalie’s bedtime stories about secret passageways and runaway slaves fuel her imagination. What really happened at Crescent Hill? Who can she turn to for answers in this town full of strangers? And what motivates the handsome local Alex Yates to offer his help? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden uncovers deep family secrets within the mansion’s walls that could change her life─and the entire town─forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Refuge on Crescent Hill, go HERE.


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.