Monday, June 29, 2009

CFBA: Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell

Song Stuck on the Brain: So What by Pink

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Love's Pursuit


Siri Mitchell
Bethany House (June 1, 2009)


In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.

In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love's Pursuit, go HERE


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

A Constant Heart was her sixth novel. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. She has been called one of the clearest, most original voices in the CBA.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

CFBA: Shepherd's Fall by Wanda Dyson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Roamer by Enrique Iglesias

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Shepherd's Fall


Wanda Dyson
WaterBrook Press (April 14, 2009)


Bounty hunter Nick Shepherd is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It's his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his "flock" is out of his control, Nick's well-ordered universe falls into chaos.

Prodigal Recovery's search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Nick's business. He is thrown together with Zeena's twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Nick's daughter is kidnapped. Now, to save someone he loves, Nick must risk everything.but will it be enough

If you would like to read a Prologue excerpt from Shepherd's Fall, go HERE


Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager on a busy farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the occasional fox, deer, groundhog, and snake. She could seriously live without the snakes, but that's life in the country.

After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. Readers characterize her books as "riviting" and "Packed with twists and turns."

Wanda serves on the board of several writers conferences across the country including the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

Wanda has finished the second in this series called Shepherd's Run,that will come out in 2010. And she's hard at work on the third and final installment of the Prodigal Recovery Series - Marti's story -- tentatively called Shepherd's Quest.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CSFF: Vanish by Tom Pawlik

Song Stuck on the Brain: Stop by Matchbox 20

This month the CSFF is touring:



Three strangers each encounter the same mysterious storm and awake the next day to find that everyone else has vanished. There's Conner Hayden, a successful but unscrupulous trial lawyer who has forsaken his family for his career; Helen Krause, a middle-aged model struggling to come to grips with her fading beauty; and Mitch Kent, an enterprising young mechanic unable to escape a past that still haunts him. Afraid and desperate for answers, their paths eventually cross and they discover they are being watched. Elusive and obscured in shadows, the "observers" are apparently forcing them to relive vivid hallucinations of events from their past. They discover a mute homeless boy in tattered clothing and believe he may hold the key to the mystery, but the "observers" soon become aggressive and the four are forced to flee. When the boy disappears, the four decide to head from Chicago to Washington, D.C., in search of answers...and more survivors.

Winner of the 2006 operation first novel contest, Vanish is a nonstop suspense thriller in the vein of Ted Dekker.

Read the first chapter HERE

Also, be sure to look for the sequel, Valley of the Shadow.


Tom has a BA in Communication and has been active in Christian music, teaching, and youth work for over 20 years. His first novel, Vanish, won the 2006 Operation First Novel Contest, sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild and Tyndale Publishers. The exciting sequel, Valley of the Shadow, will be released by Tyndale in June 2009.

In addition to fiction, Tom is also an accomplished songwriter, having written over 150 songs. Tom and his wife Colette live in Ohio with their four children and one large dog.
For more about Tom, please visit his blog.
To be honest, I have not read this one yet. My parents and sister all read it before I had the chance to read it for the review. They all said it was an intriguing point of view on the topic of life and death, but not one they completely agreed with. I'm sure, as with all books, you have to take it with a grain of salt... it is fiction after all. They did all agree that it was very suspensful and thought provoking.
If you've read Vanish, let me know what your thoughts are on the book.
To see what other reviewers are saying, visit one of the tour members blogs below:

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Donita K. Paul
Epic Rat
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler

Monday, June 22, 2009

CFBA: The Firstborn by Conlan Brown

Song Stuck on the Brain: If You Wanna Be Happy by Jimmy Soul

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Firstborn


Conlan Brown
Realms (May 5, 2009)


Three supernatural gifts. Two thousand years of division. One moment of truth.

Hannah's head hung, long brown hair in her eyes. Her face felt pasty with cold and fatigue and pain. Arms behind her back, she sat in a chair, wrists and ankles tied to the wooden frame, chair legs bolted to the floor. A cold car. A gun. Horror. Pain. Grief. Screaming. A windshield blistering with holes. Darkness.

It all came over her like a flood. A pouring out of pictures in her mind. But then there was one more thing. Not an image, but a feeling--that half a continent away someone else had felt it all happening too.

The Firstborn, those gifted with Foresight, Hindsight, and Insight at the time of Christ's death are divided between themselves. And when an Islamic holy man is murdered outside of his mosque it becomes apparent that one of the Firstborn was to blame. Now, with the threat of a terrorist attack on an unspeakable target the Firstborn are spiraling out of control. Leaders are dying, members are being kidnapped, and unity is being forced. Three heroes, differently gifted and divided must work together to thwart those who would go too far.

Their breakneck race against time plunges them into a world of danger and through a gauntlet across the United States. From the Riverwalk of San Antonio, where Devin Bathurst, John Temple, and Hannah Rice must protect one another from assassination, to the gritty streets of Washington DC, a paramilitary compound in Pennsylvania, and ultimately back to our nation's capital, the Firstborn must unite to prevent an impending atrocity from becoming reality.

Watch The Trailer

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


Born in 1984, Conlan Brown was functionally illiterate until the fifth grade, when he learned how to read and write, as well as a love of story, from his grandmother. Conlan went on to start college at the age of sixteen, and now holds a Master's degree in Communication, which taught him the academic principles needed to write Firstborn.

Conlan lives on Colorado's Front Range where he is working on his next book. He enjoys video editing, film scores, and developing high octane, thought provoking fiction that turns pages and excites the senses.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CFBA: A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist

Song Stuck on the Brain: Waiting on a Woman by Brad Paisley. Congrats to Brad, he did very well at the CMT awards last night.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

A Bride In The Bargain


Deeanne Gist
Bethany House (June 1, 2009)


Yay! A new book from Deeanne Gist is like bonus vacation hours. Unexpected, but guaranteed to be amazing. Don't miss this one, she's an amazing writer. I recommend all her books.


The Wedding Is All Planned...
Someone Just Needs to Tell the Bride

In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.

Joe Denton doesn't have a wife, though. His died before she could follow him to Seattle and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride--one of the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer.

Anna Ivey's journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook--not a bride. When she's handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his land. With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he convince this provoking, but beguiling, easterner to become his lawfully wedded wife?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride In The Bargain, go HERE


Deeanne Gist, the bestselling author of A Bride Most Begrudging and The Measure of a Lady, has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People magazine, Parents, and Parenting. With a line of parenting products called "I Did It!® Productions" and a degree from Texas A&M, she continues her writing and speaking. She and her family live in Houston, Texas.

Since the debut of those novels, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, two RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CFBA: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Dayton/Vanderbilt

Song Stuck on the Brain: Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka (Oh come on, you're surprised? How could you read the title of this book and not sing the song for a week straight?)

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
FaithWords (April 16, 2009)


Ana, Christine, Riley, and Zoe have grown closer than ever over the past few months, but summer is over and it's time to put their friendship to the test.
It's been a little over a year since Christine Lee's mom passed away in a tragic car accident. Now her dad is engaged to Candace--"The Bimbo"--and Christine couldn't be less thrilled. When her attitude starts to take a toll on her schoolwork, the administration forces her to attend counseling sessions. At least she gets to skip gym class!
But with her father's wedding inching closer, Christine is growing even more bitter. To make matters worse, the Miracle Girls are beginning to drift apart. Christine's anger and the pressures of high school threaten to break the girls up when they need each other the most. Will they find a way to join together to help Christine come to terms with her mother's death . . . and her father's remarriage?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, go HERE


ANNE DAYTON graduated from Princeton University and is earning her master's degree in English literature at New York University. She works for a New York publishing company and lives in Brooklyn.

MAY VANDERBILT graduated from Baylor University and went on to earn a master's degree in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in San Francisco, where she writes about food, fashion, and nightlife in the Bay Area.

Together, the two women are the authors of Miracle Girls

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

CFBA: The Deliverer by Linda Rios Brook

Song Stuck on the Brain: Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The Deliverer


Linda Rios Brook
Realms (May 5, 2009)


Ancient language expert Samantha Yale returns to translate a new batch of scrolls written by the fallen angel from Lucifer's Flood.

Samantha Yale has taken on a daunting translation project. A set of scrolls, delivered by a man she knows nothing about, tells a fascinating and frightening tale of what went on behind the scenes of biblical history. What is even more incredible is who is telling the tale--a fallen angel who immediately regretted his decision to side with Lucifer.

With The Deliverer, Linda Rios Brook brings new depth of imagery into the spirit world. It is a story about rebellion and consequences. It is about demonic strategy to disrupt and destroy the people of God. But ultimately, it is a story about the unrelenting love, grace, mercy, and determination of a sovereign God in pursuit of His children.

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


Linda Rios Brook, President of the RiosBrook Foundation, believes the answers to issues of social justice and righteousness lie in the proper alignment between the church, the marketplace and media and entertainment. She is a sought out speaker and teacher on matters relevant to cultural restoration. Linda worked as a media executive for over 20 years in the field of broadcasting serving as President and General Manager of television stations in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota and was President and part owner of KLGT-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Linda has served on several national boards and community organizations and is listed in Who's Who of American Women. She is an ordained minister and has a Doctorate of Practical Ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute.

Linda is also the author of Lucifer's Flood.

Linda is also a teaching Pastor at Covenant Centre International in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Linda is married to Larry Brook, who is the Executive Director of the RiosBrook Foundation.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A fabulous Dog Eared day

Song Stuck on the Brain: Lie by David Cook (I've been listening to him a lot, if you hadn't noticed. Fantastic artist, can't wait for the next album.)

I had quite a fun weekend, and I'm just now getting a chance to blog about it. Darn work and all it's trappings, keeps me way too busy. :)

So, I found out through the e-grapevine that author Mary Connealy was doing a book signing in my hometown this last weekend. Mary, and her author pals, Cheryl St. John, Bobbi Smith and Julie Miller, held court at Dog Ear Books on Saturday.

I wasn't the only one excited, I brought my sister, Angel, as well as two more girlfriends, Julie and Karen, along with me. I'd got them all hooked on the Lassoed in Texas series, Julie even threatened to never give me back my books. She was just going to keep them forever. :) Instead she bought her own set and we picked up the latest, Nosy in Nebraska as well. After buying autographed books from all the authors, I had a chance to chat writer to writer with Mary, and I'm still feeling a little buzzed.

Have you ever wanted to talk business with someone you greatly admire, but figure you'll never have the chance? Welcome to my world. Lucky me, though, I got to do just that. It was very inspiring and insightful. Lately I've been thinking if I could write half as well as Mary Connealy, I'd be doing well. Hearing her share about her road to success made me feel like maybe I'm not so far off course myself. Which, of course, goes a long way toward motivating me on my next book project.

I've always thought of myself as being a very 'glass half full' kind of person. Optimistic, full of silver linings and always able to see the rainbow through the storm. But when it comes to my

personal success, I find my vision gets kind of cloudy. It's easy to see the success in others and encourage them forward, but I tend to forget that when it comes to my own work. Talking to Mary opened my eyes to see things a little differently.

I've entered my novels in four contests, finalling in three. Not too shabby really, but it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. I find that I focus on the things marked that need change, the comments that show where work still needs to be done, rather than the fact that I managed to squeeze past all the competition. Not that finalling in a contest should give anyone a big head. (Heaven forbid, mine's naturally big enough as it is. Who needs ego issues?)

One of the biggest benefits of a contest is the honest critiques we receive from the judges. But I have to remember that seeing the positive is helpful too. Now I know what I did RIGHT. I know that I'm one step closer to success and seeing a possible book contract. It shows that all my hard work hasn't been for nothing, there is a future in the book world for me.

Thanks, Mary, for reminding me that all successes, no matter how small they seem, have bearing on the big picture. I'll be keeping that in mind as I start my fourth novel. Maybe someday, it will see success as well.

Keep the faith,


Monday, June 08, 2009

CFBA: Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

Song Stuck on the Brain: Always by Building 429

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:



Travis Thrasher
FaithWords (May 28, 2009)


For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he's stricken by a paralyzing case of writer's block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else's writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he's gotten away with it . . . until he's greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed--the true author of the stolen manuscript.

What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian's threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he's spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run.

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


It was during third grade after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing fulltime in 2007.

Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in summer of 2007. This year he has to novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.

Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November, 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.

Stop by and visit Travis at his Blog where you can sign up to follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

Also check out the radio interview with Travis on Monday June 8th at BlogTalkRadio/FaithWords

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Win: Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner

This month (or what's left of it...) I'm giving away:


A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope

Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.

A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

To see more, click HERE.


Just click on the book cover at the top of the sidebar and email me your entry. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only and ends at midnight on June 30, 2009.

Good Luck!


And the Winner is...

Congratulations, Katherine E.!

Katherine is the winner of Chasing Charity by Marcia Gruver.

Sorry, ya'll. I totally spazzed out and forgot to announce the winner and post a new contest. Thanks to all of you who entered, and I hope you'll continue to visit. Who knows? Maybe you'll be the next winner?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CFBA: Scream by Mike Dellosso

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Don't Want to Live on the Moon... which isn't exactly true. I always thought it would be cool to live on the moon.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:



Mike Dellosso
Realms (March 3, 2009)


Otherworldly Screams...
A Madman on the Loose...
This Time the Stakes Are Higher Than Ever

While talking to his friend on the phone, Mark Stone is startled by a cacophony of otherworldly screams. Seconds later, a tragic accident claims his friend's life. When this happens several more times--screams followed by an untimely death--he is compelled to act.

Battling his failure as a husband and struggling with his own damaged faith, Mark embarks on a mission to find the meaning behind the screams and hopefully stop death from calling on its next victim. When his estranged wife is kidnapped and he again hears the screams as she calls from her cell phone, his search becomes much more personal and much more urgent.

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


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted.

He was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years and has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets. Mike also has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters.

Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

Monday, June 01, 2009

CFBA: Breathe by Lisa T. Bergren

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Did It For You by David Cook

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:



Lisa T. Bergren
(David C. Cook; New edition June 1, 2009)


To make a new life, she'll have to learn how to breathe again...

By the time Dominic and Moira St. Clair get their ailing sister, Odessa, to Colorado Springs in the winter of 1883, she is nearly dead. Odessa has been seriously aling for the past year from consumption, an illness that claimed the lives of four of her younger brothers, prompting her father, to send his only surviving children west to chase the cure.

Moira is beautiful and dangerously headstrong; and pugnacious Dominic is charged with establishing a new arm of the family business--a business he doesn't want.
Several days after her arrival, Odessa witnesses what she fears is the murder of miner Sam O’Toole, friend and neighbor to the charming Bryce McAllan.

What’s more, Sam leaves her a poem containing clues that seem to direct her to his mine, which is purported to carry a fantastic vein of silver. But if she is ever to rise from her bed again, she must first concentrate on conquering the giant that threatens her─consumption. Indeed, she must learn to breathe again─daring to embrace her life, her future, and hope in her God.

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


Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award winning author of over thirty books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time between writing and freelance editing and parenting her three young children with her husband Tim. She lives in Colorado Springs.