Friday, April 27, 2012

CFBA: The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy

Song Stuck on the Brain: Celebrity by Brad Paisley... Old Man River... Big Girls Don't Cry by Frankie Valley... Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy?... It's been a rather odd music shuffle in the old bean today.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
The Sound of Red Returning
Kregel Publications (December 9, 2011)
Sue Duffy


The title is very appropriate, a foreshadowing of what's to come. I thought Russian spies went out with the coldwar, but Sue Duffy has definitely proved me wrong. It's a little like a flashback to a well loved and comfortable story, with a nice fresh update. Just proves the somethings in life never change. Politics and greed for example. Thankfully, the other things that are just as immovable are Jesus' love for His children and the hope we find in that promise. A nice cozy read.

After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace she usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can't shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past . . . and by someone following her. When she spots a familiar and eerie face in the audience of a concert she's giving for the president in Washington, DC, the scariest day of her life comes back to her with a flash.

It has been fifteen years since Liesl watched her beloved Harvard music mentor assaulted on a dark night in Moscow and just as long since the CIA disclosed to her that he'd been spying for Russia. She had seen that man-that eerie face-the night Professor Devoe was attacked. And now he's back-and coming for her.


“Sue Duffy has mixed the mayhem of political intrigue with the melody of romance.” —Dick Bohrer, author, editor, and former journalism professor

“Intrigue and suspense come together in an incredible story of love and betrayal, commitment and courage, power and danger . . . and a God who controls it all. Sue Duffy is a wonderfully gifted writer and this book is a must-read.” —Steve Brown, founder and president of Key Life and host of Steve Brown Etc.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sound of Red Returning, go HERE.


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. She is the author of Mortal Wounds (Barbour, 2001), Fatal Loyalty (Kregel, 2010), and The Sound of Red Returning (Kregel, 2011). Sue has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CFBA: Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:


Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2012)


Anne Elisabeth Stengl


Moonblood has been a highly anticipated book for me. I love fairytales and fantasy of all sorts, but the author doesn't write just any old fluff, her stories are meaty and full of deeper meanings. Not quite Grimm Brothers, but so much more than Disney. I love Disney, I think I've seen more princess movies than my nieces, but the Tales of Goldstone Wood series has stood out from the rest with its depth and color. So very alive and three dimensional. My only wish is that I could have read them all back to back rather than waiting between publishing dates. I find that my poor memory has a hard time retaining so many details when I read as much as I do between releases. It all came back as I was reading, but I know it would have been even more incredible if I could have imersed myself in that world from begining to end. Which I will probably do at some point down the road - a long weekend with Anne Elisabeth Stengl and dark chocolate.

For those of you that are new to the series, you have an advantage. Be sure you have all 3 books on hand and dive in.

You can see my reviews for the other books in the series by following the links:

Book 1: Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Book 2: Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl


Moonblood Draws Near, and Soon the Dragons Will Wake

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.

Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed.

With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon's sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it's too late for Rose Red . . . and all those he loves.

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

DOWNLOAD BOOK ONE: Heartless on Amazon Kindle for FREE!


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 is married to the handsome man she met at fencing class and lives with him and a gaggle of cats. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.

Anne Elisabeth is also the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a series of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CFBA: Always the Designer, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Song Stuck on the Brain: All by Myself by Celine Dion

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Always The Designer, Never The Bride

Abingdon Press (April 2012)


Sandra D. Bricker


There is a Troll that works in my local post office, who's recently become a book lover. I only know this because he's chosen to keep the books I've requested to review rather than have them delivered. I hope he's enjoying them. I also hope he learns a few lessons about love and sharing and decides to forward them on when he's done, because I'd really like to read Always the Designer, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker. *sigh*

I waited until the last minute to post in hopes it would still come and I could at least start the book, but no such luck. In the mean time, here are the details. If you've read it, please let me know what you thought. If the Troll ever sends on my copy, I'll return the favor and post a full review.


It’s taken Audrey Regan years to establish herself as a wedding dress designer, and to date she’s been roped into creating dresses for nine of her girlfriends. Request #10 follows her vow to “Just say no!” and comes from her very best friend. She can hardly turn Carly down!

Audrey arrives in Atlanta early to perform all of her maid-of-honor duties along with final fittings for a one-of-a-kind dress. But Carly’s wedding is nothing short of an event, complete with Prince Charming, and the festivities make Audrey question whether there’s a prince of her own anywhere in her future.

Enter the groom’s brother and best man. Shaggy-haired, tattooed bad boy J.R. Hunt couldn’t be any more different from Prince Charming if he rode in on a Harley Davidson. Oh, wait. He actually did ride in on a Harley!

If you would like to read an excerpt of the first chapter of Always The Designer, Never The Bride, go HERE.


For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The Big 5-OH! was released by Abingdon Press in the Spring of 2010, and the novel was very well-received, garnering a couple of nibbles from Hollywood.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride was released by Abingdon Press in September 2010. With its phenomenal reviews, the novel spawned a series of three more books based on the popular cast of characters at The Tanglewood Inn, a wedding destination hotel in historic Roswell, Georgia. The series cemented Sandie's spot in publishing as a flagship author of Laugh-Out-Loud romantic comedy for the inspirational market.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

Friday, April 06, 2012

CFBA: The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo

Song Stuck on the Brain: You're The Inspiration by Chicago - currently playing on my Journey channel on Pandora

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

The 13th Tribe

Thomas Nelson (April 3, 2012)


Robert Liparulo


I have so many conflicting thoughts about this book. Is it interesting, intriguing, well written and entertaining? Yes.

But... you knew that was coming right? There's a growing trend in the Christian Market to take Biblical stories and add a twist. They present it as Speculative Fiction. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Such as the recently reviewed book Wayward Son by Tom Pollack with Jim Alves and John Loftus where we read of Cain being cursed to live as an immortal and survives the flood by being a stowaway on Noah's ark among other things. My question? Is this a wise trend?

In The 13th Tribe, the author proposes that a small group of Israelites (men, women and children) who took part in the worship of the golden calf while Moses was on the mount receiving the Law, were saved from the mass slaughter that the Lord commanded. Rather than being put to death with the rest of the 3,000 some idolaters, they were instead given immortality, cursed to live on earth forever, never to see the face of God. Now in the 21st century they're a small band of terrorists that see it as their God given call to kill any evil man or group they can, regardless of casualties or the fall out that follows. Their hope is that one day, they'll have killed enough evil, to earn God's forgiveness and be welcomed home to Heaven. Of course through the novel we learn that you can't earn forgiveness or salvation. The characters learn and grow in faith and belief.

I'll admit, I find it ridiculous to believe that God would allow this evil group to remain here on earth to spread more evil and murder. We have plenty of that by the choices that mortal men make. I don't see any scriptural grounding that says God would reward a few out of those sentenced to death, to live immortally. It just doesn't make sense. I chose to try to suspend my logical side in order to enjoy the story for it's entertainment value. There is a positive message wrapped up in an intriguing concept. Positive to those who know their Biblical history and the Word of God. We know that a 13th tribe never existed. But what of those who are new to the faith who aren't grounded in scripture yet? Will they be confused or even mislead innocently into believing something that isn't truth? What of those who aren't Christians, the very ones we're reaching out to witness to? Will they be turned off by what they believe is just one more crazy Christian message that doesn't make sense to them?

As a writer and story lover, I know the value of creative freedom and expression. I'm not suggesting we begin censoring our creativity and stifle it in the process. There is a place for the what ifs. I love SciFi and Fantasy. We can be as creative and imaginative as we want and still spread a strong message of faith and truth. We can do that without distorting the scriptures or rewriting the Bible to suit that creativity. It's one thing to retell a Bible story and fill in the blanks with historically accurate detail and imagined conversation that stays true to the history of the Bible story. There are so many great examples of this, such as the book I reviewed called A Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar.

More than anything I still remain a fan of Robert Liparulo's books. His DreamHouse Kings series was phenomenal. He's a fantastic and entertaining writer, and I'm sure I'll excitedly check out his next offering. For me though, this book fell a little short.


Their story didn't start this year . . . or even this millennium.

It began when Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Tired of waiting on the One True God, the twelve tribes of Israel began worshipping a golden calf through pagan revelry. Many received immediate death for their idolatry, but 40 were handed a far worse punishment-endless life on earth with no chance to see the face of God.

This group of immortals became the 13th Tribe, and they've been trying to earn their way into heaven ever since-by killing sinners. Though their logic is twisted, their brilliance is undeniable. Their wrath is unstoppable. And the technology they possess is beyond anything mere humans have ever seen.

Jagger Baird knows nothing about the Tribe when he's hired as head of security for an archaeological dig on Mt. Sinai. The former Army Ranger is still reeling from an accident that claimed the life of his best friend, his arm, and his faith in God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The 13th Tribe, go HERE.


Best-selling novelist Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first three critically acclaimed thrillers—Comes a Horseman, Germ, and Deadfall—were optioned by Hollywood producers, as well as his Dreamhouse Kings series for young adults. Bestselling author Ted Dekker calls The 13th Tribe, released in April 2012, “a phenomenal story.” Liparulo is currently working with director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) on the novel and screenplay of a political thriller. New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” Liparulo lives in Colorado with his family.

Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page:, or at Twitter @robertliparulo.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

CFBA: Cooking the Books by Bonnie S. Calhoun

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Cooking The Books

Abingdon Press (April 2012)


Bonnie S. Calhoun


I wish I could share my take. Unfortunately, due to postal gremlins, my copy didn't arrive and I am so sad. I really wanted to read this one. Bonnie has been a dream to work with in these blog tours and I'm so excited that she's getting to tour HER book now. I have high hopes that my copy will be unearthed at some point and arrive in my box, hopefully no worse for the wear. When I do, I'll be sure to come back and post My Take.

In the mean time, check out the info below. Heck, go for it. Read the book and give me YOUR take. It will give me that much more to look forward to.


As the Owner/Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Bonnie has helped use the 220+ blogs of the Alliance to promote many titles on the Christian bestseller list. She also owns and publishes the Christian Fiction Online magazine which is devoted to readers and writers of Christian fiction. She is the Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). At ACFW she was named the ‘Mentor of the Year,’ for 2011, and she is the current President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network. Bonnie is also the Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

In her spare time she is an avid social media junkie, and teaches Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and HTML as recreational occupations. She also has a novel coming out in the Abingdon Quilts of Love series. Her novel Pieces of the Heart will publish August of 2013.

Bonnie and her husband Bob live in a log cabin on 15 acres in upstate area of Binghamton, New York with a dog and cat who consider the humans as wait-staff.


After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also "inherits" a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, “What else can go wrong?”

A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cooking The Books, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

If you'd like to read interviews with Bonnie, try these:

Everbody Needs A Little Romance

A Christian Writers World

Novel Rocket

ACFW - Fiction Finder