Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
So begins a tale of intrigue and suspense, aptly entitled Deceive Me Once, for, indeed, once is all it takes. Once to bare one's soul, once to risk one's life and once to seek forgiveness.
Ms. Goree sets her story in the Hill Country of south-central Texas, not far from San Antonio. The land is rugged, in its own way beautiful, and often unforgiving. So is the tale she tells.
When Chella embarks on a covert mission to uncover the mystery surrounding a half-heart necklace found on the girl's body, more than solving a crime is at stake. She forces herself back in time to a horrific event she not only witnessed, but believes she caused: the death of her parents and the destruction of life she knew as a teenager. Aided by her godly and faithful daughter-in-law Teresa, Chella begins step by step to unravel the true circumstances surrounding the childhood tragedy and begins healing those wounds self inflicted so long ago. But there's more to Ms. Goree's story.
As is so true with deceit, Chella is not the only one affected by it. Her unconfessed sin has created a rift in the areas that matter the most: her marriage, her family and her faith. The question is whether she can untangle herself from the spiritual-emotional tenacles that have embedded themselves in her mind and her heart over the past 25 years. The answer to that question does not lie in this review, it lies between the covers of Deceive Me Once.
Look there for it. You'll be glad you did.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Last Cordate tracks the adventures of the beautiful Talasa of Ny-Da, who carries with her the message of hope that will usher in the final era of Diapason, when all creatures of the planet will once again draw into perfect communion with their benevolent creator, Da-Dat-Shee. Both natural and supernatural forces stand against her, they having successfully foiled the missions of the previous two Cordates. Talasa must face not only these external threats, but also the greatest peril of all—that of untested faith within herself.
Talasa travels with two noble companions, Jare and Worthy, as well as Secret, a scribe whose sole function is to record everything that is said and that happens on the journey to Quala-Da, the ultimate destination of her quest. They learn from each other what it means to listen and to trust not just Da-Dat-Shee’s leading within their own hearts and minds, but to the wise counsel of other Dations—followers of Da-Dat-Shee—along the way.
The previous two paragraphs hint that there is some vocabulary to learn. And, oh, there is indeed. At first I was somewhat nonplussed at the five-page glossary at the front of the book, concerned I’d be able to stay on track without having to keep a thumb wedged in the lexicon of players and place names. I needn’t have worried. Ms. Pickrell’s writing is so crisp, her allegorical ties so strong, I never referred to the word list until I’d finished the book. Then I checked back just wondering if I’d missed anything. I hadn’t.
Well conceived in theme and rigorous in detail, The Last Cordate drives you relentlessly along the road with Talasa from the moment she leaves her sanctuary in Ny-Da to the final step she takes on her quest. Oh, and prepare to meet yourself along the way--likely more than once.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The long-awaited release of Katia is now a reality! Amazon.com was the first to offer it here. Booksamillion.com is also carrying it for a reduced price for club members. CBD hasn't caught up yet, but when they do, you'll get a better hit on the price.
The interview with KENS 5 went very well. The host and camera man were at the house for over three hours. I guess it took that long to get 5-10 minutes of useful information from me.
In any event, the segment will be broadcast on the morning show, "Great Day SA", between 9:00-10:00 am CST on November 9th, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There's a live-streaming feed online of the show, as well as a live-chat feature where viewers can post comments. It's kind of neat--no commercials and you can see/hear the cast and crew bantering and setting up for the next segment between spots. It would be so cool if those who are of a mind and can tune in at that time and drop a comment that includes who you are, where you're watching from, and how studly the interview subject is. Or, for those of you with any shred of integrity left, just who you are and where you're watching from.
I'll post an update as we get closer to the time.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
blog post pronouncing Tessa Afshar "a name to remember." As Sibella has this disturbing habit of being right about things like this, I checked out Tessa's Web site. To my utter joy, I found a kindred writing spirit--historical, Old Testament fiction. A godly woman I tell you, godly.
So I bought her book. And I read it. I highly recommend you do both of those things, too.
Ms. Afshar has taken the story of Rahab and created a thought-provoking, spiritually uplifting, and dramatically poignant story of tender divine redemption overcoming stubborn human resistance. Liberally sprinkled with snippets of unexpected humor (what a unique writing voice!), Pearl in the Sand digs deeply into the tortured soul of a woman who simply cannot believe that there could be a future for one with such a past as hers.
Through no fault of her own, Rahab is slow to win the hearts of her newly adopted people--and especially the heart of one in particular (cf. Matt. 1:5). When she does win their--and his--love, she has no idea what to do with it. Shamed by a past she cannot erase by her own power, her life crumbles until, like the walls of her hometown, Jericho, almost nothing is left standing. It is not until she and her husband receive by faith the grace God extends to both of them that she comes to understand her value through His eyes.
If you click the link in the first line above, you'll see a fascinating interview with the author. You'll also have the opportunity to click over to her Web site. There you'll discover she has an MDiv from Yale. She ministers to women. So does her novel, but it's not only for women. There are priceless nuggets of wisdom for both men and women on relating to God and relating to each other, all woven seamlessly into the context of Rahab's and Salmone's story. And if that's not enough to move you, guys, there's also a battle scene, okay? Okay.
Tessa Afshar is indeed a name to remember, but I think she'll prefer you remember the message she delivers so powerfully in Pearl in the Sand. The book is a gem in and of itself.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
When I reviewed her debut novel, A Distant Melody, I noted that Ms. Sundin had set the bar so high, I was concerned she'd be able to match it with her second installment in the "Wings of Glory" series. I needn't have feared.
A Memory Between Us excels on several planes. (No pun intended...well, okay, maybe it was a little bit intended.) The tale revolves around Major Jack Novak, a B-17 pilot (and brother of Walt Novak, our hero in Memory), and Lieutenant Ruth Dougherty, the nurse who tends to his wounds after a rather rude burst of Nazi flak grounds him. Jack notices the attractive Ruth through his morphine-induced stupor, but she has fended off the advances of so many male patients that she has a withering retort prepared before the first words are even out of his mouth. Imagine her surprise when he slurringly professes God's love fore her instead of his own. Then he drops off to sleep.
Thus begins the stutter-stopping relationship between a woman so emotionally incapacitated by guilt over a horrible childhood secret that she can barely function in a social setting, and a man so self-absorbed he can't figure out whether he's falling in love with the woman or just trying to charm her into falling in love with him. Enter a well developed supporting cast that includes the lovable May, who chips away at the wall around Ruth's heart, and stolid Charlie, who chips away at the pride around Jack's, and you've got a great recipe for an even greater storyline.
Now for the author. As in Melody, Ms. Sundin delivers the raw grit and terror of WWII aerial warfare with all the skill of one who must surely have been there, seen that. She paints an equally vivid picture of the imperfect human heart as it trips along in all its glorious failings on the road to redemption. But another interesting facet of her writing surfaces in Memory that was only hinted at in Melody.
In addition to adeptly portraying the gamut from heart-wrenching turmoil to heart-warming love, Ms. Sundin displays a unique versatility in that she can present the reader with a playful scene--yes, playful--without it coming across as trite or goofy. That's not as easy as it might sound. What do I mean? Shall I share an example or two? Sorry. Read the book.
A Memory Between Us is a worthy sequel to A Distant Melody--and that's saying something. Thanks for a great read, Sarah. Can't wait for the third book!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
This is the reason my blog has been silent for nearly a month. When the heat is turned up under a project going into production, life elsewhere ceases. It's appropriate that Sunday marks the resurrection from that ceased life. Thanks to a tireless editor and a phenomenal design artist, Katia is on her way to the printer.
For those of you who aren't yet acquainted with Katia Mahler, you're in for a treat. I'll enter the synopsis below:
- - - - - - -
Stalwart Katia Mahler is a sixty year-old German invalid who grew up in post-World War II East Berlin. She has a story to tell.
Enigmatic Oskar Schultmann brings together the journalist and the storyteller. Maddy’s task: to chronicle Katia Mahler’s life.
All three of them discover more to Katia’s story than they bargained for.
Cultures and generations clash, as the young American and the German matron strive to understand each other’s present and past. Maddy learns more than a personal history; Katia receives more than a memoir. And always in the background is Oskar, who gets drawn into the story in ways he never intended.
Peek behind the Iron Curtain and over the Berlin Wall as Katia’s story—the story of a lost generation from a failed state—comes to life through the scribbled notes of a girl struggling to grasp the significance of what she has written for her own life, as well as for future generations.
- - - - - - -
Writing this story has been one of the joys of my life. It's based upon a scene I witnessed in Berlin, Germany, on November 10, 1989, the day after the Berlin Wall fell. A photo of the inspirational scene, along with a photo gallery depicting the events of that historic event, are on my Web site.
I'll keep you posted on the release date for Katia. I hope you'll give her a try!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Unwanted is probably one of the most imaginative works of the genre I've ever read. This book has more twists and turns in it than four Bavarian pretzels--and it's only the first book in the trilogy.
Tibon, a fiendishly brilliant scientist, is on a quest to avenge the politically motivated and officially covered-up murder of his family over 25 years ago. He selects the genetic engineering and ultimate control of a race of super humans to achieve that revenge. But one day something goes terribly wrong with his plan. Two nurses flee with five of his infant subjects, all of whom had been marked for termination. The nurses lose themselves and the babies in the backwoods of Oklahoma, where, with the help of a few friends, they raise the children. Thus is the beginning of the Family.
The core of the Family comprises these five genetically altered children, each with their own unique giftings. The nurses, Janet and Michelle, had no knowledge of the genetic experimentation. Until, that is, strange things begin to occur as the babies grow and their "abnormalities" begin to manifest in shocking ways. Janet chronicles the infants' unnerving development in her journal as the women strain to cope with what is unfolding before them. Now, enter the FBI and Tibon's forces, both of whom are searching for the missing children for counterpoised purposes, and you have the makings of a volatile situation bound to explode at the crux moment. And rest assured; explode it does--in more ways than one.
Mr. Carter blends depravity and greed, love and redemption, treachery and guile, and innocence and loyalty into a fast-paced tale that will keep you turning page after page. Ultimately, you'll discover how a single man's fanatical arrogance fares against Divine purpose, and in ways you'd least expect. Cool!
I must confess that people who write this kind of stuff, and write it well, worry me. I mean, c'mon; how does a mind living in the everyday world come up with a scenario that seems so far off the wall, but then so successfully roots it in the real world that it doesn't even nudge incredulity? Does Mr. Carter know something we don't? I wonder...nah!
Friday, August 27, 2010
If you're involved in a Christian book club, or know someone who is, there's a great new Web site called The Book Club Network. Its purpose is to bring together book clubs and authors to review each other's needs and offerings. There are some great discussions on organizing book clubs and meeting authors whose work may interest your group. Worth checking out!
Friday, August 20, 2010
But there's a new battle looming, one with potentially devastating consequences. While Nick and CT search for their old friends, a satanic cult has targeted their home church for destruction, including their families, their dearest friends and themselves. No one is aware of the plot until the cult lauches its attack at the crux point of the story.
You. Will. Not. Want. To. Miss. The. Final. Showdown. Oh no, you will not.
In short, Heading Home achieves in one concise, high-powered novel what it took Left Behind to do in--how many volumes did the series finally turn out to be? All due respect and credit to Messrs. Jenkins and LaHaye, but, honestly, I gave up somewhere around number three or four. Sorry if that offends any die-hard LB fans; chalk it off to my limited attention span. In any event, if you ran the marathon with Left Behind, you'll enjoy the sprint with Heading Home. And it will leave you breathless.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
It is from this perspective Vitalis relates his story of an encounter that upended his world view as a die-hard defender of Rome and staunch adherent to the ideals of the Empire, and framed his view of the “different world” now poised to receive him.
The setting is 62 AD Rome, in Nero’s palace. The Emperor commissions Vitalis to investigate a neo-Jewish cult who profess to follow the Christos. One of the last survivors of the original inner circle of the Christos, a fisherman named Petros, is imprisoned in Rome. Nero decides to lead the prosecution personally to ascertain why this cult that calls itself “The Way” did not die out after the crucifixion of its leader 30 years earlier, as so many other rebellions had in the past. Indeed, it continues to grow, with its influence now reaching into even the capital city. Vitalis joins Nero in the interrogation and hears the tale from the mouth of Petros through Mark, his companion and translator. Nero and Vitalis walk away with completely divergent impressions of the story they’ve heard.
Only 167 pages, this is a ‘quick read’; however, its impact will linger long after you reach the back cover. While nothing can replace Scripture, The Fisherman’s Testament is a worthy alternative text to recommend to someone who may never otherwise crack open the Bible. The power in hearing the Gospel is presented through the divinely inspired words of Petros and Mark, anticipated objections and misunderstandings of the message are delivered through the humanly understandable reactions of Nero and Vitalis, and the joy of reading excellent prose is delivered through the enviable literary skill of Señor Vidal. Tough combination to beat!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Vanishing Act is a fun read for the inspirational suspense/romance afficiando. Ms. Johnson does a good job of keeping you guessing throughout the story as to who is the bad guy and who is the good guy.
The storyline is imaginative. Our heroine, Nora James, witnessed the shooting of her father in a back alley and barely escaped the same fate herself. Now on the run from an assassin hired by the crime boss who shot her father, Nora must disappear and stay disappeared.
Enter FBI Special Agent Nate Andersen, whose job it is to find Nora and protect her from the assassin. A twist of fate has him stumble upon her unwittingly, and so begins the cat-and-mouse game of uncovering the identity of the assassin without becoming victims themselves. True to a romance, an 'impossible' attraction develops between Nora--who cannot become involved with anyone for fear of endangering them--and Nate, who has a troublesome background of his own when it comes to romantic involvements.
As with most inspirational romances, it's not the destination, it's the journey. The satisfying ending must be reached in a believable, thought-provoking and entertaining way. Ms. Johnson achieves that in Vanishing Act.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Be Not Afraid is suspenseful. Just look at the cover. Neither do I need to tell you it carries a thread of hope and inspiration throughout the story. Just look at the title.
Ms. Lynne has conceived a fascinating storyline that captured me at the very beginning. Our heroine, Samantha Cain, is the widow of a policeman. The entire 3rd Precinct where her late husband, Martin, worked blames her for his death. Now, her own life threatened by a serial killer who thinks she can identify him, Samantha is forced to rely on the protection of Detective Matthew Jefferies who is not only from the 3rd Precinct, but is her husband's former partner. How does conflict get any better than that?
The psychotic killer is not interested in doing away with Samantha immediately. He plays with her mind, wants her to know he can drop her at will and there's nothing she can do about it. Reminiscent of the movie Play Misty for Me, at every scene you're on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the next physical or psychological attack, wondering when he will make the final move of the game.
Samantha leans on her faith to sustain her, as her trust in the police force is at an all-time low from the treatment she received after Martin's suicide. Matthew struggles with his own insecurities and prejudices as he protects Samantha and tries to track down the killer before he strikes again. And neither of them understand nor welcome a growing attraction they discover for each other.
Ms. Lynne develops a great story culminating in an unexpected showdown scene between Samantha and the killer. She keeps the tension up throughout, but doesn't exhaust the reader--at least, not unduly. ;-)
Good show, Deborah! When's the next book coming out?
Monday, July 5, 2010
Disciple is a worthy sequel to Witness, EG Lewis's well researched and skillfully told novelization of the early Christian Church as recounted in the Biblical book of Acts.
This second book in the "Seeds of Christianity" series finds Shemuel and Rivka becoming followers of The Way of Yeshua. In doing so they endure the persecution of the ruling religious elite and shunning by their common Jewish brethren. No longer able to sell his lambs to the Temple, Shemuel moves his family to Jerusalem, only to discover life is no easier as a wood carver and physician there than shepherding was in their hometown of Bethlehem. When the twelve apostles spread out through the known world in obedience to the Great Commission, Shemuel and Rivka accompany Peter to Antioch. There they meet both tribulation and victory as they plant and nuture the congregation that will become the first to be dubbed as "Christians." The plot tightens and reaches its catharsis in intense crises affecting not only Shemuel's personal life, but that of the young church.
Mr. Lewis faithfully tracks the events of Acts, filling in realistic scenarios and vibrant characters that propel the New Testament accounting in a fresh and entertaining way. If you enjoyed Witness, you can't help but revel in Disciple. Well done, Ed!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
A fascinating read for the science-fiction buff happily suffering from a debilitating touch of the romantic notion.
In The Fox's Honor, Mr. Alford transports an unbending code of chivalry and honor to a futuristic world light years displaced in time and distance from the Avalon in which such Arthurian ethics were born.
The romantic will not be disappointed in the love story between Sir Devon Rathenberg, alias "The Fox," and Lady Tamar Falkeep, the woman who has stolen The Fox's heart. Denied any chance of a future due to social station and propriety, Sir Devon and Lady Tamar must conceal their love. But when, in a twisted turn of events, The Lady thwarts Sir Devon's planned death, a new course deciding the fate of the Human Galactic Empire is demanded--a course that will take them and their noble houses into collision with the tyrannical faux Emperor Perod.
Neither will the sci-fi buff be disappointed with Mr. Alford's detailed account of escaping the constraints of physical space via null space transportation, meticulous attention to the demands of orbital dynamics, and descriptions of the astro-/aeronautical nuances of intergalactic spacecraft. Those Star Trek afficiandos owning a copy of Hayne's USS Enterprise: Owner's Workshop Manual will demand a similar work from Mr. Alford. I take that back; they won't need one. Mr. Alford, a test pilot himself, renders treatment only an aeronautical engineer's mother could love to the technical aspects of space travel and the vehicles that conquer it.
The Fox's Honor is Book Two in "The Chronicles of the Dragon and The Fox." It's prequel is The End of Honor, and it's followed by A Season of Honor. I didn't need the prequel to enjoy The Fox's Honor. I am, however, driven to purchase the sequel. I suspect you will be, too.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
A great and fitting sequel to The Centurion's Wife. Gripping storyline, quality writing; a story with a soul.
The Hidden Flame picks up the tale in the "Acts of Faith" series with Abigail, the lovely servant girl, struggling to maintain purity in her faith and perspective in her family. She struggles to release her haunting fear for the safety of Jerusalem's fledgling community of Believers to her Lord's care, and to keep in check her brother, Jacob's, wayward desire to become a Roman legionnaire. Elevating the stress level are the attentions of two competing suitors, neither of whom is acceptable for the same reason. You will love Simon Peter's resolution to that little dilemma!
For those who've read The Centurion's Wife, you'll recall that Abigail is nearly crippled from a disasterous encounter with a pot of scalding water. She toils through her pain to provide for the physical and emotional needs of an exploding population of followers of The Way amid the intrigue and dangers of open persecution by the Jewish ruling elite and under the distrustful scrutiny of the city's Roman occupiers, until she is finally rendered infirm by the injury. You will love Simon Peter's resolution to that little dilemma, too.
The Hidden Flame faithfully tracks the Scriptual account of the early Church, as recounted in the book of Acts, filling in vibrant characters and realisitic scenarios to propel the story along. And, as in its prequel, Ms. Oke and Mr. Bunn combine their masterful storytelling talents that make the journey a most enjoyable one.
One word of warning: if, for some strange reason, you've already decided you're not going to read the third book in the "Acts of Faith" series, don't read this second one. Its ending will change your mind.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Yup, it's finally here! The second and final part to A Prophet's Tale was released on May 26th. The two best ways to get your copy are:
- You can order a copy from Amazon for the full cover price of $21.95, plus shipping. This is the fastest way to receive the book, but most expensive.
- You can order a copy from Christian Book Distributors for $15.99, but there are shipping fees and there's sometimes a delay in receiving books from CBD until they get fully stocked.
Thanks again to everyone for your encouragement during this project. A Prophet's Tale took nearly eight years from the time I typed the first line of Ben Amittai: First Call until this release of The Word Fulfilled. Jonah was very patient with me and so were you all.
God bless and I hope you enjoy the story!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
(Click cover for more information)
The Long Road Home is a gentle, heartwarming novella about the bond between Christian brothers and sisters that transcends social order, skin color and self-limitation. Set in the 19th-century Indiana wilderness, the story is of a young woman, Mandy Evanston, eking out a living alone while her husband works on the westward-expanding railroad. Mandy receives word that her husband has been killed in a construction accident, and now faces an uncertain future with her child who is yet to be born.
Enter Deidre, a runaway slave, who, with her young son, Jedediah, goes into hiding in Mandy's barn. Mandy discovers the pair and a mutually beneficial friendship begins. The two women work the farm and draw close, as they both mourn the loss of their husbands.
Meanwhile, Mandy's husband, Ethan, for his own reasons, has allowed Mandy to think him dead. He slips away morally, pushed by his own selfish struggle with restlessness, yet guilt-ridden at his deceit. At the depths of Ethan's depression, God draws him and turns the struggle to one of returning to his wife and confessing his sin.
Ms. Ehresman paints a lovely picture of the forested Indiana countryside, but also relates a convincing story of what it took to survive in the midst of such stark, unforgiving beauty. The Long Road Home is a comfortable read, one you can curl up and smile with at the end of the day. Enjoy!.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I know I've been kinda quiet on the blog lately, but there's a really good reason . . . :-)
The Word Fulfilled is finishing its final edit and will be heading to the printer very soon. I'm apologizing in advance for the spam mail I'm going to send out when I have a release date.
I thought it might be fun to have another Amazon Surge Day, like we did with The Journey Begun. We'll have to see if we can beat the lowest ranking (low is good!) that we got last August with The Journey Begun.
Will keep you posted and thanks to everyone who's been asking about when The Word Fulfilled will be out. Should be within the next month.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I've already confessed to being a softie for stories of the Greatest Generation, but that aside, this is a marvelous book. Strong storyline, excellent writing, impeccable research--A Distant Melody has it all. In fact, Sarah Sundin has set the bar so high in this, her debut novel, that I'm a little nervous for her follow-on work. (Not really)
The story opens in 1942 with plain Allie Miller, heiress to a fabulously wealthy estate and a disasterously arranged engagement, visiting friends in the rural California countryside. There she meets Walt Novak, an unremarkable B-17 pilot on furlough from flight training. A friendship ensues and they leave behind promises to write each other, as Walt heads to England to fight the Luftwaffe over Europe and Allie returns home to fight herself over her future. Over the months and the miles, their faith and their relationship blossom and grow, albeit hindered by stutter-steps mostly of their own making. Finally, Walt returns home from England to an unexpected and breath-robbing climax.
By the bottom of page two, I knew I was going to like Sarah Sundin the Author. Smooth phrasing, great word choice, clever dialog, yes. But most impressive was her ability to finesse a consistent, yet subtle, thematic metaphor throughout the story, one hinted at by the title of the book. I was reminded of a marvelous cinematographic technique used in filming the movie The Age of Innocence, where the poignancy and theme of the story were underscored by brief snippets of seemingly unrelated graphical representations: a shifting collapse of burnt-through logs in a waning fireplace, the cold ash of a dying cigar breaking off into the ashtray. Ms. Sundin employs her obvious familiarity with the elements of music in the same way and to the same effect. Really well done.
Finally, Ms. Sundin knows her aeronautical and military lore. Full and accurate descriptions of the dynamics of powered flight, the anatomy and personality of the B-17 Flying Fortress, and the intensity and horror of aerial combat in World War II, set in concrete her right to author this story. Sound mechanical? Instructive? Dry? Oh, my goodness, no. She doesn't teach you about flying, you feel the wind tangle your hair during an open-cockpit landing. You don't mentally picture a Fort's cramped bubble turrent, your muscles stiffen in sympathy with the belly gunner. You don't read about somebody getting peppered by flak shrapnel through the plexiglass nose, you grab your leg and look for blood. She's that good.
You've probably gotten the picture that I liked this book. If you're looking for a story with as much romance, faith and action as you can possibly get into 415 pages, you've found it. No, you don't need to be a World War II buff to love this book. You just need to love great books.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Word Fulfilled is up to bat in the production process at OakTara. It should be coming out within the next couple of months. Whatcha think of the cover? Should I keep it? Be honest.
Okay, so it's not a review, it's a preview. It's also my blog, so I can self-indulge on occasion. And, no, I have no idea why this cover came out so much larger than the other ones I post for my reviews. Must be an ego...er, I mean a technical-glitchy thing.
(Click cover for more information)
In Forget Me Not, Vicki Hinze spins an intricate web of intrigue, pitting against each other two extremes on the spectrum of human behavior: the indiscriminant destruction of innocent life and the benevolent protection of the same.
Three years ago, Benjamin Brandt lost his wife, Susan, and his son, Christopher, in a senseless act of violence, and he still hasn't recovered from the loss. When a woman, beaten and left for dead, appears at his crisis center bearing not only an uncanny resemblance to Susan, but the personalized necklace he had given his late wife, his emotionally scarred defenses go up. Suffering from trauma-induced amnesia, our Jane Doe struggles with Ben's acute reaction and her own bewilderment at her loss of identity.
Nothing and no one are as they seem. Ms. Hinze counterpoises an array of supporting characters, some of whom want to finish the job on Jane Doe, and others who, for their own reasons, want her alive. Bearing its own pressure in the background is an international terrorist organization with their own agenda, and their own reasons for wanting the mystery woman dead--and alive. Sound confusing? Let Ms. Hinze sort it out for you.
Forget Me Not is the first in the "Crossroads Crisis Center" series. You'll look forward to more.
Leave a comment on this post indicating your interest in owning the book before 5:00 pm on Friday, April 16th, and earn a chance to win a free copy of Forget Me Not.
Note: This review copy of Forget Me Not was provided free of charge by Multnomah.
Friday, April 9, 2010
New development on the publishing front! OakTara, the publisher who is releasing A Prophet's Tale has teamed with FamilyAudioLibrary.com to provide e-books for our titles. The Journey Begun is now available in PDF as a download directly to your computer--no Kindle or Nook needed.
You can see it by going to www.familyaudiolibrary.com and clicking the E-Book tab on the left side of the page. Then enter the title in the search window.
Cool beans! :-)
Monday, April 5, 2010
You'd expect a collaborative effort between two authors as accomplished as Mr. Bunn and Ms. Oke to be something special, something uniquely satisfying in both form and expression. The Centurion's Wife does not meet that expectation. It leaps far beyond it.
In form, the authors have done seemingly the impossible. They've taken a historical era trodden upon by so many authors from so many angles and in so many ways that it seems there'd be no verdant literary soil left among all the typewritten footprints to sow, and yet they still created a fresh and intriguing story. The central characters are Leah, a niece of Pontius Pilate driven to servitude in his household, and Alban, a centurion from the conquered territory of Gaul. They have irreconcilable amibitions. Leah's precludes marriage, and Alban's necessitates marriage--specifically to Leah. Oh, it gets better. Leah is pushed by Pilate's wife to discover the means and intentions of the followers of the Christ her husband has put to death, and Pilate forces Alban to do the same. Neither Pilate nor Procula know of the other's scheme, neither Alban nor Leah know of the other's mission. But the servant's and soldier's divergent goals paradoxically force their paths to merge where they encounter an irresistable force: the lure of a fledgling Gospel, and a purity of love and acceptance among its adherents--the very community Leah and Alban are to spy upon.
In expression, such beauty flowing from a single pen wielded by two master craftsmen of the literary art is something to behold. As I read, I made a distinct effort to try to identify those passages where I thought Mr. Bunn was manning the keyboard, and those points where Ms. Oke nudged him aside to color the text in her own way. Huh uh. They wove the tapestry so skillfully, that even the most subtle shifts in shading melded together seamlessly. One story, one theme, one narrative born of two minds united by the same irresistable force that ultimately united their heroes.
The Centurion's Wife is the first book in the "Acts of Faith" series. The second, The Hidden Flame (2010) carries the story forward into the early days of Christianity, and promises to be as satisfying as The Centurion's Wife. Tell you what: I'll let you know. While you're waiting, get a copy of The Centurion's Wife. You won't be sorry.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
(Click cover for more information)
FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is back in Richmond, and it's about time.
In The Clouds Roll Away, our intrepid forensic geologist turned special agent finds herself once again embroiled in a racially charged federal crime. And, at first blush, everything seems normal, predictable: on the surface, the notorious Ku Klux Klan is on a crusade against a hip-hop mogul who has the audacity to move into and garishly rennovate a historically sensitive plantation along the hallowed James River; on the surface, the ensuing hate-crime events intone yet another social lamentation of 'how things are' in the South, and; on the surface, our hero's best efforts are hindered by those who can't understand her and by those who simply refuse to.
But authors as accomplished as Ms. Giorello rarely spend much time on the surface.
In her previous two books, The Stones Cry Out and The Rivers Run Dry, you could sense an underlying spiritual metaphor of the human condition like a subterranean stream flowing just close enough to the surface to disturb the soil, but not dampen your feet. In Clouds, the stream splits into multiple layers and, at the just the right times, breaks the surface of the narrative like an artesian spring. Then it gently soaks back into the storyline, leaving just enough of a remnant to moisten the path. Raleigh's story has come into its own, as has the author's skill in telling it.
Example? Perhaps the widest branch of this multi-thematic stream is the Hope of the Advent Season, whose vibrant current underlies the tale and contrasts the despair we earn when we choose to ignore it. Ms. Giorello infuses the Yuletide into the story in a variety of ways that are just plain cool. Strategically placed snippets of familiar Holiday lyrics sporadically lift our minds above the dogged grit of Raleigh's world as they briefly capture her own attention. An inexplicably resurgent Christmas spirit defeats dormancy in Raleigh's mother, Nadine, who is just emotionally unstable enough that I think we're eventually going to find out how together she actually is. Then there's...oh well, enough. You just need to read this--and not only for the message, but for the sheer enjoyment of reading Sibella Giorello.
I've noted Ms. Giorello's unique writing voice before. In Clouds she has honed it to a razor's edge. The reader's thoughts of the destination are nearly forgotten amid the joy of the journey. As an author, it's hard--not to mention a bit selfishly depressing--to grasp how this much raw action, dry wit and gutty poignancy can be finessed so seamlessly into a single story. When I grow up, I'd like to be able to write like this. Until then, I'll just tap my fingers and wait for the next book–which, oh-by-the-way, is The Mountains Bow Down, due for release next year. Not soon enough.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Note: WaterBrook provided this copy of Here Burns My Candle for this review, as well as the giveaway copy.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
In Deadfall, Mr. Liparulo delivers an intense, captivating thriller that nails you to your seat from the first chapter all the way until you come to a screeching halt at the back cover. Indeed, after the first couple of chapters, I seriously wondered if I would continue or set it aside. I’m glad I continued.
Set in the far northern reaches of the Northwest Territories, Deadfall drops an unsuspecting foursome of friends out for ten days of stress-free camping and male bonding directly into the middle of a hotbed of evil intrigue. A gang of brigands has taken the remote town of Fiddler Falls hostage and uses the town as an experimental base for testing and refining a fearsome new weapon—but with a terribly twisted purpose you’d never suspect. The two groups collide and the race for survival and dominance is on. The camping party, armed with only a bow and arrows, pits its skill and mettle against an unknown deadly technology driven by a cold malevolence that is all but beyond comprehension by the rational mind.
This story is not for the faint of heart. It’s raw and reveals an ugly side of human nature that decent folk wish really wasn’t there. But it is. The reader can take heart, though, that the counterbalance of decency and all the virtues we like to think we possess are also evident. It’s this virtue and the unpredictability of decency that comes into play at the most crucial point.
Well written and meticulously researched, Deadfall doesn’t describe the Canadian wilderness to you, it pulls you in. You can smell it, see it, and feel it. You can also smell, see and feel the fear, grit and determination of those who will not see evil triumph.
Great read. Gird your heart; you’re in for a ride!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Ms. Samuelson has crafted a wonderful story based upon real characters and events from her own family's past—missionaries in China at the turn of the 20th century and the years following. History buffs will recall that tumultuous era as the setting for the bloody Boxer rebellion during which thousands of Chinese Christians and missionaries were slaughtered. Millie touches on these events through the eyes of those who endured them in the pages of Hungry River. But mostly you'll read of the missionaries' quiet work in China's back villages, as well as her large cities, and of the steadfast faith that sustained them through tribulations and victories.
Millie does a remarkable job of setting the stage of each chapter by interweaving and counterbalancing excerpts of two sets of journals. The first is a contemporary diary by Abbie, the storyteller. The second comprises letters, journals and other memorabilia of her father and her grandparents, who are the main characters of the novel. Abbie is reading through the family records and, in addition to telling their story, records her impressions of their significance not only to her own heritage, but to the larger cause of worldwide missions.
Friday, February 5, 2010
At long last, my Web site has been updated. Still waiting for a cover design on The Word Fulfilled to post, but there's now a home page that links to separate pages for each book--including Katia.
Especially check out the Katia page. There's a synopsis of the story and a photo gallery of pictures in Berlin before, during, and after the Wall fell.
Monday, February 1, 2010
(Click cover for more information).
Monday, January 25, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Heard from my editor today! The Word Fulfilled is scheduled to start the production process next week. Won't speculate on an exact release data yet, but once the process starts, it usually flies.
Thanks to all who have been asking about the book. Apologies in advance for the spam you're going to get from me. :-)
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
My Portion Forever follows Sana Toledo, an Algerian-born American girl living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sana, destined to suffocate in servitude to her uncle in his tiny grocery store, runs away after high school, becomes a nurse, and ends up choking on the dusty grit of the North African desert attending the "boys" fighting Rommel's tanks in the early days of World War II. Surrounded by a colorful cast of unforgettable characters, Lt. Toledo endures the horrors of war, the exhaustion and frustration of front-line hospital life, and her own personal struggle with a beckoning faith she doesn't understand. Her path criss-crosses that of Ranger Lt. Joe Vesely, a high-school friend who becomes more than just a friend, from their training in the rainy cold of England, through the first taste of combat on the beachhead at Arzew, and culminating in the bloody battle of Kasserine.
Reminiscent of Jack Cavanaugh's Dear Enemy, My Portion Forever provides a seldom-seen look at the hope and heartache, perseverence and peril, of the medical corps' doctors and nurses as they fought to save the lives of young soldiers maimed in a war thousands of miles from home. You'll be fascinated by the initiative the medical troops took, the innovativeness they displayed when proper medical supplies and facilities dwindled or were altogether lacking--like beer bottles for IV containers and human hair for sutures. Ms. Roth doesn't shy away from the devastation and gore of battle and its carnage; however, neither does she cross the line into gratuitously bloody descriptions for shock value. Meticulously researched and skillfully delivered, My Portion Forever rounds out the story of The Greatest Generation from the viewpoint of those who fought so hard to preserve it.
Finally, as an author, I was struck by how Karen Roth can immerse love, honor and faith in so much grit, blood and tears and still have them shine through unblemished. It's both inspiring and intimidating. Readers, take heart; writers, take a lesson.
Great book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Sunday, January 10, 2010