Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(The Occupational Hazards)

(WaterBrook Press - May 15, 2007)



Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).

She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.


Old School meets New School meets Homeschool

Just shy of retirement and a well-earned pension, Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant Ron Yeager's definition of "active duty" involves shifting his bad leg into a more comfortable position. But when he's requested from his mind-numbing desk job to head an undercover auto theft task force, the former narcotics officer determines to prove he's still got the right stuff.

That is...until he meets his unlikely team of officers.

As Yeager soon finds out, not all the crazies are on the street. An undercover rookie, the audaciously honest Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard sends Yeager's blood pressure skyrocketing by wearing her faith like an ever-present badge. Then there's Jesse Lunden, a maverick undercover officer who refuses to learn anything from an old guy with a cane. Can this tangle of egos and eccentrics be trained into a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine...even while they are being drawn into something much bigger and more dangerous than anyone imagined?

In her trademark style, Rene Gutteridge blends zany, original characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.


"Snitch is an engaging crime novel, balanced between sheer whimsy and genuine human drama."
....CHRIS WELL, author of Tribulation House

"A wonderful, fully developed ensemble cast makes Snitch an entertaining, engaging read. Rene's flair for a comedic, well-turned phrase shines here. Snitch is worth snatching."
...SUSAN MEISSNER, author of Widows and Orphans

Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Defiant Heart

(Avon Inspire - May 8, 2007)



Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer's imagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings.

In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book.

Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root. Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off.

She currently has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres. Tracey Bateman believes completely that God has big plans for his Kids and that all things are possible to anyone who will put their hope and trust in God!


Will Fannie be able to keep her family...and her heart, safe and find a new life on the frontier?

Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master. Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west.

Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome yet bullheaded wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train.

But Fannie's determined...she'll escape and go west with or without help!

As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fending off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman.

Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety?

Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Where Willows Grow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the book: (from

Where Willows Grow -- Life in 1936 Kansas is filled with hardship on the farm--the drought and low produce prices are enough of a challenge without struggling with why God allows hard things to happen to good people. For Anna Mae and Harley Phipps, the biggest challenge is staying united. When Harley makes the decision to trek across Kansas to join a WPA project of building a castle, Anna Mae seethes with resentment. How can he just leave her to run the farm? Then her neighbor--and old beau--Jack Berkley makes himself available to help. Anna Mae must look deep into her soul to find the inner strength to emerge triumphant over the forces that try to pull her heart away from the commitment she's made to love and honor her husband...

As a Kansas native, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read Where Willows Grow by Kim Vogel Sawyer, especially when the book includes references to real places and happenings. Kim includes memorable characters, interesting plot turns, and the resolution at the end was not what I expected.

By the's a picture of the castle that was referenced in the book.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhart

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Revell - March 1, 2007)


Ann Gabhart


Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs, Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet.


Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964.

Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.

Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move here to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their ORCHARD OF HOPE.

Jocie finds herself befriending a boy that some townspeople shun. Due to unspoken racial lines in this southern town, the presence of these newcomers sparks a smoldering fire of unrest that will change Hollyhill..and Jocie...forever.

In this close-knit community, everything is about to change.

Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Christy Award Nominees

The Christy Awards 2007 Nominees (Winners will be announced July 7, 2007)


Dwelling Places by Vinita Hampton Wright (HarperOne)
Straight Up by Lisa Samson (WaterBrook Press)
Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner (Bethany House, a division of Baker)


The Brethren by Beverly Lewis (Bethany House, a division of Baker)
Escape from Fred by Brad Whittington (B&H Publishing Group)
The Proof by Austin Boyd (NavPress)

HISTORICAL (includes four titles due to a tie)

Glastonbury Tor by LeAnne Hardy (Kregel)
Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Press)
Madman by Tracy Groot (Moody Press)
Pieces of Silver by Maureen Lang (Kregel)


The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House, a division of Baker)
Monday Morning Faith by Lori Copeland (Zondervan)
The Redemption by M. L. Tyndall (Barbour)


The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren (Berkley)
The Hidden by Kathryn Mackel (Thomas Nelson)
Plague Maker by Tim Downs (Thomas Nelson)


The Cubicle Next Door by Siri Mitchell (Harvest House Publishers)
Everything’s Coming Up Josey by Susan May Warren (Steeple Hill CafĂ©)
Sisterchicks in Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn (Multnomah)


Bad Idea by Todd and Jedd Hafer (NavPress)
The Way of the Wilderking by Jonathan Rogers (B&H Publishing Group)
William Henry Is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke (Moody Press)


Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth (NavPress)
Where Mercy Flows by Karen Harter (Center Street)
William Henry Is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke (Moody Press)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury


In preparation for their long-awaited wedding day, Dayne and Katy are determined to keep the ceremony a secret from the paparazzi. Their relationship grows closer and stronger as they plan together, but in the end it takes the help of the Baxter family and many of the CKT kids so that they will even have a chance at a private wedding. John Baxter is thrilled that his oldest son will be settling down a few miles away, but he's not sure how any of his kids will handle a situation he can no longer run from--the feelings he is having for his friend Elaine. In the meantime, the Flanigan family is struggling with their young boarder, Cody Coleman, Jim Flanigan's star receiver. After an alcohol overdose, Cody fights for his life. Only the grace of God and a miracle can bring him back from the brink of death--physically and spiritually.

** ** My thoughts ** **

I don't usually buy Karen Kingsbury's books (I usually wait until they come to my local library), but our local bookstore had a great sale on them so I went ahead and picked one up. Sunrise was a really good read, as Karen is a great author. She can bring out the emotions of a reader better than a lot of fiction authors. But, although I think she is great author who writes great books, I do find them somewhat predictable and drawn out. She's already presented some dilemmas in this first book that weren't resolved and I could probably tell you right now what the solutions to the problems will be and I doubt they've even been written yet.

I am okay with the initial Redemption series being five books as we were being introduced to a handful of Baxter siblings, but I think the story of Dayne and Katy in the Firstborn series could have been reduced to three books and had the same effect without feeling drawn out. I feel that this new series may be the same way. So my take is that while I enjoy her stories for the journey I take in them, I just wish I'd reach the destination sooner.

Stay tuned as well for the next book, Summer, due out August 21st.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Multnomah - April 16, 2007)


Amy Wallace is a member of the CFBA and an avid Blogger. A self-confessed chocoholic, this freelance writer is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and serves as the liaison for the training division of the county police department. Amy is a contributing author of God Answers Moms' Prayers, God Allows U-Turns for Teens, Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes, and A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and three daughters.


Drama. Tragedy. Thriller. Romance. Can these four actually go together? Amy Wallace's meaty first book of the Defenders of Hope Series, RANSOMED DREAMS, has successfully united these genres.

It is one of those books that after you read a little and put it down, the desire to see what will happen next is so strong that it will occupy your thoughts, compelling you to make the time to finish. But watch out! It is best consumed where no one will hear you cry because, if you have children, it will hit you like a stab in the gut and wrench you with a twist of the knife.

Although the subject at first depresses, the characters are so real and likable that you need to see what will become of them.

This book will NOT bore you.


Chained To Yesterday

When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.

Forgiveness Unlocks the Future

An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people’s children and nights caring for his son. He’s through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn’t expect what’s coming next.

The Past Is the Key

A plot to kidnap a British ambassador’s daughter dangerously intersects Steven and Gracie’s worlds–a collision that demands a decision. But are they willing to pay the high ransom required to redeem dreams and reignite hope?


Steeped in police intrigue and rich characters, Ransomed Dreams entertains, educates, and captivates. Amy Wallace is a fresh, vibrant voice in the Christian market

~Mark Mynheir, Homicide Detective and Author of The Void

Ransomed Dreams had me hooked from the start and didn't let go until the deeply satisfying ending.

~Kristin Billerbeck, Author of What a Girl Wants

I guess I'm "IT"...

My lovely, dear, sweet, wonderful, fabulous friend Rel (am I laying it on too thick here *wink*) has decided to tag me so you all can find out that my life is as exciting as a bowl of Rice Krispies without milk. So here goes...prepare to be impressed...NOT! And since all the folks I may have tagged have been tagged by Rel, I guess I'll skip the rules...hehehe...

8 random facts/habits about me ...

1. I have never had a broken bone, although I've had one of my middle fingers jammed twice and one of my thumbs pulled out of socket.

2. The boy I sat by in the fifth grade was born on the same day in the same hospital as me and I never met him before he showed up in my class. (the school we attended was not in the same town as the hospital we were born in)

3. I was voted "Most Likely to be a Lifetime College Student" by my senior class. (I hit my 20 year mark this year...eek!) Fortunately it didn't come to pass as I met my husband during my junior year of college and got married instead of completing college.

4. I got married on Groundhog's Day so my hubby would never forget our anniversary. He's on a roll and hasn't forgotten in the 16 years we've been married.

5. Some of my favorite things...
Food: Pumpkin pie with whipped topping, taco pizza, mellocreme pumpkins (you don't want to know how many bags of those I bought and ate last Halloween)
Drink: Orange Juice, Dr Pepper
Color: Orange
TV Shows: The Andy Griffith Show, Jeopardy
Movie: Hoosiers

6. When I was younger, I collected baseball cards (still have them) and wanted to be a professional baseball player.

7. My husband is an identical twin (as is his mother and aunt) and my last ex-boyfriend before I got married is an identical twin. And for those of you who wonder if I can tell the difference between my hubby and his brother, I can, since my husband is muscular and his brother is skinny as a rail. ;)

8. I used to have a major fixation with all things "cow" and decorated my house with bunches of them. I had decided if I ever had boy/girl twins I would name them Angus Charles and Agnes Charolais. can wake up now. Told you my life has been pretty boring. ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tribulation House by Chris Well

This week


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Tribulation House

(Harvest House 2007)



Chris Well is a fellow member of the CFBA and founder of its sister organization, FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers" Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long (one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.



Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he’s missing is a boat. Not just any boat—a 2008 Bayliner 192.

When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51am, Hogan realizes his boat–buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in his situation would do—he borrows a load of money from the mob.

Not that there’s any risk involved: After all, when the Rapture comes, Hogan will be long gone. The mob will never find him.

But when Jesus fails to come back on schedule, Mark Hogan finds the mob is in no mood to discuss the finer points of end–times theology...

Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!

I have not escaped the confines of gravity...

...and fallen off the planet. I am currently finishing up a few books that I am judging for a contest and my reading time has slacked off considerably since my 9 month old daughter has gone mobile!

I was just looking over the logs I've kept for the last couple of years on the books I've read and my loss of reading time is really starting to depress me. As of April 30th I've only read 21 books this year, as compared to 39 in 2006 and 47 in 2005. If only I were a speed reader... : (