Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Big Picture by Jenny B. Jones

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Big Picture

(NavPress Publishing Group - April 15, 2008)


Jenny B. Jones

Jenny B. Jones is the author of A Katie Parker Production series. The other books in the series are In Between and On The Loose. Though now an adult, she still relates to the trauma and drama of teen life. She is thrilled to see her writing dreams come true, as her previous claim to fame was singing the Star Spangled Banner at a mule-jumping championship. (The mules were greatly inspired.)

Jenny resides in Arkansas, where, as a teacher, she hangs out with teens on a regular basis.

Sometimes there’s a fine line between comedy and tragedy—and Katie Parker is walking it.

School is winding down for the summer but Katie Parker is having a bad day. After leaving the drive-in, where her imploding love life was the main attraction, Katie arrives home to a big surprise on the Scott's front porch.

Her mother, Bobbie Ann Parker, a former convict and recovering addict, wants to take Katie away from her family, friends, and church. Now Katie's life will be changed by a series of dramatic choices as she struggles to understand what family and home really means.

Katie is forced to walk away from In Between, leaving behind a family who loves her, a town drive-in to save, and a boyfriend who suddenly can’t take his eyes off his ex. When the life her mother promised begins to sink faster than one of Maxine’s stuffed bras, Katie knows she needs to rely on God to keep it together.

But where is he in all this? Can Katie survive a chaotic life with her mother—and one without the Scotts? And if God is there, will he come through before it’s too late?

A Katie Parker Production series offers teen girls real-world fiction balanced by hope and humor. The The Big Picture helps us realize that the difficult chapters in our journey are only part of God's big story for our lives.

You can read the first chapter HERE

"A heroine to love. Jones just gets better with every book, and The Big Picture is her best one yet."
~BARBARA WARREN, author of The Gathering Storm

"Such inspiration in a package of fun and faith!"
~EVA MARIE EVERSON, author of the Potluck Club series

Christy Award Nominees 2008

Congratulations to the Christy Award Nominees for 2008. Winners will be announced on July 12, 2008.


Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin (Thomas Nelson)

In High Places by Tom Morrisey (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)

CONTEMPORARY (Series, Sequels and Novellas)

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (Viking Penguin)

A Time to Mend by Sally John and Gary Smalley (Thomas Nelson)

What Lies Within by Karen Ball (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)


Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

LITS (tie)

Doesn't She Look Natural by Angela Hunt (Tyndale House Publishers)

Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach (Kregel Publications)

Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck (Avon Inspire, a division of HarperCollins Publishers)


Lightning and Lace by DiAnn Mills (Barbour Publishing)

Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney (Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster)

Remembered by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group


The Cure by Athol Dickson (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay (Moody Publishers)

Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)


Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee (NavPress Publishing Group)

The Stones Cry Out by Sibella Giorello (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson (NavPress Publishing Group)

In Between by Jenny B. Jones (NavPress Publishing Group)

Maggie Come Lately by Michelle Buckman (NavPress Publishing Group)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blog Tour: A Promise for Tomorrow by Sara DuBose

About A Promise for Tomorrow:

In the mid 1950’s small town, Sugar Hill, Alabama, was quiet and sleepy in every way imaginable. Fannie Lea Rockwell has few pressing concerns, save for her dreadful nickname, Flea. Few concerns that is until she crosses paths with Mr. Boyd, Sugar Hill’s resident hermit and mysterious citizen. Mr. Boyd lives across the railroad tracks deep in the woods and his anti-social tendencies only fuel the gossip fire; its rumored that he keeps his daughter, Mavis, locked in the attic all day and that he brews moonshine in the woods behind his house.

One day when Flea and her brother, Rand, trespass on Mr. Boyd’s property to get a better view of Mavis, they encounter more than they bargained for. A grip around her waist, a knife to her throat and a threat on her life are quite enough to convince Flea to never return. His breath which smelled of rotting cabbage only served to fuel her fear.

As she unravels the mystery behind Mavis Boyd, Flea uncovers secrets of other Sugar Hill residents and soon discovers how little she actually knows her neighbors. Soon Flea will find herself in a life-or-death situation where she places herself in danger to save the life of someone more helpless than herself.

Themes in the Book: Living expectantly; Putting Faith Before Fear; Selfless Love

About Sara DuBose:

Sara DuBose is a motivational speaker and author of three other novels: Where Hearts Live, Where Love Grows, and Where Memories Linger. Sara is also author of Conquering Anxiety, published by the Presbyterian Church in America. Her other writing credits include numerous articles and stories for publications such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Today’s Christian Woman, Virtue, Decision, The Christian Reader, and Family Life Today. She also appears in several anthologies published by Multnomah and Barbour. Sara received a first place fiction award from Putting Your Passion into Print and a first place fiction award from the Southeastern Writer’s Association. She currently travels as a speaker for seminars, festivals, civic clubs, schools and churches and may be contacted at www.saradubose.com. Sara and her husband live in Montgomery, Alabama. She is the mother of two daughters.

Q&A with Sara DuBose, author of A Promise for Tomorrow

Q. Everyone seems to be affected by today's tenuous economic environment. From housing to jobs, it seems there's always bad news on the 5 o'clock news. How can you 'live expectantly' in these uncertain times?

A. Sometimes our children show us how to live expectantly. Years ago I lifted my sick three-year-old from her bed and plopped us both in the rocking chair. Cherie felt hot and clammy. I was hot with fatigue and anxiety, having nursed sick people for over a month. I said, “Honey, I’m so sorry you are not feeling good.”

Sensing my frustration, Cherie pushed the hair back from my eyes and replied, “Dats all right, mama. We pray about it, den you won’t haf to worry.”

Can three or four-year-old children show us the way home? They can when our home is with the heart of God who said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). So, whether it’s personal, financial, or even a global crisis, the Christian won’t find rest in another news report of the latest terrorist attack, freeway accident, or stock market slide. No, lasting peace is only found in Christ who lifts us from our sick bed of worry, pushes the hair back from our eyes, and rocks us for awhile.

Q. Worry seems to be the opposite of 'living expectantly,' but isn't some worry necessary for day-to-day life?

A. Yes, some anxiety or tension is warranted. We want to be alert when we pull into a six-lane highway at rush hour, take a test, or interview for a job. Above all, we want to be anxious to please God. As we begin to recognize and appreciate a holy, sovereign, just and merciful God we begin to lose our fear and anxiety over other people, our needs, adversities, or any uncertainties of life. The closer we draw to the Lord the further we withdraw from worry and fear.

Q. In A Promise for Tomorrow, Flea learns a lot about God's promises to His children. What can we derive from His promises for tomorrow?

A. Flea observes, and later interacts, with a neighbor who has become a victim of her circumstances. By applying what she has learned from her father and through her own spiritual growth she is able to offer a compassionate reprimand. Flea also learns the truth of Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” As the story progresses, Flea begins to understand a basic principle. Life is hard, but it can still be lived with hope.

Q. I've heard it said that faith is the opposite of fear, but many times Christians feel afraid even though they have faith that God will deliver them from the situation at hand. How do you balance faith and fear?

A. Yes, Christians are sometimes afraid just as Christ’s disciples were fearful during a storm (Luke 8: 22-25). In fact, those guys panicked as the squall continued and the boat began to sink. After bailing the water with little results, they called to their sleeping Savior. Three words from Jesus and the winds and waves obeyed.

“Quiet! Be still!” Then came the questions. “Why are you so afraid? Where is your faith?”

I think we should take note of these questions. Jesus didn’t say, “You have no faith,” but he did tell them to exercise it. As you and I apply our faith, fear must leave because faith and fear don’t belong in the same mind. Alarm, fear, and worry should never rule our lives, not when Jesus is in the boat with us.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book - it was so engaging I couldn't put it down. One tiny flaw I did find in the book is that it mentioned watching The Andy Griffith Show. This book is set in the mid-50's, and The Andy Griffith Show didn't hit the airwaves until 1960. That aside, I think it was a wonderful book. Definitely worth passing on.

A Mending at the Edge winner...

...is windycindy.

Congrats, Cindi! Hope you enjoy the book.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Winter Haven by Athol Dickson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Winter Haven

(Bethany House - April 1, 2008)


Athol Dickson


Athol Dickson's university-level training in painting, sculpture, and architecture was followed by a long career as an architect then his decision several years ago to devote full time to writing.

Athol Dickson’s writing has been favorably compared to the work of Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly), Daphne du Maurier (Cindy Crosby, FaithfulReader.com) and FlanneryO’Connor (The New York Times).

His They Shall See God was a Christy Award finalist and his River Rising was a Christy Award winner, selected as one of the Booklist Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006 and a finalist for Christianity Today's Best Novel of 2006.

He and his wife, Sue, live in Southern California. Visit AtholDickson.com for more information.


Boys who never age, giants lost in time, mist that never rises, questions never asked...on the most remote of islands off the coast of Maine, history haunts the present and Vera Gamble wrestles with a past that will not yield. Will she find refuge there, or will her ghosts prevail on...Winter Haven

Eleven years ago, Vera Gamble's brother left their house never to be seen again. Until the day Vera gets a phone call that his body has been found...washed ashore in the tiny island town of Winter Haven, Maine. His only surviving kin, Vera travels north to claim the body...and finds herself tumbling into a tangled mystery. Her brother hasn't aged a day since last she saw him.

Determined to uncover what happened in those lost years, Vera soon discovers there are other secrets lurking in this isolated town. But Winter Haven's murky past now seems bound to come to light as one woman seeks the undeniable and flooding light of truth.

My thoughts (from my review in February):

An unusual premise, dramatic plot twists, compelling characters, and a climax that leaves you wondering how you didn't see it coming - like puzzle pieces deftly scattered each plays a part in making Winter Haven into a masterpiece. This is probably the first suspense novel I've read in a long time that actually gripped me to the point that I found myself holding my breath. If you love a good suspense novel, you will definitely want to check it out.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Winner of Do Hard Things...

...is readingrobin! Congrats to you! Thanks for the other comments/entries as well.

Don't forget to check out the opportunity to win a copy of Jane Kirkpatrick's book, A Mending at the Edge here.

Blog Tour: A Bride So Fair by Carol Cox

I read the first book in this series, A Ticket to Tomorrow, and really enjoyed it. I just finished this book and it was even better than the first one. I'll have to go get my copy of book two, Fair Game, off the shelf soon and read it as well. I loved all the characters (except the bad guys *grin*), and I give Carol two thumbs up for a hero with a moustache (I have a thing for moustaches!). She tied that moustache into the plot too, how cool is that.

After growing up in an orphanage, Emily Ralston loves being around children and thoroughly enjoys her job at the Children’s Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. As the receptionist she helps check in the children and ensures they are safe and well cared for while their parents view the fair. She could not have known what God had in store for her…

When Columbian Guard, Stephen Bridger, drops off a three-year-old named Adam as a lost child, her life irrevocably changed. While the sparks of attraction are undeniable, Emily tries her best to ignore them as she and her best friend, Lucy, scheme to keep Adam safe and happy, far away from the orphanages they both know too well.

Soon Stephen learns about Adam’s mother while both the mystery and his relationship with Emily deepens. As they learn bits of truth, danger and deception now threaten to undermine their growing relationship. Why is a young woman murdered while surrounded by thousands of fairgoers? What secrets could a sweet, abandoned little boy possibly hold? Can Emily and Stephen solve the deadly mystery before time runs out?

Themes in the Book: Emily and Stephen’s unique love story offers a fresh and inspirational lesson of trust and betrayal, faith and doubt, the meaning of family and God’s unending goodness.

About Carol Cox

Award-winning author of twelve novels and eleven novellas, Carol shares her love of history, mystery, and romance in the books she writes. A pastor’s wife, Carol makes her home with her husband and young daughter in northern Arizona. To learn more about Carol and her books, visit her Web site at www.CarolCoxBooks.com.

Q&A with Carol Cox, author of A Bride So Fair

Q. Where did you get the idea to write A Bride So Fair?

A. Several years ago, I came across a brief article that mentioned the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, calling it a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. And my response was, “If it was such a big deal, how come I’ve never even heard about it?” So I looked it up online and was overwhelmed at the wealth of information I found. I had no idea how many of the things we take for granted today were introduced at that fair—things like the Ferris wheel, Cracker Jacks, Cream of Wheat, Juicy Fruit gum, and the concept of the Midway. Familiar names from our history books were among the 27 million people who visited the fair. Thomas Edison, Scott Joplin, Frederick Douglass, Jane Addams, and Susan B. Anthony were all there. It was a moment in which our nation felt itself on the brink of major change, and the more I learned about the fair, the more excited I became. I knew I had to set a story there, and that initial idea turned into a three-book series, A Fair to Remember. A Bride So Fair is the final title, and it was hard to say goodbye to the setting and characters I’ve come to love.

Q. How much research is involved in writing a solid historical fiction novel like this one?

A. I was so fascinated by what I learned about the fair that I continued researching for two years before the first book in the series was even contracted. As I mentioned above, I found a tremendous amount of information online, including photos of the fairgrounds and its buildings. I was able to purchase several books printed during that time period that gave detailed descriptions of exhibits as well as the reactions of people who visited the fair. That was invaluable in getting insight into how it affected people of that day. I studied maps of the grounds and floor plans of several of the buildings until I felt like I could navigate them as easily as I can get around my home town.

All of that helped in getting my facts straight, but I needed to add sensory details to make the setting come alive. What would my hero and heroine experience on the shore of Lake Michigan? What would they see, hear, smell? How would it feel to walk across the vast fairgrounds or stroll along the edge of the lagoon? I made a trip to Chicago, where I spent a day at Jackson Park, the site of the exposition. All but one of the buildings are long gone, but simply being there and soaking up the setting added a myriad of details for me to draw on when writing the story. At that point, I could look at my research photos and feel like I could step into the scene and describe it as though I’d actually been there.

Q. What inspires you the most as a writer?

A. It’s always interesting to hear what sparks ideas for other writers. For some, it springs from a character; for others, the catalyst is an issue they’re passionate about. With me, the setting often comes before either the characters or the plot. A particular place will catch my imagination and I’ll wonder what kind of people might have been there and what would have happened to them. I love the challenge of bringing a setting to life so it becomes something a reader can experience rather than just read about.

Q. You’ve written quite a few novels already, do you have any advice for aspiring novelists?

A. Read in a wide variety of genres to discover which holds the most appeal for you. Your writing will show far more depth and passion if you're working in a genre you love.

Be patient. Prepare to learn and gear yourself mentally for a marathon, not a sprint. The learning process takes time.

Study the craft of writing. There are excellent books available, covering everything from basic grammar to character development to plot and structure and much more. A number of organizations exist today that offer teaching, encouragement, and support to both aspiring and experienced writers. And writers conferences are held all around the country. Attending conferences is a wonderful way to build on your knowledge as well as getting to know others who share your passion for writing.

Develop a teachable attitude. The more I write, the more I realize how much more there still is to learn. There is always the joy of growing, of improving my skills, of learning to be a “workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (from 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV)

A Bride So Fair (ISBN 13: 978-1-59789-492-0) is published by Barbour.

Blog Tour: The Change and Cherish Series by Jane Kirkpatrick (& a giveaway)

About the Change and Cherish Series:

Follow the story of feisty Emma Giesy

A Clearing in the Wild: Book One

Spirited young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of her 1850s religious community, which values conformity over independent thought, especially in women. Skeptical of the colony’s growing emphasis on preparing for “the last days,” Emma clashes with their increasingly autocratic leader—and faces the unexpected consequences of pursuing independence.

A Tendering in the Storm: Book Two

This lyrical novel, based on an historical figure of the 1800s, follows the spirited and intelligent Emma Giesy, who achieves her goal of separating her family from the repressive religious community in which she grew up. But unexpected and dire consequences leave her family—and her faith—struggling to survive.

A Mending at the Edge: Book Three

This richly textured novel, the third in the acclaimed Change and Cherish series, follows the historical figure of Emma Wagner Giesy, who chafes under the restrictions of her 1860s religious colony. When her bid to belong in her unique way unravels her most precious relationships, she seeks new ways to stitch meaning into her life.

About Jane Kirkpatrick:

Jane Kirkpatrick is the best-selling author of two nonfiction books and fourteen historical novels, including the popular Kinship and Courage series. Her award-winning writing has appeared in more than fifty publications, including Sports Afield and Decision. She’s won the coveted Western Heritage Wrangler Award, an honor shared by such writers as Larry McMurtry and Barbara Kingsolver. Jane is a licensed clinical social worker as well as an internationally recognized speaker. She and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 acres in eastern Oregon .

My Thoughts:

I haven't read this series yet, but her Kinship and Courage series was really good.

Want to chance to win a copy of Book Three, A Mending at the Edge?

Please leave a comment on this post with your contact info in this format (you at yoohoo dot com) by midnight central time on Sunday, April 27, 2008. I'll draw the winner first thing Monday morning. US residents only, please.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

My Soul To Keep

(Multnomah Books - February 5, 2008)


Melanie Wells


A native of the Texas panhandle and the child of musicians, Melanie Wells attended Southern Methodist University on a music scholarship (she's a fiddle player), and later completed graduate degrees in counseling psychology and Biblical studies at Our Lady of the Lake University and Dallas Theological Seminary.

She has taught at the graduate level at both OLLU and DTS, and has been in private practice as a counselor since 1992. She is the founder and director of LifeWorks counseling associates in Dallas, Texas, a collaborative community of creative therapists.

When the Day of Evil Comes is her first published work of fiction, and the first of a three-book series. The second work, The Soul Hunter was released in May, 2006. Melanie lives and writes in Dallas.


As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits and a staple gun…

It’s psychology professor Dylan Foster’s favorite day of the academic year…graduation day. And her little friend Christine Zocci’s sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seem to lead nowhere.

The police are baffled, but Christine’s eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces of a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.

Like water rising to a boil, My soul To Keep’s suspense sneaks up on you…before you know it, you’re in the thick if a frightening drama…Superbly crafted.”
---ROBERT LIPARULO, author of Deadfall, Germ, and Comes A Horseman

Written with passion, a good dose of humor and, dare I say it, soul, this novel reminds us that we all, with grace and good fortune, bumble our way toward salvation.”
---K. L. COOK, author of Late Call and The Girl From Charmelle

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ozarks Karen Kingsbury Fans...

Karen Kingsbury will be appearing at the Christian Publishers Outlet on Friday, April 18, for a book signing.

Date: Friday, April 18, 2008

Time: 6pm-8pm

Location: Christian Publisher's Outlet

                4145 S. National Ave.

                Springfield, MO 65807

Contact: Bruce Erdel 417-891-2200

Come at 6pm for a 15 minute Q&A session with Karen before the book signing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Join Karen Saturday, April 19 for a book signing at the Christian Gift Outlet store in Branson.

Date: Saturday, April 19, 2008

Time: 2pm-4pm

Location: Christian Gift Outlet

          4270 Gretna Rd.

          Branson, MO 65616

Contact: 417-332-2025

Come at 2pm for a 15 minute Q&A session with Karen before the book signing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Join Karen and many other wonderful entertainers at the 2008 Women of Joy conference.

Date: Sunday, April 20, 2008

Time: 9:00am Speaking Event

Location: The Grand Palace in Branson, MO.

Contact: (800)374-1550

Karen will be at the Women of Joy event throughout the weekend and available for book signing on Saturday from 10am-12pm and from 7pm-8pm as well as Sunday after her talk. She looks forward to meeting you there!

Check out more information on this wonderful event.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Blog Tour: Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris (& a Giveaway, Too!)

About Do Hard Things:

With over 10 million hits to their website TheRebelution.com, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.

Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential. Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.

Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

About Alex and Brett and The Rebulution:

Alex and Brett Harris founded TheRebelution.com in August 2005 and today at age 19 are the most popular Christian teen writers on the Web. The twins are frequent contributors to Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine, serve as the main speakers for the Rebelution Tour conferences, and have been featured in WORLD magazine, Breakaway, The Old Schoolhouse, and the New York Daily News. Sons of homeschool pioneer Gregg Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), Alex and Brett live near Portland, Oregon .

My Thoughts:

This book needs to be in the hands of every teen you and I know. The wisdom and fire that Alex and Brett Harris have really comes through in the words of this book.

Chock full of amazing examples of teens doing "rebelutionary" things, this book doesn't just tell you that no one is ever too young (or too old) to do the "hard things" in life, it shows you!

Want to chance to win a copy of this phenomenal book? Leave a comment on this post with your contact info in this format (you at yoohoo dot com) by midnight central time on Sunday, April 20, 2008. I'll draw the winner first thing Monday morning. US residents only, please.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Trouble the Water

(Thomas Nelson - March 11, 2008)


Nicole Seitz


Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and the author of The Spirit of Sweetgrass as well as a freelance writer/illustrator who has published in numerous low country magazines. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole shows her paintings in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children. Nicole is also an avid blogger, you can leave her a comment on her blog.

Seitz's writing style recalls that of Southern authors like Kaye Gibbons, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Sue Monk Kidd, and this new novel, which the publisher compares to Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, surely joins the ranks of strong fiction that highlights the complicated relationships between women. Highly recommended, especially for Southern libraries.


In the South Carolina Sea Islands lush setting, Nicole Seitz's second novel Trouble the Water is a poignant novel about two middle-aged sisters' journey to self-discovery.

One is seeking to recreate her life yet again and learns to truly live from a group of Gullah nannies she meets on the island. The other thinks she's got it all together until her sister's imminent death from cancer causes her to re-examine her own life and seek the healing and rebirth her troubled sister managed to find on St. Anne's Island.

Strong female protagonists are forced to deal with suicide, wife abuse, cancer, and grief in a realistic way that will ring true for anyone who has ever suffered great loss.

"This is another thing I know for a fact: a woman can't be an island, not really. No, it's the touching we do in other people's lives that matters when all is said and done. The silly things we do for ourselves--shiny new cars and jobs and money--they don't mean a hill of beans. Honor taught me that. My soul sisters on this island taught me that. And this is the story of true sisterhood. It's the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world."

"...a special sisterhood of island women whose wisdom and courage linger in the mind long after the book is closed."
-NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author SUSAN WIGGS

By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer

Catherine O'Rourke is a newspaper reporter covering the high profile trial of a woman accused of murdering her husband in cold blood. That woman, Annie Newburg Hofstetter, is being defended by her brother Quinn Newburg, a flashy Vegas lawyer whose forté is representing the criminally insane.

Once Catherine returns to her hometown of Virginia Beach, she begins writing articles about a disturbing series of kidnappings and murders. Those articles contain startling details that seemingly only those close to the investigation would know, and Catherine takes the heat for not revealing her anonymous source, to the extent of being jailed for her silence. She begins having visions of the crimes she's reported on and shares the details with her confidential source. Things start to get intense as those details, along with physical evidence, begin to point to her as the main suspect.

At Catherine's request, Quinn Newburg comes to Virginia to assist in her defense. Can his expertise of the insanity plea help set Catherine free?

[]-- []-- []-- []-- --[] --[] --[] --[]

Randy Singer has done it again! If you think the last Randy Singer book you read was his best ever, wait until you finish this one. With storylines that could've been ripped from today's headlines, you'll find this book riveting from the very first page. Randy's characters are so real and believable - letting you see their fears and frailties, as well as their sympathies and strengths. Each plotline is expertly blended in this book with every facet truly engaging. And there's no doubt that your reaction to the book's ending will be the same as mine - how did I not see it coming? This book is definitely a thriller in every sense of the word, and will be a tough one for Randy to top. I give it my highest recommendation!

By Reason of Insanity hits shelves in May. Learn more about Randy Singer and his fabulous legal thrillers at randysinger.net.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Speaking of Sharlene MacLaren...

Be sure to mark your calendars for September, as that's when Sharlene MacLaren's next book is to hit shelves. Looks like it will be a good one.

About Long Journey Home:

After divorcing her abusive husband, single mother, Callie May, is still nursing the scars of a painful past. The last thing she needs in her life is another man, so she’s less than thrilled when a handsome but brooding stranger moves into the apartment across the hall. Dan Mattson may be attractive, but his circumstances certainly aren’t; a former pastor, he abandoned his flock in Michigan and fled to the Chicago suburbs after the death of his beloved wife and baby daughter in a tragic automobile accident. Embittered by his loss, Dan turns his back on God. Callie mistrusts men, and the angry Dan often gives her good reason. Both are weighed down by the scars and disappointment in their pasts. When Callie’s ex-husband shows up to wreak more havoc in her life, Dan finds himself coming to her defense—and facing his own demons in the process. Will Dan and Callie be able to get past their baggage and give love another chance? Can they come to see life’s tragedies as part of God’s perfect plan? And most important, will they allow the power of God to change their hearts and mend their hurts?

And here's another exciting announcement from her website...

In November 2007, I signed another three-book contract with Whitaker House for a series entitled: THE DAUGHTERS OF JACOB KANE.

This trilogy focuses on each of three sisters who live with their father, Jacob, and their very proper English grandmother, Helena, in the fictional west Michigan resort town of Sandy Shores in the early 1900s. The beautiful and determined sisters help run the family’s general store, Kane’s Whatnot, while discovering true love and a deeper sense of God’s purpose for their lives.

Hannah Grace
Maggie Rose
Abbie Ann

****Watch for these titles beginning in January, 2009!****

Courting Emma by Sharlene MacLaren

About Courting Emma:

Twenty-eight-year old Emma Browning has experienced a good deal of life in her young age. Sole owner and operator of Emma’s Boardinghouse, she is “mother” to an array of beefy, unkempt, often rowdy characters. Though many men would like to get to know the steely, hard-edged, yet surprisingly lovely, proprietress, none has ever succeeded. That is, not until the town’s new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, takes up residence in the boardinghouse, affecting not only her with his devout faith and strong convictions, but her clientele as well. Emma clings desperately to her stubborn ways, refusing to acknowledge God’s love—until all of Little Hickman witnesses a miracle—the conversion of her abusive and alcoholic father, Ezra Browning! Only then will Emma begin to experience God’s transforming power at work.

I really enjoyed this book - with it's host of likeable characters and an engaging plot filled with humor, romance, and a powerful lesson of forgiveness. It's definitely a book I'll be passing along.

Be sure to check out Sharlene MacLaren's website, as well as the first two books in the Little Hickman series, Loving Liza Jane and Sarah My Beloved.

Amber Morn by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Amber Morn

(Zondervan Publishing Company - April 2008)


Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline

“Don’t forget to b r e a t h e …®”

Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 19th book. Her first, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.

She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences.

Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith. Visit her Website
to read the first chapters of all her books.


The whole thing couldn’t have taken more than sixty seconds.

Bailey hung on to the counter, dazed. If she let go, she’d collapse—and the twitching fingers of the gunman would pull the trigger. The rest of her group huddled in frozen shock.

Dear God, help us! Tell me this is a dream . . .

The shooter’s teeth clenched. “ Anybody who moves is dead.”

On a beautiful Saturday morning the nationally read “Scenes and Beans” bloggers gather at Java Joint for a special celebration. Chaos erupts when three gunmen burst in and take them all hostage. One person is shot and dumped outside.

Police Chief Vince Edwards must negotiate with the desperate trio. The gunmen insist on communicating through the “comments” section of the blog—so all the world can hear their story. What they demand, Vince can’t possibly provide. But if he doesn’t, over a dozen beloved Kanner Lake citizens will die...

Amber Morn is the climactic finale to Collins’ widely read Kanner Lake series. All first three titles in the series, Violet Dawn, Coral Moon, and Crimson Eve, were bestsellers. Library Journal placed Crimson Eve on its Best Books of 2007 list, and hailed it the “Best Christian suspense of 2007.”

A few early reviews of Amber Morn:

“… essential reading … a harrowing hostage drama.” – Library Journal

“… heart-pounding … breakneck pace … satisfying and meaningful ending.” – RT Bookreviews

“This cataclysmic ending left me breathless … Kanner Lake is the Best Suspense Series of 2007/2008.” – deenasbooks.blogspot.com

“Collins has saved the best for last .. a powerful ensemble performance.” -- BookshelfReview.com

“… a staccato tempo … Sometimes you just have to close the book in order to come up for air.” – Dale Lewis

“…a masterpiece of page-turning suspense with a cast of dozens.” – Peg Phifer