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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

False Pretenses by Kathy Herman


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
False Pretenses
David C. Cook (March 1, 2011)
by
Kathy Herman
 

I've not read a lot by Kathy Herman and wasn't sure what to expect as I cracked this book open. As soon as I started turning pages I realized I'd been missing something. She's a great writer. The story was intriguing and she had me wondering for quite a while what the big mystery was. I thought I had it figured out a couple times but I was wrong. LOL.

One thing that bugged me a little was there's this secondary couple that would talk about some things that happened in their life. I got the sense that I was missing part of the story so I looked at Kathy's backlist and realized that yes, these characters have their own story. So in some ways it was nice, now I can go get the Sophie Trace books and have some great reading ahead of me, but in another way I wish I'd have known their story as I was reading this one. Overall, this was a great book. It had everything I was looking for in a suspense and then some. I'd highly recommend this to those who love good well written suspense.
I received this book for review from the publisher.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown. She owns a thriving Cajun eatery in South Louisiana and is married to the love of her life.

But it’s about to become hell. One day, out of the blue, she receives a series of anonymous notes that sends her life into a tail spin. Five simple words, “I know what you did.” Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Unbeknownst to anyone, even Zoe’s husband, Pierce, she has a past—a past she had covered so well she never thought she would have to confront. How could anyone know what she did? Can she find the courage to face her past?

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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Criminals with bad taste...

So this morning I go out to the car to find that it's been ransacked. I'd left it out of the garage because I'm lazy and hate pulling out. I know...really lazy, but it's just so much easier to start it and go. Sigh, I know, I digress--so the thief didn't even pretend to hide his tracks, my papers and registration and all kinds of junk was strewn about. My console and glovebox emptied.

I didn't have a lot in there. They got our cell charger, my son's Nintendo DS charger, a cd or two and maybe some loose change. My neighbor faired a little worse. But here's where my crazy brain looses it a little. The thing that irritated me the most, they didnt' take my Train CD. Nope. Well that and our son's Lactaid. I guess the crook wasn't lactose intollerant, I get that, but um, what does that say about my taste in music? Is it me or do the thieves of today have poor taste.

And why do I care? LOL. I should be happy that they didnt' take it. My husband thinks it's hillarious seeing as how he can't stand Train.

On a serious note, it does creep me out to think some creepy guy was snooping through my stuff. I can't imagine how a home invasion leaves the victims feeling.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vicious Cycle by Terri Blackstock


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Vicious Cycle
Zondervan (February 22, 2011)
by
Terri Blackstock


Okay, so I've loved Terri Blackstock since I read the Second Chances and Newpointe 911 series years ago. At that time I went back and read everything on her backlist and then made it a priority to read anything new by her. And with the exception of the Restoration Series (I couldn't get into that one for whatever reason) I've done just that. She's one of the first Christian Suspense authors I'd ever heard of. Prior to that I thought Christian fiction was all prairie romance. Which is what I cut my teeth on but I soon tired of that and wanted something edgier. I was thrilled to find someone who wrote books like what I found in the secular market but with an element of faith.

All that to say, I eagerly awaited this installment of the Intervention Series. In the first book, Intervention, we got to travel along with the Covington family as they embarked on a sometimes terrifying journey to sobriety with daughter, Emily. In true Blackstock fashion, the rehab was only a small part of the story. There was a suspense thread that kept me turning the pages long after bedtime.

In this installment, Vicious Cycle, we get the joy of seeing Emily's redemption. And along with that, Lance, Barbara's 15 year-old son finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of his car. He knows who the baby belongs to and is determined to keep her safe. The result is a suspense driven ride of baby trafficking, drugs, and even murder. Oh and Blackstock throws in a little romance for good measure.

Overall, it's a wonderful read and anyone who loves tightly woven suspense with a touch of romance will love this book!

I received this book for review from the publisher.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.



Besides entertaining her readers, Terri tackles issues that she hopes will change lives. Her recent book, Predator, was inspired by her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and her concern that people posted too much personal information about themselves. The book deals with an online predator who uses social networks as his playground. She hopes the book will change readers’ online habits. Her New York Times best-seller, Intervention, was inspired by her own personal struggles with a daughter on drugs. In the book, a mother hires an interventionist for her drug-addicted daughter. But on the way to treatment, the interventionist is murdered, and the daughter disappears. Barbara, the mother, sets out to search for her daughter. Terri modeled Barbara after herself, and poured many of her own emotions and experiences into that character. As a result, many families experiencing drug addiction have written to thank her for telling their story and giving them hope. Vicious Cycle, Book Two of the Intervention Series, releases February 22, 2011. She’s currently working on Book Three.



Other recent books include a stand-alone novel called Double Minds, as well as Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn’s Light (from her acclaimed Restoration Series). She is also known for her popular Newpointe 911 Series and Cape Refuge Series. Terri makes her home in Mississippi, where she and her husband Ken are enjoying their empty nest after raising three children.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.







ABOUT THE BOOK



When fifteen-year-old Lance Covington finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car, he knows she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's been trying to help. But when police arrest him for kidnapping, Lance is thrust into a criminal world of baby trafficking and drug abuse.



His mother, Barbara, looks for help from Kent Harlan---the man whom she secretly, reluctantly loves and who once helped rescue her daughter from a mess of her own. Kent flies to her aid and begins the impossible work of getting Lance out of trouble, protecting a baby who has no home, and finding help for a teenage mother hiding behind her lies.



In this latest novel of suspense and family loyalty, bestselling author Terri Blackstock offers a harrowing look at drug addiction, human trafficking, and the devastating choices that can change lives forever.



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



Watch the Book Video:



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Safe Haven...Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse





This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
No Safe Haven
B&H Books (March 15, 2011)
by
Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse


I'm in the middle of this book now. I'm already impressed with the writing and intrigued by the story line. Having watched this family on Extreme Home Makeover and knowing a little bit about their journey I can see bits of them here. As I finish the book I'll update you of my overall impression, but so far--off to a great start!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

A devoted wife and mother, Kimberley Woodhouse is a third generation Liszt student, she has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students over the years.

About fifteen years ago, Kimberley began writing seriously. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters - you name it - she's written it. It wasn't until a dear friend challenged her to "do something with it", that she pursued publication.


Kimberley and her family's story have been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most recently her family was chosen for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Show and Discovery Health Channel's Mystery ER. She has recorded three albums, and has appeared at over 700 venues. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and their two children in a truly "Extreme" home.

Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though twelve year-old Andi has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. It's news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna's husband (Andi's dad) in a car accident.


But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who doesn't want to save them, but to kill them.


Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn't come easy to Jenna or Andi√Ďand they both sense Cole is hiding something.

A relentless tale of survival and suspense unfolds, involving military technology designed by Jenna's late husband that some would do anything to possess.

Watch the Book Video:







If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Haven, go HERE.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In the Shadow of Evil...Robin Caroll

Today we bring you, In the Shadow of Evil by Robin Caroll. This is the first full length book I've read by the author. She also has a book, Deliver us From Evil focusing on human trafficking that I'm really excited to pick up.

I've read most of her short romantic suspense books but was eager to see how she'd developed as she moved to the full trade length books. Wow. She's always been a great writer, but with this she had the room she needed to develop the story to the fullest. I loved her well developed, yet flawed characters and I have to say she made me want to visit her beloved Bayou. I loved how relevant the book was and how it gave us a glimpse of what could happen in the aftermath of Katrina. A problem I never gave a thought too.

Overall, I loved it. It was an enjoyable book to read and I'd suggest it to anyone that loves great suspense with a touch of romance. Similar to Terri Blackstock.

I received this book for review from the publisher.




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Shadow of Evil
B&H Books (March 1, 2011)
by
Robin Caroll


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty years, her three beautiful daughters, one precious grandson, and their four character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?

Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference Director for ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as RT Reviewer's Choice, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year. An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Informed by the real-life fallout of the U.S. economy plus devastation caused by multiple hurricanes along the southern coast, In the Shadow of Evil casts the modern day story of a building rebound scam exposed. It begins when the body of a property inspector is found among the ashes of a burnt out Homes of Hope house. Wrapped up in this mounting case of unethical practices, supply shortages, and murder, top Louisiana homicide detective Maddox Bishop is losing his heart to a charitable contractor, Layla Taylor, whose own sister is under suspicion. He’s also about to discover a deep secret about his tragic past.


If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Shadow of Evil, go HERE.


Watch the trailer:



Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hearts Aglow...Tracie Peterson


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hearts Aglow
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
by
Tracie Peterson


While I write contemporary fiction, I love to lose myself in a good historical. There's something relaxing about reading about another time and place. Especially when the writer is as gifted as Tracie Peterson. I'd read book one in this series, Embers of Love and was anxiously awaiting this installment. When I first started the book there was a traumatic incident that was very hard to read. I struggled getting into the story for a little bit just because of the heaviness. However, the story soon picked up and I once again found myself turning pages. Overall, I can't wait for book three and would highly suggest this series to anyone looking for a great historical read!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books

ABOUT THE BOOK

The future should be bright for Deborah Vandermark, who is now pursuing her interest in medicine alongside Dr. Christopher Clayton, who is courting her. But the lumber town is resistant to the idea of a woman physician, and she feels thwarted at every turn.

A more devastating blow occurs, however, when Christopher breaks off their relationship to return home to his troubled family. Despite her own love life going awry, Deborah is still intent to be a matchmaker for both her widowed mother and her brother, who has caught the eye of the spit-fire daughter of the local pastor.


But what will Deborah do when faced with the truth about Christopher's family? Is there hope for the two of them...or will Jake Wyeth's attentions finally catch Deborah's eye instead?

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

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Chris Medina - What Are Words



When Chris Medina first auditioned for American Idol I, like most people watching, felt such heartbreak for his story. For all he's lost and for the life that he and his precious fiance should have had together. If you haven't heard about him, look him up.

His decision to stand by Julianna during this time, when most young men would eventually leave to pursue other women, is so remarkable to me. And then to listen to the words of this song, so appropriate for their love story...you have to watch it.

As a mother of a son I can't help but admire this young man and his love and respect for this woman and the commitment he made to her. I hope you'll listen to his new single and better yet, go buy it on Itunes. I heard that a large portion of his proceeds is going into Julianna's recovery fund. I hope he has enough success to help their situation but not so much that it changes him.