Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've got one to give away! Be sure to post a comment below, along with contact information, for a chance at this heart-rending, heart-mending book!


Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future. A shattered cup. Cheap tea. Bitter voices asking what's to be done with the "little eejit." Mary, an impetuous Irishwoman, won't face the haunting memories--until her daughter's crisis propels her back to County Clare. There, in a rocky cliffside home, Mary learns from former neighbors why God tore her from Ireland forty-five years earlier. As she begins to glimpse His sovereign plan, Mary is finally able to bury a dysfunctional past and begin to heal. Irish folk songs and sayings add color to the narrative.

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


Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Less Than Dead by Tim Downs

For all you eerie story fans, here's a good shiver. Read on for more information.


Some secrets just won't stay buried.

When strange bones surface on a U.S. senator's property, the FBI enlists forensic entomologist Nick Polchak to investigate the forgotten graveyard. Polchak's orders are simple: figure out the mess.

But Polchak, known as the "Bug Man" because of his knowledge of insects and their interaction with the dead, senses darker secrets buried beneath the soil.Secrets that could derail the senator's presidential bid.

Secrets buried in the history of a quaint Virginia town.

Secrets someone is willing to kill to protect.

With the help of a mysterious local woman named Alena and her uncanny cadaver dogs, Polchak sets out to dig up the truth.

But with a desperate killer hot on his trail, he'll be lucky to wind up anything less than dead.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Less Than Dead, go HERE



Tim Downs is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University. After graduation in 1976 he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate until 1986. His cartooning has appeared in more than a hundred major newspapers worldwide. His first book, a work of non-fiction, was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. His first novel, Shoofly Pie, was awarded the Angel Award in 2004, and his third novel, PlagueMaker, was awarded the Christy Award for best suspense novel of 2007. First The Dead, the third book in this Bug Man series came out earlier this year. Tim lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife Joy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Murder on the Ol' Bunions by S. Dionne Moore

Now here's fun, fast read! Cozy mystery fans, for a chance to win a copy of Murder on the Ol' Bunions by S. Dionne Moore read on to the end of this post and answer the question in your response. Don't forget to leave contact information in case you win!


LaTisha Barnhart’s bunions tell her something’s afoot as she delves deeper into the murder of her former employee, Marion Peters. When LaTisha becomes a suspect, the ante is upped, and she is determined to clear her name and find the culprit.

She’s burping Mark Hamm’s bad cooking to investigate his beef with Marion. . .getting her hair styled at a high falutin’ beauty parlor to see what has Regina Rogane in a snarl. . .playing self-appointed matchmaker between the local chief and a prime suspect. . .and thinking Payton O’Mahney’s music store lease might be the reason he’s singing out of tune when discussion of Marion’s murder arises. LaTisha’s thinking she just might use the reward money to get her bunions surgically removed. But she’s got to catch the crook first.

Small town intrigue, a delightful, vivid cast, and a well-crafted mystery make S. Dionne Moore’s debut novel a must-read! I loved it!~Susan May Warren~Award-winning author of Reclaiming Nick

“S. Dionne Moore has the rare quality of pulling together great characters and compelling plots.”~Kelly Klepfer~

If you would like to HEAR the first chapter, go HERE and click on the bookcover trailer box!

If you would like to READ, the first chapter of Murder on The Ol' Bunions , go HERE.


Sandra has been writing for years with historicals being her main focus. By the time she had a polished manuscript in hand, historicals were unpopular. She didn't give up though and decided to try her hand at writing a mystery. A cozy mystery. Her first book, Murder on The Ol' Bunions , released in April of 2008. Book two of the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series, Polly Dent Loses Grip, and book three, Eat, Drink and Be Buried will follow in April 2009 and 2010, respectively. She's almost always running a contest, so drop by her Website, and you just might win a free gift!

Here's the question you must answer to get your name in the drawing: What is LaTisha going to do with the reward money for catching the killer?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

I love Susan Meissner books. Her new one just released--The Shape of Mercy--about a modern-day college student, struggling for identity, who transcribes the centuries-old diary of another young woman who was accused and condemned as a witch during the Salem witch trials. The college student discovers amazing things about herself and her world through this intensely personal slice of history.

Susan's beautiful use of language evokes deep emotion from the reader as the triumphant tragedy unfolds. She graciously agreed to do an interview for my blog to celebrate the launch of The Shape of Mercy. Her thoughts are well worth reading. I have TWO copies of the book to give away, so chime in at the end with a comment and contact information in order to get your name in the hat!

1. What inspired you to write a modern-day story that ties into the particular dark moment in American history of the Salem witch trials?

When I was 13, I was in play called To Burn a Witch. I played the role of an innocent woman accused of witchcraft who sits in a cell with other innocent young women from her village. When my character realizes she can save herself by pretending to be bewitched, she begins to scream that one of the other girls in her cell – a friend, actually – is tormenting her. My character is led away to freedom and the woman she accused falsely is led away to her execution. I had forgotten being in that play until I read a newspaper article a couple years ago about a woman who was petitioning a Massachusetts court to exonerate her great-times-eight grandmother. This ancestor of hers was accused and convicted of witchcraft during the Salem trials, was released when the hysteria ended, but whose name was never cleared. I was reminded of how it felt, even as an actress, to be accused of something you were not and the far worse feeling of accusing someone you know is innocent. What happened in Salem hasn’t happened again, not in the same way. But we still let our opinion of someone be swayed by fear and the crowd. We judge people based on little more than our own fears and whatever the crowd says. This is how Hitler brought about the deaths of millions of Jewish people. He used fear and the crown mentality to convince a nation that Jewish people should be annihilated. We have to consider our history and we are shaped by it, especially when that history shows our flaws. That’s how we learn to do better.

2. You deal so poignantly with regrets in the character of Abigail, the elderly owner of the diary. Did you create her based on personal experience or someone you know?

Abigail isn’t a real person, nor have I known the kind of regrets I burdened her with. But if you look around you, if you read the newspapers, watch the news, read biographies; you see that people like Abigail are everywhere. I think we can all imagine – to some degree - what it might be like to decide how you’ll spend your life based on what other people expect of you instead of following your heart. Sometimes we play the If Only game and imagine what our lives would be like if we’d made better choices. But we should also stop and consider what our lives would be like if we’d made worse ones.

3. The young protagonist, Lauren Durough, is anything but downtrodden, yet she struggles to understand her identity for the very reason that she is so privileged. What helped you the most to gain insight into her personality?

I interview my characters before I write a word. Lauren emerged from my imagined conversations with her as someone with the same longings as the person who hasn’t half the material wealth she has. I’ve watched celebrity women, young women like Lauren, allow their fame and fortune to train-wreck them so I knew money and power don’t deliver peace and contentment. Money doesn’t give someone insights the rest of us lack. I just needed to probe the reasons why. Lauren allowed me to do that.

4. I loved Mercy's insights into the nature of evil and the truths of love. You convey a lot of meaning in short, pithy bites. How difficult was it to write her diary entries from both a content standpoint and an author's craft?

Interestingly enough, Mercy’s diary kind of took on a life of its own. I wrote it before I wrote any of Lauren’s story so that I could dovetail Lauren’s journey with what I knew she would encounter in the pages of Mercy’s life. It may sound trite, but I think God showed up when I was crafting Mercy’s journal entries. Whatever wisdom comes across from Mercy’s words came from a place within me I can’t take much credit for. Any insights I’ve gained into the nature of love and its power, has come from God. I had to imagine myself as Mercy when I wrote the diary sections, and that of course, was a little intimidating. I honestly don’t know if I could be as brave as she was. But I’d like to think I’d be as merciful.

More About the Book:

Lauren Durough is a college student longing to break free of family expectations when she stumbles into a project for eighty year old Abigail Boyles—transcribing the journals of Mercy Hayworth, a seventeenth-century victim of the Massachusetts witch trials. Almost immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago. The strength of her affinity with Mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with the mysterious Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul. But on the way to discovering the candid truth, Lauren must earnestly ask if she is playing the role of helpless defendant or the misguided judge? Can she break free from her own perceptions and recognize who she really is?

In our high-pressure, success-oriented culture, readers will identify with Lauren’s struggle to forge her own identity separate from the plan her family designed for her. Offering intrigue, romance, and heartbreaking drama, this contemporary novel with a historical twist conveys the intense beauty that emerges when we see how our stories affect the lives of others.


From early school-day projects to becoming editor of a local newspaper in Minnesota, Susan Meissner’s love for writing has been apparent her entire life. The Shape of Mercy is her latest novel in a string of books that delve into the deeper issues of life. She is the author of nine novels and lives with her family in San Diego, California. Find out more about her at

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's Not About Me, Part II

Michelle Sutton has a young adult winner here. Considering what's out there for even pre-teens to read and even experience these days, I wouldn't hesitate to put this book into the hands of thirteen or fourteen year olds. And it would certainly be a great read for upper teens and twenty-somethings.

Sutton candidly tackles serious issues facing youth today--the prevalence of violence in our society, sexually transmitted diseases, the case for sexual abstinence, alcoholism, pornography, jealousy, the meaning of true love and real friendship--it's all in there without sugar-coating. But the book is also clear about the answers found in Christ. Not easy, pat answers that come without struggle, but spiritual victory through gut-wrenching honesty with yourself and others. This book is a container filled with hope and challenge for those young people facing fateful choices--which is all of them.

If you would like a chance to win a signed copy of this book, scroll down to my September 25 post and respond with the answer to the question at the end of that post. I will draw for the winner on Friday, October 3.


Annie has it all. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. One night an unexpected visitor appears and Annie's safe world is destroyed by a brutal attack. As she tries to pick up the pieces of her broken life, she is torn between two brothers, both of whom claim to love her. She is attracted to both, but which one does she love? How can she choose when her decision may cause a permanent rift between them? And more important, will she give her heart to the One who will sustain her even when human love fails.

"...the exquisitely written spiritual content shows the reader that redemption is available, no matter what the circumstances." - 4 Stars, Romantic Times!

Instead of dealing with timely issues like alcoholism, premarital sex and pornography in a preachy, oh-so-tired fashion, Michelle Sutton's It's Not About Me gets to the heart of the matter with a shocking dose of realism and poignant storytelling. From the first paragraph, Sutton weaves together a thoroughly entertaining story that'll keep readers intrigued for the long haul as they get to know Annie, Dan, Tony and Susie—young adults that probably don't look and sound all that different from themselves. Now that's a seriously refreshing turn for Christian fiction."~Christa Ann Banister~, author of Around the World in 80 Dates, (NavPress 2007) and Blessed are the Meddlers (NavPress 2008)

It's Not About Me is a wonderfully entertaining and deliciously suspenseful read that will keep you turning the pages. Sutton doesn't back away from the drama and with all of the twists and turns, It's Not About Me is hard to put down. I cannot wait for the sequel! Bravo!"~Victoria Christopher Murray~, Essence best-selling author of multiple titles including The Ex Files and the upcoming YA series The Divine Divas

“Annie captured my heart on the first page and kept me enthralled to the very end. This edgy, yet surprisingly poignant story travels the inroads of intimate relationships – man to woman, brother to brother, parent to child, friend to friend. But especially satisfying is the author’s delicate handling of the relationship between a searching soul and the loving Savior who alone possesses the power to work all things out for the good. A terrific debut for Michelle Sutton. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!” ~Virginia Smith~, author of Just As I Am and Sincerely, Mayla

"Michelle Sutton's gritty writing style will very likely go straight to the hearts of teens, addressing what they deal with every day in what is all too often grim reality for our youth. Sutton is no doubt a refreshing and much needed voice in today's YA fiction."~Tina Ann Forkner~, Author of Ruby Among Us Waterbrook Press/Random House

If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of It's Not About Me, go HERE



Michelle Sutton has lived in Arizona and since 1991 and has two sons and a husband of 18 years. She began writing fiction in August 2003 when God inspired her to write a novel with realistic characters that would glorify Him. In 2004 she joined ACFW - American Christian Fiction Writers. In 2006 Michelle ran for Volunteer Officer on the ACFW Operating board and ACFW members elected her to serve a two year term. She sold her first manuscript Then Sings My Soul (now re-titled It's Not About Me) to Sheaf House and her debut novel was released in Sept. 2008. The second book in the Second Glances series - It's Not About Him - will be released the following fall (Sept. 2009.)

Last, Michelle is Editor in Chief of the new Christian Fiction Online Magazine. The debut issue released in July 2008. The magazine is sponsored by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.