Wednesday, October 28, 2009

eye of the god by Ariel Allison

I've got a giveaway copy. Leave a comment at the end for a chance to win!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

eye of the god

Abingdon Press (October 1, 2009)


Ariel Allison


Allison is a published author who lives in a small Texas town with her husband and three young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Justin Case, the first of three children’s books will be published by Harvest House in June 2009. Ariel is a weekly contributor to and has written for Today’s Christian Woman. She ponders on life as a mother of all boys at and on her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at

From Ariel:
I am the daughter of an acclaimed and eccentric artist, and given my “unconventional” childhood, had ample time to explore the intricacies of story telling. I was raised at the top of the Rocky Mountains with no running water or electricity (think Laura Ingles meets the Hippie Movement), and lived out the books I read while running barefoot through the sagebrush. My mother read to me by the light of a kerosene lantern for well over a decade, long after I could devour an entire novel in the course of a day. Authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, George MacDonald, and L.M. Montgomery were the first to capture my heart and I have
grown to love many others since.


eye of the god takes the fascinating history surrounding the Hope Diamond and weaves it together with a present-day plot to steal the jewel from the Smithsonian Institute.

We follow Alex and Isaac Weld, the most lucrative jewel thieves in the world, in their quest to steal the gem, which according to legend was once the eye of a Hindu idol named Rama Sita. When it was stolen in the 17th century, it is said that the idol cursed all those who would possess it. That won’t stop the brilliant and ruthless Weld brothers.

However, they are not prepared for Dr. Abigail Mitchell, the beautiful Smithsonian Director, who has her own connection to the Hope Diamond and a deadly secret to keep. Abby committed long ago that she would not serve a god made with human hands, and the “eye of the god” is no exception. Her desire is not for wealth, but for wisdom. She seeks not power, but restoration.

When the dust settles over the last great adventure of the Hope Diamond, readers will understand the “curse” that has haunted its legacy is nothing more than the greed of evil men who bring destruction upon themselves. No god chiseled from stone can direct the fates of humankind, nor can it change the course of God’s story.

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of eye of the god, go HERE


Friday, October 23, 2009

White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner

Leave a comment after the post for a chance to win this thought-provoking book about the secrets "normal" families keep. As always, Susan tells an emotionally gripping tale that will keep you mulling the implications long after you close the book.


Readers of emotional dramas that are willing to explore the lies that families tell each other for protection and comfort will enjoy White Picket Fences. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate exploring questions like: what type of honesty do children need from their parents, or how can one move beyond a past that isn’t acknowledged or understood? Is there hope and forgiveness for the tragedies of our past and a way to abundant grace?

The story in a nutshell:

When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen year-old niece. Tally is practically an orphan: motherless, and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands– in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm–and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she and her family can offer the girl stability and a shot at a “normal” life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.

What led you to write White Picket Fences?

Several years ago I was a court-appointed advocate for children involved in protective services. There were times when I saw that despite the outward appearance of a less-than-perfect home, a child could be loved there. Just because a parent is unconventional or unsuccessful career-wise or makes choices that buck societal norms, it doesn’t mean that he or she is by default a “bad” parent. Likewise, parents who we would traditionally call “good” -meaning they provide, they protect, they don’t hit, they don’t ridicule - can nevertheless make decisions regarding their children that have hugely negative effects and yet their outward appearance would never lead anyone to suspect it. Even if you live behind a white picket fence, you still have to deal with the fallout of a living in a broken world. You can’t hide from it. The perfect, idyllic life is an illusion. Life is a weave of both delight and disappointment and it’s precisely these things that give it definition and depth. To ignore what is ugly is to cheapen what is beautiful.

You dovetailed a current day family drama with the Holocaust and the Warsaw Ghetto. Why the connection?

I think it’s fair to say that the depth of the atrocities inflicted during the Holocaust wasn’t fully appreciated until after the war. There was ugliness happening, if you will, and much of the West failed to see it — for whatever reason. Within the horror, though, people made brave choices, selfless choices. And there were survivors who had to choose what they would take with them from the ashes of their suffering. I wanted to explore how a person makes that decision. Even the decision to pretend it never happened is a decision regarding those ashes.

What do you think interests you about the intersection of personal relationships and perceptions – a theme you wove into both The Shape of Mercy and White Picket Fences?

I see every great work of fiction being about human relationships. Gone With the Wind is so much more than just an epic story with the Civil War as a backdrop. It’s a story of human relationships. Scarlett and Ashley, Scarlett and Rhett, Scarlett and Melanie, Scarlett and her father. It’s within our closest relationships that our brightest virtues and worst flaws are exposed. That’s why there is such tremendous story value within intimate human relationships. We are at our best and our worst when we are responding and reacting to the people who shape who we are. Human history is the story of relationships and what they teach us about what we value. And what we don’t.

White Picket Fences is a different kind of novel than your acclaimed book, The Shape of Mercy, but there are some similarities too. Can you explain those?

As with The Shape of Mercy, there is a historical thread in White Picket Fences, though it is not as dominant. The invasion of Poland by the Nazis is woven into the story, and provides the backdrop for Chase’s and Tally’s discoveries about hope, dreams, and redemption. This thread is enhanced by visits to a nursing home where Chase and Tally meet a man blind from birth who survived the occupation of Poland. It is also a story that draws its pathos from family dynamics and the near-universal desire we have to make straight what is crooked. There are two young protagonists in White Picket Fences, like there was in The Shape of Mercy, as well as a third character, who, along with the two men in the nursing home, provide a similar multi-generational story thread.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading White Picket Fences?

The pivotal moment in the story for me is when Josef says to Chase: “[This] is what all survivors must decide. We have to decide how much we will choose to remember, how much courage we are willing to expend to do so.” It takes courage to acknowledge and remember what drove you to your knees or nearly killed you. If you choose to forget – and that’s assuming you actually can – then it seems to me you suffered for nothing. You are different but you don’t spend any time contemplating – or celebrating – how. I’d be happy if there was a takeaway for someone out there who needs to consider that.

My bio:

Susan Meissner is the multi-published author of The Shape of Mercy, named one of the Best Books in 2008 by Publishers Weekly the ECPA’s Fiction Book of the Year. She is also a speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. A devotee of purposeful pre-writing, Susan encourages workshop audiences to maximize writing time by mapping the writing journey and beginning from a place of intimate knowledge. She is the leader/moderator of a local writer's group, a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. A native San Diegan, Susan attended Point Loma Nazarene University. When she's not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at The Church at Rancho Bernardo.

You can purchase White Picket Fences here:


Monday, October 19, 2009

Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish

I have one of these to give away. Yippee! Leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance to win it!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Watch Over Me

(Bethany House October 1, 2009)


Christa Parrish

Christa Parrish graduated high school at 16, with every intention of becoming a surgeon. After college, however, her love of all things creative led her in another direction, and she worked in both theatre and journalism.

A winner of Associated Press awards for her reporting, Christa gave up her career after the birth of her son, Jacob. She continued to write from home, doing pro bono work for the New York Family Policy Council, where her articles appeared in Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine. She was also a finalist in World magazine’s WORLDview short story contest, sponsored by WestBow press. She now teaches literature and writing to high school students, is a homeschool mom, and lives with her husband, author Chris Coppernoll, and son in upstate New York, where she is at work on her third novel.


Her Rescue Might Be the Miracle They Needed Things like this don't happen in Beck County. Deputy Benjamin Patil is the one to find the infant girl, hours old, abandoned in a field. As police work to identify the mother, Ben and his wife, Abbi, seem like the obvious couple to serve as foster parents. But the newborn's arrival opens old wounds for Abbi and shines a harsh light on how much Ben has changed since a devastating military tour. Their marriage teeters on the brink and now they must choose to reclaim what they once had or lose each other forever.

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


Friday, October 16, 2009

Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Kushman

Remember! Leave a comment at the end for a chance to win the book!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Leaving Yesterday

Bethany House (October 1, 2009)


Kathryn Cushman


I graduated from Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but I’ve known all my life that I wanted to write a novel “some day”. For me, “some day” came about five years ago, when I started writing and never looked back.

My third attempt became my first published novel.

A Promise to Remember was a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book-of-the-Year in the Women’s Fiction category, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Leaving Yesterday just arrived on scene and I’m very excited about it!

On the homefront, I’ve been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for over twenty years now, and our two daughters are currently braving the worlds of elementary and high school. We’ve lived in Santa Barbara for the last seventeen years. When I’m not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find me watching the younger daughter play softball, or the older daughter building amazing high school theater sets


Alisa Stewart feels like she's lost two sons: her youngest to a terrible tragedy and her eldest, Kurt, to a life ruined by addiction. But now Kurt has checked himself into rehab and found a healing faith that seems real. It's like he's been raised from the dead.

But then a detective arrives at Alisa's door asking questions about a murder--the death of a drug dealer before Kurt entered rehab. Alisa fears losing her son again, and when she finds evidence linking him to the killing, she destroys it. Her boy is different now. He's changed and deserves a second chance.

But when another man is charged with the crime, Alisa finds herself facing an impossible choice: be silent and keep her son or give up everything for the truth.

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

For heart-gripping fiction with a strong voice, check out Christina Berry's debut novel, The Familiar Stranger. I had the opportunity to endorse this book before it even had a publishing contract. Here's what I said:

"The Familiar Stranger crackles with energy and intrigue. The characters gripped me; the situations haunted me. I didn't want to put it down."

You won't want to put it down either!

Any comment left at the end of this post has two chances to win a copy of the book--one from me and one from Christina at the end of her 61-day blog tour on October 31.

Christina graciously agreed to a brief interview about herself and her new book.

1. How did you come up with the idea for The Familiar Stranger?

In the summer of 2007, two stories appeared in the newspaper. One was a huge, national story; the other a smaller, local-interest item. I wondered what it might look like if those two stories conceived a child. Boom! I had the entire plot for The Familiar Stranger.

2. What do you hope readers will take away from the story?

The recent changes in my life—losing my husband, facing finding a “real” job, selling my home—have done nothing but solidify what I hope to be the theme of the book and my life: Live Transparently—Forgive Extravagantly. If reading this book makes even one man or woman be more honest with his or her spouse or delve into trust issues in a healthy way, I’ll consider it a success. Maybe there’s a hurting heart that can find a new path to forgiveness because of the story.

3. Tell us about your road to publication.

My mother, Sherrie Ashcraft, and I began writing in the summer of ’99. We figured the accountability of having a co-writer would make us actually do what we’d always dreamed of but never put action to. It took a long road of learning how much we didn’t know, tons of re-writing, brooding over rejections, making connections, pitching at conferences, and directional prayer to make our writing salable.

In the summer of 2007, when Mom was busy caring for her dying mother-in-law, I got the itch of a new story idea. Undiscovered was written by February 2008, edited by June, won second place in the ACFW Genesis Contemporary category, and was renamed The Familiar Stranger and contracted by Moody Publishers in October.

One decade from naïve first scribbles to debut novel!

4. You and your mom work on writing together and put out a joint newsletter. Tell us a little bit about your collaboration. Is she your best critic or your greatest fan, or both?

When we write together, we share the same brain and voice. Editors can't tell two people have written our joint book. We can't even remember who wrote what sometimes!

As for critic or fan, she really is both. She can push me to achieve what she knows I'm capable of. But, because she's had the same classes and training for the same number of years, she is iminently qualified to approve or critique my writing. Accordingly, it carries more weight then usual when I say, "My mom likes my writing!"

5. What are you writing now?
I’m about 1/5 of the way through my next manuscript, Unafraid, a story about a girl’s kidnapping, and how her life unfolds because of the trauma. One of my characters is a PI, so I’m having loads of fun with the research.

The humor Sherrie Ashcraft (my sometime co-author and always mother) and I display in our infrequent, humorous newsletters--sign up at garnered the attention of an editor. You just might see a funny, non-fiction cooperative work from the Ashberry Ladies at some point in time. Plus, I have a funky TV-based devotional a house is interested in … Busy, busy, busy!

6. Show us a little bit of your private side. What would you most like your readers to know about you on a personal level?

I'm living in joy. But I'm also in a very fluxy(is that a word?) time of life. I'm trying to survive and thrive, while trusting the Lord to provide. In almost every area of my life, God is teaching me patience and to rest in Him. I don't enjoy every minute of it, but I know I'm growing and will be stronger when I come out on the other side.

Thanks, Christina. Awesome insights!

A fresh start or a double-cross?
Why is Craig so cold and distant? Denise wonders. Is it his job? The family? Or is it me? Though she's poured her heart into her marriage, years of enduring his long hours, frequent times away, and short temper have left her with a deep sadness.

Then one morning in the middle of church her cell phone rings. Embarrassed, she heads to the lobby, takes the call . . . and is shocked by the new she hears. Craig's been in an accident.

So beings their fresh start. While keeping vigil by his bedside she wills herself to make their marriage work, whatever the cost. And when Craig finally regains consciousness, he appears to want the same thing--except for one detail. He doesn't know who she is.

Nor does he remember anything about their life, their children, or why he was parked on the side of the freeway when the accident occurred. As he struggled to recall the past, he also shows a new love for Denise characterized by tender strength and consideration. So what is she to do when ugly betrayals emerge? Is it possible to forgive a man who thoroughly violated her trust? How many more lies and secrets are yet to be discovered?

And then, without warning, his memories come flooding back . . .

As a single mom and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time out of her busy schedule to write about the heart and soul of life. She’s one of those crazies who enjoys Math and Literature, majoring in both with a minor in French. All that confusion must have influenced her decision to be team captain of a winning team on Family Feud. Get to know her better at

Her work has also appeared in The Secret Place, The Oregonian, and Daily Devotions for Writers. Find her at and

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Missionary by William Carmichael and David Lambert

I've got a giveaway copy of this from the publisher. Leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance at it.

Fans of politico-military thrillers will enjoy this one. The fireworks start when a missionary, full of passion and zeal for the street children of Venezuela, is enticed to play a minor (or so he thinks) part in what he is led to believes will be a peaceful coup, ushering in a democratic government. David Eller's rash but well-intentioned actions endanger, not only the mission where he works, but his own family.

Blood-thirsty and ambitious military officers, covert operatives, and drug dealers are soon hot on David's trail. Who is working for who remains veiled in mystery throughout the story, and some of the "good guys" come as a surprise.

The missionary must face critical questions about his own motives and priorities. His faith is challenged to the limit, even as he plumbs the depths of his own helplessness and ignorance apart from God's mercy and wisdom.

Here's what a few other folks have to say about this novel:

Taut and gripping. You’ll be glad you made the investment.
—Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times national bestselling author, including the 65,000,000-selling Left Behind series

David Lambert is a master of words—The Missionary is further proof.
—Karen Kingsbury, New York Times-bestselling author of the Above the Line series

The Missionary is a roller-coaster read that will keep your adrenaline rushing!
—Terri Blackstock, author of Double Minds and Last Light

About the Authors:

William Carmichael is an accomplished bestselling author of marriage, family, and parenting books, and he and his wife, Nancie, are popular speakers across America and Canada. He is also the founder of Good Family Magazines, which published Virtue, Christian Parenting Today, and Parents of Teenagers magazines. The Missionary is Bill’s first novel.

David Lambert is senior fiction editor for Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. He is the author of nine books, including the gold-medallion-award-winning Jumper Fables (Zondervan), co-authored with Ken Davis, and four novels for juvenile and YA readers.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Soldier Daddy by Cheryl Wyatt

About the book

U.S. Air Force commander Aaron Petrowski leads pararescue teams, yet can't find one nanny for his three-year-old twins? The widowed father is returning to duty, but not without the best care for his beloved boys. So when Sarah Graham applies, the young woman surprises everyone by passing inspection. Until Aaron discovers Sarah has a secret tied to a tragedy in his past. He can't keep her in his employ—or in his heart. Until his brave little soldier boys teach him a thing or two about love.

Soldier Daddy-4 Stars-Romantic Times

About the Author

Born Valentine’s Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Cheryl’s Web site

Join her newsletter mailing list by visiting her Web site and signing up in the space provided if you’d like Wings of Refuge recipes, new release news and goodies exclusive to newsletter subscribers.

Book purchase link:

Soldier Daddy on Amazon

Friday, October 02, 2009

Intervention by Terri Blackstock

NOW I have a giveaway copy. Make a comment at the end for a chance to win this awesome book!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Zondervan (September 22, 2009)


Terri Blackstock


Terri Blackstock’s books have sold six million copies worldwide. Her suspense novels often debut at number one on the Christian fiction best-seller lists, and True Light, published last year, was number one of all Christian books—fiction and non-fiction. Blackstock has had twenty-five years of success as a novelist.

In 1994 Blackstock was writing for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening drew her into the Christian market. Since that time, she’s written over thirty Christian titles, in addition to the thirty-two she had in the secular market. Her most recent books are the four in her acclaimed Restoration Series, which includes Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn’s Light. She is also known for her popular Newpointe 911 and Cape Refuge Series.

In addition to her suspense novels, she has written a number of novels in the women’s fiction genre, including Covenant Child, which was chosen as one of the first Women of Faith novels, and her Seasons Series written with Beverly LaHaye, wife of Tim LaHaye.

Blackstock has won the Retailer’s Choice Award and has appeared on national television programs such as The 700 Club, Home Life, and At Home Live with Chuck and Jenny. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country and the subject of countless articles. 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.


Barbara Covington has one more chance to save her daughter from a devastating addiction, by staging an intervention. But when eighteen-year-old Emily disappears on the way to drug treatment—and her interventionist is found dead at the airport—Barbara enters her darkest nightmare of all.

Barbara and her son set out to find Emily before Detective Kent Harlan arrests her for a crime he is sure she committed. Fearing for Emily’s life, Barbara maintains her daughter’s innocence. But does she really know her anymore? Meanwhile, Kent has questions of his own. His gut tells him that this is a case of an addict killing for drugs, but as he gets to know Barbara, he begins to hope he’s wrong about Emily.

The panic level rises as the mysteries intensify: Did Emily’s obsession with drugs lead her to commit murder—or is she another victim of a cold-blooded killer?

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

Watch the book Trailer: