Saturday, July 31, 2010

Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith

Fans of Biblical fiction, check out Jill Eileen Smith's second book in the Wives of King David series.

Abigail released February 1, 2010 and is book 2 in The Wives of King David series. Bathsheba, book 3, releases March 1, 2011. Michal, book 1 is available now.

A little about me:

Jill Eileen Smith has been married for 33 years to her beloved engineer husband, Randy, and together they have three adult sons. Two sons live in California pursuing a film career, and one lives at home finishing an English degree. She was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom for 12 years so the transition to almost-empty-nester has been tough! She is most grateful for technology, particularly Skype. Jill lives with her family in Southeastern Michigan.

Ten random things about me:

1. I am a third-born, married to a third-born, and we have three sons.

2. My maiden name and married name are the same.

3. I collect refrigerator magnets of places I’ve been.

4. I was a high-school valedictorian.

5. My hubby and I used to be camp counselors.

6. Randy (hubby) used to take me drag racing in his '66 Mustang.

7. Traveled to most of the continental U.S.; plus Canada, Hawaii, and Israel.

8. Used to sing solos in church.

9. Catered food for a music video production for my kids.

10. I love Bible trivia questions

Now about Abigail:

Abigail is the third wife of King David and her journey is one of heartache and shattered dreams, but in the end she grows stronger for what she has endured and her relationship to David takes an interesting turn.

Here's the back-cover copy:

What price must she pay for true love?

Her days marked by turmoil and faded dreams, Abigail has resigned herself to a life with a man she does not love. When her husband Nabal’s foolish pride angers David and his men, she boldly steps forward to save her family—and David, the would-be king, takes notice.

Circumstances offer Abigail a second chance at happiness with the handsome David, and she takes a leap of faith to join his wandering tribe. But her struggles are far from over. How can she share his love with the other women he insists on marrying?

Abigail follows the bestselling Michal and continues Jill Eileen Smith’s rich story of David’s wives.

“With skill honed by years of historical research, made sharper still with a gifted passion for storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith crafts the story of Abigail in a way that takes us deep into the heart of King David and into the heart of a woman determined to follow God’s will, no matter the cost to her—or to the man she loves.”—Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of From a Distance and The Inheritance

“Smith’s writing swept me back to ancient days and brought Abigail and David’s love story vividly to life.”—Deborah Raney, award-winning author of Almost Forever and the Clayburn Novels

“A rich tapestry of an era filled with love and longing that rings true across the centuries.”—Siri Mitchell, author of Love’s Pursuit

Available from Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Nightshade by Ronie Kendig

I have a giveaway copy of the debut novel in an exciting series from new author, Ronie Kendig. Leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance to win!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Barbour Books (July 1, 2010)

Ronie Kendig


Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series begins in July from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.


After a tour of duty in a war-torn country, embattled former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs finds himself discarded and alienated from those he loves as he

struggles with war-related PTSD. His wife, Sydney, files a restraining order against him and a petition for divorce. Max is devastated.

Then a mysterious a man appears. He says he's organizing a group that recycles veterans like Max. It's a deep-six group known as Nightshade. With the chance to find purpose in life once again, Max is unable to resist the call of duty and signs on.

The team handles everything with precision and lethal skill...until they're called upon to rescue a missionary family from a rebel-infested jungle and avoid a reporter hunting their identities.

Will Max yield his anger and pride to a force greater than

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

Watch the trailer:


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stars in the Night by Cara Putman

I have a give away copy of this new novel by the lovely, talented Cara Putman. Please leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance to win!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stars In The Night
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Cara Putman


A Word From Cara:

I graduated from high school at sixteen, college at 20, and completed my law degree when I was 27.

My writing journey started in 2005 when I decided to write my first novel. Now I have eleven books published with more on the way.

People say I've accomplished a lot and that I must have life by the proverbial tail. Hardly! I grew up as a home schooled kid when home schoolers were misunderstood and oddities.

I struggle with balancing my writing and law career, plus being a good mom and wife.

I often fear people won't like my books.

I've walked through the deep pain of miscarriage.

Really, I'm just like you – I don't have it all together and have gone through tough times. But in His strength, I've discovered a strength I never knew I had. A strength I want you to discover, too.

In the end I'm just an ordinary mom who has seen God do some wonderful things as I've been obedient to step into the calling He's led me into.

Stars in the Night Background

Stars in the Night was an idea that had begun to percolate in my mind. I’d written two World War II series and was actively looking for my next setting. My husband, a huge World War II history buff, and I were kicking ideas around, and I’d decided Hollywood was probably the next place for me. I’d gone to the library and gotten a stack of research books when I got the call. An editor I knew but had never worked with wanted to know if I might be interested in a new line they were starting. As we talked, I got so excited. And then she emailed me their guidelines, which listed that Hollywood was a location they were interested in setting books.

Only God could have known ahead of time. But because I followed His prompting I was ready to run with an idea. Stars in the Night is the result.


Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer's sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her.

Any day Audra might have been flattered by the friendly overtures of Robert Garfield, a real-life movie star. But on the flight from Indianapolis to Hollywood, Audra can think of little else than finding her missing sister. When Audra arrives in the city of glitz and glamour, and stars, and learns her rising starlet sister has been murdered, all thoughts of romance fly away.

Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan.

Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister.

Could the killer be the man with whom she's falling in love?

If you'd like to read an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Stars In The Night, go HERE.

Contest: Lots of opportunities to win and great prizes, and the grand prize contains some of Cara's favorite classic movies as well as all of her WWII novels: Launch Contest!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Evidence of Murder a Carol Award Finalist!

Awesome news! I received a phone call a few days ago that Evidence of Murder, one of my 2009 releases, has been selected as a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol contest. The Carol is a prestigious award, and I'm honored to be among the finalists. Reading the names on the finalist roster is like a Who's Who in Christian fiction. I'm pinching myself and praising God!

Here's the link to check out the award and all of the finalists: CLICK HERE

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky

I've posted about this book earlier, but now I have a giveaway copy. Leave a comment below for a chance at it.

Marlo Schalesky is a gifted storyteller. This book will play your heartstrings while it keeps you guessing until the end.

Shades of Morning is Marlo’s third “Love Story with a Twist” (think a
Nicolas Sparks type love story with an M. Night Shyamalan type twist!).


Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church - they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness. Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome - and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned. As Emmit—and Taylor—work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?


Top Pick! 4 ½ Stars! “Schalesky has a knack for weaving a surprising spiritual twist into her tales. The touching plot will make readers examine how they deal with past regrets, and how God moves them through it. A not-to-be-missed, stunning novel!”


Marlo Schalesky is the award winning author of numerous books, including her latest novel Shades of Morning, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist. Marlo’s other books include the Christy Award winning Beyond the Night, and its sequel If Tomorrow Never Comes. Marlo is also the author of nearly 700 articles, the mother of 5 young children, and holds her Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. When she’s not changing diapers, doing laundry, or writing books, Marlo loves sipping Starbucks white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and talking about finding the deep places of God in everyday life.


Author of:

SHADES OF MORNING, Love Stories With a Twist!, coming JUNE 2010

IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES, Love Stories With a Twist!, 2009

BEYOND THE NIGHT, Love Stories With a Twist!, 2008 (Christy Award Winner!)

VEIL OF FIRE, Historical, 2007 (ACFW Book of the Year Winner!)

EMPTY WOMB, ACHING HEART, nonfiction, infertility

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon by Stephen Bly

This is a great book to kick back and enjoy in small bites or gobble all at once. It would also make a terrific gift for all those cowboys, cowgirls, or cowboy wanna-be's in your life. Check out this new release from a veteran author!


A 10-year-old boy with red straw cowboy hat, cap gun, and silver-painted wooden bullets. Six story-telling, cribbage playing old cowboys. A '49 Plymouth with open trunk. A damsel in distress. All the fixings for a summer's day adventure at the Matador Hotel in 1954 Albuquerque.

Maybe you weren't born 100 years too late!

Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon is a twist on the traditional Western story.

In 1954, six men who spent their youth as cowboys in the Southwest, now gather at the Matador Hotel lobby in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, for weekly games of cribbage. One rainy afternoon, one of the men brings his grandson. They're delighted with this captive audience. They all play cribbage and the men tell stories of their exploits in the old days. The eldest was born during the Civil War. All of them cowboyed from the late 1880s until the 1940s. They tell first-hand stories of what the West was truly like.

Many years later, the boy looks back and remembers the day he heard of a way of life and western tradition that's quickly becoming extinct. He also recalls the lessons he learned and the excitement of a drama that unfolded before them that provoked the cowboys' last stand.

This reminiscent account of real cowboy lives resonates like Andy Adams' book, The Log of a Cowboy, written in the early 1900s.

Author's suggestion: This book is best read aloud, as though around a campfire, by someone who gets the hang of the rhythm of the language.


Miscellaneous Quotes from Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon:

The Matador Hotel died on July 5th, 1965, but they didn't bother burying it until last fall.

New Mexico heat blanketed Albuquerque that July like too many covers in a stuffy cabin. . .the kind of day that you sweat from the inside out and feel sticky dirt in places that you don't ponder much except in the shower.

Cribbage and cowboys. . .I figured I fit right in.

The early May rain came down hard, the kind of cloudburst when the drops slap your face and you take it personal.

There's a quiet buzz from antique ceiling fans, like six thousand crickets, all out of tune. You don't even notice, until there's silence.

Folks today think that 1954 existed in some other galaxy, on some other planet. Maybe they're right. It's hard to believe that world and this one are made of the same stuff.

"If you feel prodded, Shorty, it's the shovel of the Lord. He's diggin' you up and intends on restorin' you."

2 REVIEW QUOTES from previous Stephen Bly novels:

"I have always been a fan of Louis L'Amour but I must say your book is as good if not better than anything of his. I shall remain a fan of Stephen Bly." -- Jimmy Dickens, Grand Ole Opry

"Bly offers a kinder, gentler Western that should appeal to fans of Louis L'Amour." - Library Journal


Q. What is meant by the term "cowboy philosopher." What is it about the "cowboy life" that lends itself to philosophizing and a closer walk with God?
A cowboy's friendships were shaped by tough work and tragedy, companionship and daily battle with weather and critters. Only the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific would equal the old West in producing men of courage and character. This stark reality on the land, with lots of nights around a campfire and under the heavens, goaded them to storytelling, philosophizing, and wondering about God.

"Little Brother, a man don't jump into the stream until he sees which way the water's flowin'," says a character in my newest release, Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon (June 1st, hardback). It's told from a 10-year-old boy's point-of-view, but years later as an adult. He learns many life lessons one summer's day in a lobby at the Matador Hotel in Albuquerque. He gets a graduate degree in cowboy philosophy.

Q. Why did you pick Albuquerque, New Mexico for your setting in this newest novel?

Because I've been there many times to vacation or do research. I enjoy this state very much. The only other place I've been that possesses such wonderful layers of culture stacked one upon another is Rome. The old cowboys at the Matador Hotel in Albuquerque share one layer of New Mexico's history, a fairly modern era.

Every chapter I wrote in Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon made me miss New Mexico. The state motto is "land of enchantment." But it's more than a Chamber of Commerce slogan that tugs me. It's an intriguing state to explore. This state's ripe for numerous stories.

Q. How did you get the idea for Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon?
This novel is not based on my life, per se. However, what makes it personal, like a memoir: as a 10-year-old boy in 1954, I spent many afternoons playing cribbage with my grandpa, just like Little Brother in the novel. And I also heard many accounts about the "old days." Many images from those times together in the 1950s embedded in my mind. I finally wrote about it.

Q. What was one of your challenges in writing Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon?

A rather technical one...Albuquerque is tough to spell right every time. In fact, it ranks #4 in the most misspelled list on none other than The other contenders are Cincinnati, Tucson and Pittsburgh. I finally started to get it right on the second draft by remembering an old song: A-L-B-U-Q-U-E-R-Q-U-E (Lyrics by Herb Hendler, Music by Ralph Flanagan (c)1951). This made it easy enough for even a cowboy to spell.

Gotta go, gotta go back to New Mexico,
where my true love waits for me.
Gotta get on the tracks
cause I'm on my way back
To A-L-B-U-Q-U-E-R-Q-U-E.

The tune, of course, is integral to teaching the spelling. I can't help you there, even if we met in person. But my musical wife could hum it just fine.

However, I did discover that there are definite advantages to setting a story mainly indoors, as most of this book is. It's easier to research. Take New Mexico, for instance. . .as soon as I move my characters out into the woods, I've got to decide which tree they'll hunker next to. Hey, it's not easy to pick the right tree. Picking the right weed can be tougher. So, I stayed most the time inside the Matador Hotel. Except when all the main characters hop into that '49 Plymouth with the open trunk.

Q. What other kind of genre would you be interested in writing besides westerns?

My wife and I have enjoyed writing together what she calls 'cozy mysteries'. We did The Hidden West Series (contemporary) and The Carson City Chronicles Series (historical) and so much enjoyed the research on location and process. I'd be delighted to do more these with her.

Q. What's next for you?

I've got a contract for a historical romance western, set on a train from Omaha to Sacramento, with the working title Throw Away Heart. In addition, I'm thinking through a mystery story set in the early 1900s on the Oregon coast on a golf course, starring Stuart Brannon, one of my early cowboy protagonists, as an old man. He's invited to a golf tourney by friends and feels very awkward on the links, but finds plenty of adventures anyway. As ardent fans of my books know, Stewart Brannon makes some sort of cameo appearance or mention in every Stephen Bly novel, whether historical or contemporary.

Stephen Bly has published 103 books of historical and contemporary fiction (37 classic westerns) and Christian life and family nonfiction for adults, teens, and kids (9-14 yrs.). Eighteen books were co-authored with wife, Janet. Four of his novels were finalists for the Christy Award. His historical western, The Long Trail Home, won a Christy. The Blys have 3 married sons and 3 grandchildren and live in north-central Idaho at 4,000 ft. elev. on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.

Learn more about the Blys at their website or "On A Western Trail" blog or follow then on twitter or friend them on Facebook (Stephen Bly or Janet Chester Bly).

Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon (hardback, Center Point) is available by order through your local bookstore (Ingram Distributors) or online or . You may also check it out at your local library.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters had depth, especially the main character, who is delightfully flawed and real. Be prepared for a plot of some complexity and a wide array of players to know, but the dynamics between the characters was gripping and authentic. I'm salivating for the next book in the series.

I do have a giveaway copy, so leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance to win!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Back On Murder
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

J. Mark Betrand


J. Mark Bertrand has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, he left Houston and relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota.

Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead. Besides his personal website, visit his Crime Genre website at

The next book in this series, Pattern Of Wounds will come out in the summer of 2011.


Det. Roland March is a homicide cop on his way out.

A missing girl. A corrupt investigation. They thought they could get away with it, but they forgot one thing:

Roland March is BACK ON MURDER...

Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details. But when he's the only one at a crime scene to find evidence of a missing female victim, he's given one last chance to prove himself. Before he can crack the case, he's transferred to a new one that has grabbed the spotlight--the disappearance of a famous Houston evangelist's teen daughter.

 All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. With the help of a youth pastor with a guilty conscience who navigates the world of church and faith, March is determined to find the missing girls while proving he's still one of Houston's best detectives.

Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Back On Murder, go HERE.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Tomorrow We Die
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

Shawn Grady


Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire & Tomorrow We Die.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.


Chase the Angel of Death and You Might Catch Him

Jonathan Trestle is a paramedic who's spent the week a few steps behind the angel of death. When he responds to a call about a man sprawled on a downtown sidewalk, Trestle isn't about to lose another victim. CPR revives the man long enough for him to hand Trestle a crumpled piece of paper and say, "Give this to Martin," before being taken to the hospital.

The note is a series of dashes and haphazard scribbles. Trestle tries to follow up with the patient later, but at the ICU he learns the man awoke, pulled out his IVs, and vanished, leaving only a single key behind. With the simple decision to honor a dying man's last wish, Jonathan tracks the key to a nearby motel where he finds the man again--this time not just dead but murdered. Unwilling to just let it drop, Jonathan is plunged into a mystery that soon threatens not only his dreams for the future but maybe even his life. He must race for the truth before the Angel of Death comes calling for him.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tomorrow We Die, go to HERE.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Nightmare by Robin Parrish

I do have a giveaway copy of this exciting new book by Robin Parrish, so leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance to win!

This week, the

is introducing

Bethany House (July 1, 2010)


Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about the intersection of faith and pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture.

He had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract with Bethany House Publishers. They contracted him for the rights to The Dominion Trilogy: Relentless (2006), Fearless (2007), and Merciless (2008). His science fiction thriller, Offworld came out in 2009. This summer debuts Nightmare, and he's working on another for 2011. Robin and his wife and children live in North Carolina.


The Nightmare is Coming...

Ghost Town is the hottest amusement park in the country, offering state-of-the-art chills and thrills involving the paranormal. The park's main ride is a haunted house that promises an encounter with a real ghost.
When Maia Peters visits during her senior year of college, she's not expecting to be impressed. Maia grew up as the only child of a pair of world-renowned "ghost hunters," so the paranormal is nothing new and to her most of the park is just Hollywood special effects. In fact, the ride feels pretty boring until the very end. There, a face appears from the mist. The face of Jordin Cole, a girl Maia knows who disappeared from campus a few months ago.
Convinced what she saw wasn't a hoax and desperate to find answers to Jordin's disappearance, Maia launches into a quest for answers. Joined by Jordin's boyfriend--a pastor's kid with very different ideas about paranormal and the spirit realm--Maia finds herself in a struggle against dangerous forces she never expected to confront on the edge of the spirit realm that try to keep the truth from emerging.

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


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bride in Training by Gail Martin

And Puppy Makes Three

Perfectionist Martin Davis's life is in turmoil. The lonely businessman's search for companionship led him to adopt a dog--a rather rambunctious terrier. And now Martin's at his wits' end. When dog trainer, Emily Ireland offers to help, Martin is grateful--and intrigued.

But he's wary of getting too close to the sweet, pretty Emily, especially when he learns of her scandalous past. Can Martin ever open his heart to the possibility that Emily just may be his perfect bride?

Bride In Training received 4 stars in the Romantic Times Book Reviews, and I was thrilled. So if you enjoy dogs, their antics and romance, I think you'll enjoy this series.

Award-winning author, Gail Gaymer Martin writes for Steeple Hill and Barbour with 44 published novels and over 3 million books in print. She writes women's fiction, romance and romantic suspense and is the author of Writing the Christian Romance, released by Writers Digest Books. She is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers. Gail was recently named Author of the Year by Barbour Publisher's Heartsong Presents readership. Gail is a popular speaker at churches and women's events and teaches writing at conferences across the U.S.