Sunday, June 28, 2009

Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love's Pursuit

Bethany House (June 1, 2009)

by

Siri Mitchell



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

A Constant Heart was her sixth novel. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. She has been called one of the clearest, most original voices in the CBA.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.

In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love's Pursuit, go HERE

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shepherd's Fall by Wanda Dyson


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Shepherd's Fall

WaterBrook Press (April 14, 2009)

by

Wanda Dyson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager on a busy farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the occasional fox, deer, groundhog, and snake. She could seriously live without the snakes, but that's life in the country.

After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. Readers characterize her books as "riviting" and "Packed with twists and turns."

Wanda serves on the board of several writers conferences across the country including the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

Wanda has finished the second in this series called Shepherd's Run,that will come out in 2010. And she's hard at work on the third and final installment of the Prodigal Recovery Series - Marti's story -- tentatively called Shepherd's Quest.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Bounty hunter Nick Shepherd is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It's his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his "flock" is out of his control, Nick's well-ordered universe falls into chaos.

Prodigal Recovery's search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Nick's business. He is thrown together with Zeena's twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Nick's daughter is kidnapped. Now, to save someone he loves, Nick must risk everything.but will it be enough

If you would like to read a Prologue excerpt from Shepherd's Fall, go HERE

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Firstborn by Conlan Brown


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Firstborn

Realms (May 5, 2009)

by

Conlan Brown



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in 1984, Conlan Brown was functionally illiterate until the fifth grade, when he learned how to read and write, as well as a love of story, from his grandmother. Conlan went on to start college at the age of sixteen, and now holds a Master's degree in Communication, which taught him the academic principles needed to write Firstborn.

Conlan lives on Colorado's Front Range where he is working on his next book. He enjoys video editing, film scores, and developing high octane, thought provoking fiction that turns pages and excites the senses.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Three supernatural gifts. Two thousand years of division. One moment of truth.

Hannah's head hung, long brown hair in her eyes. Her face felt pasty with cold and fatigue and pain. Arms behind her back, she sat in a chair, wrists and ankles tied to the wooden frame, chair legs bolted to the floor. A cold car. A gun. Horror. Pain. Grief. Screaming. A windshield blistering with holes. Darkness.

It all came over her like a flood. A pouring out of pictures in her mind. But then there was one more thing. Not an image, but a feeling--that half a continent away someone else had felt it all happening too.

The Firstborn, those gifted with Foresight, Hindsight, and Insight at the time of Christ's death are divided between themselves. And when an Islamic holy man is murdered outside of his mosque it becomes apparent that one of the Firstborn was to blame. Now, with the threat of a terrorist attack on an unspeakable target the Firstborn are spiraling out of control. Leaders are dying, members are being kidnapped, and unity is being forced. Three heroes, differently gifted and divided must work together to thwart those who would go too far.

Their breakneck race against time plunges them into a world of danger and through a gauntlet across the United States. From the Riverwalk of San Antonio, where Devin Bathurst, John Temple, and Hannah Rice must protect one another from assassination, to the gritty streets of Washington DC, a paramilitary compound in Pennsylvania, and ultimately back to our nation's capital, the Firstborn must unite to prevent an impending atrocity from becoming reality.

Watch The Trailer




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

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slice of Life: 4 year old cuties

Sometimes my daughter does things that are adorable and unforgettable.

Example:

Here's the unforgettable ~ She wanted to paint her fingernails with bright pink nail polish, but somehow the nail polish ended up on her nails + the palms of her hands. BOTH hands!

Here's the adorable ~ She's really excited about being a big sister. She likes to come up to me and wrap her arms around my waist, then kiss my stomach. Normally, she says "Hey, Baby Sissy!" I've been reminding her every chance I have to point out the sister she thinks I'm having could be a brother. At first she wasn't too receptive to this. In her 4-year old mind she thinks girls come from Mommies and boys come from Daddies. I explained we could have a boy or girl, only God knows.

So, the next time she came running up to me, grabbing my waist, she said, "Hey, Baby Sissy! Hey, Baby Brother!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Bride In The Bargain

Bethany House (June 1, 2009)

by

Deeanne Gist




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deeanne Gist, the bestselling author of A Bride Most Begrudging and The Measure of a Lady, has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People magazine, Parents, and Parenting. With a line of parenting products called "I Did It!® Productions" and a degree from Texas A&M, she continues her writing and speaking. She and her family live in Houston, Texas.

Since the debut of those novels, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, two RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.



ABOUT THE BOOK

The Wedding Is All Planned...
Someone Just Needs to Tell the Bride

In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.

Joe Denton doesn't have a wife, though. His died before she could follow him to Seattle and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride--one of the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer.

Anna Ivey's journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook--not a bride. When she's handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his land. With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he convince this provoking, but beguiling, easterner to become his lawfully wedded wife?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride In The Bargain, go HERE

**************************************************************

My Take:

If I had a rating on the At Split Ends Blog, I'd give this book a 5, for the best.

I just love books by Deeanne Gist. I giggled when I saw this cover. A beautiful girl (who's actually Deeanne's daughter) in a lovely bridal gown with her chin propped on the handle of an ax! How fun!

A Bride in the Bargain is based on fact. Asa Mercer did collect $300 from Washington Territory bachelors in exchange for an eastern bride. The author put her own spin on the story by bringing to life Anna Ivey and Joe Denton who spent most of the novel not married, though Joe needs a wife to win his land. Yet Anna is harboring memories of her past that cause her to feel that anyone she loves will die, just as her father, mother and brother did.

I loved the tension between these two characters. The old-fashioned attraction of two people who find each other beautiful in every sense. The sexual tension was tight, yes even in Christian Fiction, because both characters wanted each other and loved each other. But Anna didn't believe she could be good for Joe and then an accident proves to her, she is right. Yet Anna nurses Joe to recovery, proving by her actions and her words that she truly loves this man.

A Bride in the Bargain is wonderfully enjoyable from the start with enough twist in the plot to keep you wondering how its really going to play out. This was a book I read in stand still traffic and was disappointed when it ended. Somehow, the characters just came alive. I am reading it a second time around slowly, to enjoy the past, the rich setting and the beloved characters.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

FaithWords (April 16, 2009)

by

Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt



ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

ANNE DAYTON graduated from Princeton University and is earning her master's degree in English literature at New York University. She works for a New York publishing company and lives in Brooklyn.

MAY VANDERBILT graduated from Baylor University and went on to earn a master's degree in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in San Francisco, where she writes about food, fashion, and nightlife in the Bay Area.

Together, the two women are the authors of Miracle Girls



ABOUT THE BOOK

Ana, Christine, Riley, and Zoe have grown closer than ever over the past few months, but summer is over and it's time to put their friendship to the test.
It's been a little over a year since Christine Lee's mom passed away in a tragic car accident. Now her dad is engaged to Candace--"The Bimbo"--and Christine couldn't be less thrilled. When her attitude starts to take a toll on her schoolwork, the administration forces her to attend counseling sessions. At least she gets to skip gym class!
But with her father's wedding inching closer, Christine is growing even more bitter. To make matters worse, the Miracle Girls are beginning to drift apart. Christine's anger and the pressures of high school threaten to break the girls up when they need each other the most. Will they find a way to join together to help Christine come to terms with her mother's death . . . and her father's remarriage?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, go HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Deliverer by Linda Rios Brook


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Deliverer

Realms (May 5, 2009)

by

Linda Rios Brook



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linda Rios Brook, President of the RiosBrook Foundation, believes the answers to issues of social justice and righteousness lie in the proper alignment between the church, the marketplace and media and entertainment. She is a sought out speaker and teacher on matters relevant to cultural restoration. Linda worked as a media executive for over 20 years in the field of broadcasting serving as President and General Manager of television stations in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota and was President and part owner of KLGT-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Linda has served on several national boards and community organizations and is listed in Who's Who of American Women. She is an ordained minister and has a Doctorate of Practical Ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute.

Linda is also the author of Lucifer's Flood.

Linda is also a teaching Pastor at Covenant Centre International in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Linda is married to Larry Brook, who is the Executive Director of the RiosBrook Foundation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ancient language expert Samantha Yale returns to translate a new batch of scrolls written by the fallen angel from Lucifer's Flood.

Samantha Yale has taken on a daunting translation project. A set of scrolls, delivered by a man she knows nothing about, tells a fascinating and frightening tale of what went on behind the scenes of biblical history. What is even more incredible is who is telling the tale--a fallen angel who immediately regretted his decision to side with Lucifer.

With The Deliverer, Linda Rios Brook brings new depth of imagery into the spirit world. It is a story about rebellion and consequences. It is about demonic strategy to disrupt and destroy the people of God. But ultimately, it is a story about the unrelenting love, grace, mercy, and determination of a sovereign God in pursuit of His children.

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Tip: Contests

Entering contests means a lot of preparation. Your synopsis and manuscript entry need to be flawless. Every word needs to sing.

I've edited out pieces of my manuscript I thought were important, but decided they weren't as important in the eyes of the contest. In the first 25 pages of your manuscript, you must be able to grab the judge's attention and keep it there. That may mean cutting details that aren't pertinent to the entry. You can leave the details there for the manuscript's full body, but make sure what you're turning into the contest is succinct and at its best.

Bringing your work to this level requires time and patience. It requires outside help - that means you need to email your work to your critique group, or meet your writing group each week. Don't get mad if the results aren't what you expected.

Contest feedback can be brutal. Even if the judge doesn't intend to be harsh, when we first read our scores, we are hurt. They weren't a perfect score as we expected. The judge says we need to work on showing or telling, or advises us on grammar and points out where we went wrong. None of this is easy, but must be met head on if we are to survive as a writer. When a writer becomes published, the criticism comes in the form of reviews that are published across the Internet for all eyes to see. You have to have a strong backbone to prepare for that, when the reviews aren't what you expected.

Enter contests where the final round judge is an editor you're interested in pitching. If you final, that judge will see your work. Great things can come of him/her seeing your work, or maybe nothing. The point is, get your name out there. When you meet the editor at conference, you have something to talk about besides how sweaty your palms and pits are.

Don't waste your time entering contests if the final round judge is of no interest to you, unless you simply want practice entering contests. And have the extra dough to shell out. Entering contests - multiple entries - several a year, can get costly.

All of this is just my advice. And since it's free, you can take it or leave it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Ghostwriter

FaithWords (May 28, 2009)

by

Travis Thrasher



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


It was during third grade after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing fulltime in 2007.

Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in summer of 2007. This year he has two novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.

Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November, 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.

Stop by and visit Travis at his Blog where you can sign up to follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

Also check out the radio interview with Travis on Monday June 8th at BlogTalkRadio/FaithWords



ABOUT THE BOOK

For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he's stricken by a paralyzing case of writer's block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else's writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he's gotten away with it . . . until he's greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed--the true author of the stolen manuscript.

What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian's threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he's spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run.

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Scream by Mike Dellosso


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Scream

Realms (March 3, 2009)

by

Mike Dellosso



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted.

He was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years and has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets. Mike also has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters.

Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Otherworldly Screams...
A Madman on the Loose...
This Time the Stakes Are Higher Than Ever

While talking to his friend on the phone, Mark Stone is startled by a cacophony of otherworldly screams. Seconds later, a tragic accident claims his friend's life. When this happens several more times--screams followed by an untimely death--he is compelled to act.

Battling his failure as a husband and struggling with his own damaged faith, Mark embarks on a mission to find the meaning behind the screams and hopefully stop death from calling on its next victim. When his estranged wife is kidnapped and he again hears the screams as she calls from her cell phone, his search becomes much more personal and much more urgent.

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

Monday, June 1, 2009

Breathe by Lisa T. Bergren


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Breathe

(David C. Cook; New edition June 1, 2009)

by

Lisa T. Bergren



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award winning author of over thirty books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time between writing and freelance editing and parenting her three young children with her husband Tim. She lives in Colorado Springs.

ABOUT THE BOOK

To make a new life, she'll have to learn how to breathe again...

By the time Dominic and Moira St. Clair get their ailing sister, Odessa, to Colorado Springs in the winter of 1883, she is nearly dead. Odessa has been seriously aling for the past year from consumption, an illness that claimed the lives of four of her younger brothers, prompting her father, to send his only surviving children west to chase the cure.

Moira is beautiful and dangerously headstrong; and pugnacious Dominic is charged with establishing a new arm of the family business--a business he doesn't want.
Several days after her arrival, Odessa witnesses what she fears is the murder of miner Sam O’Toole, friend and neighbor to the charming Bryce McAllan.

What’s more, Sam leaves her a poem containing clues that seem to direct her to his mine, which is purported to carry a fantastic vein of silver. But if she is ever to rise from her bed again, she must first concentrate on conquering the giant that threatens her─consumption. Indeed, she must learn to breathe again─daring to embrace her life, her future, and hope in her God.

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

Finalist!