Monday, May 30, 2011

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Darkness Follows
Realms (May 3, 2011)

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, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and 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, the International Christian Writers, and International Thriller Writers. His short stories have appeared with Amazon Shorts and in Coach's Midnight Diner genre anthology. 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.



Mike Dellosso writes novels of suspense for both the mind and the soul. He writes to both entertain and challenge. In addition to his novels, Mike is also an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and a faculty member at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference.



ABOUT THE BOOK





Sam Travis lives in a Civil War era farmhouse in Gettysburg, PA, where he awakens one morning to find an old journal with an entry by a Union soldier, Lt. Whiting…written in Sam’s own handwriting. When this happens several more times, both at night and during waking “trances,” Sam begins to question his own sanity while becoming obsessed with Lt. Whiting and his bone-chilling journal entries. As the entries begin to mimic Sam’s own life, he is drawn into an evil plot that could cost many lives, including his own.



Can the unconditional love of Sam's daughter, Eva, break through his hardened heart before a killer on the loose catches up with them and Sam’s past spurs him to do the unthinkable?



If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Darkness Follows, go HERE



Watch the book video:



Friday, May 27, 2011

The Reluctant Writer by Christy LaShea

The title of this post is not for my latest book. Don't get excited for me as my writing world is as humdrum as the sand in the cracks of my driveway outside.... except, I think even the sand has some sparkly sediment to it that makes it quite interesting. If I were writing, there may be some spark in my writing world too. But, I'm not and it's not. 

The title of this post simply represents where I am right now. I've got ideas in my head, but when I sit down at the computer, it just won't happen. I spend too long wasting time on things that produce intangible things that will fade as quickly as they are written or read. I'm speaking of Facebook status messages, emails, blah, blah, blah...

So here I am, on my blog where I can whine and either you'll read it and move on, or read it and comment. It is your choice and I'm not requiring either. 

A bit of writing-related news is that the Maggie Contest is about to draw to a close for entries. The deadline is June 10. That's a Friday and I believe is only about 2 weeks away, or less. I would love to enter my historical. Last I heard, there were no Inspirational entries and Charlene Patterson of Bethany House is the editor who would be the final judge AND will be at our M&M conference this year. So, if you have any sort of inspirational story, I say get your entry in soon. It's the first 35 pages, and that includes a synopsis in that page count.  The website is 
http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/

What are you waiting on?
Please don't wait on me... I may not happen.

So I'm thinking I will begin to post my progress again.... Writing progress that is... The good or the ugly, I will post what I'm up to. June 10 is the deadline for the Maggie. Can I have 30 pages ready to go with a synopsis?


If you want to participate, share what you will be working on...


On a side note, I learned a friend of mine gave up on contests. She was frustrated with the feedback she received and decided to start querying agents. After about 10-15 rejections out of 50 that she was planning to query, she heard back from an agent and got an offer. How wonderful for her! Waving at Melanie!


What do you think? Query, Query, Query, or do Contests, Contests, Contests to secure success?


I think the first step is writing. You've got to write the best book you know how.


And we all know how that's going for me....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Reluctant Detective
Monarch Books (April 30, 2011)
by
Martha Ockley




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Martha Ockley is the pen-name of Rebecca Jenkins. She read history at Oxford University, and spent several years working alongside her father, the Rt. Revd. David Jenkins (Bishop of Durham 1984-94) during the turbulence of the 1980s. She lives in Teesdale in the North East of England where the landscape and history provide the inspiration for her Regency detective, F R Jarrett. Since September 2009 she has been Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Writer in Residence at York St John University. She is a full-time author, writing both fiction and non-fiction. (She should not be confused with a Canadian actor and singer, also called Rebecca Jenkins.)





ABOUT THE BOOK



The Reluctant Detective sees Faith Morgan arriving back in the region of her birth - Winchester in Hampshire. Recently ordained, she had been working as a curate in an Anglican inner-city church. Within an hour of her arrival at Little Worthy, she witnesses the sudden shocking death of a fellow priest during a communion service at St James's. He had been poisoned with a pesticide mixed with the communion wine. The senior police officer who arrives at the scene turns out to be Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, Faith's ex long-term boyfriend.



She is urged by the Bishop to stay on to look after the parish of Little Worthy. As she meets her parishioners she learns some surprising facts about her apparently well loved predecessor, and starts to suspect a motive for his death. And it is she who finally identifies the murderer.



The story gets off to a dramatic start with the previous vicar collapsing as soon as he drank the communion cup, and it holds the interest throughout. There is some romantic interest too. Inspector Ben Shorter starts by sneeringly telling his sergeant, "Ms Morgan is a vicar. One of the ordained," Ben emphasized the word. “She's a card-carrying professional at the touchy-feely stuff.” But he soon starts to feel differently about her again, although she is well aware that he "didn't understand the reality she experienced through her faith. He didn't even recognize its existence. That was the gulf between them." Her own beliefs and doubts are convincingly described, for even she can't help wondering, "What if there is no truth to it?" But for her, as for Pascal before her, it was a gamble worth taking.



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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over the Edge
B&H Books (May 1, 2011)
by
Brandilyn Collins




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.



In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.



Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Even as patients across the country are getting sicker, the committee Brock chairs is about to announce its latest findings—which will further seal the door shut for Lyme treatment.



One embittered man sets out to prove Dr. McNeil wrong by giving him a close-up view of the very disease he denies. The man infects Janessa with Lyme, then states his demand: convince her husband to publicly reverse his stand on Lyme—or their young daughter will be next.



But Janessa's marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly move or think. And her husband denies she has Lyme at all.



Welcome to the Lyme wars, Janessa.



“A taut, heartbreaking thriller. Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages.”

--Publishers Weekly



“Tense and dramatic. Holds its tension while following the protagonist in a withering battle.” –NY Journal of Books



“A frightening and all-too-real scenario. Very timely and meaningful book.” –RT Reviews



“If you know someone who suffers from Lyme, you need to read this compelling novel.” –Lydia Niederwerfer, founder of Lyme-Aware


If you would like to read the Prologue of Over the Edge, go HERE



Watch the book video:



Friday, May 20, 2011

Author Spotlight: Tessa Stockton - From the Ground Up


It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Political Intrigue Author Tessa Stockton to the At Split Ends Blog today. I hope if you are floundering or struggling to be content in your current place as I feel sometimes that you'll sit down a moment and read Tessa's post for today. I pray it will refresh and inspire you to keep working toward your dreams.......... Here's Tessa:



If someone had told me it would take years of practice and loads of networking to become a professional dancer, would I still have pursued that dream…? I sometimes ponder the question.

Likewise, if someone had told me that it would take years of practice and loads of networking to become a professional writer, would I still have pursued that…? I sometimes ponder…

When I started out training in the discipline of dance, working my way up the levels, I often wanted to see instant success. However, it took years to get to the place of actual employment. I had to grow seasoned, coursing through the ranks. I had to get good enough, building from the ground up. During periods of hard labor it’s easy to burn out, but I stayed after it—even through the transition of working in theater and the secular environment to accepting the call to utilize dance in missionary service, in ministry. After over twenty years dancing, that chapter closed, and I experienced the stirring to begin another chapter as a writer.

I had always written on and off throughout my life, even filling the role of writer and editor for the quarterly newsletter in which the ministry I served with produced. But as a lover of fiction, I wanted to write novels—didn’t have the time, though, until my dance world started to wind down.

Embarking on the novelist’s journey, I wished to see instant success. Yeah, I know, that didn’t work the first time. Yet, because it didn’t work the first time I somehow expected it to the second time around. Wow, was I in for a sharp disappointment! It took ten years of rejections to get to that publishing contract. Now, I realize it takes a lot of building blocks to market and sell a book effectively. It’s truly a journey. Few in life are instant successes. Like dance, I had to learn how to do it from the ground up. The good thing about that proves the solid base from which we launch. If the ground we start on is solid, we have a foundation for everything else—we are surefooted.

If you want to do something bad enough, start somewhere. “Somewhere” will lead you “elsewhere.” It might take a while, but you’ll eventually reach a golden plateau, enabling you the opportunity to look back and see how far you’ve climbed and how much you’ve learned.
Really, the only pondering I do on the subject consists of how I would have enjoyed the journey a little more instead of focusing so hard on getting to Point B from Point A. I may have missed some of the joy during the process—but I’m learning. It’s a Romans 8:28 kind of thing: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

While I’ve seen abundant blessings worldwide in my life as a dancer, I’m now celebrating the pinnacle of a writer’s life, the release of my debut novel, The Unforgivable. Through the variances of life and experience—God is good, all the time. From the ground up, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”


A former contemporary dancer, Tessa Stockton, who was also active in politics and human rights groups, now writes Christian political intrigue novels.



The Unforgivable is her first book in the Wounds of South America series. Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War, a Christian woman falls in love with a man accused of war crimes in The Unforgivable. www.Tessa Stockton.com



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Undaunted Faith by Andrea Boeshaar


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Undaunted Faith
Realms (May 3, 2011)
by
Andrea Boeshaar




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea's educational background includes the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.



Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn't until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women's Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft.



Finally her first novel was published in 1994. Since then she's written numerous articles and devotionals. Andrea has also published inspiration romance novels, women's fiction, and novellas.



In 2003, Andrea joined the Hartline Literary Agency and worked for Joyce Hart as a literary agent. She saw much success. But then in 2007, Andrea realized she was more of a teacher/encourager than a sales person. She left the agency and became a certified Christian life coach. Now, in addition to her writing, Andrea enjoys encouraging others to use their God-given talents and gifts to their fullest.



Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar is a certified Christian life coach and speaks at writers’ conferences and for women’s groups. She has taught workshops at such conferences as Write-To-Publish, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Oregon Christian Writers Conference, Mount Hermon Writers Conference, and many local writers conferences. Another of Andrea’s accomplishments is cofounder of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization. For many years she served on both its Advisory Board and as its CEO.



ABOUT THE BOOK



When Pastor Luke McCabe begins paying extra attention to her, Bethany takes his fine-sounding words with a grain of salt. She's heard sweet talk before. This time she is going to keep her mind on the Lord and on her new teaching job in the Arizona Territory.



But when her reputation is accidentally soiled by the rakish town sheriff, Luke steps in with a marriage proposal to save Bethany's good name. Luke is certain their marriage is God's will...but Bethany is just as certain God must have someone else in mind to be Luke's wife.



Someone sweet and spiritual, who knows the Scriptures better than Bethany does. Someone like Luke's old friend from home.



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





Watch the video trailer:



Monday, May 16, 2011

Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Fade to Blue
B&H Books (May 15, 2011)
by
Julie Carobini




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A word from the author:

I grew up as Julie Navarro, in a family of truly right-brained individuals. Among us you’ll find writers, artists, and musicians, all of us willing to talk about the arts at a moment’s notice.



Over the years, I’ve published several hundred articles and stories in magazines and books, including Aspire, Decision, Expecting, Focus on the Family, Key Magazine and God’s Abundance: 365 Days to a Simpler Life. As I wrote, I found a common theme cropping up: my family, the sea, and God’s timely work in the lives of those around me.



Maybe it was time to incorporate those interests into novels, I thought.



And so I did. Not once, but twice. Both times, God shut both doors and windows. So I continued to write and dream and raise my kids with Dan. Eventually I decided to write romantic seaside novels, and that’s where I found my voice.



When I’m not writing, marketing, or editing for others, I’m driving my kids around town, imagining that my mid-sized SUV is actually a sleek sailing yacht.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Suz Mitchell is the determined dreamer we should all be and won't allow her ex-husband Len's jail sentence to ruin their young son Jeremiah's life. An accomplished artist, she moves with her child across the country to California's central coast and lands a sweet job restoring priceless paintings at the historic Hearst Castle overlooking the ocean.



To her utter surprise, a serious old flame, Seth, is also now working at Hearst and jumbles the dreams inside Suz's heart. While sorting out the awkwardness of their past split and current spiritual differences, a repentent Len shows up eager to restore his family.



Suz must learn to let God be the true restorer of all that once seemed lost.



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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Change is good?

Change is good... or so I'm told. Sometimes I wonder.

Last Sunday, the pastor of our church announced he was leaving to work for Helping Hands Missions. After our pastor's trip to Uganda in March of this year, he knew the Lord was calling him into the mission field. Our church has watched, prayed, participated in multiple missions that include our local schools, our homeless. A group from my church went to Uganda with my pastor and those of us who remained prayed for them.

Our pastor is not only the leader of our church, but also a friend. I know he is following God's calling, but I'm still concentrating on my own flesh when I say I wish he were staying. I see the impact this church, this pastor's heart, has had on my family's life, and I realize that God is at work in every single thing. I know we are not to put our faith in man... still, I am torn. My family will press on. We will continue to stay at this church because we love it and are comfortable here. I don't want this change, but it is not my decision. How can you wrestle with change when it's completely a "God" thing?

I suppose we can wrestle all we want but in the end we know Who will win.

I'm also facing change at my job. Earlier this year, the company announced my department will be moving to another state. Other departments will fully relocate to my current location. We have the option to stay in this current town and change positions or follow our current position to the new location. I have made the choice to stay. Eventually those of us who do not move will interview for a new position. If we don't get a position, we will be given an offer management says will be reasonable.

Some may not receive an offer.

I realize this solution is better than receiving a pink slip, but still, I'm wrestling against this change as well. I'm trying to see the bright side, but sometimes, it's hard to see the sun through the clouds. You know its there, and there's a definite glare, but the sun just won't shine.

I don't know where I intended to go with this post, other than to say that change is inevitable. Is it good? For some, it will be.  For me, stay tuned....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hidden Affections by Delia Parr


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hidden Affections
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
by
Delia Parr




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Tyler wears the burden of legally being a divorcee, a difficult position for an upstanding young woman to find herself in.



While attempting to start a new life for herself, an unexpected turn of events once again has Annabelle married--this time to Harrison Graymoor, the most eligible, yet elusive, bachelor in Philadelphia. Harrison assures her that he will secure an annulment immediately, unaware that the constable has sent word of the marriage to the press in Philadelphia. And here things continue to go awry.



Harrison's past, a philanthropic cousin with his eye on Annabelle, and the appearance of Annabelle's ex-husband threaten the tentative relationship growing between Harrison and his "wife." For two individuals set against marriage, there are certainly a lot of second thoughts regarding the one forced upon them.



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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

no more

This weekend I decided I would stop writing. For good. No more effort. No more stress...

My reasoning was that I was too stressed trying to write. I have two young children and need to devote as much time as possible to them. I decided writing needed to take a back seat, that I would get to it when I got to it. I decided I would make a better effort at putting God first in my life, then wife, then mom, then daughter, then something else.... then focus on my 9-5 job I'm not liking very much right now.... then, writing would come in at a distant 52nd place... I felt good about my decision. Already, I felt like I had improved as a mom and a wife.

An hour later, something about the current story line I'm working on popped into my head and I realized that giving up writing may not be as easy as I thought.

What I've decided to change is my mindset. I'd turned my writing into something that had to be done, because I wanted it to be a business venture for me. The sad fact is that it isn't. This may never be a business venture for me. It may be a hobby until the day I die.

I joined a couple of writers organizations. I'm on a group blog that talks writing and everything else. I've entered/won contests. I opened Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook accounts to network with other writers, but found I can network all day long, but until I finish the book and really start querying, I have no chance. I have to turn the social media networks off to get anything done. My time is too limited to waste.

I see other people who are probably balancing as much or more than I am announce their publication contracts. I'm happy for them, but when I see the new author is someone like me, in my own rotten flesh I am jealous because I wish that were me. I can't see the end of this road but I'm not sure I want to. What good will come if I am published? A check? Recognition? Don't I realize that with publication comes its own set of problems? Don't I have enough problems? Why add more?

So I have to stop writing... for the reasons to become published... for the goal of making a name for myself... I need to stop because its not helping me, its hurting me.

If I'm going to write, then it needs to be just for me.


Back to the love of writing because I'm creating a world of new problems that belong to someone else, where true loves always wins in the end, where the worst issues will be resolved and that on that last page, everyone will live Happily Ever After.....

No more effort to write for anyone else.

No more stress.

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Unlikely Suitor
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
by
Nancy Moser




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery a Christy Award winner, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novels are Masquerade and An Unlikely Suitor. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the

Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at www.nancymoser.com and www.sistercircles.com and her historical blog: http://footnotesfromhistory.blogspot.com/





ABOUT THE BOOK



New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.



One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?



Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?



And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class--but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

As the lives of three young woman--and their unlikely suitors--become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?



If you would like to read the first chapter of An Unlikely Suitor, go HERE.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Gift by Bryan Litfin


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Gift
Crossway Books (April 30, 2011)
by
Bryan Litfin




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.



Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.



ABOUT THE BOOK



The Chiveis Trilogy takes readers hundreds of years into the future. War and disease have destroyed civilization as we know it. Much technology has been discarded and history is largely forgotten. Slowly, the few survivors have begun to build new communities, and kingdoms now prosper in a kind of feudal order. But the Word of God has been lost for centuries.



After the finding of an Old Testament in book one of the trilogy, The Gift picks up the story of Teo and Ana. Exiled from their homeland and trying to survive in unknown and dangerous lands, they search for any record of the missing Testament.



Their journeys lead them into the region we know as Italy. An elite society welcomes Ana, who finds she must choose between her new life and her dream of returning to Chiveis. Will Teo and Ana’s relationship withstand the circumstances and new enemies pulling them apart? And can Teo keep ahead of a powerful and mysterious force opposing his search for the New Testament?



If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Gift, go HERE.



Watch the book trailer:



The Gift Trailer from Crossway on Vimeo.

Finalist!