BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

DOGWOOD by CHRIS FABRY - REVIEWED


DOGWOOD
By Chris Fabry
Published by Tyndale House Publishers
352 pages
ISBN# 978-1-4143-1955-1

Back Cover:

“There are losses that mark a life forever…but I still had hope that our lives could be salvaged from the past.”


Will Hatfield returns to the small town of Dogwood, West Virginia, intent on pursuing the only woman he has ever loved – lonely to find there is far more standing in his way than lost years in prison. Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance from her deep passions and conflicts leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three small children and “do life” the best she can.

The secrets of Will and Karin’s past begin to emerge through Danny Boyd, a young boy who wishes he hadn’t survived the tragedy that knit those two together as well as tore them apart.

And the trigger that will lay there pain bare and force them to face it rather than flee is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman who leads Karin so deep into her anger against God that it forces unexpected consequences.

“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6

Review:
Chris has a quote by Jackson Browne in the front of the book that speaks volumes about this story “I think that life is full of pain…It’s painful for everybody…Growing is painful. But I think that the only way through it , is through it…and anything that helps is a blessing”. The author shows his characters dealing with the pain of life in many different ways.

My mind and emotions were impacted as I read the first page. Ruthie Bowles helps Karin find answers and peace in her lonely days and sleepless nights. “I have been staring at the hornet’s nest called life, afraid to live, too stunned to move. Ruthie was the one who drew the poison from my soul.” Karin admits. Chris Fabry delivers word pictures like this all through this story. The imagery is powerful and thought provoking.

“Life isn’t pretty so you’ve got to hug the ugly out of it,” Ruthie said to Karin.

I loved the depth of gut level honesty these women share with one another. A close relationship develops between this most unlikely pair Ruthie and Karin. As I read I kept wanting to find out the tragedy and heartbreak that happened in this small town named “Dogwood” that brought so many people together and changed their lives forever.

In the first 4 chapters the author develops individual characters and their situations. Chris makes it easy to know who’s speaking because the character’s name is on top of each new chapter. Before he takes you to the next chapter and a new character ; the author leaves you hanging and wanting to learn more about the character he just introduced. After the 4th chapter I started wondering if and when these people’s lives would intersect. The story really builds up to this intersection of lives. Then it happens their worlds collide in a fast paced action packed climax. Chris Fabry has woven these people’s lives and this story together in a fascinating way. Chris has written many books for children. This is his first adult fiction story. I can’t wait to read what he writes next; you’ll be looking for his next book too!

Nora St.Laurent
Book Club Servant Leader - ACFW Book Club Assistant

DOGWOOD by CHRIS FABRY


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dogwood

(Tyndale House Publishers - July 9, 2008)

by

Chris Fabry



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Chris Fabry has a variety of titles to his credit including At the Corner of Mundane and Grace, Spiritually Correct Bedtime Stories, Away with the Manger, The H.I.M. Book, and The 77 Habits of Highly Effective Christians. His latest work is a collaboration with Jerry B. Jenkins and Dr. Tim LaHaye.

Chris has recently completed the final book in the Left Behind The Kids series, available Fall 2004. Readers of all ages have followed the lives of Judd, Vicki, Lionel, and the others. Now read how their exciting stories culminate in book 40 of this beloved series. Dogwood is his first adult fiction.

Chris and his wife, Andrea, are the parents of nine children and make their home in Colorado. Chris has worked in Christian radio and now enjoys narrating audio books as well as writing. He believes his career as a husband and father is the real evidence of God's grace in his life.



ABOUT THE BOOK


In the small town of Dogwood, West Virginia, Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance from her deep passions and conflicts leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three small children and "do life" the best she can.

Will returns to Dogwood intent on pursuing the only woman he has ever loved--only to find there is far more standing in his way than lost years in prison. The secrets of Will and Karin's past begin to emerge through Danny Boyd, a young boy who wishes he hadn't survived the tragedy that knit those two together as well as tore them apart.

The trigger that will lay their pain bare and force them to face it rather than flee is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman who leads Karin so deep into her anger against God that it forces unexpected consequences.

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

NORA INTERVIEWS MICHELLE SUTTON


ABOUT MICHELLE SUTTON: (Taken from her website)I'm so excited that she as agreed to do an interview with me and I can share it with all of you!

My pen name is Michelle Sutton. I've lived in sunny Arizona and since 1991 and I have two sons and a husband of almost 18 years.

When I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)it made a huge difference in my life for many reasons. ACFW members elected me to serve on the operating board as Volunteer Officer for a two year term. I began my duties on January 1, 2007. I blog and post book reviews all over the internet (with some recently appearing on USA Today) as well as giving away two books per week on my blog. Many publishing houses have referenced my blog and reviews. Just Google Edgy Inspirational Author.

But the most exciting news of all is that I sold my manuscript Then Sings My Soul (now retitled It's Not About Me) to Sheaf House and it will be released in Sept. 2008. It looks like the second book in the series will be coming out the following fall (Sept. 2009) since they are putting chapter 1 at the end of the first book. We just need to make it official via another contract.

Lastly, I have been given a position as Editor in Chief of a new online magazine. The debut issue will release in July 2008. The magazine is called Christian Fiction Online Magazine and is sponsored by the CFBA, which is the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. The URL is http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com and presently shows "coming soon" on the site. I am also working as Marketing Director for Sheaf House Publishers, LLC. Did I mention I also design websites? I have about 7 clients at the moment, so if you need a site send me an e-mail and we'll chat about it.

Thanks Michelle for letting us get to know you a little better and thanks also for answering my questions. You are a GREAT sport!!!


1. How did you get the idea for this book?

It's actually based on something that happened to a friend of mine.

What made you want to write in this genre?

I didn't plan to. It's actually the fifth book I've written, but the characters in this story were younger than my 25-40 year old characters in previous books, and my voice came out YA. So maybe my brain shifted gears mid-stream and got tired of Women's fiction.

2. What inspires you to write?
I just get the muse every so often. It's hard to explain, but I guess the best was to describe it is the overwhelming urge to tell a story.

What inspires you while you are writing?
Peace and quiet. Seriously. Distractions are tough. And I always feel like the Lord is the one telling me the story. I'm just putting it on paper. Being His fingers to the keyboard so to speak, only when it comes to the message inherent in the story. I come up with the imperfect parts. :)

3. Is being an author everything you thought it would be?

Not really. I enjoy it immensely, but with so many writers in this world, to make your word stand out and be noticed is not an easy task. I do love writing though, so it doesn't matter if I make a lot of money or not. I just need sales to keep the publisher in business so they can keep buying my books.

What did you think the life an author would look like?
I figured it would look similar to my own even before I started writing, except that you can work in your jammies!

If not, what has been surprising about this for you?

The incredible amount of marketing that is needed to stay afloat in this biz. People like to share books with friends, but that means they don't buy them. And buying used books on Amazon doesn't count toward sales either.

4. I know that you have a large part in getting an on-line magazine off the ground, how did you come to be involved in that and what exactly do you do there?

I am the Editor in Chief, which essentially means I do all of the acquisitions. I work with the authors, approve the content, etc. I came up with the column topics, authors, titles, and pretty much everything in the magazine, with the Lord inspiring me, of course. I was asked by my friend Bonnie (who I didn't know all that well) if I wanted to be the Editor in Chief of an online magazine. I thought she was joking. She wasn't. I prayed about it and felt the Lord telling me to do it. When I asked Bonnie why she approached me she said the Lord told her to ask me, so that just confirmed that I was doing what the Lord wanted. Besides, I love Christian fiction and promoting authors. This magazine is the perfect way to do that.

5. I also know that you have the “Edgy Christian Fiction” site. How did it start and why?

I started the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers site after I saw that Gina Conroy had created a Writer...Interrupted site in ning. I thought it looked cool, so I started one for people like me who enjoy edgy Christian fiction. I wanted a place where people with like interests could talk about edgy fiction and share their work. I had almost 100 people join in the first few days!

What makes your site unique?

It's for readers and writers and people can talk about anything they want as long as it's not evil or disruptive. People can also share edgy scenes and discuss topics not allowed in other venues.

6. How did you decide where this story would take place?

I placed the story in Idaho because the prior three books were set in Idaho, too. Two of the previous stories I'd written had a plot involving Child Protective Services. Because I work for the Arizona governement I didn't want people thinking I was talking about them or their cases. That's another reason why I use a pen name. Anyway, Tony and Dan's father was in the previous book, so I decided to write about his family (sons). Hence, they stayed in Idaho even though I could've made the setting Arizona once I pulled the three YA books from the prior three in the series.

Is it hard to develop an imaginary town, and places people work OR is it easier to write about places that already exist?

The story setting is Boise and Nampa. I lived in Nampa for a year (my freshman year of college) but I changed the names of places and made up the name of the church and the street it was located on so I would not have anyone thinking I was writing about their actual church.

Are there any complications that you run into talking about real places? Please explain .
I would never write about a place I'd never actually been to. I would have to have lived there or at least went on vacation in the area. I think that is needed to get things straight such as the culture, weather, landscape, etc.

7. How much of you is in this story? Please explain if yes.

Not much. Maybe a little bit here and there. The characters are really nothing like me. I'd say the closest would be Dan in regards to my personality, but he's a guy. However, Annie's spiritual awakening did have similar characteristics as my own as did some of the tempations she faced. And I've known several girls like Susie when I was a teenager.

Does this make it harder or easier to write about if it’s like you?

Nah, it's easier because you can make it feel even more real if you have first hand experience in an area, like your own personality.

8. What are you working on now?

Trying to stay afloat with my many jobs and projects. I've had two houses request more of my work and I haven't had a chance to pull out those old stories and dust them off yet. But I'm working on it.

What can you tell us about your new project?

It's not exactly new, but my next project is going over the second book (already written) in this series with a fine tooth comb before I submit it for edits, because I haven't read the story in two years!

How was the writing experience different than when you worked on your last book?
No difference. I wrote It's Not about Me over three years ago and had to do the same with it.

When will this new project be out?

It's Not About Him is scheduled for release in Sept 2009, one year after the release of It's Not About Me.


9. What was your favorite scene to write and why in “It’s not about Me”?

Ah, it's a kissing scene involving a botched milkshake. Yummy!

What was the hardest to write?

The attack scene.

Why?
Because I scared myself. One of my kids came up to ask me a question when I was revising it and I jumped clean out of my chair and said, "Don't you ever do that again!" He was like, "What did I do?" He just wanted to ask me a simple question.


10. I’ve heard it say that some writers plot out everything thing they are going to write about first. Then there are other writers that write by the seat-of-their pants. How do you best explain how you go about the writing process? Please explain.


I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. I sit down and out comes the first chapter and the next and the next. Easy as pie. I love that. Like a movie, the story plays out in my head and I type while I'm seeing it in my mind. My rough first drafts are very similar to my final edits. The thing is, I mull the story over and over in my mind (for the plot) first, before I ever write a word. So when it's ready to come out, it comes.


Things you wanted to know about Michelle but were Afraid to ask, so I did!


1.Out of all the high tech gadgets out there which has been the hardest to learn but has had the greatest reward to you personally?


My cell phone. It has tons of bells and whistles and I'm still discovering new things I can do with it.


Please explain. It was the hardest to learn because I get bored easily and I hate reading instruction booklets.

2.Given our current gas situation and the fact that we are getting less mileage for our dollar – what alternative resource would you rather use in the future? Lets Dream here!


Oh, I'd love to have muscular thighs rather than soft ones. I'd ride my bike everywhere if I had the time and the weather cooperated with me. But since that's not a choice I'd choose a.

a. You would rather use the Transporter (which I like to call the “Beam” Machine) from Star Trek? (Beam me up Scottie Ha!)

WHICH ONE OF THESE WOULD YOU PICK AN WHY?

I'd do the "Beam me up, Scottie." Why? Cause that was my generation and it's cool to leave and show up places with your clothes still on and no crashing potential. The tree thing scares me and I'd stink with a hovercraft, too.

3. If you had the opportunity to travel to outer space, where would you go? And why? If not, where would you really like to travel – given you have the time and the money to do whatever you wanted?

I get overwhelmed just looking at the skies and the Milky Way on a clear night. To see the earth from God's point of view would trip me out so much I'd probably hyperventilate. So, I'd stay on earth and just visit some exotic Islands in the middle of nowhere and read novels while tanning on a sandy beach. And I'd stay there until I felt like coming home. I'd also love to hop on a cruise ship and tour the sites/ports.


4.If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you pick and why? (You could even mix and match super powers – you're a writer be creative!)


I'd be Wonder Woman cause in this life I'll never have a bod like Linda Carter. My super power would be to eat high calorie foods and fudge brownies and they'd make me more shapely rather than tubby.


5. Have you ever or would you ever have the desire to jump out of a plane? (with a parachute on of course ).
Are you crazy? See above answer about the earth and space.


If so, why? If you already have what did it feel like? If not, what other crazy thing would you like to do? Why?

The other crazy thing I'd like to do is quit my government job and read books every day all day. See? Told you that's crazy!


6.If you had to pick one “Reality” TV Show to be on what would you pick and why?


I never watch TV so I'm not familiar with most of them, but maybe if I were single I'd be the hot chick on The Average Joe. I thought that was a fun reality series. She had so many guys to choose from. :) My boys even enjoyed watching that with me. It was about three years ago, the last time I watched TV. LOL!

7. What is your favorite restaurant you like to go to(or would like to go) and have breakfast? Why?

I love the IHOP because they have (or used to have) buckwheat pancakes. We don't have any IHOPs where I live so they may not have them on the menu anymore. But I love buckwheat pancakes and real maple syrup!

Is there something you usually order? If so, what?
See above.



What about your favorite dining experience? Where would you go for that? Whom do you enjoy dinning with?
There is this exotic restaurant named Cafe Roka in Bisbee, Arizona that has fabulous gourmet food. Everything is made from scratch and it's in an old historic building. They have live music. It's a great place to go for a romantic dinner with your hubby.

8. If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money); to do anything you wanted, what would you do? Why?

Read, read, read! And travel. I love reading.

9. What is the neatest place you have ever visited so far and why?

A bunch of places. Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, etc.

What made it so neat, special, memorable to you?
They are take-your-breath-away gorgeous settings and shaped by God's own hand.

10. If had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world/ what 2 people would you pick and why?

One would be my mom. She's been gone ten years and I miss her. My grandma would be the other. I'll see the rest of the people in heaven. Well, I'll see my mom and grandma in heaven too.

What would you do? What would you talk about?

We'd hug and talk about old times and fun times.Sheesh, I'm getting all weepy just thinking about it.

Thanks so much Michelle or taking the time to do this interview. I appreciate you stopping by and letting us get to know you better.

Are there any last comments you would like to make to the ladies in my book club?

Please tell people in your church about my book (and youth group leaders) because it's got a great message that I believe the Lord wants people to hear.

Thanks again Michelle, I'll definately let everyone know.
Blessings to you dear one!!

Nora :)

NORA INTERVIEWS DAVID GREGORY



1. How did you start out your writing career? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

No, hardly. I did not write professionally until I was 37. Before that, I dabbled in some nonfiction theological writing. I certainly never expected to write fiction. My first fiction I started on a whim. It was never something I expected to turn into a career.

2. How did you get the idea for your first novel “Dinner with A Perfect Stranger”?

There was some material on comparative religion from my first seminary theology class that I wanted to put into book form – thinking nonfiction. Later in seminary, after taking a class on creative writing, I had the idea of putting it and other material in the form of a conversation between Jesus and a modern day cynic.

3.Did you come up with the title “Dinner with a Perfect Stranger”? If not, what was your
working title?


My father in law handed me a card with a few words on it and said, “There’s your title.” I don’t remember what I had before that.

4.How did you come up with the idea for your second book “A Day with a Perfect Stranger”?

I don’t recall. But I do know that I wanted the theme to be the sufficiency of the love of God in Christ to fill the human heart.

5.Did you come up with the title “A Day with a Perfect Stranger”? If not, what was your working title?

Once I decided on the time frame of the book, a day, the title just seemed natural for a sequel.

6.Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you have had on your journey to being published and now afterwards? What made it a “Wow” moment for you?

Two of my biggest Wow moments have been emails on the Perfect Stranger movies: one from a man in the South who showed the movie, The Perfect Stranger, to three Muslim friends who subsequently came to Christ. The other was from a woman in Texas who said God used a scene from the movie Another Perfect Stranger to help heal her from a devastating incident during her teen years.
7.Are you satisfied with how the movies came out about your books? How involved were you in the movie making process?

Yes, extremely satisfied. I had no idea how the movies would turn out. Kelly Filmworks did an outstanding job with both movies, which were true to the books and yet had their own unique spin that added to, instead of detracting from, the books. I was not very involved in the movie making. I approved the scripts and for the first I was there for several days of filming as an observer. I was mainly there just to have fun.



8.What was your favorite book as a child? Why?




It’s hard to pick one. My favorites: A Wrinkle in Time, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, The Wizard of Oz.















9.Do you read Christian fiction? If so, who are your favorite authors?

I don’t read a lot of fiction, period. I am trying to train myself to. I have always been a nonfiction guy. I lean toward C.S. Lewis’s fiction because it reflects his nonfiction so much. Two of my favorite fiction scenes are in That Hideous Strength.


10.It says in your bio that you didn’t go to college for writing but business. What do you do at your day job? When do you have time to write the books your have?

Writing is my day job now. Before I was able to write fiction fulltime, I was editing for Chuck Swindoll’s ministry, Insight for Living. Once upon a time I spent ten years as a compensation analyst – not that anyone knows what that is.













QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

1. Tea or coffee? What brand is your favorite? Neither, except Frappucinos.

2. Beach or Mountains?

I like forested mountains coming down to the beach, as we have here in Oregon.

3.What is the neatest place you have ever visited and why? What made it so neat, special, memorable for you?

Yosemite National Park. The grandeur of nature there is incredible.

4.If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money) to do anything you wanted to do; what would you do?



If I had all the money in the world, I would provide clean water, adequate nutrition, adequate health care and education to all the developing world; I would provide the gospel message to every person on the planet; I would provide the message of our union with Christ to every believer; I would make sure that everyone in America was adequately educated on the political philosophies of the Founding Fathers and the economic philosophy of Thomas Sowell. That would be a good start.

5.Who is your favorite chef on the cooking channel? Why? Have you ever tried any of their recipes? What did you try and did it turn out?

Are you kidding? Why would I want to watch people cook?

6. If you could interview or hang out with someone for a day who would you pick? Why?

An elderly friend of mine in Michigan. She describes herself as “the most joyful person in the world.”
















7.Would you rather watch a sporting event on TV or in person? Which sporting events do you watch and why?

My top sporting event to go to in person would be a Dallas Stars hockey playoff game. NHL playoffs are the most exciting events of all, though I am not otherwise a big hockey fan. Next to that, I like to watch football on TV (the action is too start and stop in person), basketball live, and baseball on TV (too slow in person).


8. If you had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world, what two people would you pick and why?






Adam and Noah. Just think of the historical holes you could fill.









9. Have you ever been on or would you like to go on a mission trip? If you have been where did you go? If you haven’t where would you like to go and what would you like to do?

Not a mission trip per se. I’ve been on a short training trip with a Christian organization to northern Mexico, and I’ve been to Croatia to speak at a week-long Christian conference.

10. Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? Why did you pick that one?



Oh. That is difficult. Lords of the Rings, I suppose. The themes more closely parallel the themes we see played out concerning the Kingdom of God.

















Thanks so much for dropping by David and letting us get to know you and your books a little better!!


All the best to you!!


Nora :)

DRAGONLIGHT by DONITA K. PAUL


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

DragonLight

(WaterBrook Press - June 17, 2008)

by

Donita K. Paul



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”

She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.

“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”

Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.

Donita is an award-winning author of the Dragon Keeper Chronicle series including DragonFire and DragonKnight.

When not writing, she is often engaged in mentoring writers of all ages. Donita lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she is learning to paint–walls and furniture! Visit her website at www.dragonkeeper.us.



ABOUT THE BOOK
The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war inflicted on its citizens by outside forces–as well as from the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface of the idyllic countryside.

Truth has never been more important, nor so difficult to discern.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon–despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with the stakes disease–has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy… can they overcome the ominous peril they can’t even see?

Prepare to experience breathtaking adventure and mind-blowing fantasy as never before in this dazzling, beautifully-crafted conclusion to Donita K. Paul’s popular DragonKeeper Chronicles fantasy series.

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


"DragonLight is a delight, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the marvelous Donita K. Paul. I heartily recommend her books to all ages who love inspirational fantasy and wonderful creatures. Ms Paul not only supplies imagination and talent, she provides heart and soul. Another winner!"
~KATHRYN MACKEL, author of Boost


"Donita K. Paul is amazing! DragonLight has the allegorical depth to satisfy the most discerning adult seeking spiritual depth, yet it is fun enough to fascinate a child. This book will enthrall, uplift, and if allowed, change lives--as we are gently drawn to realize that each of us is flawed and must have patience with other flawed believers."
~HANNAH ALEXANDER, author of Double Blind

FALCON & THE SPARROW by M,L. TYNDALL


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Falcon And The Sparrow

(Barbour Publishing, Inc - August 1, 2008)

by

M. L. Tyndall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
M. L. (MARYLU) TYNDALL grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she's only give her heart to Him completely.

Her current releases in the Legacy of The Kings Pirates series include:The Restitution, The Reliance, and The Redemption



ABOUT THE BOOK
When Mademoiselle Dominique Dawson sets foot on the soil of her beloved homeland, England, she feels neither the happiness nor the excitement she expected upon her
return to the place of her birth. Alone for the first time in her life, without family, without friends, without protection, she now faces a far more frightening prospect, for she has come to the country she loves as an enemy-a spy for Napoleon.

Forced to betray England or never see her only brother alive again, Dominique has accepted a position as governess to the son of Admiral Chase Randal, a harsh man, still bitter over the loss of his wife. Will Dominique find the strength she needs through God to follow through with the plan to rescue her brother? Will Chase find comfort for his bitter heart in God's arms and be able to love again?

And what new deceptions will they both find in France when they arrive to carry out their plan?

If you would like to read an excerpt of The Falcon And The Sparrow, go HERE

TRY DARKNESS by JAMES SCOTT BELL


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Try Darkness

(Center Street - July 30, 2008)

by

James Scott Bell



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He has also been the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.

The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles. His first Buchanan thriller, TRY DYING, was released to high critical praise, while his book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Ty Buchanan is living on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica’s, far away from the glamorous life he led as a rising trial lawyer for a big L.A. firm. Recovering from the death of his fiancĂ©e and a false accusation of murder, Buchanan has found his previous ambitions unrewarding. Now he prefers offering legal services to the poor and the underrepresented from his “office” at local coffee bar The Freudian Sip. With his new friends, the philosophizing Father Bob and basketball-playing Sister Mary Veritas, Buchanan has found a new family of sorts.
One of his first clients is a mysterious woman who arrives with her six-year-old daughter. They are being illegally evicted from a downtown transient hotel, an interest that Ty soon discovers is represented by his old law firm and his former best friend, Al Bradshaw. Buchanan won’t back down. He’s going to fight for the woman’s rights.
But then she ends up dead, and the case moves from the courtroom to the streets. Determined to find the killer and protect the little girl, who has no last name and no other family, Buchanan finds he must depend on skills he never needed in the employ of a civil law firm.
The trail leads Buchanan through the sordid underbelly of the city and to the mansions and yachts of the rich and famous. No one is anxious to talk.
But somebody wants Buchanan to shut up. For good.
Now he must use every legal and physical edge he knows to keep himself and the girl alive.
Once again evoking the neo-noir setting of contemporary Los Angeles, Bell delivers another thriller where darkness falls and the suspense never rests.

If you would like to read chapters 1 & 2, go HERE


“Bell has created in Buchanan an appealing and series-worthy protagonist, and the tale equally balances action and drama, motion and emotion. Readers who pride themselves on figuring out the answers before an author reveals them are in for a surprise, too: Bell is very good at keeping secrets. Fans of thrillers with lawyers as their central characters—Lescroart and Margolin, especially—will welcome this new addition to their must-read lists.”
—Booklist

“Engaging whodunit series kickoff . . . Readers will enjoy Bell's talent for description and character development.”
—Publishers Weekly

“James Scott Bell has written himself into a niche that traditionally has been reserved for the likes of Raymond Chandler.”
—Los Angeles Times

“A master of suspense.”
—Library Journal

“One of the best writers out there, bar none.”
—In the Library Review

PAINTED DRESSES by PATRICIA HICKMAN


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Painted Dresses

(WaterBrook Press - July 15, 2008)

by

Patricia Hickman



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Hickman is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been praised by critics and readers alike.

Patricia Hickman began writing many years ago after an invitation to join a writer's critique group. It was headed up by best-selling author Dr. Gilbert Morris, a pioneer in Christian fiction who has written many best selling titles. The group eventually came to be called the "Nubbing Chits". All four members of the original "Chits" have gone on to become award-winning and best selling novelists (good fruit, Gil!).

Patty signed her first multi-book contract with Bethany House Publishers. After she wrote several novels "for the market", she assessed her writer's life and decided she would follow the leanings of her heart. She says, "It had to be God leading me into the next work which wound up being my first break-out book, Katrina's Wings. I had never read a southern mainstream novel, yet I knew that one lived in my head, begging to be brought out and developed." She wanted to create deeper stories that broke away from convention and formula. From her own journey in life, she created a world based upon her hometown in the 70's, including Earthly Vows and Whisper Town from the Millwood Hollow Series.

Patty and her husband, Randy, have planted two churches in North Carolina. Her husband pastors Family Christian Center, located in Huntersville. The Hickmans have three children, two on earth and one in heaven. Their daughter, Jessi, was involved in a fatal automobile accident in 2001. Through her writing and speaking, Patty seeks to offer help, hope and encouragement to those who walk the daily road of loss and grief.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this story of sisterhood and unexpected paths, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees her unraveling marriage to take refuge in a mountain cottage owned by her deceased aunt. Burdened with looking after her adult sister, Delia, she is shocked to find a trail of family secrets hidden within her aunt’s odd collection of framed, painted dresses. With Delia, who attracts trouble as a daily occupation, Gaylen embarks on a road trip that throws the unlikely pair together on a journey to painful understanding and delightful revelations.

Steeped in Hickman’s trademark humor, her spare writing voice, and the bittersweet pathos of the South, Painted Dresses powerfully captures a woman’s desperate longing to uncover a hidden, broken life and discover the liberty of living authentically, even when the things exposed are shrouded in shame.

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