Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War by David and Nacy French

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War

Center Street; Original edition (July 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Sarah Reck, Web Publicist FaithWords & Center Street for sending me a review copy.***


Nancy French is a columnist for the Philadelphia City Paper, a weekly alternative newspaper (readership of 460,000), in which she addressed issues like politics, religion, and culture with a light, humorous touch. She also the cofounded and maintains the blog re:formation which has a large following and focuses on a discussion of today's conservative Right.

David French is a captain in the United States Army Reserve. In his civilian life, he is a senior counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund and is the director of its Center for Academic Freedom. In Iraq he served as the Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment in Diyala Province, Iraq. At the conclusion of his tour, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat operations.

Visit the authors' Facebook.


David French picked up the newspaper in the comfort of his penthouse in Philadelphia, and read about a soldier - father of two - who was wounded in Iraq. Immediately, he was stricken with a question: Why him and not me?

This is the story of what happens when a person - rather a family - answers the call to serve their nation. David was a 37-year-old father of two, a Harvard Law graduate and president of a free speech organization. In other words, he was used to pushing pencils, not toting M16s.

His wife Nancy was raising two children and writing from home. She was worrying about field trips and playdates, not about her husband going to war.
HOME AND AWAY chronicles not just a soldier at war, but a family at war - a husband in Iraq, a wife and children at home, greeting each day with hope and fear, facing the challenge with determination, tears, and more than a little joy.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Center Street; Original edition (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1931722900
ISBN-13: 978-1931722902

Click "Browse Inside this Book" to read the first chapter:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa

Summerside Press (June 1, 2011)


Melanie Dobson


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.


With a backdrop of the community of The Amana Colonies, the Civil War, and a great love story, Melanie Dobson’s new historical fiction title LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA both enlightening and entertaining.

The novel is set in the United States during the turmoil of the 1860s. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace with a strong faith in God and pursuit of community, intertwined with hard work, family life and the building of their colony.

Amalie Wiese is travelling to the newly built village of Amana in 1863. When she arrives in the colonies she finds that her fiancée, Friedrich has left to fight with the Union Army. Amalie fears for his safety as she also struggles with his decision to abandon the colony’s beliefs. Matthias, Frederick’s friend, stays back in Amana to work in the colonies. But there is something wrong with Matthias; he always seems angry at Amalie when there is no simple explanation for him to act that way.

The goods that colonies manufacture are much needed supplies for the war effort and Matthias decides to deliver the goods to the soldiers. When he leaves, Amalie realizes that her fear for Matthias’s safety is equally as strong. What will become of Friedrich, will Matthias return safely, and will Amalie marry Friedrich? LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA is a richly told story of life in the Amana Society and the people who live and love there.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa, go HERE.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day of War by Cliff Graham - Reviewed!

About the Book: (from Zondervan)

In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a man named Benaiah is searching for a fresh start in life. He has joined a band of soldiers led by a warlord named David, seeking to bury the past that refuses to leave him. Their ragged army is disgruntled and full of reckless men. Some are loyal to David, but others are only with him for the promise of captured wealth.

While the ruthless and increasingly mad King Saul marches hopelessly against the powerful Philistines, loyal son Jonathan in tow, the land of the Hebrew tribes has never been more despondent—and more in need of rescue.

Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-wracked battlefields, Benaiah and his fellow mercenaries must call upon every skill they have to survive and establish the throne for David—if they don’t kill each other first.

My Son's Thoughts:

If you liked the movies Troy, Alexander, and Clash of the Titans, then you’ll rank this book right up there with them. Day of War takes you back to the times of David when the Israeli nation loyalty was split between Saul, who was the king at the time, and David, who had been anointed to be king. Action and adventure abound as we follow Benaiah, a commander in Davids’ army, on his missions in war torn Israel.

Mom's view: Both of my sons (ages 16 &17) raced through this book! They loved it! So if you are looking for a good read for teens - this is it!!

About the Author:
Cliff Graham was born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. He graduated from Black Hills State University with degrees in political science and military science and did his graduate studies at Liberty Theological Seminary. His first novel, Day of War, about King David's mighty men, earned him a film option for the entire book series from director David L. Cunningham (Path to 9/11) and producer Grant Curtis (Spider-Man films). A major motion picture franchise is in production. Graham is an officer in the United States Army National Guard and a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, who is currently serving in the Chaplain Corps and living in the mountains of Utah with his wife, Cassandra, and their children.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn

Life has thrown a curve ball into the midst - so no review at this time. I have always enjoys Robin Gunn's writing, and I encourage you to take a peek at this story!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Canary Island Song
Howard Books; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
Robin Jones Gunn


Robin Jones Gunn was born in Wisconsin and lived on a dairy farm until her family moved to southern California when she was five years old. She grew up in Orange County and spent her summers at Newport Beach with friends from her church youth group. After attending Biola University and Capernwray Bible School in Austria, Robin and Ross were married and spent the next two decades working together in youth ministry.

It was the young teens at Robin’s church who challenged her to write stories for them. She hadn’t thought much about being a writer, but took their request to heart and set her alarm for 3am, three days a week. With two small children it was the only time she could find to write the first story about Christy Miller. After two years and ten rejections the novel Summer Promise was accepted for publication in 1988. Robin hasn’t stopped writing since. Over 4 million copies of her 75 books have sold and can be found in a dozen translations all over the world.

Robin and her husband now live in Hawai’i where Ross is a counselor and Robin continues to write to the sound of tropical birds chattering in the palm trees outside her window. Their children are grown but manage to come to the islands with their families every chance they get. Robin's awards include: three Christy awards for excellence in fiction, a Gold Medallion finalist, Mt. Hermon Pacesetter and the Mt. Hermon Writer of the Year award. Robin travels extensively and is a frequent key-note speaker at various events around the world. She serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and Jerry Jenkin’s Christian Writer’s Guild.


When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to “get a life,” Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?

Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Glastonbury Tor by LeAnne Hardy

His mother wanted him to be a monk…
His father wanted him to be a man…
A priest tempts him to pursue power…
But Colin must find his own way.

About the Book: After his mother’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Colin Hay is so consumed with anger that he tries to kill his cruel father. Running from these tormenting desires and his home, he seeks the protection and cleansing of the Glastonbury monastery, at a time when King Henry VIII is closing monasteries all over England.

But Colin’s past has followed him to Glastonbury. As he now pursues forgiveness and salvation, Colin is conflicted by the doctrines he learns at the monastery and the grace he receives from a local family with a forbidden English Bible. And then there is a quick-tempered priest whose lust for power threatens to compromise Glastonbury Abbey, and to destroy the astonishing treasure it holds—the Holy Grail.

About the Author:

LeAnne Hardy has traveled the world responding to God's call to be a missionary, a call that has taken her to Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe. The diverse settings and plots in her books have been inspired by her real-life encounters there. Many of the stories and scenes from her books come from her family's experiences on the mission field or are based on true stories of others

Life has dealt an unexpected blow. I am sorry that my review is not available at this time. I will post a review very soon. I'm looking forward to this book!

240 pages
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication: September 2006

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shadows on the Sand
Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011)
Gayle Roper


Gayle is the award winning author of more than forty books. She has been a Christy finalist three times for her novels Spring Rain, Summer Shadows, and Winter Winds. Her novel Autumn Dreams won the prestigious Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Summer Shadows was voted the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Book of the Year (tied with fellow author Brandilyn Collins).

Gayle has won the Holt Medallion three times for The Decision, Caught in a Bind, and Autumn Dreams. The Decision won the Reviewers Choice Award, and Gayle has also won the Award of Excellence for Spring Rain and the Golden Quill for Summer Shadows and Winter Winds. Romantic Times Book Report gave Gayle the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her Amhearst mystery series, Caught in the Middle, Caught in the Act, and Caught in a Bind, originally published by Zondervan, was reprinted in 2007 by Love Inspired Suspense with a fourth original title added, Caught Redhanded. Another original single title, See No Evil, was also released. Caught in the Middle has been optioned for film.

For her work in training Christian writers Gayle has won special recognition from Mount Hermon CWC, St. Davids CWC, Florida CWC, and Greater Philadelphia CWC. She directed St. Davids for five years and Sandy Cove CWC for six. She has taught with Christian Leaders, Authors and Speakers Services (CLASS), serving for several years as their writer in residence. She enjoys speaking at women's events across the nation and loves sharing the powerful truths of Scripture with humor and practicality.

Gayle lives in southeastern Pennsylvania where they enjoy their family of two great sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, and the world's five most wonderful grandchildren. When she's not writing, or teaching at conferences, Gayle enjoys reading, gardening, and eating out every time she can talk Chuck into it.


Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.

When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries … and into her life. But Carrie has a painful past, too, and when the reason she once ran away shows up in town, the fragile relationship she’s built with Greg threatens to implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry. Two wounded hearts struggle to find a way to make one romance work. Failure seems guaranteed when Carrie locates her waitress but is taken hostage...

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

True North by Gary and Lisa Heim - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Kregal Publishing)

Flat tires, wounding words, a troubled marriage . . . We all struggle, but few people have learned to struggle well. When trouble comes, how do you respond? Do you turn north to God or south to the people and things of this world?

Debut authors Gary Heim and Lisa Heim know the answer: Choose north.

In their new book True North, the Heims show that choosing God in the frustrations of life is a daily choice. ―Every day, all day, God gives us the freedom to choose who or what we’ll give our hearts to, they write. ―We call it going north or south. We either turn north to God for the security, love, and significance we long for as we face the chaos of this broken world, or we go south to the false gods of this world.

When we are faced with frustrating circumstances like losing our job or dealing with difficult people, the typical response is to groan, grumble, or grasp. Instead of settling for the negatives in life, the Heims show how to change perspectives, challenging Christians to respond with grace, gratitude, and giving.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”—John 16:33, NIV

Combining biblical insight with personal stories, practical help, and compelling examples, the Heims encourage readers to turn their self-centered attitude (my desires) to a Christ-centered appreciation (God’s desires for me). As they read stories of hardships and trials, success and profits, readers will see how frustrations can actually help them grow in their personal lives, in their marriages, in their parenting, and in their ministries. Practical application in the form of discussion questions and downloadable leader’s guide materials (available on make the message of True North a popular teaching topic in churches.

On the importance of choosing God on a daily basis, the Heims write, ―Learning to live for God through all the daily troubles and difficulties of life isn’t something we can take or leave. Our worship, walk, and witness depend upon how we handle the daily chaos of trouble and hardship. This is where the rubber meets the road in living out our Christianity.

How we respond to frustrations is actually a battle for our hearts. We either go north to God or south to gods. There is no in-between. True North provides a spiritual road map for daily living so that the choice to go north can be made with confidence and faith. Choose north and embark on a life-giving adventure of walking with God.

My Thoughts:
True North is a practical, biblical approach to real life frustrations, hurts, misunderstandings and sometimes unexpected challenges to our faith. The road to healing and restoration is often painful, but as long as we keep our eyes focused "north" on the Father, we will find ourselves guided toward heavenly healing and growth.

This book progresses in topic depth and complexity, but the authors are careful to guide the reader with straight forward questions, scripture and sometimes prayer. This book would make an excellent personal or small group devotional for anyone seeking a closer walk with God.

About the Authors:

Gary Heim is pastor of Small Groups and Discipleship at Blythefield Hills Church in Rockford, Michigan; an adjunct professor at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary; and a retreat and seminar speaker. He is a limited licensed psychologist in Michigan where he had a private counseling practice for over ten years and was a staff counselor for RBC Ministries.

Lisa Heim is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan where she has had a private practice for the last twenty years. Lisa has been married to Gary for over twenty-five years and together they are the proud parents of two college-age children.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sword in the Stars by Wayne Thomas Batson - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the author's site)
From the moment you witness former assassin Alastair Coldhollow discover the sword in the stars, you will be riveted to the very real hope that God can use even the most broken among us for great deeds. Kids will find themselves tearing through the pages as they discover the world of Myriad…a world filled with strange peoples like the Windborne, Stonehands, and the Marinaens. And creatures such as Wights, Rook, and the Spirax. Parents will love the connections that their kids will make when they realize that God is full of surprises and that sin is never to be toyed with. Sword in the Stars, the first of seven books in the series, is the breathtaking launch of an epic fantasy that will draw readers to come on a long and perilous adventure that will make them better for having gone on the journey.

My Son's View: (age 17)

Sword in the Stars is a fantasy adventure that takes you to a far away land known as Myriad – a land teeming with strange creatures and legends. In Myriad, readers find the hero, Alastair Coldhollow, who has had a troubled and violent past that has left him with little hope. The only hope that Alastair has left is the coming of the foretold Halfainin that Alastair has sought for the last ten years.

Al Slatair continues the search for the Halfainin, tension grows between two nations know as Anglinore and the evil Gorrack nation. War between these two nations would mean war that would envelope all of Myriad and cause world war.

Alastair’s adventures take him throrough dangerous lands, and he finds himself caught up in the struggle against good and evil. Can Alastair find the Halfainin or will the free people of Myriad fall to the evil forces? In this story you will bind Biblical comparisons such as those between the coming of the Halfainin and the coming of Jesus to save us from this wicked world. Wayne Thomas Batson weaves a great tale that will keep you glued to the pages as you follow Alastair on his adventures.

Mom's two cents: Sword in the Stars is no small tome, and my son just inhaled it! (less than 48 hours from first page to review) I met Wayne Thomas Batson in Atlanta at the IRCS, and was able to recognize him because of his flowing cape and huge sword! He was a delight to meet, and I am thrilled to have him providing stories that my teen sons can enjoy!!

You can find out more about this wonderful series, the author and lots more HERE! Enjoy!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady - brief review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Falls Like Lightning
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
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 & Falls Like Lightning.

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.

After graduating from James Logan High School in Union City, California, Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego as a Theology undergrad. There he found clarity of direction and proceeded on to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.

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


When hotshot smoke jumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he's achieved what he's always wanted. But a lightning-sparked fire in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas has his team in a plane before they can even train together.

Pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to drop the crew into the heart of the forest infernos. A single mother of a mysteriously ill six-year-old, she can't imagine her life getting any more complicated.

It doesn't take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing. Silas is able to parachute to safety but soon discovers his crew can't be trusted. They're hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle from the flames--and from a more dangerous threat: his own team.

My Thoughts:
I'm going to tell you this, be ready to hold your breath the entire time you are reading this book!! The life of a fire jumper, a single-mom who flies the jumpers into raging infernos and has a child with chronic health old flame that returns to life's radar unexpectedly....this book has is all!

The story begins full tilt and never lets up! This is a great and exciting read!! I'm sorry to be more in depth, but I've been out of town for a week, and life has sort of snow-balled! I can recommend this book with confidence!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Falls Like Lightning, go HERE

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Called Him Dancer by G Edwaqrd Snipes


For a moment, Michael danced on top of the world, but one bad choice turns his life upside down. The once promising Broadway star now washes windows for tips and lives among the homeless. When his former dance partner recognizes him behind the fray of whiskers, shame drives him away from her. Angry at God and the world, the Dancer refuses to allow anyone into his life. When everything is stripped away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.

I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman’s enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless man who has given up on life.

A View from the Author's Window:

What made you write I CALLED HIM DANCER? Have you ever danced, taken lessons?

The only dance lesson I’ve received came when I was walking in the woods. A yellow cloud surrounded me and I began swatting yellow jackets like a break-dancer. Upon reflection, I don’t think I had the grace needed to make it big, so I quit after my first lesson. No more bees for me.

The inspiration for I Called Him Dancer came from a song performed by Tralena Walker and co-written by Tom Webster. I attended a meeting at the Atlanta Writers Club. Tralena and Tom were guest speakers. The topic was on how to write a story in lyrics for songs. Not my cup of Formosa Oolong, but at least it was entertaining. After performing the song, "Dancer", either Tom or Tralena said, “We’ve been looking for someone who will turn the song into a novel. We think it would make a great story.”

Until those words were spoken, I was a passive observer. I looked up and words were swarming around me like those yellow jackets. They attacked my head while I lay screaming on the floor. Okay, maybe I didn’t scream – but my mind did. In an instant, the story unfolded in my mind and I knew this was something I was to write.

I knew nothing about dancing (other than what the bees taught me). Tom and Tralena gave me the lyrics and I started researching and writing. I have to admit that I worried about the dancing scenes, but I knew things took shape when people began asking how I became so knowledgeable about dance. I thought back to the bees and said, “It’s just something that hit me while walking in the woods.”

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was a child, I got my first book. I flipped through the pages, then tore it apart. I didn't know it at the time, but that's exactly what you do when editing a manuscript.

I hated writing when I was younger. I only did what I had to do, and sometimes not even that. Writers block was more like writers dementia. My mind didn't return to me until after ... hmm. What were we talking about?

In 1998, I became active in prison ministry. Many of the men I ministered to were eager to learn. Someone asked me if I had my studies or notes on paper. I agreed to write out the next study and then my writing career was born. The problem wasn't that I couldn't write. It was that I didn't have something to say. Or didn't realize I had something to say. Over time writing transformed from a task to a passion.

Is I Called Him Dancer your first fictional story?

My first fictional story was written in high school. It wasn’t supposed to be fiction, but hey, the best fiction looks like the real world, right? I’ll tell you the story.

In high school, I had a class that was dedicated to writing a 30 page research paper. I chose the topic, The Arms race between the US and Russia. It was the 1980s when the Cold War was still on everyone’s mind. We spent weeks in the library researching our topic. I say ‘we’ in the general sense. My research was sports and other useless browsing. At the halfway point, we had to turn in our research note cards. The teacher graded them and as she returned them, she said, “Some of you aren’t going to pass this class.” She paused in front of my desk as she said this, and then dropped my notecards on my desk. She continued, “You cannot write this paper with less than 70 research cards.”

I counted my cards. Seven. A very weak seven. This information must have shocked my brain, for I didn’t even think about this again until the teacher informed the class that the rough draft was due in the morning. “Holy cow! It’s due tomorrow?” I said.

After school, I visited a few friends, ate dinner, and watched TV. It was now nearly bedtime. No more goofing off. I sat down and began to write. The information flowed. I clearly needed more research sources, so I interviewed military experts born mere minutes ago. But hey, Colonial Imagination was still a source. I wrote thirty pages – somehow. And I got a good grade in the class. After all, no one had more expert sources than I did.

I should have known then that writing was in my future, but it would be more than two decades before I discovered a passion for writing.

Tell us a little about your book, I Called Him Dancer.

For a moment, Michael danced on top of the world, but one bad choice turned his life upside down. The once promising Broadway star now washes windows for tips and lives among the homeless. When his former dance partner recognizes him behind the fray of whiskers, shame drives him away from her. Angry at God and the world, the Dancer refuses to allow anyone into his life. When everything is stripped away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.

I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman’s enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless friend, who has given up on life.

Who is your favorite character in I Called Him Dancer?

The character that inspired me the most is Kenyon. Many readers have stated the same. He’s human, struggling to do what is right, and lives by a genuine faith. At times he wrestles between what he knows God wants him to do, and what he wants. Kenyon is down to earth, not preachy, yet his life has an impact on others.

In the story I tried to present Christianity in an honest light. Many who claim to be Christians show hypocrisy and drive others (like the Dancer) away from the faith. This is a real problem in the Christian culture. Kenyon shows what sincere faith looks like. He’s far from perfect, but his simple faith impacts those around him. Kenyon’s sincerity is something the Dancer can’t understand and it piques his curiosity.

What would you like your readers to take away from this novel?

I want people to look at the reality of how faith impacts the world around us. Hypocrisy is being pretentious about faith, and there is a difference between failure and hypocritical behavior. Christians shouldn’t feel dejected when they fail. It’s part of this life of reaching upward.

Also, we all know someone who appears hopeless and hostile toward God, but we don’t know what the Lord is doing behind the scenes. Ultimately, hope is what everyone should take away. Hope that readers are not alone in their struggles. Hope that our lives can make an impact – even with our imperfections. Finally, hope that the people we care about are never out of God’s reach.

How can readers get in touch with you?

You can flash a light on the clouds that says, ‘Free chicken fingers,’ and I’ll play Batman music and come running. Some people prefer the simpler route of connecting with me on Twitter @eddiesnipes. My Facebook username is eddiesnipes. It might seem like a strange coincidence, but my LinkedIn name is also eddiesnipes. Even more crazy is my website: On each of these, I just closed my eyes and typed out random keys. I might have peeked on a few letters. You can get the book through online bookstores or your local Christian bookstores.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pattern of Wounds
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
J. Mark Bertrand


J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he 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 one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.


It's Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman's brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison ten years ago. Is it a copycat -- or did March convict the wrong man?

Alienated from his colleagues and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home. Up against an unfathomable evil, March struggles against the clock to understand the hidden message in the pattern of wounds.

My Thoughts:
"Find the book and I'll find the killer." (p. 17)

I'm sure Detective Roland March wishes locating killers was as easy as locating a book by the end of this story!! This rather eclectic man is searching for a lot of answers in this story that don't come easily nor readily. The reader will amass clues, but they don't lead to the person that you think they should lead to! Or do they?

Mark Betrand has further developed Detective March's character in this second novel, and the reader can't help but like him and hope that he will eventually find the peace he is looking for. (although he doesn't realize that that's what he is searching for) The murders in this story are disturbing for many reasons, but for March they recall events that he would really rather move away from. But can he?

I had the honor of interviewing Mark Bertrand this week at the International Christian Retail show in Atlanta, and I will be sharing what I learned very soon. It was a real pleasure to meet Mark and learn more about his writing and the stories that are dear to his heart. I am happy to recommend Pattern of Wounds!

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vigilante by Robin Parrish

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
Robin Parrish


Robin Parrish wants to take you on a ride.

A wild ride -- which is exactly what you're in for when you pick up one of his books. And he's adamant that it will never be the same kind of experience twice.

Robin's stories mix, mingle, and meld various genres together to create thoroughly original suspense/thrillers. His Dominion Trilogy, for example, mashed up superhero action, secret societies, ancient myths, and an apocalyptic setting to create an entirely new take on the classic "hero's journey." Offworld mixed science fiction and an end-of-the-world scenario with high-octane action. Nightmare, his 2010 novel, is a spine-tingling examination of the world of the paranormal, paired with can't-put-it-down mystery. His 2011 novel, Vigilante, is an action-packed story about a soldier who sets out to change the world. Later this year, he's releasing his first ever Young Adult novel, titled Corridor.

Always pushing the envelope, ever on the edge of where modern storytelling is going, Robin Parrish will gladly and unapologetically tell you that he's an entertainer, a weaver of stories that ignite the mind and delight the heart. Defying labels and refusing pigeonholes, his imagination is fueled by the possibilities of asking "What if…?", and as anyone who's read his work knows, he has a very big imagination.

His influences as a novelist range from television and film storytellers like Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams, to masters of the modern myth like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Akin to Philip K. Dick's search for the meaning of identity, most of what Robin writes about boils down to his own ponderings and examinations of just what this thing we call "existence" is.

Robin is a full time writer. He and his wife Karen and two children live in High Point, NC.

"Robin Parrish is a keen-eyed, passionate pop cultural savant,

whose writing is as incisive and insightful as it is entertaining."

- Allan Heinberg, Executive Producer, Grey's Anatomy


Oh man! If you like Batman-like heroes who want to change the world for this book!! If you have teens in your home that love adventure and a good read...get this book! My teens INHALED this book and RAVED about it!! I connected with the characters and was rooting for them all the way!!

Get the book!! Get the book!!


Nolan Gray is an elite soldier, skilled in all forms of combat. After years fighting on foreign battlefields, witnessing unspeakable evils and atrocities firsthand, a world-weary Nolan returns home to find it just as corrupt as the war zones. Everywhere he looks, there's pain and cruelty. Society is being destroyed by wicked men who don't care who they make suffer or destroy.

Nolan decides to do what no one else can, what no one has ever attempted. He will defend the helpless. He will tear down the wicked. He will wage a one-man war on the heart of man, and he won't stop until the world is the way it should be.

The wicked have had their day. Morality's time has come. In a culture starving for a hero, can one extraordinary man make things right?

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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm Attending the International Christian Retail Show This Next Week!!

Already, I've met Susan Meissner at dinner, spotted Jeneatte Windle in the hallway of the hotel, and I have three of the most incredible days of interviews lined up that there are not EVEN words to express my excitement!!

I'm here with the most generous, godly lady from Mocha With Linda - so I am doubly blessed!!

Stay tuned folks!! Life on this blog is about to be UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Veiled Rose
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl


Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.


Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.

Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.

But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?

Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?

My Thoughts:
Okay, if you've followed my blog for any time, you know I struggle with the fantasy genre, but I keep trying just because I want to understand and enjoy it. That said, Veiled Rose really is an exceptional story! I enjoyed the fact that the author lets the reader enjoy the characters through a number of years, and she makes the transition of time easy for the reader to follow. The relationship between Rose (Rosie) and Leo is particularly poignant, and I loved the truth that was revealed through their friendship.

There are dragons and other "fantasy" type scenarios that readers will enjoy. There is an amount of danger and intrigue as well that adds tension and drama. Quite honestly, this is a very impressive and entertaining debut novel! I am happy to recommend it to you!

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn - REVIEWED

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Lion of Babylon

Bethany House (July 1, 2011)


Davis Bunn


Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.


Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq--kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight--a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation.

Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy--from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?

My Thoughts:

"The rifle slots fought the air-conditioning, letting in city smells of diesel and dust and sizzling lamb. And charcoal. And tobacco. And a thousand other things, all of which carried a chili-hot spice of menace.” (p. 68)

With word pictures as only Davis Bunn can paint, the reader is plunged into the heart of the most turbulent place on the planet! At first, the reader is given two different scenarios – missing missionaries and a missing child. Only a few chapters in, the stories are woven together to form an intricate web of danger and intrigue that will keep the pages turning at a very brisk pace!!

Marc Royce is a somewhat tragic character in this story. He has already suffered immense heartache, and lost a job that pumped life into his veins. It is only on the back end of personal loss, that he is contacted and asked to find a personal friend and intelligence agent that has gone missing. In tandem, Sameh, an Iraqi Christian and lawyer, is pursuing the tip of a very large iceburg – missing and kidnapped children. Sameh has also been contacted by a very powerful and ominous person, and like Royce, his loyalties become torn and conflicting almost immediately.

Both men are in a very dangerous game within a war-torn country, seeking ever elusive answers to very difficult questions. Whether they survive the story is anyone’s guess! Literally!! If you enjoy exploring dangerous situations in the heart of Baghdad itself, hurry and pick up a copy of Lion of Babylon today!! You won’t want to miss this latest thriller from Davis Bunn!!

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

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

My all of my readers enjoy a safe and happy 4th of July!! Thank God today for the freedoms we enjoy in this country!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Martha by Diana Wallis Taylor - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the publisher)

She has spent her life caring for others--will she ever find someone who will cherish her?

Martha's entire life is marked by her responsibilities to her family. In the absence of her mother, she runs the household, makes the meals, cares for her father, and attempts to keep her absentminded younger sister on task. In the midst of her duties, will she ever find time to live her own life--or find her own love?

This touching, well-researched portrayal of Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus, unveils the woman within the Bible character. Through Diana Wallis Taylor's lush descriptions and inspired fusion of imagined and recorded dialogue, Martha's world--her trials, triumphs, and loves--vibrantly comes to life.

Follow Martha as she navigates the complicated worlds of family, faith, and love . . . and you'll never read her story the same way again.

My Thoughts:

Dana Wallis Taylor takes Biblical characters and makes them so real, so present in the reader’s heart, that the stories in which they played a part in scripture take on new and deeper meaning.

I first encountered Taylor’s writing in Journey to the Well, and my heart was deeply touched by the story. Martha is the second book from Taylor’s pen, and I am moved in a deep way yet again. Taylor has an unusual ability to place the reader in the moment in history right along with the character she chooses to develop. With Martha, the reader gains a background from her youth and follows her into adulthood in a way that is realistic and true to history and Biblical record. By the time you have Jesus introduced into the story and the miracles he performed in Martha’s life – WOW!!

The reader will know Christ’s love in a real and personal way as never before! I applaud Taylor for the careful investigation into history that make her stories so real and timeless! She is not seeking to add to or take away anything from Scriptural events, only to make the richer and more personal. Her books are amazing! I highly recommend them!!

My deepest thanks to Donna Housler with Revell publishing for my review copy of this fine book!

About the Author:

Diana Wallis Taylor is a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries and is currently working toward her MA in biblical studies at Bethel Seminary. She is the author of Journey to the Well, has published many articles, and has contributed stories to several books. Taylor lives in California. Find out more at