Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CFBA tour: The Big Picture


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Big Picture

(NavPress Publishing Group April 15, 2008)

by

Jenny B. Jones

There are so many good books coming out. Even though I'm an author and reviewer, I still get books in the mail that I'm not familiar with. Such is the case with author, Jenny Jones. I didn't know she existed. So, there's a great reason for these tours--even people who are supposed to be in-the-know find out about new books. The Big Picture features a colorful and fun cover, and right off, I love Jenny's voice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jenny B. Jones is the author of A Katie Parker Production series. The other books in the series are In Between and On The Loose. Though now an adult, she still relates to the trauma and drama of teen life. She is thrilled to see her writing dreams come true, as her previous claim to fame was singing the Star Spangled Banner at a mule-jumping championship. (The mules were greatly inspired.)

Jenny resides in Arkansas, where, as a teacher, she hangs out with teens on a regular basis.







ABOUT THE BOOK

Sometimes there’s a fine line between comedy and tragedy—and Katie Parker is walking it.

School is winding down for the summer but Katie Parker is having a bad day. After leaving the drive-in, where her imploding love life was the main attraction, Katie arrives home to a big surprise on the Scott's front porch.

Her mother, Bobbie Ann Parker, a former convict and recovering addict, wants to take Katie away from her family, friends, and church. Now Katie's life will be changed by a series of dramatic choices as she struggles to understand what family and home really means.

Katie is forced to walk away from In Between, leaving behind a family who loves her, a town drive-in to save, and a boyfriend who suddenly can’t take his eyes off his ex. When the life her mother promised begins to sink faster than one of Maxine’s stuffed bras, Katie knows she needs to rely on God to keep it together.

But where is he in all this? Can Katie survive a chaotic life with her mother—and one without the Scotts? And if God is there, will he come through before it’s too late?

A Katie Parker Production series offers teen girls real-world fiction balanced by hope and humor. The The Big Picture helps us realize that the difficult chapters in our journey are only part of God's big story for our lives.

You can read the first chapter HERE

"A heroine to love. Jones just gets better with every book, and The Big Picture is her best one yet."
~BARBARA WARREN, author of The Gathering Storm

"Such inspiration in a package of fun and faith!"
~EVA MARIE EVERSON, author of the Potluck Club series

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CFBA: Winter Haven by Athol Dickson

Thanks for joining me on the CFBA Tour. When I received Winter Haven in the mail, the book cover immediately enticed me to read the cover copy. I was hooked with promises of something. . .gothic. Yes, the storyline reminded me of the gothic novels I grew up reading. I wasn't disappointed, either. Athol Dickson brings the old gothic novel into the millenium. It makes me wonder if gothic novels are back. Do I dare hope?

Boys who never age, giants lost in time, mist that never rises, questions never asked...on the most remote of islands off the coast of Maine, history haunts the present and Vera Gamble wrestles with a past that will not yield. Will she find refuge there, or will her ghosts prevail on...Winter Haven

Eleven years ago, Vera Gamble's brother left their house never to be seen again. Until the day Vera gets a phone call that his body has been found...washed ashore in the tiny island town of Winter Haven, Maine. His only surviving kin, Vera travels north to claim the body...and finds herself tumbling into a tangled mystery. Her brother hasn't aged a day since last she saw him.

Determined to uncover what happened in those lost years, Vera soon discovers there are other secrets lurking in this isolated town. But Winter Haven's murky past now seems bound to come to light as one woman seeks the undeniable and flooding light of truth.


Athol Dickson's university-level training in painting, sculpture, and architecture was followed by a long career as an architect then his decision several years ago to devote full time to writing.

Athol Dickson’s writing has been favorably compared to the work of Octavia Butler
(Publisher’s Weekly), Daphne du Maurier (Cindy Crosby, FaithfulReader.com) and FlanneryO’Connor (The New York Times).

His They Shall See God was a Christy Award finalist and his River Rising was a Christy Award winner, selected as one of the Booklist Top Ten Christian Novels of 2006 and a finalist for Christianity Today's Best Novel of 2006.

He and his wife, Sue, live in Southern California. Visit AtholDickson.com for more information.

Monday, April 21, 2008

CSFF Blog Tour: The Begotten

What if the Medieval Church had the lost letters of Paul, holding them away from the populace because they expounded on spiritual gifts? What would happen if God brought together people with extraordinary spiritual gifts during the fourteenth century? How would they battle the twin dangers of evil and the Inquisition? How would their decisions, good and bad, help shape the future Body of Christ? And what if the people that did the greatest good in the battle had more subtle spiritual gifts than those they supported and followed?

The year is 1339 and God calls to his beloved until they rise from their slumber. Yet at the same time, Evil also walks the Earth, hunting God's chosen ones. Can the Gifted rally together and avoid both the known dangers that hunt them as well as those in the shadows? The future of the Christian Church, as well as humandkind, rests on their ability to rely on what God had laid in their hearts, minds and souls. Will they discover it in time?

Daria D'Angelo is an Italian aristocrat with a dangerous gift. She needs to help a secret group of people stay alive when the Church and the enemy all want them dead, serve her God with her gifts of healing, and although she longs for romantic love, keep her eyes on the Eternal. If she does not succeed, she, her friends, and their eternal purpose to radically transform the Christian Church—and the future of humanity—will all die.

I've been waiting for longest time for something set in this time period! In fact, two or three years ago I was pitching my novel set in the middle ages. I kept hearing about an author who'd managed to get one published because, of course, publishers shy away from this time period--at least in the CBA. I've also read The Betrayed and look forward to reading The Blessed this fall.

Publisher's Weekly made an interesting comment: Disregard Da Vinci Code comparisons and think Lord of the Rings, but without Hobbits and the allegorical trappings.

Everything is compared to the Da Vinci Code these days. I do love puzzles and mysteries, and The Begotten gives that along with a look at history, which I also love.

Melanie Dickerson has an interview ( Sept. 2007) with Ms. Bergren at her blog:

http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2007/09/interview-with-lisa-t-bergren.html

The author's website: http://www.lisatawnbergren.com/home.html

Visit other participants at:

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Michael Heald
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Margaret
Melissa Meeks
Pamela Morrisson
John W. Otte
Rachelle
Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachelle Sperling
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

CFBA: My Soul to Keep


As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits and a staple gun…

It’s psychology professor Dylan Foster’s favorite day of the academic year…graduation day. And her little friend Christine Zocci’s sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seen to lead nowhere.

The police are baffled, but Christine’s eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces of a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.

“Like water rising to a boil, My soul To Keep’s suspense sneaks up on you…before you know it, you’re in the thick if a frightening drama…Superbly crafted.”
---ROBERT LIPARULO, author of Deadfall, Germ, and Comes A Horseman

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

CFBA Tour: Trouble The Water

In the South Carolina Sea Islands lush setting, Nicole Seitz's second novel Trouble the Water is a poignant novel about two middle-aged sisters' journey to self-discovery.

One is seeking to recreate her life yet again and learns to truly live from a group of Gullah nannies she meets on the island. The other thinks she's got it all together until her sister's imminent death from cancer causes her to re-examine her own life and seek the healing and rebirth her troubled sister managed to find on St. Anne's Island.

Strong female protagonists are forced to deal with suicide, wife abuse, cancer, and grief in a realistic way that will ring true for anyone who has ever suffered great loss.

"This is another thing I know for a fact: a woman can't be an island, not really. No, it's the touching we do in other people's lives that matters when all is said and done. The silly things we do for ourselves--shiny new cars and jobs and money--they don't mean a hill of beans. Honor taught me that. My soul sisters on this island taught me that. And this is the story of true sisterhood. It's the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world.

Monday, April 07, 2008

CFBA tour: Amber Morn



The whole thing couldn’t have taken more than sixty seconds.

Bailey hung on to the counter, dazed. If she let go, she’d collapse—and the twitching fingers of the gunman would pull the trigger. The rest of her group huddled in frozen shock.

Dear God, help us! Tell me this is a dream . . .

The shooter’s teeth clenched. “ Anybody who moves is dead.”

On a beautiful Saturday morning the nationally read “Scenes and Beans” bloggers gather at Java Joint for a special celebration. Chaos erupts when three gunmen burst in and take them all hostage. One person is shot and dumped outside.

Police Chief Vince Edwards must negotiate with the desperate trio. The gunmen insist on communicating through the “comments” section of the blog—so all the world can hear their story. What they demand, Vince can’t possibly provide. But if he doesn’t, over a dozen beloved Kanner Lake citizens will die...

Amber Morn is the climactic finale to Collins’ widely read Kanner Lake series. All first three titles in the series, Violet Dawn, Coral Moon, and Crimson Eve, were bestsellers. Library Journal placed Crimson Eve on its Best Books of 2007 list, and hailed it the “Best Christian suspense of 2007.”

A few early reviews of Amber Morn:

“… essential reading … a harrowing hostage drama.” – Library Journal

“… heart-pounding … breakneck pace … satisfying and meaningful ending.” – RT Bookreviews

“This cataclysmic ending left me breathless … Kanner Lake is the Best Suspense Series of 2007/2008.” – deenasbooks.blogspot.com

“Collins has saved the best for a last .. a powerful ensemble performance.” -- BookshelfReview.com

“… a staccato tempo … Sometimes you just have to close the book in order to come up for air.” – Dale Lewis

“…a masterpiece of page-turning suspense with a cast of dozens.” – Peg Phifer




Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CFBA: When Zeffie Got a Clue

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

When Zeffie Got a Clue

WaterBrook Press (March 18, 2008)

by

Peggy Darty


Peggy Darty is the award-winning author of twenty-seven books, including two other cozy mysteries set in Summer Breeze, Florida: When the Sandpiper Calls and When Bobbie Sang the Blues. She has worked in film, researched for CBS, and led writing workshops around the country. Darty and her husband call Alabama home but spend a great deal of time in Colorado, Montana, and on Florida’s Emerald Coast.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

It’s an ordinary afternoon in Summer Breeze, Florida, when a young, wide-eyed girl steps into I Saw It First, the trash-to-treasure shop Christy Castleman and her Aunt Bobbie have opened. Clutching a jewelry box, Zeffie Adams tells Christy she needs money to pay her grandmother’s medical bills, prompting Christy to offer this curious visitor more than the jewelry box is worth–or so she thinks.

But complicated questions form when Christy rips out the box’s lining and uncovers a clue to a cold case murder mystery from eight years ago. Despite warnings from her family and handsome boyfriend Dan Brockman, Christy decides to do a little detective work of her own. After all, the infamous murder happened close to her grandmother’s farm. How risky could it be to take the jewelry box back to the Strickland plantation and ask around about it?

Soon Christy finds there is more to the small box than someone wants her to know. A jewelry theft. A mansion murder. Dangerous family secrets buried in history. Can Christy convince others to let go of the past before it’s too late?
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