Review: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sky Zone

David C. Cook (June 1, 2014)

by

Creston Mapes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as “The Shop.”

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.

A terrorist threat.

A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions.

Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn’t making matters any easier.
With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives–and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

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

My thoughts: I have the first two books in this series so was stoked to see this third one on offer as well. It unfortunately only arrived this week so I haven’t been able to finish it in time for the tour but I am expecting to enjoy it no less than the other two! If you haven’t read any of the series, I recommend checking them out!

Review: Firewall by DiAnn Mills

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Firewall

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 2014)

by

DiAnn Mills

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/diannmills

ABOUT THE BOOK

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

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

My thoughts: I have a few of DiAnn’s books and generally like them all so I was really keen to get my hands on a copy of this one. I was really disappointed that I only ended up with an electronic copy but I was still eager to get reading. Unfortunately, it took me ages to really get into the story. I’d say a good first half just really didn’t do it for me like the others. I have wondered if that had anything to do with the fact that it was the first of her books I’d read electronically. Who would know!? However, I did get into the book more at the end and it really kept you guessing as to what was going on. The final twist was definitely not easy to see coming which is definitely a credit to the author. 

Review: Rise and Shine by Sandra D Bricker

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Rise and Shine

River North; New Edition edition (May 1, 2014)

by

Sandra D. Bricker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television’s hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. “I’m a Christian woman, first and foremost,” she says. “So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line.”

Sandie’s real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient…Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor’s proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

“Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects … and still pursue my writing dream,” says Bricker, “well, that’s the best of all worlds, as far as I’m concerned!”

And one of the author’s pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy — a red-haired collie with “killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown.”

ABOUT THE BOOK

Shannon Malone thought she’d found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking
up to the news that she’s thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the
world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon’s tour guide into a whole new world of
madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone’s life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!
As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes-both in the world and in her-she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear capris pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show? And where is her beloved dog, Freeway? Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart’s dog, not hers. Shannon’s three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority.
And Edmund’s sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune. When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel’s kiss awaken her once and for all?

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

My thoughts: I didn’t think much of the blurb and wasn’t sure why I actually requested the book BUT I am really enjoying it! I haven’t quite finished but I’m impressed enough that I’d be likely to read the author’s other contemporary fairy tale too.🙂 I really like the faith content of the book! This book has way more depth than I expected and I personally relate to quite a lot of her thoughts. Having been widowed, there is elements there too that I can definitely relate to and aren’t as far-fetched as they may sound.

Review: Paige Turned by Erynn Mangum

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Paige Turned

TH1NK (April 1, 2014)

by

Erynn Mangum

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Despite her valiant efforts, Paige Alder seems stuck in chaos. Her new job as youth intern keeps her hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop all summer long, but at least she’s loving the one-on-one time she gets to spend with the girls. The unfortunate side-effect is that now, four weeks of laundry fills her apartment. Plus, she barely has time to help her sister and best friend with their weddings! And even worse? Something is definitely wrong between her and Tyler. She apologized for what he thought he saw happen with Luke. Can’t they move past it? Or could there be something he’s not telling her—something that could change everything?

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Paige Turned, go HERE.

My thoughts: I love Erynn Mangum books! I have all of the Lauren Holbrook series, all of the Maya Davis series and now all of the Paige Alder series.🙂 In spite of the fact that I am now past the series of life that she is writing about, I’m still keen to read her new releases. I think it’s the coffee and the humour.🙂

 

Review: Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Lip Reading

David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)

by

Harry Kraus

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife’s urging: “Now doesn’t seem the right time for this dream.”

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I’d written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn’t until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the “rules” without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I’d have made faster progress if I’d have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you’ll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.

ABOUT THE BOOK

She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

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

My thoughts: I only just got this book and managed to sit down and read the whole thing today.🙂 I think I currently own every Kraus book! It was a really good and riveting read. There were a lot of things that I didn’t see coming which is always a plus–the back cover doesn’t give much away at all. The interview with the author at the back of the book was a great addition too and answered a couple of questions I had. I highly recommend reading any of Harry Kraus’ books if you like a bit of suspense and/or medical themes.

Review: Poison Town by Creston Mapes

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Poison Town

David C. Cook (February 1, 2014)

by

Creston Mapes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as “The Shop.”

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.

ABOUT THE BOOK

There’s More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town

People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that’s crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss.

The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon’s long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal.

The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable–he knows too much.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of Poison Town, go HERE.

My thoughts: This is the second book in a series, something I was very happy to find out when it arrived. I had previously read, and enjoyed, Mapes’ first book of the series Fear Has A Name. Poison Town continues the story begun in Fear Has A Name while introducing the latest scoop the main character, Jack, is chasing. Jack and his wife really struggle through issues of choosing to trust God for His protection or take matters into their own hands and I like the realistic way the author has battled through this in both books. If you like suspense coupled with gritty faith, these books are worth checking out.

Review: Dating, Dining & Desperation by Melody Carlson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)

by

Melody Carlson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column.

But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child — whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.

My thoughts: Melody Carlson is definitely a good story-teller. I have many of her books and am amazed at the range they span. I’ve been keen to read this second instalment in the Dear Daphne series. I don’t think I enjoyed it quite as much as book one but I’m still keen to read the remaining two books as soon as they are released. The next two books are being released as e-books, due to some publisher changes, which means they should be out very soon.🙂

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