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Posts tagged ‘Book Club’

Chasing Mona Lisa

Tricia Goyer Mike Yorkey

Chasing Mona Lisa

It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?


With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers’ adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on–and the runners are playing for keeps.
I enjoyed reading this book, although it took a little longer than usual to really get to know all the characters and plot.  Don’t expect to breeze through the book–it is very meaty but worth the time you will invest.  I give it a 4 star rating.
 
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/historicalfiction.html#ChasingMonaLisa  
 

Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer @mikeyorkey!

Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world  – the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!Preview

One passionate protector will receive:

  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia’s website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock?) and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Frantic by Mike Dellosso –Suspense at it’s Best

Mike DellossoDo the lies you believe define who you are?   Death has followed  Marny Toogood from birth, snatching those closest to him and seemingly proving grandfather’s prediction.  He is cursed.

Despite the curse, every night Marny holds to the promise his mother told him until she died:  Behind every rain cloud is the sun, just waiting to shine.  Then he falls asleep and succumbs to the only place more dark and foreboding than his life.

We enter Marny’s life the day his nightmares and cursed life collide.  Living life in a tiny apartment above the station where he pumps gas, Marny tries to keep his involvement in the lives around him to a minimum–after all potential friends are potential victims of his curse.

But today there’s just something about the girl in the backseat of the old Ford Taurus that pulls in for a fill-up.  She speaks to him through her eyes, and through his own experiences he recognizes the message of sorrow and doom.

As the car pulls away Marny bends to pick up a piece of wadded paper.  Opening it he reads five words that have the potential to change his life forever:  HE’S GOING TO KILL ME.*

 

If there ‘s ever been a book that could be considered aerobic exercise its this one.  The plot twists, surprises, and races while keeping the reader turning pages frantically trying to find out what happens next.  The strong plot doesn’t sacrifice character depth. The book will pull you in from the first page and keep you hanging on each word til the very end.  I will warn you it’s hard to put down.

Frantic is definitely Mike Dellosso’s best work yet–and with books to his name like The Hunted, Scream, Darlington Woods, and Darkness Follows ,all five-star reads in their own right, that really say’s a lot.

Definitely a 5 Star Read.  Available early 2012

 

*Much of this description is taken directly from the book.  I couldn’t have described it with any better words, so I let it speak for itself.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Charisma House.  Any opinions rendered in this review are my own.

A Lasting Impression (and a chance to win a Kindle Fire)

Tamera AlexanderUpon picking up a copy of a lasting impression by Tamera Alexander I was immediately impressed by the intensely beautiful cover work.  Turning  the cover over and reading the back, I was equally intrigued and eager to begin reading.

A Lasting Impression brings us into the life of Claire Laurent, a talented artist who’s father has  forced  her to be a copyist–a forger of master artists.  More than anything Claire dreams of painting her own masterpieces, but her father forbids her from following her dream.  Over and over he tells her that she has no talent of her own, and that this life is the best she can hope for.

When Claire is forced to flee New Orleans after her father is robbed and wounded, she ends up in Nashville, and  her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe.  She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities when he finds her just waking up from spending the night sleeping on a church pew.  But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she’s sorely misjudged the man.

A year after the war between the states has ended, Nashville is still reeling from the impact of the war.  When opportunity befalls Claire  to become personal liaison to Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, one of the only Nashville citizens to make it through the war relatively better off than she entered it, Claire believes her dreams may one day come true.  Adelicia is an art enthusiast and collector of highest regard.  She even hosts an art auction that includes place for new artists to showcase their work each year.  If only Claire can find time to create a worthy painting and enter it without the truth of her past coming to light.

When Claire finds a forgery among the master paintings to be sold she faces her worst nightmare.  Does she let the painting go unnoticed, or will she risk losing the love and friendship she has found  to admit that the painting is a forgery–and that she knows because she’s the one who painted it.

A sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves–and each other–for who they really are, A Lasting Impression is a one of a kind read and fully worthy of 5 stars.


 A Lasting ImpressionTamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious–and precocious–silky terrier.


For more information about Tamera please visit www.tameraalexander.com

Enter to win one of Tamera’s fabulous prizes and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/15!

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually
(with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle
Fire Giveaway
(11/4 – 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping
with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food
Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don’t miss a
minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration
with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless
Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and
copies of Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and Amazon.com, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it’s
okay if you don’t have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on
the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860’s?) and lots of Southern-inspired
giveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Deliver Me from Evil by Kathy Mathias: a Review, an Interview, and a Giveaway

Kathi MathiasRead to the end for your chance to win a copy of this book.  

Deliver me From Evil by Kathi Mathias puts a human face on a seldom talked about worldwide atrocity:  human trafficking.  It follows the interconnected story from three vantage points.

Mara, a six year old Mexican girl, was  taken from her desperately poor family by her uncle who promised to care for her in America.  Now eighteen, she has lived twelve years as part of his violent  prostitution ring in the heart of San Diego.

Jonathan, also eighteen is a college senior planning to head to Bible College in the fall, mostly because he feels it’s what is expected of him.  Working a job selling pizzas to save the funds he needs, he inadvertently stumbles upon Mara and another young captive who has been recently snatched off the streets of the city.

Jolene and Jasmine are captive a word away.  Their captors see them as a commodity not even worthy of the basics of human comforts.  When a girl in their situation has outlived her usefulness, she is simply disposed of.

Where is the hope for these young slaves of human trafficking–is there any hope?  How far are Jonathan and his family willing to step outside of their comfort zone?  How far would you be willing to step?

A beautiful, yet horrifying tale with a clear challenge and message to the reader.  If you dare to read it, it will leave an indelible imprint on your heart. Will you be one of those who dares to open your eyes to these forgotten children of God?

5 Stars.

Kathi, how did you come up with the idea for Deliver Me From Evil and the Freedom series?


Kathi
–It actually came out of a phone conversation with Andrea Mullins, the publisher at New Hope. We were discussing the Extreme Devotion series (about the persecuted Church), which I was still working on at the time, and we began to consider topics for a second series. Andrea was the one who suggested human trafficking, and it really struck a chord with me. The more I researched it and worked on the proposal, the more excited I became about joining forces with others working to abolish modern-day slavery, which is exactly what human trafficking is.

What was your favorite scene to write in Deliver Me From Evil?

Kathi–This book/series has been the most difficult I’ve ever written, simply because the subject matter is so dark and heavy. More than once I had to walk away and clear my thoughts before moving on from one scene to another. But interspersed between the heartache and tragedy are several lighter scenes (written and incorporated into the book out of necessity), dealing with a pastor’s family and their Bible college-bound son who inadvertently discovers the human trafficking ring and becomes involved in the heroic and dramatic rescue attempt. Any scenes revolving around the absolutely functional and loving life of the Flannery family are my favorites.

What was the most difficult scene, and why?

Kathi–There were many difficult scenes in this book due to the subject matter, but the hardest had to be when the main character, 18-year-old Mara, realizes that one of the younger girls is being tortured and killed in an effort to extract information and punish her. Though the actual violence is done offstage, Mara experiences each blow and muffled scream, as does the reader.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, how did you catch the writing bug?

Kathi–Oh yes, I never wanted to be anything else. From the time I discovered the power and allure of words, I was hooked! I was an avid reader before I started kindergarten. A short story I wrote in the third grade was turned into a play for the entire PTA, and I won all sorts of awards for poetry in high school. I even told my then boyfriend (now husband) Al when we were in our early teens that I was going to be a writer one day.

How do you go about writing your fiction books? Which comes first for you, plot, characters, and/or theme?

Kathi–I usually get what I call “a niggling in my soul,” which eventually emerges into the very basic theme of the book. I hate outlining and writing proposals because I do NOT develop plots or even characters ahead of time. I start with a couple of main characters, a starting and ending point for my story, and just let the rest unfold as I go. I know. We’re not supposed to do it that way, but it works for me, and I so enjoy the surprises as the story develops and my characters take over. So much fun! So long as they don’t try to lead me away from my pre-determined ending. Then I have to reign them back in a bit.

How do you get your ideas for your books?

Kathi–I have ideas coming out of my ears! I am a seriously addictive idea person. You want ideas? You can have my overflow! My challenge is to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Not every cute or fun or even meaningful idea that pops into our head is meant to be a book. I pray, think, study, bounce them off people, etc., before committing to moving ahead with one of them. For the most part, however, nearly all my book ideas are, to one degree or another, born out of some moral or social issue that I care about.

How can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and other books you are writing?

Kathi–Please visit my website at KathiMacias.com.

Here is the Book Trailer:

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 Speakers Services (ChristianSpeakersServices.com). 

Now for what you’ve been waiting for:  your chance to win a copy of this book.  

Here’s how to do it.

1. “Like” ReadGreatFiction on facebook, and leave a comment on the link to this book= one entry  (if you already “like” ReadGreatFiction just leave a comment)

2. Get your friends to “like” ReadGreatFiction.  For each friend that leaves a comment and mentions your name you will receive another entry.

The drawing will be held on October 31, at which time I will announce the winner on this blog and at ReadGreatFiction on Facebook.

Blame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Joyce MagninBlame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Welcome back to Bright’s Pond where the residents make even your strangest relatives seem normal.

What’s going on at the Greenbriar Nursing home?  Resident’s riding trikes down the halls? Seniors making out in the gazebo?  This is strange even by Bright’s Pond standards.  Who or what could be responsible?  Is it the fault of the new gazeebo, or the strange elusive man who built it for the residents?  Maybe it’s drugs or something in the water.  Police chief Mildred Blessing has her hands full trying to solve this one.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Bright’s Pond folks must contend with a luau thanksgiving, a Christmas pageant with live camels and the on again off again romance between Griselda and Zeb.  Do I hear wedding bells?

Though lighthearted, this book is no ball of fluff.  It is well written and entertaining.  It will leave you laughing, and feeling just a little bit better about your own life. The delightfuly quirky characters, like none you’ve ever imagined, are so real you’ll feel like you’ve always known them.

As with the first three books in this series, this is a 5 star read.  If you haven’t read the others (The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, and Griselda Takes Flight), you must do so.  You’r life will be fuller from having read them.

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Where the Power Lies–or Sits

James RubartThe Chair by James L. Rubart

James Rubart has done it again.  The Chair is a magnificient creation, a definite “edge of my seat” (pun intended) read.  Unpredictable up to the very end, this book deserves a very strong 5 star rating.

Corin Roscoe thinks the old lady who dropped off an even older chair at his antique shop is nuts.  Though he tries to refuse the chair, she insists he take it–claiming that it was meant to go to him.

Taking a closer look after she leaves, he realizes the chair is very well made in it’s simplicity.  Putting it off to the side, since he has an overabundance of furniture in his store right now, he figures it’s something he might take a look at later, if he has the time.

When a young boy is miraculously healed in his store after sitting in the chair, and word of it spreads, Corin realizes that maybe he has come across something special.  Could this chair possibly heal his brother–and his guilt?

When a well known mega-church pastor begins to manipulate Corin into selling the chair, he decides to lock it up for safekeeping.  Corrin, needing advice, confides in an old trusted friend, a college professor, who shares with him the history and legend behind the mysterious chair.

Does the chair really posses  power?  There are those who will stop at nothing to get it–and that puts Corin, and those he loves at the center of their cross-hairs.

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Fairer Than Morning

Rosslyn Elliott

Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann’s dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker’s apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann’s compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann’s father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.

When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?

Read an excerpt here: http://www.rosslynelliott.com/books.php

This book is a wonderful debut novel from Rosslyn Elliott.  It is well written and researched and makes for a delightful read.  If you enjoy historical romance, you will love this book.  5 Stars

fairer than MorningAbout Rosslyn:  Rosslyn Elliott grew up in a military family and relocated so often that she attended nine schools before her high school graduation. With the help of excellent teachers, she qualified to attend Yale University, where she earned a BA in English and Theater. She worked in business and as a schoolteacher before returning to study at Emory University, where she earned a Ph.D. in English in 2006. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She lives in the Southwest, where she homeschools her daughter and teaches in children’s ministry. For more about Rosslyn, visit her website: http://rosslynelliott.com

Why Is Someone Trying To Kill Me?

Shirley McCoyLone Defender by Shirley McCoy

Six days in the Sonoran desert…six days without food…with barely any water…six days since Skylar Grady’s been left for dead with no idea who even wanted her that way.

This was supposed to be such a simple assignment.  Just locate the deadbeat dad so the authorities could have him arrested and brought to justice.  She hadn’t even found him, yet here she is, pretty sure she’s only hours away from certain death.

If anyone else had asked Jonas Sampson to track someone lost in the desert (and believe me, they had) he never would have done it.  But his old college friend Kane Dougherty was someone he’d do almost anything for–especially since Cane assured him that this woman was too stubborn to die.  Now that he’s found her, getting her home safely is going to be a whole other battle–both because of the dozen or more men tracking her with an intent to kill, and because she fight’s him almost every step of the way.

This is the best Love inspired Suspense book I’ve read in a long time.  Shirley McCoy doesn’t waste any time getting to the meat of the story.  The action begins with the first sentence, and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat til the very end.  The characters are real.  They draw you in till you feel yourself longing to see their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and cheering them on every step of the way.  There is really a lot of punch in this little book.  It is a great value, and worth every one of the 5 stars I’m giving it.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

What My Eyes See

 Kristen HeitzmannIndelible by Kristen Heitzmann 

Natalie Reeve is a gifted sculptor whose ability stems from a unique disability.  When her brother helps her buy a home and business in the peaceful mountain community of Redford, what she hopes for is  tranquility.  How was she to know that events would so quickly spiral out of control.

Trevor MacDaniel is searching for two elderly hikers that seem to be lost when he comes across a dire situation.  A mountain lion has snatched a toddler from the trail where he was walking with his father and aunt.   The decision to put his life on the line to save the boy requires no contemplation.  Having lost his little brother to a horrific accident years ago, he’s not about to let another family go through that kind of pain if he can help it.

The lives of these two are seemingly thrown together when Natalie and Trevor realize that not only did he rescue her nephew, but their businesses are next door as well.  The more time they spend together, the more they see that they may be just what each other needs.  When Trevor is stalked and Natalie is attacked by the stalker she may have seen, their worlds collide in a way neither of them saw coming.

This is an enjoyable story, and I found myself not wanting to put it down at times, but the beginning is not quite up to Kristen Heitzmanns best work.  The story started out with an impressive scene that was not carried out as good as it could have been, and it took too much time to see how the different threads were fitting together.  I definitely enjoyed the book, but although I was expecting it to be a five-star read, it really was more of a four-star.

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Waterbrook Press.  All opinions rendered are my own.

A Vacation to Remember Forever

Lisa T. BergrenWaterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

reviewed by Megan–a teen who devours books

Teenage sisters Gabi and Lia Betarrini are spending the summer in Italy.  Sounds like fun right?  It would be, except that they’re spending it with their mom at an archaeological sit–the same thing they do every summer.  Because they’re bored, Gabi and Lia start exploring an ancient tomb when they come across a hand print. When they touch it, somehow the hand print tosses them back in time to  the fourteenth  century.

Getting separated from Lia, Gabi finds herself in a the middle of a war between two families.  She meets  Sir Marcello Forelli who takes her back to his family’s castle.  Not sure how to explain what has happened, Gabi explains that she has been separated from her family.  Unsure of how to get home, she begins to discover life in fourteenth century Italy, with long fancy dresses, no indoor plumping, and being called Lady Betarrini.  But when Gabi discovers herself falling for both the time period and Sir Marcello  she begins to wonder if she will ever find her sister or get to go back to the twenty-first century.

I really enjoyed this book, even though I usually prefer action and suspense over romance.  It felt like I had really been transported to fourteenth century Italy.  It felt very real. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.  It was very well written.     4 stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher, David C. Cook  All opinions rendered are my own.

Eric Wilson

One Step AwayAlthough Eric Wilson was born in California, and grew up in Oregon, his most enduring memories revolve around the time he lived in Europe where his parents served as missionaries, smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. He found life to be an adventure with all the different exotic cultures and people he came into contact with. 

During Junior high and High School, Eric found himself back in the states.  After graduation, he took time to travel in Eastern Europe and China, before returning to attend  Life Pacific College in California. Eric WilsonEric Wilson

During his junior year of college, a childhood friend began attending, and within months they were married. Twenty years and two daughters later, Eric and his family live in Nashville, TN where he and his wife still enjoy going on dates. 

 From an early age, Eric knew he wanted to be a Eric WilsonEric Wilsonwriter. He is passionate about telling stories about real characters who struggle with life’s questions and are thrown into some very suspenseful situations.  He also likes exploring earth’s ongoing tension between heaven and hell.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Eric a few questions.

Eric WilsonKristen:   What is your favorite thing about writing books?

Eric:  On the creative end, I love seeing the characters and story come to life, then hearing how readers filter those things in specific ways. On the publishing end, I love seeing the cover for the first time. It gives the new baby a face.Eric Wilson

 Kristen:   How about your least favorite thing about writing?

 Eric:  I get tired of sitting for thousands of hours a year alone at my desk. It’s a marathon of the heart and mind.Eric WilsonKristen:  Do you have an all time favorite character that you created?

Eric:  Oh, don’t ask me to choose from among my “children.” I love Sgt. Turney. And Gina Lazarescu. I want to do more stories with Cal Nichols someday. My favorite, though, would have to be Aramis Black.Eric WilsonKristen:  I’ve noticed lately that quite a few really good Christian authors were either missionary kids, or were/are missionaries themselves. How do you think being a MK influenced you as a writer?

Eric:  Missionaries learn to adapt to other cultures and speak in ways that can be understood outside their own home. I think these are helpful for a novelist.Eric Wilson

 Kristen: In your new book, One Step Away, The Vreeland family is given material wealth as a test by Satan to see if they will abandon their faith in God. Most people consider financial success a blessing. Do you think they are misleading themselves?

 Eric:  Wealthis a distinctly American trait of spiritual blessing. All around the world, Christians serve the Lord in poverty, famine, and hardship. They will receive their reward in heaven. In America, many Christians receive their rewards here on earth. I don’t think money or wealth are wrong to have and enjoy, but I do think we are wrong to measure spiritual success by it. Hugh Hefner is a pretty wealthy guy, last I heard.Eric Wilson

 Kristen: Just for fun, would you tell us something really crazy you have done, or something about yourself that would really surprise your readers?

 Eric:  I used to live in the Himalayas, when I was a boy. I’ve seen the Taj Mahal, Petra, the Great Wall, and some of the other wonders of the world. And yet, I’ve never gone overseas with more than a few hundred dollars in my bank account. The walk of faith is exciting and often unnerving. Believe me, I’d love to be independently wealthy so I could focus my energy on other things. Maybe God knows I need a fire lit under me to motivate my writing. Maybe someday I’ll learn. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll have to wait for a reward on the other side and serve and love Him with all my heart down here.

Eric Wilson

 Eric has written eleven published novels through Waterbrook press, Thomas Nelson, and most recently through Bay Forrest Books.

DARK TO MORTAL EYES (’04)
EXPIRATION DATE (’05)
THE BEST OF EVIL (’06)
A SHRED OF TRUTH (’07)
FACING THE GIANTS (’07)
FLYWHEEL (’08)
FIREPROOF (’08)
FIELD OF BLOOD (’08)
HAUNT OF JACKALS (’09)
VALLEY OF BONES (’10)
ONE STEP AWAY (’11)
TWO SECONDS LATE (’12)

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes –book release interview

Gina Holmes is the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans and the newly released novel, DRY AS RAIN. She’s the founder of Novel Rocket, (formerly Novel Journey), a registered nurse,  wife and mother who makes her home in Southern Virginia. You can learn more about her at www.ginaholmes.com 


Your debut novel hit ECPA, Amazon, PW and CBA bestsellers list (some throughout the span of a year!) For several weeks Crossing Oceans was the #1 free kindle download and then stay in the top hundred for a long time.
Beside the commercial success, your book was a finalist in every major Christian book award, including: Christy, ECPA, Retailer’s Choice, Carol Awards, and won RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice and an INSPY. Does having that kind of success put the pressure on for your second book?
I try not to think too much about it. I didn’t expect that kind of success but am very grateful for it. I had a lot of pressure on me on this releasing novel, not because of the success of the first book, but because, unlike the first, I didn’t have all the time in the world to write it. Some books flow smoothly, this one I had to yank out like a bad tooth. I faced multiple rewrites, some of them pretty major, all while trying to promote my all important first novel. I was still working full time, mothering, running Novel Journey (now Novel Rocket) and all of that, so this was a tough tough book for me to produce.
Tell our readers about your latest release, Dry as Rain:
I’m a really bad pitchman so I’ll just repeat the back of the book copy:
Behind every broken vow lies a broken heart.
When Eric and Kyra Yoshida first met, they thought their love would last forever. But like many marriages, theirs has gradually crumbled, one thoughtless comment and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal pushes them beyond reconciliation. Though Eric longs to reunite with Kyra, the only woman he has truly loved, he has no idea how to repair the damage that’s been done.
Then a car accident erases part of Kyra’s memory—including her separation from Eric—and a glimmer of hope rises from the wreckage. Is this a precious opportunity for the fresh start Eric has longed for? Does he even deserve the chance to find forgiveness and win back Kyra’s heart . . . or will the truth blow up in his face, shattering their last hope for happiness? A richly engaging story of betrayal and redemption, Dry as Rain illuminates with striking emotional intensity the surprising truth of what it means to forgive.
You can read the first chapter HERE. 
This novel feels so much different than Crossing Oceans. Why did you choose to take such a different path?
I didn’t intend to write something completely different and I think it feels that way because of the characters telling the story. In Crossing Oceans, Jenny was our narrator and she was a melancholy, all woman sort.
In Dry as Rain, we have Eric, who is a man’s man and doesn’t think in flowery language and descriptions so it would have been wrong to write him that way. While both books have a heavy subject matter, Crossing Oceans was much more so. You can’t get heavier than dying, so it was bound to be more emotional, no matter how I wrote the next book.
But, my genre seems to be relational drama which both are and I like to pepper in a quirky cast and that’s true of both books.
You took a lot of chances in this book. First writing first person from a male’s perspective, secondly to have the protagonist someone who does a lot of things that aren’t very Christianly, like cheating on his wife, drinking, lying, etc. Are you afraid this might hurt your sales in the Christian market?
Afraid? No. Concerned, sure. While I don’t personally have a problem with Eric drinking a beer, the rest I have a problem with too. The thing is Eric’s a nominal Christian at the beginning of the book, lukewarm about his faith like many who call themselves followers of Christ. This is his journey though and he doesn’t end up where he begins. I wanted to tell the story as truthfully as I could and at the end of the day let the chips fall where they may.
What happened to your long time website, Novel Journey?
www.noveljourney.blogspot.com is now www.novelrocket.com You can get to it by either address but we decided on an overhaul because we wanted to drop the blogspot address and just have a dot com. The guy who owned Novel Journey didn’t return our emails to sell so we had to do something a little different. This turned out to be a good thing maybe because we’d been chewing on broadening the site for some time. We’ve got some exciting changes now, the most notable is the addition of “Rocket Pages” a sort of Craig’s List for writers to find the services they need to launch and sustain their career.
What’s going on with you personally?
Well, I’m blissfully married, mom to two, stepmom to three, and owner of 2 dogs and a fish. I bought a guitar and hope to start fiddling with that soon and just writing a lot. Nothing too exciting over here but that’s the way I like it. I’m the happiest I’ve been in my life. I’ve accomplished many of the dreams and goals I’d hoped to and I always tell my husband, if I died today, I’d feel I lived and full and rewarding life. Not that I’m looking to die just yet.
What are you working on now?
I can’t give the title yet as that’s a work in progress but it’s a story very close to my heart. I’m more excited about this one than anything I’ve ever written. Hopefully my publisher agrees and you see it on the stands in the next year or so. That’s really all I can say for now.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I’ll tell you a few. I thought I was afraid of heights until I bungee-jumped and loved it. I’d love to skydive for the first time in the next year, white water raft and get at least a little skill on the guitar. My husband is a talented songwriter. My kids are the sweetest in the world, (yes, the world!), and I love to get my hands dirty. That should do it. Thanks for having me!

Pompeii: City on Fire by T.L. Higley

Pompeii: City on Fire   By  T.L. Higley

From the fires of Jerusalem’s destruction Ariella flees only to find herself enslaved to a powerful and evil Roman politician.    Nine years of horrific abuse and degregation later  Ariella flees when opportunity arises, and attaches herself to a group of gladiators by tricking them into thinking she is a young man. Cato leaves politics and Rome behind to build a new life in Pompeii as a winemaker.  Before he has a chance to see his dream fulfilled he finds himself an enemy of the elected tyrant, and pursued by others to be the one who takes down the tyrant. Through circumstance and providence, their lives are thrust together, but what can ever break the barrier between a Roman patrician and a Jewish slave?  And what will happen when Mt.Vesuvius bursts forth? If I would describe this book in one word it would be ‘complete’.  When finishing the book I did not find myself thinking “Well what about…”.  The book is wonderfully written just like all of T.L. Higley’s recent work.  The story flows easily on the pages and is an enjoyable read.  The descriptions of Pompeii and life during this time period are well researched and allow the reader to sit back and immerse themself in the journey along with the characters.  I especially enjoyed the portion of the book where the characters are in the midst of the erupting volcano and it’s aftermath.  Altogether this is a very worthwhile read, and to give it another plug, it is also on my daughter’s Honors World History reading list. 5 Stars

A Trial of Blessings

One Step Away by Eric Wilson

Bret and Sara Vreeland are an average low income family struggling to make ends meet.  Though they try and try they just can’t seem to get ahead of all the expenses that pile up.  But they have learned to be content and serve God, and are trying to teach their children the same thing. When Satan notices this family who seems to have so little, he comes before the Almighty with a petition.  “Let me test them“, he says, “Will they still be so eager to serve you if they have riches beoynd belief?”  After careful scrutiny, The One Who Sits Upon The Throne gives his permission–permission to begin a trial of blessing. How will Bret and Sara respond when everything in life starts going their way?  An unexpected inheritance, a major promotion, a dream of sucess come true–will all these things capture the devoton they once gave God?  When they’re faced with an unexpected choice of life altering proportions what choice will they make? The premise of this book pulled me in from the start, and did not disappoint.  Well written and engaging , One Step Away brings us real characters who come alive on the pages.  I found myself cheering and yelling at the characters as if they were close friends.  Although not preachy, this book has me considering how I view the blessings I have been given.

5 Stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bay Forest (an imprint of Kingstone Media Group).   Opinions rendered are completely my own.

Note:  Check back Monday August 15, 2011 for an Author Spotlight of Eric Wilson– a bio and interview you’ll not want to miss.

Fear Is All That Remains

Half a millenia past, after  wars that decimated the earth, Sirin brought forth a new wisdom.  He taught the laying aside of life’s excesses  in exchange for  simple equality.  He preached the dangers of emotions untamed.  Many followed him, and for a time peace reigned throughout the earth–but humanity could not keep this up for long.

Megas developed a virus that would spread throughout the earth, stripping every person of all emotions but fear.  When Sirin is martyred, the blame is placed on extremest factions, and the road is paved for Megas’  rise to power.

The Book of Orders, a strict rule that reaches into every area of life is canonized under Megas’ rule.  The people crave the order and freedom from fear that complying brings.  They long for the possibility of bliss after death, which can only  be achieved  by strict adherence to Order.

The year is 480–calculated from the moment the age of Chaos ended and the age of Order was ushered in.  Simple craftsman Rom, and his friends are unwittingly thrust into the crux of the battle to save humanity from Order.  Some will die; some will wish they could.  Each of them will feel more alive than they ever imagined.  And a small cripple boy will be the only hope for life the world has left.

This book is truly amazing.  The combined storytelling of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee have created a book that is destined to be among the greatest pieces of literature.  There is no real way to describe the majesty of this book adequately.  You must experience  it for yourself.  First in The Book of Mortals series, Forbidden is an experience you won’t soon forget. 5 Stars–but worthy of many more.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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