Thursday, 31 July 2008

Getting to know Kristen Heitzmann

Kristen Heitzmann's books are always intriguing and Freefall is one of my all time favourite stories. Wife, mum, musician and author, I was delighted Kristen could fit in an interview in her busy schedule!

Have fun learning about Kristen :)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible, of course)

Ice water!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A mom. As a child I loved art, music, and storytelling, but I never saw myself as a professional person. I always wanted a family.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Ireland/Scotland/Wales, Northern Italy, and New Zealand

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My husband, Jim. We're total opposites. He's planned; I'm spontaneous. I like change; he resists--until he realizes I'm right. J Friction makes sparks and hones edges! After 27 years, it also mellows out the differences until you can laugh at them.

What's your favourite book?

Currently, Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Going out on my porch in the early morning to pray or work while the does with their fawns come to sample my flower garden

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

Hawaii. It's still pretty wild and natural.

What's your most fervent prayer?

To be an instrument of God's grace.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or one of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Romans 8:38

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I rest all that I do in the assurance that God's all-encompassing love will never fail.

Ask your children one thing they think is special about you and share it with us, please!

My ability to be weird makes me more fun than most moms (quoth Trevor, 15).

The Edge of Recall

I was fascinated by the spiritual history of labyrinths ~ did you know their background before you wrote this story?

Actually, my daughter Jessica came up with the idea of labyrinths as Tessa's landscape speciality. I was not familiar with them spiritually, but thought the idea of a prayer walk with the purpose of seeking divine wisdom intriguing. Tessa's need to communicate with God intellectually, without having to relate intimately, worked well with the labyrinth motif. I have to say, having walked one, I'm way too impatient to find it peaceful or effective.

Why did you make Tessa so fragile emotionally, and how did you manage to make her likeable despite her prickliness?

I was in a pretty fragile place myself, lots of doubt and fear. I think that informed Tessa a little, but I also just wanted to write an unreliable narrator. Not knowing whether Tessa was overreacting or imagining or even dreaming added an edge to the suspense. Likeable? I have eggshell friends I love very much. They're only prickly if you poke them, and once they know you love them you can even poke a little--as Smith could not resist with Tessa. I think what made Tessa work was her understanding of herself as flawed. What annoys people are the ones who can't or won't see their issues.

I really loved Smith and the accuracy of his British vocabulary ~ how did you manage to get his “accent“ so spot on?

Having read a ton of British literature growing up, I hear that intonation clearly in my head. I researched the current idioms and tried to use only enough to season the dialogue.

What are you working on at the moment? A sneak peek, please.

I just turned in a book for the general market that is both dark and deeply redemptive.

In The Hunt, men are predators, women the prey, children a deadly hazard. The Rules of Contact drive their lives--rules that draw from the deepest depravities and primal drives in a warped distortion of order, a code that has formed those born inside.

A medical resident, Claire Boudreaux is swept into a place of life-threatening depravity that presses her to deadly extremes.

Rafe, a man born to violence, believes following the rules separates him from the monsters, until he learns that even the rules are monstrous.

A visionary human rights advocate, McKee Gallagher fights for his ideals when they collide with true evil.

A harrowing tale of light and darkness and a provocative reality not so far from the world above ground.

Thanks so much, Kristen :) I always look forward to your stories and The Hunt sounds fabulous!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Freefall and Echoes

Visit Kristen's website

Buy Kristen's books from Amazon or Koorong

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

CFBA blog tour of Dragonlight by Donita K Paul

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(WaterBrook Press - June 17, 2008)


Donita K. Paul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~HANNAH ALEXANDER, author of Double

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Writes of Passage Blog

For lovers of historical novels, have I found the blog for you!

Writes of Passage is a new blog created by Robin Lee Hatcher, Tamera Alexander, Lori Copeland, Kim Vogel Sawyer and Tracie Peterson.

If these authors are not familiar to you, you are missing out! Click on the links for more and enjoy :)

Coming in 2009 from Ted Dekker & Thomas Nelson

Thomas Nelson has some fabulous books releasing in the first half of 2009 and here is a look at just two of them.

Ted Dekker has teamed up with debut novelist, Erin Healy writing Kiss, which looks intriguing and I can't wait to see the extra elements Erin will bring to the story.

Sullivan Crisp returns in Healing Waters and I'll share more Thomas Nelson fiction releases soon.

Kiss by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion. Her estranged father, a senator bidding on t
he White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged.

Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it. In this blind game of cat and mouse that states even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

Healing Waters by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn

Lucia Coffey longs to feel good about herself and her body . . . but she can't get the negative voices out of her head.

Lucia has always lived in the shadow of her sister Sophia, a charismatic ministry leader with a huge following. She doesn't feel worthy of her sister or her husband, and her own dreams of being a dancer have long since gone by the wayside. As her self-esteem and self-worth plummet, her struggle to keep her weight under control soars.

But then she meets Sullivan Crisp, the decidedly unorthodox psychologist who is well-known for his quirky sense of humor and incorporation of "game show" theology into his counseling sessions. He sees the beauty hidden in Lucia and sets about trying to help her find it for herself.

Lucia longs for the faith to walk on water. And with the endlessly creative ways God uses our meager efforts to bring hope and new life, she just might find the path that leads her there.

Monday, 28 July 2008

CFBA Blog Tour of The Falcon and the Sparrow by M L Tyndall

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Falcon And The Sparrow

(Barbour Publishing, Inc - August 1, 2008)


M. L. Tyndall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relz Reviewz Extras

My review

Interview with MaryLu

Friday, 25 July 2008

Shadow of Colossus by T L Higley & Giveaways Galore!

In 227 BC, a young woman decides taking her own life is the only way she can escape the pain and futility of her life. Yet when her current patron, politician and schemer, Glaucos, succumbs to an untimely death, Tessa of Delos, the most highly paid and sought after courtesan on the island of Rhodes feels an unfamiliar seed of hope take root in her heart.

Accustomed to the hard work of a slave, Nikos knows first hand the joy of freedom, and in honour of the father who saved him masquerades as a servant to ingratiate himself in to the home of his father's enemy, the famous Glaucos of Rhodes.
Spiro craves Glaucus' power and his beautiful hetaera Tessa in equal measure and he will gladly sink to whatever depths he needs to acquire both.

Fuelled by desperation and her burning desire for the freedom of her body, mind and spirit, Tessa embarks on a journey which may transform her life or just as surely, destroy it.

T L Higley transported me to the magnificent island of Rhodes, a cultural mecca of the ancient world, basking in the shadow of the enormous Colossus of Helios, in this tantalising novel of political intrigue and spiritual redemption. I felt Tessa's pain, a woman with great political influence yet without freedom, sold to the highest bidder. Nikos knows Tessa's status but is drawn to her and sees her as God does, as a woman of great worth. The Jewish plight is told through the eyes of Simeon and his family and God's faithfulness is shown through Simeon's devotion and Nikos' sacrifice.

Fast paced adventure, fascinating characters and insights in to the culture, politics and people of this ancient world make Shadow of Colossus a unique and unmissable read. I am delighted that the Ancient World will continue to be revealed in subsequent Seven Wonders novels by T L Higley.

Available August from B&H

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Tracy's fascinating website

Enter Tracy's Treasure Hunt contest and win

Buy Shadow of Colossus at Amazon or Koorong

Come back soon for my in depth interview with Tracy


Thanks to the generosity of B&H publishers and Tracy, I have a terrific giveaway open to all my readers!

I have four copies of Shadow of Colossus to give away to my Australian readers, and two copies (signed by Tracy) to give away to my American readers!

Please read the contest rules carefully! To enter:~

1. Post a comment by midnight Thursday 31st July, 2008 and let me know whether you have an Australian or American postal address by adding (AUS) or (USA) at the end of your post.

2. You must also leave contact details to be entered into the draw (RBC book club members excepted - I've got yours down pat!)

Peculiar Treasures by Robin Jones Gunn ~ Chloe-Anne's Take

Katie Weldon doesn’t know where her relationship stands with Rick, there is something holding Katie back but she doesn’t know what … could it have to do with the past and forgiveness?

At her best friend Christy Miller’s wedding, Katie catches the bouquet and the eye of Julia … who is the woman’s president director of crown hall at Rancho Corona University. Julia thinks Katie would be great for the RA job and doesn’t have to do much convincing to get Katie to take up the offer. In taking this job Katie has to support and be there for the girls in the dorm, will she be able to look after these girls and deal with her own problems?

Even though Katie is extremely busy she still learns to trust in God and to ask him for his help when it is needed.

Peculiar Treasures is a marvellous read. When I first picked up the book and realised it was on Katie Weldon I was a bit wary of how it would turn out. I had previously read some of the Christy Miller series and loved Christy so much that I thought it would be hard to do it on a different character. Now I think differently, I absolutely loved Katie’s character even more so than Christy.

I love that even though Katie is already a Christian, she still seems to grow in her faith and learn new things about God everyday. Robin Jones Gunn did a fantastic job on Peculiar Treasures, I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Guest Reviewer: teen Chloe~Anne

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Love Starts With Elle Book Trailer

Now here is a fun book trailer from Rachel Hauck about her latest novel, Love Starts With Elle ~ worth checking this one out!

Available now from Thomas Nelson

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

CFBA Blog Tour of Painted Dresses by Patricia Hickman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Painted Dresses

(WaterBrook Press - July 15, 2008)


Patricia Hickman

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

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

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

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


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

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

If you would like to read the first chapter, go

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

2009 Releases from B&H

More great looking books for 2009 from Broadman & Holman by some fabulous authors.

How about the Scrapping Plans cover? Just gorgeous! Click on the titles and author names to pre order or find out more.

Wind Dancer by Jamie Carie

Raised in a British-held frontier town during the American Revolution, Isabelle Renoir is not like other women around her. A free spirit, she dances in the moonlight as a praise offering to God and is more at home fearlessly taking her long rifle and knife into the woods for adventure and inspiration.

But Isabelle’s latest journey may be more than even her strength can handle when a huge storm throws the raven-haired beauty off course and into the path of rugged American spy Samuel Holt. After matching wits and denying their passion for each other, they are attacked by Indians, held prisoner, and forced to watch the horrific killing of Isabelle’s brother. Now together but in captivity, they must fight spiritual forces that no knife or rifle could ever conquer in order to be free.

Releasing January, 2009

Scrapping Plans by Rebeca Seitz

Scrapping Plans is book three in the SISTERS, INK series of novels for women. At the heart of each story are four unlikely sisters, each separately adopted into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair where they still meet as adults in their late mother’s attic to work on scrapbook projects and work through life together.

The focus moves now to youngest sister Joy who was adopted from China as an infant. Always the quiet one, she and her husband’s struggle with infertility is being drowned out by sister Kendra’s wedding day, her daddy’s new romance, and another Sinclair sister who may see that double pink line on a pregnancy test before Joy does.

Will a trip back to China help Joy understand that God’s timing is perfect, and His plans are the ones to follow?

Releasing February, 2009

City of the Dead by T L Higley

Up from the sands of Egypt rises the Great Pyramid, where Hemiunu, Pharaoh’s Grand Vizier, commands the historic building project as he orders his life—with justice, truth, and precision. But when a series of murders at the site threatens chaos, Hemi must abandon his legacy to hunt down the killer who may be closer than he would like to think. Can he restore justice to the city before his careful life and work are destroyed, or will a mysterious people and their strange God uncover the secret past that Hemi has tried to forget?

Releasing March, 2009

Ruby's Slippers by Leanna Ellis

Dottie Meyers, 35, is a real-life Dorothy Gale living with her little black dog on a small farm in Kansas that’s about to be hit by a tornado. Knocked unconscious by the storm, she awakes three months later at a recovery facility in California where her father, last seen when she was four, has left her a mysterious pair of ruby slippers.

But unlikeThe Wizard of Oz, this isn’t a dream, and the yellow brick road journey that Dottie and three friends are about to take from Los Angeles to Seattle in search of her dad will show the realities of a broken childhood. More importantly, everything connected to those sparkling red shoes will prove to Dottie that there’s only one true wonder worker behind the so-called curtain who can heal her wounds and prepare the heart for love.

Releasing April, 2009

Official trailer for Eric Wilson's Field of Blood

Coming in October, 2008 from Thomas Nelson is the first in Eric Wilson's epic Jerusalem Undead Trilogy, Field of Blood.

The trailer and book will appeal to many of you, especially Davo!

Maggie Come Lately by Michelle Buckman ~ Chloe-Anne's Take

Maggie may look like a normal teenager if you passed her in the street but if you got to know her, you would realise she is anything but. After losing her mother at the age of 5, Maggie has grown up caring for her brothers and doing the household chores. All Maggie wants is to be a normal teenager who goes to the shops to buy clothes, not washing machines. She wants to hang out with her friends not sit and worry about what her brothers might or might not be doing all day long.

When Maggie’s brother finds something unexpected and disturbing in the woods everyone thinks it is just a one off and that it will blow over. Maggie isn’t so sure … she thinks there is more to what happened and will do whatever it takes to find out the truth. After walking down the path that day, the one that she had walked down so many times before, Maggie’s life will never be the same again.

Maggie Come Lately kept me at the edge of my seat, I couldn’t put the book down. I like the fact that as Maggie struggles and learns new things, she it still growing in her faith. Michelle Buckman has done a remarkable job writing this novel. I had never heard of her before but now that I have and have read her book I can’t wait until I read the next book in The Pathway Collection series.

Guest reviewer: teen Chloe~Anne

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Michelle's website

Buy Maggie Come Lately at Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 21 July 2008

The Falcon and the Sparrow by ML Tyndall

Born to an English Admiral and a beautiful Frenchwoman, Dominique Dawson discovers her heritage is more burden than blessing. As Napoleon threatens the might of the English fleet, Dominique is forced to take up the position of governess to Admiral Chase Randall's neglected son. Yet her mission is not the boy, but espionage. If she fails to uncover military secrets her beloved brother will die at the hands of his French captors.

Chase Randall is a jaded man, scarred by his past with little knowledge of how to raise a son, let alone show him the love and affection young William craves. Dominique is hardly the kind of woman he has been seeking out since his wife died and he despises her timidity. Yet something about her innocence and devout faith appeals to the man he used to be.

Dominique prays that God will reveal to her a way to save her brother and enable her to live with the wrath of Chase Randall once he discovers her betrayal.

Adventure is MaryLu Tyndall's middle name! Hot on the heels of her fabulous Legacy of the King's Pirates trilogy comes another intriguing tale of love, betrayal and dangerous escapades. The difference being in The Falcon and the Sparrow, MaryLu has her characters' feet, for the most part, planted firmly on dry land! Yes, the outcome is readily apparent but it is a small price to pay for great characterisation, a lively caper and genuine faith in action. I loved that Dominique was shy and awkward, a change from the standard feisty female of historical novels and that Chase's shortcomings were readily apparent. That he is not transformed immediately upon his association with the devout governess, gives authenticity to his journey towards redemption. This is a satisfying novel, yet I have to say I am looking forward to MaryLu's return to the High Seas in Blossoms of Faith
, the first in her Charles Towne Belle series releasing in 2009.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of The Redemption, The Reliance and The Restitution

Interview with MaryLu

Visit MaryLu's website and blog

Buy The Falcon and the Sparrow at Amazon or Koorong

More 2009 Bethany Titles ~ contemporary

Here are some more tantalising titles from Bethany House including women's fiction, suspense and fantasy! I am very excited to see Karen Hancock's The Enclave and am intrigued by Elisha's Bones by debut author, Dan Hoesel:)

I'd love to hear which ones appeal to you and why ~ go a comment, please!

Click on the titles and author names for more....

Word Gets Around
by Lisa Wingate

Lauren Eldridge had avoided returning home to Daily, Texas, until her father confesses to being in over his head. Paying back an old favor, he's invested in a horse that's supposed to be the star of a new Hollywood movie. Only the horse won't behave. And Lauren is the best trainer in the state. Convinced to
return, she soon finds more than she bargained for when the movie's screenwriter turns out to be leading-man handsome.

This movie may be Nate Heath's last shot at turning his career around. He didn't have high hopes at first, but the town of Daily may be just what everyone needs to find hope and healing. And maybe even a little romance.

The Returning
by Ann Tatlock

Andrea knew when she married John
Sheldon that her love was not returned, but they both stayed in the marriage for their own reasons. Now John is returning home from a five-year stint in prison, and while Andrea wants him home, she knows his return will upset the life she and the children have adjusted to in his absence. But she hopes his homecoming will offer them a second chance at marriage. John is apprehensive about how he will be received, but he is returning a different man. While incarcerated, he committed his life to Christ and wants to hold fast to his newfound faith. Andrea is wary of his conversion, son Billy is delighted, and daughter Rebekah is skeptical. Six-year-old Phoebe doesn't remember her father and is withdrawn. Can John and Andrea mend the rifts that have torn their family apart?

Ulterior Motives
by Mark Andrew Olsen

When an al-Qaida email is intercepted, promising a New Year's Day attack on America, it leads to the capture of the group's leader. But even under fierce interrogation, the terrorist clings to his jihadist beliefs and resists divulging anythi
ng of the threat. Desperate, the Army resorts to a contingency paper that proposes to break a subject's resistance by inducing a religious conversion. One hitch: the top-secret attempt must be masked as an offer of clemency, and must rely on a completely innocent mentor, a so-called witness who is unaware of the project's true aims. They find that witness in Greg Cahill, a disgraced FBI agent who has since turned to Christ and serves in a prison ministry. Lured by an offer of restoration, as well as the lifting of a restraining order that's keeping him from seeing his son, Greg begins an unlikely friendship with a man the entire country despises. Despite himself, he begins to share his faith—yet with a combustible result unforeseen by either himself or his government handlers.

The Enclave
by Karen Hancock

When Lacey McHenry accepts a prestigious research fellowship at the world-renowned Kendell-Jakes Longevity Institute, she sees it as a new start on life. But a disturbing late-night encounter with an intruder leads to an unexpected cover-up by Institute authorities, and she soon realizes there's more going on than she ever imagined.

She finds a supporter in genetics researcher Cameron Reinhardt. However, Reinhardt is a favorite of the Institute's director, and she can't help wondering if he, too, is in on the cover-up. The brilliant but absentminded researcher turns out to have his own secrets, some of them dark and deadly.

The Enclave is characterized by adventure, intrigue, spiritual analogy, and romance, all set in an unusual but fully realized world—one that may have its foundations on earth but which, the more one learns of it, doesn't seem much like the earth we know at all.

Elisha's Bones
by Dan Hoesel

Every year, professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne looks forward to the winter break as a time to hide away from his responsibilities. Even if just for a week or two. But this year, his plans are derailed when he's offered almost a blank check from a man chasing a rumor.

Billionaire Gordon Reese thinks he knows where the bones of the prophet Elisha are—bones that in the Old Testament brought the dead back to life. A born skeptic, Jack doesn't think much of the assignment but he could use the money, so he takes the first step on a chase for the legendary bones that will take him to the very ends of the earth. But he's not alone. Joined with a fiery colleague, Esperanza Habilla, they soon discover clues to a shadowy organization whose long-held secrets have been protected . . . at all costs. As their lives are threatened again and again, the real race is to uncover the truth before those chasing them hunt them down.

According To Their Deeds
by Paul Robertson

Charles Beale lives happily in the shadows of Washington, D.C., as a respectable rare-books dealer. Or mostly respectable. He has a streak of the gambler in him and when a devoted client dies—a man deeply connected to the Justice Department—Beale eagerly regains the man's book collection…and soon finds himself with more than he bid on. In one volume, Beale discovers documents incriminating a host of major political figures—blackmail material that might have led to murder. Weighing questions of justice and mercy—and with a bull's-eye on his back—Beale must untangle a complicated knot of deadly lies and dangerous secrets.

CFBA Blog Tour of Try Darkness by James Scott Bell

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Try Darkness

(Center Street - July 30, 2008)


James Scott Bell


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

“A master of suspense.”
—Library Journal

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

Getting to know Tamera Alexander

I am very selective when it comes to reading historicals these days but Tamera Alexander's books always make the cut! Tamera has recently taken home a Christy Award for her novel, Remembered ~ congratulations, Tamera!

Tamera's latest novel, From A Distance has already garnered rave reviews. Hope you all enjoy this interview!

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

I’ve always loved the name McKenna. And I’ve always wanted to have dark hair and olive skin. Alas, I do not… So I gave my most recent heroine (McKenna Atchison in The Inheritance) those attributes and lived vicariously through her.

What’s your pet’s name?

Jack! And here’s a picture of him. He’s a silky terrier, and his full name is Jack Brennan Alexander (named after the hero in Remembered).

Your best friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?

Janet Meets. And Janet, if you’re out there, I’d love to reconnect with you! We attended Idlewood Elementary School in Tucker, Georgia together. Many years ago… And whenever I eat Cool Whip, I think of her. She introduced me to Cool Whip with chocolate ice cream. Yum!

If you were stranded on a deserted island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

A GPS phone so I could call home and get rescued. After a few days of quiet and sun, of course.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Coffee with caramel and roasted almonds. I want that on the deserted island too. ;)

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher. I used to line up my dolls and animals on the edge of my bed and lecture to them. I also indexed all my books according to the Dewey Decimal System. I had much more time on my hands then…

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’d travel the castles of Europe. That’s a dream!

What's your favourite book?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It’s Francine at her best and God’s unconditional love in all its splendor.

What's your favourite movie?

I have many…but Dances with Wolves is at the top of that list. Then Sommersby. And Sense and Sensibility. And Sound of Music…

What's your most fervent prayer?

That, once I leave here, I will have made a difference in this world. An eternal difference in lives. That’s all that matters.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Have children. It’s the hardest job in the world. The most heartbreaking, and the most rewarding.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

The gift of friendship. When someone offers you their friendship, they offer their heart, and that’s a precious, priceless gift.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Hebrews 12:1,2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I read this often and am reminded that I’m to run my own race. Not someone else’s. I’m to run the race God set before me, and I’m to run with perseverance because it’s going to be hard. I’m to keep my eyes on Jesus who’s already run this path so He knows the pitfalls and the blind curves. There’s not always joy in each step of the journey, and when there’s not, joy most certainly awaits!

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Oh gracious, there were so many. One that comes to mind is in the 8th grade (in Atlanta—in those years anyway—our high schools went from 8th – 12th grade) when I was the last person chosen for basketball. Then…to make matters worse, I was so thrilled when I finally made a basket, only to realize that I’d made it for the opposing team. It was not pretty, and my meager contribution was not appreciated. LOL! And btw, I still can’t play basketball very well.

Ask your children one thing they think is special about you and share it with us, please!

My son isn’t home right now but I just asked my daughter (age 21) and she says… “I like how my mom has the ability to relate to everyone and make them feel better after having been with her.”

Tamera here again: Wow, that’s nice! I love that girl! Now to run pay her.

BTW, a fun tidbit on From a Distance! We used my daughter’s hair on the cover. Bethany House “photoshopped” it in. See any resemblance?

From A Distance

I love that you don’t follow the historical romance formula despite writing historical romance novels! Elizabeth is 32 and pursuing an interesting and unusual career for a woman of the 1870s. How did Elizabeth come to be?

Thanks for those kind words! The idea for From a Distance came from a question I’d been asking myself. “What happens when the dream you’ve asked God for isn’t what you imagined it would be?” I read a lot and had been reading a book on the history of photography. That one particular question intertwined with the interest in photography, and the idea for From a Distance was born.

You have brought a current hot topic (environmentalism for want of a better word) as Daniel seeks to protect the Colorado wilderness from developers. Tell us how that came about, please.

That grew completely from his character. I didn’t approach FAD with that subtle theme in mind. Daniel came west, hurting and disillusioned, and the land helped “heal” him, in a sense. So when he sees the territory being destroyed, he takes a personal interest in seeing that it’s preserved for future generations.

You have introduced readers to some strong minor characters, including Rachel Boyd, Sheriff James McPherson and Dr Rand Brookston. Will we read their stories in the next Timber Ridge Reflections stories?

Oh yes! I’m writing Beyond This Moment now and you’ll see all of these characters again in May 2009. And in the third book in the series that releases in fall 2009.

What are you working on at the moment? A sneak peek, please.

I’m currently taking a few days out from writing Beyond This Moment, Book 2 in Timber Ridge Reflections, to focus on substantive edits for The Inheritance. The Inheritance is for Women of Faith Fiction (Thomas Nelson) and is a stand alone novel set in Colorado 1877. It releases in March 2009! They’re working on cover art right now, and I’ll be sure and put it up on my website and blog as soon as it’s ready!

Thanks for hosting me!



Rel: It has been a pleasure, Tamera :) Many thanks!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of From A Distance, Revealed and Remembered

Visit Tamera's website and blog

Buy Tamera's books at Amazon or Koorong

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