Saturday, December 22, 2007

Distant Heart Blog Tour

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Distant Heart

(Avon Inspire January 2, 2008)


Tracey Bateman


Tracey Bateman is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, including Defiant Heart, the First in the Westeard Hearts series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and recently served on the board as President. She loves in Lebanon, Missouri, with her husband and their four children.


In the second book in the Westward Hearts trilogy, will the promise of a new life out west heal the scars of Toni's past?

This series tells the stories of three strong women as they struggle to survive on the rough wagon train and lose their hearts to unlikely heroes along the way/ Thin Little House on the Prairie meets Francine river's Redeeming Love and you begin to get a sense of the riveting historical series that Tracey Bateman has created.

In this second installment, we follow Toni Rodden, a former prostitute who sought to escape her past and build a new life, and a new reputation, when she joined the wagon train. Despite much resentment and distrust from the other women, Toni has finally earned a place on the wagon train and found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time in her life, Toni actually feels free.

But while Toni once harbored dreams that her new life might include a husband and family, she soon realizes the stigma that comes with her past is difficult to see beyond and that she'll never be truly loved or seen as worthy. As the trip out west begins to teach her to survive on her own, she resolves to make her own living as a seamstress when the train finally reaches Oregon.

But despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-feathers, the wagon scout and acting preacher for the train seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a God that can forgive even the darkest past? Faith, love, and courage will be put to the test in Distant Heart.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Lies Within Blog Tour

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

What Lies Within

Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007)


Karen Ball


Karen Ball , bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today's bestselling Christian novels. Her love for words was passed down through her father and grandfather - both pastors who shared God's truth through sermons and storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen's writing style is a powerful force for revealing God's truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their "kids," Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named "Destructo."


Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…

until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.

Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.

Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.

Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bluegrass Peril Blog Tour

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Bluegrass Peril

(Steeple Hill December 4, 2007)


Virginia Smith

Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker in the summer of 2005. Since then she has contracted eight novels and numerous articles and short stories.

She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including her debut, Just As I Am (Kregel Publications, March 2006) and her new release, Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007). Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines.

An energetic speaker, Virginia loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”



Local police had tagged single mom Becky Dennison as their prime suspect. But she'd only been in the wrong place at the wrong time...admittedly, with her boss's lifeless body. Sure it looked bad, but Becky had no motive for killing...even if she had opportunity.

When the director of the retirement farm for thoroughbred champions is murdered, Becky Dennison teams up with the handsome manager of a neighboring horse farm, Scott Lewis, to find her boss's killer. Soon the amateur detective are hot on the trail of the murderer...even as their feelings for each other deepen.

The amateur sleuths uncover a trail of clues that lead them into the intricate society of Kentucky's elite thoroughbred breeding industry. They soon find themselves surrounded by the mint julep set - jealous southern belles and intensely competitive horse breeders - in a high-stakes game of danger, money, and that famous southern pride.

And for Becky and Scott, this race on the Kentucky tracks has the greatest stakes of all: life or death!

Romantic Times awarded Bluegrass Peril
* * * * FOUR STARS! * * * *

Sunday, December 02, 2007

FIRST Post: The Minor Protection Act

It is December 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour!
(Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we
will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

and her book:

The Minor Protection

Musterion (December 1, 2005)


Jodi Cowles
caught the travel bug when her parents took her on her first
international flight at six months of age. Since then she’s been in over 30
countries. Along the way she’s gotten locked out of her cabin on an all night
train to Kiev, helped deliver a baby in Indonesia, taught English in
South Korea, gone spelunking in Guam, hiked the Golan Heights and laid
bricks in Zimbabwe. Her interest in politics stems from hunting Easter
eggs on the south lawn of the White House as a child. For her 30th
birthday she ran the LA Marathon and promised to get serious about
publishing. Jodi resides in Boise, Idaho and this is her first novel.


If the politically correct set was searching for a
poster couple, they would need to look no further than Erik and Roselyn
Jessup. In college they lit up doobies while attending passionate
speeches about legalizing marijuana and freeing Tibet. Erik was even arrested
once for helping break into an animal research center. Roselyn bailed
him out. After five years of dating they decided to tie the knot. Seven
years later, after Roselyn had enough time to get established in her
career, she gave birth to their pride and joy, Jayla Lynn Jessup.

Both had satisfying full-time jobs that left them only enough time to
pour themselves into Jayla. They attended every event at school, even if
it meant working overtime and paying the after school program for a
few extra hours. When Jayla made the principal's list or won a spelling
bee, they were cheering, and filming, from the front row.

Jayla began junior high at a brand new school with a brand new
curriculum. It was being called "progressive" in the papers; the first program
of its kind implemented in California with plans for a nationwide
rollout over the next 10 years. Praise poured in from around the country,
applauding the straight talk about sexuality and focus on tolerance.

Erik and Roselyn were thrilled to have their daughter in this
groundbreaking program. Granted, it took several phone calls to district
authorities to accomplish the transfer and Roselyn had to drive an extra 30
minutes each morning to drop off Jayla, but it was quite a coup to brag
about in their circle of friends.

Jayla turned 13 two years into junior high. For her birthday she told
her parents she wanted to order pizza and hang around the house – there
was something she needed to tell them. Over pepperoni and Coke, Jayla
calmly informed them that she'd been discussing it with her friends and
teachers and had decided she was gay.

Though she had never had a girlfriend, or a boyfriend for that matter,
Erik and Roselyn were quick to affirm her decision and let her know she
had their full support. Roselyn applauded her daughter's honest,
courageous move and told Jayla how proud she was. Erik was also supportive
and went so far as to tease Jayla about her best friend Sara.

There weren't too many lesbians in her junior high and Jayla had a
pretty average experience, but she attracted attention when she entered
high school wearing the rainbow buttons specially purchased by her mother.
Soon she was 15 and seriously involved with Carla, the 17-year-old
senior who was President of the Gay Pride Club. When Erik and Roselyn saw
the relationship deepening they sat Jayla down and had a heart to heart
"sex talk," encouraging her to be responsible and safe, and only to
have sex if she was truly in love.

She was. However, when the year ended Carla left for college on the
east coast and broke off the relationship in a letter.

Jayla was heartbroken. Erik and Roselyn were quick to comfort, as any
loving parents of a shattered teenager, but their answers seemed hollow
to Jayla, their comfort cold. At 16 she began dabbling in drugs - a
first for her.

By the time her senior year began the family bond that was once so
strong had disintegrated to the degree that she seldom spoke to her parents
unless it was to strike out in anger. She had not entered into another
dating relationship, as much as they encouraged her in that direction.
Rather, she seemed withdrawn from the world and spent endless hours
either locked in her room or suspiciously absent. Finally, Roselyn had
enough and took her to a doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant for
teenagers that had just been released on the market.

By Christmas the medication seemed to be working. Jayla was coming
around, spending more time at home. She seemed calmer and more at peace.
They were even beginning to talk about college. But New Year's morning
they found her dead, her anti-depressant bottle and a quart of vodka
laying empty in the trash and a mass of journals and letters scattered
around her in the bed.

Erik and Roselyn were devastated. Jayla had been their whole life. They
dove into the letters and journals, trying to make sense of it all.
What they found only served to inflame their anger. Some boy named Nick
had been telling their daughter that she was a sinner, quoting Bible
verses that said her sexual preference was an abomination before God.
Jayla's journal was full of self-loathing, page after page about her
relationship with Carla, page after page of rambling, agonizing pain. Why was
she made like this if homosexuality was a sin? Why would her parents
have supported her if it were an abomination? Why had she listened to
the seventh grade teacher who told her experimentation was the best way
to determine her sexuality? What was wrong with her?

They could hardly stand to finish it but they read every word. In the
end their grief found relief, as it so often does, in bitterness and
hatred. The day after Jayla's funeral, attended by hundreds of students
from Jayla’s school, Erik and Roselyn met with the District Attorney. A
year later, bitterness not yet assuaged, they went to see a lawyer. In
the culture of America, where there is rarely tragedy unaccompanied by
litigation, they found a willing law firm. Someone would pay.