Thursday, October 27, 2011

The 13th Demon by Bruce Hennigan

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The 13th Demon
Realms (October 4, 2011)
Bruce Hennigan


Bruce Hennigan was born and raised in the isolated countryside of Shreveport, La., a place full of possibilities for the active mind of a young boy. The fertile imagination he cultivated while playing deep in the Louisiana woods would lead to a lifelong love of creative writing.

In 2006, Hennigan pursued the Certified Apologetic Instructor Certificate from the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has become a frequent speaker at regional and state events on apologetics and his strong point is in making these sometimes hard to understand issues easily approachable for the average Christian. Hennigan’s experience in apologetics inspired him to write his new novel, The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye, a supernatural Christian thriller that combines science and faith. Now, combining his love for apologetics and his love for the art of writing, Hennigan is pursuing a career as the “Michael Crichton” of Christian fiction building powerful, fast paced stories around the truths of Christian apologetics.

Hennigan currently resides in Shreveport with his wife and daughter. He continues to write and to practice radiology at the Willis Knighton Health Care System. He has secured Jeff Jernigan of Hidden Value Group ( as his literary agent and has signed a five book deal with the Realms imprint of Charisma Media for “The Chronicles of Jonathan Steel”.


When Jonathan Steel wakes up on a beach in a raging thunderstorm, naked, beaten, and bleeding, he has no idea who he is or how he got there. But just as he starts to make progress in his slow journey to recovery, tragedy strikes again, taking everything in his new life that he has come to love and rely on.

Filled with rage and a thirst for revenge, he searches the countryside for the entity responsible—an entity called only the Thirteenth Demon. His quest brings him to Lakeside, Louisiana, and a small country church where evil is in control and strange writing on the walls, blood-soaked floors, and red-eyed spiders have appeared in the sanctuary.

As he faces the final confrontation with an evil presence that has pursued him all of his life, he must choose between helping the people he loves or destroying the thirteenth demon.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The 13th Demon, go HERE.

My review:
It might seem odd to say that a Christian book is creepy, but this one was creepy - but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some of it seems a stretch of what demons would and could actually do, but then I am no expert on that matter, so the events in the book could very well happen.

The book does show through a fictonal story how real evil and the devil is, how powerful he is, and the lengths he will go through to destroy us.

This book was kind of like Frank Peretii's early books on steroids. Not something you want to read before bedtime if you are prone to nightmares, but a great read. I liked his characters and the setting, and the book definitely held my inerest and I read it through in one evening.

Thanks to Charisma and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for the review copy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Attracted to Fire
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2011)
DiAnn Mills


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website at: or find her on Facebook at


Special Agent Meghan Connors’ dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president’s rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he’s also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn’t the work of a single suspect—it’s part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it’s too late.

Watch the book trailer:

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

My review:
This is only the second book I have read by this author, and I really enjoyed it. It made me want to read more of her books.

There is a lot of suspense in the book, which is right up my alley, and some romance - which is ok. The plot is a great plot. I have not read many, if any books, that centered around Secret Service agents, and it made an interesting story line. It is evident that the author did a lot of research on the Secret Service and how they operate. I loved the characters. Mills did an excellent job on coming up with likable and believeable ones.

There was a good Christian message in the book and God was presented as the solution to problems faced by the characters.

One negative: I am a stickler for language issues in Christian books. I don't think any objectional words/curse words belong in one. This book used the word substituted for donkey. Much to my disappointment, Tyndale has started to allow a few words like this to slip into their novels. Other than that one instance in this book, this is an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn and a giveaway

For Dr. Elena Burroughs, life is divided into two chapters—before and after the death of her husband. Today marks the point that her span of being a wife is equal to her span of being a widow. Even her success as a psychologist and her worldwide acclaim for a book on the interpretation of dreams is dimmed by an unspoken If only. Then a new patient arrives, one so private only her first name is given. Impeccably dressed and escorted by two bodyguards, Sandra recounts a frightening series of recurrent nightmares. Elena agrees to consider her case more carefully, convinced that something ominous may be at work here. Elena's interpretation of her dreams confirms that, indeed, the new patient and her family confront a powerful global network of dangerous forces. As the story unfolds, they face a key question of the Christian life: How do you understand and fulfill the will of God?

My review:
This was a very intriguing book. The plot centers around the banking industry, a book of dreams, and finding and doing God's will.

The story starts out somewhat slow and low keel, then it picks up the pace and becomes very suspenseful. It didn't take me long to get pulled into the story, and it is one of those books that I read in one evening.

Davis has a variety of different characters in the story, all pulled into what is going on and all trying to do what God wants them to do in the face of fierce opposition. I totally enjoyed the story and walked away with what I believe the message that the author was trying to deliver through a fictional story: It is of utmost importance to find God's will for our lives, and to do it. It won't always be easy, but He will make a way. And unlike the characters in the story, we do not need a book of dreams to find His will.

About the author:
Davis Bunn did his undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where he earned honors degrees in both economics and psychology. He then travelled to London, where he continued this dual approach, earning a Master of Science degree in both industrial psychology and international economics. After teaching at a Swiss university for a year, he entered into a business career that took him to more than 40 countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Davis came to faith at age 28, and began writing two weeks later. Before that point, he had never written anything longer than a business report. He wrote for nine years and completed seven novels before the first was accepted for publication. That book was The Presence, released by Bethany House in 1991. Davis and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis at
Q & A with Davis Bunn

Your novels usually have a very strong sense of place, and Book of Dreams is no exception. Why did you set this story in Oxford?

When it became possible for us to live from the writing, Isabella and I moved to Oxford. She had been offered a position to do her doctorate here in Christian ethics and law.

I did not particularly want to come, but she was so instrumental in making my own dreams of becoming a writer take wing and fly. Her dream for years had been to obtain her PhD and teach. That’s just the kind of mind she has.

The city and the university have become a true gift to us both, with amazing opportunities for service and personal growth. I have wanted to place a story here for a long time.

In Book of Dreams, you revisit a theme from one of your earlier books, The Warning. Why did you write about the crisis in the banking industry?

The Warning, published in 2003, focused on the then-current financial crisis. It was about a man who felt called by God to warn people that financial upheaval was coming, and the difficulties he had in getting his message across. That book was in the top five on the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list for 14 months.

The week I started writing Book of Dreams, the news broke that not one single banker responsible for the mortgage crisis and bank crisis had been convicted of a crime. The banking industry came out of this crisis relatively unscathed while 3 million American families lost their homes — that’s almost 15 percent of all homeowners in America. That, to me, is just not right.

The banking industry is all about self-interest and making money. The American banking industry spends $1 million a day lobbying Congress, while the international banking industry spends another million per day lobbying the American political system. With that much money on the table, there’s a potential for huge profits – the banking industry wouldn’t invest that much money for any other reason.

The question became: “What could happen that would stymie this self-absorbed lobbying?”

The answer: An independent commission that would oversee these transactions so there’d be nowhere for these people to hide. I built Book of Dreams around that premise.

Book of Dreams explores the question: “Where does the human psyche end and God begin?” Why did you choose that question as the framework for your story?

Psychology has always fascinated me; so much so that it almost became my profession. One question I love to explore is why so many psychologists are vehemently opposed to the idea of a personal faith.

Those in the camp opposed to faith and religion say that psychology is about wrestling with and identifying personal issues, emotions, and things from the past that block one from being happy. Opponents believe that when you insert faith into the situation, it serves as an excuse for not looking at the past, not being honest about one’s emotions, and not taking control of one’s life.

On the other side, there is a deepening within a group of psychologists and psychiatrists who are strong in their faith. Rather than trying to convince the larger group about the value of faith, their goal is to look at things honestly, with God and prayer as components of the healing process.

In my story, the main character, Elena Burroughs, is the world’s foremost authority on dreams. A psychologist who is deeply involved in current trends in human psychology, Elena is also a devoted believer. She is in the process of discovering that the barrier between God and the human psyche does not exist.

Your story explores how God uses dreams and visions to communicate with people. What inspired that idea?

My wife and I did a wonderful Bible study on the book of Daniel, in which we explored how dreams were one component of Daniel’s gift of prophecy.

When I wrote the book, I tried to build in two key components about communicating with God through dreams or visions. The first is humility. Rather than using a vision or dream for one’s own aggrandizement, I believe that the less the person is involved, the more God can shine through.

The second component is, “How does this vision tie in to the scriptures?” When I was in the Middle East, I saw beautiful cryptograms of the Lord’s Prayer. It was so telling to see the Lord’s Prayer in terms of artwork. This inspired the idea of a book written in Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke – with each verse of Lord’s Prayer on one page of the book.

As I drafted the story, I looked at the Lord’s Prayer one verse at a time and that became my prayer time. It took three months to write the book and I did not finish the Lord’s Prayer in three months. It was a beautiful experience for me.

When the character of Elena follows God’s lead, her life takes a different path than the one she planned or expected. Davis, in what ways does your own dependence on God’s leading take you in surprising directions?

It’s remarkable how this question comes up now, because it seems like this entire year has been one of being open to God’s OTHER direction. This has been true both in my creative work and in my walk of service.

Obviously I had no idea what was in store for us when I wrote the Book of Dreams (remember, the story is completed between nine and twelve months before its publication). But this really has been a reflection of what the story has tried to reveal – that sometimes the most important gift is what at first is what we fear.

Change often feels threatening, but so long as we struggle, we can’t see the true divine intention. To arrive at this point, where our prayer becomes one of genuinely seeking God’s call and His illumination, we must first embrace the change that is there in front of us.

Do you write down your prayer requests? In what ways do you recognize and acknowledge God’s power at work in your life?

What a beautiful question. There are several components to this, and it goes back to the earlier issue of accepting change. There are moments in my prayer life when I feel as though God is speaking the words for me, and my task is first and foremost to treat my heart and mind like an open window. To hold onto nothing except the moment, and allow the spiritual winds to pass through me and on into the world. At these times it is important to write them out, because oft when the moment is past I cannot otherwise even remember what has transpired.

The other segment here is in dealing with change. I often feel in such uncertain moments that I have no real understanding of what is happening, or what God wishes to bring me to, until it is done. Looking back becomes vital, and it is also sometimes rather hard, because the rush of events and the speed of unfolding newness requires all my attention. And yet, if I can pause just for a moment, and reflect upon all the uncertainty and fear I had to wade through in order to simply respond with a simple openhearted ‘yes’, the wisdom that comes from this moment of backward reflection is a gift, and needs to be recorded.

Too often we seek completion, a sense of drawing everything together into a nice tidy bundle before we stop and draw the prayerful breath. But life is not like this. And here is the third element of discovery that has come through my prayer time during this year of transition. It is important to stop, just for a moment, in the pressure and the fatigue of a day’s end, and give thanks for having made it this far.

For me, when the uncertainty of unfinished work pushes at my every waking moment, there is a great temptation to forget this simple task. But if I can stop and simply affirm the goodness of this incomplete day, this human hour, this imperfect world, my NEXT day is so much fuller, and my vision so much clearer.

Is a sequel for Book of Dreams planned? If so, when can we expect it?

I am this very moment completing the sequel, which is entitled Hidden in Dreams. Howard/Simon and Schuster have this slated for release in July 2012.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website, blog, and interactive discussion group are at

I update my blog at least three times per week. To subscribe to my latest posts via your feed reader or via email, click


Twitter: @davisbunn -

E-Newsletter: My free e-newsletter always includes a giveaway contest for my latest book. To subscribe, fill out the form at or send a blank e-mail to You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail. Click the link in that e-mail, and you’re all set.

Giveaway:Courtesy of The Blogging Bistro, I am hosting a giveaway for a copy of The Book of Dreams. Read the instructions carefully, as I will only take entries that follow the instructions. There are two ways to enter:

1) If you have read any books by Davis Bunn, list at least one. If you haven't, go to his website and pick out a book you would like to read. Book of Dreams not included.
2) I have reviewed three of Davis Bunn's books - one he co-authored. List one that I reviewed. And no peeking at other comments :-)
I will pick a winner two weeks from today on November 8 using
Thanks Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for the review copy and for the giveaway.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren, and a Giveaway

Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.

It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.

When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.

My review:
I love Christmas books - even when romance is the main theme, so I was happy I made the blogger review list for this one. And it did not disappoint.

It may seem sappy to have so many Christmas books written about lonely people finding hope and love at Christmas, but so what. It makes for a great story. This one had some extra twists and turns, thanks to Jake, one of the main characters.

The plot in a nutshell is this: Five very different people become stranded together in the same house during a blizzard. God uses each of them to bring hope to each other and unlock a heart that has been frozen with bitterness and unforgiveness for years.

I really enjoyed this book. The setting is around the time of World War II, which plays a lot into the story. I loved the characters: Dottie, a forty-something widow full of bitterness and unforgiveness, Gordon, the man who has loved her since he was a kid, Violet, on the brink of turning 30 years old  and still unmarried, Jake, a young man with a secret, and Arnie, a lonely little boy.

And I am happy to report this book is curse-free, and is a great Christmas story. If I gave stars, I'd give 5 out of 5. Entertaining, and it does carry a great message.

About the author:

Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia , Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota ’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota , where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – warm up with a Kindle Fire from Susan May Warren

Warm up to Chrismtas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One festive winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thanks to Litfuse for the review copy.

Love On The Line by Deeanne Gist

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love on the Line
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Deeanne Gist


After a short career in elementary education, Deeanne Gist retired to raise her four children. Over the course of the next fifteen years, she ran a home accessory and antique business, became a member of the press, wrote freelance journalism for national publications such as People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel, and acted as CFO for her husband’s small engineering firm--all from the comforts of home.

Squeezed betwixt-and-between all this, she read romance novels by the truckload and even wrote a couple of her own. While those unpublished manuscripts rested on the shelf, she founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products that would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities.

After a few short months of running her publishing company, Gist quickly discovered being a "corporate executive" was not where her gifts and talents lie. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she sold A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers. Since that debut, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, three RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

Her latest releases, Beguiled, Maid To Match, and Love on the Line are now available.

Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-eight years and their border collie. They have four grown children. Click here to find out the most up-to-the-minute news about Dee.


Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.

Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love on the Line, go HERE.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The Church is comprised of the people of God, and like the early church, our faith communities seek to be formed by the story of God in our theology, our faith, our identity, our way of life, and our behaviors.

MissioLife is an intentional and formational small-group experience created to guide children, youth, and adults on a pilgrimage through Scripture—from understanding to participation in the mission of God.

MissioLife is intended to be experienced together as a community. Unlike individual devotionals designed for only one person or one learning group, MissioLife is intentional about involving everyone in your faith community. MissioLife is divided into three learning groups: children, youth and adults. With the entire church community journeying through MissioLife together, families and multi-generational communities will be able to share in this formative experience together.

This resource is discussion-driven and easy-to-use. For adults (Breathe) and youth (Image), each week you get a 3-page in depth biblical reflection to help you engage in the story of God, a 2-page facilitator’s guide to equip the leader with weekly encounter sessions and community discussions, and a 1-page participant’s handout to help everyone join in the conversation.

For children (Rhythms), MissioLife lessons are designed to fit their unique learning styles. Each week you get a 6-page in-depth facilitator’s guide to help you engage with children (elementary and preteens) in the story and mission of God, a 1-page parent resource, a 1-page student handout for each age group, and 1 visual teaching symbol.

MissioLife is all-digital resource. This means you can easily access and download the materials through the website at From everything you need to lead a MissioLife group, to posters and other promotional materials, it’s never been easier to organize and lead a community-wide experience. See how easy it can be by downloading a sample lesson now.

My review:
I was given a DVD telling about this resource that also has some sample lessons on it. The guys that created MissioLife intend it to be used so as to get the church together as it was in the early days - when there was more community and togetherness in the church.

Each lesson starts out with Scripture, and then has Biblical reflection. The lesson I looked at was split up into four parts in the reflection: God's Story, Our Story, Others' Story, and The World's Story.

The lessons seem to be very Biblically-based, and from what I can see, the biggest difference in this and other Bible Studies, is this material is geared more to bring people in the church together, which we need more of.
About the authors/creators:
Just like MissioLife is intended for use by a community, it was created by a community. MissioLife was brought to life by a team of writers, editors, artists, web designers, and numerous others at Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. We’ve been dreaming, praying, and working hard to help your faith community experience and engage the mission of God.

Get to know some of the main contributors below:

Erik Leafblad has a Master’s of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the Director of Ministry Initiatives for Youthfront in Kansas City, and is adjunct faculty member at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. Prior to this, Erik served as a youth and young adults pastor in Minnesota and New Jersey. He is married to Amy, with two wonderful children, Soren (4) and Svea (2), and resides in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas.

Kris Mitchell has master’s degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University and Biblical Studies from Trevecca Nazarene University. He has served as a children’s pastor for the past ten years.

Arla Mitchell serves with Kris in children’s ministries and homeschools their older son. They reside in Olathe, Kansas.

Check out the website for MissioLife at

Thanks to B&B Media for the review copy materials.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Scroll by Alton Gansky and Grant Jeffrey

One last dig. One final descent into the twisted tunnels of ancient Jerusalem. Will the truth be fund among the treasures that lie beneath the holy city?

Dr. David Chambers, leading archaeologist, has spent his professional career uncovering the facts in the artifacts. His work sets the standard for biblical research in the Holy Land. But surrounded by the evidence, David has sunk into an abyss of doubt. A painful experience with a seemingly unresponsive God has left him without hope. The Old Testament scriptures that used to fill his mind with wonder now drive him to frustration. His unanswered questions have ripped him from both his academic pursuits and the love of his life, his fiancée, Amber.

An old friend and mentor reaches out to David, enticing him with the riches described in the enigmatic Copper Scroll. Losing ground with his peers, his love, and his faith, David Chambers has a choice to make. Will he undertake one final dig to unlock a secret that could alter the course of history? Do the mysteries of the Old Testament hold the key to the political turmoil of the Middle East?

In a world where faith has been eclipsed by the allure of doubt, The Scroll offers a different journey: a gripping adventure to find truth worth dying for.

My review:Great book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seems if you put Alton Gansky with any other author, the result is a fantastic read. As far as I know, this is Grant Jeffrey's first fiction book, as he usually writes prophecy type books, but his knowledge of the Middle East and events over there comes through.

The plot centers around archeology, and the authors do a great job of making that interesting. They came up with great characters and plot. And this isn't a dry story - there is a lot of suspense, action, and mystery throughout the book. They also did a tremendous job of portraying the emotions that there would be if some of the Biblical artifacts were found that were mentioned so often and used in the temple.

What I found fascinating - and scary, is the picture of what would happen if Israel would start rebuilding their temple.

This was a great read. A fascinating read. I enjoyed every page and hated to see the ending come. I did think the events at the end were rushed a bit and would have liked to have had some more detail, but I still loved the book and am glad I picked it to review.

About the authors:

Grant R. Jeffrey is an internationally known author of more than twenty bestsellers and the editor of the Marked Reference Prophecy Study Bible. Recognized as one of the world's leading teachers of prophecy and an intelligent defense of the Christian faith, Jeffrey appears frequently on television and radio throughout the world. He studied at Philadelphia College of the Bible before entering the business world. Later he earned his masters and Ph.D. degrees in biblical literature from Louisiana Baptist University. He and his wife, Kaye, live near Toronto where they serve in full-time ministry.

Alton L. Gansky is the author of eight popular novels, including A Ship Possessed, Terminal Justice, and his newest release, Distant Memory. He is also the senior pastor of High Desert Baptist Church in Phelan, California, where he has served for more than a decade. He and his wife, Becky, are the parents of three college-aged children.

The Scroll is avaible from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing.

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multonmah for the review copy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day of War by Cliff Graham

Day of War, author Cliff Graham's first novel, has earned him a film option for the entire book series—Lion of War—from director David L. Cunningham (Path to 9/11) and producer Grant Curtis (Spider-Man films). In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a man named Benaiah is searching for a fresh start in life. He has joined a band of soldiers led by a warlord named David, seeking to bury the past that refuses to leave him. Their ragged army is disgruntled and full of reckless men. Some are loyal to David, but others are only with him for the promise of captured wealth. While the ruthless and increasingly mad King Saul marches hopelessly against the powerful Philistines, loyal son Jonathan in tow, the land of the Hebrew tribes has never been more despondent—and more in need of rescue. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-wracked battlefields, Benaiah and his fellow mercenaries must call upon every skill they have to survive and establish the throne for David—if they don’t kill each other first.

My review:
I don't read much Biblical fiction, but this book was totally different from those that I have read, maybe because most or all that I have read was written by women and this was written by a man. Regardless of why, this book was really different from most of the Biblical fiction that is out there. It is more gritty and violent.

This is the first in a series about David's Mighty Men, the men who stood by him in the days when he was on the run from King Saul. As with all Biblical fiction, there is a lot that is written from the author's imagination that is not in the Bible, but that only adds to the story.

I enjoy books about special ops and military operations, and this book fell somewhat into that category, only centuries before there were any modern weapons and technology, which made it interesting.

I did enjoy the book  - it was a great read with a lot of action and excitement. I would recommend it more for men than for women, though some women would enjoy it also.

About the author:
Cliff Graham was born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. He graduated from Black Hills State University with degrees in political science and military science and did his graduate studies at Liberty Theological Seminary. His first novel, Day of War, about King David's mighty men, earned him a film option for the entire book series from director David L. Cunningham (Path to 9/11) and producer Grant Curtis (Spider-Man films). A major motion picture franchise is in production. Graham is an officer in the United States Army National Guard and a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, who is currently serving in the Chaplain Corps and living in the mountains of Utah with his wife, Cassandra, and their children.

Author Website:

Day of War is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Can't We by The Isaacs

Why Can’t We

By Rebecca Bowman Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, and Jimmy Yeary

Verse 1:
He lies awake there all alone every night
Lookin’ back on all of his mistakes
Wishin’ through the tears that he could just go back
Cause there’s a lot of things he’d like to change
He just can’t forgive himself and forget
Even though God already did

If He can love someone
And find the good within
In spite of what they’ve done
No matter where they’ve been
If He can let it go
And set the debtor free
If He can keep forgiving you and me
Why can’t we

Verse 2:
There’ve been times I’ve been so hurt by someone else
I didn’t wanna give a second chance
I let all the bitterness take control
And took grace into my own hands
But even Jesus said whoever’s done no wrong
Let him throw the first stone

If He can love someone
And find the good within
In spite of what they’ve done
No matter where they’ve been
If He can let it go
And set the debtor free
If He can keep forgiving you and me
Why can’t we

He was hated and rejected
Betrayed by those He trusted
Even hanging on the cross
He said Father please forgive them

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards... and a giveaway

A creative, entertaining approach to resurrecting the undead church.

There is something missing in the church today. Stuck in a rut of routines and rituals, the church is caught up in doing what it is "supposed to do" but is lacking the true essence of what it is supposed to provide: life. Real faith--and a real relationship with Jesus--is not about playing by the rules, attending services, and praying before meals. Real faith is more than religion.

Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards adopts a contemporary and entertaining metaphor--zombies--to highlight and challenge the problematic attitude of today's believers. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize "zombie Christianity," and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus.

While other books have addressed legalism in the church, this is the only book that effectively capitalizes on a popular entertainment genre in order to diagnose and correct the problem. Realizing that even his own church is part of that problem, Edwards has written an accessible and often humorous book that will help believers change the Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ.

My review:
I admit the main reason I decided to review this book was because of the catchy title. Zombie Church...... not something you typically see on the shelf of the local Christian bookstore.

Shallow as it may make me sound, I don't get as excited about non-fiction books as I do about fiction, so I finally picked this book up two days before my review was due and started reading it.

One of my first thoughts on discovering the author was comparing Christians to zombies in zombie movies he watched was "man, not sure Christians should watch those kind of movies" (still not so sure about that, but maybe I am too close-minded) - but after I got past that, I really got into the book.

This book is excellent. There have been many books written about, and much has been said and preached about legalism and dead Christians and churches, but Edwards puts a whole new spin on it with his book. As bizarre as zombies having anything in common with churches and Christians sounds, he really pulls it off. I read this book as if it were the latest Christian suspense novel by one of my favorite authors. And as with one of those type of books, I read it in one evening.

The book aroused a few emotions in me. Guilt. I could see myself in some of what he wrote. Longing. Wishing church could be what he wrote about - full of life, a place I wanted to go. And a longing to do better. And even wishing I could attend his church and sit under his preaching. Yeah - his book impressed me. It is well written and well thought out, and his zombie illustrations and stories have a very unique and colorful way of addressing the lifelessness in our churches and in we Christians.

I would highly recommend this book. It will definitely stir any Christian.

About the author:

Tyler Edwards is the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where he works to help people learn how to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and look like Jesus-so they carry out the mission of Jesus to the world. He graduated from Ozark Christian College with bachelor's degrees in both Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry. He has written articles for Lookout Magazine, spoken at various campus ministry events in Missouri, and served overseas in Mbale, Uganda.

Tyler loves cheesy horror films. He is particularly fond of movies like Dawn of the Dead, The Signal, and 28 Days Later, where zombies run wild and threaten to infect an entire town.

In his own words:
I am not a typical pastor. I love Jesus and I love the church but I don't care for all the "churchy" things churches do. I want to be ever, only, always about Jesus and I often find that many of the "religious" rules and traditions get in the way of that. I am the lead pastor of Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin Missouri and I graduated from Ozark Christian College in 2006. I am married to a wonderful lady named Erica. She is way out of my league but graciously agreed to be my wife, which is pretty awesome.

My love for writing came from my mother who has helped me immensely with my writing. I have been writing since I was in the sixth grade. My first book was a fiction story that had 118 major characters. Then I realized why no one has that many characters: I had 20 pages of notes just keeping track of who was where and doing what. I got totally frustrated so I gathered killed off all but three or four of the characters in a few pages. Then I realized that the book was either going to be terrible or terribly depressing, so I moved on to the next one.

Zombie Church is my first published book and the first book I completed. I have several more I am currently working on. A few of the working titles are:

Unforgiven (it's not a western), The Watered Down Gospel, and Terminal Religion.

Zombie Church is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel and Litfuse for the review copy.

Giveaway:The publisher is giving away a $50 gift card for Amazon to one person through this blog tour.

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using @litfuse) about Zombie Church or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy. (All Litfuse bloggers who post a review are automatically entered and do NOT need to email us.)

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:
TWEET THIS: Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards - a fair-minded & tenderhearted critique of the church @litfuse RT for $50 to @amazon

FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss Edwards - a fair-minded and tenderhearted critique of the church. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus. Share this for a chance at $50 to

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn

Note: I previously posted a review for this, but messed up when requesting a book through Bethany House and accidently requested it again, so here is a review of it again.

Book description:

Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq--kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. Two others also drop out of sight--a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation.

Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy--from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard?

My review:
I have read a few books by Davis Bunn over the years, but that did not prepare me for reading this one. Wow. What a read. I will admit I was a bit worried about the plot - was afraid it would come off very pro-Muslim in the way that the liberal media does, but it did not. Yet it isn't anti-Muslim.

I curled up in my reading chair and planned on reading a chapter or two. I quickly ditched that plan, and settled in for the long haul. I loved the plot, the setting, the characters - especially the main character. There was a lot of suspense and drama, which I love in a book, and above all was the Christian content. This is not simply an awesome international intrigue thriller. It is much more than that. It showed through fiction how God can work - and is working - in any country or people and can bring those people to Him.

Though fiction, Bunn painted a great and realistic picture through his words. As I read through the pages, it was like I was there on the streets of Iraq. The whole book seemed real, like the events could really happen. I got pulled into the book and became a very willing observer of the action and events within. I also learned a lot about Iraq and the difference in the kinds of Muslims.

My only disappointment was coming to the end of the book. It seemed to come too fast. I saw on a sign last week this quote: "The problem with some books, is that the covers are too far apart." True. But the only problem with this book, is that the covers were not far enough apart. I loved, loved, loved this book! I cannot say enough good about it.

I am very much recommending it. It is a story that men are more likely to enjoy than women, but anyone who enjoys a good thriller with international intrigue and military action will enjoy this. It should get 5 out of 5 stars in any review.

About the author:

Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.

Lion of Babylon is available from Bethany House Publishing.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
House of Secrets
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.


When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters, Geena and Piper, quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.

Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. They vowed, as children, to be silent--but one sister believes the truth must now be revealed. Yet can they trust their memories?

Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes the strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to heal the past and ultimately to embrace love?

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

The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips

A cure to worldly vertigo.

The first generation of Christians turned the world upside down. But the church today is being turned upside down by the world. Why? And why aren't we-with all our social medias and high-tech gadgets-more effectively producing Christ-centered, Gospel-liberated, biblically-instructed, world-tilting believers?

In The World-Tilting Gospel, popular blogger Dan Phillips lays out four reasons why the first believers had more impact on their culture than today's church has on contemporary society. Using a whole-Bible approach to the Gospel, Phillips shows who we really are, what kind of world we are really living in, who God really is, and what difference the Gospel really makes in our everyday lives. Drawing from decades of studying the Bible's Hebrew and Greek texts, Dan Phillips offers a conversational and engaging challenge to embrace a biblical worldview-and hang on tight.

My review:
Though not my usual fiction fare, this book was an interesting read. The author presents the problem of how the world is turning the church upside down, instead of the other way around. He goes back and shows through Scripture references how they did that, starting way back with the fall of man and working his way up to the New Testament.

I have never read anything by this author, but was impressed with his knowledge of the Bible and with his writing style. It is a very easy to read style, and he did a great job of presenting his ideas, and shows how we can improve as a church and as Christians to make a difference in the world, instead of the world making a difference in the church.

About the author:
Dan Phillips (MDiv, Talbot Theological Seminary) has served as pastor in four churches and has taught seminary and college classes in New Testament studies, Hebrew, and Old Testament theology. He has preached and presented seminars on Proverbs and the Sovereignty of God, written biblical newspaper columns and tracts, and hosted a radio talk show. With an ongoing conference and pulpit ministry, Dan is most broadly known for his writing on the Pyromaniacs blog, with Phil Johnson and Frank Turk (, and at his own blog, Biblical Christianity ( Dan lives in Sacramento with his amazing wife, Valerie. They have four children and around six cats.

The World-Tilting Gospel is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead

Ancient legend tells of an army of knights that will remain sleeping until the last days.

The knights are waking up.

A homeless man is stalked by a pale, wraithlike creature with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth. Maimed animals and a host of suicides cluster around a mountain in Scotland. And deep beneath the cobbled streets of Oxford, a malicious hoard besieges a hidden city.

Freya Reynolds is a university student with a touch of OCD and an obsession with myth and folklore. Daniel Tully is living rough on the streets of Oxford, waging a secret war against an enemy only he can identify. Years ago, they found themselves in a world few know is real. They have since gone their separate ways and tried to put that adventure behind them.

But the mythical world is now bleeding into our reality—a dark spiritual evil that is manifesting itself in forgotten corners of the British Isles. Alex Simpson is a Scottish police officer who specializes in hunting mythical creatures. Together, they must confront the past, the present, and points beyond to defeat the ultimate threat to humanity.

Nothing they've seen so far prepares them for what awaits . . . in The Realms Thereunder.

My review:
I have never read many books of this type, but I read one of Stephen Lawhead's books - this author's father - over the summer and really enjoyed it, so I decided to give this one a try.

I was not disappointed. The story is a bit complicated. It isn't one where you can zoom through it without thinking much about what you're reading - but it is a gripping read. I liked the characters in the book, the setting, and the legend part. I do enjoy reading and hearing about myths and legends and this book involved one.

It is evident that the author put a lot of research and thought into. The result is a believable story, though fantasy. I did read through the book fairly quickly, even though I had to slow myself down a bit on this one. A very enjoyable read.

About the author:

Ross Lawhead comes from a literary household and has written since he could hold a crayon. He has collaborated with his father on a trilogy of speculative fiction, written and illustrated a graphic novel, and published two volumes of "awful" poetry in a series called "The Colour Papers." He lives in Oxford and this is his first full-length novel. For more on Ross' musings on comics, movies, books and culture, visit

The Realms Thereunder is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy.

Check out a sample of the book below:



The Mercy by Beverly Lewis

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Mercy
Bethany House (September 6, 2011)
Beverly Lewis


Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


Rose Kauffman pines for prodigal Nick Franco, the Bishop's foster son who left the Amish under a cloud of suspicion after his foster brother's death. His rebellion led to the "silencing" of their beloved Bishop. But is Nick really the rebel he appears to be? Rose's lingering feelings for her wayward friend refuse to fade, but she is frustrated that Nick won't return and make things right with the People. Nick avowed his love for Rose--but will he ever be willing to sacrifice modern life for her?

Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, is living in her parents' Dawdi Haus. Her estranged "English" husband, injured and helpless after a car accident, has reluctantly come to live with her and their young daughter during his recovery. Can their marriage recover, as well? Is there any possible middle ground between a woman reclaiming her old-fashioned Amish lifestyle and thoroughly modern man?

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

Watch the book trailer: