Thursday, September 30, 2010

CFBA Review: The Mayan Apocalypse by Mark Hitchcock & Alton Gansky

This week, the

is introducing

The Mayan Apocalypse
Harvest House Publishers(September 1, 2010)


Mark Hitchcock is the author of more than 17 books related to end-time Bible prophecy, including the bestselling 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World. He earned a ThM and PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the senior pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. He has worked as an adjunct professor at DTS and has served as a contributing editor for the Left Behind Prophecy Club for five years.

Alton Gansky is the author of 30 books—24 of them novels, including the Angel Award winner Terminal Justice and Christie Award finalist A Ship Possessed. A frequent speaker at writing conferences, he holds BA and MA degrees in biblical studies. Alton and his wife reside in Southern California.


On the heels of Mark Hitchcock’s prophecy bestseller 2012, the Bible, and the End of the World comes a suspenseful novel (coauthored with bestselling novelist Alton Gansky) about the supposed expiration date of planet earth—December 21, 2012.

Andrew Morgan is a wealthy oil executive in search of the meaning of life. In his quest for answers he encounters the ancient Mayan predictions that the world will end in 2012. That the claims seem supported by math and astronomy drives him to check on them. Then he meets Lisa Campbell, an attractive Christian journalist also researching the Mayan calendar. When he learns that she is a Christian, he quickly dismisses what she has to say.

As the time draws closer to December 21, 2012, a meteorite impact in Arizona, a volcanic eruption, and the threat of an asteroid on a collision-course with earth escalate fears. Are these indicators of a global apocalypse? Will anyone survive? Does Lisa’s Christian faith have the answers after all? Or has fate destined everyone to a holocaust from which there is no escape?

Watch the book trailer:

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CFBA Review: Judgment Day by Wanda Dyson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Judgment Day
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)

Wanda Dyson


Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.

Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.

Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza.

With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.


Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find her deceased boyfriend, Dr. Guy Mandeville’s nurse, Cecelia Forbes unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Cecelia is dead, Suzanne has her blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancĂ©–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CFBA Review: Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

Illuminating Fiction's Review:

Take a journey back to the year 1772, to Moldavia, where darkness lingers in a magnificent castle, ready to steal and devour.

Meet Toma Nicolescu, a proclaimed war hero loyal to duty and trusted warrior to the empress of Russia, Catherine the Great. Sent by his empress, Toma travels to Moldavia with his friend in arms Alek Cardei. His mission is a simple one—protect the Cantemir family. When he arrives at the Cantemir estate, he soon realises his mission is not so simple. The Cantemir twins, Lucine and Natasha, are of renowned beauty and attract many suitors, some with questionable intentions. When the empress expresses her wish for Lucine to marry within Russian royalty to seal Moldavia’s allegiance to Russia, Toma battles his own growing desire for Lucine and his duty to the empress.

Matters become more desperate when Toma’s warnings to the Cantemirs regarding the Russian aristocrats residing at Castle Castile fall on death ears. The aristocrats’ boldness unnerves Toma, who finds their open expressions of lust unsettling. Then there is Vlad van Valerik, the charming and mysterious head of Castle Castile, whose authority is unquestionable among those who occupy his castle. When Vlad expresses his intention to court Lucine, Toma is forced to choose between love and duty.

Toma’s control begins to disintegrate around him as Alek and Natasha are drawn away by the aristocrats charm and promises of endless revelry. But beneath their beautiful outer shell lies a dark evil, which threatens to sweep across the land.

Can Toma stop the aristocrats before their evil spreads too far? Can he save his beloved Lucine from the clutches of Vlad? Will his love win above duty?

Immanuel’s Veins is typically Dekker, yet untypical at the same time. On one hand we have the usual good vs. evil, great symbolism, and again there are ties to his previous Circle Trilogy. However, Dekker has stretched himself this time by writing his protagonist in first person point of view. I liked this. It shows his growth at character development and certainly allowed the reader to get deep into Toma’s mind. I also loved the symbolism the story represented, Christ’s sacrificial love for his bride, the church, and the lengths evil will go to to steal His bride away.

What I didn’t like was the simplicity of the story. It was almost too simple for me, redeemed only in the last third when the action intensified. Much of the beginning of the novel centred around lust rather than love, which I’m sure was Dekker’s point. But even as the story progressed, I had a hard time accepting Toma’s feelings for Lucine as true love considering they had known each other barely a week. I also missed the usual Dekker twists and turns in a novel and found it to be the most predictable of his books.

It may not be your typical vampire story, but the elements are there. With vampire books, movies, and television shows populating secular media, it’s hardly surprising to see it approached via a Christian worldview, although Dekker certainly isn’t the first CBA author to tread the waters. I did find the biblical tie ins believable, another redeeming factor for the novel.

Although Immanuel’s Veins will appeal more to female readers, I am sure there will be a few like me who aren’t fans of romance novels and will be left a little disappointed and longing for a more meatier story. I liked it.

Publicity for the book states “This story is for everyone—but not everyone is for this story.” This is proven by a publisher in Holland refusing to publish the book, though I fail to see why myself. Although the book is sensual in many ways, there is nothing overtly sexual about it, and it is tame compared to Song of Solomon in the Bible.

Thomas Nelson, the books publisher, asks the question: What is sacrificial love?

To me, sacrificial love is putting your own life on the line for those you love, a selfless love which seeks to alleviate suffering of others, an agape love.

Please use the comment section here to share your view on sacrificial love.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Immanuel's Veins
Thomas Nelson (September 7, 2010)

Ted Dekker


Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.

Early in his career he wrote a number of spiritual thrillers and his novels were lumped in with ‘Christian Fiction’ a surprisingly large category. His later novels are a mix of mainstream novels such as Adam, Thr3e, Skin, Obsessed and BoneMan’s Daughters, and fantasy thrillers that metaphorically explore faith. Best known among these is his Circle Series: Green, Black, Red, White and The Paradise Books: Showdown, Saint, and Sinner.

Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.

After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study philosophy and religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.

In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.

He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel, Heaven’s Wager, was published.

Now, Dekker’s novels had sold over 3.4 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.


This story is for everyone--but not everyone is for this story.

It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.

Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.

With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds.

Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.

Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.

But remember, not everyone is for this story.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Immanuel's Veins, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Review: Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

From the very first pages, Erin Healy’s first solo novel Never Let You Go will simply never let you go. Even after you turn the last page it will still hold you in its grip.

Lexi Solomon lives for only one thing—her daughter Molly’s love. She balances two jobs, waitress by night and grocery stocker by day, and still struggles to meet the basics for her daughter—a roof over their heads and the utilities paid. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Lexi’s life spirals out of control.

Enter Warden, a drug dealer from Lexi’s past.

Enter Norman, the man who destroyed Lexi’s family when he murdered her sister.

Enter Grant, Lexi’s husband who ran out on her and Molly seven years ago.

Three men Lexi hoped never to have to face again.

As Warden threatens Molly’s life, demanding Lexi testify on Norman’s behalf at his upcoming parole hearing, Grant sneaks back into town and has Lexi’s mother deliver a letter to Molly without Lexi’s consent. Lexi fights to keep her daughter safe, but is it too late? Will Molly’s curiosity about her father tear them apart and put her in danger?

I loved the complexity of Never Let You Go and following the characters as they weaved through the storyline. The characters were flawed, making them easy to relate to. How many of us struggle with forgiveness? Sometimes it is easy to focus on the hurts others have inflicted on ourselves, yet ignore the pain we have dealt someone else. We turn the blame fully on them, not wanting to acknowledge our own failings. Lexi learns that she must face her own secrets and seek forgiveness if she is to truly forgive others.

There are so many themes contained in this novel. The reader is taken on a journey exploring the physical and spiritual realms, where good and evil battle, where lies attempt to hide the truth, and, ultimately, where one must choose between sin or redemption.

Before collaborating on Kiss and Burn with Ted Dekker, Erin Healy worked as an editor on more than a dozen of Dekker’s books. With that kind of experience, it is hardly surprising that her first solo attempt is bound to win many readers, and deservedly so. Healy has proven she has what it takes to write a fast paced supernatural thriller guaranteed to keep you hooked right until the last page, and beyond.