Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CFBA Review: Greetings from the Flipside by Rene Gutteridge

This week, the

is introducing

B&H Books (October 15, 2013)


Rene is the author of seventeen novels. She also has extensive experience writing comedy sketches, and worked for five years as the director of drama for a church. She has a degree specializing in Screenwriting, for which she earned the Excellence in Mass Communication Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

She is married to Sean, a musician and worship leader, and has two children. They reside in Oklahoma, where Rene writes full time and enjoys instructing in college classrooms and writers conferences.


Hope Landon has been rewriting other people's greeting cards since she was six years old -- there's always a funnier caption. She's all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can't write a song for her. That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple's month long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral -- everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it's not that easy to rent a place when you've been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YWCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization's humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh.

Is there anything in the cards for these two? Find out in the truly original Greetings from the Flipside by authors Rene Gutteridge (Boo) and Cheryl McKay (screenplay for The Ultimate Gift).

If you would like to read the first chapter of >Greetings from the Flipside, go HERE.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

CFBA Review - Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the
is introducing

B&H Books (October 1, 2013)


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."®  Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences.


If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.

Friday, October 04, 2013

CFBA Review: The Class Reunion Series by Debby Mayne

This week, the

is introducing

Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)


Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.

As Priscilla Slater’s 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity… and to flaunt her latest achievement—taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn’t enough, Priscilla’s hometown visit is further complicated by her parents’ separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there’s only one thing Priscilla’s parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she’s not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla’s best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn’t always result in popularity—or love?

Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Pretty is as Pretty Does (bk 1), go HERE


Now that all three books have released, let’s party! (Yes, really!) Join our online class reunion the week of October 7, 2013 on Debby Mayne’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/136447929891169/ Stop by to answer questions about the books, respond to fun polls, join in fun activities to help you reminisce your high school days, and win great prizes. Tell your friends and meet us there!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CFBA Review: Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie S. Calhoun

This week, the
is introducing

Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)


Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year,” President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference(GPCWC).

For the last six years she has taught workshops in Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and creating Social Media promotions at both CCWC, and GPCWC, and in 2011 at the Montrose, Pa Christian Writers Conference. She also taught a Facebook workshop at the 2012 ACFW conference.

Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin in upstate area of New York with a dog and cat who think she’s wait-staff.

Her sites are:


Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.

But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?

If you would like to read teh first chapter of Pieces of the Heart, go HERE.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

CFBA Review: Fear Has a Name by Creston Mapes

This week, the
is introducing

David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


From popular suspense author Creston Mapes comes another faith-building thriller, a tale that follows journalist Jack Crittendon as he fights to protect his family from a stalker's terrifying schemes, investigates a pastor's mysterious disappearance, and struggles to keep his faith amidst unthinkable fear.

With his family's safety on the line, Crittendon realizes there are secrets behind "Christian" walls--secrets with painful, deadly implications. He must find the faith to trust a God who allows inconceivable trials, and the courage to guard his family, with danger exploding at every turn.

Through it all--the sharp, character-driven writing for which Mapes is known--takes fans and new readers on an edge-of-your-seat journey that explores the harsh, far-reaching consequences of bullying and the Christian response to fear.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fear Has a Name, go HERE.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

CFBA Review: The Judgement Stone by Robert Liparulo

This week, the

is introducing

Thomas Nelson (May 14, 2013)


Former journalist Robert Liparulo is the best-selling author of the thrillers Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall, Deadlock, and The 13th Tribe, as well as The Dreamhouse Kings, an action-adventure series for young adults. He contributed a short story to James Patterson’s Thriller, and an essay about Thomas Perry’s The Butcher’s Boy to Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner. He is currently working on the sequel to The 13th Tribe, as well writing an original screenplay with director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive).

When not writing, Liparulo loves to read, watch (and analyze) movies, scuba dive, swim, hike, and travel. He lives in Monument, Colorado, with his wife Jodi and four children: Melanie, Matthew, Anthony, and Isabella.


What if praying became a curse instead of a blessing?

Former Army Ranger Jagger Baird thought he had his hands full with the Tribe—the band of immortal vigilantes fighting to regain God’s grace by killing those opposed to Him. But that was before he encountered the ruthless group of immortals called the Clan. The Clan is after a prize that would give them unimaginable power—a piece of the Ten Commandments known as the Judgment Stone.

Those who touch the Stone can see into the spiritual world: angelic warriors, treacherous demons, and the blue threads of light that signal the presence of believers in communion with God.

By following the blue beam radiating from those closest to God, the Clan plans to locate His most passionate followers and destroy them.

Jagger quickly realizes his high-tech gadgetry and training are no match for these merciless immortals. But how can he defeat an enemy who hunts believers through their prayers . . . and won’t stop until they’ve annihilated all those close to Him?

In this high-action thriller, best-selling author Robert Liparulo examines the raging battle between good and evil on earth . . . and beyond.

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

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

CFBA Review - Wounds by Alton Gansky

This week, the

is introducing

B&H Books (May 1, 2013)



Alton L. Gansky is the author of 24 novels and 8 nonfiction works, as well as principle writer of 9 novels and 2 nonfiction books. He has been a Christie Award finalist (A Ship Possessed) and an Angel Award winner (Terminal Justice) and recently was award the ACFW award for best suspense/thriller for his work on Fallen Angel. He holds a BA and MA in biblical studies and Lit.D. He lives in central California with his wife.

In addition to his own writing, Alton Gansky has consulted and provided editing/ writing service to several CBA publishers and written copy, video scripts, and other works for the general business market. Through Gansky. Communications he has consulted with publishers and agents, as well as provided editing services. He is “the go to guy” for co-writing having been selected by Penguin, Waterbrook, Broadman Holman, and other publishers to work with their top tier authors.

Gansky is in frequent demand at writer’s conferences having taught and keynoted in California, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, Delaware, Washington, and Canada. He has also been guest lecturer on suspense writing at Taylor University in Indiana.


A man’s lifeless body is found in the fresh soil of San Diego’s botanical garden. Cause of death is asphyxiation, an easy call for the medical examiner. More mysterious, however, are the tiny drops of blood on the victim’s skin, resulting from hundreds of punctures.

A rabbi leaving his house for work expects a regular day at the synagogue. That quickly changes when he discovers a dead man on his front lawn, clearly beaten to death.

Motorcycle riders racing along the empty streets of an abandoned military base stumble across another man’s corpse, its skin revealing long, red-purple marks of a thrashing given with wood dowels.

The numbers mount. Each week another victim and another mysterious clue in a game of mass murder the police don’t want to lose. The solution rests with Dr. Ellis Poe, a religious professor who only wishes to be left alone with his books and classes.

But evil must be faced, and the choice is no longer his own.

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

Friday, April 12, 2013

40 - A Novel by Travis Thrasher

By Travis Thrasher

Forty—the milestone that leaves your either dreading the fact that middle age has finally arrived or embracing the new era in your life.

I found it somewhat appropriate that I read Travis Thrasher’s book 40 over the month that I entered this decade of my life. As I embraced the turn of age, I found myself somewhat glued to Thrasher’s character Tyler Harrison as he journeyed toward his big 4-0. I was also very thankful I wasn't facing Tyler’s sudden mortality.

With only nine months to go before music producer Tyler turned forty, he starts developing strange hallucinations. As he struggles to comprehend what is happening to him, he meets Matthew, his guardian angel. Matthew, unfortunately, is not the bearer of good news. Instead he tells Tyler that he has only two hundred and fifty-six days to live. He will see his next birthday, but not a day longer.

Matthew takes Tyler on a journey through his past, showing him events in his life where he could have died had Matthew not been there to prevent it. When Matthew refuses to give Tyler any straight answers, Tyler sends him away and continues his downward spiral into hopelessness and despair.

As his personal D-day approaches, Tyler meets DJ Ellis and Pastor Will, two polar opposites who both intrigue and unsettle him. Ellis takes Tyler on a fast and furious journey of immorality and temptations, while Pastor Will tries to help Tyler sort through his confusion and fears.

Thrasher did a fantastic job with characterizations  especially Tyler’s, who was very dark, gritty, and complex. However, I do have to issue a bad language warning for those who prefer not to read it in a book. 

Musical references played a big part in the story, with each chapter also named after a song title. While the references helped solidify Tyler’s character, I didn't always get them and found some confusing and unfamiliar, even though I was brought up in that era.

As with all good suspense novels, a twist is inevitable. 40 is no different and Thrasher managed to take me by surprise with its excellent execution and thought provoking implications.

Written in first person narrative, 40 is very dark and highly introspective. I have to admit, I struggled at times to finish the book and I still can’t decide if I loved it or hated it. One thing is for sure, 40 is not a book you will forget in a hurry. 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Relentless Pursuit by Kathy Herman

Relentless Pursuit

With the ashes of two parents to scatter, Sax Henry has only one thing on his mind. Find his missing sister.

It’s been twenty-eight years since Sax left home in the middle of the night. Twenty-eight long years since he left his vulnerable teenage sister in an abusive home. Twenty-eight years of built up guilt and a burning desire for peace.

After three years of searching, Sax finally has a lead that could reunite him with his sister, Shelby. Packing his bag, he sets off to Les Barbes, Louisiana. What he doesn’t expect to find at the end of the trail is wealthy Adele Woodmore, Shelby’s ex-employer, putting his attempts at reconciliation on hold while she decides whether to give him the vital information he needs. Forced to stay longer than anticipated in Les Barbes, Sax books into a guesthouse to await Adele’s decision.

Instead of the idyllic tourist town Sax envisioned, Les Barbes soon becomes the center of national attention when a suspected bio-terrorist attack begins to claim lives. With most of the local eateries closing down due to the cyanide threat, Sax frequents Zoe B’s Cajun Eatery, run by Zoe Broussard and her husband, Pierce. Between the guesthouse and the eatery, Sax becomes acquainted with numerous residents whose lives are entwined by the tragedy engulfing the town.

Can Sax find his sister and the peace he desperately craves amidst a town reeling from loss and suspicion?

From page one, I was pulled into Sax’s desire to find his sister and make right his tormented past. With his parents gone and failed marriages behind him, Sax longs for a connection with the sister he had abandoned. Anyone who has lost or hurt a loved one will sympathize and relate with Sax as he searches for the forgiveness he desperately needs.   

Sax is not the only character readers will relate too. Relentless Pursuit has a large cast of characters, each one unique and struggling in their own way. I soon found myself grieving along with the townsfolk over those who had become victims to the cyanide attack. I did figure out who was behind the cyanide poisonings early on, but this didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story.

Although Relentless Pursuit is the third in the Secrets of Roux River Bayou series, the first two titles being False Pretenses and Dangerous Mercy, I had no trouble following the many characters and their previous histories. Herman is a master at interweaving the current storyline with just enough backstory to keep readers informed without clogging the existing action. I will definitely be reading the two previous books in this series and reacquainting myself with the now familiar characters. Come with me. Pick up one of the series and immerse yourself in the rich Cajun flavors of south Louisiana.  

My thanks to TitleTrakk.com for providing a review copy of Relentless Pursuit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

CFBA Book Review: Hurt by Travis Thrasher

This week, the
is introducing

David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2013)



After college, he targeted working in the publishing industry and was fortunate to find a job early after graduation. He worked as Author Relations Manager for Tyndale House Publishers, the publisher of his first two novels.

The thirteen years he spent working in author relations taught him the business of publishing as well as the psyche of writers.

Early on, he made a deliberate choice of not wanting to be boxed in by a brand or a genre. Instead, Travis has chosen time and time again to write the stories that mean something to him at that moment. He views his first ten years of being published as training and practice. Those novels in many ways were written for himself.

The four years of writing full time have taught him the discipline and determination necessary to make it as a novelist. They’ve also served to close the chapter on what is hopefully just one era in his writing journey.

The stories continue to fill his head like they did when he was in third grade. The only difference is that Travis now knows what to do with those stories. His goal continues to be to tell stories that move him as well as his readers. He wants to continue to experiment and take risks, but more than anything he wants to provide readers a satisfying experience.

The dream remains the same. To try and write something magnificent. To make up wild worlds full of wonderfully rich characters. To make sense of the world through the stories he tells. And to try and inspire hope with the words he writes.


His Rebellion Will Soon Turn to Hope

When Chris Buckley first encountered the mysteries of creepy Solitary, North Carolina, he had little idea how far he would fall into the town’s shadows. After losing the love of his life, Chris tried to do things his way. He hunted answers. Then he gave up trying to find them.

But now Chris comes back to Solitary knowing there’s a purpose for his being there. As he watches his place in a twisted and evil bloodline become clear, Chris waits for the last battle—and wonders who will be left when he finally makes his stand.

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