Monday, December 2, 2013

Christian fiction goes out west with 'A Mighty Fortress' by Faith Blum

Author Faith Blum takes readers from southern Illinois to the wilds of Montana in her novel “A Mighty Fortress.” Her inspirational Western fiction sees farmers becoming ranchers and lost souls being found. Set in the late 1870s, the story describes the Western movement and its inherent dangers as seen through the eyes of Joshua and Ruth Brookings, the youngest siblings of a close knit Christian family.

As Joshua and Ruth travel west to their parents’ new ranch, they encounter stagecoach robbers and desperation as the driver is killed and they must flee for their lives on foot. As they fight to stay alive in unfamiliar country and to make their way to civilization, the reader is part of the journey. Pursued by the thief they outwitted, they need all of their faith and skills to get through the ordeal.

Read more of my review here.

Join Faith Blum on her virtual book tour here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bonnie Doran's 'Dark Biology' merges science fiction and faith with satisfying results

Meet Bonnie Doran, author of "Dark Biology."

 Bonnie's heart has always been in science fiction. Prior to her debut novel, Dark Biology, she published 67 devotionals. Dark Biology, is a faith-based science fiction thriller contracted with Harbourlight of Pelican Book Group. She is represented by Steve Hutson of WordWise Media. When not writing, she enjoys reading (mostly science fiction), cooking, Sudoku puzzles, and hanging out with other writers, sci-fi fans, and Mad Scientists. Bonnie has a reputation of telling groan-producing puns and volunteers at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She has been married 29 years to an electrical engineer and Mad Scientist who owns a 2,300-pound electromagnet and plays with lasers for a living.

 You can check out my review of her novel here.


Faith, forgiveness form foundation of "For Love or Loyalty" by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I received an invitation to preview Jennifer Hudson Taylor's upcoming book "For Love or Loyalty." A Christian romance set in1760, the story follows a young Scottish man seeking to redeem his mother and sister from indentured servitude. With limited funds, he cannot buy their freedom outright. His plan involves trading the daughter of their kidnapper for at least one of them.

Taylor's story overflows with adventure. Most of all, it teems with Christian values lived rather than preached.

You can read my full review here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Drugs and Adventure Lead the Way in 'Gray Ghost' by C.L. Swinney

C.L. (Chris) Swinney, a real-deal narcotics investigator, takes readers deep into the worlds of fly fishing and the war between drug smugglers and law enforcement in his debut novel "Gray Ghost."

Miami narcotics detectives Dix and Petersen have headed to the Bahamas for a long-overdue vacation. They've planned a simple agenda: some sleeping, some fishing, some drinking, more fishing. What they stumble into turns into a major drug operation that involves friends of their resort hosts. Although out of their own jurisdiction, they quickly find a Miami connection that brings them ever deeper into the web of murder and lies surrounding the sunken speedboat Gray Ghost.

Read more about the adventure here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Suspense stalks a former Navy chaplain in 'Don't Leave Me' by James Scott Bell

Chuck Samson leads a complicated life: he cares for his special needs adult brother; he buried his wife just a few months ago after she was killed by a drunk driver; and this morning, on his way to work as a teacher at a private academy, he rear ended a very unpleasant fellow who cut in front of him and stopped. So unpleasant a fellow, in fact, that the guy pulled a knife on Chuck and scared his brother Stan into near hysterics.

With an opening situation like that, a reader can expect a high intensity thriller and Christian novelist James Scott Bell delivers one in "Don't Leave Me." Bell serves up an intricate story of lies and betrayal that stretches its tentacles across oceans. A tense story the covers a lot of territory, “Don’t Leave Me” serves as a psychological mystery as well as an action packed drama.

Read more on this novel here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

'Nothing Lasts Forever' Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Movie it Inspired

In 1979, author Roderick Thorp copyrighted a high adventure detective novel. That book, "Nothing Lasts Forever," described a hijacked skyscraper, a group of Christmas party-goers held hostage and one man fighting to end the nightmare. Thorp's novel went on to become the basis of the 1988 movie "Die Hard." Now Graymalkin Media celebrates the 25th anniversary of the movie with a new printing of the book that gave birth to the franchise.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chatting with author Bob O'Connor about 'The Return of Catesby'

Today we have a guest post from author Bob O'Connor on the subject of writing historical fiction. Bob's book The Return of Catesby is currently on tour with Walker Author Tours. I loved the book (click here if you missed my review) and hope you will, too.

I was particularly intrigued by the way that a self-educated man like Catesby became a teacher at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, VA. Bob kindly shared his insights into what he feels were important aspects of that accomplishment.
You’ll find his thoughts informative. Enjoy, and pick up your copy of the book at
"The challenges of a teacher at Storer College were many. In a class with a wide age range of students, a teacher like Catesby had to teach the ABCs, simple math, and other academic subjects to students who had never been to school. On top of that, he had to impart his wisdom, encouragement, and values upon a group who had been told their whole lives that they couldn't do this or that because they were colored.
My job as a historical fiction writer is to report on Catesby's efforts and show that they have made a difference in the lives of his students. I had to weave in the school's policies, the teacher's lessons, the opposition from the community and the introduction of speakers, who each had a special significant message to impart.
The story unfolds in such a way as for the reader to feel like they are sitting in Catesby's classes, listening to the lessons, and getting the feel of how that experience might have played out."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A former slave who made his mark - 'The Return of Catesby' by Bob O'Connor

What happened to former slaves after the American Civil War? One of them, a man known only as Catesby, achieved great things. First introduced in "Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War," his story continues in "The Return of Catesby" by historian and author Bob O'Connor.

The young survivor of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and imprisonment in the infamous Andersonville Prison overcame crippling injury and adverse circumstances to serve a President and become a trusted ally of white officers. His blacksmith skills led to alliances with influential men on both sides of the conflict, including Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Later, he survived the explosion of the Sultana, a steamboat returning freed Andersonville prisoners to their homes in the north.

Catesby was not an educated man by most standards, but he absorbed every experience that came his way and learned everything he could. He began his education at his mother's knee, learning to read. Although she was a slave as well, she instilled in her son a love of learning. He used that learning to step ever upward in life and he eventually became a teacher at Storer College, a school begun to provide education to freed slaves.

Author stop for Walker Author Tours
With only one name, no known birthday, and an unknown father, this man who was began his life as a slave became far freer than many of the white men of his time. In "The Return of Catesby," readers will have an opportunity to understand his philosophy of life and learning as he shares it through his journals.

O'Connor lets his affection for history shine through in the narrative. The reader walks through Catesby's world, privy to his thoughts and motivations. This book should become a classic in multiple genres. Not only is the history captivating; the motivational aspects of the book will inspire as well.
Author Bob O'Connor
Make no mistake: Catesby was a motivator as well as a teacher. Those students who sat in his classroom learned about living a better life along with the traditional school subjects. To the roster of such gifted life leaders as Og Mandino, Zig Ziglar and Dale Carnegie, we can add the name of Catesby. He was the Anthony Robbins of his day.

Read "The Return of Catesby" as a fascinating biography, a Civil War story or a self-improvement book. But be sure to read it. Catesby will charm you with his wisdom and his heart, even as he challenges you to be the best “You” that you can be.

The Return of Catesby” by Bob O’Connor
Published by Infinity Publishing
ISBN-10: 0741482061
ISBN-13: 978-0741482068

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy provided by the author with no restrictions as to content. All opinions are my own.