Wednesday, January 31, 2007

CFBA post of the week: GERM, by Robert Liparulo

I've been trying to get my hands on Comes a Horseman and Germ for months. (Unfortunately, money does not grow on trees.) They sound like fantastic books. I've heard mixed reviews about them, but more positive than negative. In my opinion, we can't have enough of this type of novel. This is the future of biblical worldview fiction and we need to get used to it. Like it. Love it. Crave it. Buy it. Got it?


Robert's novel paints a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.

Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly. He has sold or optioned three screenplays.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

He is currently working on his third novel.


If you breathe, it will find you...

The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. On it are business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None know what is about to happen...but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.

The GERM...a more advanced form of the Ebola virus...has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. If your DNA is not a match, you simply catch a cold. But if your DNA is a match, within days your internal organs liquefy and you die a most painful death. There is no cure.

The release of the virus would usher in a new era of in which countries are left without any form of defense, where one person or millions could be killed with 100% accuracy yet result in no collateral damage to property or those not targeted.

That time isn't coming...It is now!

GERM is coming. Pray the assassins get you first.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Arrr, me hearties! (no applause, just throw doubloons)

My pirate name is:

Mad Mary Roberts

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Two things complete your pirate persona: style and swagger. Maybe a little too much swagger sometimes -- but who really cares? Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Yours truly, Mad Mary Roberts, has been named quartermaster for th' Reliance. So you'd better get into ship shape before I make ye walk th' plank!

Be on alert fer more news relating to me ship, th' crew, and treasure. Yep, treasure!

Fer more information and a chance to win a crew position on th' Reliance, visit:
The Reliance Blog

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

CFBA features Marilynn Griffith's If the Shoe Fits


Have Glass Slipper, Need Prince...

If the Shoe Fits is the second book in the Sassy Sistahood Novels. The first in the series was Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006).

In all my thirty-five years, I, shoe designer Rochelle Gardner, have never had so many men interested in me! My teen son's dad is back in my life after suffering from amnesia (yes, really). The church deacon has had his eye on me for years (and never said a word). And the young waiter (from the restaurant I've visited for singles' events) is trying to steal my heart. I've been struggling with my faith, trying to figure out which man God has chosen for me and wondering if I have the courage to step forward, on my not-so-pretty feet, to accept love. It's almost too much for the Sassy Sistahood to handle, but my girlfriends always have my back!


Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and Tangerine (Revell, January 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

January CSFF Tour, Day 2 - Wayne Thomas Batson's Door Within Trilogy

Being new to the CSFF tour, I didn't get a chance to read these three books in time for this feature. I've heard nothing but great comments about them, though. I definitely want to get them for my son. He's a middle-schooler who pretty much hates reading unless its Star Wars, Landon Snow or Hardy Boys. From what everyone else says, I need to get these books pronto. I hope you'll give them a try as well.

Check out the author's fabulous website. It's uber cool. No kidding.
The Door Within web site

See the book trilogy trailer here, plus lots of other interesting information.
Wayne Thomas Batson's blog

Keven Lucia's site had a great interview with Wayne yesterday. Go check it out here:
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium

CSFF January Blog Tour presents: Wayne Thomas Batson's Door Within Trilogy

The Door Within

Rise of the Wyrm Lord

The Final Storm

More on the books tomorrow, but for now, go check out some other fantastic blogs and see what they have to say about the trilogy.

CSFF Blogroll:
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
K. D. Kragen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hannah Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Tessa Edwards

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Fragrance of Roses, by Nikki Arana--review and interview

Third in the Regalo Grande series, The Fragrance of Roses continues Angelica Amante’s story. She and Antonio raise their 10-year-old Down’s syndrome son, Manuel, and younger daughter, Anica. Little do they know that Manuel’s leukemia, once in remission, will return with a vengeance.

Trusting God has been a regular part of Angelica’s life. Having entrusted her marriage and family to God, now she must entrust Manuel’s life to Him as she and Antonio seek a bone marrow donor. An impatient Antonio travels to Mexico, hoping to find a blood match within his extended family. The search is more difficult than expected, and Manuel is fading fast.

Will Manuel be saved in time? Can Angelica and those she loves trust God for a miracle in their lives and accept His will for them?

Arana’s stories are rife with heart-wrenching emotion. We meet, understand and love each point-of-view character she develops. Angelica experiences the bitter agony only a mother with a sick child can feel. Antonio takes matters into his own hands to prove he has tried everything humanly possible to save his child. A young man in Mexico longs for a real life, a home and escape from poverty. A doctor attempts his best, but grieves when he can’t deliver the health his patients need. And we feel with them all, page after page.

The end of a series is always sad, but we can look forward to Arana’s new release later this year.

Q & A with the author:

Me: Why did you write about leukemia and bone marrow donors? Have you known someone personally who struggled with this?

Nikki: This story idea originally came to me as I read about a child’s battle with leukemia in a magazine. I wanted to help. That led me on a search to discover what I could do to get involved. I began to learn about how to donate to bone marrow registries and through that process learned that minorities are terribly underrepresented. I also learned there are age and other restrictions that apply to donors, so I would not be able to donate. But I could do something else. I could raise public awareness about this issue. So I wrote a book.

Me: How do you decide which POV characters you will use (besides the obvious choices of the heroine and her husband)?

Nikki: I choose my POV characters up front by deciding whose point of view is needed to deepen the story. Beyond what the reader needs to know externally, how do I make the story compelling, how do I draw the reader in and get them to invest emotionally in what they are reading? Because POV characters reveal themselves, the reader can bond with them.

My books tell internal/spiritual stories as well as external stories. When I began writing this book, Dr. Dorak was not a POV character; he was not a Christian either. But about two-thirds of the way through it, I realized I needed him to deepen the spiritual message of the book. How God used a tragic event in his life to impact the lives of others. I went back and rewrote his character.

Me: Tell us a bit about your use of symbols, i.e., the fragrance of roses.

Nikki: As I began to think about my story, the phrase “the life is in the blood” kept coming to me. Clearly for the child with leukemia this is true. But I understood it on a deeper level, in a spiritual sense. For all mankind, the life is in the blood. The blood Christ shed for us. The story is a metaphor for salvation. Without giving away too much, we find that the least among the characters is the one with the unique, specific blood. The blood could not be bought by the wealthy grandparents of the dying child. It was given freely, and the child gave nothing in return. The reader will see other symbols and metaphors in the book that have to do with healing, how prayer is answered in unexpected ways, and how Jesus makes His presence known to us as He chooses. Yes, sometimes amidst the fragrance of roses. At least that is what I have found.

Visit Nikki's website.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CFBA title of the week: Arms of Deliverance, by Tricia Goyer

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Arms of Deliverance (Moody Publishers, 2006) by Tricia Goyer (fellow CFBA member, blogger, writer, and homeschooling mom!)


Tricia Goyer is one the members of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (Tricia's Blog, "It's Real Life" Tricia's Parenting Blog, "Generation NeXt") and we are pleased to be able to review her exciting historical fiction book, Arms of Deliverance. She was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year" in 2003. Tricia was also a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award and won ACFW's "Book of the Year" for Long Historial Romance in 2005 AND in 2006. She has written hundreds of articles, Bible Study notes, and both fiction (three other WWII novels, From Dust to Ashes, Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. Night Song, the second title in Tricia’s World War II series, won ACFW's Book of the Year for Best Long Historical Romance.) She's and non-fiction books. married to John, and they have three great kids whom she homeschools: Cory (17), Leslie (14), and Nathan (12). They make their home in Northwest Montana with their dog, Lilly.


The fourth and final novel in this exhilarating series capturing the tales of men and women swept into World War II.

EUROPE, 1944

Katrine, a Czech Jew, is so successful in her attempt to pass as an Aryan that she finds herself dating a Nazi officer. Having convinced him of her genetic purity, the officer sends her to stay at a Lebensborn home--a Nazi breeding program in which children are raised and indoctrinated by the state.

Meanwhile, two friends, Mary and Lee, one a socialite, the other a working class girl, land similar reporting jobs at the New York Tribune on the eve of the war’s outbreak. Now rivals with assignments on the frontlines of war-torn Europe, Lee joins troops sailing for Normandy, while Mary's destiny lies in the cramped quarters of a B-17 bearing down on Berlin. Before the presses roll, their lives will be indelibly marked by a caring American navigator, brave French resistors, and a maniacal Nazi officer. Arms of Deliverance is a story of unexpected redemption.

Read Chapter One on Tricia's Blog.

The link for the book: Arms of Deliverance

Tricia's blog:

Sunday, January 14, 2007


For all of you readers/writers who are interested in one of the more unique genres of biblical worldview fiction, such as sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural suspense, space opera, etcetera--stop by The Lost Genre Guild and its blog Lost Genre Blog. I'll be posting about the supernatural on Wednesday.

Also, I'm building my official writer's website, which will focus on my own work and the work of other supernatural suspense authors. I hope it will be of interest to many of you. It should be up before the end of the month, so stay tuned.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Pagan's Nightmare - a bit more about the book and author


Christians can buy gas for twelve cents a gallon, while everyone else (the pagans, that is) have to pay $6.66. The radio stations alter all song lyrics to conform to "Christian" standard--the Beatles belt out "I Wanna Hold Your Tithe"; ABBA's "Dancing Queen" becomes "Dancing's Wrong". Even French fries, newly labeled "McScriptures", are tools for evangelism.

Larry's novel is a big hit with his agent, Ned. But Ned's wife..a committed Southern less than amused. And Larry has yet to show the manuscript to his new girlfriend, even though he's made her the unsuspecting heroine. It will take deft handling from both men to keep their lives and their relationships intact when the world witnesses A Pagan's Nightmare.


Ray Blackston of Greenville, South Carolina, worked as a buyer and a broker for eleven years before cashing in his modest 401k and leaving his corporate cubicle in 2000 to write full time. He is a graduate of the University of south Carolina, with a degree in Finance and Economics.

He serves on the drama team at his church, participates in a weekly men's accountability group, serves on the missions committee of his church, has traveled to rural Ecuador on a summer missions program, and coaches his seven-year-old nephew, Action Jackson, in T-Ball.

When he is not crafting a new novel, is exploring south Carolina beaches with friends and family. He competes in golf tournaments, leads a writers' critique group, and relives his youth through a large collection of eighties music!

His first novel Flabbergasted was one of three finalists for the Christy Award for best first novel, and was chosen as Inspirational Novel of the Year by the Dallas Morning News.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

CFBA Tour This Week: Ray Blackston's A Pagan's Nightmare

Larry Hutch is dying to sell his book. He wants his agent, Ned, to find someone to buy the rights so a movie can be made from it. There’s only one problem. The book tends to poke fun at and just plain offend the religious. In a big way. It’s about a guy who wakes up one day to a sanctified, sanitized world, and he is one of the only non-believers left. And the holy army’s mission is to thump him into submission so he will join their team.

Ned isn’t sure he can find a buyer for the wacky story, but he promises to try his best. But Larry is desperate and broke, two states of being that go together quite well. They don’t go well with patience, however. And never mind that the book doesn’t even have an ending yet.

Along the way, Ned allows several people to read Larry’s book. He receives varying responses, the most extreme coming from his Baptist wife, Angie, who holds a protest on their own front lawn. A flight attendant seems to like it though, along with Ned’s college-age son and a cross dresser he met in a waiting room. So all is not lost.

Will things all be wrapped up neatly in a happy ending? Or will Larry and his main character both bite the literary dust?

Ray Blackston has created a tale within a tale, showing us what Christianity is not by humorously allowing legalism to take over and threaten the story world’s planet. I like the way alternates between Ned’s point of view, written in first person, and the characters in Larry’s book, whose stories are told in third person. It worked very well to go back and forth, weaving the “real” and story worlds together.

Amidst all the lightheartedness lies a strong message (or two) to the church. One being: “Don’t get so wrapped up in your rules and religion that you forget to love your neighbor, which includes pagans.”

Point taken.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Robert Whitlow's latest novel: Mountain Top


Mike Andrews pastors a small, but growing church in rural North Carolina. Previously a defense attorney, Mike heeds the call of God to enter the pastorate. So when Sam Miller contacts Mike about defending him in a criminal case, Mike resists. Especially when he finds out that Sam claims God told him in a dream that Mike would be his lawyer.

Although Sam seems a bit nutty, he’s also genuine, and Mike agrees to take the case, at least temporarily. It seems no amount of persuading can convince Sam that Mike no longer practices law. As the facts add up, Mike stumbles upon a crime much more serious than the one Sam is accused of, and it involves some big names in the town.

Will Mike be able to prove Sam’s innocence while exposing the ones who framed his client?

Whitlow succeeds in making the reader care about his characters, and the setting is drawn with detail and obvious personal knowledge. I live in North Carolina as well, and I can picture the rolling country and quaint little churches (and their sometimes cruel politics) and almost taste the home-grown meals.

I love a supernatural element to novels, so it follows that I enjoyed this book. As for the legal part, it was very interesting, but I’ll stop there for fear of revealing too much.

One of the main themes I came away with is that God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His purposes. We must look for opportunities to serve God and then act on them when we see them. God can use the most unlikely vessel for His glory, but it must be available for use.

This novel comes highly recommended. Visit the author's website to find out more about his books here.


1. How did you get the idea for Mountain Top?
One of my goals in writing the story was to encourage people who are in the ministry and lay people as well. I also wanted to explore in detail the godly influence of a modern day prophet.

2. You mention in the acknowledgements that you never would have become a novelist if your wife hadn't had a "divine dream". Have you or anyone else you know had visions such as the ones described in the book?
Yes, we moved to NC because my wife had a dream in which she saw the house we’re now living in. We’ve both had a few significant dreams, but not as frequently as Sam Miller.

3. I love the way you portrayed Mike, lawyer turned preacher, as a regular guy with shortcomings, pride, anger, etc. Many times people put ministers on pedestals and expect way too much from them. Would you like to elaborate?
One of the problems with the way we do church is putting too much expectation and demand on a single person. All Christians are ministers of the Gospel. We’re all in the process of transformation into Christ-likeness. We all have the opportunity to let our light shine.

4. Discuss what you believe about the way God uses people and perhaps their dreams or visions to accomplish his purposes.
God communicates with us because he is a Father who relates to the children he loves. This can take as many forms as God determines (not adding to Scripture, which is the only source of doctrine, but in enabling us to walk with him). Dreams and visions are one means.

5. Why do you hint at the supernatural in your novels?
The Christian life is, by definition, supernatural. Otherwise, it’s relegated to a system of rules and principles without power. In all my books I want to portray God as real – a God who interacts with people across the whole scope of life.

For more information on Robert Whitlow's book-turned-movie, The List, visit The List-The Movie.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Thr3e the thoughts

Well, opening night has come and gone. I can't tell you how excited I am that my favorite author ever has released a movie based on one of his books.

My husband and I, with two of our friends, went to see the movie last night. I really liked it, and for the most part (barring one of the explosions and the way some of the scenes were set up) loved the movie. My favorite actor was the girl who played Samantha--she did a wonderful job with her character.

There were more parts of the movie that weren't like the book than I had expected, but they didn't detract from the film. I do wish more had been done with Dr. Francis. I thought that a lot of the conversations involving him didn't make it to the movie.

Having read the book was a big advantage for me in seeing the movie. And, of course, being such a big fan already made me a bit biased. The others in my party didn't have as positive a reaction as I did. Which makes me wonder how the public at large who has never heard of Ted is going to react.

Nevertheless, I'm glad I went. One thing that was very sad is that there were only about 15 other people in the theater. I wanted to cry. Also, the movie didn't show at our new, better, cleaner theater in town--it showed at an old run down one that I haven't been to in a year. I think that will have a lot to do with the size of the crowds. People just don't go to the old theater much anymore.

Please, everyone, go support this movie. The theme is timeless, most things were done excellently for such a low budget, and it really is suspenseful. The end was the best part by far.

So thank you, Ted, from the depths of my soul for making this possible. I wish you much success with this and with the upcoming movie of House.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CFBA welcomes in the new year with Marilyn Griffith's Tangerine

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Tangerine (Revell, January 2007) by Marilynn Griffith (fellow CFBA member, blogger, writer, and mother of *GULP* seven!)


Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and If the Shoe Fits (Revell, 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email:


Tangerine is the third book in the Shades of Style Novels.

Fans of Pink and Jade will eat up Tangerine, the third book in the cutting-edge Shades of Style series. Jean Guerra, a designer at Garments of Praise design firm, doesn't like surprises. These days though, the unexpected meets her everywhere. Since Jean's return to the church a year ago, her God-encounters occur with increasing frequency, along with thoughts of her husband-the one she vowed to divorce and gave up on long ago. The one nobody at work knows about, not even her best friend, Lily, or her boss, Chenille. But when the designer assigned to work with Jean on a line of men's suits shows up, her heart flips. It's her husband, Nigel Salvador. Jean is finally rendered speechless. Can her bruised heart become whole enough to love again? Or will she remain in the trenches of loneliness forever?

The book link:

Marilynn's website link: