Thursday, April 22, 2010

CFBA Presents BLOOD RANSOM by Lisa Harris

Author Lisa Harris knows how to yank you into her story and hang on to you. She practices good writing, excellent storytelling and deep editing. Once you start reading, you'll find yourself involved in a story of modern-day slavery and government corruption. Though a work of fiction, this book reveals real horrors happening in our world today.The details of life in Africa will fascinate you and the author's background as a missionary living in Africa makes every word believable. Lisa has published romance and cozy mysteries; this is her first suspense novel, the first book in her Mission Hope Series. Read below, then make haste to your nearest bookstore to purchase a copy.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

Blood Ransom Zondervan (April 1, 2010) by Lisa Harris


Award-winning author Lisa Harris has been writing both fiction and nonfiction since 2000 and has more than fifteen novels and novellas in print. She currently lives with her family in Mozambique, Africa, where they work as missionaries.

From Lisa:

Have you ever noticed how God often uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things? In writing Blood Ransom, I wanted my heroes and heroines to be ordinary people, faced with extraordinary circumstances. Chad and Natalie’s lives were changed not only through the challenges they faced, but also through their reliance on God. And when they set off on their journey to the capital to save Joseph’s family, they never imagined that God would call them to a task that was beyond the scope of their own power.

But while this story is fictional, the issue of a modern day slave trade is very real. It is estimated that there are currently more than 27 million slaves on the world today from Africa, to Eastern Europe … to the United States of America. The fact is, we don’t have to travel around the world to see people hurting and exploited. They’re real people we pass every day, living in our neighborhoods, and attending our churches and schools. They’re empty and broken, searching for freedom and hope in an often hopeless world.


Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.

Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade---and a high-ranking political figure involved in it---disaster nips at their heels.

Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?

Romance and adventure drive Blood Ransom, by Lisa Harris, a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.

If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Blood Ransom, go HERE.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FORGET ME NOT by Vicki Hinze

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze is a page-turning romantic suspense that will definitely keep your attention. The story grabs you from the first page. While Hinze has a talent for writing edge of your seat, page-turning fiction, what drew me to the book in the first place was her history: she comes to Christian fiction after numerous novels for the general market and is an active member of Romance Writers of America. That's a huge plus for me. Learn more about her HERE and go to here website HERE.

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

Author Bio: Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a Vice President on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit HERE:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thursdays With Writers

Last year a few of us in the Bayou Writers' Group started meeting for coffee every Thursday. We'd get together at ten and visit until twelve. Then someone mentioned doing a little critiquing during that time. Our group grew. We've had as many as seventeen people show up. We have our social time during the first hour, then settle in to discuss someone's short story or first chapter we've read during the week.

You can tell by looking at us that we don't all read or write the same thing. We write children's material, mysteries, literary novels, romance, mainstream, short fiction, memoirs and westerns. Some of us just label our work Southern fiction and be done with it. We have published and unpublished writers sitting in this group. The thing is ... while we all come together from different experiences and points of view, we're all the same when we're sitting there critiquing. We want the same thing--for ourselves and each other. We share a dream. If I could wiggle my nose for each of these writers... if I could make it happen for them ...

If only I could!

I've never liked the word potential. When someone--usually a contest judge--wrote, "Your manuscript has potential," I hated it. The word potential meant I wasn't quite good enough; I needed to work harder to get better.

Just look at this group; this is a room full of potential. Their stories and novels are getting better and better with each critique. I see it and learn from it. Best of all--for me at least--is that being a part of this group has taught me that potential is an action word.

Friday, April 2, 2010

As Young As We Feel by Melody Carlson

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010) by

Melody Carlson

Watch the Video:


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Is there room in one little hometown for four very different Lindas to reinvent their lives … together?

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was forty-seven years and four very different lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all together in their old hometown—at a crossroads in their lives.

Janie is a high-powered lawyer with a load of grief. Abby is a lonely housewife in a beautiful oceanfront empty nest. Marley is trying to recapture the artistic free spirit she lost in an unhappy marriage. And the beautiful Caroline is scrambling to cope with her mother’s dementia and a Hollywood career that never really happened. Together, they’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts … and friendship doesn’t come with a statue of limitations.

If you would like to read the first chapter of As Young As We Feel, go HERE.

As Young As We Feel is the kind of book that gets my attention immediately. I have always been drawn to books that explore relationships and friendships. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. Unfortunately, I’m very disappointed. Disappointed to the point I’ve been fretting for days about volunteering to participate in this blog tour. I don’t often give a personal review, but with this one I feel compelled to do so.

It’s my opinion that the first thirty pages of As Young As We Feel are extremely problematic. Those pages were a bumpy ride (or read) for me. Ms. Carlson must have settled into her story by page 50 because I found myself settling in too, and not being as offended by things that yanked me out of the story.

I did like the POV switching with each new chapter. Carlson handled this skillfully. However, the dialogue doesn’t seem real to me, and neither do the characters. They are older women who came across as teens, and I can’t help but think that Carlson hasn’t successfully made the transition from writing for teens to writing for adults. The depth of story and character is sorely lacking in this book. In fact, it borders closely to a first draft.

I know as soon as I post this review, I will regret it. I don’t like offering negative comments about something that can’t be fixed. I discussed this with my critique group who challenged me to be honest. Christians are honest, they said. But then my husband says, “Is telling the truth worth hurting another person?”

I guess the thing that bothers me the most is that I’m putting myself in Carlson’s place. I think someone let her down. Who was it? Her critique group? Her editor? Melody Carlson is a story teller, but her writing needs the fine eye of critique partners and a good editor. This author has written as many as 90 books. I don't care how many books an author publishes, she should never quit learning and she should always strive for writing excellence ... in spite of a deadline. Quality should always trump quantity.