Month: September 2017

#FirstLineFriday

First Line Friday | Week 10 | Grace in Strange Disguise

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line

Today I’m sharing from Grace in Strange Disguise, the debut novel from Christine Dillon:

“You have cancer.”

Acid surged in Esther’s throat. No, no, no. Impossible. She couldn’t have cancer. William Macdonald’s daughter couldn’t have cancer.

I edited Grace in Strange Disguise, which means I have already read it (and I’m anxiously waiting for my paper copy. But I’ve just had an email with the first four chapters … so it counts as my first line for today!)

About the Book

Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her. 

After all, her father has always said, “Follow Jesus and be blessed.” But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when he doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small? So many conflicting explanations. 

Will finding the truth cost her the people closest to her heart?

 

You can check out what these lovely FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

Bookworm Mama | Singing Librarian Books | Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light | Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names are Taken | Robin’s Nest

Fiction Aficionado | Bibliophile Reviews | Kathleen Denly

Lauraine’s Notes | With A Joyful Noise | A Baker’s Perspective

Joy of Reading | C Jane Read | Moments Dipped in Ink

Molly’s Cafinated Reads | Romances of the Cross | Christian Fiction Girl

It’s Storytime With Van Daniker | Reading Is My SuperPower

Alicia G Ruggieri | Susan Loves Books

If you would like to join FirstLineFriday, contact Carrie at at Reading Is My SuperPower, Rachel at Bookworm Mama, Sydney at Singing Librarian Books, or Beth at Faithfully Bookish. And check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

You can find Grace in Strange Disguise online at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Goodreads

You can also click here to read my interview with Christine Dillon (and enter the giveaway), or click here to go directly to the giveaway page.

Book Recommendation | Uncharted Hope by Keely Brooke Keith

The Next Installment in the Uncharted Series

Uncharted Hope is the fifth book in a series, and it is one of those series that you’ll understand and appreciate better if you’ve read the earlier books first (at least The Land Uncharted). There is also a prequel series, Uncharted Beginnings: Aboard Providence, and Above Rubies.

Uncharted Hope felt like it was a little shorter than some of the other books in the series. It also had dual locations: Sophia and Nicholas in the Land, and Bailey Colburn back in the “real” world. This also meant the focus was less on the romance and more on the challenges each character faced, especially Sophia.

Sophia has had a rough upbringing in a family that was anything but supportive, and she’s left with a desire to escape, and with low self-worth. Now she’s living in the medical cottage and working as an apprentice to Lydia … although she’s actually more interested in researching the properties of the gray leaf tree. And navigating the potential of a relationship with Nicholas Vestal.

Bailey is also a survivor, both of a shaky upbringing, and of the plague and war that have ravaged the US. A strange meeting finds her also researching the properties of the gray leaf tree. I didn’t actually make the connections between Sophia and Bailey until I started writing this review, because the book kept me engrossed. And the ending … now I want to read the next book!

Anyone who has read the earlier books in the Uncharted series will want to read Uncharted Hope.

If you haven’t, and you think you’d like a Christian series that’s a mix of historical romance and speculative/dystopian, then you’ll enjoy this series—you can either start with Aboard Providence (the 1860’s origin story) or with The Land Uncharted (the start of the futuristic story). Recommended!

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Uncharted Hope

Sophia Ashton’s new medical assistant job comes with the perks of living on the Colburn property, which include being surrounded by a loving family—something she’s never known. During the job’s trial period, a patient puts Sophia in a questionable position. Now she must prove her competence or lose her job and home.

Nicholas Vestal is working on a sheep farm to earn a starter flock, but before his contract is up, he inherits a house in the village. While fixing up the old house he pursues Sophia Ashton, believing she is the woman God wants him to marry. But when Sophia’s difficult past blocks Nicholas’s plan, he must find a way to her heart.

Meanwhile, outside the Land…

When plant biologist Bailey Colburn is offered a research job, she knows Justin Mercer is playing her somehow. Working for the former naval flight officer sounds better than her other options in post-war Norfolk, even though Justin says he once met her long lost relatives. But when Justin introduces Bailey to the mysterious gray leaf tree, his unbelievable claims change her world.

About Keely Brooke Keith

Keely Keely Brooke KeithBrooke Keith writes inspirational frontier-style fiction with a slight Sci-Fi twist, including The Land Uncharted (Shelf Unbound Notable Romance 2015) andAboard Providence (2017 INSPY Awards Longlist). Keely also creates resources for writers such as The Writer’s Book Launch Guide and The Writer’s Character Journal.

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely grew up in a family that frequently relocated. By graduation, she lived in 8 states and attended 14 schools.  When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Find Keely Brooke Keith online at:

Website | Facebook 

Find Uncharted Hope online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iBooks

Read the introduction to Uncharted Hope below:

Introducing Christine Dillon

Author Interview | Christine Dillon

Today I’m delighted to welcome author Christine Dillon, to share about the release of her debut novel, Grace in Strange Disguise. Full disclosure: I edited Grace in Strange Disguise, so of course I think it’s excellent.

Welcome, Christine!

Christine DillonChristine never intended to become an author. If she ever thought about writing it was to wonder if she might write a missionary biography. So it was a surprise to her to write poetry, non-fiction and now be working on a novel.

Christine has worked in Taiwan, with OMF International, since 1999. It’s best not to ask Christine, “Where are you from?” She’s a missionary kid who isn’t sure if she should say her passport country (Australia) or her Dad’s country (New Zealand) or where she’s spent most of her life (Asia – Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines).

Christine used to be a physiotherapist, but now writes ‘storyteller’ on airport forms. She has written a book on storytelling and spends her time either telling Bible stories or training others to do so.

In her spare time, Christine loves all things active – hiking, cycling, swimming, snorkelling. But she also likes reading and genealogical research, as that satisfies her desire to be an historical detective.

Welcome, Christine! We’ll start off with some quick questions so we get to know you a little better.

What is your favourite fruit?

Mango

That’s showing your tropical upbringing!

Which is your favourite season?

I love all seasons but winter. Spring for flowers and promise of summer, summer for clear skies and temperatures and autumn for crisp air and colours.

Where is your favourite place?

Anywhere in NZ’s great outdoors or Taroko Gorge in Taiwan or a valley in Malaysia where I went to primary school.

What is your favourite Bible verse?

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 God uses the weak … so that no one can boast before him. If I feel weak (which I do) then I qualify to be used by God.

I love that!

What’s something funny or quirky that not many people know about you?

I still collect stamps (NZ,UK, Australia) which is a hobby that doesn’t usually continue into adulthood.

My husband, father, and father-in-law all collect stamps. I preferred coins, especially as reminders of places I’ve travelled.

Now, let’s talk about your book, Grace in Strange Disguise. Here’s the description off the back cover:

Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her.

After all, her father has always said, “Follow Jesus and be blessed.” But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when he doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small? So many conflicting explanations.

Will finding the truth cost her the people closest to her heart?

What inspired the plot of Grace in Strange Disguise?

I never intended to write fiction but while I was having a prayer day, the idea for two novels dropped in to my head. It took more than six years before I wrote two practice novels and then dared to start working on the first of the two original ideas.

Who is your favourite character in this book, and why?

I’m not much of one to play favourites. I like Joy and Naomi because they’ve been through a lot but shine like refined gold. I like Rob Boyle and Paul Webster because they’re like so many non-Christian Australian men, using humour to avoid confronting Jesus. I had fun writing their dialogue. I have had many conversations like the ones in the book with Australian men.

I think Kiwi men are much the same. They only get really passionate and demonstrative when it comes to sport (especially when the All Blacks play the Wallabies).

Esther took a while for me to like because it isn’t easy to write the first part of a person’s journey when they are not mature. By the end of the book, I’d love to be her friend and sit around talking about the Bible with her, Gina, Joy and Naomi.

But novels are about personal growth, and that was Esther’s challenge.

Esther’s father and fiancé both have some misguided ideas about Christianity. How common are such ideas in the modern church?

Far too common. Many Christians don’t realise how strongly they’re influenced by the world around them – via media or what others say. What the Bible says can be drowned out. Knowing our Bibles takes hard work and so much of it is contrary to what we naturally think. For example, it feels so ‘natural’ to hold grudges rather than to forgive.

I constantly hear people say things that suggest that they really think that God should make their lives smooth or that he somehow owes them. One context that you hear these ideas is if you have ill health or a disabled child. Even Christians will suggest, “what have you done to deserve this.” Many people within the church are closet ‘Buddhists’ in that they really believe (deep down, like Job’s friends) the law of Karma is true (if you do good, good will happen and vice versa).

Is there a particular theme or message in Grace in Strange Disguise?

The title gives us one of the themes but you’ll have to read the book to work out how many of the characters the title is linked with. I’m aware of at least four, and there’ll be more in books two and three.

Grace in Strange Disguise raises ideas of what is God there for? What are his purposes for us? Why doesn’t he always answer our prayers in the way we want?

Will there be a sequel to Grace in Strange Disguise? What can you tell us about it?

Yes, at the moment I can see two more books. Iola, you’re largely responsible for this because you were the one who told me my ‘standalone’ book was really one and a half books.

Yeah … #SorryNotSorry. I think this version of Grace in Strange Disguise is much stronger than the first version I read, and I’m looking forward to the completed second book!

I’m only in the planning stages so I’m not ready to say too much. The best way to keep up-to-date is to become a ‘storyteller friend’ (subscriber) and/or join the Facebook group – storytellerchristine.

One of my favourite characters in Grace in Strange Disguise is Joy. Is she based on a real person?

Not really. But she is an amalgam of the people I’ve read about in biographies of Chinese Christians. People who stand firm for their faith no matter the cost. I wanted to have an Asian believer because I’ve lived and work as a church planter in Taiwan since 1999. I want my books to be broader than simply one people group. So the book reflects the backgrounds of many Australians in that we have people of Scottish, Irish, Chinese, Indian and Italian backgrounds.

New Zealand is a similar melting pot of cultures, although we have fewer Irish and Italians. We have a lot of Koreans in my city, which means we have some excellent Asian restaurants!

Joy tells stories taken from the Bible. What’s the story behind that?

In 2004, I was introduced to Bible storytelling. Once I got over my initial prejudices against it, I discovered a tool that I’ve used nearly every day since. My life and ministry is filled with telling Bible stories to people of all ages and nationalities, and training others in this tool. Joy’s use of stories gives me an opportunity to show people how to set up opportunities and to use it naturally in everyday life. Visit www.storyingthescriptures.com for more information.

What do you find is the easiest part of the writing and publishing process? What’s the hardest?

I find it different with non-fiction and fiction. For me the easiest for non-fiction was the planning and the hardest the editing.

For fiction, formatting proved to be the easiest because I use Vellum. It only takes about an hour.

Hardest was the planning process. However, if I do it correctly, then the writing should be much easier and the editing process should also be shorter (and cheaper).

What impact does your faith have on your writing?

I wouldn’t even have started writing if I hadn’t been convinced that God was asking me to do it. The journey is too hard unless you’re called to it.

There have been many times I wanted to quit and God has provided the perseverance or sent someone to encourage me or alerted me to a resource that will help me. You are one of those answers to my prayer.

Thank you! It’s been a pleasure working with you, and I’ve learned a lot from you as well.

What’s your favourite fiction genre, and why?

This is hard to answer. I like historical where I learn something. I also like thriller and mystery, but don’t think I’m clever enough to write them. I also like Christian fiction that deals with issues that we all face and that inspires me to follow Jesus more closely.

I think that’s the hardest kind of Christian fiction to write, but it’s certainly the most rewarding to read.

What book (or books) are you currently reading?

This changes rapidly at the moment and for the last nine months I’ve been reading Christian fiction, trying to understand the world I’m entering. I’m about to read my first Catherine West and Charles Martin. Both are Christian authors that have been highly recommended.

I know you only give five-star reviews to books you believe are impact into eternity. What are five Christian fiction books you’d place in this category?

* A Long Highway Home (Elizabeth Musser)
* Safely Home (Randy Alcorn)
* When the Shofar Blew and the Mark of the Lion trilogy (Francine Rivers)
* Screwtape Letters and the Narnia series (CS Lewis)

I haven’t yet read Safely Home, but I’ve read all the others and agree 100%.

Finally …

Where can we find Grace in Strange Disguise online?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Kobo |Nook

Where can we find you online?

Author Website | Bible Storytelling | Facebook | Pinterest

 

Thank you, Christine! It’s been great to learn more about Grace in Strange Disguise.

Readers, what question would you like to ask Christine? Let us know in the comments! Meanwhile, you can read the introduction to Grace in Strange Disguise below, and go in the draw to win a Kindle copy.

Book Recommendation | Magnolia Storms by Janet W Ferguson

Magnolia Marovich is a meteorologist who lost her father, a river bar pilot, in Hurricane Katrina. Now another hurricane is bearing down on the Mississippi and Alabama coasts, and she receives a phone call that calls her home—her sister is in hospital, and Maggie is needed to take care of Cammie’s daughter, and their elderly aunt.

Josh Bergeron has followed in the footsteps of his teenage idol, Mr Marovich, and become a ship’s pilot—a decision that cost him his relationship with Maggie. But now they are brought back together when she returns to her childhood home in Ocean Springs … next door to where he lives with his son.

I loved Magnolia Storms.

I think I read it all in one sitting (or I would have if my family hadn’t tried to talk to me). Magnolia was an excellent character—an intelligent and competent professional woman, but not perfect. A long way from perfect. But someone I could like and relate to and want to spend time with.

Josh (great hero name, by the way) was an equally strong character. He’s a boat pilot, and it was great (if scary) to see him in action in his work. He was also an excellent father—a testament to his relationship with Mr Marovich, because his own father was nothing like that.

The writing was excellent, and I especially liked the humour, and the way both Maggie and JD had a Christian faith that was central to the plot without being overwhelming or preachy. Okay, so maybe the end was a little cheesy, but this is a romance. It’s to be expected. There was also a lot of yummy-sounding Southern food like etouffee and beignets.

Recommended for fans of contemporary Christian romance, with an emphasis on the Christian.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

Have you eaten etouffee? I’d love to try it – do you have a recipe you can recommend?

About Janet W Ferguson

Janet W FergusonJanet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

Click here to read my interview with Janet W Ferguson.

Find Janet W Ferguson online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | BookBub

Find Magnolia Storms online at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Kobo | iBooks | Nook Goodreads

Do You Read Christian Fiction?

Bookish Question #26: Do You Read Christian Fiction?

Do you read Christian fiction, general market fiction, or both?

A lot of people who read general market fiction (including Christians) don’t realise Christian fiction is a thing. If that’s you, let me assure you Christian fiction is a thing. Here in New Zealand, it’s mostly sold in Christian bookshops, but I do sometimes see it in the big box stores.

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac, spotted in The Warehouse Tauranga.
Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac, spotted in The Warehouse Tauranga.

In the US, it’s often found in major stores such as Walmart, Target, and in the religious section of Barnes & Noble (if you can find one). And you can find it online—Amazon has a huge selection.

I read both, but if you follow this blog or follow me on Goodreads, you’ll know I mostly read Christian fiction. But I do read some general market fiction as well … but the writing has to be good.

I prefer Christian fiction because it reflects my faith and values, and means I’m less likely to end up yelling at the characters for doing dumb things. I know Christians sometimes do dumb things, but not the same kind of dumb. I do have some issues with some Christian fiction … but I think that might be a different question.

Do you read Christian fiction?

First Line Friday | Week 9 | Hold the Light

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line. Today I’m sharing from Hold the Light by April McGowan:

Unremarkable. Amber glanced out the streaming windowpane at the cityscape below her.

I’ve got an interview with April coming up soon, so keep watch!

About the Book

To an artist, the light is everything. So what is Amber supposed to do when facing blindness?

Amber spent her life adapting—first to being abandoned by her birth mother as a toddler, and then to the death of her adoptive father in her teen years. Now she’s moved past all that, loving life as an independent woman: she has a job as an art instructor and the perfect apartment.

But when a routine eye appointment reveals she’s losing her sight, life comes to a halt. Pressures come at her from all sides. Her mother, her boss, her boyfriend and her closest friend, Shannon, all have ideas about what’s best for her.

Even after her blindness counselor, Ethan, befriends her and opens her eyes to new opportunities and the possibility of a deeper relationship, one haunting question remains: How could the God she loved all her life turn everything upside down—again?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Goodreads

You can check out what these lovely FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

Bookworm Mama | Singing Librarian Books | Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light | Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names are Taken | Robin’s Nest

Fiction Aficionado | Bibliophile Reviews | Kathleen Denly

Lauraine’s Notes | With A Joyful Noise | A Baker’s Perspective

Joy of Reading | C Jane Read | Moments Dipped in Ink

Molly’s Cafinated Reads | Romances of the Cross |

Christian Fiction Girl | It’s Storytime With Van Daniker

Sprinkles and Pink | Reading Is My SuperPower | Alicia G Ruggieri

If you would like to join FirstLineFriday, contact Carrie at at Reading Is My SuperPower, Rachel at Bookworm Mama, Sydney at Singing Librarian Books, or Beth at Faithfully Bookish. And check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

Book Recommendation | Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

About Portrait of Vengeance

 

An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out . . .

Portrait of Vengeance cover image

Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

 

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, Gwen’s ex-husband is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.

My Review

A Portrait of Vengeance is the fourth Gwen Marcey novel, following When Death Draws Near, The Bones Will Speak, and A Cry from the Dust. Each novel centres on a crime or series of related crimes, with an underlying thread about Gwen’s relationship with her teenage daughter (not good) and her ex-husband (even less good).

But Portrait of Vengeance was unique in that it gave some of Gwen’s own personal history.

This gave an insight into the person she has become, and showed us what she has overcome–not just the breast cancer and divorce we learned about in the earlier novels, but something of her childhood and upbringing.

As Gwen investigates the disappearance of a native American child from a small town in Idaho, she finds details which are similar to her own childhood memories. Is the person behind this disappearance the same person who destroyed her childhood? And what happens when the memories don’t make sense.

I don’t want to say too much, because it’s impossible without giving away spoilers. If you’ve read the previous Gwen Marcey novels, you’ll want to read this—it’s the best yet in terms of both the characters and the suspense. If you haven’t read any Gwen Marcey novels yet, and you enjoy Christian thrillers from authors such as Colleen Coble, then you’ll want to read this—but you might want to start with When Death Draws Near.

Recommended for those who enjoy fast-paced thrillers with great characters.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Carrie Stuart Parks

Carrie Stuart ParksCarrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

Find Carrie Stuart Parks online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Bookbub

Click below to buy Portrait of Vengance:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Kobo

You can read the introduction to Portrait of Vengance below:

Introducing Dr Richard Mabry

Author Interview | Dr Richard Mabry

Today I’d like to welcome author Dr Richard Mabry, to share about his new release, Cardiac Event. Richard says:

Richard MabryI’m a retired physician who, in addition to writing, is a husband and grandfather, plays (and enjoys) golf, and does the hundred-and-one other things that retired people do.

Now I’m writing what I call “medical suspense with heart.” My novels have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Award, Romantic Times’ Best Inspirational Novel and their Reviewer’s Choice Award, have won the Selah award, and been named by Christian Retailing as the best in the mystery/suspense/thriller category. My latest novel is CARDIAC EVENT, which has been given a 4 1/2 star rating and a “Top Pick” by Romantic Times. I’ve also published three novellas, the latest one DOCTOR’S DILEMMA.

Welcome, Richard!

We’ll start off with some quick questions so we get to know you a little better.

What is your favourite fruit?

Seedless green grapes (because I can grab a handful as I go by).

Which is your favourite season?

Spring (For those of you living where there aren’t four distinct seasons, let me recommend Texas. Sometimes we get all four within a day or two.)

New Zealand has the same problem. It’s supposed to be spring at the moment, and today has had bright summer sunshine and thundering winter rain.

Where is your favourite place?

I’ve been fortunate enough, in my days as a practitioner and later a medical school professor, to go all over the world, teaching and lecturing. But now I agree with the line from the Wizard of Oz—There’s no place like home.

What is your favourite Bible verse?

I hang on to Jeremiah 29:11, because I know that, however dark things look, God has a plan for all of us.

That’s probably my favourite as well.

What’s something funny or quirky that not many people know about you?

I’ve gotten to know a number of sports figures—former big league baseball players, professional football players, well-known golfers—and none of them asked for my autograph. Can’t understand it.

Funny!

Now, let’s talk about your book, Cardiac Event. Here’s the description off the back cover:

Cardiologist Dr. Kirk Martin continually crosses swords with Dr. Cliff Hamilton, so he is surprised when Hamilton asks him to care for him after a heart attack. When he is ready for discharge, Hamilton is found dead in his hospital bed, and Martin is suspected of murdering him.

After another doctor is found shot to death, Martin’s girlfriend, nurse Janet Rush, reminds him to be careful because he may be next. Can he save his own life while searching for the identity of the real murderer?

What inspired the plot of Cardiac Event?

Believe it or not, sometimes doctors get cross-ways with each other, and some of those enmities run deep. I started wondering, “What if one of those doctors was called upon to treat another in a life-and-death situation?” Then I took it further. “And what if the other doctor died?” That was the basis for the novel.

Sounds exciting! I’m about to start reading it, and will review it in the next week or so.

You’re a retired doctor, and you write medical thrillers. How much of your former life do you bring into your fiction?

I don’t have the advantage some people think I have, because I rarely incorporate a scenario I’ve experienced into my novels. However, I do have an advantage because I speak the language and know how doctors will react in certain situations.

Do you ever find yourself tempted to change medical fact to ensure a better story? How do you strike the balance between getting the details right, and writing a thrilling medical thriller?

Most of the time I stick to accepted medical facts, because if I don’t, someone who is in active practice will let me know. I can recall one time when I “invented” a disease and a treatment, and I got a number of queries from people who’d read Miracle Drug and wondered if they should be vaccinated for that potentially fatal infection.

I get the impression medical science is always changing. How difficult is it to stay up-to-date—both as a practicing doctor, and as a writer?

It’s very difficult. I haven’t been in active practice for more than a decade, but I still keep my license current and read the literature. Most of my research now is done on the computer, and I do a lot of it with each book.

What do you find is the easiest part of the writing and publishing process? What’s the hardest?

The hardest part? Coming up with a scheme for a new novel, without repeating myself. The easiest part for me? Revising after an editor has made suggestions. Notice I didn’t say anything about marketing and publicity. I was doing most of that myself, even when I worked with a publisher, so that hasn’t changed much when I “indie-released” Cardiac Event.

Interesting! I’ve heard a lot of authors say they loathe the editing process, so it’s good to find someone who doesn’t.

What impact does your faith have on your writing?

I tried writing novels that contained a “call to commitment” or showed a step-by-step “road to salvation,” but that didn’t work for me. Rather, what I do is portray real people—believers, skeptics, and searchers—in real situations and try to show how God can work in their lives.

I think you do a great job with that! Some authors can make that call to commitment or road to salvation work, but it’s hard to do without coming across as preachy.

What’s your favourite fiction genre, and why?

I read—and have read for years—mysteries and detective stories. They allow me to use my powers of deduction (if the author plays fair), and serve as a wonderful get-away from the problems we all face in everyday life. Besides, I can occasionally “borrow” one of the ideas I read there.

What book (or books) are you currently reading?

Although I will often take a break to read a new book, I find myself time after time re-reading the work of the author whose writing I admire: the late Robert B. Parker. He’s able to paint a picture, using simple, declarative sentences, a picture that lets me be a part of the action. I have to skip some of the language, but then again, I have encountered it on the baseball diamond and golf course, so it’s nothing new.

What’s next for you?

I’m doing the final edits on a novella that I’ll release about December 1. Surgeon’s Choice is about an engaged doctor who wonders if another doctor is behind a series of mishaps that he’s encountered. Then, when people start dying, he really gets worried.

Next year will see the release of my next novel, Guarded Prognosis. In it, a young surgeon gets a call from his father who has just received a potentially fatal diagnosis. The older man doesn’t want his son’s medical help, though. He simply wants a pledge of his assistance in ending his own life.

Finally …

Where can we find Cardiac Event online?

The e-book is only available from Amazon in Kindle format (although there is a free app, available from Amazon, that allows it to be read on computers). The print book is available from Barnes and Noble, and eBay.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble |eBay

Where can we find you online?

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thank you, Richard! It’s been great to meet you, and learn more about Cardiac Event.

Readers, what question would you like to ask Richard? Let us know in the comments! Meanwhile, you can read the introduction to Cardiac Event below:

Forgiveness was being offered freely, because Christ loved her enough to pay the ultimate price.

Book Review | Reunited by Danger by Carol J Post

Amber Kingston had no intention of attending her school reunion until she got a Facebook message from Ramona Freeman, one of her best friends at high school. Mona begged her to go, so she did. Only it’s announced at the reunion that Mona is dead. And four others from her class got the same Facebook message and came to the reunion … and now one of them is dead.

It doesn’t take long to realise a serial killer is on the loose, out to kill the six friends for their part in the death of another of their schoolmates. It’s part I Know What You Did Last Summer, part Ten Little Indians, but with a Christian influence.

Amber was a bad girl at school, but everything changed that night when Landon died.

Now she’s a local cop, serving on the local police force with her protective older brother. They investigate the case with the help of Caleb Lyons, another member of her high school graduating class, now a detective.

As Amber and Caleb try to stay one step ahead of the murderer, there is also a mutual attraction between them. But Amber feels she isn’t good enough for Caleb. And Caleb refuses to marry a cop, which means their internal emotional and spiritual journey is as good as the external plot.

Reunited by Danger is a fast-paced suspense novel. It’s Love Inspired Suspense, which means it isn’t long—which is good, because it’s almost impossible to put down once you start (I read it in an evening and finished right on bedtime … perfect).

Recommended for romantic suspense fans.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Carol J Post

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol’s resume reads like someone who doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. But her one constant has always been her love for writing. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and enjoys sailing, hiking and camping. Her daughters and grandson live too far away for her liking, so she pours all that nurturing into caring for three fat cats and one spoiled dog.

Find Carol J Post online at:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Click below to buy Reunited by Danger:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Koorong

What's your favourite tear-jerker novel?

Bookish Question #25: What’s your favourite tear-jerker novel?

What’s your favourite tear-jerker novel?

As I said last week, I’m not a big fan of tear-jerker novels (and it seemed about half of you agreed with me, and the other half love them!)

I like happy endings … and novels that make me cry don’t always have happy endings. Some tear-jerkers do manage to have happy endings. More have emotionally satisfying endings—endings that feel right as a reader, even if the characters don’t get to live happily ever after.

Others have frustrating endings.

These might be the reason I avoid tear-jerkers—I’m afraid of the frustrating ending e.g. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (which I haven’t read, but I know the ending because my daughter read it and got very cross and shouty when she finished it).

Contrast that with The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, where the endings were sad but felt right (although I heard they changed the ending of the movie, which would ruin it).

But the reviews of some novels are so good that I’m prepared to overcome my natural reluctance and give them a go. I have a few of these on my to-read pile, waiting for me to be in the right frame of mind to read them (whatever that is).

Two Christian novels come to mind as real tear-jerkers in a good way.

This first is Carry Me Home by Dorothy Adamek. I’ve had the privilege of staying with Dotti in her beautiful Melbourne home, and she shared with me her story of how she got into writing fiction. I knew I’d have to fight off the tears in reading Carry Me Home, and I mostly succeeded. But I don’t want to say more, because … spoilers. Click here to read my review of Carry Me Home.

The other book that comes to mind is a young adult novel, This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof. It’s probably more a novella than a full-length novel, but it manages to pack a lot of punch in that small package. I can’t remember who recommended it to me (Dorothy Adamek, perhaps?), but whoever it was didn’t warn me I’d need tissues. But I did. You have been warned. This is not the novel to download as an audiobook to listen to during your morning commute.

What about you? What’s your favourite Christian tear-jerker novel?

For those of you who do like tear-jerker novels, here are some of the suggestions from the ladies in Avid Readers:

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney

Even Now by Karen Kingsbury

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli (which I reviewed last week)

Hold the Light by April McGowan (which I’m currently reading)

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin (click here to read my review)

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (a classic)

Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

Shattered Justice by Karen Ball

The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers (especially the Author’s Note at the end)

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix (which I’ve recently reviewed)