Category: #ThrowbackThursday

I Always Cry at Weddings

Throwback Thursday | I Always Cry at Weddings by Sara Goff

Ava Larson is a lapsed Christian who’s about to marry her long-term boyfriend.

His family has planned what they hope will be the New York wedding of the year when she realises the relationship is over. That you can’t marry someone “for the guests and the gifts”. Or for his mother. But disestablishing an over-the-top wedding is expensive, and Ava is left with bills even her high-end fashion job can’t pay for.

Now alone, Ava has to decide what she wants out of life, which leads to her making new choices, some good and some bad. It’s an edgier plot—Ava hasn’t lived the perfect Christian life—but that’s what makes it real. She’s an excellent character because she doesn’t make all the best choices and she doesn’t know all the answers.

I Always Cry at Weddings isn’t “typical” Christian fiction.

There are no Amish, no almost-perfect characters, no people living in happy-happy land, and the only church is the home base of a soup kitchen ministering to Manhattan’s down-and-out, not more pot-luck dinner in a small-town family fellowship.

I Always Cry at Weddings isn’t “typical” Christian fiction. But it’s real. Excellent characters and a strong plot from an author who brings the location and the people alive. Recommended. #ChristianFiction #ChristianRomance Click To Tweet

But it’s real. Excellent characters with plenty of growth, a strong plot from an author who brings the location and the people alive, and an understated Christian message. Excellent reading, recommended for fans of Sally Bradley, Beth Moran and other authors of atypical Christian fiction. I’ll be watching for Sara’s next novel.

About Sara Goff

Sara GoffAuthor Sara Goff spent seven years as a New York City fashion designer and merchandiser before leaving her career to make a difference in the world. She founded the global educational charity Lift the Lid, Inc. in 2010, which supports underprivileged schools and encourages young people to exercise their creative expression through writing.

Sara attended Sewanee Writers’ Conference and received two fellowships to Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia and Nairobi, Kenya. While living in Manhattan, she especially loved her work as a writing instructor for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers Workshop, founded by author Ian Frazier, and for The National Arts Club’s creative writing program for students. Sara is a public speaker and bipartisan contributor for Fox Business.

After seven years living in Stockholm, Sweden and then London, England, Sara is back in the States, enjoying the seasons in Connecticut, with her Swedish husband, their two sons, and sweet little girl…a Yorkie named Pia.

Find Sara Goff online at:

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About I Always Cry at Weddings

Ava is ready to set Manhattan abuzz with her wedding. At least until she realizes her fiancé wants marriage for the wrong reasons, and maybe she does, too. In a move as daring as a red satin dress, she does the unthinkable–she calls it off, taking on more debt than she can afford and returning to the single life.

When Ava loses her job in fashion and her mom succumbs to cancer, she decides to revamp her life entirely, taking a vow of chastity and going for her dream of becoming a professional dancer.

Change brings trial and error, and she’s inching closer to financial ruin, but an undercover cop promises a new romance…and an unexpected friendship with the homeless guy beneath her stoop brightens her days.

When her carefully balanced life teeters out of control, weddings aren’t the only thing to make her cry. Ava has to figure out what life she really wants to live and what in the world love–unconditional love–means.

Find I Always Cry at Weddings online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

You can read the beginning of I Always Cry at Weddings below:

Faith is a lot like love. It's a big, scary leap that requires you to hold nothing back, throw yourself off the precipice, and believe you'll be caught.

#ThrowbackThursday | One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac

Rachel Somers is the bestselling author of series of relationship books … except the whole of America thinks her aunt, Dr. Donna Sommerville, is the author. Now, lots of published books are actually written by ghostwriters, so that’s no big deal. But Rachel is more than the author. She’s also the voice behind a lot of the interviews.

Lucas Grant is the host of a late-night radio talkback show. It’s supposed to be a sports show, but people keep calling him about their relationship problems. He is not amused when the powers-that-be decide he should join forces with relationship guru Dr. Donna. On the plus side, it does bring him into contact with Dr. Donna’s attractive assistant, Rachel.

It’s a relationship built on half-truths between two people seeking fame and fortune for opposite reasons.

If you’re looking for a novel with a strong and overt faith thread, then One Thing I Know isn’t the novel for you. But if you’re looking for well-written fiction with a set-up ripe with misunderstanding and understated Christian themes, then One Thing I Know might be just what you’re looking for.

Thanks to Howard Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac is a RITA® Award winning author who lives in Wellington, New Zealand where she writes contemporary romance with heart and humor. Her supportive husband has not read any of her books because they contain “way too much talking and not enough gunfights”. When she’s not chasing three little people or working her “real” job, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand.

Find Kara Isaac online at:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

About One Thing I Know

She has the whole world fooled. But the one man who just may see through her holds not only the key to her success, but also her heart…

Rachel Somers is America’s #1 relationship coach—America just doesn’t know it. Rachel writes the books, but her Aunt Donna plays the face of the operation. Living in fear of their secret being exposed, Rachel has no choice but to keep up the charade or lose the big money required to care for her father. With the deadline for their next book closing in, Rachel finds herself out of inspiration and running out of time. The last thing she needs is her aunt and publicist concocting a harebrained scheme to join forces with some radio star in the hope it will help deliver the elusive next book idea.

Lucas Grant is a star of late night radio—though it’s come with an unexpected price of hoards of women who keep calling his sports show to ask him for relationship advice. They make his ratings look great, but they also mean he has to waste hours talking to people like Dr. Donna Somerville about feelings instead of his first love: football. When a big-time producer calls, it looks like his hard work is about to pay off. But the offer comes with a catch—the producer is convinced Dr. Donna is not what she seems and he wants Lucas to discover her secret. To do that, he needs to win over her tight-lipped assistant who holds the key to his success and—he begins to suspect—his heart. Can love find a way through the lies that force them apart?

You can find One Thing I Know online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Read the introduction to One Thing I Know here:

And click here to find One Thing I Know and other great Christian fiction in my Amazon store!

#ThrowbackThursday | Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

About Mind Games

Kaely Quinn’s talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she’s demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, the reporter’s ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem’s predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else–including Kaely herself–is killed.

You can find Mind Games online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

My review of Mind Games

Jessica Oliphant is the daughter of a convicted serial killer. Now thirty-four, she’s FBI profiler Kaely Quinn, dedicated to solving murder cases, especially serial killer cases. Her unorthodox methods have earned her supporters, opponents, and the attention of the wrong kind of people—like a persistent journalist. And a serial killer.

Kaely becomes part of the next investigation when the journalist receives an anonymous poem signalling a series of murders, and ending in Kaely’s apparent suicide. The first body is discovered soon after the note is delivered. Now the race is on to identify the killer before Kaely—or anyone close to her—dies.

Mind Games is an apt title for a great thriller.

We know from the get-go that the killer is playing games with Kaely. The challenge is to work out who … I identified several possible suspects (one of whom was later murdered, so I was 100% wrong on that one!).

Kaely is an intriguing heroine. She’s intelligent and likeable, and with a strong Christian faith. But she’s also a damaged woman who suffers nightmares and finds it impossible to allow anyone to get close to her. She’s estranged from her family, both respected and reviled at work as an object of curious fascination.

The other characters are also strong—they have to be, because Kaley is such a strong character. Noah and Kaley had some interesting conversations about faith. Yes, Mind Games is definitely Christian fiction, as there is a strong faith thread and some insightful lines about the nature of faith, and the nature of evil.

This is the first of the Kaely Quinn Profiler series.

I’ve read several of Nancy Mehl’s earlier novels, but this is her best yet. I’ll be looking forward to reading more about Kaely, Noah, and their colleagues. Recommended for fans of Christian thrillers from authors like Terri Blackstock and Carrie Stuart Parks.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nancy Mehl

Author photo: Nancy MehlNancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

You can find Nancy Mehl online at:

Website | Suspense Sisters | Facebook

About Fire Storm

The next Kaley Quinn story releases this month—Fire Storm. Here’s the description:

When FBI profiler Kaely Quinn’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, Kaely takes time off work to go to Dark Water, Nebraska, to help her brother care for their mother. Upon her arrival, she learns of a series of fires in the small town, attributed by the fire chief to misuse of space heaters in the frigid winter. But Kaely is skeptical, and a search for a pattern in the locations of the fires bolsters her suspicions.

After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely is certain a serial arsonist is on the loose. Calling upon her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother’s firefighter neighbor who backs Kaely’s suspicions, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.

Hmm. Someone wants Kaely dead. There seems to be a theme here! I can’t wait to read this.

Meanwhile, you can read the introduction to Mind Games below:

And don’t forget to click here and check out Mind Games and other great Christian fiction in my Amazon store!

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

#ThrowbackThursday | Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer, who consistently delivers challenging historical romance novels.

About Echoes of Mercy

Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed.

When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.

Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?

Find Echoes of Mercy online at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo | Koorong

Excellent romance, through-provoking plot

Ollie Moore, the day janitor at Dinsmore’s World-Famous Chocolate Factory finds himself attracted to the new toter, Carrie Lang. But he knows Carrie isn’t someone his parents will approve of. After all, he’s not really janitor Ollie Moore. He’s Oliver Fulton Dinsmore, son of the owner of the chocolate factory, working in disguise to investigate working practices at the factory, and the factory manager, Gordon Hightower.

Carrie isn’t who she seems, either.

She’s an undercover investigator for the Labor Commission, working to ascertain whether the recent death at the factory was an accident or something more sinister, and with a personal mission to end child labour. Carrie is attracted by Ollie, but suspects there is more to him than meets the eye—he might look like a common factory worker, but he doesn’t always sound like one.

I have enjoyed the previous books I’ve read by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Echoes of Mercy was no different. She combines interesting and likeable characters with a historical romance plot that manages to exceed my expectations in the way she weaves in issues of the day, in this case, child labour. Yet this theme is a natural outflowing of the story and never seems forced, and she gives weight to the arguments both for and against child labour: economic necessity vs. human compassion.

Echoes of Mercy also includes a subtle but solid Christian element, best evidenced for me with this quote:

“Jesus tells us in the eleventh chapter of Matthew, verse twenty-eight, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. He’ll honor the promise, but you must do your part in laying down the burden.”

We live in a world where so many of us are so very busy, yet we are not always prepared to lay that burden at the cross.  Hmm …

I very much enjoyed the story, and found the information in the notes at the end informative. The state of Kansas passed laws in 1905 prohibiting children under the age of 14 from working in factors or mines, while national (US) laws weren’t passed until 1917.

Overall, I highly recommend Echoes of Mercy as a good story with a thought-provoking yet unobtrusive theme.

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah and Blogging for Books for providing a free ebook for review.

About Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel SawyerAward-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, gramma, chocolate-lover, cat-petter, and–most importantly–a daughter of the King! With more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages, Kim enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Her “gentle stories of hope” are loved by readers and reviewers alike. Kim and her retired military husband, Don, reside on the plains of Kansas, the setting for many of her novels.

Find Kim Vogel Sawyer online at:

Website | Amazon | BookBub | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Read the introduction to Echoes of Mercy below:

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

#ThrowbackThursday | The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of the excellent The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall, an excellent romance set in Gilded Age America.

Excellent end to trilogy!

After the murder of her brother, heiress Estella Everstone goes incognito as Elle Stoneburner, paid companion to an elderly widow. But she doesn’t anticipate the job taking her to Everston, her favourite of her family’s hotels, where she meets Mr Dexter Blakeley, the hotel manager … and Jay Crawford, her ex-fiance.

The story is told in first person, by Elle/Estella.

She’s an interesting character: people treat her differently as Elle Stoneburner, and she finds their attitudes quite different. It gives her the opportunity to find out who she really is, apart from the much-younger Everstone sister, the heiress. The first person gives it a gothic romance field, a little like Victoria Holt (for those old enough to remember her!).

This is especially the case with Mr Blakeley and his mother, both of whom seems to have a low opinion of society women. Elle/Estella is attracted to Mr Blakely, and he seems to be attracted to Elle, but will he have the same feelings for Estella, given she represents so much he appears to despise?

The Captive Imposter is the final book in The Everstone Chronicles trilogy.

Each book covers the romance of one of the Everstone siblings. The Captive Imposter is a standalone novel, but features characters and situations from the earlier books—so if you plan on reading all the books, do start with The Hesitant Heiress.

I’ve read all three books, and they all have solid plots with excellent characters, feisty women with faith and attitude. The books are well-written, and I especially like the way they each include a strong Christian thread without being preachy. Having said that, I think The Captive Imposter is my favourite of the three books, because the plot is something a little different, and because the characters are so good–both well-imagined and well-portrayed.

Recommended for fans of historical romance.

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

About Dawn Crandall

Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the first four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

Dawn Crandall’s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, “The Hesitant Heiress,” was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award.

Find Dawn Crandall online at:

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About The Captive Imposter

For her own protection following the murder of her brother Will, hotel heiress Estella Everstone assumes the alias of Elle Stoneburner and takes a job as companion to an elderly widow. Never did she imagine that her position would lead her back to her beloved Everston, a picturesque resort property tucked away in the rugged mountains of Maine.

Living below her station in a guise of anonymity has its struggles, but her spirits are buoyed by a newfound friendship with the hotel manager, Dexter Blakeley. And his distaste for the spoiled socialites who frequent his hotel causes her to take a close look at her own priorities and past lifestyle.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer of employment she can’t refuse. As the two interact and open up to each other, Estella feels a growing attraction to Dexter; and increasing discomfort over concealing her identity. Yet, in spite of the false pretense she’s putting forth, she’s never felt freer to be herself than in his presence. But will he still love her when he learns the truth about who she is?

Find The Captive Imposter online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo | Koorong

Read the introduction to The Captive Imposter below:

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

Weaver's Needle by Robin Carroll

#ThrowbackThursday | Weaver’s Needle by Robin Carroll

It’s Throwback Thursday, which means it’s time to share a review of an older book or reshare an old review. Today I’m resharing my review of Weaver’s Needle by Robin Carroll, which first appeared at Suspense Sisters Reviews.

Weaver’s Needle was an excellent thriller, with lots of questions, lots of plot turns, an evildoer I didn’t see coming (although I might have if the novel hadn’t been so fast paced), and a real twist ending.

Despite my bias for romantic suspense over straight suspense, I actually preferred the suspense elements of Weaver’s Needle to the romance. Who was behind the murder? Who is threatening Landry and Nickolai as they work together to find the lost map and perhaps solve the murder … and the mystery of the lost mine? What is the significance of the strange scenes about the Native American rituals?

There was also a compelling subplot about Nickolai and his relationship with his teenage sister, a schizophrenic in full-time care. Nickolai blames himself for not recognising the signs difference between normal teenage acting out and serious mental illness—a mistake which had tragic repercussions. It’s tough to incorporate mental illness into a novel, and I thought it was done well.

Next to all that, it might be inevitable that the romance element wasn’t going to be as strong. I could see the building attraction between Landry and Nickolai, but there was always the issue that Landry was a strong, praying Christian, and Nickolai an unbeliever. I thought this was glossed over, which affected my enjoyment of the romance.

But don’t let that deter you from reading Weaver’s Needle if you like thrill-of-the-chase mysteries with depth.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Robin Carroll

Robin Carroll

Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South.

Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.

Find Robin Carroll online at:

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About Weaver’s Needle

Two recovery specialists.
One murder.
A hunt for the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine becomes a race of survival.

Former Army MP Landry Parker fell into the recovery specialist role quite by accident—to help her ailing father. Now that she’s on her own, she is determined to prove herself and honor her family legacy.

After being shot in the line of duty, former police officer Nickolai Baptiste became a recovery specialist, and he’s good at his job—maybe even the best.

A potential client pits Landry and Nickolai against one another to find the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband, and the potential payday is too enticing to pass up. The trail takes them from New Orleans to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where legend claims the mine is hidden. Landry and Nickolai are no strangers to adventure, but the unlikely partners quickly discover there’s someone after the treasure and there are those who want to ensure the lost mine in Arizona’s Superstition Mountain stays lost forever.

Can Landry and Nickolai work together despite their distrust of each other to save the legend before more innocent lives are lost? Will they find the real treasure isn’t the gold, but something more valuable. . .true love and understanding?

Find Weaver’s Needle online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo

Read the introduction of Weaver’s Needle below:

Quote from The Line Between: What did it mean that the divine could not only notice but seem delighted in me?

#ThrowbackThursday | The Line Between by Tosca Lee

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of dystopian thriller The Line Between by Tosca Lee, because the sequel releases this month. A Line Between is a great story, and the sequel promises to be just as nail-biting.

It’s near-future North America. Wynter Roth has just escaped the pseudo-Christian cult she’s lived in for the last sixteen years. Disease is sweeping the land. And Wynter is afraid the cult leader might have been right … maybe the outsde world was all heading for hell.

Wynter is a character who is both brave and naive. She knows little of the ways of the modern world, because she was only five when she entered the cult’s compound and has rarely been permitted to leave. Her views of God and the world have been twisted by the cult leader, Marcus. Yet she has a strong sense of right and wrong. And she’s prepared to risk everything she knows for right … which means leaving the cult.

The story is fast-paced and disturbingly believable. That’s the key with dystopian fiction: twist something in our reality (in this case, infectious rapid onset dementia). Use that twist to destroy everything the characters know and rely on. Then see how they react.

The story flips back and forth between Wynter’s present and the events that led her to leaving the cult. This weaving provides added layers of complexity, and propel the present plot forward. It’s masterful writing. I challenge any fan of dystopian fiction to put this one down.

Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner.

Thanks to Howard Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Tosca Lee

Author Photo: Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory duology (THE PROGENY and FIRSTBORN), ISCARIOT, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

 

Find Tosca Lee online at:

Website | BookBub | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About The Line Between

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

You can find The Line Between online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to The Line Between below:

And don’t forget to watch out for A Single Light, which releases this month! Here’s the book description from Amazon:

Six months after vanishing into an underground silo with sixty others, Wynter and Chase emerge to find the area abandoned. There is no sign of Noah and the rest of the group that was supposed to greet them when they emerged—the same people Wynter was counting on to help her locate the IV antibiotics her gravely ill friend, Julie, needs in order to live.

As the clock ticks down on Julie’s life, Wynter and Chase embark on a desperate search for medicine and answers. But what they find is not a nation on the cusp of recovery thanks to the promising new vaccine Wynter herself had a hand in creating, but one decimated by disease. What happened while they were underground?

With food and water in limited supply and their own survival in question, Chase and Wynter must venture further and further from the silo. Aided by an enigmatic mute named Otto, they come face-to-face with a society radically changed by global pandemic, where communities scrabble to survive under rogue leaders and cities are war zones. As hope fades by the hour and Wynter learns the terrible truth of the last six months, she is called upon once again to help save the nation she no longer recognizes—a place so dark she’s no longer sure it can even survive.

Click here to find The Line Between, A Single Light, and other great Christian fiction at my Amazon shop.

#Throwback Thursday | One Last Thing by Nancy Rue

An Exceptional Tale of Contemporary Issues

Tara Faulkner is marrying Seth Grissom: her brother’s best friend, the son of their pastor, and the guy she’s loved for ten years. But they have a strange argument three weeks before the wedding, and when she returns to discuss it with Seth, she finds him doing something awful.

He promises he’ll change and never do it again, and she wants to believe him. After all, the alternative is cancelling the wedding. But when she finds he lied, she does just that—but he makes her promise not to tell anyone why. This leaves her dealing with all the fallout, not least two families blaming her for the cancellation.

One Last Thing is written entirely in first person point of view from Tara’s viewpoint. This normally only works for complex characters, and Tara wasn’t complex, at least not in the beginning. She was the perfect pampered Southern princess, and while she hasn’t lived an entirely sheltered life, her family is financially stable and she’s always been given the best of everything. She attends church with her family, but there was little indication she had any personal faith: something that’s normally a must in Christian fiction, especially Christian romance.

At first I was a little frustrated that Seth, a Christian man who worked for a mission organisation, was planning to marry a woman who had little or no personal faith of her own. But as the novel progressed, Tara began to search for God … and it explained why Seth was prepared to be “unequally yoked”.

The explanation was misogynistic or hypocritical or possibly both, but it worked. And it worked without making me feel as though my emotions were being manipulated.

That’s strong writing.

The more Tara digs into Seth’s issues, the more she finds out, and the more secrets she has to keep from her friends, her family, and from Seth’s family. The only person who has any sympathy for her is Seth’s younger sister—who’s seen as a troublemaker. She is helped in her troubled journey by a disparate group of ladies she meets while working in a local coffee shop—her first-ever job.

Tara slowly discovers Seth’s issues, and strangely, this allows us to move from repugnance to sympathy for his problems while still acknowledging Tara did the right thing. Seth acknowledges that he has to take responsibility for his own actions, especially when they have hurt others. This is as a positive thing.

I wish it didn’t, but it does, and One Last Thing does an excellent job in sensitively fictionalising a growing problem in society.

It’s not easy reading, and it’s not nice. But it is real. Unfortunately.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Rebecca St James and Nancy Rue at their websites.

You can read the opening here:

It isn't us who are on trial, it is science itself. And I am confident we will win.

#ThrowbackThursday | A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m sharing my review of A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden. She is one of my favourite historical romance authors because I love the way she finds fascinating scraps of history to share about—like the fight for clean water in the growing cities of Golden Age America. It’s not the typical background to a romance novel, but it works!
This review first appeared at Australasian Christian Writers in June 2018.

Rosaline Werner lost both her parents to cholera when she was just ten years old. The loss changed her life, but eighteen years later she’s back in America, working as a biochemist fighting to eradicate waterborne diseases including typhoid. She’s convinced the answer is to chemically treat the city’s supply of drinking water with chlorine, but not everyone agrees.

Nicholas Drake is a plumber, and a commissioner of the State Water Board of New York, responsible for ensuring the citizens have access to clean water. But he can’t see that adding poison to water is the solution—he prefers the tried-and-true method of filtering the water.

It’s a great set-up: two people who want the same thing.

Two people with noble reasons. But two people who fundamentally disagree on the best process, to the point where their factions are fighting it out in court. It’s a plot that isn’t going to allow for compromise. Rosaline will win, or Nicholas will win. Unless Rosaline can convince Nicholas to change his mind …

It’s also a unique concept for a novel. Plumbing. Water. Dams. Chlorination. Filtration. Most of us in developed countries take safe drinking water for granted, and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a little over a century since the idea was mooted, accepted, and popularised. Elizabeth Camden is known for taking little-known and intriguing historical factoids and turning them into compelling historical novels with plenty of romance and more than a little suspense.

The one possible fault with A Daring Venture is that while Elizabeth Camden’s earlier novels were definitely Christian, this (and the previous novel in this Empire State series, A Dangerous Legacy) do not have any overtly Christian content. But nor are they general market titles, with all that implies. Perhaps it’s that the faith element is woven in so subtly that it’s not noticeable.

And in some ways, it shouldn’t be. A Daring Venture isn’t a faith-based story. It’s the story of clean, disease-free water, and some of the people who helped change our world for the better by fighting for what was right. Which, if you think about it, is the outworking of the Christian faith.

A Daring Venture is an excellent novel with a unique premise.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially romances and novels with a basis in historical fact. I hope there will be a sequel, because I want to see more of Nicholas and his growing family.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

Find Elizabeth Camden online at:

Website | Facebook

About A Daring Venture

As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against waterborne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city–but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York, Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team’s techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, the odds stacked against these two rivals swiftly grow more insurmountable with every passing day.

You can find A Daring Venture online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to A Daring Venture below:

Quote from Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

#ThrowbackThursday | Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin. He’s one of my favourite male Christian fiction authors, with a real strength in structuring stories so I can’t predict what’s going to happen.

About Send Down the Rain

Allie is still recovering from the loss of her family’s beloved waterfront restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast when she loses her second husband to a terrifying highway accident. Devastated and losing hope, she shudders to contemplate the future—until a cherished person from her past returns.

Joseph has been adrift for many years, wounded in both body and spirit and unable to come to terms with the trauma of his Vietnam War experiences. Just as he resolves to abandon his search for peace and live alone at a remote cabin in the Carolina mountains, he discovers a mother and her two small children lost in the forest. A man of character and strength, he instinctively steps in to help them get back to their home in Florida. There he will return to his own hometown—and witness the accident that launches a bittersweet reunion with his childhood sweetheart, Allie.

When Joseph offers to help Allie rebuild her restaurant, it seems the flame may reignite—until a 45-year-old secret from the past begins to emerge, threatening to destroy all hope for their second chance at love.

In Send Down the Rain, Charles Martin proves himself to be a storyteller of great wisdom and compassion who bears witness to the dreams we cherish, the struggles we face, and the courage we must summon when life seems to threaten what we hold most dear.

Send Down the Rain is an unusual story in many ways.

It starts decades ago with two brothers the day their father moves out, then jumps forward to the present. The first part shows three different characters, and it wasn’t until about a quarter of the way through that it became clear who the main character was.

Joseph is a 63-year-old Vietnam war veteran who has been running for more years than seems possible. We get to know him only gradually, as the story bounces back and forth between his past and his present, highlighting his failures (and sometimes his successes), his weaknesses and sometimes his strengths. He’s a strong narrator because he is weak: he’s humble and unpretentious and focuses more on what he’s done wrong than what he’s done right.

I got to about the 90% point in this book and thought it was good, but it hadn’t reached the heights of The Mountain Between Us (now a major movie starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba) or Long Way Gone (a modern retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son).

But by the time I finished Send Down the Rain I had changed my mind.

It’s at least as good as these, but the power builds up and up and only bites at the end. There isn’t an obvious Christian thread or an overt parallel with a Bible story (as there was in Long Way Gone). Send Down the Rain is more of an exploration of love, loyalty, and family, a story of sacrifice and second chances. And that pretty much sums up the gospel.

An outstanding novel of love and faithfulness, in Martin’s trademark understated yet compelling style. Recommended.

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

About Charles Martin

Author Photo: Charles MartinChristy and I married in 1993. If you include dating, I’ve known and loved her for more than half my life. She is and always will be the home for my heart. We have three boys. Charlie, John T. and Rives. Folks often ask me, which of my books do I like the best. You might as well line up my sons and ask me who I love the most.

My hobbies are bow hunting, working out (a blend of old school stuff and martial arts, called Fight Fit) and Tae Kwon Do. In October 2012 I earned my black belt but I’m still the least flexible person you’ve ever met. The guy that trains me, laughs everytime I start warming up. My boys are far better at Tae Kwon Do than I but I doubt they have as much fun – I get to do and watch. They just do.

I also like to write, but that’s another story.

You can find Charles Martin online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

You can find Send Down the Rain online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to Send Down the Rain below: