Friday, December 16, 2011

Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson (Book 1 of The Seventh World Trilogy) Giveaway Included!!


And now, at last, it is time for a interview with Rachel Starr Thomson AND a GIVE AWAY! 
Yes indeed! So, if you want a FREE copy of Worlds Unseen, comment on this post! Winner will be picked at random. Isn't that fun!!! I can't wait to see who wins! 

Merry Christmas a bit early! 

1. What atmosphere helps you write best? Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I write best in a quiet, uncluttered, open space--my office has a great big window right beside my desk that looks out over a field and a pond, and that's about perfect! I've typically lived (and worked) in households full of people, so "quiet" isn't always doable, in which case I've learned to put on headphones and play instrumental music to create my own mental space. (Lyrics are too distracting.) I have a hard time working if I feel closed in, whether by a tight space or by clutter.

2. Can you tell us a little about Worlds Unseen and the Seventh World Trilogy?
The Seventh World Trilogy (Worlds Unseen, Burning Light, and Coming Day) took shape in my imagination when I transported elements of the Protestant Reformation to a fantasy world, one that is part-medieval and part-Victorian. It’s a story about people who find out that the world as they know it is built on lies; that their real history is contained in myths and legends that have been suppressed for centuries—but that the truth is about to break into their world, in the form of evil creatures and powerfully good beings that are at war. Maggie, Nicolas, Virginia and the rest find themselves challenged and transformed as they take their own places in the story.

3. Can you tell us about the allegorical/symbolic elements to Worlds Unseen?
That's a great question! I should start by saying that the trilogy isn't straight allegory in any way--but as it grew out of my own spiritual journey, it definitely has points of intersection :). The most obvious allegorical element in Worlds Unseen is that the character of "the King," the forgotten creator, ruler, and "heart of the world," corresponds loosely to God in Jesus Christ. And I see a lot of parallels between the Seventh World and ours: the way people have forgotten about their own origins and history, even working to cover it up, because knowledge of the past requires something of us in the present. But of course, when we do that, we have a serious price to pay in the future, because where we've come from directly affects where we're going. The Gifted have some parallel in spiritually gifted and sensitive people I know; the Blackness parallels the forces of darkness in our world.

4. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Worlds?
That I could write a "real book"! I had written two other complete novels prior to Worlds Unseen, but they were short--just over 100 pages each. I didn't think I was capable of writing something in the more standard 300-400 page vein. Turns out I can--and have done many times since. In a deeper sense, I have continued to be surprised by how much a story I wrote can teach me about my own life as I live it. There's a lot of meaning in the trilogy that I'm just starting to see.

5. What do you hope people will take away from the story?
An understanding that there is more to the world than they can see, and an urge to seek out the truth and know Reality for themselves.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Dangerous Journey Of Sherman The Sheep by Dean Davis (Fall Fiction Fling!)

And now it is time for the last book in our Fall Fiction Fling selections.

For a limited time you can get this one FREE for Kindle! Download it from here: 

There are two different book covers, one is the E-book cover. 


An Allegory for Kids
by Dean Davis

"Beautifully written. Highly recommended for use in a setting, either family or group, where you can take time to reflect and share on what has been read.... A must-read!"The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

When Sherman, a carefree lamb in the Good Shepherd's flock, grows into a young ram, he longs for adventure and acceptance by his peers. So, against his father's warnings, he climbs "Pleasure Mountain." There he encounters strange new enticements and dangers which at first seem exciting, but finally prove more than a young ram can handle on his own. Sherman finally admits his father was right when he called it "Sin Mountain," but how will he escape and get back to the fold? And what great adventure has the Shepherd prepared for him?

Book Pricing, length, and info....

Retail price: $9.99
PUBLISHER'S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Dec. 12-17 only: $5.49 at:
Book Info:
Fiction / Youth (For ages 6 to 12 - or kids of all ages)
Trade Paperback 160 pgs / 5" x 7"
Discussion/Activity Guide Available (Included in eBook)

e-Book Version
Buy Now in Amazon Kindle store for $3.99
Kids are using e-readers such as Kindles too. Buy as a gift for a Kid with a Kindle!Or buy for your own e-reader and read it to your kids.

Watch Dean Davis reading a short, 4-minute section of The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep:

Author Bio:
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dean earned a degree in philosophy from U.C. Santa Cruz. After several unsatisfying years on Sin Mountain, the Good Shepherd rescued him, and eventually Dean became a pastor and Bible teacher in Santa Rosa, California, where he currently resides.
Dean has often worked with children and youth, and enjoys story telling. He is currently director of Come Let Us Reason, a Bible teaching ministry specializing in the study of apologetics and the biblical worldview.
Dean and his wife, Linda, are the parents of two sons and three daughters, all of whom have flown the family nest. In addition to The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep, Dean has authored nonfiction books including In Search of the Beginning and The Test: A Seeker's Journey to the Meaning of Life (Pleasant Word).

To know Dean better, we asked him these questions:
What attracted you to writing, and in particular, writing an allegory?
Dean: I trace my interest in writing back to the early 1970s, the time of my spiritual awakening. The more I read, the more I saw; the more I saw, the more I wanted to communicate. Soon, I began to write short stories, poems, and essays. When, after a good deal of wandering, the Lord brought me into His fold, my desire to relate fresh insights resurfaced and intensified. From the very beginning of my Christian walk I admired a famous old painting called The Good Shepherd, in which we see a Shepherd (with face hidden) rescuing a sheep trapped on a mountain ledge. That picture said it all. It also suggested a story which I told, with ever-increasing embellishments, to my children. Eventually, some of the folks who heard me tell it at church asked me to write it down. As I wrote, I found myself targeting adolescent - or pre-adolescent - boys, who today are in desperate need of godly role models, a clear vision of manhood, and a revelation of the thrill of genuine Christian discipleship. I started out telling my own story - which is simply "the old, old story" - in a way that young boys could grasp. Soon, however, I realized that an allegory was taking shape under my fingers, one that could well speak to kids of all ages. I hope it has, and I hope it will.
Tell us a little bit about Sherman.
Dean: "All we like sheep have gone astray," says Isaiah. In that sense Sherman represents any Christian whom Christ has graciously and lovingly rescued from sin. But I'd say Sherman specially represents kids who have grown up in the church but wandered away or have been tempted to try adventuring up "Sin Mountain." Dudley, on the other hand, is more like me - the guy who never had the advantage of a Christian family, but whom the Lord, with a mighty stretch of his long arm, somehow found.
Did you receive inspiration from watching your own five children?
Dean: Most definitely, especially from my two sons. Like Bertram (Sherman's father in the book), I observed their interest in the things of God, and also their interest in the things of the world. Like Bertram, I was concerned. Like Bertram, I wanted to be the voice of the Lord into their young lives, and the grace of the Lord, if and when they should fail. Sherman is not just for sons and daughters, but for dads and moms as well. I hope the story will encourage parents to trust in a good and sovereign God, and to aspire to work skillfully with Him as He ministers through them to His young ones.
You are a skilled writer of allegory. Are you a fan of writers such as C.S. Lewis?
Dean: I am definitely a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. Those wonderful books penetrated to the depths, and I enthusiastically read them to all my children. I believe that in their fantasies Lewis and Tolkien did what they set out to do: to get a fresh hearing for the gospel among moderns hardened to the gospel. And they did it by giving us memorable characters shaped by the gospel, so we could see anew what godly Christian boys, girls, men, and women look like. If The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep will give the tiniest such peek to an impressionable tween, I will be pleased indeed.
Describe your typical writing session.
Dean: I like to compose on my computer. I have a wonderful homemade table that allows me to do so standing up (saves the back big time)! I'm a pretty slow writer: An excellent day's work will come to two or three pages. I suffer no interruptions, but toil on in more or less complete silence, holed up in my downstairs office. I keep lots of hot drinks by my side and take an occasional break to run upstairs and check out the latest developments in politics.
What other activities do you enjoy?
Dean: My wife, Linda, and I enjoy bicycling. I enjoy hitting a bucket of balls at the local golf course and sitting down for a pork tostada at Lepe's, my favorite Mexican restaurant.
Have you written other stories like The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep, for families to read together?
Dean: I have a few other stories tucked away in my heart; but they're on the back burner till I get a few theological projects out of my craw. I'm almost always writing. These days I enjoy posting short articles on my blog: devotionals, letters, essays, etc. Currently I'm doing a series on how to interpret Old Testament prophecies of the Kingdom of God.
Where on the Internet can people find you?
Dean: At my website:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Corus The Champion by D. Barkley Briggs (Book Two in Legends of Karac Tor)

You should be reading this series! 

So as you start, I will pass you the link to my review of the first book. The Book of Names
Corus The Champion picks right up where The Book of Names left off. I would highly recommend you read this series in order if you can. 

As I was getting ready for this book review, I first re-read The Book of Names. I just didn't want to be behind at all with this fantastic series.  I was struck more deeply this time with Hayden and the plight of the Nameless. The ones who were lost, stripped and bereft of their identities were now ones that I related to more than before. I also feel so much closer to the boys now in book two. Hayden, Gabe, Garret, and Ewan are really growing and developing. They are getting stronger, and becoming more mature, and closer to their callings. I am really enjoying seeing that. In Corus The Champion I am watching character being built. The characters that we are growing to become very fond of are bonding, and learning, and starting to figure out some of the why they are where they are, and who the enemy is. 

That leads me to the last known champion of this realm of Karac Tor, Corus. He has been in torment, being ripped apart physically and emotionally by the enemy. This creature would be called a demon, or just about Satan in almost anyone's book. He has the head of a stag, and it is his evil mark on a few of those who follow him. He rules Hel, and he has so tortured and twisted Corus till not even Corus is sure of who he really wants to be anymore, or if he only wants free of the curse he is under. If that means killing the king who sleeps, well, he just might have to do that. {And on a personal note I say oh yes, that is how the enemy works on us, till we are so hurt and confused that the truth is hard to see, and that small voice that leads us hard to hear at times. }

Our four brothers are off in all different directions. Some have been dealing with the Fey, and others learning more about the Monks, and yet another is just trying to stay alive and deliver messages, while one is in massive training of some sort. We are learning more about the different  races, Birdmen, Highlander, Vineland and Bitterland. They aren't all friendly towards each other and the boys are going to have to figure out who to trust and how to cope with this as well. 

I can't help but love Tal Yssen. I sometimes wonder if he is an echo of many things from Mr. Briggs himself. As long as I can remember I have loved Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table. I spent many a happy hour reading different authors versions, or added tales of Camelot
This series is very much in this genera of books, and being Christian Fiction it just makes me enjoy it even more. 

I could probably type for quite a while on many many things in this book. So far this series is epic and amazing. I HIGHLY recommend this series, and I need to find somewhere to get book three, The Song of Unmaking


In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 

Book link -
Author’s Web site  -

Gillian Adams
Noah Arsenault
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Carol Bruce Collett
Theresa Dunlap
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Sarah Sawyer
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

Love Rekindled by Candi Adermatt - (Fall Fiction Fling!)

Hi Everyone!

It is time for our next to last book in this years Fall Fiction Fling!

Today we are looking at Love Rekindled by Candi Adermatt.

A Novel
by Candi Adermatt

When a wayward husband comes back into the lives of his wife and sons after years of separation, will they believe he has changed ... and can they forgive him? As a medical crisis forces the family members to face their fears, hurts and true desires, and the conflict develops toward a surprise resolution, the reader will feel the ebb and flow of subtle emotional tensions. Here's a relationship story with a twist - told from the man's point of view.

Review Quotes:
"Candy Adermatt's style of writing is captivating." ~ Charlene West, The Quiet Hour
"A wonderful story of redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation... Beautifully addresses issues such as suffering, meaning, spiritual commitment, and the truth that people can change. Adermatt's ability to develop characters and express the complexity of their relationships is evident." ~ Dr. Holli Eaton
"The style of writing that keeps me interested and wanting more -- flowing and not excessively wordy. Not only is the story in itself riveting, but through it Candi also conveys the values of hope, forgiveness, and family relationships. I plan to give everyone I know a copy of this book!" ~ Stephanie Miyake

Read First Chapter:

Purchasing Info:
Trade Paperback
201 pgs
Available through most book outlets.


Direct from the publisher at
where it is on sale this week for$9.74

Author Bio:
Candi belongs to the East Valley Authors writers group and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She has a B.A. degree in Business and works at Azusa Pacific University. She writes novels about contemporary issues from a Christian perspective that are the type of stories she wishes had been available to her as a young woman. Candi and her husband enjoy their four grown sons and their families and make their home in Southern California.

More Info at:

Below is the book trailer. 

About Candi:
Candi enjoys writing romance and contemporary novels. Candi has a bachelor's degree in Business and Applied Management from Azusa Pacific University, where she works as executive assistant in the office of the provost. Candi and her husband, Dave, enjoy their four sons and their families. The Adermatts reside in Southern California.

Interview with Candi Adermatt:
You're such a prolific writer. What gave you the itch to write?
Candi: Stories have filtered through my brain as far back as my memory can take me. I imagined myself as each character as they appeared in my head and became part of the story. That's pretty much the way things continued through the years. Several years ago the company that I worked for went into bankruptcy and layoffs were imminent. My boss asked me what career path I might choose if money wasn't an issue. Without hesitation I said, "I'd write a book." When I went home that night and told my husband of our conversation, he said, "Well, why don't you just do that? You don't have to be unemployed to write a book." With those words of wisdom, I began to write.
How did the idea of LOVE REKINDLED come to you?
Candi: I like tackling topics that aren't generally read about in Christian fiction. I wanted readers to be able to feel the wife's pain, the child's struggle with abandonment issues, and the stark reality for the husband because of his infidelity. I also wanted it to be an encouragement to anyone who had ever had to live through this heartbreaking situation.
Is there something you typically do while writing - like drink coffee or listen to music?
Candi: Yes, I always listen to music while I write, usually my favorite Christian radio station. That and a good cup of coffee are good writing buddies. In the absence of coffee and an internet connection for the radio station, my iPod and laptop are just as supportive.
Tell us about an activity you enjoy in your day-to-day life.
Candi: My husband and I are avid explorers and rock hounds. We love to go off-roading in search of all kinds of treasure (his license plate is GLDIGGR). He researches old books, maps, and archives that tell where gold was found or loot might be buried, and off we go with our metal detector in pursuit. We have never found anything of real value, other than the thrill of the hunt and the joy of being together. Love it!
What kind of a reader are you? Avid? Sporadic? What do you read most?
Candi: I love to read, usually contemporary Christian romance novels. The difficulty with that, though, is that it keeps me from writing. When I am in a serious writing mode (once I get started on a story, I don't want to stop writing until the story is finished), I don't read at all, as it interrupts my thought process. I almost never read a newspaper or magazine, unless it contains some story that someone has recommended to me. I much prefer to create my own reality!
What other novels are you writing?
Candi: I wrote several novels before and after LOVE RELINDLED. Most of these are Christian romances. The earlier ones still need a lot of polish. The most recent ones are ready for the eyes of a publisher.
Where on the Internet can people find you?
Candi: You can find me on my author page at or contact me by email: cadermatt "at"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson (Book 1 of The Seventh World Trilogy) Givaway coming!


After suffering with no net for more days than I thought possible, here we are!
This is another part of the good stuff I told you I would be bringing you about Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson. ALSO--- I am giving away a free copy of her second book in the Trilogy. Check back in on the 9th of this month! It will be in e-book format that works with almost anything you can think of. (Nook, Kindle, Kindle in your PC, etc.)


And now more from Rachel Starr Thomson!

Where Life and Art Converge

Elsewhere on this blog tour, I wrote about reading responsibly by reading books that enable us to live better lives ( I’ve also written about the writer as servant, spending time at this solitary pursuit for the purpose of “washing the feet” of others and putting truth into sharp relief, whether through fiction or through nonfiction ( The question of where life and art meet is often asked, and it always seems ironic to me: art is a part of life. It flows out of it (dead men don’t paint) and so of course it flows back into it: art of any kind is the work of living souls, and its power is in touching other living souls.

I think this is true of all art forms, but maybe it’s easiest to see in the case of writing. Life and writing converge all over the place. My real-life faith in God is undergirded, challenged, and grown by the writings we know as the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. The insight into people’s hearts that I’ve gained from honest autobiography and maybe-even-more honest fiction enriches my relationships and grows compassion in me. My intellect is challenged by things I read, and that challenge makes my conversations more powerful and more able to affect myself and others. Reading may be escapism, but the escape is only momentary—like someone coming back from a vacation with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the daily grind, I come out of books more equipped and more energized for life.

As a graduated reader—i.e. a writer—I’ve found this to be true in many unexpected ways. The Seventh World Trilogy (Worlds Unseen, Burning Light, and Coming Day) is a fantasy story which, besides being about people and places like all stories are, deals with questions of reality and deception; of the natural and supernatural and the “veil” between them; of the nature and outworking of faith; of the importance of beginnings and endings, and of what happens when we don’t know our own beginnings. I never realized how much the story would connect with real life for me, yet it’s happened over and over again.

The really fascinating thing to me is how many of the themes which have emerged as the strongest in the series weren’t conscious while I was writing. That of beginnings, for example. The people of the Seventh World are headed for an unspeakably dark future, and are turning their backs on their only hope, because they’ve bought a lie about where they came from. More and more I realize how much Genesis matters: that we were created by a particular God whose nature is revealed in the Bible; that we were created in his image; that we fell, through deception, into temptation; and that our whole future is based on that beginning. That origin matters to every person individually, though we may seldom think about it.

Another theme that came out in the books and which has converged startlingly with my life is that of believing without seeing. Some of the characters in the Seventh World “see” (especially Virginia Ramsey, the blind seer); others have to walk in faith alone—believing based on real evidence, but called upon to trust without sight. My own life has played out that story more and more as the years have gone by. So often I want to see and can only trust. But trust in a good God is always vindicated in the end.

The best convergence of life and art is that which enhances and enriches reality, lifting our eyes to see truth and love and God. Often, having lifted our eyes, our most appropriate response is art again: a song, a painting, a story. The convergence can happen in unexpected times and places. But this, I suspect, is what art is really for.

You can follow along with the rest of the blog tour, at (Nov 21), (Nov 23, Dec 5), (Nov 26, Dec 2, and Dec 9), (Nov 28), (Nov 30, Dec 7), and (Dec. 9)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Lost Melody by Lori Copeland AND Virginia Smith

Hello Readers,

Happy last day of November! While this is the last CFBA book review of the year, it is isn't the last review I will be posting this year. Now onto Lost Melody. Lost Melody drew me because our leading lady is a pianist  My own Mother taught for many years, and until her issue she also played beautifully! Jill is an incredibly gifted musician. She was on her way the biggest career move of her life when the subway she was in wrecked. Her hand was badly injured, and her career - totaled. Jill is just trying to survive her life, and deal with marrying, or not marrying the man she is engaged to when something else starts. Now Jill is having dreams, or nightmares, but they are so real that she knows she MUST do something about them. Greg, her fiancee is in politics, and now he is very very concerned about Jill's mental state. He must choose does he believe the woman he loves, or does he decided she has been through too much and walk away? 

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith used a real life historical issue, which made this book even stronger. The struggle Jill endures, and the struggle of those around her, and her listening to God's still small voice were very nicely written .


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lost Melody
Zondervan (October 25, 2011)
Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen Christian novels and over fifty articles and short stories. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, and ACFW's Carol Award.

A Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, Ginny's messages are always well-received by a variety of audiences in conferences, retreats and churches across the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the           Caribbean.

The beautiful piano sitting in the corner of Jill King's apartment begs to be played. For over a year, it has sat untouched, ever since a terrible accident shattered Jill's ambition of becoming a concert pianist. The ragged scar on her left hand is a cruel and constant reminder of the death of her dream. But another dream is about to come to life---an unexpected, horrifying dream that will present Jill with a responsibility she never wanted. And choices she never wanted to make. Hundreds of lives depend on Jill's willingness to warn her small, oceanside town in Nova Scotia of a nameless, looming disaster. But doing so could cost Jill her reputation, jeopardize the political career of the man she loves, and ruin their plans for a future together. The fate of an entire community hangs in the balance as Jill wrestles with the cost of heeding one still, small voice.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Lost Melody, go HERE.

Lori can be reached at her link here on her Website.  
Virginia can be reached at her link on her  Website.

The book link is: 

Face To Face A Novel by Catherine Lawton (Fall FIction Fling!)

And it is time for one more Fall Fiction Fling!

About the Book:

Set in the tumultuous world during Jesus' earthly life, here is a timeless story of suffering, longing, and healing. Conflicts arise between a young woman's devotion to God and the demon that holds her captive; between her attempts to free herself and the judgment and condemnation of others; between the rabbi named Jesus and the legalistic religious leaders; between the daily reality of Roman oppression and the Jewish hopes of a Deliverer-Messiah.
A vivid imagining of the account in Luke 13:10-17, where Jesus calls the bent-over woman to himself.
Review Quotes:
"I was fascinated." ~ Eva Marie Everson for"I thoroughly enjoyed Face to Face." ~ Richard Wendley, screen writer/actor
"WOW! What a great book. I absolutely loved it... I know the next time I read about this miracle in the Gospels, I will think of this woman through the eyes of Lawton's novel... Thanks to Cladach Publishing for publishing such outstanding Christian literature!" ~ Shirley Silver

Link to Chapter One:

Purchasing Info:
Trade Paperback
192 pgs
Available through most stores and online retailers.
You can purchase it now at:
Just-released: Amazon Kindle Version
Or buy from the publisher on sale this week for $9.74 at

Author Bio:
Catherine was born in Colorado and grew up as a pastor's daughter in seven towns up and down the state of California. She has loved to write since she was a child, having her first poem published in a national periodical at the age of twelve, and since then her byline has appeared in numerous periodicals and book compilations. She has a BA degree in English from Pasadena College. She served as a church musician for many years, as a private piano teacher, a public school substitute teacher and English reader, and freelance writer and editor. Cathy and her husband, Larry, have participated in and led volunteer short-term mission teams to Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, Sicily & Rome, and Peru.
After living in Santa Rosa, California, for thirty years the Lawtons moved to Colorado, returning to Cathy's roots. Besides the publishing business, Cathy enjoys gardening and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The Lawtons love spending time with their two grown children and their spouses, and their five beautiful grandchildren.

More info about Face to Face at:

The Author and an Interview! 

Author Interview:
Hello, Catherine. Your bio mentions that you became a published writer (in a national periodical) at the ripe old age of 12! Did that experience boost your desire to write more?
Catherine: It certainly was affirming and satisfying to think someone would want to print and read something I wrote (It was a little poem about Jesus being my Friend, and a Sunday school teacher encouraged me to send it in). But the desire to write was there already and it grew into a sense of a calling.
In your biblical novel, "Face to Face," you fictionalize a story about a woman who is miraculously healed by Jesus. She is mentioned in the Bible only once, in Luke 13:10-17. With so little known about her, how did you develop her character and make her so believable?
Catherine: That woman, who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath, gripped my heart and imagination. She was unnamed in the story, so I named her Joakima, which means "One whom God has lifted up spiritually." She was bent over double for 18 years and "could in no way lift herself," which indicates that she had tried. I began to imagine what "cures" she might have used. Each has a parallel today, whether it's conventional wisdom and "old wives' tales," self-righteous religion, new-age spiritualism, or humanistic self-improvement methods. I considered the context of the scriptures and researched the historical period and life in those days. A good story needs conflict, and there's plenty in this account – between the woman and the spirit that crippled her, between Jesus and the leaders of the synagogue, between the people and the burdensome Sabbath laws, and between walking by faith versus walking by sight. I began to imagine Joakima in a colorful setting interacting with other vibrant characters until the story took on a life of its own. I was interested to see how my character would survive and finally thrive in the challenges of that setting.
One gets the sense that there may be experiences in your own life that parallel those of your character, Joakima. Is this perception accurate?
Catherine: The story formed in my mind while I was going through a period of inner healing. I read the book of Luke, and this woman who was so wretched and yet so tenaciously persevering, triggered my imagination as well as my faith. Jesus told the woman she was released and he said that Satan had kept her bound. This part is very personal. I have known people who are bound by various things 51; memories, addictions, sins, wrong thinking, bitterness, and even evil spirits. And I've seen people set free. I wondered what sort of spirit had taken hold of this woman, how Satan could keep a religious person of faith bound, and what might have caused that spirit to enter into her body and life. Luke also tells us that Jesus called her a "daughter of Abraham" which means she had faith. I wondered, how does such a person have such faith?
Now a question to help readers know you better. If you had three free tickets to go to any three places in the world, where would you go, and why?
Catherine: First I'd go to Israel to research my next novel! Next I'd go to Scotland and the Hebrides, where a mighty revival happened the year I was born. Third I'd go to Rome again, where there is a strong sense of the biblical world and the modern world intersecting.
Since music has played such an important role in your life: What music CDs happen to be in your player right now?
Catherine: I just put in a CD of Loreena McKennitt singing Christmas songs, and a Russian pianist playing Rachmaninoff concertos.
If you could spend a week with any historical person of the past ten centuries, who would that be?
Catherine: I might like to spend a week with Joan of Arc, though it might be dangerous. A simple peasant girl believed so strongly that God had spoken to her that she was able to convince leaders of her country and army to let her lead them to victory, out of a dark and troubled period. And talk about conflicts! Her faith and obedience led to her martyrdom. Amazing.
What writing projects are you working on now?
Catherine: Besides writing occasional poetry and other short pieces, I have started two other novels. As I was writing Face to Face, the character of Benjamin grew so strong and appealing, he almost took over the story. I would like to give him a chance to shine. I'd like to take Joakima and Ben to Jerusalem again, perhaps to be present during Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was outpoured, to be part of the early believers who were persecuted and dispersed. I'd like to see Joakima return to her childhood home of Dura-Europas. And like every good story, it would include lots of conflict and a little romance.
Where on the Internet can we find you?
Catherine: At my Cladach author page: ,
Anything else you'd like readers to know about you?
Catherine: Here are some things about me: I've played the piano for years. Currently, I accompany a gospel quartet. My husband and I enjoy beekeeping in our backyard. I own Cladach Publishing, a small royalty press; and I spend lots of time editing and promoting other authors and their books. Writing and publishing is quite an adventure. And hearing from readers is like frosting on the cake!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson (Book 1 of The Seventh World Trilogy)

Oh what Fun! 

While I haven't read all of this book yet, I am really enjoying as much as I have read! 
So far I have found this book to be very creative, and moving, and I love hearing about The King. Christ is front and foremost in this book, from the very start. 

Maggie is an orphan, who's adoptive parents have been murdered, only Maggie is not aware of that fact for a while. She is a sort of frail little gal, who's life would seem very insignificant But that is often how God moves. The ones who can see, do see, and hear. The lives of those who are small wind up playing great roles in His plan. They must come together so that the world will be reminded of the only one who created everything, and it is time to show the truth from the lies. 

I am a wee bit frustrated to not have read more before posting this review, but I will be adding more! I have several things to post in the next few days about Worlds Unseen, so do stick with me as I am able to bring you all sorts of fun things about this series. 

At this time I must say that I am very pleased with this book, and thrilled that Rachel Starr Thomson is a home school graduate, because I am also. It just makes me even more inspired! The only glitch I have had thus far is my copy of this book would NOT load into Kindle on my phone, so while I was to and fro for Thanksgiving I wasn't able to read it like I wanted to. This is a good reason for buying your own copy, because then you will not have that problem. 


Here is the book cover:

About the Author:

Rachel Starr Thomson is a freelance writer and editor, a poet/narrator for a traveling arts company, and a homeschool graduate. She's passionately creative, and her Seventh World Trilogy--a classic fantasy in the tradition of George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis--is making waves with readers and reviewers alike.

Rachel's web pages are here:
The Seventh World Trilogy page:

What others are saying about Worlds Unseen
Worlds Unseen is an excellent read, solidly recommended for fantasy readers.” – Midwest Book Review

Epic, beautiful, well-written fantasy that sings of Christian truth.” – Rael, reader

Checking out her article "Christian Fantasy: An Apologetic" comes recommended at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kathryn’s Fountain by David Claassen (Fall Fiction Fling!)

This week for Fall Fiction Fling we have Kathyrn's Fountain by David Claassen. 

The Book Cover-

The book trailer. I do think these are often fun to watch.

Kathryn is resigned to living out her last days at Victorian Manor, a beautiful old home for senior citizens. Then one day something strangely wonderful happens to Kathryn at the garden fountain, and she begins living an adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Love and sacrifice take on new meaning as she involves a social worker and a police detective in carrying out what she believes to be her calling ~ to rescue a street child named Jasmine. The miracle at the fountain brings adventure that bridges the generations with hope and love.
Kathryn's Fountain celebrates the gifts that the generations can bring to each other. The conclusion is a resounding affirmation that it's never too late to make a difference!
" A poignant story with surprising twists and turns that will keep you reading and touch your heart. You won't view life in quite the same way after reading Kathryn's Fountain." ~ Marlene Bagnull
"A story of miracles and self-sacrifice." ~ Kathi Macias


Author Interview:
Dave writes part-time because his full-time calling is to give spiritual leadership and pastoral care to people of the Mayfair-Plymouth Congregational Church in Toledo, Ohio. Dave and his wife, Diann, make their home across the border in southeastern Michigan. They have two grown children and a growing number of grandchildren. Dave's other published books include Object Lessons for a Year (Baker Books) and Silent Words Loudly Spoken (CSS Publishing). For this blog tour we asked him a few questions:
1. Dave, what made you decide to become a writer as well as a pastor? Why do you write?
Dave: I've wanted to write since I was a teenager. I remember using an old Underwood portable typewriter (old already in the 1960s), to write short devotional/essay pieces, on the picnic table out under a tree on our Iowa farm. I write because I feel I can't keep from writing! I write to change the world more than to entertain.
2. What was your process of creating Kathryn's Fountain?
Dave: The basic storyline was there in my mind one morning when I woke up. At the time I was writing a science fiction novel (which I've just completed) and I interrupted that work to write Kathryn's Fountain.
3. In Kathryn's Fountain you use the symbol of a puzzle piece. What does that represent?
Dave: The puzzle imagery is meant to communicate that each of us is a part of the picture of God's grand scheme. Like a puzzle piece, each of us - at any age or place in life - has a shape and purpose to fit into God's big picture.
4. What is your writing routine? Is there something you typically do while writing a story - like drink coffee or listen to music?
Dave: I try to write Tuesday-Saturday for about 45 minutes each morning from 6:00-6:45am. I usually am sipping coffee at that time of the morning!
5. What would be a good present to give to a writer friend?
Dave: The recent issue of The Writer's Market.
6. Do you know a good joke you could share with us?
Dave: Yes. This farmer was working out in his field when a guy descended in a hot air balloon to get directions, because he was lost. When the balloonist was within shouting distance he leaned over the basket and shouted down to the farmer below. "Hey, mister, where am I?" The farmer looked around, then up, pointed his finger at the guy in the balloon, and said, "You can't fool me. You're up there!"
7. What other writing are you doing these days?
Dave: I'm tweaking my science fiction novel, writing a weekly inspirational newspaper column, a mid-week inspirational e-mail (e-mail me to get put on the list), and I write regularly for my blog.
8. Where on the Internet can we find you?
Dave: At my website/blog:
9. Anything else you want people to know about you?
Dave: I am a serious amateur photographer and sell images on . I also do some ventriloquism for the kids at my church. Oh, yes, I have a backyard chicken coop with a few chickens.

Kathryn's Fountain is available through most book outlets. Regular price: $12.97 Kindle e-book price: $7.99
Cladach's Special Price during "Fall Fiction Fling": $9.74

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas In Sugarcreek by Shelley Shepard Gray

Oh Dear,

My copy has not yet gotten to me! That means you get the regular write up, and when I am able, and have my copy I will add my thoughts/comments in here.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Christmas In Sugarcreek
Avon Inspire (October 25, 2011)
Shelley Shepard Gray

Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Abingdon Press. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page


Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.
As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.
Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Christmas In Sugarcreek, go HERE.

The book link is: