Tag Archives: Christian Fiction

When Death Draws Near (A Gwen Marcy Novel) by Carrie Stuart Parks ~ a review

Book Three in a Series

When Death Draws Near

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey needs a job, so she and her daughter head for Appalachian hill country and Pikeville, Kentucky. She’s been hired to draw the likeness of the “Hillbilly Rapist” to help local law enforcement catch him. His victims and witnesses vanish. The author shows Gwen’s depth of character in a range of situations. Her heart goes out to the rape victims and she faces the fear of her own cancer scare.

Gwen is plunged into a second mysterious case surrounding a local snake handling church and a growing number of murders…some by snake bite. She is persuaded by a prestigious local family with White House aspirations, to scope out this church and its members. As she delves deeper into both cases, she thinks there may be a connection between the two.

Although she’s both attracted to and suspicious of handsome and mysterious Blake, she allows him to blindfold her and take her to their annual meeting where there will be snake handling. She’s not altogether sure he’s not the murderer, and neither is the reader.

My favorite aspect of the writing is the author takes chances. By no means is this a formulaic mystery read. It’s unique in its conception and execution.

 

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What Christian Authors Can Write ~ and what they can’t?

TSO Cover 2About a year ago, I made a comment in a general market thrillers group about Christian thrillers. I wasn’t expecting the ferociously angry response I got from a female, noir thriller writer who didn’t think Christians had anything to say in the thriller genre. Period!

It wasn’t long after that, I made a comment in a Christian authors group that I was considering writing a New Adult novella because I didn’t think Christian writers were reaching enough upperclassmen high school students and college students. I got a very polite response from a Christian author I didn’t know well. She told me Christians should not be writing New Adult because it was a sexual genre. I politely replied that when Christians write New Adult, it won’t be wantonly sexy though it may handle sexual topics the New Adult age group is dealing with.

Well, my New Adult novella THAT SPECIAL ONE just released in Kindle format. Writing it was a journey. As part of that process I visited a number of high school and college kids’ blogs and tweeted with them. Quite an eye opener.

THAT SPECIAL ONE in a nut shell…

College freshman Ivy Chalmers moved in with her aunt and uncle in Arroyo, Texas. She needed to get away from her alcoholic and weed smoking mother.  Ivy longed for a different life than the revolving-door-men in her mom’s life. Making a one-eighty, she vowed not to make a serious dating commitment unless she knew it would be that really ‘special relationship ‘.

Corey Jones had been the man in his house since age twelve, when his alcoholic dad abandoned him and his mom. Once in a while, his dad showed up trying to extort money from them using threats. Then his blue-haired, self-centered cousin Ava came to live with them and the way she treats his mom enrages him.

Ivy is thrilled when she meets an upper classman from a neighboring college and thinks he might be ‘that guy.’ When she is horribly betrayed, her world is thrown upside-down, and she plunges into a depression.  In a steady and kind of clumsy way, Corey is there for her during her worst moments. But his family is plagued with alcoholism, the life she had with her mom, the life she ran away from. What’s wrong with her that she attracts the wrong guys? A s if that weren’t bad enough, there’s an arsonist terrorizing their tiny village.

Purchase THAT SPECIAL ONE on Amazon


Against the Odds by V.B. Tenery & David Arp ~ showcase and author interview

Against the Odds_ACTION-ADVENTURE, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, TERRORISM, WAR

It’s something I haven’t done yet and something that intrigues me — when two authors collaborate on a work of fiction. In this case, AGAINST THE ODDS was written by two colleagues I’ve know for several years. So, I thought I’d ask them about it.

A little about the novel…

Agent Sam Roberts took nano seconds to figure out how and why the missionary woman got on the yacht. The scum-bucket Russian he was assigned to watch duped her somehow, like that miserable criminal had others. Turning a blind eye to save his job might guarantee her an early visit from the Grim Reaper. Then again, a rescue attempt through middle east terrain might have the same results. His choice is a story ready to keep any reader turning pages long into the night.”

It was the mother of all bad days. — The date, September 11, 2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya. While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. Caught between terrorists and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or the cavalry arrives. Never assume things can’t get worse.

INTERVIEW:

Nike: What was it like to write with a co-author?

Dave Arp Alaska 2011

Dave in Alaska

Dave:  Co-writing makes you think, or at least it made me think more than if I were writing alone. AGAINST THE ODDS was Virginia’s idea, and she wrote the first two chapters and sent them to me. I had to introduce my character and tie him to hers. I/we never knew where the other was taking the story. Sometimes the next scene jumped into my head and away I went. Sometimes I thought “What!”

V. B. Tenery

VB: When I decide to write a story set in Libya, I asked David if he would like to join the project since he has an extensive background in the Middle East. Thus, the character of Tree was added to the story. Co-authoring was different, but in a good way. Our writing styles are similar so the chapters blended together seamlessly. Dave (The Great White Hunter) Arp was sometimes incommunicado tracking bears across the Alaskan tundra or working in the Gulf on an oil rig and would find chapters and emails from me in his inbox to wade through. All in all, it was a fun experience.

Nike:  Tell us something topical, interesting, funny, or something we would not expect about the writing of this novel.

David: Tree’s name and physical characteristics came from two men I worked with in Saudi Arabia. Getting a character from Mississippi into Libya isn’t hard if he’s working for a drilling contractor and his mom is Tunisian.

VB: Molly the dog, in the story, is real. Her characteristics as described in the             novel are exclusively her own. She doesn’t like anyone but me, but will tolerate a few others. She is a rescue dog my daughter purchased. Molly’s original owner was an older woman so Molly adopted me. I call her my little Rottweiler. My office is in my bedroom and she lives under my bed except when the weather is nice. Anyone who dares venture into her space is greeted by Molly in attack mode. She is the fastest dog I’ve ever seen. When I put her outside, she shoots out the door like she was fired from a gun. I went from a big, lovable, gentle St. Bernard, to an unfriendly, grouchy, hyper, midget with an attitude. What are you going to do when you’re adopted?

V. B Tenery website    V.B. Tenery Amazon Author Page

David Arb blog   David Arp Amazon Author Page   

AGAINST THE ODDS Amazon Purchase Link 

Molly

Molly


WAR OF THE HEART by Jenna Victoria ~ a review

war-of-the-heart-1

On his deathbed, Louise Martin’s farther insists she must go to England after he’s gone and clear the family name. Her grandfather fled London and sailed to America during World War II when wrongfully accused of stealing a royal brooch.

Louise arrives at a particular bed & breakfast in London she’s been drawn to and discovers it’s double booked. The B&B’s manager, George Walker, finds a dusty room for her on an upper floor. As Louise unpacks the family heirloom snow globe she brought with her, she realizes George has one exactly like it.When the two snow globes inadvertently touch, both she and George are transported to London during Christmas week, 1940.

The author is masterful at weaving in historical details of the London blitz as well as British customs of that era. Louise and George must don period clothing and try to fit in on the streets of that bombed out city. If you’re a fan of authentic British characterization you’ll love WAR OF THE HEART. Along the way, they meet Brits with the proverbial stiff upper lip, as well as discovering London’s darker side and meeting miscreants.

This is an elegant historical romance with just the right amount of suspense. I highly recommend this story.

WAR OF THE HEART on Amazon

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5-Star Review for DEADLY DESIGNS ~ by author Carole Brown, on Amazon

DDLg

Customer Review

 

Chillemi’s Deadly Designs is one of the best crime fiction novels for today’s world, October 14, 2016

By  C. Brown

This review is from: Deadly Designs: The Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy, Book Two (Authorized Operations) (Kindle Edition)

Chillemi’s Deadly Designs is one of the best crime fiction novels for today’s world. Filled with tension and fast-paced action, the book also brings out the romance between the protagonists and both the suspense and romance are handled as an experienced, great writing author should do–realistically and attention-grabbing.

Ronnie Ingels teams up with Lt Dawson Hughes to find the missing wife and daughter of nerdy radio DJ Harper, even though reported far later than they should have been. Fear for the missing mother and daughter is building when the double protagonists go from questioning the elite society of Connecticut and grouchy local police detectives to an underworld of fashion and terrorism.

One impressive ability that shines from Chillemi’s writing, is her ability to infuse faith and inspirational moments within her plots that are realistic and encouraging to readers, and far from overwhelming.

The question is: did the model/mother take off on one of her usual pot-smoking experiences with a shady “friend,” or did the international terrorists kidnap the two as pay back for the DJ’s pro-Israel, conspiracy theory he spouted on a regular broadcast? Is the husband at fault? And can Ronnie and Dawson rescue the family before it’s too late?

Time is ticking…and everyone knows time is a factor in finding a live child. Recommended highly!

Link to review  DEADLY DESIGNS now on sale till Christmas for $1.99

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KNIGHT IN SHINING APRON by Carole Brown ~ a review

knight-in-shining-armor

 

KNIGHT IN SHINING APRON is a a cozy foodie mystery, yes. Yet it goes beyond that to become a psychological cozy tackling the issue of domestic abuse thoroughly, but also in a manner that won’t distress readers of cozies and classical mysteries. This is a well written story.

Sir Joel Peterman, an actual British knight who is a bonafide gourmet chef, is mistaken for a new hire dishwasher and gets off on the wrong foot with Starli Cameron, the owner of Apple Blossoms restaurant in West Virginia.

Starli has a lot of issues. She was severely abused by her deceased husband and as the novel opens is being stalked and threatened by her police officer brother-in-law. P.O. Roland Stratton, well respected in the town, blames her for his drunken brother’s deadly car crash. Then there’s the sulking assistant chef, the scheming kitchen worker, and the cloying banker who is in love with her. There are more twists and turn and red herrings than you can shake a spatula at.

The novel captures small town business rivalries to perfection. The culinary aspects of the novel ring true. After a break in at the restaurant where the freezer has been deliberately left open, Joel knows exactly how to save the meat. I particularly liked his menu ideas and wanted to eat dinner at Apple Blossoms.

Amazon Purchase Link


FEAR HAS A NAME by Creston Mapes ~ tackling my ‘to read list’

Fear Has A Name

Psychological thriller, FEAR HAS A NAME, pulls together several threads, each with its own angst. There surely is no lack of emotional apprehension in this story, and some unsettling moments

The violent home invasion by a husky man dressed in black forces Pamela Crittendon to flee, with her two young daughters, to a neighbor’s house. Author Creston Mapes delves into the interior of his character’s psyches in a compelling manner. This attack upon their home forces Pamela to fight her tendency toward slipping into fearful agitation (passed down by her fear and anxiety ridden mother).  The author tends to drop things in at the end, and he thereby allows the daughter to discover why her mother is so fear ridden and it brings Pamela closer to her mom.

Reporter Jack Crittendon is writing a series of articles on a missing pastor who left what might be a bogus suicide note. The attack on Jack’s wife and daughters brings back “the old Jack,” the violent side he thought he’d buried. The missing pastor, secondary plotline has its own well developed characters. This sub-story keeps Jack busy on his job at the newspaper, allowing Pamela to deal with scary things on her own, as Jack’s rage increases toward the husky man.  Jack becomes even more unhinged when he’s accused of collecting and distributing child pornography. There were two places that stretched my believably. One was the police investigation of these pornography charges. The police explained too much and just plain talked conversationally way too much to the accused. And two, it was predictable that Pamela would flee to her mother’s house, which puts her on a collision course with danger. These are minor issues in what is a well written psychological study couched in a thriller. This is a good independently published read with a powerful spiritual message.


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