Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Distant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Distant Heart

(Avon Inspire January 2, 2008)


Tracey Bateman

To find out more about this book immediately, go to the CFBA blog and see what they had to say... Distant Heart is the sequel to Defiant Heart and therefore, I feel that I should tell you about Defiant Heart first.

The book ends very abruptly to me it seems, but... I have the sequel on my bookshelf, so I'm OK. Fannie's life has seen rough days, she has lost both of her parents, left to take care of her younger twin siblings and sold by her supposed loving step-father immediately after her mother's death in childbirth to a stillborn. The man the three children were indentured to let the year of the contract end date come and go and the future looked bleak for nothing would change for Fannie and her dear brother and sister. Living in their small sin-filled town Fannie decides to join the next wagon trail headed west out of their Kansas town. It proves to be more difficult than expected. First denied, then accepted, and while taking the journey west is difficult enough Fannie, her new friend and ex-Fancy woman Toni shares the fate of being chased by a man that believes his ownership of her work and body. From a plausible new love when Fannie vows that all men are alike and want one thing, to a near drowning, then a tornado, will they all get through this alive? And when Fannie and her siblings ever be free? What of Toni and her future, will she get a second chance on life or always be ruined? All these questions and more are answered and leaving you thirsting for more from Tracey Bateman's new series. And of course, God works his ways in many ways, but this is not an overbearing preachy book. It's just wonderful. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to finish the second in this series...

I have a bout two chapters left to be finished with the book, but I can tell you that I will definitely look for the third in this series Damaged Heart. Tracey Bateman has gotten together a good series that parallels to other great authors such as Tamera Alexander and even touches on the artistic ability of Francine Rivers's book Reedeming Love.

Here, we take on the continued adventure from Defiant Heart but from the perspective of the ex-prostitute Toni and her journey to the Oregon territory. If the trip is not difficult enough without other events thrown in here and there... Try Indian Attacks and kidnappings, adultery and murder, and a new strange girl Ginger into their midst. Will the Cheyenne get there way and get Toni for their keeping? Who is Ginger and what does she want? Will the children and sister from the other wagon train be rescued? Will Amanda Kane ever heal? God is incredible and though he sometimes works slowly, if you look back and see what he is capable of you will be shocked an amazed...

These books are fast reads, at least for me, but they are strongly recommended good reads.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wayfarer's Journal: Science Fiction & Fantasy Questions answered by Terri

Dear Terri,

If you could tell prospective readers only three things about the new
Wayfarer's Journal, what would they be?


Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour Member and Participant


Interesting question. Here are my answers:

1. For Christian Readers: The stories at Wayfarers Journal challenge the reader to look at questions of spirituality, ethics and morality through a different set of filters than you find in church or in mainstream Christian literature. The stories are intended to challenge the reader to look at ancient truths in futuristic ways.

2. For the Seeker/Unbeliever: Modern technology is never morally neutral. From the atomic bomb to stem cell research the moral and ethical questions which live at the intersection of science and philosophy have been ignored at one's own peril. These character-driven stories show ordinary men and women struggling with these questions both now and in the distant future.

3. For Everyone: Wayfarer's Journal seeks to entertain and challenge readers and, we hope, fill a gap often neglected by main stream science fiction publications by publishing high quality stories which explore the spiritual, ethical and moral ramifications of future technological and social change.

I might add that our focus is on hard science fiction alone and not fantasy or horror. Also, I will be taking a break from December 15 until January 31 so if anyone is interested in writing for WJ, I won't be reviewing any MS's until February.

Terri Main

Science Fiction with a Difference:

Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy December Blog Tour

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wayfarer's Journal: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Starting with something that you might have already seen, I have to go ahead and repeat this in case you haven't read this because you should... So see below the Media Release for Wayfarer's Journal.


Media Release

Wayfarer’s Journal (, a new science fiction e-zine, was launched in February 2007. The publication focuses on publishing science fiction stories with a “spiritual dimension.”

“By spiritual we don’t mean preachy,” comments Wayfarers editor Terri Main. “We mean stories which not only project the reader into the future technologically, but see how those changes impact the morality, ethics and spirituality of believable characters.”

Main notes that spiritual issues are often not addressed by secular science fiction publications, and that many religious publications are reticent about publishing science fiction or fantasy.

“This shying away from the spiritual aspect of humanity in science fiction is foolish. A look at any newscast will show how technological and sociological developments have spiritual implications,” says Main. “What happens if human cloning takes place? Will clones have souls? What about contact with extraterrestrial intelligence? Could there be a place where original sin was never committed? What about the spirituality of incorporeal beings? These are questions just waiting to be explored in fiction.”

The publication will not only include science fiction stories, but also poetry, reviews and literary essays.

“We will have a regular feature by a Bible scholar called ‘The Masters’ which will explore how many classic science fiction writers explored spiritual themes in their work,” says Main. “We also want to publish science fiction poetry if we can find any.”

The publication will be published semi-annually in February and June. However, Main intends to add new features in between official publications. The site will also include a blog in which Main will publish news bites and mini-reviews.

“Even though we publish a new issue only twice a year, the site will always have new things on it to keep people coming back,” says Main.

Those interested in writing for the publication can contact main at or visit the web site and click on “Author’s Guidelines.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Lies Within by Karen Ball

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

What Lies Within

Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007)


Karen Ball


Karen Ball , bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today's bestselling Christian novels. Her love for words was passed down through her father and grandfather - both pastors who shared God's truth through sermons and storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen's writing style is a powerful force for revealing God's truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their "kids," Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named "Destructo."


Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…

until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.

Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.

Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.

Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

I've always loved that name Rafe. ;-) Coming into this, I have to confess that I have not yet read the first two (this What Lies Within is book 3). I have, however, added Shattered Justice (book 1) and Kaleidoscope Eyes (book 2) to my reading list.

So far, I have to admit that I'm not very taken with this book. Although, every chapter starts with two quotes that are absolutely fabulous! But it is one of those books that just jumps right in and I don't know if the prequels would have helped out with that or not. The other thing is that the storyline jumps from one characters life to another and in ways that you have no idea who is connected to who or how and why and really as to what is going on.

Ok, as of 2:22pm EST Thursday, I love this book! I have. But, I'm not finished yet... After getting over the humps in the beginning, which I kinda feel were necessary now to get to know the characters and their individual lives without pairing them in one lump sum, things are getting clearer and more fascinating and enticing with each turn of the page and start of a new chapter. Kyla and the kitten.. enough said.. but TOO CUTE! Rafa and his conversations with Livita... so real and amusing! The the elders of the church, old, in-love with the Lord, and full of personality. Even the members of the 22's... real, not always the tough guys like people imagine, they have hurts, and mama's too.

Finding out what this book is about, I probably wouldn't have read it if I knew that it was about... a girl lost trying to find her way, a retired due to injury tough-guy Marine, an inner-city gang and their comings and goings, a couple of elders of a Church trying to make a dream that seems hopeless happen, and a greedy man trying to destroy everyone's life and dreams. But... I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have the opportunity to read this book! It is outside of my comfort zone, but it is so rewarding and true to life. I could almost say it is like watching one of those current day TV shows, with the gang activity and drama of peoples lives, but it so much better because it has the realistic aspects of the Christian life that you almost never see on TV. If this were made into a TV drama, I'd watch it in a heart beat.

With that said, I'm not completely finished with the book myself, but my mind has been made up. This boy is a treasure to my reading experience and I strongly suggest it for anyone, especially those, who do not think it would fit for their common genre.


The Complete Jane Austen

And I quote...

Visit Your Local PBS Station
PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Support PBS Shop PBS Search PBS
Masterpiece Theatre
The Complete Jane Austen
Emma; Mansfield Park; Northanger Abbey; Persuasion; Pride and Prejudice; Sense and Sensibility
See a Sneak Preview

The Masterpiece Theatre Book & Film Club
Pride and Prejudice is a production of BBC Television and BBC Worldwide Americas, Inc. in association with A&E Networks.
The Masterpiece Theatre broadcast of Pride and Prejudice is the first in the U.S. other than on A&E Television Networks.

“The Complete Jane Austen”

Sundays, beginning January 13, 2008
9:00 p.m. ET

– New Adaptations of “Mansfield Park,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Persuasion” and “Sense and Sensibility”; “Emma” with Kate Beckinsale and Emmy-Winning “Pride and Prejudice”; and Biopic “Miss Austen Regrets” –

How many ways can a young woman find true love amid the dinner parties, balls, carriage rides, picnics and other picturesque opportunities to meet the opposite sex in turn-of-the-19th-century England? There are six transcendently satisfying scenarios, as told in a half-dozen enchanting novels by Jane Austen — one of the most beloved writers in all of literature.

For the first time on television, Austen fans can now sit down to a weekly feast of all of her immortal plots, presented by MASTERPIECE THEATRE® over the course of four months in beautifully acted, lavishly set and gorgeously costumed adaptations. As a bonus, viewers will be treated to a new drama based on Austen’s own bittersweet love life.

“The Complete Jane Austen,” beginning Sunday, January 13, 2008, 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS, features all-new productions of “Persuasion,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Mansfield Park” and “Sense and Sensibility.” The lineup also includes the acclaimed “Emma” starring Kate Beckinsale, the Emmy Award-winning “Pride and Prejudice” that made Colin Firth a leading man and the new biopic, “Miss Austen Regrets.”

Four of the titles — “Emma,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility” — were adapted by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose “Bleak House” on MASTERPIECE was one of the most highly praised television dramas of 2006.

The Austen extravaganza includes:

• “Persuasion” (1/13, 9-10:30) Sally Hawkins (Little Britain) appears as Anne Elliot, destined for spinsterhood at age 27 after being persuaded eight years earlier to refuse the proposal of dashing Captain Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones, “Casanova”). Then chance brings them together again. While her better days are past, his are definitely ahead, as he’s now rich and free to play the field among eligible young beauties. Anthony Head (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) co-stars as Anne’s spendthrift father. Adapted by Simon Burke. Directed by Adrian Shergold. Executive producer, Murray Ferguson. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by David Snodin. A Clerkenwell Films production for ITV in association with WGBH/Boston.

• “Northanger Abbey” (1/20, 9-10:30) In Austen’s gentle parody of gothic fiction, Felicity Jones (Meadowlands) plays romance-addict Catherine Morland. Invited to a medieval country house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies, she forms a close friendship with the younger son on the estate, Henry Tilney (JJ Feild, “The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton”), but their budding romance is mysteriously cut short. Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Jon Jones. Executive producers, Andy Harries, Charles Elton. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Keith Thompson. A co-production of Granada and WGBH/Boston.

• “Mansfield Park” (1/27, 9-10:30) Austen’s most complex plot stars Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “The Ruby in the Smoke”) as Fanny Price, who goes to live with prosperous relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny navigates a labyrinth of intrigues and affairs among the occupants of the house, while her cousin Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson, “Inspector Lynley Mysteries”) remains her stalwart confidant. Also starring Jemma Redgrave (“Bramwell”) as Fanny’s observant aunt. Adapted by Maggie Wadey. Directed by Iain B. MacDonald. Executive producers, George Faber, Charles Pattinson. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Suzan Harrison. A co-production of Company Productions and WGBH/Boston.

• “Miss Austen Regrets” (2/3, 9-10:30) If nothing else, Jane Austen wrote from personal experience. Courtship she knew well; only the last act eluded her. This film biography dramatizes Austen’s lost loves: Harris Bigg, whose proposal she accepted and then rejected; Edward Brydges, whom she also refused; the tongue-tied vicar she teased mercilessly; and the young surgeon who arrived on the scene too late to steal her heart. Starring Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense), Greta Scacchi (The Player) and Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill). Written by Gwyneth Hughes. Directed by Jeremy Lovering. Executive producer, Laura Mackie. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Anne Pivcevic. A BBC and WGBH/Boston co-production.

• “Pride and Prejudice” (2/10-2/24, 9-11) Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’ Diary) is Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle (The Coast of Utopia) is Elizabeth Bennet in the definitive adaptation of the most-loved of all Austen novels. With five daughters, no sons and an entailed estate, the elder Bennets are in dire straits as they try to arrange advantageous marriages. Wedding bells ring three times, but the path to true love is tortuous indeed. Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Simon Langton. Executive producer, Michael Wearing. Produced by Sue Birtwistle. A production of BBC Television and BBC Worldwide Americas, Inc. in association with A&E Television Networks. The MASTERPIECE THEATRE broadcast of “Pride and Prejudice” is the first in the U.S. other than on A&E Television Networks.

• “Emma” (3/23, 9-11) The New York Times praised this production as “smart and spirited … understated and sly.” Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator) stars in the title role as the tireless matchmaker who professes no interest in matrimony for herself, only for her orphaned protégée, Harriet Smith (Samantha Morton, Longford). Still, Emma does feel a certain twinge for Frank Churchill (Raymond Coulthard, “He Knew He Was Right”) and a brotherly regard for Mr. Knightley (Mark Strong, “Prime Suspect 6”). Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Diarmuid Lawrence. Executive producers, Delia Fine, Simon Lewis. Produced by Sue Birtwistle. Produced by United Film and Television Productions in association with Chestermead Ltd and A&E Networks. Originally broadcast in February 1997.

• “Sense and Sensibility” (3/30 and 4/6, 9-10:30) Hattie Morahan (The Golden Compass) plays levelheaded Elinor Dashwood and Charity Wakefield (“Jane Eyre”) her impulsive sister Marianne. Though poor, they attract a trio of very promising gentlemen: soon-to-be wealthy Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens, The Line of Beauty), heroic Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey, State of Play) and Byronic John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper, The History Boys). Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by John Alexander. Produced by Anne Pivcevic. Executive producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. A BBC and WGBH/Boston co-production.

Underwriters: Public Television Viewers and PBS. Presenter: WGBH Boston. Series executive producer: Rebecca Eaton. Format: CC Stereo DVI. Online:

– PBS –

CONTACT: Ellen Dockser, WGBH, Tel.: 617/300-5338;

Olivia Wong, WGBH, Tel.: 617/300-5349;

Christina Pan (photography), WGBH, Tel.: 617/300-5340;

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bluegrass Peril by Virginia Smith

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Bluegrass Peril

(Steeple Hill December 4, 2007)


Virginia Smith

To read more about this book immediately click here... but stay tuned I'm over halfway through the book so far (cannot turn the pages fast enough) and will have a review posted as soon as I finish it.

**** Update****

I finished the book just moments ago. For once in my life, I have now read a mystery suspense that I couldn't guess what was going to happen next. This was really surprising and a welcome change of events. It has been quite a while since I have read any suspense novels because of that very reason, but this just might have influenced me to try again in that section. Virginia Smith did a very good job of keeping the reader on their toes and guessing. The words really could not become absorbed by my eyes and brain fast enough to keep going; I wanted to know just what would happen next.

This story brings in a mother of twins that from the very first a reader can sympathize with and feel her emotions clearly as their own with a relative part of her life. She has both good and bad in her life and tries to focus on the good and what's right, but just like all us, can become overwhelmed by the bad that she wants to fix. Another character from the very start is Scott Lewis, Scott has a past of a broken heart and does not want a repeat and therefore is very guarded with his life. Thrown in with the what-ifs of life and love and what shouldn't be... murder. Who committed the murder and why? When people start to get too close, others begin to get hurt and die. So many suspects... So many motives... where to turn and what to think?

This book was very realistic in some ways for a fiction novel. I can easily see the characters play out in real life in a similar fashion. The only part I do not buy is the un-authorized detective work performed by civilians. In this day and age with our law enforcement it is almost scary to think of investigating things. But perhaps, I've seen to many movies and heard too many stories and just find police officers suspicious and ready to jump on anyone that appears too interested... Too bad we cannot all be Nancy Drew. ;-)


Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's Snowing Christmas!

Ta da! It's Snowing Christmas! My latest project top finished minutes ago...