Sunday, September 26, 2010

Judgment Day by Wanda Dyson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Judgment Day
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)

Wanda Dyson

Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.

Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.

Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza.

With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.

Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancĂ©–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Watch the book trailer:

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Take on Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

As I was traveling last week, I had quite a few hours on airplanes to read Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker. This book is a powerful allegory for the passion, pursuit, and sacrifice of Christ. I will even go as far to say that I found myself stopping at points near the end to pray, to praise Jesus for his death for us, and to pray for my husband to know what this amazing sacrifice means.

And here's where it went even farther in my heart. Not only is Toma's love for Lucine so representative of Christ's love for us, I saw in it the love Christ calls us to have for our unbelieving spouses. I could completely relate to Toma's willingness to do whatever it took, to sacrifice anything, to pray that most dangerous prayer (Lord, do whatever it takes) to bring the one he loved to truth.

As one who is spiritually mismatched, this story not only resonated with me regarding my own salvation but also the yearning to see my husband know and experience this all consuming love that is so completely and totally our God.

One line in particular stood out to me, even the page number stuck with me (pg. 285). As said of evil:

"Their lust to win the love of mortals away from God knows no bounds."

The truth of this one line resonated deeply with me. This is the battle we face on a daily basis and the darkness that encompasses our unbelieving loved ones. However, to know the depths of God's love (if that's even possible this side of heaven), or should I better say to begin to grasp this all-encompassing love God has for us, shifts the desire for our unbelieving spouses to know Jesus from a selfish motivation to a shared passion with Christ that our loved one would truly know God, to experience the sacrificial love displayed in his Son Jesus, and to walk with God's Holy Spirit.

Thought provoking, powerful, beyond fiction...this book crosses from words on the page to truth piercing the heart.

CONTEST UPDATE: Without further ado, the winner is Helen! If you left a comment on my blog or Facebook page, thank you for participating. God bless!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me a review copy of Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker. I just received the book so I haven't had a chance to finish yet, but I have to say I was immediately intrigued within the first few pages. And now, several chapters in, I'm more than intrigued.

This is quite a diversion for Dekker—something I appreciate about this writer. He's not afraid to explore new ideas and has the ability to always delight and surprise.

So, check out the rest of this post. There's a rockin' book trailer that will blow your socks off. I say that as a graphic designer who's very picky about book trailers. This is one of the best I've seen. Plus there's a contest here, friends! But you have to check out the rest of the details right to the end. :-)

Without further ado...

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Immanuel's Veins
Thomas Nelson (September 7, 2010)

Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.

Early in his career he wrote a number of spiritual thrillers and his novels were lumped in with ‘Christian Fiction’ a surprisingly large category. His later novels are a mix of mainstream novels such as Adam, Thr3e, Skin, Obsessed and BoneMan’s Daughters, and fantasy thrillers that metaphorically explore faith. Best known among these is his Circle Series: Green, Black, Red, White and The Paradise Books: Showdown, Saint, and Sinner.

Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.

After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study philosophy and religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.

In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.

He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel, Heaven’s Wager, was published.

Now, Dekker’s novels had sold over 3.4 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

This story is for everyone--but not everyone is for this story.

It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.

Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.

With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds.

Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.

Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.

But remember, not everyone is for this story.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Immanuel's Veins, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Check out Ted's blog for more events and details:

Leave a comment to entered into the contest to win a copy of Immanuel's Veins and a super cool "Spread the Love" T-shirt. I got one with my book and love the design!

And now in line with the theme of love, here's a post I wrote about three powerful words in the Bible. Three words that exemplify Christ's unconditional love. For you, for me, for all of us...

In Mark 10, we’re told about the story of a rich young man who approaches Jesus and asks what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Now read Jesus’ reply below as I’ve shown an edited version of it. You’ll understand why I did this in just a moment.

Jesus looked at him... "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

Read it again if you need to and notice every word. Now read the complete version of this same verse:

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

Can you see the difference? If not, go back and compare the two and find the three words missing from the first one. Three little words:

and loved him

They don’t have to be there to show what’s going on, but those three words stopped me in my tracks. Here stands this young man who lacks nothing materially. Jesus can see his heart before he even speaks a word, and most likely knows what this young man will say.

Yet—and this is the part that blows me away—Jesus loved him. He loved this man whose world centered on his wealth. This man who would turn and walk away from the gift Jesus offered. The man who was so mired in his sinful nature that when offered the key to eternity (Jesus was offering himself here), he still chose to walk away.

Through all this, Jesus loved this man and met him exactly where he stood, figuratively and literally.

Every time Jesus looks upon us, He loves us. Every time Jesus looks upon our unbelieving spouses, He loves them. Exactly where they’re at.

These three little words held within the complete context of this chapter of Mark is one of the strongest examples of Christ’s unconditional love. When God inspired the men to write His Word down, He intentionally put those words in there for a reason. Not as an afterthought.

As Christ loved this man who was poor despite his wealth, so we are called to love our unbelieving loved ones. We stand before them, possibly the only representation of Christ in their lives. We are the door Christ can walk through and reveal His endless and intentional love.

God’s love is not afterthought. It is the heart of His salvation. And when we allow God to use us to reveal His heart…His love, we stand in the footsteps of Christ.

Praying and believing,