Tag Archives: Frank Peretti

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons to Love Speculative Fiction

19 May

I am a very eclectic reader. I will read just about any genre. I do have some exceptions, but since I read Christian fiction almost exclusively, I don’t have to worry about some of the more explicit scenes/language that can crop up. 😉 While my time is spent mostly in reading real life stuff, whether contemporary or historical, I do like a good speculative novel as well. So what is speculative fiction?

Speculative fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements.

The speculative fiction genre includes allegory, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, time travel, alternate history, dystopian fiction, etc. While the general market has lots of speculative fiction, there is not as much published in the Christian market, so you have to look for it. Enclave Publishing is one imprint that publishes spec fiction exclusively and is a good place to go to get your fix or to get you started on a new adventure in reading. Note: while the definition of spec fic states that the settings of the book are other than real world, I think some of the best examples of the genre take the real world and pull back a curtain that keeps us from seeing the whole picture. Those books use creative elements to help us process and imagine those things we just can’t see.

For my Top 10 Tuesday post, I have included the reasons I like spec fiction, as well as some suggested books for you to check out. Hope you enjoy!

Top Reasons to Love Speculative Fiction

 

Takes you to another world.

Prophet by R. J. Larson 

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she’s much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne’s elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Yet she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.

Allows you to travel in time and space.

The Bright Empires Series (5 books) by Stephen Lawhead

It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.

Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code — a roadmap of symbols — that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.

But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.

The Bright Empires series — from acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead — is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, adventure like no other.

Makes you think about the supernatural world.

The Chair by James Rubart

When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe’s antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was built by Christ, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts to wonder. Could the chair heal the person whose life he destroyed twelve years ago?

As word spreads of the boy’s healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece says it’s Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he reveals.

Searching for the truth about the artifact, and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it, Corin soon realizes he isn’t the only one willing to do anything to possess the power that surrounds The Chair.

Gives fresh perspective on everyday life.

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Lost luggage can ruin any trip. But what if it could change your life?

A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her perfect sister’s perfect house before her niece’s wedding.

A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.

And a young artist pursuing his father’s sports dream so he can keep his own alive.

When Gillian, David, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.

 

Gives you a little (or a lot) of thrills and chills!

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker—two of the most acclaimed writers of supernatural thrillers—have joined forces for the first time to craft a story unlike any you’ve ever read. Enter House — where you’ll find yourself thrown into a killer’s deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose . . . and the only way out is in. The stakes of the game become clear when a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it. Rules that only a madman — or worse — could have written. Rules that make no sense yet must be followed. One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — The Novella

17 Jul

no·vel·la

noun
1. a short novel or long short story.

Yep, that is the official definition of novella, the subject of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. As in the case of their longer cousins, novellas span genres and styles — historical, contemporary, suspense, romance — there is something for everyone! Looking at the varying forms novellas take, I have come up with a few categories. What do you think?

Don’t forget to check out other bloggers favorite novellas at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top Novellas

The Complimentary Novella — books that are written to introduce or compliment a novel series. These help to fill in the blanks, as well as entice a reader with a quick read. They are often prequels to the main story.

An Awakened Heart (An Orphan Train Novella) by Jody Hedund

Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters novella) by Becky Wade

 

Interrelated Novella Collection — these 2-4 novella collections often have several authors all writing within a continuing storyline. The examples I have chosen either follow different members of a family, involve characters connected with a place, and/or tell the story from different characters’ points of view.

Austen in Austin, volume 1 by Susan Dietze, Gina Welborn, Anita Mae Draper, and Debra E. Marvin

Invitation, Cycle One of The Harbingers Series by Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Bill Myers, and Alton Gansky

Where Tree Tops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin

 

Serialized Novellas — a series of individually published novellas (not part of a published collection) that follow a character, or group of characters, and are written by a single author.

Boo series by Rene Guttering (there are 4 in the series)

In The President’s Service series by Ace Collins (there are 14 books in this series, I have included the covers of the first 2)

Summer of The Burning Sky series by Susan May Warren (a third is due out in August)

Thematic novella collections — several novellas published together and united by a common theme or subject matter. They often involve several authors.

Among The Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Dorothy Love, Elizabeth Musser, and Shelley Gray

Sins of The Past by Dee Henderson, Lynette Eason, and Dani Pettrey

 

Standalone Novellas — a complete, unto itself story, just in novella length. I have found that there are lots of novellas published with Christmas themes — great for quick reading during a very busy time of year.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti 

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Silent Night, Deadly Night by Richard Mabry, M.D.

 

What is your favorite novella?

 

Book Review: Invitation

2 Nov

Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series.

In The Call by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached. Frank Peretti’s The Haunted confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house.

In Angela Hunt’s The Sentinels, animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi’s dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory. The Girl by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent–apparently not of this world — and something wants to kill her.

Bill Myers is an American Christian author, film director and film producer. He was born in Seattle, Washington on September 9, 1953.

Myers is most notable for the animated series The Adventures of McGee and Me. He is an author of books from many genres, including comedy, horror, thriller, fiction, and non-fiction. He has written over 80 books.

Frank Peretti is a New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Peretti is best known for his novels This Present Darkness (1986) and Piercing the Darkness (1989). Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God, and formerly played the banjo in a bluegrass band called Northern Cross. He now lives in Coeur d’Alene Idaho with his wife, Barbara.

Angela Elwell Hunt is a prolific Christian author, and her books include The Tale of Three Trees, The Debt, The Note, and The Nativity Story, among others.

Alton Gansky is an American novelist in the Christian fiction genre. He has written 6 non-fiction books and 23 novels, three of which were co-authored with former Army Ranger Jeff Struecker. In 2012 Gansky and Struecker’s Fallen Angel was honored as the American Christian Fiction Writers’ “top thriller” of that year.

 

My Impressions:

I didn’t really know what to expect when I chose Invitation to read and review. Oh, I knew that the 4-novella collection was authored by some of the best authors in the field of Christian fiction, and that I have never been disappointed by anything they have written. I also knew that their writing style, characterization, and plot-development suited my reading tastes. But I didn’t know I would be led on a challenging and twisting journey that included mind-bending situations. Invitation is speculative fiction at its best. It has a unique format that suits the genre well — short, episodic novellas, changing points of view, and story lines which at first seem unrelated, but soon come together in a coherent manner. There is something weird going on, and this reader enjoyed every minute.

Each novella in the collection has a different author and the unique voice of one of the four main characters. Four very different people with strange gifts are brought together in what can only be called a supernatural way. And try as they might, they cannot keep from forming a team to investigate and somehow impact weird happenings. I loved how the authors’ collaboration brought forth a cohesive whole. This cannot possibly be easy to achieve, but they somehow managed to achieve unique stories within a consistent framework.

Evil seems to be having its way in Invitation, but there is a sense that God is at work in big ways in the world and in the lives of the main characters. I think the spiritual journey each character embarks on is my favorite part. As each challenge is met, the characters learn more about themselves and their place within a spiritual world. Each novella is wrapped up in Invitation, but the story is far from over. Invitation is just the first novella collection in this series.

Invitation is gritty and edgy; not your typical CF.  So don’t be surprised if this book takes you places you didn’t expect with characters that don’t often show up in normal novels. You just need to do what I did — sit back and let the authors take you on a trip you won’t forget.

Recommended for fans of speculative fiction.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

First Line Friday — The Halloween Edition

27 Oct

Okay, so it’s not Halloween . . . yet. But for this Friday before Halloween I wanted to share a spooky book that will get you in the mood. Invitation is a novella collection from best-selling authors Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky. All four can set a scene. All four can satisfy your craving for a supernatural suspense. So here is the first line of the second novella in the collection, The Haunted by Frank Peretti.

 

Four Bestselling Authors Team Up for Thrilling Supernatural Suspense

Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series.

In The Call by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached. Frank Peretti’s The Haunted confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house.

In Angela Hunt’s The Sentinels, animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi’s dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory. The Girl by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent — apparently not of this world — and something wants to kill her.

To purchase, click HERE.

What is the first line of the book you are reading?

 

Ready for some more first lines? Then head over to Hoarding Books to check out what other bloggers are sharing today.

Top 10 Tuesday — Suspense on My Shelves!

6 Jun

Last week’s Top Ten Tuesday featured the suspense-filled novels that I am anxiously awaiting in the coming months. This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish want to know what books I have recently added to my burgeoning library, so I am featuring the suspense novels that already reside on my shelves, whispering and sometimes shouting pick me! LOL! To find out what other bloggers have added to their home libraries, click HERE.

 

 

8 Suspense Novels on My Shelves

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her — and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan (ARC)

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky

BRENDA – The street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future.

THE PROFESSOR – The atheist ex-priest ruled by logic.

ANDI – The professor’s brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns

TANK – The naïve, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power.

The four find out that pockets of darkness are emerging throughout the world. Whether it involves a mysterious house, the unexplainable death of animals around the world, or an otherworldly little girl, each mystery they solve brings them closer to the ultimate explanation of what’s happening. What will happen if they don’t solve the mysteries in time?

Magnolia Moonlight by Mary Ellis

Natchez, Mississippi — Private Investigator Nate Price and his new wife, Isabelle, need a vacation. Their coworkers generously team up to surprise them with a belated honeymoon…but the happy trip turns sour when Izzy spies her ex-husband, who appears to have taken up his gambling addiction once again.

While the boss is away, Price Investigations remains in the hands of Beth Kirby, a former police officer, and Michael Preston, a former forensic accountant. Hardly a dream team, as Beth resents working with a man who has no experience in his new job.

But Beth and Michael must move past their differences if they hope to uncover the truth behind a beloved Southern preacher’s demise. The preacher’s widow suspects foul play, despite the evidence indicating suicide.

With tension escalating between these investigators and local law enforcement — and new threats arising on all sides — how will Beth, Michael, and Nate hold on to faith and bring the truth to light?

Storm of Attraction by Lily Black

Love is worth fighting for. Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble. Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home. As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames.

Sunset in Old Savannah by Mary Ellis

Private investigators Beth Kirby and Michael Preston are hired by wealthy socialite Evelyn Doyle of Savannah, Georgia, to prove her husband is cheating on her. During the surveillance, the husband ends up dead and Mrs. Doyle becomes the prime suspect. Is Evelyn the real killer or is it the shady business partner? Did they find a mistress? 

 

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Get inside the minds of Evie Blackwell and the best of the best investigative team as they re-open cold cases for the Governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. Each has their own style when it comes to their search methods.  Become a part of the intense details and find yourself on the edge of your seat as they pull that next thread that leads them yet another step closer to finding the abductors.

 

Which one should I read first?