Tag Archives: speculative fiction

Congrats to The 2018 Christy Award Winners!

8 Nov

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Christy Award! I have read several on the list and concur that they are indeed award-winning. The list includes a variety of genres, so there is something for everyone. They are all good read guaranteed!

 

Contemporary Romance

True to You by Becky Wade

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

First Novel

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete — and the people he loves most — will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

General Fiction 

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
 
A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 
 
Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake. 
 
In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

Historical

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king.
 
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

Historical Romance

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives — including her own — are lost?

Short Form

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Visionary 

The Man He Never Was by James Rubart

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on—with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside—like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury—and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Young Adult

The Delusion by Laura Gallier

By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded―until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil―everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

Book of The Year

True to You by Becky Wade

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Book Review: Surrounded by Darkness

15 Oct
We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . 

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.

Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.

With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough — in God and each other — to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

 

My Impressions:

Surrounded by Darkness is the third installment in the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. And just so you know, you really cannot read this legal suspense/specuulative novel as a standalone. Each book builds on the other as it depicts more than courtroom battles. Rachel Dylan’s series is definitely filled with legal wrangling, but these books also clearly depict the spiritual warfare that is hidden from most believers. The novels draw back the veil in a way that will make you think twice when life presents trials. Each is a recommended read.

In Surrounded by Darkness, series main characters Olivia and Grant have their faith tested as they face attacks from both the real world and the heavenly realms. They, along with characters both old and new, play a big part in the battle for Windy Ridge. The New Age movement and the Wiccan culture are examined in their relation to the plans of Satan to capture the hearts of their followers. One truth is made very clear — once you choose to follow the occult, no matter how benign it seems, you have chosen to stand against God. I really liked that Dylan challenges the naive view that there is white magic. Against the backdrop of spiritual warfare, Olivia uses the talent God has given her to battle the forces of evil — her legal expertise. I found this very intriguing. It made me think about the equipping of God in a whole new way. As in the first two books in the series, some action is wrapped up. But though the battle may have been won, the war continues.

I have enjoyed all the books in Dylan’s series, and recommend each. Make sure to check out all three.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

First Line Friday — Surrounded by Darkness

12 Oct

Happy Friday everyone! As I am writing this post (Wednesday afternoon), my small town is awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Michael. Although we are 5 hours northeast of its landfall, Michael is bringing predicted Cat 1 winds to the area. While the winds may scare us, we know that God has us in His hands. That’s how it is for the characters in Rachel Dylan‘s latest legal suspense/speculative novel, Surrounded by Darkness, which I am sharing today. The community of Windy Ridge has unseen forces buffeting believers, but God is in control there as well. Great to know, right?!

Please comment below from the book nearest you, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

 

We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . 

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.

Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.

With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough — in God and each other — to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Happy Book Birthday! — Surrounded by Darkness by Rachel Dylan

8 Oct
Happy Book Birthday! Rachel Dylan‘s third novel in the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series, Surrounded by Darkness, releases today! Dylan’s series features a litigator who not only fights battles in the courtroom, but faces spiritual warfare as well. If you are a fan of legal suspense with a big dose of spiritual truth, this series is for you.
We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . 

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.

Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.

With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough — in God and each other — to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

To purchase, click HERE.

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Congratulations to The 2018 Christy Award Finalists!

19 Sep

Congratulations to all the talented authors who are now 2018 Christy Award Finalists. If you are on the hunt for some great books, here is an excellent place to start.

 

Contemporary Romance

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren

True to You by Becky Wade

 

First Novel

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Turtles in The Road by Kaley Rhea and Rhonda Rhea

 

General Fiction 

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Life After by Katie Ganshert

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

 

Historical

Catching The Wind by Melanie Dobson

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

 

Historical Romance

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Coldwater by Goldwater by Samuel Parker

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

 

Short Form

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

Her Secret Daughter by Ruth Logan Herne

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

 

Visionary

Awakened by Morgan Busse

The Day The Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

The Man He Never Was by James Rubart

 

Young Adult 

The Delusion by Laura Gallier

Last Summer at Eden by Christina Hergenrader

Unraveling by Sara Ella

Top 10 Tuesday — What to binge-read when others are binge-watching.

4 Sep

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is binge-worthy TV shows/movies. I am so out of the loop when it comes to TV watching. While my friends binge-watched Downton Abbey, I read books. While my kids binge-watched The Office or Portlandia, I read books. While my husband watched Lonesome Dove and its many sequels, I read books. Hmm, I am noticing a trend. So as not to be left out this week, I again changed the topic to Book Series to Binge-Read while Other Binge-Watch. I have included series from a variety of genres — I hope you find some new books to keep you busy!

Check out other bloggers’ recommendations at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Book Series to Binge-Read

 

The Baxter Series by Kathy Herman (suspense and danger in small town America)

 

The Bowers Files by Steven James (high-octane suspense)

 

The Bright Empires by Stephen Lawhead (mind-bending time travel)

 

The Cape Refuge Series by Terri Blackstock (Southern suspense)

 

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon (romance on the Oregon coast)

 

Lowlands of Scotland by Liz Curtis Higgs (the ultimate love triangle set in 1700s Scotland)

 

The Million Dollar Mysteries by Mindy Starns Clark (charitable mysterious doings)

 

The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta (mystery/intrigue in Victorian England)

 

What series would you binge-read?

Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye Series Blitz!

19 Jul

Patrick Higgins series blitz

Welcome to the Chaos In The Blink of an Eye series blitz and GIVEAWAY, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

After countless millions silently and mysteriously vanished from the face of the earth — including all small children — in the blink of an eye, the world was plunged into unbridled chaos.

In the days following the Rapture of Christ’s Church, the ultimate enemy of God raised up his primary human agent in the flesh to carry out his diabolical mission, Salvador Romanero.

With a secret society working feverishly behind the scenes, and with Romanero being supernaturally empowered by the prince of darkness, the former lawyer from Spain quickly rose above the landscape of humanity to become the most powerful man on earth.

The Miracle Maker, as Salvador Romanero was known throughout the world—after various predictions he’d made had all come true—was about to perform his greatest miracle: peace to a tiny country that had lived in constant fear since its inception, the nation of Israel.

But not everyone was sailing on the Salvador Romanero cruise ship. With the promise of peace thick in the air in Israel, elsewhere the armies were already gathering…

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon

 

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

Series Purchase Links: Goodreads | Amazon

CHAOS IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE: PART SIX – THE SEALING releases Autumn 2018!

Each day of the blitz spotlights a different book from the series – follow along with the tour to learn about each of the first five books individually!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

patrick higgins

Patrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”

While the stories he writes all have different themes and take place in different settings, the one thread that links them all together is his heart for Jesus and his yearning for the lost. With that in mind, it is his wish that the message his stories convey will greatly impact each reader, by challenging you not only to contemplate life on this side of the grave, but on the other side as well. After all, each of us will spend eternity at one of two places, based solely upon a single decision which must be made this side of the grave. That decision will be made crystal clear to each reader of his books.

CONNECT WITH PATRICK: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


chaos blitz giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Patrick Higgins is giving away to one (1) winner:

  • $50 Amazon gift card &
  • the first five books in the Chaos series

Open Internationally as long as recipient can accept a gift card from US Amazon. Books available in winner’s choice of ebook or print, although ebook only for international winner.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 16, 2018 and last through 11:59pm July 23, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


tour schedule

Check out the full schedule at the tour landing page!

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