Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Passion Most Pure

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

A Passion Most Pure

(Revell January 1, 2008)

Julie Lessman

I can't remember the last time I read an entire book in one day -- with our family I just don't get the opportunty to do that. But this one was so good I didn't want to put it down! Kevin, one of our 8 year old twins, checked on me every hour or so to see what page I was on...he was fascinated that I was able to read almost 500 pages at one time!

The downside of reading a great book that fast is that you have to wait a long time for the next one in the series! I'm looking forward to it. Julie's writing style is fast paced and personal -- and she draws you in from the first sentence. There are twists and turns, wonderful people to meet, tragedy and surprises. This is not a book to read right before bedtime (unless you don't really want to sleep). Check it out!

I didn't realize it until I finished the book, but Julie lives in High Ridge...just outside of St. Louis. I don't know why I think it's so cool that she's almost a neighbor, but it is.


She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister ...

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith's proper Boston family apart.

Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O'Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. Collin is trying to win her sister Charity's hand, and Faith isn't sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure is Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series.

The book link can be purchased on Amazon


Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure is her first novel.

Julie can be reached at her website.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Awaken My Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Awaken My Heart

Avon Inspire (February 5, 2008)
DiAnn Mills

This week we are returning to historical fiction -- one of my favorites. I liked this book because it allows you to see into the head of the leader of a rebellion, how he has unwittingly taken on a role of leadership for the right reasons but is caught between the ethics of rebel tactics. The author, DiAnn Mills, does a great job of showing the contrast between two cultures, two religions, and two approaches to problem-solving. It is a good reminder that no matter how far we stray away from God, He will stay beside us and wait for us to change our minds. I enjoyed reading this one!


1803, the colony of Texas

Awaken My Heart is set in 19th century Texas and tells the story of 18 year old Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, Weston Phillips. Weston is involved in a hostile struggle with Armando Garcia, the infamous rebel leader of the 'mestizos' who claim to own the land that Phillips has settled.

Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her father's harsh treatment of the poor mestizos who first inhabited the colony of Texas. When rebels kidnap Marianne, in hopes her father will trade back their land for her freedom, she realizes her loyalty lies with her abductors, not her father, who plans to marry her off to the don of a nearby estate.

Armando Garcia is the locals' reluctant leader, but his people revere and depend on him. Knowing that without his leadership they'd be forced from their land, Armando accepts his role, but does not approve of the latest attempt to manipulate their enemy. When he learns that Marianne actually speaks his language, of her loyalty to his people, and of the faith that keeps her strong, Armando is faced with a difficult decision. Will his newfound love keep him from letting her go? Or will he set her free and risk losing their land forever?


Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. She is the author of numerous titles including novels, novellas, and a nonfiction. In addition, she's written several short stories, articles, devotions, and has contributed to several nonfiction compilations.

DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.

Several of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents, and she remains a favorite author by Heartsong Present's readers. Two of her books have won short historical of the year by American Christian Fiction Writers both in 2003 and 2004. She was named Writer of the Year for 2004 at the 35th Annual Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference and is the recipient of Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards for 2005 in the long contemporary and novella categories.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, ChiLibris, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn also belongs to Cy Fair Women's Networking, an exclusive professional women's networking organization.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas, the home of heat, humidity, and Harleys. In fact she'd own one, but her legs are too short. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Friday, January 25, 2008

We Have a Winner!

Carriss wins the copy of 101 Cups of Water! Congratulations -- I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fallen, by Matthew Raley

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Kregel Publications February 29, 2008)
Matthew Raley

Jim was at work when his eyes drifted to the coffee shop visible from his office window. An attractive woman driving a Mercedes pulled up to the curb . . . and Jim’s married pastor emerged from the car. When Jim delves deeper into his pastor’s world, will he be able to handle what he discovers? Is he right to suspect that Dave is having an affair? In the behind-the-scenes church battle that ensues, Jim is torn between duty to his church and a desire to show grace. A ripped-from-the-headlines drama of suspense that keeps you engaged to the last page. Fallen is the story about Jim’s relationship with Dave—how Jim tries to do the right thing to keep Dave accountable, but finds the situation getting worse and worse. It’s also about Jim’s other relationships. Just as he discovers hypocrisy in Dave, Jim discovers his own sins against his wife and daughter.

Matthew Raley is senior pastor of the Orland Evangelical Free Church in northern California, where he lives with his wife and two young children. For fun, he enjoys playing chamber music with friends, giving occasional solo recitals, and playing first violin in the North State Symphony. This is his first book.

You can purchase this book at

Monday, January 21, 2008

101 CUPS OF WATER - Book Give Away!



C.D. Baker

Summary: C.D. Baker dips into the flowing stream of God’s love and draws out relief, refreshment, mercy, hope and sustenance for a new generation of Christ-followers. Baker’s clean, simple prose is paired with evocative, black and white photographs that will etch each truth into the reader’s memory.

My Thoughts: When I opened this book I was expecting a heartfelt devotional, but I was unprepared for the level of honesty and openness I found. Within just a couple of pages I was looking over my shoulder to see if someone had been reading my thoughts. The author cuts through the traditional expectations of religion and voices pride and fear with amazing honesty. This book is a journey through a 'real' Christian's heart, not an attempt to show our hearts as other Christians expect us to be. Let me share the first one with you ... you will see what I mean!

An Excerpt

a cup of grace
I can't live the Christian life.

Don't tell anyone, but I've tried and I've tried and I can't. I haven't loved God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and I certainly haven't loved my neighbors as myself. It's that simple.

The Big Lie that's weighted so heavily on me is that I can't make my Christian life "work." It's a lie that has stood in the way of my enjoying true communion with God, a lie that's kept me from more fully appreciating the beauty of the creation around me and the community of others.

So, yes, I admit that I can't make my Christian life work.

Praise be to God, who has freed me from the trying.

He's show me that only Christ can live the Christian life, and he lives that life through me more fully as I get that trying-harder Self out of his way (Galatians 3).

So what do I do? I ask the holy Spirit to show me my weakness, my sin, my need. I bring it all to the cross. And when the good news of God's love pours over me, it is then I realize, with my heart filled with gratitude, that Christ lives through me.

no, I can't live the Christian life on my own -- and he loves me anyway.

Author Bio: C.D. Baker founded and operated an award-winning insurance business before redirecting his career to write. His historical novel Crusade of Tears in The Journey of Souls series earned a Christy Award nomination. He’s completing a master’s degree in theological studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland , where he splits his time from home in Bucks County , Pennsylvania . His website is

You can purchase the book at your local bookstore or at Amazon.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, leave a message WITH A WAY FOR ME TO CONTACT YOU. I will draw names at the end of the week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christian Writers' Market Guide 2008 by Sally Stuart

Christian Writers' Market Guide 2008
WaterBrook Press (January 15, 2008)
by Sally Stuart

This is the fourth year I have used Sally's Christian Writers' Market Guide. This book is the best resource for all things related to Christian writing. In addition to detailed listings of Christian publishers and periodicals, Sally includes a tremendous list of resources for writers providing great books, tips, references, websites, tax information, legal concerns, and more.

In an on-line forum, Sally shared with members how she uses this book. She actually tears it apart and puts it into a three ring binder with tabs. I have to say that I was very hesitant to rip out pages -- it is a book, afterall, and we've been taught to treat them with reverence! But after I got past that fear, I was amazed at how much more useful this made the book for me. I can keep it open to a particular page without having to lay another book on top of it, and I can quickly find anything I need.

If you want to do any writing in the Christian world, this is a must have book!


Sally Stuart has been writing for the last 40+ years, and has been putting out the annual "Christian Writers' Market Guide" for the last 23 years. Her other writing includes several Christian education resources books, a children's picture book, a basic writing text, writing resources, and a western novel--plus hundreds of articles and marketing columns. She writes marketing columns for the "Christian Communicator," "Advanced Christian Writer," and the Oregon Christian Writers' Newsletter. She speaks and teaches at Christian Writers' Conferences nationwide. Sally is the mother of 3 and grandmother of 8. She and her husband, Norm, spend their free time vacationing on the Oregon coast.

Check out her blog!


The essential reference tool for the Christian writer, Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide is now in its 23rd annual edition!

Check out the section on Blogging on page 69...the CFBA is listed!

Writers’ Conference listings, Book Publishers, Magazine Publishers, and a Bookstore filled with the resources you need to be successful in this business. Get a Book Contract or Manuscript Evaluation, and check out the Writer’s Resource links. This book has all you need to connect to all these valuable helps for the beginning, intermediate, or professional writer.

To keep you up to date with the latest marketing news, visit Sally Stuart’s new marketing blog, Christian Writers’ Marketplace, at

A new, updated version of the Christian Writers’ Market Guide is available about January 15 each year.

You can find more information or contact Sally at her website, and you can purchase the book on Amazon here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happily Even After

This week's book is the third in a series called the Sassy Sistahood. The subtitle on this one is intruiging...marriage, motherhood, and a monster-in-law! The back cover starts with 'Superwoman doesn't live here' -- as you probably know, she doesn't live at my house, either!

The main character, Tracey, is a new mom trying to juggle her life, the baby, her husband's difficulties at work, and a new church! In the midst of it all, she has a mother-in-law who acts like the queen of the universe. Tracey struggles through some difficult self-esteem issues, fights for her marriage, and finally comes out on top in a way she never imagined. The book has plenty of funny and poignant moments, and the story leaves you cheering for Tracey and her family.

About the Book:
Superwoman doesn't live here!

I marry a gorgeous executive, have a baby, lose all the weight (most of it), and move to a fine house in the suburbs with a welcoming new church. Wait...did I say welcoming?

One teeny waaah! and new mothers and their crying babies are exiled to a separate room. At least there's some enlightening conversation. Like about my husband and issues I didn't even know about!

And then there's my aptly named mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, who can't stand me.

I'm about to lose my mind! So it's high time for a visit to the Sassy Sistahood for some much-needed advice about men, marriage and motherhood!

The Sassy Sistahood: They get by with a little help from their friends.

About the Author: Marilynn Griffith is mom to a tribe, wife to a deacon and proof that God gives second chances. While best known for her colorful novels about friendship, family and faith, Marilynn is also a speaker and nonfiction writer.

Her nonfiction has been included in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN'S SOUL and several other devotionals and magazines. Currently, Marilynn is editor of the SISTAHFAITH:BELIEVING BEYOND SHAME anthology. She is also the founder of, a blog for faith fiction readers.

Marilynn is the author of six novels dealing with issues such as teen pregnancy, AIDS, abstinence, stress relief, single parenting and marriage. Her recent fiction titles include TANGERINE and IF THE SHOE FITS.

Marilynn has served as Vice President and Publicity Officer of American Christian Fiction Writers. She speaks to youth, women and writers about believing beyond boundaries and daring to reach dreams.

Marilynn lives in Florida with her husband and seven children whom she taught at home for seven years. When not chasing toddlers, helping with homework or trying to find her husband a clean shirt, she can be found scribbling furiously on her next novel.

To book Marilynn for media interviews, speaking engagements, Serious Fun fiction parties or book club call-ins, please contact her thru her WEBSITE.

You can purchase the book here

Monday, January 7, 2008

Time Masters Book One: The Call

All this week (January 6-12, 2008) Time Masters Book One: The Call will be featured by The Christian Fiction Review Blog Check out the daily posts at the main blog as well as member posts and reviews using links on the main blog.

Scroll down to read the prologue...but beware, you'll be hooked!

You can sign up to win a copy of Time Masters by going to . The giveaway will be the first post showing on the blog when you go to the link -- sign up before 11:59PM Saturday the 12th to be entered in the drawing. Two books will be given away!


Geralyn Beauchamp, a Wellness and Relationship coach, has written for fun all her life. A book reviewer for five years, she got to know a lot of great people and write a really big book! A book her author friends finally convinced her to share! Because of this her coaching has segued into writing and marketing for both aspiring and published authors. Geralyn and her family live in the Pacific Northwest.


Get ready for one Wild Ride! The year is 3698 and the threat of civil war is not only brewing, but near boiling. Kwaku Awahnee, Time Master of Muirara, must pass on his Time Mastership to his pre-chosen successor Dallan MacDonald to prevent the inevitable. Councilor John Eaton must tell the unsuspecting Scot of his new office and all it entails. There were, however, a few slight problems. To become a Time Master the Highlander would have to willingly join with a Muiraran Maiden, who stolen as an infant, hidden in another time, and now grown, must mate or die. Dallan’s job of convincing her she was
Muiraran, not human, and have her fall in love with him was small compared to the impossible race against time they had to see it done. John’s job was to make sure the Scot was ready to listen. And then of course, talk him into it along the way…

Here are some fun links to check out:

Time Masters Website, Geralyn Beauchamp's MySpace and
Shoutlife, Time Masters Fan Club MySpace,
Geralyn's Blog, Prologue and Chapter 1 of Time Masters, Publisher's Book Info
, Cold Tree Press.

To Purchase your own copy of Time Masters:

Order direct from Cold Tree,
order through Barnes and Noble in Paperback and Hardcover,
or on Amazon in Paperback or click on bookcover above and Hardcover.

Also, check on the shelves at Barnes & Noble Stores or ask them to order it for you- hint give them the ISBN (#9781583851982) and they’ll pull it right up. Any bookstore can special order for you again the ISBN is the key to finding the book.

Time Masters Prologue:


They came in a blizzard, we offered them heat,
A roof o'er their heads, dry shoes for their feet,
We wined them and dined them—we gave of our meat,
They slept in the house of MacDonald.
They came from Fort William wi' murder in mind,
The Campbell had orders King William had signed,
"Put all to the sword," these words underlined,
"Leave non alive o' MacDonald."
They came in the night, when our men were asleep,
This band of Argylls, through snow soft and deep.
Like murdering foxes among helpless sheep,
They slaughtered the house o' MacDonald.
Some died in their beds at the hand of the foe,
Some fled in the night and were lost in the snow,
Some lived to accuse him who struck the first blow,
But gone was the house of MacDonald…
Cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe,
That covers the grave o' Donald.
Cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe,
And murdered the house of MacDonald.

Jim McLean


Glencoe, Scotland, February 13, 1692

Snow swirled and rose in high drifts, the wind hard pressed to conceal the glen and its cottage dwellings. It quickly piled the snow and beat against walls as the storm intensified outside the tiny havens, serving well those who would need it within the hour.

Dallan MacDonald lay wrapped in his plaid, his young brother Alasdair beside him in front of the hearth. He mused over his unexpected arrival and his grandfather's greeting when first they spied each other.The MacIain's eyes had been warm for the briefest of moments then suddenly consumed by cold warning, the auld Fox's first words anything but friendly.

Of course Dallan had learned to expect nothing else from the chief of the Glencoe MacDonalds. MacIain could be a hard man when he wanted and usually became just that when in Dallan's company. In fact, Dallan couldn't remember him being any other way.
Alasdair moaned softly in his sleep. Dallan turned to his brother and smiled. The boy had not left his side since the big Scot came trudging through the snow two days ago. He gazed thoughtfully at him with a slight pinch of envy. Alasdair's face was peaceful, content. Soaking up the weak glow of the dying fire as if 'twas all he was meant to do. The boy held not a care. No. Not a one.
Unlike the rest of his clansmen.
Confused at the number of Lowlanders and Campbells residing in the glen when he first arrived, Dallan made his way directly to his elder uncle's house to find what was amiss. His uncle John had given him the information he wanted to know but it wasn't what he wanted to hear. Indeed, the Campbells had come into the glen almost two weeks ago with papers signed by the king himself. Papers which demanded quarters be given in Glencoe for two companies of his majesty's foot soldiers.
Dallan didn't trust the Campbells, nor did his grandfather. Fearing disarmament, MacIain ordered his people to hide their arms in the peat stacks or on the brae beneath the stones. If the soldiers were going to take their weapons, let them take the old rusty ones. Alasdair moaned again. Dallan thought of the harsh night and gently pulled the boy into his plaid with him to fend off any chill. The small form
immediately snuggled close. Dallan again smiled and let go a lengthy sigh. How he wished he could stay this time. Wee Alasdair had just reached the age of six and would soon be old enough for fostering. Dallan wanted to take him under wing but wasn't sure how he'd manage it. It would mean taking the boy to France and he doubted the auld Fox would let him. Perhaps their mother could be persuaded, and then she could work on the MacIain.
Dallan knew he needed something in his life besides weapons and constant
training. Alasdair would be perfect.
After twenty years of living Dallan still felt as if he'd done nothing with his life. Something was definitely missing, but he couldn't figure out what it was. Perhaps he just needed to feel like he belonged. If only the MacIain would accept him, treat him with some respect instead of cold, silent disdain. A shout from outside drew the Scot out of his musings and brought his attention to a small window. The three Campbell soldiers sheltered in his mother's house were reportedly pulling out in the morning. Could it be they were preparing to depart? Perhaps the reason the three had not returned to the house after meeting with their captain was due to the preparation. But that wouldn't have taken them all night. What could they
be doing all this time?
Hairs rose on the back of Dallan's neck with the thought. He detached himself from Alasdair and went to the window, dirk drawn. He'd had this warning too often to ignore it; something was wrong. Bad enough a sense of dread hovered over the glen yesterday to put everyone on edge. But later the Campbell's own piper was the one to keep Dallan up most of the night. He'd heard the piper play, knew it to be more than a pleasant passing of the time. There had been something in the music. A message. Flee. Yet his mother, along with many of his other clansmen, had not taken
heed and insisted on staying. The soldiers would be gone tomorrow and
all would be well…
Another shout. Dallan hurried back to Alasdair's sleeping form and quickly pulled away the blankets. "Wake up, lad," urgency in his deep velvet voice. "Alasdair, wake up!" The boy opened his sleepy eyes and gazed at his older brother. "Wha…
what's wrong then?" Dallan grabbed up his plaid, wrapped it about himself then reached for his sword and shield near the hearth. He'd brought them out of hiding in
mute preparation for what he knew must surely be happening now. "Wake mother and Fergus, tell them to dress quickly."
Alasdair popped up to a sitting position, his eyes blinking back sleep.
"What's wrong? What's happening?" "I dinna ken, but I'm going to find out." Dallan hurried to the door. "Wake them and prepare to leave. Ye may ha' to head into the hills, lad."
"But Dallan, that far? What are the Campbells doing?" A woman's scream carried on the wind was answer enough. "Hurry lad! I'll not see this family's blood spilled." He opened the door to a blast of wind, "Go!" And as Alasdair scrambled to his feet, Dallan left the cottage. Snow beat relentlessly against him as he stumbled out into the storm while shouts and pistol shots echoed above the wind in the distance. Sounds
the wind carried ever closer to his family's cottage. He picked up another sound among the rest, one much closer, and ducked into a sheltered area between some of the houses. Sword drawn, shield ready, his every muscle screamed for release for a few tense seconds before Dallan recognized the labored breathing of his clansman and grabbed him. "Ian! What happened?"
He pulled his grandfather's servant into the shelter with him as the more
menacing noises drew closer. "Dallan lad! The MacIain! Yer Grandmother!" The man pushed out terrified. "The soldiers got into the house. We let them in! I swear we
didna ken what they were about!"
Dallan shook him, his grip tight on the old man. "Campbell has set his
dogs on us, then?"
"Aye! Get yerself and yer house to the hills! Be quick!" He struggled to
get away, his clothes tearing with the effort. Dallan held him fast. "The MacIain?"
"I dinna ken! There were shots! The Lady, she screamed something terrible! We tried to get to them, but there were too many soldiers. We got out as fast we could, and they came after us!" Ian glanced fearfully about, body trembling as more shots fired. Closer. "Believe me lad; there was nothing we could do to help them! Get ye gone to the hills! Now!"
Dallan loosened his grip. Ian wrenched his arm away and ran into the storm as sounds of the soldiers' slaughter neared, death with them. Within moments Dallan burst through the door of his family's house, the snow and wind with him. His mother gasped at the sudden entrance. She and her husband of eight years, Fergus MacDonald, stood against a far wall wrapped in whatever they could find to bear the storm outside.
Alasdair huddled between them. Dallan gave his step-father a curt nod. "It
is as we feared. We must flee. Now."
Fergus closed his eyes and lowered his head a brief moment in mute acceptance, then ushered his wife and son to the door. They allowed Dallan out first and, at his signal, followed him into the blinding snow. Cold bit through the plaids they wore, the wind nearly tearing the clothes from their backs. Yet the small family ignored the harsh elements that greeted them. As long as it was not Death extending his greetings this day, the light of dawn only an hour or so off , the elements were welcome.
Dallan silently vowed to keep death from his family as long as he could, no
matter what the cost. They were all he had. Screams rent the darkness around the four as they haphazardly fought their way through the storm. They'd managed to get themselves some distance from the house, and Dallan, now grateful for the storm which kept them hidden and would perhaps see them to some semblance of safety,
allowed himself a brief sigh of relief. It was then his mother screamed. Her voice and the clash of steel were quickly carried away by the wind. Dallan hoped not in the direction of more soldiers as he felled the first of two of Campbell's men. He recognized him as one of the soldiers who partook of Fergus's hospitality. Irony has a strange way of working.
The second soldier lunged, bayonet in hand, as Dallan tried to wrench his sword from the first. The big Scot leapt to the side, the deep snow thwarting his movement as the bayonet missed its mark yet scored all the same. Pain seared through the back of his left shoulder as the blade cut its way to the bone. Dallan clenched his teeth against a sick wave of dread, only two thoughts in his mind. He had to save his family. To do that he had to fight.
He didn't remember falling, but found himself in the snow next to his shield, his sword no longer in his hand. He must have let go of it when he was hit, or perhaps as he fell. Either way, there was no sign of his sword anywhere. Dallan looked up and dark as it was, met the eyes of the man about to kill him, the bayonet already on its descent. Dallan briefly contemplated closing his own eyes when the soldier suddenly fell to the snow next to him. Dead.
"Go!" Dallan commanded as he struggled to his feet. He gave a thankful nod to Fergus as the older man pulled his dirk from the soldier's back. He then sought and retrieved his own weapons and reached for his mother. Her face turned frantic as Dallan took her by the arm. "Alasdair!" She screamed and turned a circle in the snow that nearly pulled him off his feet. "Where's Alasdair?"
"Quiet woman!" Fergus warned. "The wind will carry yer voice!"
Dallan scanned the area and cursed. The boy was gone.
"He must ha' panicked and run back to the house. I thought he was
right behind me." Fergus told him in a low voice.
"Take her to the hills, man. Keep her safe." Dallan grasped his mother's hands firmly in his own. "I'll see to him. Go with Fergus now." He gave Fergus another quick nod then wheeled back in the direction they had come, his tall form quickly swallowed up by the storm.
He carefully picked his way through the blinding snow to avoid as much as possible the nearest sounds of pistol shots and shouting, praying he didn't pass the boy. Dallan knew he was not only losing time but blood. He had to find Alasdair, and fast.
After agonized minutes of bracing himself against the blinding snow he reached the house. A dim light shone through the window. A candle; someone was inside. Dallan stilled his labored breathing and melted into the shadows at the rear wall of the house. The door to the kitchen area lay open. Alasdair must have gone though the back. Carefully, he made his way to the door, peeked inside, then silently entered. The hairs on the back of his neck immediately rose and he quickly crouched behind the thin curtain separating the tiny kitchen from the hearth room.
"Search the house!" A man shouted in a husky voice. "No one lives!"
Only three of them, a preview to the bulk of the slaughter Dallan quickly surmised. But where is Alasdair?
He got his answer quick enough. Alasdair screamed as one of the men pulled him out from behind a chair and threw him to his superior. The captain grabbed the boy by the back of the neck and eyed him with an odd sort of numbness, as if he wasn't sure of what he was. He then looked the boy over carefully, as one might a chicken or a cow at market, his mouth curling into a crooked smile. "Ever been buggered, lad?" he asked and grabbed at his own groin for emphasis.
Alasdair cringed and shrank in the man's grasp.
"Well then," he chortled, "there's always a first." With a wave of his hand
he sent his two men to search the back of the house. They laughed, knowing they were to take their time, and headed for the curtained doorway.
Dallan's dirk plunged into the first man, the action tearing the feeble curtain. The second man, too stunned to react in time, heard only the snapping of his own neck as Dallan let him drop to the floor next to his fallen comrade. That left just the leader. A man Dallan knew immediately and just as immediately, hated.
Robert Campbell of Glenlyon held Alasdair by the hair, a dirk poised at the boy's throat. Never taking his eyes off the scene before him, Dallan took a pistol from the nearest dead man, trained it on the Campbell, and stepped out from behind the half torn curtain.
"Surrender and I'll spare him," Campbell pushed out, his face pasty, sick-looking, and full of lust.
Dallan's jaw twitched with revulsion as he judged where the ball might hit. "Let the boy go first," he countered his own voice soft and menacing. Alasdair let out a yelp of pain as Campbell's grip tightened. "You fool! My men are next door and come even now! You are dead already!" Dallan's green eyes grew fierce. "Only a fool and a coward would harm an innocent lad while one o' his clansmen has a pistol pointed at him." He took aim and prepared to fire, praying the Campbell would either throw
Alasdair out of the way or think to keep himself shielded with him. Dallan sighted for the man's face instead of his heart.
Campbell's eyes suddenly widened with fear.
Good, Dallan thought. He could kill the man, take Alasdair through the back and hope the storm was still enough to conceal them in the predawn light. He put the first traces of pressure on the trigger. Campbell watched in horror and looked as though he was going to scream.
But it was Alasdair's scream that pierced the room, bringing Dallan's attention to his rear. Too late.
The big Scot's breath was crushed from his body as blood from his forgotten wound gushed anew, pushed as if everything within him could be squeezed through the jagged cut in his shoulder. The pistol in Dallan's hand dropped to the floor, useless, as two thick black arms wrapped around him from behind and mercilessly smashed him against a huge body. He fought the giant holding him, but it was no use. The strength in those arms was like nothing he had ever encountered or would ever want
to. Suddenly a deep laugh penetrated the air as an odd tingling sensation began to course through his body. The giant seemed to move but Dallan wasn't sure, his feet no longer touched the fl oor, or did they? By all the Saints, what was happening?
Alasdair screamed and watched in horror as Dallan was dragged into the shadows. "Dallan! No! Dallan!" He squirmed against the stunned Campbell leader who, too shocked to cuff the boy into silence, merely stood, his grip tight, the dirk unmoved. Dallan tried to cry out but his lungs had no air. Th e tingling sensation only increased with his efforts to an odd burning, as though his skin were on fire. And of all things he thought he heard some sort of music. Dallan couldn't afford to lose consciousness.
He again struggled against the arms holding him; he had to get to Alasdair! But it was no use. Helplessly he watched his brother, now cut and bleeding from Robert Campbell's unmoved dirk; slowly disappear behind a blanket of darkness.
Dallan MacDonald contemplated if he was dying but honestly didn't know; all he did know was he had not saved Alasdair and the deep booming laugh behind him was getting louder. These were the only two realizations to accompany him into the blackness that took him from his brother, his home, and his very life.

Want to read more? Go to Geralyn's blog to read chapter 1.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Interview With Cheryl Wyatt - A Soldier's Promise

I have just finished reading Cheryl Wyatt's first book, A Soldier's Promise. This is a wonderful story about a young boy with cancer, a USAF Pararescue jumper, and a special education teacher. Through a Make A Wish Foundation type request, these three people are thrown together for a whirlwind of parachutes, small town memories, insecurities, and love. There are a few surprise twists as all three try to find what they really want in their lives. Read on for an interview with Cheryl!


"My name's Bradley. I'm eight and have cancer. I want to meet a Special Forces soldier more than anything. Well, almost anything. Having a family would be nice."

U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper Joel Montgomery promised to make a sick child's wish come true. Well, not the family part—not with Joel's past. And so despite vowing never to set foot back in Refuge, Illinois, Joel parachuted onto the boy's school lawn to a huge smile. But another smile unexpectedly stole Joel's heart: that of Bradley's beautiful teacher, Amber Stanton, who was trying to adopt the boy. And trying to show Joel it was time for new vows.


Cheryl Wyatt's closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM, joyful chaos rules her home and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. She's convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentine's Day destined her to write military romance.

Prior to publication, Cheryl took courses through Christian Writers Guild. An active member of RWA, FHL and ACFW, she won numerous awards with multiple manuscripts. Visit her on the Web at Sign up for her newsletter for news and chances to enter contests with great prizes. Hang with her on the web at You can also find her skittering around Steeple Hill's message boards as "Squirl" at

Cheryl, what was your favorite book as a child?

Seriously? The dictionary. I loved storybooks of any kind, and especially books about The Littles. Anyone remember those miniature people who lived in the mouse holes? I'm sure they're still in circulation...somewhere. LOL!

What values in these books influence your life today?

The dictionary gave me a love for words, and an arsenal of high-powered verbs that I can still use today.

The Littles book made me dream of the ability to create a fictional world with fictional people where I could control everything and give them a happy ending. I remember loving The Littles because they always pulled together and helped each other out of trouble. Their little miniature world was fascinating and I would live in it for hours and hours at a time, simply awestruck. I remember feeling sad that when the stories would end, even though they had happy endings. I would miss the characters so much, I would make up new stories in my mind for them or extend their current story beyond The End. I wouldn't write them down, just spend hours imagining. I'm sure God used those books to sprinkle water on the dreams He planted in my heart before I even knew Him. I'm also sure any child psychologist reading this right now is gravely concerned about my retreat into this fantasy world and the effect it's had on my sanity. LOL! I turned out, what did you say my name was again? Oh, really? Is she the one who punctuated my fragile, fuzzy tamborine with a purple elephant, or was it...RUN FOR THE HILLS, Moses! It's raining plastic ducks! Yeah. I'm A-Okay. :-) Wink.

How did you get the idea for A Soldier's Promise and and the rest of the series?

The story idea came out of a difficult time in that I watched two friends lose their daughters to leukemia after valiant battles. As I sat back and prayed for the little girls and prayed for the mothers who were literally living every mother's nightmare, all I could think was if courage could cure cancer, these girls' fight and faith alone would eradicate it from the earth. The courage and strength those little girls displayed, even to the moments of their deaths, is something that will forever be branded in my heart and mind. Their courage sparked the idea for my debut novel which features a little boy and his brave fight with cancer, and the development of the romance of the two people determined to make the rest of his life matter.

When I heard about the death of pararescue jumper Jason Cunningham during a military mission where he lost his life trying to save other soldiers, it sparked something in me. This true story inspired me to do something to honor PJs and their families, so I began learning everything I could about them considering they're Special Forces soldiers. The series idea came from years of research and an utter fascination with the pararescue creed, which is strikingly similar to Biblical teachings and things Jesus said. Things like, "greater love has no man that this, that he lay his life down for his friends." Part of the pararescue creed is: "These things we do, so others may live."

What is the key message you would like your readers to find in this book?
I wish them to find whatever God knows they need at this particular point in their life and in their relationship with Him. Remembering God's promises and realizing He never loses sight of our dreams, even when we do. Also, surrendering every part of our lives to Him. Not just the present, but our pasts and futures as well. Seeing Him rightly in any given circumstance knowing He never changes or breaks a promise. I wish God to be magnified through the story, and for Him to be able to reach through the pages and touch a human heart with happy tears and hearty laughter.

What struggles do you face as you write and how do you work through them?

I struggle with my mess draft in that I have to write it mind-bogglingly fast or I lose momentum and get confused. If I get disrupted, I tend to rewrite scenes when I am able to return to my work, even if it's five minutes later. LOL! So I end up with a mess of chapters that have the same scenes written like FIVE different ways. LOL! One struggle is pushing out the first draft. Also, stitching the pieces together in proper sequence since scenes tend to come to me out of order. If I don't write them down when I get them, POOF! They're gone. LOL! It's like putting a very frustrating puzzle together. LOL! But once I have the bones of the story down and in a sensible sequence, things flow better and I fall in love with the story again. I plow through my struggles by running to God through prayer and letting Him help me resist the urge to delete my computer out a second story window. LOL! Then with His faithful prodding, I roll my typing sleeves up, dig my git-er-done heels in and push through it.



"Cheryl Wyatt infuses A Soldier's Promise (4.5) with kindness, compassion and love. Plus, each character in this strong story is multilayered. When young Bradley, a boy dying of cancer, writes to the Air Force Pararescue team, he gets to meet jumper Joel Montgomery, who connects with Bradley and feels an instant and shared attraction to the boy's teacher, Amber Stanton. This absolutely fantastic debut novel proves that while challenges and boundaries are not always easily resolved, they're definitely worth the work."

---Robin Taylor-Romantic Times Reviewer

Link to Purchase A Soldier's Promise: