Friday, January 30, 2009

The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher Wins Christianity Today Award of Merit

Christianity Today has announced The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher by Rob Stennet has been given an "Award of Merit" in its 2009 Book Awards. Read more about the winners here.

Read our review of the novel here.


Meet Ryan Fisher. He’s young, energetic, and needs an edge in the real estate market. He’s found the perfect niche: Christians. His business doubles when he advertises in the Christian business directory, and he begins to think he could really cash in by planting a church. But when the church takes off, Ryan is in over his head. Also features Z+ bonus materials; including, author interview, added content, fun facts, and more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 Christian Book Award (Gold Medallion) Finalists Announced

The 2009 Finalists for the ECPA Christian Book Award (aka The Gold Medallion) have been announced. They are:

Category: Bibles

ESV Study Bible
Crossway Books & Bibles, 9781433502415

NKJV Study Bible Second Edition
Thomas Nelson, Inc., 9780718020811

NLT Study Bible
Tyndale House Publishers, 9780842355704

The Grandmother’s Bible
Doris Rikkers, Jeannette Taylor, Editors
Zondervan, 9780310938019

Zondervan NIV Study Bible Updated
Kenneth Barker, John Stek, Ronald Youngblood, Editors
Zondervan, 9780310938965

Category: Bible Reference & Study

A Visual History of the English Bible
Donald L. Brake
Baker Books/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780801013164

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings,
Tremper Longman III, Peter Enns, Editors
InterVarsity Press, 9780830817832

New Testament Theology
Thomas R. Schreiner
Baker Academic/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780801026805

New International Biblical Commentary: Jeremiah, Lamentations
Tremper Longman II
Hendrickson Publishers, 9781565632240

Rose Guide to the Tabernacle
Rose Publishing, Inc., 9781596362765

Category: Children & Youth

For Young Men Only
Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice with Shaunti Feldhahn
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, 9781601420206

Guys Like Girls Who…
Chad Eastham
Thomas Nelson, 9781400313006

Lies Young Women Believe
Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh
Moody Publishers, 9780802472946

Hayley DiMarco
Revell/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780800732219

Secrets Young Women Keep
Dr. Jill Hubbard
Thomas Nelson, 9780785228172

Starlight Animal Rescue #1: Runaway
Dandi Mackall
Tyndale House Publishers, 9781414312682

Category: Christian Life

Following God with All Your Heart
Elizabeth George
Harvest House Publishers, 9780736905046

Just Courage
Gary A. Haugen
InterVarsity Press, 9780830834945

Living Water
Brother Yun
Zondervan, 9780310285540

Multiple Blessings
Jon and Kate Gosselin
Zondervan, 9780310289029

Love as a Way of Life
Gary Chapman
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, 9781400072583

Spectacular Sins
John Piper
Crossway Books & Bibles, 9781433502750

Category: Fiction

Home Another Way
Christa Parrish
Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780764205231

Less Than Dead
Tim Downs
Thomas Nelson, 9781595543073

Jerry B. Jenkins
Tyndale House Publishers, 9781414309040

The Outsider
Ann H. Gabhart
Revell/ Baker Publishing Group, 9780800732394

The Shape of Mercy
Susan Meissner
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, 9781400074563

Category: Inspiration & Gift

Holiness Day by Day
Jerry Bridges
NavPress, 9781600063961

Hope...the Best of Things
Joni Eareckson Tada
Crossway Books & Bibles, 9781433502194

My All in All
Robert J. Morgan
B&H Publishing, 9780805446630

Reflections of God's Holy Land
Eva Everson and Miriam Vamosh
Thomas Nelson, 9780849919565

The Daily Bible ® Devotional
F. LaGard Smith
Harvest House Publishers, 9780736922111

The Quotable Oswald Chambers
David McCasland, Editor
Discovery House Publishers, 9781572931947

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bug the Dead by Tim Downs coming this fall!

Coming in September from Thomas Nelson is Tim Downs' next "Bug Man" novel. We've snagged a summary to wet your appetite!


Smuggled insects are at the root of the Bug Man's troubles in this latest suspense novel from award-winning author Tim Downs.

Dr. Nick Polchak is called to a farm community in eastern North Carolina to investigate a murder. The victim is the owner of a failing organic farm who had developed a drug problem, and the police suspect his murder was drug-related.

Nick finds the remains of a bale of marijuana scattered in the tomato fields--but the marijuana seems to be strangely infested with a common North Carolina insect: the tobacco hornworm. To further confound the mystery, the South American marijuana was infected with bugs from North Carolina that were infected with a fungus from Asia. The man wasn't killed because of the marijuana, but because of the insects it contained.

Nick discovers that a vicious agricultural scheme is underway to cripple the U.S.'s corn and ethanol production. But just how far will these terrorists go in their quest?

Read our interview with Tim Downs
Read our review of First The Dead
Read our review of Less Than Dead

Faces in the Fire by T.L. Hines

Coming in July from Thomas Nelson is T.L. Hines' next release.


The stories of four individuals collide in trademark T.L. Hines style where supernatural thriller meets mystery.

Kurt Marlowe is a long-haul truck driver who is hearing strange things over his CB radio. When he goes to a truck stop to try to find a phone, he ends up having breakfast with a young woman with a stunning catfish tattoo on her arm. Inside the tattoo is a series of numbers that she didn't even realize were there . . . but that have great significance.

This collision with her life sets off an unstoppable series of interactions . . . each of which leaves the participants with the bizarre feeling that something fundamental has changed, and yet they have also, somehow, been freed.

Read our review of T.L.'s The Unseen.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Barbour to Cancel Heartsong Mysteries Book Club

According to the website The Edit Cafe which is led by several Barbour editors, they will be canceling their newly launched mystery book club. Says Becky:

"2008 was the season for the cozy mystery romance at Barbour. We spent 2 years planning for our new book club. We built a strong team of managing editor and authors who worked hard on both content and marketing of the books. Then we launched the club early 2008 based on strong initial membership drives.

All was going well until our early fall membership drive (traditionally a strong time for adding new members) hit at the same time as the news from Wall Street about the financial crisis. The membership drive had the worst response that we have ever experienced or even heard of in the industry. At that point, to save the club would have required major investment dollars. By the end of 2008, we knew that the national financial climate would not allow for a marketing gamble on something that was still new and unproven.

2008 was a pretty good year overall for Barbour, but with 2009 looking to be a hard one for retailers, we know we have to tighten our belt and keep our money where we are confident it can give us the most return. So, for that reason, we will be closing the Heartsong Presents Mystery Romance Club. We have a couple more shipments that will go out, then books we have contracted will be used in other ways. Most likely they will go into 3-in-1 collections like Cozy in Kansas and Alibis in Arkansas. These 2 books released in late fall 2008 and had very good sales showings over Christmas. We hope you cozy mystery lovers out there will look for these books and support your author friends by buying them."

Read the full piece here. Thanks to Chris Well for alerting us to this news item.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Read the 1st Chapter of Scream by Mike Dellosso

Coming March 3, 2009 is Mike Dellosso's next thriller, Scream. But you don't have to wait until then to read a sneak peak! Mike has the first chapter up at his website, and we encourage you to check it out here.


Otherworldly Screams…
A Madman on the Loose…
This Time the Stakes Are Higher Than Ever

While talking to his friend on the phone, Mark Stone is startled by a cacophony of otherworldly screams. Seconds later, a tragic accident claims his friend’s life. When this happens several more times—screams followed by an untimely death—he is compelled to act.

Battling his failure as a husband and struggling with his own damaged faith, Mark embarks on a mission to find the meaning behind the screams and hopefully stop death from calling on its next victim. When his estranged wife is kidnapped and he again hears the screams as she calls from her cell phone, his search becomes much more personal and much more urgent.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vote for the Ending of The Justice Game by Randy Singer

Coming in July 2009 from Tyndale House is Randy Singer's next legal thriller. "This one's personal," he says at his website. In fact, there's a whole factual story around this one. Says Randy in full at his website:

This one is personal.

On December 15, 1988, a sixteen-year-old student named Nicholas Elliot took a Mac-11 assault weapon to Atlantic Shores Christian School and opened fire. He shot and killed a teacher named Karen Farley, wounded an assistant principal, and burst into a trailer where a Bible class was meeting. When he opened fire on the students who had scrambled to the back corner of the trailer, frantically praying, the gun jammed. The Bible teacher, Hutch Matteson, tackled Elliot and prevented the kind of tragedy that hit Columbine High School in Colorado several years later.

Atlantic Shores was the school where my wife taught. The school my kids attended (though they were not there that day). When I learned that Elliot had purchased the gun illegally from a gun store in Isle of Wight County (through a transaction referred to as a "straw purchase transaction"), I ended up representing the family of Karen Farley in an unprecedented lawsuit against that gun store. The verdict shocked everyone.

That was fifteen years ago -- my baptism by fire into the national gun debate.

With this book, I wade back in ...wiser (I hope), more cautious, and with a better understanding of both sides. My goal here is not to make converts (at least, not in the Second Amendment sense), but to fairly present both perspectives and let the reader decide. I've tried to create compelling characters who are gun enthusiasts and others who advocate gun control. In fact, I was so determined to be balanced that I did something I've never done before and, as far as I know, no other novelist has done before or since.

My readers determined the verdict for this book.

I put together an on-line video, showing a news report about the fictional case at the heart of this book and portions of the closing arguments of both lawyers. I asked readers to watch the video and render a verdict. The verdict in this story reflects the verdict of a majority of my readers.

The result might surprise you. If done my job right, the ending of the book might surprise you as well.

Whether it does or not, thanks for taking this journey with me. In a very real sense, you are always the jury. And, just like in my real trials, I've got a few butterflies as I submit my case to you.

For The Justice Game, the jury is out.

Update: the video to watch and then cast your vote is live at Randy's website! Click here to watch. Or, watch the video below and then visit the website to cast your vote.

Read our interview with Randy Singer.
Read our review of By Reason of Insanity.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins to be a movie

According to Dallas Jenkins, Jerry's son and the co-founder with him of Jenkins Entertainment, Jerry's novel Riven is to be a movie.

Says Dallas at his blog:

"We've also decided that Riven, the book my Dad wrote that came out last year (and for my money, is his best book), is going to be the second film in the Jenkins/Pureflix partnership. We will be talking to screenwriters in the next couple of weeks and hope to be in production by the end of the year. I'm actually going to send a letter to Joe Eszterhas, the famous screenwriter of Basic Instinct, Flashdance, Music Box, and Jagged Edge, among others, who recently became a Christian. I know it's a long shot, but I think he'd be interested in some of the films we're doing. His books are incredible (any aspiring filmmaker should read The Devil's Guide to Hollywood), including his recent one, Crossbearer, which is about his conversion. Maybe Riven will strike a chord, or perhaps Youngest Hero, which is about baseball, one of his great loves. We'll see."

Read the rest of the blog here.

Read our review of Riven.
Read our interview with Jerry B. Jenkins.
Read our interview with Dallas Jenkins.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Valley of the Shadow by Tom Pawlik

Tom Pawlik's debut novel Vanish has received great kudos (it won the 2006 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest). But he's not a one hit wonder. His sophomore novel, Valley of the Shadow, is coming in July 2009 from Tyndale House.


Conner Hayden is certain he survived his near-death experience for a reason.

He thinks it’s to save the life—and soul—of Mitch Kent. Mitch’s body remains on life support while his spirit is trapped with the old farmer Howard Bristol in the Interworld—a strange and dangerous dimension that Conner narrowly escaped during his brush with death in Pawlik’s award-winning debut novel, Vanish.

Meanwhile, in the Interworld, Mitch receives a warning from a mysterious stranger: Howard is not who he appears to be, and Mitch must flee immediately. Pursued by Howard and a terrifying, deadly creature, Mitch soon learns the truth about what happened to him and that his only hope of survival lies at the very edge of the Interworld.

Tom also said this at his blog:

The sequel follows the stories of Conner, Mitch and Devon--oh and Howard too, while introducing a couple of new characters as well. I also developed more details around the basic scenario presented in VANISH and added in some new elements of the unknown to keep readers guessing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dating Tips from Sydney Alexander!

It is a New Year and everyone is buzzing about their 2009 resolutions. Charming chick-lit author Christa Ann Banister lends a hand to those wishing to spice up their dating life or for those who enjoy a good giggle from Sydney Alexander, a.k.a the heroine from Banister's hit books "Around the World in 80 Dates" and "Blessed Are The Meddlers."

From the Desk of Sydney Alexander: New Year, New Dating Tips
January 7, 2009

As the syndicated columnist of "Lucy for the Lovelorn" travel journalist and relationship expert (apparently, tons of bad dates are useful for something, right?) Sydney Alexander has doled out her fair share of advice for the dating-challenged. And now that the New Year has finally arrived, Sydney's got some sage guidance for all the singletons brave enough to venture out into the wild, wacky world of dating.

Relinquish the Remote Control
Sure, snuggling up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a pint of Chunky Monkey and the entire seven seasons of "Gilmore Girls" on DVD is most girls' idea of a great night in. But even Loralei Gilmore knew she wasn't going to shamelessly flirt with Luke unless she stepped away from the T.V. and left the house.

So basically, if you're not landing as many dates as you'd like, go out from time to time! Whether it's the chic neighborhood coffee shop or the nearby Barnes & Noble, you never know who you might strike up a conversation with.

No, Your Life Isn't a Romantic Comedy!
Sometimes the thing that's getting between you and a successful love life is a grandiose set of unrealistic expectations. Yes, it's important not to settle when it comes to relationships, but having a mile-long checklist of qualities for your perfect guy/gal will lead to nothing but disappointment. After all, it's important to remember that McDreamy is actually the product of a crack team of writers.

Take a Chance
Yep, ABBA was definitely on to something with their catchy pop song by the same name. But it's equally good advice when it comes to relationships. Take it from me, saying yes to a dinner invitation--even if you're not exactly sure how it's going to pan out--is a good thing. And if it's a bad night out? Well, at least you're flexing the dating muscle, and you might have a funny story to boot.

Don't Obsess!
If you've gone out with a great new guy and wonder exactly when he'll call next, don't take the first step and get in touch. While it sounds a bit old-school, trust me, guys still like the chase. Plus, a girl playing it cool is definitely much more desirable, not to mention has a far more balanced perspective.

Pray Up
And the single most important piece of dating advice is: Pray, pray, pray! In the same way you'd seek God about your career, your finances and everything else, it's important to pray about your love life. And while God's timing doesn't always seem to align with what you're hoping for, those valuable lessons you'll learn in the meantime (sigh!) will make you all the more prepared for that future relationship.


About Christa Ann Banister:
After years of working as a respected music critic, movie critic, and freelance writer for various publications: CCM Magazine,, Christian Single,, not to mention kickstarting the inaugural Christian music blog for MTV's, Banister has inked two novels in the past year and hopes her stories will inspire countless twenty and thirty-somethings in their quest for snagging Mr. Right.

Since the release of her critically acclaimed debut in 2007, she's already sold more than 5,000 copies while continuing her day job as a full-time freelance writer. The debut novel also garnered the No.1 spot on's Single Women's lit category as well as being dubbed by reviewers as a "talented new voice in chick-lit." She's also taught writing classes in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, spoke at Bethel University and was the keynote speaker for Evangel University's "Artist Series" in Springfield, Missouri. For more information on Christa Ann Banister, visit her official website at

Read our interview with Christa!
Review of Blessed Are the Meddlers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jerry Jenkins to appear on History Channel

Author Jerry Jenkins will be interviewed on a History Channel 2-hour special, “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse,” to air Monday, January 5. The program is part of the History Channel’s “Armageddon Week.” Air times are 9PM both Eastern and Pacific, 8 PM Central, and 7PM Mountain time.

Read our interview with Jerry.
Read our review of Riven.