Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Story

V. B. Tenery

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” ―Malachi 3:10

During the Christmas Season of 1981, I lived comfortably under somewhat spartan conditions in a small town outside Dallas, Texas.  I had a good job and made enough to support my small family of three. However, it meant a daily forty-mile trip into the city―a small price to pay for job security in the troubled economic period. Another plus for me was that the benefits of country living more than compensated for the long commute into the sprawling city.
One of the big rewards was the rural church we attended. My mother, daughter and I rarely missed a service. None of the members were wealthy, but they had earned a well-deserved reputation for helping the less fortunate in our neighborhood.
The Sunday evening before Christmas when we arrived at church we found it packed. Most members had forgone travel because of the tight economic situation.
Just before the pastor dismissed us, he made an unusual request. “I would like to take up a love offering for a former pastor of this church. He mentored me when I first entered the ministry. Today, I received heartbreaking news that he has cancer.” He hesitated for a moment and his voice choked up when he continued, telling us the pastor had become too ill to serve his congregation and the church had not provided health insurance. “His church doesn’t feel they can continue to support him. He and his wife have only their Social Security and the medical bills are high.”

He paused and looked out at the church members before he added. “I think we need to pray about what God would have us give in the love offering and about adding him to our missionary fund.”          

One of our deacons stood. “I don’t think we need to pray about making him part of our mission program. Let’s just take a vote and do it.” The vote passed unanimously.

The need touched my heart, but I had a problem. Because of Christmas expenses and tithes, I had no money, except for a twenty-dollar bill inside my purse that I needed for gas the following week to get to work.

As the offering plate moved towards me, I bowed my head saying the prayer I already knew the answer to. When the plate reached me, I tossed in the twenty. It’s just You and me next week, Lord.

The deacons made a quick calculation of the love offering and announced it was over eight hundred dollars.

“I’ll take it to them tonight,” the pastor said.

I’d felt that the old servant of God’s need was much greater than my own, but it didn’t stop me from wondering if the gas in my car would make it through the following week.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that my stress level began to climb. On the long trek from Dallas, I watched the needle on the gas gauge enter the red zone. I knew from experience I had enough fuel to get me home, but not enough to get back to work the next day.

Over dinner that night my concerns must have registered on my face.

“Something wrong at work, honey,” my mother asked.

I shook my head, not wanting her to worry. “No, work is fine.”

Calling in sick was an option, but lying to my boss wasn’t. Also, I needed to be at work. Thursday was Christmas Eve and I had to pick up my paycheck before the long Christmas weekend began.

After dinner, I again pushed aside my problems to spend time with my daughter, Holly. Her excitement bubbled over with Christmas near and activities at church. As a working mom, I had little time to spend with her and I gave her my full attention when we were together.

As I dressed for work Christmas Eve, I chewed my lip and pondered my problem. Go to work and trust God to make the fuel in my tank get me there? Or stay home?

I lingered over toast and coffee that morning and my Mom turned to me. “Don’t forget to leave Holly’s tickets for the church hayride today. Her Sunday school teacher is picking her up this afternoon.” I had bought the ticket a week earlier for the hayride and pizza afterwards. I reached into my pocketbook and pulled out the ticket . . . along with a twenty-dollar bill.

I was dumbstruck. “Mom, did you put money in my purse?”

She laughed. “No, I would have if I had any money. Why?”

I held up the money and told her about putting my last twenty in the love offering plate Sunday night.

“Maybe its just God letting you know He’s still in charge,” Mom said.

Skeptics will say that I put the money there and forgot about it. Perhaps they are right. But if I did, God guided my hand knowing just when and where I would need it.

It is important to remember that the verse in Malachi says He will pour you out blessings, not wealth. The Lord simply replaced the offering I had given just when I needed it most. But the blessing keeps giving every time I am reminded of this incident―knowing that God is faithful. All He asks is that we step out in faith, and leave the rest to Him.

―St. Martin’s Press published this story in the Christmas Miracles anthology. October 2009 under another title.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


DiAnn Hunt

November 29, 2013

‘I will live this life that God has given me with gusto, not wasting a single moment but using it as He intended. And when my journey here is over, I plan to skid into Glory with a smile on my face, a Bible in one hand, a chocolate truffle in the other, and I will yell at the top of my lungs: Daddy, I’m home.”
                                              -DiAnn Hunt from her novel, Hot Flashes and Cold Cream

Patricia “Diann” Hunt, beloved novelist, passed away on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, following a long, heroically-fought battle with cancer. She was 58.  Diann was the accomplished author of 25 books. A Hallmark Channel film adaptation of her novel For Better or For Worse will air July 12, 2014.
I never knew DiAnn personally. Her reputation as a multi-published author was well known, but sadly I only became aware of her after leaning of her battle with cancer. She was one of my Facebook friends and I saw her posts almost daily over the last year of her life. One particular post touched me. On the day she apparently got the news she was losing the battle with the disease she seemed more sadden about the doctor who had to deliver the bad news than about the message itself. Dourageous to the end, she spoke often of her close relationship with her Lord and how He was there with her through the rough nights. I’m confident Jesus took her hand as she entered the Gates and said. “Come, let me show you around.”

Go to DiAnn’s author page on Amazon to find a list of her novels and celebrate the great writing legacy she leaves behind.  Below is an example.

Hot Flashes and Cold Cream
DiAnn Hunt

An eccentric best friend, a leaky Chihuahua, a teenager in trouble, and a workaholic husband with a gorgeous new colleague. Those are the ingredients for Diann Hunt's wise and funny story about growing...well, older...with grace.
Midlife isn't a crisis for Maggie Hayden until the day a former classmate fails to recognize her--and her world starts to spin out of control. With an empty nest, a body that's heading south (generating heat waves all the way), and a marital spark that seems to be sputtering, she knows she has to do something. But what? Exercise? Romantic dinners? Herbal supplements? A job? She tries them all, with mixed success-but nothing seems to squelch that underlying worry that her best days are behind her.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Visionary
Pamela S. Thibodeaux

A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.  Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?  Find out in…The Visionary ~ Where the power of God's love heals the most wounded of souls.

Once ensconced in his apartment, Trevor allowed his emotions to run their course. Exhausted and in pain, he took a couple of pills, stretched out on the couch, fell into an uneasy slumber, and dreamed.
He stood alone in a meadow. Two lions approached, one scraggly and unkempt, the other stately and regal. He turned as they circled in on him, closer and closer until he could almost feel their breath on his neck. One grunted, growled, and snarled. The other responded likewise. They crouched, prepared to attack, then lunged. He ducked, rolled out from beneath the tangled mass of muscle and fur, and watched them go at each other in a battle of wills. Within moments, the large, regal cat had the other pinned beneath his huge paws, his teeth clasped in the throat of his foe. He snarled, shook his head, and released the lesser animal which then pounced to his feet and ran off with his tail tucked between his legs. The big cat roared in triumph then sat, head high, and eyed Trevor.
Trevor kept a wary eye on the lion and inched backward until a tree stopped his escape. Though his eyes followed his every step, the animal never flinched. Trevor watched and waited for him to pounce, but the lion didn’t so much as twitch a muscle. That’s when he noticed the crown. Trevor shook his head and rubbed his eyes. Sure enough the crown remained, embedded in the animal’s scalp. The crown turned to thorns. The lion’s face changed into that of Christ crucified and then back into a lion’s face.
Trevor rubbed his eyes again and shook his head. “Who are you? What do you want?” he felt compelled to ask.
“I am the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Come, Trevor, follow me,” the cat answered and turned to walk away.

Categorizing Your Novel
Pamela S. Thibodeaux

My novel, The Visionary which released on November 16, 2011 in hardcover, ebook on January 8th 2013, & softcover on (insert date) is categorized as Inspirational Women’s Fiction. This is how the publisher and I see the novel, but not necessarily how others see it.
Reviewers have termed this novel romance, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and Christian -- all of which are OK but not exactly 100% accurate.
This led me to thinking How DOES one categorize a novel?
One of the major parts of a proposal is category and the advice of many is to go into a book store and find out where your book would fit on the shelves. Among the thousands of titles out there, this can be quite a challenge.
Since publishers feel it’s a bit arrogant to say “My book belongs on the shelf with the other Best Sellers,” let’s look at the different categories and see how I came about determining mine as Women’s Fiction.
Inspirational isn’t hard to explain - undeniably “Christian” I do not write within the conservative guidelines required by many CBA publishers - therefore, Inspirational better fits what I write. In fact, my writing has been tagged as “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ since my debut novel, Tempered Hearts in 2000.
Women’s Fiction is also not hard to understand. Romance is defined by certain criteria - 1 couple; boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, couple lives happily-ever-after. The Visionary has a set of m/f twins as the main characters, which immediately threw it into a genre other than romance.
Women’s Fiction is normally defined as a contemporary novel that deals with women’s divorce, domestic violence, empty nest syndrome, etc. and a WF novel usually has a strong romantic thread in it. Since The Visionary deals with the twins’ journey through childhood abuse into wholeness, and into new life and love, Women’s Fiction seemed appropriate.
So why then has the book been termed paranormal, fantasy & sci-fi?
According to the definitions I found, Science Fiction is based on "imagined future scientific or technological advances."(IE: Time Travel).
Paranormal is defined as, “Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation: such paranormal phenomena as telepathy; a medium's paranormal powers.

Considering the gift of visions my heroine has, I guess paranormal does apply to this novel.
On the other hand, Supernatural elements, are, "manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin, attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature."

Supernatural are events like those listed in the Bible ... Parting of the Red Sea, burning bushes that are not consumed, God speaking through a donkey, fire from heaven burning up sacrificial offerings that have been so heavily doused with water there is no natural way fire is possible, feeding thousands with five fish and five loaves of bread, walking on water, etc.
These elements are present in The Visionary and are based on the book of Joel (2:28), where the Lord says, "I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." I upset that the terms “paranormal,” "science fiction" or "fantasy" are used in conjunction with this novel?
Of course not!
If those terms will encourage someone who wouldn't normally read "Inspirational, Romantic Women's Fiction" to pick up the book and have their own personal experience with a supernatural God, then I'm all for it!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Christmas Bonus
Patty Froese

When Millie's boss asks her to work over Christmas, she's hesitant to give him any more overtime. She has plans for her life that include quitting this job and starting her own photography business, and she promises herself to quit by New Years.
Andrew Holmes has no desire to go back to his tiny hometown for the holidays, but his manipulative grandfather gives him an ultimatum that he just can't refuse. So in order to get the last project of the year finished in time, he asks his assistant, Millie, to make the trip with him.
With a disgruntled brother, a sister-in-law struggling with infertility and a little boy who shows up claiming that one of the Holmes men is his father, Christmas is about to get complicated...

Buy link:


"So, Millie says she'd like to stay," Andrew announced.
"Good." Louise shot her a smile. "Do you like fruitcake, Millie?"
"I think so." Mille sank into a seat next to her boss.
"Me, too..." Louise disappeared into the fridge, her voice meandering out from the chilly depths. "Except I always hate the fruit in it. So I just make the cake. But the cake is rather dry."
"It's more like a Christmas cracker," Andrew murmured, and Millie repressed a laugh.
The dense, dry confection that landed with a heavy thud on the tabletop looked nothing like the fruitcake she'd seen in the past.
"Guests first." Louise announced cheerfully, and when Millie shot Andrew a "help me" look, he pointed under the table.
"Give it to the dog," he mouthed.
The dog? So far, Millie hadn't seen a dog in the house, and when she slowly raised the plastic tablecloth to peer under the table, she was met with the biggest canine face she'd ever seen in her life. Stifling a yelp of shock, she turned her ashen face towards Andrew.
"That's Edgar," Andrew said.
He nodded. "Get used to him." When she turned her attention to the plate deposited in front of her, Andrew leaned in and murmured in her ear. "Thanks for coming, by the way."

Author Bio

Patty Froese writes from Alberta, Canada, where the winters are long and cold. This suits her just fine, since it gives her plenty of time to write and she can enjoy the snow from the right side of the window. She has her degree in English Literature and has written in other genres, but she particularly enjoys writing romance.
Patty also writes for Harlequin Love Inspired under the name Patricia Johns.

Friday, November 29, 2013

On the Pineapple Express
H. L. Wegley

In one of the most beautiful places on earth the ugliest of crimes holds young, innocent lives in its evil grip. An intercepted cell-phone call from a remote area on the Olympic Peninsula tells beautiful, brilliant NSA researcher, Jennifer Akihara, a group of girls will soon be sold into slavery by human traffickers. She enlists her fiancé, Lee Brandt, to help find the holding location and convince the FBI to intervene. With the clock ticking off the last few hours before both the sale of the girls and the arrival of a deadly storm, and with international criminals pursuing them, can Jennifer and Lee save the girls, or will their wedding plans be cancelled ... permanently?

Meet Tee Author: H. L. Wegley

In the USAF, H. L. Wegley served as an Intelligence Analyst, working closely with NSA, and after obtaining a degree in Meteorology, served as a Weather Office.  Upon leaving the military, he worked as a forecaster and a Research Scientist in Atmospheric Physics where he published scientific articles, reports, and books. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked more than two decades as a Systems Programmer at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area to write. He is currently finishing his eighth manuscript and has a series of four contracted novels. The first, Hide and Seek a thriller romance is also available. Book 2 is On the Pineapple Express, released for Kindle on November 13, 2013.

Coming in 2014:
Book 3- Moon Over Maalaea Bay a thriller romance set in Maui, releasing June 13, 2014
Book 4- Triple Threat to be released in the fall of 2014.

Find H. L. Wegley on Amazon at: -L-Wegley/e/BooBIXMR56

Readers can count on his novels having a climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Journey of Eleven Moons
Bonnie Leon

A successful walrus hunt means Anna and her intended will sone be joined in marriage.  But before they can seal their promise to one another, a tsunami wipes their tribe from the rugged shore…everyone except Anna and her little sister, Iya who are left alone to face the Alaskan wilderness.

A stranger, a Civil-War veteran with golden hair and blue eyes wanders the untamed Aleutian Islands. He offers help, but can Anna trust him or his God? And if she doesn’t, how will she and Iya survive?


Bonnie Leon is the author of nineteen novels, including the recently released Joy Takes Flight, book three in the Alaskan Skies series and the popular Sydney Cover series published by Revell. 
She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. These days, her time is filled with writing, being a grandmother and relishing precious time with her aged mother.
Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren

Friday, November 15, 2013


In His Sight
Pamela S. Thibodeaux 

Grade school teacher Carson Alexander has a gift—a gift that has driven a wedge between him and his family. Worse, it’s put him at odds with God. Feeling alone and misunderstood, Carson views God’s gift of prophecy as the worst kind of curse…that is until he meets Lorelei Conner, landscape artist extraordinaire, and perhaps the one person who may need Carson and his gift more than anyone ever has.  

Lorelei Connor is a mother on the run. Her abusive ex-husband has followed her all over the country trying to steal their daughter. Distrusting of men and needing to keep on the move, she’s surprised by her desire to remain close to Carson Alexander. Through her fear and hesitation, she must learn to rely on God to guide her—not an easy task when He’s prompting her to trust a man.

Can their relationship withstand the tragedy lurking on the horizon?

Carson Alexander walked through his classroom and tugged desks into a semi circle around the dry eraser board. One thing he loved about teaching sixth-grade English at Stars Crossing Middle School was that the classes were so small. With no more than fifteen students at a time he could work closely with each one and give them the attention they needed and deserved. Another thing he appreciated was the lack of standard or strict curriculum. As long as the children passed the exams set forth by the Department of Education, he could teach as he pleased.

So far, his kids excelled, maintaining some of the highest scores in the entire school. Pride filled his soul and caused his heart to swell, chest to puff out.

Pride cometh before the fall.

The Voice echoed in his mind, ricocheted through his soul. He shrugged off the warning, walked to his desk and picked up the name tags for each incoming student. He thumbed through the stack, pondered each one and wondered about the child attached to the name….Jenny & Jerry Smith – twins or un-related? One name struck him hard, sent unnamed emotion curling through his system – Laurel Connor.

He hadn’t heard the name Laurel in years and then, used only as a surname or when referring to the small town in Mississippi from whence he came. He moved to Stars Crossing, Tennessee five years ago for two reasons. One, the teaching position and two, the town though smaller, reminded him of home.

Memories crashed through the floodgates he’d built around his heart…..the huge two-story house and two-hundred acre farm where he grew up. His seven siblings, parents who adored him – their eldest son, and the pain of losing everything he held near and dear to his heart.

Tears threatened. His vision blurred, hands began to shake. Carson swallowed the lump in his throat, put the stack down, and shoved his hands into the front pockets of his slacks. Adrenaline pumped through him, caused his pulse to skitter and jump. Saliva pooled in his mouth. By sheer force he willed his emotions under control. The bell rang and he turned to greet the children who rushed into the room. He watched as one-by-one they filed in and took a seat.

 Available @ Pelican Book Group, Amazon & B&N!
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Find out more about Pam by visiting her Website and/or Blog and connect with her on FaceBook, Twitter & LinkedIn!

Twitter: @psthib

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Release

Saturday's Child
Clare Revell

Saturday's Child might be possessed...

Aaron Field is a farmer. He’s sworn off parties and bonfires, and being more concerned with losing his farm than anything else, he has little time for church. When his field is hired by the church for a Guy Fawkes night bonfire, Aaron is ill prepared for the feisty Welsh woman who steps onto his land and into his heart.

Meaghan Knight is a farmer’s daughter. It’s her job to make sure the church’s bonfire party runs smoothly, and if that means ironing out the kinks in surly Farmer Field then that’s what she’ll do. When she finds out what’s really behind his attitude, she feels ill prepared to face his history, his family, and the danger.

As Aaron and Meaghan join forces, they discover an evil so demonic it threatens not only the farm, but their lives, as well. Meaghan knows God can prevail, but first she has to convince Aaron not to give up.

Read an excerpt from this exciting novel"

Aaron glanced across the room at the mirror. For a moment, he was sure he saw four reflections. He blinked hard and looked again. Three people—Jack, Meggie, and him. Just as there should be.

Then there was a fourth. Exactly as Meggie and Nancy had described. Red eyes, narrowed in hatred. Pointed ears, and sharp teeth. The cowl pulled around the face, the figure seemed to be pushing the glass forward, as if it were trying to break through. His insides jarred violently, and Aaron backed away, standing between the mirror and Meggie. “Jack…”

Pastor Jack stood, still pale, but color gradually returning. He handed the phone back to Meggie. “Your brother and the elders of his church are praying for us now.”

The front door opened and slammed shut. Footsteps in the hall seemed to grow closer and the door to the hallway flung open. But there was no physical presence standing there.

“Get out!” A deep voice reverberated through the kitchen, shaking the glass in the dresser and making the lamp shade swing from side to side.

Meggie screamed in terror.

Aaron grabbed her, holding her tightly, his own heart pounding violently as brutal fear gripped him.

Meggie tugged on Aaron’s arm. “We should get out of here,” she cried.

“Stand firm.” Pastor Jack’s voice, deep, resolute and full of authority, filled the room.

Meet the Author:  Clare Revell

Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

She can be found at:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Release


By Carlene Havel

Disappointed, dumped, divorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists their well-intentioned advice. Although she longs for a soul mate, the last thing her flattened self-esteem needs is more rejection—and comparisons to her beautiful, talented older sister do nothing to enhance Casey’s confidence. Unable to have children, she feels she has nothing to offer in marriage. Will bitterness and insecurity destroy her, or can renewed faith in God provide some measure of comfort for this wounded heart? Can Casey ever find love again, or will a string of disasters keep her forever on the run?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Evolution of the Mystery Genre

The Circular Staircase
Mary Roberts Rinehart

In this mystery, Aunt Ray Innes, an affable old maid, is spending time with her nephew Halsey and niece Gertrude at the home of a banker, Paul Armstrong. On their first night there, Aunt Ray and Gertrude find Paul's relative Arthur dead at the foot of the circular staircase. Gertrude's fiancé, Jack Bailey , is a suspect at first, since he quarreled with Armstrong. He's cleared, but things get curiouser when the Armstrong bank fails, over a million dollars' worth of securities are found missing and Louise Armstrong, who was supposedly out West with her sick father, turns up at home. Aunt Ray discovers that the housekeeper was the murderer, and this leads her to a secret room in the house containing the stolen securities. Paul Armstrong appears through a secret doorway, and when he tries to escape, he falls down the circular staircase and dies.

Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) 

Rinehart was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie, although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie's.  She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase. She is considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. She also created a costumed supercriminal called "the Bat", who was cited by Bob Kane as one of the inspirations for his "Batman”.
Rinehart’s commercial success sometimes conflicted with her domestic roles of wife and mother, yet she often pursued adventure, including a job as the first woman war correspondent at the Belgian front during World War I. During her time in Belgium she interviewed Albert of Belgium, Winston Churchill and Mary of Teck. Rinehart was working in Europe in 1918 to report on developments to the War Department and was in Paris when the armistice was signed.
Novels and Plays:
· The Man in Lower Ten (1906)
·  The Circular Staircase (1908)
·  Seven Days (Broadway comedy, with Avery Hopwood, 1909)
·  The Window at the White Cat (1910)
·  When A Man Marries, or Seven Days (1910)
·  Where There's a Will (1912)
·  The Cave on Thundercloud (1912)
·  Mind Over Motor (1912)
·  The Curse of Jennie Brice (1913)
·  Street of Seven Stars (1914)
·  The After House : a story of love, mystery and a private yacht (1914)
·  K. (1915)
·  Bab, a Sub-Deb (1916)
·  Long live the King! (1917)
·  The Amazing Interlude (1918)
·  23½ Hours Leave (1918)
·  Dangerous Days (1919)
·  Salvage (1919)
·  A Poor Wise Man (1920)
·  The Bat (Play with Avert Hopwood, 1920)
·  Spanish Love (Play with Avery Hopwood, 1920)
·  The Breaking Point (1922)
·  The Red Lamp (1925)
·  The Mystery Lamp (1925)
·  Lost Ecstasy (1927)
·  This Strange Adventure (1928)
·  Two Flights Up (1928)
·  The Truce of God (1930)
·  The Door (1930)
·  The Double Alibi (1932)
·  The Album (1933)
·  The State vs Elinor Norton (1933)
·  The Doctor (1936)
·  The Wall (1938)
·  The Great Mistake (1940)
·  The Yellow Room (1945)
·  A Light in the Window (1948)
·  The Episode of the Wandering Knife (1950)
·  The Swimming Pool (1952)
·  The Frightened Wife (1953) (Special Edgar Award, 1954)

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Release

Stone of Destiny
Mary L. Ball

Can a mysterious ring change lives?
The sapphire symbolizes s mental clarity, faithfulness and truth. For centuries, a legion in the Harrison family revolved around a ring.
Taylor Harrison has given up on everything but her work. The youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, her life is complete. That is, until her grandmother asks her to oversee renovations at the family home and find the missing heirloom.
First contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange dreams. Feelings surface; she doesn't understand; thoughts that should remain unspoken, voiced. 
 Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself.
 Is this a fairy-tale or her soul, reaching out for a life she can only find through faith and trust in God? 

An Interview with Mary L. Ball


VBT: Is Stone of Destiny your first novel?  
Mary:  No my debut novel is titled Escape to Big Fork Lake, available on Amazon and most online retailers.

VBT:  What is your favorite scene in this novel? 
Mary:  One of my favorite parts in Stone of Destiny is when Taylor has a dream that leads her to the true happiness she seeks. 

VBT:  What are you working on now?
Mary:  My current work in progress is dubbed Redemption in Big Fork Lake. The manuscript has a few of the same characters as my debut novel, but it’s a stand-alone story with a few returning characters.

VBT:  What is your favorite genre to read and to write?
Mary:  Inspirational mystery is my favorite to write, though I enjoy reading suspense.    

VBT:  What authors have influenced your writing the most and why?
Mary:  Nicholas Sparks, he shows the reader how the characters face conflict, but still remain strong in their beliefs. I also like Terri Blackstock. Her novels are just encouraging to me.

VBT:  Weaving spiritual elements seamlessly into a novel seems to be a gift. Have you mastered the technique and if so how? 
Mary:  Faith seems to dominate my novels. As for mastering it, I believe we all have challenges that try us at times. I’m going through such a trial now, but with the Lord’s guidance, I will grow stronger and discover even more ways to grab hold of my faith.  All of which I hope to share with readers.

VBT:  Tell us about yourself and how you decided to become a writer.
Mary:  I strive to be a faith-filled woman (there’s that word again) I’m caregiver for my mom and I keep my grandkids while my daughter works. My life gets so full with the things that bog us down, so one day I set at the computer and started my fictional world.  It’s exciting to realize one world where I can have total control over.  I live in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. I love the outdoors. When I’m not helping the family or supporting her husband’s ministry, I like to fish, hike or read a good novel.

VBT:  What is your favorite all-time novel?
Mary:  I’m asked this a lot. The truth is I have too many favorites. I would put Message in a Bottle on top. LOL…. I know I should list a classic.

VBT: What profession or job did you have before you became a writer?
Mary:  I was a secretary and a career placement coordinator.

VBT:  Any advice for new unpublished authors?
Mary:  Never give up on your writing. When you get a rejection dig into your manuscript and make it better.

Thanks Virginia, for having me on your blog.
Find Mary’s novels on Amazon and most online retailers. A few of the locally owned books stores also carry them.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Evolution of the Mystery Genre

Blind Justice
James Scott Bell

Jake Denney has hit rock bottom. His wife has left him. He's drinking again. And his five-year-old daughter is in the middle of it all. When a judge calls him "a disgrace to the legal profession," Jake starts thinking things might be better for everyone if he wasn't around anymore. Then a childhood friend's mother phones him. Her son, Howie, has been accused of murdering his wife. Jake takes the seemingly hopeless case in a last-ditch effort to save his client and his fading career.Meanwhile, Howie's little sister, Lindsay, has grown into a beautiful woman. Though Jake is drawn to her, there's something about her he doesn't understand, even though it may be the very thing he needs to reclaim his humanity. With the evidence mounting against his client, and a web of corruption closing around them both, Jake Denney faces the fight of his life--not only in the courtroom, but in the depths of his own soul. 

James Scott Bell is the #1 bestselling author of Plot and Structure, and thrillers like Don't Leave Me, Blind Justice, Deceived, Try Dying, Watch Your Back, and One More Lie (International Thriller Writers Award finalist).

Jim attended the
University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver. He graduated with honors from the University of Southern California law school, and has written over 300 articles and several books for the legal profession. He has taught novel writing at Pepperdine University and numerous conferences in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

His short fiction has appeared in two anthologies and he is currently at work on two series: pulp style boxing stories featuring Irish Jimmy Gallagher and the vigilante nun series Force of Habit.

Under the pen name K. Bennett he is also the author of the Mallory Caine zombie legal thriller series, which begins with ay Me in Flesh. 
A former trial lawyer, Jim now writes and speaks full time. He lives in
Los Angeles. He blogs every Sunday at The Kill Zone.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Evolution of the Mystery Genre

The Bride Collector


Ted Dekker

FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted.
It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.

As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector's next target.

The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?

Ted Dekker (October 24, 1962)

Ted Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged. After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing. In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew. He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel.


The Circle Series:
  • Black: The Birth of Evil (February 2004, August 2009)
  • Red: The Heroic Rescue (May 2004, August 2009)
  • White: The Great Pursuit (September 2004, August 2009)
  • Green: The Beginning and the End ( 2009)
  • The Circle (2010)
The Paradise Series
  • Shasdown (January 2006)
  • Saint (October 2006)
  • Sinner  (September 2008) 
The Lost Book Series:
  • Chosen (December 2007)
  • Infidel (December 2007)
  • Renegade (May 2008)
  • Chaos (May 2008)
  • Lunatic (with Kaci Hill, May 2009)
  •  Elvon (with Kaci Hill, May 2009)
Other books
  • House (with Frank Peretti, March 2006)
  • Skin (April 2007)
  • Immanuel’s Veins (September 2010)
  • The Blood Book (with Kevin Kaiser and Josh Olds, June 2011)
  • Genesis; The Birth of an Idea (June 2011
The Books of Mortals
  1. Forbidden (with Tosca Lee, September 2011)
  2. Mortal (with Tosca Lee, June 2012)
  3. Sovereign (with Tosca Lee, Spring 2013)

The Outlaw Series

  • Eyes Wide Open (February 2013)


  • In the Blink of an Eye (January 2003, November 2007)
  • Thr3e (September 2003)
  • Obsessed (February 2005)
  • Adam (April 2008)
  • Kiss (with Erin Healy, January 2009)
  • BoneMan's Daughters (April 2009)
  • Burn (with Erin Healy, January 2010)
  • The Bride Collector (April 2010)
  • The Priest’s Graveyard (April 2011)
  • The Sanctuary (October 2012)

The Caleb Series

  • Blessed Child (with Bill Bright, April 2001)
  • A Man Called Blessed (with Bill Bright, September 2002)

The Martyr's Song Series

  • Heaven’s Wager (October 2000)
  • When Heaven Weeps (May 2001)
  • Thunder of Heaven (February 2002)
  • The Martyr's Song (2005)

Other titles

  • The Promise (September 2005)
  • The Drummer Boy (October 2006)
  • To Kill with Reason (April 2010


  • The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth (July 2005)
  • Tea with Hezbollah (with Carl Medearis, January 2010)

Graphic novels

  • Black (2007)
  • Red (2007)
  • White (2007)
  • Chosen (2008)
  • Infidel (2008)
  • Green (2009)
  • Renegade (2009)
  • Chaos (2009)
  • Water Walker (October 2013)
  • Outlaw (October 2013)