Sunday, December 16, 2007

What's Your Take on Christian/Inspirational Fiction?

Hello! Thanks for stopping by.

As you can see from my blog postings, I'm a Christian author. I am also an avid reader of romance novels and cozy mysteries. Here lately, my reading has been limited to romance novels. When I was reading cozy mysteries, I enjoyed M. C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth Mysteries and one or two other authors.

For years, I only read secular novels. To be honest, I was ignorant of the availability of Christian romance novels. There are tons of novels out there! So, I started to read those. For the most part, the books were well-written and the messages were in line with the bible.

I read some that I liked, and I bought new releases as they hit the shelves. Two of the authors that come to mind are Lori Wick and Lori Copeland (historical novels).

But then there were others. They were totally alien to my life experiences. I couldn't relate. Life is full of struggles, adversity, disappointments, and temptations for everybody, but the characters in those novels seemed to float above it all. Where were those failing human qualities--anger, bad attitudes, the burning desire for revenge, sexual temptation, jealousy, etc? Oops, I think I'm revealing too much. LOL! Yes, Christians struggle in these areas. Sometimes, we overcome. Sometimes, they overcome us. We are striving for perfection. We have not obtained it. Thank God for His mercy, grace, and forgiveness!

What I'm trying to say is that the characters and stories weren't real to me. They were tepid and whitewashed. I'd get halfway through the books--if that far--and toss them or give them away. I had spent my hard-earned money to buy these books, and to be completely honest, I felt cheated. So, I went back to reading secular novels. After skipping over the pornographic bedroom scenes, the books were pretty good. Truer to life. Oh no, someone is going to read this and condemn me to Hell! LOL! I'm not alone. Many Christian readers have confessed to doing the same thing. Guess I'll have company. LOL!

I am well aware that the enjoyment of the written word is subjective. I'm curious about your reading experiences with Christian fiction.
  1. Do you read Christian fiction at all? If not, why not?
  2. Have you read any good books--real page turners?
  3. Have you read any books that you think do an adequate job of mirroring real life?
  4. Have you read any books that you really disliked? If so, what didn't you like about the story or characters? It's not necessary to list titles or authors to express your point. I know from personal experience that writing a novel is not easy, so please respect the fact that authors have put in a lot of hard work to produce these books.
As I stated before, I read Christian romance novels. The characters and story must be real and give me a good giggle. I'd love to read your recommendations. Feel free to recommend some cozy mysteries as well that will tickle my funny bone.

When you post, please keep the following in mind:
  • There are readers out there who are genuinely interested in this topic. Please don't use this as a promotional opportunity.
  • I'm looking for respectful discussion, not bashing.
  • Some of my readers are young. Please keep your posts Rated G.

I look forward to hearing from you. Let's get this discussion rolling!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Miralee Ferrell Bog Tour - The Other Daughter

Welcome Miralee! Congratulations on the release of your first novel, The Other Daughter! I know you're excited, and we're all excited for you.

I'm fascinated by the primary topic in your book - that of an unknown daughter showing up on the doorstep, and the unavoidable upheaval in the lives of those people her appearance impacts. What prompted you to write about this type of circumstance?
A friend suggested that my first book be based on something true from my life, if possible, as I'd have an easier time fleshing it out. I began to brainstorm a few 'what ifs' from our marriage. What if the 18 yr. old girl who'd written my husband a letter claiming to be his daughter, had been a young teen without a mother instead, and we had to raise her? What if her conception had happened while he and I were dating, rather than prior to our meeting, as was the case? What if I were NOT a Christian and he was, and I struggled with Christianity and his faith? Hmmm....well, that's exactly what it took to ignite the story within and it grew from there and became, The Other Daughter. And to answer anyone panting to know, LOL---yes...the 18 yr old girl WAS his daughter from his 'Before Christ' days and yes, we keep in touch and have a solid relationship with her and her family.

I'm interested in your character development. How did you go about choosing the various personalities, quirks and habits of your characters? Are they based on actual people you know?
Excellent question and one I'll enjoy answering. In this book, the two main characters both have some aspects of my husband's and my personality or outlook on life. Susanne is much more of my hubby Allen, than me. He struggled with Christianity for years, even though he got saved prior to our engagement. His main issue was the need to be in control of his life and not bow to an outside authority, even God. He also dealt with some drinking issues, as did Susanne, and some of her arguments at one time or the other, came from his lips.

Josh and Megan, the two children of David and Susanne are very similar in personality and interests as our son Steven and daughter Marnee. Steven loved to dismantle things as a child and Marnee was horse crazy (still is as an adult).

I'm in there somewhere....probably more in the frustration David felt in dealing with Susanne's attitudes toward his faith and drinking.

What themes exist in The Other Daughter that you hope reader sees? Are there any overt themes that developed as the story progressed? The most important theme to me is the one of releasing control of your life to your Heavenly Father, and seeing that He cares more about your future than you ever can. Until a person bows their will to His and falls into His arms, there will be no true, lasting peace....and it's tough to find real forgiveness, or give it to others. The character of Grandfather, a part Native American relative of David's, didn't exist in the first rough draft, but came quite some time after. He was brought into the picture to help both David and Susanne examine their motives and reactions to one another and to Brianna on a deeper level. He's a picture of unconditional love that we all wish for in our lives and the type of person we could all use, when we're heading the wrong direction.

What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
The most difficult parts were the revising. I didn't really experience any struggles in the initial flew from my fingers and mind onto the computer screen as fast as I was able to type. I did the initial rough draft in five weeks, but the revising and editing and additional scenes took several times that long, as I had so much to learn. I found it difficult to tone down a couple of people who needed to be rude and or snotty, but also had to do so in a believable way. My first attempt was very sad....they were straight out of a Grade B movie, LOL!

My favorite parts I think, were developing the characters....especially the children and Grandfather. They came alive for me. Of course, the two younger kids, Josh and Megan, were very similar to my kids, Steven and Marnee at that age, so they sprang to life with little effort. There are no similarities to anyone else real besides those two people, and David and Susanne. But characterization comes easy to me, regardless and my greatest joy is working to develop characters the reader will feel they know. That's what I look for in a book and what I'm trying to give to my readers.

Do you have any parting words of advice?
Keep your priorities in order…God first, family next, ministry and others (including your writing) third. Write for the Lord, and yourself, rather than to be published. It will cut way down on the disappointment and frustration level, and bring a deep sense of joy and accomplishment.

Thank you for stopping by Miralee!

You can read the entire opening scene of The Other Daughter at

The Other Daughter has been released and can be found in stores near you. You can also order it at or

Miralee is holding a drawing for a copy of The Other Daughter at the end of her blog tour, which continues through this month . Whenever you leave a comment at one of the posts on her tour, you'll receive another entry into the drawing.

Miralee's blog tour stops...


20th Karen Phillips---Sky-High View

LaShaunda Hoffman—See Ya On The Net

21st Angie Arndt---The Road I'm Traveling

22nd Deena Peterson---Deena's Books

22nd Teresa Morgan---Teresa Morgan's Blog

23rd Rose McCauley---Stories of Faith, Hope and Love

23rd Pattie Reitz----Fresh Brewed Writer

24th Cecelia Dowdy---New Christian Fiction Reviews

Tiffany Amber Stockton--A Fiction-Filled Life

25th Bonnie Way---The Koala Bear Writer

Stormi Johnson---Write Thoughts

26th Robin Grant---Queen Of Perseverance

27th Delia Latham---The Melody Within

28th Jennie McGhan---Jen's Life Journey

29th Susan Lohrer ---Inspirational Editor

30th Carla Stewart---Carla’s Writing CafĂ©

31st Christina Berry--- Posting with Purpose


1st Bonnie Leon---Bonnie's Blog

2nd Jan Parrish---Bold and Free

3rd Tina Helmuth---The Ink's Not Dry

4th Teresa Slack---ShoutLife Blog

5th Pam Meyers---A Writer’s Journey

6th Betsy St. Amant---Betsy Ann's Blog

7th Megan DiMaria---A Prisoner of Hope

8th Christa Allan---CBAllan WordPress

9th Susan Marlow---Suzy Scribbles---Homeschool Blogger

10th Jamie Driggers---Surviving the Chaos

11th Cindy Bauer----Christian Fiction Author & Speaker

12th Angie Breidenbach---God Uses Broken Vessels

13th Patricia Carroll---Patricia PacJac Carroll


16th Lisa Jordan---Musings

Coming on November 14: Blog Tour Interview with Miralee Ferrell, Author of The Other Daughter

Miralee's Personal Bio

I'm over 50, married for 35 years this July, and have two wonderful children, Marnee and Steven. I'm active at our small church, serving on staff with my ministerial license and working with women in a counseling/ministering capacity. My husband and I are looking forward to full retirement soon and taking off for a few months at a time on our 51' sailboat, where my writing will take on an entirely new creativity. We have a horse, a dog and three cats that my daughter and her husband will inherit while we're gone. Thankfully, they live on the adjoining property and are animals lovers.

Miralee's premiere novel, The Other Daughter, is the story of David and Susanne Carson, a couple with an already fragile marriage that’s rocked to its foundation when a young teenaged girl appears at the door...

The girl standing at the door took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. "My mama's dead. He's my daddy."Susanne Carson knew that she could trust the love of her life—her husband, David—until she discovered a strange, unkempt young girl on their doorstep, claiming to be David's daughter.Not that their marriage had ever been perfect—David's decision to embrace the Christian faith had strained their relationship. Susanne may not have agreed with his beliefs, but at least she trusted him. Had David been hiding this not-so-little secret from his past? He wanted Susanne to believe in his God, but believing hadn't done much to keep David out of another woman's arms.As David confronts the truth of his past, Susanne must face her own moment of truth as her marriage is taken to the breaking point and the life of one young girl is left in her hands.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tracee Lydia Garner Blog Tour

Tracee Lydia Garner is a national best-selling author. Family Affairs was not the first story she wrote but it was the first successfully completed and the one she says started it all. FAMILY AFFAIRS appears in the All That & Then Some anthology with BET/Sepia Books. Family Affairs won the grand-prize award, receiving an advance, a book contract, a trip to New York to accept her award and most importantly having her work published by BET Books.

Her fourth release, Love Unchosen, is three books in one about the Watt women: three, entrepreneurial sisters on the brink of love.

Tracee maintains that she is a creative writer as well as a journalist that enjoys writing "how to" articles, and articles of personal experience, both tragic and inspirational on the disability, African-American and woman experience, not necessarily in that order.

Tracee maintains that as her writing career takes center stage, she will always be disabled, and thus she must and always will be committed to the advancement and removal of barriers for persons with disabilities.

Love Unchosen: A Novel
By Tracee Garner


The Watts sisters have spent most of their lives focused on their careers-until big sister Geena launches her own design company, Watts Your Style. Not only does she find success, but she finds true love with her client Dr. Justin Webster, a recovering alcoholic. After getting married and giving birth to her son, Geena looks to her sisters to help run her company and hopes in the process they, too, will find true love.

At her older sibling's request, middle sister Vashton returns to Virginia from North Carolina where she has run to escape the demons of her past and finds herself falling head over heels for Romeyo Payton, her ex-best friend's brother-in-law who is raising his nephew.

At her sisters' urging, baby girl, Ellie, relocates her virtual job as a professional organizer to help out as well. When rude client Husten Montgomery comes in with his bratty daughter, Ellie is determined to ignore her attraction and stay as far away as possible from the handsome man to avoid reminders of the loss of her own daughter.

Despite their close bond and their drive, each sister comes to realize true love is the greatest gift of all.


What’s something you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

That I was so good at telling a story... And I’m not bragging. I didn’t know what I was. I still struggle with knowing what my direction and purpose is supposed to be doing/going; but I would have just felt better about whatever it was I meant to do here on this earth had I had an earlier validation. And not just so much validation cause I think becoming a good writer comes from my disability and experiencing things which then takes age and growth (AND TIME) and painful times of isolation but just the something, whether it was writer or what. I’m glad, at 24 I won the BET First Time Writer’s contest, and I’m still writing and everything is for an appointed time, but along with my writing came increased steam, and better self esteem and a coping mechanism and okay, being eternally hard on myself, yes, I get mad at myself sometimes for being so slow to get it. Yes, I know it happens when it happens, but still, my mind tells me, erroneously so, that I’m late once again that perhaps I should have been here already (if only I’d pay attention and stop goofing off).

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That books aren’t perfect all the time. I still get upset when reviewers, the critics, say things, like “as an avid reader of so and so’s work this wasn’t her best.” I’m not mad, that’s what they do, but just frustrated. It’s like film, there are a couple of flops for some actors, oh well, you keep moving on. What’s more, no one has said this about me yet and I’m sure they will at some point, but why say it at all? If you don’t like, you just don’t like it, more often then not, you’ll pick up book two and three to keep giving a person a chance. Why write a really, really bad review just for the sake of writing it?

Join Tracee as she visits other stops on her tour. See what else she has to say on writing.

October 8

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mary DeMuth Blog Tour - Purchase Link

The book we've been discussing, Authentic Parenting in a Post-Modern Culture, by Mary DeMuth is available now. You can purchase your autographed copy directly from Mary at the link above. I encourage you pick it up today!

Mary DeMuth’s Authentic Parenting Tour

Promoting Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture

What does postmodern mean? And why should it matter to parents?
Postmodernism is the waiting room between what used to be a modern worldview and what will be. According to several postmodern scholars, we’re in a shift right now, leaving modern ideas behind, but what we are shifting to is not yet fully defined. Postmoderns believe that rationalism and/or more education doesn’t necessarily create a better society. They typically don’t embrace the notion of absolute truth, though they reach for the transcendent. They are skeptical, and often question whether science is something to be embraced or feared. The question for parents is how will we mine the current worldview, even as it shifts? What in it can we embrace as biblical? What is not biblical? What I’ve seen in the church is a fearful adherence to what is familiar. So we cling to modern ideas, even though they may not be biblical and shun postmodern ideas even when they might be biblical. Our children will meet this shifting worldview no matter what our opinion of it is.

You are the first to admit that being authentic might require a parent to apologize after an angry outburst. Are you saying that authentic parents don’t always have it all together as some would like to think?
Yep! We are all frail, needy humans. If we present ourselves as perfect parents, never failing, always doing this correctly, we show our children we have no need of Jesus. We also set up a standard of perfection—that to be a Christian, one has to be perfect. This can lead to our children creating elaborate facades or hiding behind masks. I’d rather have my children see that even mommies make mistakes. Even mommies need Jesus every single day.

You talk about the twin values of engagement and purity. What does that mean?
Many parents subconsciously believe that true parenting means protection at any cost. We received a lot of flak for putting our children in French schools because the atmosphere there wasn’t exactly nurturing. Believe me, the decision was excruciating. But through it all, I realized that Jesus calls us all to be engaged in the culture we live in, yet not to be stained by it. That’s the beauty of engagement and purity. Abraham understood this. After God told him to leave everything and venture to a new place, he obeyed: “From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8). Oswald Chambers elaborates: “Bethel is the symbol of communion with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abraham pitched his tent between the two.” As parents journeying alongside our children through a postmodern world, this concept of pitching our tent between communion with God and engagement in the world should encourage us.
Meet Mary and read her crazy blog here.

If you'd like to read an excerpt from the book, click here.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating on the Authentic Parenting Tour this week. For a complete listing of the blogs participating in the six week tour, visit here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Soul Cries Out - A story that makes you go, “hmm.”

Sherri L. Lewis did a fantastic job of highlighting a controversial issue—the Christian response to homosexuality—with a liberal dose of humor and realism.

My Soul Cries Out makes you examine your beliefs in God’s redemptive and delivering power. Do Christians really believe that God is powerful enough to deliver a person from homosexuality and give them a new life? Do Christians really extend God’s love and acceptance to individuals who leave that lifestyle and become born-again believers? Is homosexuality a worse sin than any other sin—lying, stealing, pre-marital sex, etc?

Christians tend to put on their God-hat and put weights on sin. The novel addresses this with one powerful statement: Sin is sin.

The hero (Kevin) and heroine (Monica) are well developed, and you empathized with their pain and struggle.

One other character stood out for me, Trina. Trina, Monica’s best friend, had faced her own struggles with sin. Her struggle and eventual deliverance made her an empathetic and accepting Christian. This was another little nugget in My Soul Cries Out: Temper your judgments of others with total recall of where God brought you from.

My Soul Cries Out is edgy, funny, and REAL. It’s not a story you’ll soon forget.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Blog Spotlight - Suzanne Woods Fisher

What's the best thing about writing?
All of life is material. It's all grit for the oyster.

What's the worst thing about writing?
I still only make a dime an hour.

Taking care of your family, aging parents, training guide dog puppies, and writing a novel must create some hectic times. How do you rely on God to get you through all your activities?
Yesterday provided a perfect example of how to answer that question. Just as I was zooming downtown to deliver my hot-off-the-press novel to a store that had requested copies, the kids left a door open and the dog disappeared to explore the smells of our neighborhood. The next hour was spent dog hunting. I fought an interior battle of frustration: Grrr! I can’t seem to get anything done on my book without needless interruptions! But the Lord reminded me to release that book into His hands, and go find that dog (which we did).

Later that afternoon, when I finally did get to the store, I bumped into a friend. She was meeting with a woman who wasn’t a Christian. This woman saw the book in my hands and bought three copies! Who knows if God might not use the faith angle of that novel to reach her heart? I pray it will! And I realized that God had ordered my day, interruptions and all.

Coming on July 2: Blog Tour Interview with Suzanne Woods Fisher

A contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine, Suzanne has been published in numerous magazines, including Worldwide Challenge, Parent Life, Marriage Partnership, among others, and has contributed to five non-fiction books. She lives with her husband, four kids and a steady stream of puppies that she raises for Guide Dogs for the Blind in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find Suzanne on-line at

Copper Star is a World War II love story set in 1943, as theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer smuggles a young resistance worker, Louisa, out of Nazi Germany. Louisa waits out the war in a dusty copper mining town in Arizona but can’t leave her resistance skills behind. Soon, she turns the town upside down, uncovering a mystery that leads her back to the Nazis and her war-torn country.

Released on June 30, the film rights of Copper Star are under consideration by a major motion picture studio. A contract for the sequel was offered to Fisher before Copper Star released. Pre-release orders have driven the book on Amazon’s sales rankings down into low digits.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Blog Spotlight - Sherri Lewis

* Describe yourself - what do you want people to know about you.
I am a creative soul, and love to create anything that expresses the heart of God. In addition to novels and short stories, I write praise and worship music, and have choreographed dance pieces for church ministries. Next to God, music is my greatest love - especially live music. I enjoy contemporary and neo-Soul music, and LOVE jazz. Especially when I'm writing. Music spurs my creative muse. I love to sing also. I currently work as a physician in a women's prison in Georgia and it has truly been a life changing experience. I look forward to sharing some of the stories from this experience in future novels.

* How do you find time to connect with God?
I MAKE time to connect with God. I'm no good without Him - insane actually. Me and God are an all day thing - I talk to Him from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep at night. I'm just an addict for His presence.

* Tell us about your journey to publication. Seems like it took forever.
My first novel was actually finished in 2001 and the second in 2003. I submitted everywhere I knew to submit and got rejection after rejection. Each time I got rejected, I read craft books and re-edited and re-edited. I think I've read both books at least 100 times. I had gotten discouraged and had pretty much decided to move on to something else when I found out about Urban Christian. In retrospect, I know it was the perfect timing of God. My life was in a turmoil at the time both books were completed and I wouldn't have been able to promote and market them. Now life is great and I can really focus on my career as a writer.

* Tell us about your debut novel.
My Soul Cries Out is the story of a woman who comes home to find her husband, the minister of music at their church, in bed with another man. It is a compassionate look at Christians struggling with the spirit of homosexuality. I pray that it stirs up conversation about an issue that's only whispered and gossipped about in the church. The church needs to be on the front line - offering God's love and compassion for Christians and the unsaved battling the spirit of homosexuality. Unfortunately, the church's approach has been either head in the sand or judgement and condemnation over and above other sins. I hope this book provokes dialogue and solutions in the body of Christ.

* How did you come up with ideas for your current release?
I actually write for therapy, so it started out as me dealing with the pain of a failing marriage and divorce. I need a compelling reason to cause the characters to get divorced, so I dreamed up the idea of him cheating with a man. In the process though, I thought of many dear Christian friends of mine who had struggled with the spirit of homosexuality and decided to highlight their pain as well. I pray that the outcome of the book is in line with the heart of God and I pray that it truly ministers to people who have dealt with the homosexual lifestyle. I have to say though, because it's been asked SOOOOO many times - no, I didn't catch my ex-husband with another man. Even though some of the quirks and habits of every character I write are mine (their obsession with coffee shops, some of their expressions, the thread of worship and intimacy in everything I write), this is truly a work of fiction.

* What's next for you?
My second novel, Dance Into Destiny is due for release in 2008. I've got another novel in the works, but after re-editing Dance, the characters are asking for a sequel. I also want to do a series about a Christian doctor working in a prison. I'd love for people to understand the lives and stories of the women I work with everyday. I also want to write Christian non-fiction one day. I love to teach on worship and intimacy with God, and also the present day reality of the Kingdom of God in the earth.

* Where can visitors find you online? and

Friday, June 22, 2007

Coming on June 25: Interview with Author Sherri Lewis

On June 25, Sherri Lewis will share with us her journey to publication as well her motivation for writing My Soul Cries Out.

My Soul Cries Out is a compassionate look at the issues of Christians struggling with homosexuality and the redemptive power of God to bring deliverance.

!!! Released July 2007 !!!

Monica Harris Day's perfect world begins a downward spiral the day she comes home to find her husband in bed…with another man.

After confronting Kevin, her husband of two years, Monica discovers he's had a lifelong struggle with homosexuality that began at the age of ten, when he was molested by a deacon in the church. For years, Kevin has sought deliverance, crying out to God to make him straight. He explains his deceit by saying he truly thought he had been delivered when he married Monica, but was afraid to share his past with her for fear she wouldn't marry him. Kevin begs Monica's forgiveness and wants to save their marriage. He is convinced that God has indeed delivered him from the spirit of homosexuality and that the one time mistake was just his past coming back to haunt him.

Their pastor offers them marital counsel but Monica suspects that his real concern is in maintaining his mega-ministry. The membership has grown to 10,000 since Kevin became the minister of music. When the pastor swears them to secrecy and urges Monica to stay in the marriage, she thinks Bishop Walter isn't willing to risk the potential scandal and church division that would result if the truth is leaked to the congregation.

You can read an excerpt of My Soul Cries Out at

Monday, June 18, 2007

Blog Spotlight - Marlo Schalesky

Where did you birth the idea for this book? When? How did it come about?
People often ask where I get my ideas for my books. My answer? You never know! For Veil of Fire, the idea was birthed at my favorite Mexican restaurant in the mission town of San Juan Bautista. There I was, sitting with my family, nibbling chips and salsa, when a wedding party came by. The bridesmaids were dressed in beautiful turn-of-the-century style gowns. As they passed, my mother-in-law began to tell me of the dresses that her great grandmother, who lived in Hinckley, used to sew for the rich ladies in Minneapolis and St. Paul. From there, came the story of the great Hinckley fire and the rebuilding that this woman, my husband’s great-great-grandmother, was a part of. And finally, I heard the tale of the mystery figure in the hills, a person burned beyond recognition. A person never identified, living as a hermit until one day he just disappeared.

At that moment, the first inklings of the story that would become Veil of Fire were born in my heart. Who was the hermit in the hills? What happened to him? And how would I solve the mystery if I could? As I pondered those questions, I knew that I had to write the hermit’s story. Had to explore what it would be like to lose everything, even your identity. Had to hear the hermit’s voice in my mind, and hear the story for myself.

So, the writing of the book became for me a process of discovery, as I hope it will be for my readers. I hope that as the mystery of the hermit drew me, so too it will draw others to this story of how fire can change you, take from you, and in the end, may just set you free.

Can you explain the research process, since this is such a historical novel?
The research for Veil of Fire was particularly fascinating not only because of its link to my personal family history, but also because of the incredible first-person accounts of the fire that were written by people who were actually there. These stories are compiled into a book written entirely by survivors who recount their personal experience of living through the firestorm that swept through their town. I read about a man whose hat lifted from his head and exploded above him as he ran through wind and fire. I read about another whose horse raced beside the Eastern Minnesota train as fire billowed around him. The horse swerved into the smoke, and the man was never seen again. I read about a boy racing down the tracks, falling, and surviving as the fire roared over him. I read about fire on the surface of the Grindstone River, darkness broken only by bursts of flame, the St. Paul and Duluth engine backing up to Skunk Lake through blinding heat and smoke. I read about a train trestle disintegrating into flame moments after a train passed, about Jane Tew praying on that train, and the brakemen who saved them all.

Those eyewitness accounts, as well as information gathered about the fire from other sources, created the realistic feel of the fire and its aftermath in Veil of Fire. Plus, you can be sure that if something seems almost beyond belief in Veil of Fire, it will be drawn from an actual account that came directly from the research, so amazing were the real stories of the fire on that day!

Today, a number of books about the fire, as well as artifacts, photos, and other articles can be seen at the Hinckley Fire Museum in Hinckley.

What takeaway points do you hope your readers pull from this book?
Once, when we were children, we believed in miracles. The impossible was only a prayer away. Fairy tales were real, and dreams were free. Where did we lose the ability to trust? When did we stop daring to believe? What happened to us?

Life happened. Failure, discouragement, pain, loss. Somewhere, somehow, life burns us all. And we realize that this life we live is not the one we once dreamed. The realities of life scar us. Doubts rise. Fear whispers that hope is gone. And what was once a simple faith can fail in the face of that fear.

In the midst of life’s disillusionment, choices appear. Do we retreat? Hide our hurts far from probing eyes? Do we embrace bitterness and cynicism? Do we use deceit to try to obtain our goals? Do we give up, give in, forget that we ever dared to dream?

Or is it possible to reach the high places of faith in the low valleys of life’s reality? Can we still live a life of bold faith, of fierce hope, when fairy tales don’t come true? How do we live this life that God has given us when it’s not the life we dreamed?

These are the questions I wanted to explore in Veil of Fire. These are the questions which underlie each character’s journey in the aftermath of the great fire of 1894.

So, for those burned by life, for those who carry scars that cannot be seen, for those who have retreated for fear of more pain, this story is for you, this journey from the hidden places of pain to a new hope in the unhidden truth of Christ’s love.

Can you share with your readers something God has been teaching you lately?
Through some recent tragedies and through writing Veil of Fire, God is showing me that I cannot measure his love by my successes and failures, or even by my happiness. Who I am on the inside, how I am being shaped into the likeness of Christ, the character of my life – the color and beauty of it – are what are important to God. And to create that color and beauty, sorrow is necessary. Hurtful things happen.

So, I’m starting to understand that my life, too, is a story that God is writing. And since the best stories have conflict, disappointments, and plenty of action, I shouldn’t be surprised when my life takes a turn and my faith is challenged once again.

And yet, my sorrow matters to God, my tears are counted by him as precious. He does not leave me alone in my hurt. He touches me, he heals me, he creates beauty from the ashes of my pain.

So I’m learning to walk through the fires in my own life. And to dig deeper – not to answer the question of why but the question of who – who is God really, who am I, and who is he making me to be? Those are the questions that matter. Those are the things that help me to face my own fires, accept my own scars.

What book are you currently reading?
Why, the New Testament, of course . . . in Greek! Now, before you start thinking that loving Greek makes me too scholarly to write a decent novel, you should know that even though I just completed my Masters at Fuller (that’s a Masters in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary – so cool!), it wasn’t my desire for an “A” that made me fall in love with New Testament Greek. After all, most students get through Greek class as fast as they can and then forget it. I might have too.

But one day, as I was sitting there in class, learning forms and tenses, my professor happened to mention something interesting. “Did you realize,” he said, “that the Greek word for truth and the word for unhidden share the same root.”

Ah, in that moment an idea came to me, a little whisper from the heart of God. Truth. Unhidden. Truth. And I began to see the connection between truth and what it means for those who hide in their pain.

That idea became the basis for the theme in Veil of Fire. So you see, I can’t help loving the Greek. I can’t help wanting to read the New Testament that way. After all, who knows what I might discover next.

Which character in Veil of Fire do you most relate to, and why?
Even though I base no character on myself, they all reflect a little of me – my questions, my struggles, the issues that have shaped and molded me. In Veil of Fire, this is particularly true for the hermit in the hills. Just as the hermit questions God’s love, believes “I am Esau, unchosen, unloved,” so I too have struggled with those same feelings, doubts, and questions. I, too, have cried out to God, “Why don’t you love me?” For the hermit, it was a question born out of fire, abuse, and disfigurement. For me, it was a question that came out of failure, infertility, and miscarriage. So, in many ways, the hermit’s questions were my own, the answers mine, the external scars reflections of my internal ones, and in turn, I think, symbols of the scars of us all.

When writing Veil of Fire, did you plan the plot before sitting down to write the story, or did the plot develop as the story progressed?
I am a “headlights” writer, which means I can see the chapter I’m writing and a few chapters ahead. I may also glimpse a few “signposts” in the distance. The funny thing about Veil of Fire is that I wrote three quarters of the book thinking the hermit in the hills was one character only to find out as I neared the end that I was wrong! And the impact of that discovery was both a shock and a delight. Suddenly, I understood what God was getting at through the theme and nuances of character in the book.

And truly, while I may complain that it would be easier to write a book if it were all mapped out (it certainly would be quicker!), this sense of surprise and delight is one of things that I love about the writing process. I love when the story and characters take on a life of their own. I love to discover what God has been planning for a story all along. And I love to be surprised by a sudden turn of events. And I know if I’m surprised and delighted, my readers will be too.

What book project can we expect from you after Veil of Fire? Can you give us a sneak peak of the storyline?
After Veil of Fire, I’m writing 3 contemporary novels for Waterbrook-Multnomah. All of them are “Love Stories with a Twist!,” a new type of story that I think will knock readers’ socks off.

The first, Beyond the Night, releases in May 2008. With groovy 70’s trivia and a whopper of an ending twist, this one was as fun to write as it will be to read. Here’s a blurb about it:

They say love is blind. This time, they’re right.
A poignant love story . . .
A shocking twist . . .
Come, experience a love that will not die.

Nicolas Sparks (The Notebook) meets M. Night Shymalan (The Sixth Sense) in this moving story of two people trying to find love in the dark. A woman going blind, a man who loves her but can’t tell her so, a car crash, a hospital room, and an ending that has to be experienced to be believed. Watch for it next May!

*** Leave Marlo a comment to be entered in a drawing for a FREE copy of Veil of Fire. ***

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Coming on June 18: Blog Tour Interview with Marlo Schalesky, Author of VEIL OF FIRE

Marlo Schalesky Paints Compelling Word Picture in VEIL OF FIRE

Schalesky is the author of four books and a regular columnist for Power for Living. She has been published in Focus on the Family, Decision, Moody Magazine, Today’s Christian Woman, Discipleship Journal, and others. In addition, she was named 2001 Writer of the Year at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers' Conference.

Cook Communications will be launching the “Sizzling Summer of Fiction” reading campaign with VEIL OF FIRE and other summer releases. Fiction book clubs and reader groups may contact Schalesky and schedule a time and date to interact via Internet or conference call. Downloadable reader’s guides are available at A separate “Bring an Author to Your Book Club” Internet page, is also available.

(NASHVILLE, TENN.) Hinckley, Minnesota is going up in flames and a mysterious “being” sets up camp at the edge of town in Marlo Schalesky’s May 2007 release, VEIL OF FIRE. Coping with the loss of loved ones and belongings is hard enough, but Hinckley citizens are also encountering a monster. Or is it a ghost? Something didn’t burn up in the fire and Hinckley folks aren’t quite sure if that’s a good thing or bad.

Marlo Schalesky uses the facts from the worst firestorm in Minnesota history—the fire of 1894— as the backdrop for VEIL OF FIRE. Her lyrical prose is woven deftly into the harsh reality of a fire that consumed 400 square miles and killed 418 people in just four hours. Hinckley of today still isn’t sure what or who the monster was that the fire left behind. Perhaps, though, Schalesky’s story can solve that mystery once and for all.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Blog Spotlight - Louise M. Gouge

1) When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? Was there anything in your childhood that influenced you to become a writer?
Like most children, I always had my own imaginary little world. Then, when I was ten years old, Mary Martin appeared on black and white television playing Peter Pan. If you’ll forgive the pun, that’s when my fantasies really took flight because it was such a happy tale. I wanted to make up stories like that, too. I loved to write in school, often turning ordinary term papers into fiction that incorporated my research. There was always a story simmering in my imagination. But my children were all in school when I finally began to write seriously.

2) Although you have written several novels, what inspired you to specifically write a historical trilogy of the post Civil War era?
The Civil War was such an important turning point in United States history because it defined what we would become as a nation. In this series, I wanted to explore why Reconstruction failed and why we still suffer the consequences of that failure. As with my school term papers, I show my historical perspective and research best through fiction.

3) Knowing that you have several writing awards to your credit, please share with us which novelists and other writers have influenced your writing and in what ways?
Charlotte BrontĂ« was my first strong influence. In my opinion, her Jane Eyre is not only a perfect romance novel but also an eloquent social and spiritual commentary. DiAnn Mills is a prolific and talented author whose “expect an adventure” style has shown me how to use just the right amount of research rather than doing an “information dump” on my readers. Francine Rivers has one of the most powerful spiritual voices in today’s Christian fiction. Every one of her novels deeply moves me and brings me closer to God. I hope to emulate these three authors so that God’s message can be clear, deep, and exciting in my stories.

4) Why did you write Then Came Hope rather than some other story?
In this trilogy, I wanted to tell the stories of three very different men who returned home after fighting in the Civil War. The first man is a southern naval officer. The second one is Ezra Johns, an educated Negro man from Boston who volunteered to fight in the first black Union regiment, the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Negro Regiment. The third story will be about a northern white man. Each had his own reasons for fighting in the war.

In Ezra’s case, he had a great deal to prove because the prevailing view of the day was that Negro men would not make good soldiers or good fighters. Ezra and his real-life counterparts put an end to such uninformed speculation. If not for their courageous service all over the South, the Union might not have been preserved. It is my goal to honor their remarkable legacy.

5) Your characters are distinctive, multi-faceted, and even endearing at times. What inspired the development of the plot and characters in your story? Are they based upon themes and people you already know?
Addressing the question of themes: because I was a child in the Civil Rights era, I’ve always wondered why things did not turn out better for this nation after the Civil War and why the Civil Rights movement was even necessary. I have come to understand that national identities are formed through the choices that individual people make. In this country, the generation after the Civil War failed to take up the torch and “fix” the racial divide, failed to bring African-Americans fully into American society, so that all of us could work together to build the greatest nation this world has ever known. We are still suffering because of that. We had a chance to become a beacon to a world where tribal and ethnic identities often wreak havoc and destruction. But we failed. By placing my characters in the post-Civil War, I show that many Americans had great hope for a better world, and there is still a chance we can overcome that failure.
With that in mind, I created a cast of characters for Then Came Hope that included a variety of southern former slaves and one northern freeman. Their interactions with white people and with other blacks, along with their ultimate decisions about where to begin their futures in freedom, propel this story forward through a hostile South and a not-so-perfect North.

6) You have a way of taking the reader right into your literary landscape – in this case the post Civil War era. How much research did you use to set the mood and ambiance of your story?
Once upon a time, before television, radio, and movies, people enjoyed novels that were filled with great historical and scenic details. They would sit around the hearth listening to the family patriarch reading a great novel such as Moby Dick or A Tale of Two Cities, from which they learned about a world they did not know. Today, we know all that stuff just by watching the Discovery or History channels. In today’s novels, we readers want an author to throw in just a few details of setting and history to give us the picture. Then tell us all about the people: their struggles, their hopes, their triumphs and tragedies. That’s what we’re concerned with because that’s what touches the core of our unchanging humanity. So I go to the heart of the human issues involved in my story and intersperse the history around it.

7) How would you describe your writing style – not your literary style – but the actual writing itself? What kind of techniques do you use?
I park myself in front of my computer and start putting words on the page. Sometimes I delete, and sometimes I save. But all of this comes after first imagining my characters, my basic plot line, and my themes, and then researching the novel’s time period extensively. Actually, the research continues as I write and all through the editing process.

8) Many novelists say ending the novel is the most difficult part of writing. Why do you think that is and how do you know when you have reached the end of your story?
I think this is all about feelings. If I’ve solved all the problems and my characters look forward to happily-ever-after, how do I end with a nice little punch line? I want my readers to feel satisfied, so once those two problems are solved, I usually put in a sweet little kiss to seal the romance. Or, in one case, I had my hero and heroine merely reaching out to hold hands. It just felt right. In the novel I just completed, I have three couples getting married, a celebration of life returning to “normal” at the end of the war.

9) There’s obviously more to a novel than just an entertaining read. What do you want readers to take away from Then Came Hope?
I believe God speaks to every believer’s heart about His truth. My prayer is that my readers will listen to God rather than to their all-too-human “conscience” or to whatever is popular or expedient in their time or their social group. I pray that they will be Christ’s representative in their sphere of influence, however large or small that may be. And I pray that they will look beyond race, politics, and religion to see the humanity of every person they meet. If I have created characters who live by these ideals, perhaps my readers will gain the courage to “go forth and do likewise.”

10) We’ve talked about the novelists that most influenced you as a writer, so now let us make the question a little more personal. Who is the one person most influential in your life today?
At the risk of sounding predictable or corny, I would say that my husband of 42 years is the most influential person in my life. He has worked very hard to make it possible for me to write. He comes home every day and asks to read what I’ve written, which means he holds me accountable. And he cooks! Not only when I have a deadline, but most of the time. What a guy! He sets me free to indulge in my art and fulfill my soul’s desires.

Coming on June 11: Blog Tour Interview with Award Winning Author, Louise M. Gouge, Debuting Then Came Hope

I'm honored to announce that I will be spotlighting my writing mentor and award winning, multi-published author Louise M. Gouge on June 11, 2007.

Louise will share with us the driving force behind her historical trilogy on the post Civil War era and Then Came Hope in particular.

Then Came Hope is the second novel in Louise's historical trilogy on the post Civil War era.

Delia was born into bondage and battered for 17 years. But in the wake of the Civil War, she joins a ragtag band headed North through a bitter and defeated South. Can handsome Ezra Johns help Delia realize her true value to God? Will he gain the respect his war service deserves?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blog Spotlight - Rachel Hauck

This week we're spotlighting multi-published author, Rachel Hauck and her latest release Diva NashVegas.

Rachel Hauck lives in sunny central Florida with her husband, Tony, a pastor. They have two ornery pets. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeyes football fan. Rachel serves the writing community as Past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the Advisory Board. Visit her blog and web site at

Leave a comment on her blog and be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate to Starbucks or Barns & Noble. Two names will be drawn.

Rachel's Latest Release

For the past decade, Aubrey James has ruled the charts as the queen of country soul. She rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parent’s death – Gospel music pioneers Ray and Myra James. While her public life, high profile romances and fights with Music Row execs writes juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey’s is a media mystery.

When a close friend and former band member betrays Aubrey by selling an exclusive story about the Diva to a tabloid, Aubrey knows she must go public with her own story.

Inside NashVegas sports anchor, Scott Vaughn, is not prepared for the assignment of interviewing a country super star. Especially not one he dated, then abandoned. Yet, his boss leaves him no choice. His career and the future of Inside NashVegas depends on the success of this interview.

When Scott shows up at her home for the first session, Aubrey threatens to back out of the deal. But, it’s too late. Instead, she bravely opens her heart as Scott probes into her life and discovers a future of faith, hope and love by letting God heal her past.

Rachel's Interview

Q: What inspired Diva NashVegas?

A: The idea to write about a singer came from a conversation with my editor, Ami McConnell. At first, I created the Diva to be a wanna-be star, but after thinking the story through, I decided she had to be an established artist, a superstar.

Q: How do you research a diva?

A: Not easy. I read a lot of bios, and spent time with Christian artist, Kim Hill. She was a blast and a great help. I loved hanging out with her. I also got some inside scoop from record producer and fellow Thomas Nelson author, Matt Bronleewe.

I talked to an entertainment lawyer and search music business forums for answer to some of my questions. The hardest detail to find was about artist and record label disputes. We all know it happens, but why? The only reason I could find was “creative differences.” This answer did not cover enough detail for me. I couldn’t create a legitimate scene with Aubrey and her record label President arguing over “creative differences.”

Thankfully, I found a forum on the internet and a kind gentleman gave me eight detailed reason why an artist would enter into a dispute with her label. Saved the day!

I also researched foster care and television production for elements of the story. Kelly Sutton and Molly Day, a TV personality and producer respectively in Nashville were enthusiastic resources.

After that, I only had my imagination.

Q: What do you want readers to take away from the book?

A: First, a great read. I hope they can be transported into Aubrey James’s world. Next, a message that life isn’t always fair, but we have the power of choice in our response. God is always there for us, even when we don’t feel He is.

Diva NashVegas was difficult to write. I had a few crisis, but when I finally submitted it to my editor, I wrote in my email, “I love Aubrey James.” She really came to life for me in the end.

My editor loved her, too. I’m confident she’ll capture readers.

Q: What is your writing day like?

A: It varies, but I try to settle down from my morning routine by noon and focus on writing. Some days it’s earlier, and some later. If I’m approaching a deadline date, I completely clear my schedule and work twelve hours a day or more.

Email is my weakness. I’ve modified the Lord’s prayer some for writers: “give us this day, our daily word count, and delivers us from email.”

Seriously, I’m like an email junky. Half the time no one emails me, I just have to check and see. Secretly, I’m hoping a Broadway or Hollywood producer will email me wanting to make a movie or play out of one of my books.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: For a long time, but not seriously until the mid-90’s. Then I quit for awhile because my corp job became more demanding, then one day in 2001 the Lord began to open doors and by the end of 2002, I had my first book contract.

Q: Name your favorite TV show of all time.

A: I have no idea. Friends, I guess. Gee, do I want to admit that? I don’t agree with the shows moral philosophy, but I love the comedy, the writing and friendship element of the show. Same with Cheers, or MASH. Wait, I just remembered, I love, loved, loved, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. That is my all time favorite.

Q: How did you meet your husband?

A: I met him at church. He was the youth and singles pastor, and the only guy who didn’t wear a pocket protector or have duct tape holding his glasses together. Husband was cool, and we had a lot in common, but mostly what attracted me was his heart of David – a man after God’s heart. He’s a man of prayer and the Word, high integrity and after being friends for eighteen years, he’s my best friend and makes me laugh.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: Look for “Sweet Caroline” from Thomas Nelson March 2008. This is a story of inheritance and finding courage to do what you really want to do in life.

Q: How do you get your ideas.

A: Burn up my last brain cell thinking of something. Then I call all my friends and cry, begging for help. I pray a lot.

Seriously, I believe God has a lot of ideas and He’s most kind to share them with us. I look for what is on His heart.

Q: Besides writing, what goes on in your life?

A: I’m a worship leader at my church, and with a prayer and worship ministry, Fire Dweller. Until August 2006, Husband and I were youth pastors. We handed the youth church over to a younger couple last summer, and I’ve been taking time to see what else God has for me. It’s nice to have a light schedule for the first time in many years.

Recently, I learned of a volunteer program where I can read to children and rock babies. So, I’m going to give time to that ministry. I’m very excited.

Q: Any parting words.

A: Sure, thanks to Toni for the author spotlight. Thanks to all the readers. I appreciate you. Stop by my web site and leave a blog comment or email me and I’ll add your name to a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. If you tell me you bought the book, I’d love it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blog Spotlight - Teresa Slack (New Release on June 15)

What is your new book about?
Evidence of Grace
is the third book in the Jenna’s Creek Novels Series. I don’t want to give too much away for readers just starting books one and two. Suffice it to say, new evidence surfaces in the murder of Sally Blake. The guilty party may be hiding more secrets about that night or may not have acted alone in the murder. Christy Blackwood has vowed never to speak to her mother again after finding out the secrets of her past. But now Christy is home and hiding some secrets of her own.

What were some of the challenges in writing the book?
Evidence of Grace
is probably the hardest book to write so far in my career. I had so many story lines going on at one time, I had to make sure I gave each one ample billing. I also wanted to make sure the reader cared strongly about each story line. It was a challenging book to write, but also a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. Of course, I always say that after a book is finished. While I’m writing it, it’s a pain and I wonder why I ever started it in the first place.

Have you ever started a book you haven’t been able to finish?
Not since I started writing full time. You put too much of yourself into a project to walk away from it when it gets tough. No one would do that in any other line of work. If you did, you would lose all your clients.

How many more books do you see in the Jenna’s Creek Series?
At least five. I think that’s a nice round number. But it all depends on how well the folks of Jenna’s Creek, Ohio deal with me intruding on their lives every so often.

What are the challenges in writing a series and a stand-alone book?
The challenge in writing a series is keeping each new installment fresh and interesting. I have to be careful too, about giving too much back story. I don’t want to lose readers who haven’t read the previous books, but I can’t bore readers who’ve been with me since the beginning. A stand-alone book is fun because I can write the story and then walk away. That’s also the downfall. I don’t know how many people told me they are anxious to read the sequel to A Tender Reed.

Are you planning a sequel to that book?
No, that story is finished. But I’m flattered that readers were reluctant to let the story go. I’m happy the characters had such a hold on them.

Are there any more series’ in your writing future?
I am currently working on a short romance that will be paired in a book with a romance by award winning novelist Molly Noble Bull.

What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you since you became a published author?
Oh, no, I don’t think I could narrow it down to one event. I have had the opportunity to meet other Christian writers, either in person at the International Christian Retailers Show in Denver, Colorado last summer, or in my online writers’ groups. But the greatest thing has been meeting with readers. I’ve done a lot of traveling to get the word out about the books, and everyone has been great. It’s wonderful to hear that the books are having a positive impact in people’s lives. That’s the most gratifying thing for a writer.

I know writing is a very isolating experience. How do you deal with being your own boss?
That is a very difficult task. I probably waste a lot more time than I would if I had a boss breathing down my neck. I’m dedicated about getting at 6:15 every morning. I start my day with prayer and an exercise routine. If I don’t, it seems like the whole day gets frittered away with very little to show for it.

How much understanding and encouragement do you get from the people in your life?
More than I ever imagined. My husband is wonderful. He works nights, so he gets up about nine o’clock in the evening to get ready for work. If he wakes up to a tearful wife, he knows it’s been a bad writing day. If he wakes up to frozen pizza for dinner or no dinner at all, he knows it’s been a good writing day.

What would you do if you weren’t writing?
That’s a question I don’t really have an answer for since I truly feel called to write and blessed that I’m able to pursue it full time. I am naturally good with small children, so I suppose I would enjoy teaching at an early grade level. Or maybe I could become a nuclear physicist. I wonder if you need any special training for that.

Do you have any words of encouragement for people who dream of writing for publication?
Everywhere I go, someone asks me the formula for getting published. It’s like losing weight. I’m sorry to say there isn’t a twelve step program to success. We all know what to do; it’s just having the discipline to stick with it. Dedicate yourself to sitting in the chair and writing your story. Then polish and make it absolutely perfect. That includes typos and coffee stains. No editor wants to see a messy manuscript on her desk. Last but not least, don’t give up. I am living proof that an unagented, first-time novelist can find a traditional publisher. It isn’t easy or fast. But it is possible. Just keep writing.

Please feel free to leave Teresa a comment to let her know that you stopped by.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Coming on May 19: Blog Tour Interview with Teresa Slack, Debuting Her Third Jenna's Creek Novel, Evidence of Grace

!!! New Release on June 15 !!!

Nearly thirty years have passed since Sally Blake disappeared from a party. Her remains were found twenty-five years later and her killer brought to justice. Or so everyone in Jenna’s Creek believes. A mysterious phone call from a potential eyewitness leads authorities to believe an innocent person may have pled guilty to her murder. Noel Wyatt enlists the help of a young attorney and David Davis, a retired judge who once prosecuted the case, to find out why.

Thus begins Evidence of Grace, the third installment of author Teresa Slack’s Jenna’s Creek series. Twists and surprises await the reader as more and more details leading up to the night of Sally’s disappearance are revealed. Did Noreen Trimble act alone in Sally’s murder? Why is she willing to sacrifice her own freedom in order to protect someone else?

Several new characters, only briefly mentioned in previous books, are introduced to keep the series fresh and moving forward. Ms. Slack’s down to earth writing style and her community of flawed and endearing characters will keep readers coming back to Jenna’s Creek for many books to come.