Crimson Cipher by Susan Paige Davis

I have said so often that it takes a very special author to mix suspense and romance. Well, Susan Paige Davis is that special. At first, I thought this was going to be another predictable historical romance with a little intrigue thrown in. Not so. This is a well-researched, well-written novel about the beginnings of the CIA. Although, Davis never even hints about that. To know more about that, read Body of Secrets by James Bambord.

The organization our code-breaker heroine goes to work for was actually called "The Black Chamber" and those she mentions as the heads of it were not real people. The cipher machine never really came into use until much later... but it is considered that many countries were furiously at work on such a machine for security of their diplomatic and state messages. However, setting aside the poetic license...

Davis has done an excellent job in capturing the flavor of the early 20th century without describing much about dress or uniforms, but more about the technology and society. This is just a really good read and I do recommend it to anyone interested in espionage or code breaking without a tremendous lot of details.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Susan Page Davis



A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.

In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?

Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.

Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.

And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Crimson Cipher, go HERE.


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.


What in the World is Going On? by David Jeremiah

I have loved Dr. David Jeremiah for many, many years. I watch him faithfully every Sunday morning, so I was thrilled to be able to review this particular book because I watched the series of sermons on this subject.

I have to say that if you want or need encouragement in these troubled times, then reading this book will settle many questions you may have. It is solid, with dead-on research, and he uses many Bible passages to back up this message.

I agree with him wholeheartedly. I have studied eschatology since I was a teenager and each year my understanding grows deeper concerning God's plan for His people and for this dark world. Dr. Jeremiah has complied an easy to read anthology of prophecy that clearly defines what is happening now and the impact it has on the future of this world. Be sure and get your copy today. You'll be so glad you did.


Love is a Flame compiled by James Stuart Bell

I have long adored James Stuart Bell. Therefore I snatched this book right up as soon as it hit my mail box. Talk about super-duper-better-than-sliced-bread good! You have a wonderful collection of impacting stories told by those who lived through them. This book is inspiring, is fabulously touching, and wonderfully human dealing with situations we all face, but handled in God's special way.

You cannot go wrong with this book. Buy it! You won't be sorry.

Real People. Real Stories. Real Love.
Happily ever after. Does it only happen in fairy tales, or in real life? Over the years love may burn strong and steady, but sometimes it grows cold. However, it can be rekindled--and these stories show how. Be inspired by true accounts of how love was revived and renewed.
You'll discover that love can grow stronger and burn brighter through the years as you read more than forty stories from everyday people like
  • Jan, whose marriage was restored despite adultery.
  • Marsha, who fought pornography and won.
  • Bryan, who realized his family, not his career, was his most important responsibility.
  • Emily, who learned that real love overcomes unrealistic expectations.
  • Jeff, who went from dissatisfaction and boredom to falling in love all over again.
    The true stories in Love Is a Flame will warm your heart and show you how to create a new spark in your marriage and build it into a glowing flame.

    James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including the Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, and God Encounters series, and the coauthor of numerous books in the Complete Idiot’s Guide series. He and his family live in West Chicago, Illinois.
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