Kudos for Darkess Follows by Mike Dellosso

The name of this novel is truly apropos, and would be good for Mike Dellosso's books in general. He has a truly mastermind of dark subjects and does quiet an excellent job of shining a light in the end. He has captured eerie paranormal torment in this offering.

The book is very well written, with most excellent development of characters. Any wife will instantly sympathize with Sam Travis' wife, and any father will fear for Sam's daughter. It is a chillingly viable scenario if one dabbles in the occult. I have studied it and have found out that demons can be hereditary. That in itself is chilling.

I appreciate the way Mike underscores the way humans open themselves up to the paranormal when they don't know any better, and even when they do. We humans are driven to do things that under normal circumstances and normal stress levels we'd never even consider. Coupled with our deep-seated desire to understand and to find answers, we are perfect targets for Satan and his minions.

I give this novel 4 stars out of 5 stars.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Darkness Follows
Realms (May 3, 2011)

Mike Dellosso


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted, was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years, has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets, and has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, the International Christian Writers, and International Thriller Writers. His short stories have appeared with Amazon Shorts and in Coach's Midnight Diner genre anthology. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

Mike Dellosso writes novels of suspense for both the mind and the soul. He writes to both entertain and challenge. In addition to his novels, Mike is also an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and a faculty member at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference.


Sam Travis lives in a Civil War era farmhouse in Gettysburg, PA, where he awakens one morning to find an old journal with an entry by a Union soldier, Lt. Whiting…written in Sam’s own handwriting. When this happens several more times, both at night and during waking “trances,” Sam begins to question his own sanity while becoming obsessed with Lt. Whiting and his bone-chilling journal entries. As the entries begin to mimic Sam’s own life, he is drawn into an evil plot that could cost many lives, including his own.

Can the unconditional love of Sam's daughter, Eva, break through his hardened heart before a killer on the loose catches up with them and Sam’s past spurs him to do the unthinkable?

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Darkness Follows, go HERE

Watch the book video:


The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley

I adore all things British, except maybe kippers. The Reluctant Detective was originally printed in the UK and Monarch Books is publishing it here in the States. An amazing  achievement for an author.

There is quite a bit that is very, very good about this novel. Ockley has tackled, in modernized Agatha Christie fashion the essence of a good mystery. Although, Christie moved her stories along at an amazing pace whereas Ockley's is much slower. Not that it is bad for a mystery to unfold slower, I just think the characters could have been crafted in a tighter description so the story flow wouldn't bobble at times. Although, she did an excellent job with characterizations and wove the plot so the reader suspects everyone at one point or another.

The unusual heroine is Faith Morgan who is a vicar, but is a former police detective, quite a combination. Since this is the first of a series, there are some loose ends as far as one or two characters relationships which gives the series a delicious anticipation such as Jane Austin sprinkled into her stories. The ending is surprising, which is also satisfying. Although, I have to admit I did do a bit of skimming, and I might have missed a vital clue that you'll catch.

If one reads with a slightly British accent, the humor is also wonderful, but one should be able to appreciate the heigh-ho English dryness, which for me is hysterical.

I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars simply because the story is a bit slower paced than I usually like even keeping in mind that this is the first of a series therefore there was a foundation to set. It's a keeper, though, and worthy of an evening's read.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Reluctant Detective
Monarch Books (April 30, 2011)
Martha Ockley


Martha Ockley is the pen-name of Rebecca Jenkins. She read history at Oxford University, and spent several years working alongside her father, the Rt. Rev. David Jenkins (Bishop of Durham 1984-94) during the turbulence of the 1980s. She lives in Teesdale in the North East of England where the landscape and history provide the inspiration for her Regency detective, F R Jarrett. Since September 2009 she has been Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Writer in Residence at York St John University. She is a full-time author, writing both fiction and non-fiction. (She should not be confused with a Canadian actor and singer, also called Rebecca Jenkins.)


The Reluctant Detective sees Faith Morgan arriving back in the region of her birth - Winchester in Hampshire. Recently ordained, she had been working as a curate in an Anglican inner-city church. Within an hour of her arrival at Little Worthy, she witnesses the sudden shocking death of a fellow priest during a communion service at St James's. He had been poisoned with a pesticide mixed with the communion wine. The senior police officer who arrives at the scene turns out to be Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, Faith's ex long-term boyfriend.

She is urged by the Bishop to stay on to look after the parish of Little Worthy. As she meets her parishioners she learns some surprising facts about her apparently well loved predecessor, and starts to suspect a motive for his death. And it is she who finally identifies the murderer.

The story gets off to a dramatic start with the previous vicar collapsing as soon as he drank the communion cup, and it holds the interest throughout. There is some romantic interest too. Inspector Ben Shorter starts by sneeringly telling his sergeant, "Ms Morgan is a vicar. One of the ordained," Ben emphasized the word. “She's a card-carrying professional at the touchy-feely stuff.” But he soon starts to feel differently about her again, although she is well aware that he "didn't understand the reality she experienced through her faith. He didn't even recognize its existence. That was the gulf between them." Her own beliefs and doubts are convincingly described, for even she can't help wondering, "What if there is no truth to it?" But for her, as for Pascal before her, it was a gamble worth taking.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Reluctant Detective, go HERE


Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins

This book was especially interesting to me because several years ago I read a much longer version of Brandilyn's testimony on her blog Forensics & Faith.  Her story is of courage and faith and prayer and wonderful friends.

This story, while all the Lyme symptoms are what she suffered, the storyline is definitely fictional. I urge you to read her testimony, it will certainly give your faith muscles a shot of energy.

In the novel, Janessa is purposely infected with Lyme in an insane and perverted attempt to coerce her husband to rethink his stance on the Lyme Wars. You are instantly glued to this slightly different heroine and cheer her on at each turn of the page. Collins has beautifully captured each character's quirks and personality into a few words of description. That is an invaluable, and appreciated talent for any author to have. There is much left to reader's imagination without minute details which inevitably plug up the story flow. That talent reminds me a great deal of B.J. Hoff.

I do not believe it is because she is writing from intimate experience with this novel that it surpasses most of her other works, I believe it is because Brandilyn Collins has climbed to a higher level of excellence.

The novel is riveting all the way to the end, but I have a problem with a plot tactic in the end that I've never seen Collins use before. It wasn't necessary, I believe, because the whole story was edge-of-seat good. However, trying out different plot tactics is a most estimable privilege of the author.

I highly recommend this book. It's a keeper and I give it 5 of 5 stars.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over the Edge
B&H Books (May 1, 2011)
Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.

In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.


Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Even as patients across the country are getting sicker, the committee Brock chairs is about to announce its latest findings—which will further seal the door shut for Lyme treatment.

One embittered man sets out to prove Dr. McNeil wrong by giving him a close-up view of the very disease he denies. The man infects Janessa with Lyme, then states his demand: convince her husband to publicly reverse his stand on Lyme—or their young daughter will be next.

But Janessa's marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly move or think. And her husband denies she has Lyme at all.

Welcome to the Lyme wars, Janessa.

“A taut, heartbreaking thriller. Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages.”

--Publishers Weekly

“Tense and dramatic. Holds its tension while following the protagonist in a withering battle.” –NY Journal of Books

“A frightening and all-too-real scenario. Very timely and meaningful book.” –RT Reviews

“If you know someone who suffers from Lyme, you need to read this compelling novel.” –Lydia Niederwerfer, founder of Lyme-Aware

If you would like to read the Prologue of Over the Edge, go HERE

Watch the book video:

Jolt by Phil Cooke

I was actually expecting something quite different than what Phil Cooke offers in this book. He's a television producer, and a social media guru, so I was expecting some great stuff on how to reel in today's media to harness it for my own blog and to use for my own book. Not.
Setting that disappointment aside, Cooke delivers a step-by-step process to harness change in your life for your own good: rather than letting life dictate your circumstances, you determine your own circumstance by deliberation, establishing your direction, maximizing potential and many other things. There are 25 points to ponder.

I think Stephen King was the first to talk about the "What if..." when he wrote about writing. The power at an author's fingertips is what comes after the "What if..." Cooke capitalizes on this theme first, then moves on to talk about eliminating distractions as well as getting over yourself. Great advice! It is also something we've heard before if you have ever listened to Zig Zigler or any other motivational speaker. The key to Cooke's message is it is written down so you can refer to it over and over. It's an excellent message and one that should be heeded especially if you don't care to repeat history.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
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