Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reviews of The Vengeance Squad

Reviews for my latest book, The Vengeance Squad, are now available on and elsewhere. Plus, a number of people have promised to read it and review it soon. Here's what we have so far:

Another Winner – Dr. Rollo K. Newsom (Austin, TX)

The Vengeance Squad, is a one sitting read. I've warned you, don't start it until you have time to finish it! It is an emotional tear-jerking roller coaster, moving the reader rapidly through delight, tragedy, anger, hope, frustration, fear, gratification and if not vengeance at least comfortably satisfying resolution.

The characters, particularly the four main characters are not only physically described, but are most effectively developed as personalities through what they do and what they say. This technique creates a remarkable affinity between the reader and the characters. Very quickly and very emphatically I came to identify with these characters and suffer or thrill, bleed and heal right along with them and enthusiastically root for them.

In an earlier book Where Love Once Lived, Frost created believability in part by using real places for settings even though it is clearly fiction. I suspect the use of places he knows helps him write with confidence - it is real and so it reads real. The setting for most of the action in this book is several cities in Texas and New Mexico, but one episode takes place in Rowe, Massachusetts a place I had never heard of but now not only believe in but even feel as if I sort of know the place. And I'd bet a bundle that he has been there! In this book Frost uses real towns, restaurants, hotels, highways and specific locations like named malls, the down town Houston tunnel, the Galveston docks and so on. Even drive times are accurate and vehicles are appropriate. All these things are in fact real and real is believable.

In a similar manner emotions and values are so appropriate to the circumstances and action that the you just know it is all true. This aspect of the book is very important to me because I believe this emotional authenticity is what keeps this Christian novel from being too "preachy."

The careful attention given to the development of the main characters and the fact that they are all still functioning at the end of the book along with a little cliff hanger suggest that this maybe the first of a series. I sure hope so.

I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. I was not obligated to provide a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Will not want to put this book down. – B.B. Hill

The Vengeance Squad by Sidney W. Frost is action packed, full of thrills, suspense and romance. When you get ready to read this suspenseful story make sure you have time to read without stopping because you will not want to put this book down. The title of this book intrigued me and after reading reviews I knew I wanted to read Chris and Sarah's story.

Sarah and Chris's love for one another is felt from the first chapter. You can understand why Chris is so devastated after her death and determined to search for and find her killers.

After Sarah's death, Chris thinks that God has let him down and want nothing more to do with God and church. Sarah's parents accept her death and know she is in Heaven but Chris is losing his faith fast. He keeps remembering the scripture, "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord" but he feels that it is up to him to search and find the killers. He had been unable to protect Sarah, it was his fault she was dead.

Chris, a PhD computer science professor, Percy "Tex" Thompson, a 40-year-old wheelchair bound ex-con student at the community college where Chris teaches, and Liz Siedo, the 65-year-old head librarian at the city library where Tex works become The Vengeance Squad. The three of them start researching the robbery and find information on their Internet searches that help them to start their journey.

Their journey to find the killers becomes very active and the adventure is filled with suspense and mystery. In Galveston, Chris re-discovers his faith and says his first prayer since Sarah's death. He also realizes God wants him to search for and find the killers. This is an action packed thriller and I loved the ending.

I do hope there will be another book to continue this adventure with another crime to solve. I have "Where Love Once Lived" on my wish list and can't wait to read Sid's first book.

You'll Want To Cheer For This Book – Inspirational Books (Orlando, FL)

You'll want to cheer the love-driven determination, sigh at the protagonist tender way he holds on to her memories. And you'll take notice how God weaves His plans that go beyond our own. The story leaves one wanting the next sequel to find out how once again, love wins, the love that goes beyond justice or vengeance."--Janet Perez Eckles, author.

Good book -- W. Marple "crochet addicted" (delano, mn)

This is the first book I have read by Sidney Frost. It is a good story with a unique take on the situation for the main character, Chris. For some reason the style of writing didn't grab me and I was not able to pinpoint why. That doesn't take away from the story line. It was refreshing to read a book that is different from the other Christian books out there that can have the same 'canned' type of path in their story.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: In the Company of Others by Jan Karon

I have to tell you up front Jan Karon is my favorite author. I've read all her books and loved all but one. That said, I'll try to give as honest a review as possible.

In the Company of Others is the second book in the Father Tim series, the first being Home to Holly Springs. These two books vary from Karon's nine books in the Mitford Books series only in location and supporting characters. Father Tim is the main character in both series, but the Father Tim books are set outside of Mitford.

This book takes place in the town of Sligo, Ireland where Father Tim takes his wife Cynthia to show her where he had visited ten years earlier with his cousin Walter and Walter's wife Katherine, before Tim and Cynthia were married. Throughout the book, there are references and communication with family and friends back home and Mitford fans will feel comfortable with that.

What struck me throughout was how easily Father Tim slipped into the hearts of the Sligo people. Just as he did in Mitford, he spotted problems and found ways to solve them. Cynthia's foot is injured and she is unable to get around easily, leaving Father Tim to help the family members of the bed and breakfast where they are staying as well as others. Of course, Cynthia assists in handing out love and care from the bed and breakfast.

The author uses a book-within-a-book approach here that I found quite effective. Father Tim and Cynthia find a handwritten journal written by a doctor who had lived in 1860's and read them since Cynthia is limited in what she could do. What amazed me was the research that must have gone into writing the 1860's story to make it historical correct.

This book will hold your interest from beginning to end, and when it does end, you'll want to know when the next book in the series will be ready. I highly recommend it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

COTT Champ Lisa T Bergren

*Guest post by Michelle Massaro
Congratulations, Lisa T. Bergren, author of Waterfall! Lisa's winning excerpt was discovered by COTT's new Talent Scout, Katie McCurdy. You can read Katie's review here. This YA title is being highly-praised by adults and is only the second YA title to win at Clash Of The Titles. Visit Lisa's site to learn more about her.
About the book:
Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
Sounds amazing, doesn't it? No wonder it won! If you're ready to read it, head to Amazon now. You can read Lisa's COTT interview here or check out her excerpt here.
Lisa, welcome to the COTT Hall of Fame. We're very happy to have you join us!
Readers, do you hunger for a well-written convo--one dripping with sarcasm or perhaps laced with unspoken meaning? Maybe you like a quick wit or a character whose comments make you LOL. Wish you could influence the dialogue of the fictional characters you read? This week COTT is hosting a showdown for the Snappiest Dialogue. Hurry on over and let our authors know what you like, and what you long to see, in the spoken interaction between characters. See you there!

* Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for COTT and has a passion for evangelizing through fiction. She writes contemporary inspirational novels with heart-rending themes intended to frame the message of God’s healing love. Michelle has written for Romantic Times, Circle Of Friends, and Pentalk Community, among others. Find her on twitter @MLMassaro, Facebook, or her blog, Adventures in Writing, and join the fun.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Staci Stallings Interview

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from.  Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again.  Every title is a new adventure!  That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.  Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors.

Please make Staci feel at home on The Christian Bookmobile today by reading her responses to the questions below and sending in your comments and questions. Be sure and tell your friends to join us today for this interesting and uplifting interview.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

In second grade, I wrote a story about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and my teacher, who I adored, wrote, "You're a great writer!" at the top.  Well, that was all there was to it.  After all, she said it, and she knew everything!

Do you have formal education in writing? If so, please describe. If not, how did you learn?

Yes. In high school I was in Journalism contests in the Texas U.I.L.  I worked literally countless hours one-on-one with my writing teacher who had been a journalist herself before teaching.  I would write the story.  She would bleed on it and then go over it word-for-word with me.  Then I'd go write another, and the process would repeat.  I won the State Feature-writing contest my senior year.

In college, I majored in Journalism but quickly decided that life wasn't for me.  So I taught English three years before quitting to have my family.  That's when I went back to my first real love--writing stories. 

Please tell the readers about your latest book.

Coming Undone is the story of Ben Warren, a guy who has the "life every guy dreams of living."  Fast cars, plenty of money, a great apartment, and any woman he wants.  Then his father suffers a stroke, and Ben has to come to terms with the meaninglessness of how he's been living.  When Ben has to make the decision of whether or not to transfer his father to hospice, Ben's world falls apart until he meets Kathryn Walker, the hospice social worker. As she helps him through the life-and-death transition of his father, Ben comes to see in her that a fast life of no meaning is a very empty way to live.

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

I have had several very close relatives go through hospice, and the workers there are simply amazing.  The idea of facing death on a daily basis with such grace and kindness fascinated me.  It is how I wish we all chose to live each day--rather than waiting until someone is dying to think about what's really important in this life.

What do you want the reader to feel/learn/experience while reading this book?

Everybody is hurting.  Everybody has pain that we don't see from the outside looking in.  Learn to be compassionate and kind.  Learn to bring God with you into every situation. That much would go a long way to changing our whole world!

Please summarize other books you have published.
I just went into the Kindle and Nook markets.  Right now I have 9 books to choose from on each. You can see all of them at:

What would you tell someone who wants to write a novel?

Write.  Write as much as you can--whatever it is.  The more you write, the more you will learn to write.  Poems, songs, short stories, journals, blogs, novels.  Listen to what God's putting on your heart and write that!  Every time you do, it will be a piece you will need later on.  Trust me.  Get it down.  You can always revise it later.

What would you tell a new author about marketing his or her book?

It will make you crazy to chase sales.  So have fun with it.  Concentrate on connecting with readers not on making sales.

Please describe your hobbies and interests other than writing.

I love to read.  I play the guitar, the piano, and a little drums (very little and off-beat!)

What's the best way to reach you and buy your books?

Spirit Light Moments:

On Facebook:  Spirit Light Author Staci Stallings
On Twitter:  @StaciStallings

Friday, August 19, 2011

John3:16 Network Blog Tour – Bernard Boulton

Please welcome Bernard Boulton.

Bernard has been a reader since at the age of five when his cousin Yvette placed a book in his hand and introduced him to the wonderful world of books. Throughout his life he has read fiction and nonfiction books that has gripped his imagination and made him believe in greater things.

Bernard’s reading sparked a desire in him to one day produce his own story. As he got older the spark became a vision and the vision is about to be manifested through his first novel.

As a student at the Cuyahoga Community College Bernard was mentored by Dr. George Eppley who encouraged his gift and ability in writing. Dr. Eppley encouraged Bernard to pursue his writing for publication. As a member of the New Sardis Church in Cleveland Ohio Bernard used his gifts in writing as a staff member of the church’s newsletter. Bernard continues to be thankful for Pastor Larry Tatum and Lady Iris B. Tatum for the opportunity to write and move in his purpose of writing.

Bernard attended the Cleveland Ohio Public School System graduating from East High in June 1985. He attended Cuyahoga Community College, Warren Bible Institute, Moody Bible Institute and he graduated from Christian Life School of Theology where he received an Associate degree in Theology.

Bernard gave his life to Jesus at the age of eight and entered the preaching ministry at the age of seventeen. He is a widely traveled preacher with a relevant word and he has ministered in the Word throughout the United States and Haiti. He has pastored churches in the states of West Virginia, Texas and Virginia. He is in his ninth year as the pastor of the New Mine Creek Church in south Virginia.

Do You Wanna Be Made Whole? ISBN 13: 978-0-9843213-0-8

Pastor James Maxwell knows the pain of making poor choices that damages families. He has dedicated his life to helping men avoid the mistakes that he has made in his life. Now he walks through the valley with three of his spiritual sons as they try to find their way to wholeness.

  • ·         Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Theo find forgiveness for the one who betrayed him?
  • ·         Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Michael who suffered a great tragedy in his life?
  • ·         Will Pastor Maxwell be able to help Adam face his past and discover a new future?

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

I have known that I wanted to be an author since I was a little boy. I loved reading and that sparked my interest in wanting to write like the authors I was reading.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

My novel, Do You Wanna Be Made Whole?, is about a pastor who mentors three men. Each man is dealing with a traumatic situation in his life and the pastor helps them to navigate through their pain to finding wholeness.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

My prayer is that my book will help you to find hope and know that no matter what happened in your life yesterday you can start again.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

I have been blessed to have traveled throughout the United States and I have visited Haiti and Nigeria. But the place I would love to go to is Egypt.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

My favorite historical period was the first century when the Christian faith was being established. I would have loved to have seen that.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

Reading is my favorite hobby.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

Yes but I don’t want to tell it.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

To be a successful writer never forget that God must remain first in your pursuit. Find a mentor that can help you reach your goals and remain persistent.

How can readers connect with you?

I can be found at my website At Face Book WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BERNARD.BOULTON. And at twitter!/idealwriter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

John3:16 Network Blog Tour – G. Edward Snipes

Today we're talking to G. Edward "Eddie" Snipes, author of I Called Him Dancer, published February 8, 2011. G. Edward Snipes is a freelance writer, president of the Christian Authors Guild, and founder of Exchanged Life Ministries. He has had four award winning short stories, and regularly has articles published on several online ministries. Visit his ministry site at or his personal blog at

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

Though I’ve been actively writing since 1998, I had no real visions of becoming an author until about five years ago. I was a writer in denial.

My writing journey began with prison ministry. When prisoners wanted material to study what we were teaching, I agreed to write it out. Prior to this, I never dreamed of writing. Over time, the chore transitioned into a desire. I began to realize how much I enjoyed writing. But I still didn’t consider myself a writer.

Once I was asked to put together an in-depth study at church. I wrote out a six-month, 95,000 word study. When I gave out the study guide, someone said, “Wow. Are you a writer?”

I said, “No. I just put my thoughts on paper.” Hmm. Exactly what is a writer, then? It would be another eight years before I came out of denial.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

For a moment, Michael danced on top of the world, but one bad choice turned his life upside down. The once promising Broadway star now washes windshields for tips and lives among the homeless. When his former dance partner recognizes him behind the fray of whiskers, shame drives him away from her. Angry at God and the world, the Dancer refuses to allow anyone into his life. When everything is stripped away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.

I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman’s enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless man who has given up on life.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

Hope. We’ve all met someone who thinks life is hopeless. Some have family members lost in the vortex of drug addiction. I used a Meth addiction because I know people who have struggled. And some that continue to struggle. When you watch someone’s life falling apart, and they reject any attempt to help, it’s easy to believe they are beyond hope. But the truth is that hope is never lost.

The Bible says that God sees the end from the beginning. The Lord doesn’t deal with us based on who we are, but who we will be when we stand before Him. Even if we completely ruin our lives, God still deals with us with perfection in mind. We can’t see how God is working behind the scenes until everything comes together in a miracle of grace. Then we see hopelessness shattered, leaving us awestruck at the amazing plan of God. I’ve seen this in real life, and I wanted to give readers this picture in I Called Him Dancer. Perhaps it will inspire someone who is in this situation with hope.

If you could have dinner with two people, who would they be?

Abraham Lincoln and my wife. Visiting interesting places and meeting people aren’t fun without being able to share it with family.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

I love chasing mosquitoes with a weed eater. When I’m not doing this, I also like wood working. The lathe is my friend. I do segmented bowls and vases, and have won twelve ribbons in competitions. They also make great Christmas gifts.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

Unless you’ve read my blog, you may not know I’m dyslexic. Dyslexia creates a big writing when challenge. Wait, something’s not right with that sentence. I mix up names, similar sounding words, and other things. So editing is a challenge for me. But don’t look down upon us. Slysdexics are teople, poo.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Writing may be a solo activity, but publishing is a social journey. Get connected. Join writer’s groups, critique groups, and find fellowship with like-minded writers. We need each other during every step of the journey. Critiquing allows others to point out what we cannot see. Believe it or not, there is much you can’t see. The mind fills in the missing information, so what’s clear to the writer may not be clear to the reader. Then we need others to help in the publishing process. Finally, we need others to help market the book. A great book sits on the bottom of the sea of literature unless others are helping to keep it afloat.

Another thing is to write to improve the craft. Everyone’s writing stinks when they begin. You probably don’t think so. Neither did I. At least, not until I read my older work. What I thought was great almost makes me hurl. Passion is the hardest thing to find in writing. Anyone who has the passion to write will become a good writer if they work to improve their work. And are willing to take criticism. Oh, and don’t hide your writing from the world. You have the gift for a reason. Don’t be the guy who hid his talent out of fear. If you don’t know what that means, start reading at Matthew 25:14.

Any last thoughts for your readers?

Yes. My great, great, great grandmother needs me to sell 10,000 books so she can get her cat back from the evil baron – who is holding it hostage until she pays her debt. It’s been a while, so he’s eager too.

The eBook version is only .99 cents. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. It will move you. And all for less than a buck. What a deal!

And how can they connect with you?

Readers can email me directly from my website.
Connect with me at the following places:
Twitter: @eddiesnipes
Facebook: eddiesnipes
LinkedIn: you guessed it! eddiesnipes

Friday, August 5, 2011

John3:16 Network Blog Tour – Ashley Wintters

Today we are interviewing Ashley Wintters, who writes under the name of Ashley Dawn. Her latest novel is Shadows of Suspicion published by AuthorHouse, November 5, 2010.

Revenge is the agenda... "Find my sister." Rick Reiley's words were what drove Luke to search mercilessly for Kerry. He is in a race against time to find her and will have to face more than a criminal mastermind to get close to her. He is prepared to give his life for her, but what about his heart? "...I would like you to meet....My wife." Those words from her enigmatic rescuer threw Kerry more than anything else that had happened to her in the last few days...and that was saying a lot! Kerry's simple life is turned upside down when she is kidnapped and dragged to the middle of nowhere by a madman. She trusts Luke with her life, but can she trust him with her heart? As Luke fights to keep Kerry safe, the chemistry ignites and the danger gets closer. Will God protect them while Luke tries to sort out his heart....and capture Kerry's?

Good morning, Ashley.

Good morning Sid!  Thank you for having me on your blog today.

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

Honestly, I didn't have one of those moments where you just KNOW that is what you want to do.  Mine was a slow progression.  I have always written everything down....I have an endless number of lists and then it moved to poems, songs and eventually kids stories.  When I dreamed the story that became my first book, it was just natural to write it down and then voila, I was a writer!

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

I would love to!  Shadows of Suspicion is the second in my Shadows Series and focuses on Kerry Reiley.  Because of who her brothers are/what they've done, Kerry is kidnapped.  Her brothers get the best in the business, Luke Reeding, to rescue her.  Of course there is chemistry between Luke and Kerry but there is a lack of faith on Luke's part that puts the relationship on hold.  As they are working through that, they are still evading the kidnappers, trying to figure out who is behind the whole mess and trying desperately not to fall in love. 

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

I hope they come away with the understanding that God is the center of it all.  He is the focal point of my books, but He should also be the focal point in our lives.  I just hope that comes across to everyone who reads my books.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

I've always wanted to go to Australia.  It has been my dream since I was quite young to go there and see the amazing wildlife, beautiful scenery and just everything there is to see.  I've always been interested in the variety of animals they have but also the vast differences in the landscapes captivates me as well.  I want to go and explore until my heart is content!  Hopefully I can talk my husband into a trip there soon, I think it would be the perfect place to write a book.

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

My late great-grandfather, Thurman Herring, and my late great-grandmother, Ima Mauldin. Both are big parts of my family stories and I've heard about them my whole life but never met them. He was a preacher and thought of very highly by everyone around and they all have such wonderful stories about him that I can't wait to meet him. I was fortunate enough to grow up with his wife, my great-grandmother still alive and she talked about him frequently and I would love to meet the man who married her! :)

My great-grandmother was from all accounts sweet and very down to earth.  I also was fortunate enough to know her husband (my great-grandfather) and listening to him talk about her was wonderful.  You could always tell he thought the world of her and I just wish I could have met her. I have so many questions for them both that it would be great just to sit down and chat with them!

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

I would have loved to be at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is such major part of our history and everyone there was taking a huge risk. I would have loved to hear the debates and listen to how it was all 'hammered out', not to mention all the historical figures that were there signing it!

Do you have a favorite hobby?

Lol. Reading. I am a book fanatic.  I always have at least 2 books I'm reading at any time.  Since getting a e-reader, I think I've gotten worse.  I like pretty much any type of book so there is a huge variety just sitting at different spots in my house, at work, and in my car!  I keep one in my purse, just in case I need something to occupy my time. 

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

Only family/friends know that I'm deathly afraid of needles.  It all goes back to a childhood incident, but I am seriously terrified of them! 

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

Always be passionate about your work.  If you are passionate about it, others will be too.

Any last thoughts for your readers?

Thank you for stopping by and getting to know me :)  I hope you've enjoyed yourself as much as I have!

And how can they connect with you?

I am on
twitter: authorADawn

Thank you so much for having me today Sid!  I have completely enjoyed myself :)