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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Sacred Cipher by Terry Brennan

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Sacred Cipher (Kregel Publications, July 31, 2009) by Terry Brennan.

About the Author

Over the past 35 years, Terry Brennan has accumulated a broad range of experience in both the profit and non-profit business sectors.

His 22-year, award winning journalism career included:
• Seven years as a sportswriter and editor with The Philadelphia Bulletin, at the time the largest-circulation afternoon newspaper in the nation;
• Leading The Mercury of Pottstown (PA), as its editor, to a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing;
• Serving as Executive Editor of a multi-national newspaper firm – Ingersoll Publications – with papers in the USA, England and Ireland.

In 1996 Brennan transferred his successful management career to the non-profit sector and served for 12 years as Vice President of Operations for the Christian Herald Association, Inc., the parent organization of four New York City ministries, including The Bowery Mission.

Now Chief Operating Officer of the National Organization on Disability, Brennan also won the Valley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation. His two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. Terry, his wife Andrea and their two adult children live in New York City. The Sacred Cipher is his first novel.


History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades.

When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.

If you want to read the Prologue of The Sacred Cipher, go HERE.

My Review

The Sacred Cipher by Terry Brennan begins in an intriguing fashion with a fictional account of a surprising figure from church history. The hook was great, and the pace of the novel only increased as the main character, Tom Bohannon, discovers an ancient scroll with an unrecognizable script in a renovation project. Just when you think the language on the scroll will never be deciphered, the team Tom has assembled proves their scientific merit by figuring it out.

The team unravels captivating yet believable historical elements behind the cipher; the message of the scroll leads them to ancient Jerusalem, and a high-scale treasure hunt begins. The journey of the men through the ancient tombs and tunnels snaking beneath modern-day Jerusalem is fascinating. Combined with a race against time and an exciting, even miraculous escape, it made for enjoyable reading.

Not only was the book a page turner, but there was also substance to the characters, and the message of forgiveness and redemption was clear. Particularly appealing was the fact that Tom had his own struggles, and his faith grew throughout this journey, which he felt was designed by God. The author should be congratulated for weaving a tale of action and intrigue with a message of purpose and hope. Well done, Terry!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Night Watchman

Multnomah Books (May 5, 2009)


Mark Mynheir


Mark Mynheir was born and raised on the east coast of Central Florida. Like most boys growing up, Mark enjoyed sports, mainly football and martial arts.

In 1983, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After serving four years in the Marines, Mark changed gears and pursued a career in law enforcement.

During his career as a police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. team member, and a homicide detective.

Over sixteen years ago, during a health crisis involving his oldest son, Mark gave his life to Jesus Christ. Shortly after his conversion, he felt God leading him in a new direction: writing. Now he balances dual careers as a police officer and novelist.

He has authored Rolling Thunder (The Truth Chasers Book One), From the Belly of the Dragon (The Truth Chasers Book Two), and The Void (The Truth Chasers Book Three).

Mark is married to the love of his life and has three fantastic children, and they all currently reside in Central Florida.


When everything is ripped away...

Eleven months ago, Ray Quinn was a tough, quick-witted Orlando homicide detective at the top of his game-until a barrage of bullets ended his career.and his partner's life.

Now medically retired with a painful handicap, Ray battles the haunting guilt for his partner's death. Numbing the pain with alcohol and attitude, Ray takes a job as a night watchman at a swanky Orlando condo community.

But when a pastor and an exotic dancer are found dead in one of the condos in an apparent murder-suicide, Ray can no longer linger in the shadows. The victim’s sister is convinced her brother was framed and begs Ray to take on an impossible case─to challenge the evidence and clear her brother’s name.

Ray reluctantly pulls the thread of this supposedly dead-end case only to unravel a murder investigation so deep that it threatens to turn the Orlando political landscape upside down and transform old friends into new enemies. As Ray chases down leads and interrogates suspects, someone is watching his every move, someone determined to keep him from ever finding out the truth─at any cost.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Night Watchman, go HERE

My Review

I was honored to receive an advance copy of The Night Watchman and delighted to dig deep into this enjoyable tale of medically retired and physically broken homicide detective Ray Quinn. Right from the start, I knew something bad had happened to Ray, a loner in Orlando who hangs out in his apartment with his apparently only friend "Jim" (Jim Beam whiskey) and a poster of John Wayne that embodies the qualities of the father Ray, a foster child, has never known. He's a tortured soul whose existence is made more difficult due to the physical injuries he still suffers and the guilt he experiences over his partner's demise.

To make ends meet, Ray works as a night watchman and whiles away his early hours doing Sodoku puzzles and sending his quirky sidekick Crevis Creighton out chasing after shadows. But the tedium quickly ends when Ray discovers the lifeless bodies of an unlikely pair, the pastor of Outreach Orlando Ministries and an exotic dancer. The deaths are ruled a murder-suicide, but the pastor's sister, Pam Winters, believes her brother was framed and asks Ray, who's initially reluctant, to look into the case.

What follows is an enjoyable, fast-paced ride dominated by masterful writing, strong characterizations, an insider's look into the cutting-edge tools of detective work, and an exciting plot. The writing is sometimes comical, other times poetic, but always gripping. Most refreshing to me was the clever way the author wove in the gospel message through the e-mails of Jamie, the murdered exotic dancer. The novel is meaningful without being heavy handed. I especially appreciated the discreet and tasteful way the author handled the exotic dancer angle. This stellar performance by a masterful author of crime fiction kept me reading late into the night. You won't want to miss this one. I look forward to future installments in this exciting new series.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mohamed's Moon by Keith Clemons

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Mohamed's Moon

Realms (May 5, 2009)


Keith Clemons


A strong defender of Christian values, noted author and lecturer Keith Clemons is a native of Southern California and graduate of English Literature at California State University, Fullerton. In his former capacity as Vice President of Marketing for Mytec Technologies Inc.

He was a frequent conference speaker, particularly when the forum centered on Electronic Commerce. Today, in addition to writing, he appears on radio and television where he uses his communications skills to explain coming trends that will affect both the church and society at large.

His passion for communication has resulted in the previous publication of more than a hundred articles. To date, Mr. Clemons has completed five novels including Angel in the Alley and the award winning If I Should Die, These Little Ones, and Above The Stars.

He resides with his wife and daughter at their home in Caledon, Ontario, Canada.


Are we enemies...
or brothers?

Two brothers separated at birth grow up worlds apart. Outwardly, they're exactly alike, but inwardly, nothing's the same--one is a devotee of fundamentalist Islam; the other, a Christian. In this modern-day Cain and Abel story, the lines are drawn not just over whose God is right, but also over the fact that they're both in love with the same girl.

It's a conflict with grave repercussions, little hope of resolution--and time is running out. In the background, a plan has been set in motion that will bring the United States government to its knees. Will an unexpected visitation reconcile the brothers in time to save the woman they love--and ultimately, themselves--from the coming devastation?

In his award-winning style, author Keith Clemons delivers a profound comparison between Christianity and Islam, a dichotomy of life versus death, love versus hate, and grace versus legalism. Mohamed's Moon will plunge you into a world where hatred and heinous acts are justified. But if hatred is potent, it pales in comparison to the power of God's love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Mohamed's Moon, go HERE

My Review

I haven't yet read this book yet, but I plan to. If you can hold on, I do plan to post a review down the road. Too many books arrived in my mailbox at the same time. I've long wanted to know more about Islam, and I believe this novel will help. It looks like a fascinating story.