Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Night Watchman, by Mark Mynheir

I had the extreme privilege of reading yet another of Mark Myheir's fantastic novels. This one, THE NIGHT WATCHMAN, features ex-cop Ray Quinn, as he is drawn into investigating a suspicious death in the Condo where he is working as a night watchman (hence the title).

We meet Ray on his way to work, and in doing so find out why he is no longer a detective with the Orlando Police Department. Seems that a year ago he was ambushed when approaching the home of a suspect. He sustained two wounds that left him almost paralyzed. He gets around with a cane these days. His partner wasn't as lucky. Quinn works with an over-anxious guard named Crevis. Motor-mouth would be a better description of him. Tall, thin, and supremely naive, Crevis wants, more than anything, to be a cop. Quinn becomes his hero, much to Ray's annoyance. When he lets in a woman to check in on her brother his world begins to come crashing down on him...again.

Pam, the sister of the now dead minister David (and dead stripper also found in his room), hires Quinn to clear her brother's name and to clear the ministries name. That would be a simple thing if it weren't for a few things. Quinn no longer is on the force, the case has been closed by the lead investigator, his life remains in danger, and everything he does seems to not only bring him closer to the truth, but in a way, further from the answers he needs. To make matters worse, Ray doesn't believe in a God that would let things like this happen. Prayer isn't something he holds of any value. So he resorts to human logic (albeit twisted in some areas). Ray has also grown from a somewhat cynical cop to a downright rude ex-cop. He begins to push away every means of help. Oh, and there's someone on the force that's dirty, so it's not like he can walk in and come clean with anyone on the force.

Quinn has 2 constant friends, "The Duke", whose portrait has a place of honor in his home, and Jim Beam, his strength and pain killer respectively. In this sense it reminds me of an old seedy detective story. Lots of whiskey, pretty women, people who want him dead, and even a sidekick.

The story has plenty of style, reality, action and real life application. I better stop before I give too much away. Just remember, not everything is as it appears. I give Myheir credit for not getting this guy saved somewhere between the pages of this first Ray Quinn book. It would have been too pat, and so out of synch with who Quinn is. Instead Mynheir stays true to his characters. This is a must read for all mystery fans. If I forget to post this on Amazon, just realize that my personal rating would be just above a 4.5, and from me that's more than excellent.

You can purchase his book online at:

Barnes and Noble
Random House

He also has a personal site that you might want to check out. When I reviewed THE VOID, by Mark Mynheir, I knew I'd stumbled upon a truly great writer. It was great revisitng him. You can visit him at his site by clicking on his picture below.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Ark, the Reed, and the Firecloud, by Jenny Cote

Who among us wouldn't love to re-enter history to see exactly how God worked things out that we have read about in Scripture? I know I would. I doubt that I would have picked the Flood, simply because staying aboard a ship with all those animals for a year would drive me nuts. Yet I've thought about walking around with Jesus during His earthly ministry, or following David from shepherd to king of Israel. I think I'd have enjoyed being part of the "battle of Jericho", and these are only a few of the many riviting stories that come to mind. Wouldn't it truly be great to re-enter history during one of these stories? Jenny Cote has found a way to do so in an imaginative way (that's what reading fiction is, right?) and added a little plus to it. What if, instead of seeing things unfold from Noah's point of view, we were able to see it all unfold from the animals' points of view? What if we could experience the trials it took to get to the ark, not knowing where they were heading? What would it be like on the ark itself? How did they get along with one another. (Max has a definite thing against wolves). There's so much packed in here that It's really hard to find a starting point. Yet just the idea of seeing it all through the eyes of the animals gives the story a new life all its own. To do this Jenny had to create some rather amazing, and sometimes rather not so amazing and predictable, characters. There are several underlying teachings that aren't really spoken, but come through anyway. One of those is all these animals, or at least most of them, got along with each other, so why can't we as people. It's a rather embarrassing thing to admit that animals can be more tolerant than we can, without giving up their own standards. So there is a message of learning to live at peace that isn't really stated, but it's in there. I challenge you to get yourself a copy and mine the other "precious gems" out of this wonderful novel. Get it for your kids and read it to them if you're embarrassed to buy it for yourself. Wise people realize that the children have much to teach them, while children who are wise realize they need us grown ups to help them learn. If we work together at this we can figure our how we are to train up our children, because they are teaching us all the time. For a period they are open to what we say. If they like what they hear they remain open much longer. If we fail them as parents, then that opportunity slips by and neither the child nor the adult are blessed by the wisdom of the other. So get it for your kids, or nephews and neices, or cousins, and read THE ARK, THE REED, AND THE FIRECLOUD to them. As you do learn from them as they learn from you.

Another thing I should mention is that THE ARK, THE REED, AND THE FIRECLOUD is being made into an animated movie. In my opinion it's about time Christians have more respectable movies and animations. Personally Veggie Tales just doesn't do it for me, and don't get me started on Bibleman. If done properly this would have the look of a professional animated movie that would appeal to children of all ages.

The following CFRB members will be posting reviews and/or interviews this week. We're gonna be sneaky though and not tell you who is posting when. So you'll just have to click on each of the buttons throughout the week and find out for yourselves. It's what we call a Tag Team Tour. In this way you will be able to discover new and exciting blogs even if they haven't put up their post for THE ARK, THE REED, AND THE FIRECLOUD yet.

Visit Jenny's site to learn more at JennyCote.Com

You can purchase this book at:

Jenny's Store



Monday, May 04, 2009


WaterBrook Press/ Multnomah Books is proud to present Enduring Justice, by Amy Wallace.

In Enduring Justice, Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her thoughts.

Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. And when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.

A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. When the attack turns personal, is healing still possible?

This thought-provoking novel deals with healing from sexual abuse, the balance of justice
and mercy, and maintaining mixed-race friendships in the midst of racial tension. Readers
who enjoy investigative thrillers by Dee Henderson, Colleen Coble, and Catherine Coulter,
and who watch crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and Without a Trace will
love this book—and the entire series.

Author Bio:
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, a homeschool mom, and
self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy
and a contributing author of several books including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken
Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three
children in Georgia.

My Review:
Unlike Dee Henderson who tries to pair people up in a single book, usually a non-Christian becoming a Christian and marrying the Christian "love of their life" Amy Wallace takes a more direct and realistic approach. Both key characters, Hannah and Michael, are Christians, but they are flawed Christians (aren't we all?). She works Hannah's desire to re-enter a normal life despite her tortured background, while Michael is willing to wait for her to come around. That sounds dull, doesn't it? Well, it is far from dull. When Hannah is forced to face her past and protect those she loves she finds many obstacles in her path, specifically those thrown there by a white supremest group. Michael, on the other hand, finds obstacles being thrown in his direction as well, and by the same person. He becomes a driven person, driven to find justice...or revenge. They begin to learn the necessity of Christian fellowship, and prayer. I don't want to give too much away as this is a truly great novel (one that really belongs here on the Christian Mystery Writers blog for a change) Sometimes you will want to slap these heroes to get some sense into them. Other times you will cower with them under the dread that has come over them, or feel the rush of adrenaline to take justice into your own hands. You will totally be awestruck at how perverse this white supremest group can be. Like all truly great works this novel takes you on a journey. Being a Christian work it takes you on a journey through darkness and pain into light and peace, but the road is always what we make of it. It could be a straight road with few bumps, but our lack of faith always seems to get things all twisted up. We wrestle with things that we really don't need to...if we were truly walking by the Spirit. In the end, though, it offers us hope that even the most emotionally worn out and downtrodden can find victory. Be sure to pick this book up. If you can't buy it, check to see if your library has it. If it doesn't, request that they order the book (you really can do that. As a library clerk I outta know).

For those wishing to purchase the book online, here is the link you'll want:

Random House


Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Tangerine (Revell, January 2007) by Marilynn Griffith (fellow CFBA member, blogger, writer, and mother of *GULP* seven!)


Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and If the Shoe Fits (Revell, 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email:


Tangerine is the third book in the Shades of Style Novels.

Fans of Pink and Jade will eat up Tangerine, the third book in the cutting-edge Shades of Style series. Jean Guerra, a designer at Garments of Praise design firm, doesn't like surprises. These days though, the unexpected meets her everywhere. Since Jean's return to the church a year ago, her God-encounters occur with increasing frequency, along with thoughts of her husband-the one she vowed to divorce and gave up on long ago. The one nobody at work knows about, not even her best friend, Lily, or her boss, Chenille. But when the designer assigned to work with Jean on a line of men's suits shows up, her heart flips. It's her husband, Nigel Salvador. Jean is finally rendered speechless. Can her bruised heart become whole enough to love again? Or will she remain in the trenches of loneliness forever?

The book link:

Marilynn's website link:

THE 3RD COVENANT - a Comparison

The following table shows where THE 3RD COVENANT stands against 7 top authors and 14 other books.



Times out

times per month

Judge and Jury

Cold Moon

Death Dance

Promise Me

The 3rd Covenant

The Camel Club

Violet Dawn

3rd Degree

The Collectors

Web of Lies

The 12th Card

Words of Silk

Above and Beyond


No Second Chance

James Patterson

Jeffery Deaver

Linda Fairstein

Harlan Coben

David Brollier

David Baldacci

Brandilyn Collins

James Patterson

David Baldacci

Brandilyn Collins

Jeffery Deaver

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown

Linda Fairstein

Harlan Coben


CHO 17

CHO 17

CHO 16

CHO 11

CHO 21


CHO 34



CHO 17

CHO 29

CHO 30

CHO 19

CHO 31