Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm fiction rich!!!

Few things make me happier than being able to delve into a really good book. Thanks to the fact that I interview authors on my radio show and review books on my website, I am in the luxurious position of getting free books in the mail. It's like Christmas every time a box or package arrives!

Thanks to a recent influx of books, I am at this moment fiction rich! (I will admit it does seem to go in cycles...there are times when I'm so desperate, I'll read the back of the ketchup bottle.) Anyway, I'm loving this.

Let me share with you a few of the things I've been reading.

The Departed, by Kathryn Mackel

I started this book last night, and I have it to thank for being sleepier than usual this morning. I had a really hard time putting it down.

Although I'm not always drawn to Frank Perretti-style fiction, this hooked me immediately. I had never heard of Kathryn Mackel before a publicist e-mailed me and asked me if I'd like one of her books for possible interview/review. I was instantly impressed with her writing and her ability to immediately draw the reader into the story. I have no doubt I'll be reading more Kathryn Mackel books in the future...and it's always a delight to find an author who is new to me!

Second Time Around, by Nancy Moser

Although Nancy Moser is one of my favorite authors, I was a little late getting to this book, which is a sequel to Time Lottery (read my review of Time Lottery here.)

Time travel has always fascinated me, and Nancy puts a creative and spiritual spin on the subject in these books. Again, Second Time Around defined the phrase "page-turner"--I was propelled forward through the book involuntarily, bent on finding out what would happen to the three "time lottery" winners who got the chance to visit an alternate reality in the past.

Nancy's style is crisp and clear; she's all about the stories and the characters, and as an added bonus, her books are loaded with biblical truth and scriptural references.

The Dwelling Place, by Elizabeth Musser

I must have received this book some time ago, but I stumbled across it when I was packing things to move to my new home. Boy, am I glad I found it! Elizabeth Musser is definitely an author I will seek out again.

On her website, Musser says: "My heart’s desire is to write captivating stories which draw the reader in, all the while dealing with the deeper issues of faith, forgiveness, perseverance and trust. I desire that my books be simply stepping stones in each reader’s path toward his own personal faith in Christ.”

And that's exactly what The Dwelling Place accomplishes. With her writing, Musser creates a world peopled with characters the reader comes to care about, and situations that you can't wait to see resolved. Spiritual matters are dealt with in a genuine and un-cliched manner. I was reluctant to see the book come to an end.

Fortunately for me, The Dwelling Place is actually a sequel, although it easily stands alone. I can't wait to read the first book, The Swan House.

And although I thought Elizabeth Musser was an author that was also new to me, I now realize that I've read two previous books she wrote: Two Crosses and Two Testaments.

If you think all Christian fiction is inferior, you need to check out some of the great stuff that's out there today. I double-dog-dare you to come up with fiction in the secular market that's any better than the writers I've mentioned here!

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