Lip Reading

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Lip Reading

David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)


Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife’s urging: “Now doesn’t seem the right time for this dream.”

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I’d written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn’t until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the “rules” without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I’d have made faster progress if I’d have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you’ll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.

Ways of Leaving, guest post by Grant Jarrett

Today I have a guest post written by author Grant Jarrett! I’m so excited! Here is a bit of info about Grant, then his guest article.
About Grant Jarrett: Grant Jarrett grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania and currently lives in Manhattan, where he works as a writer, musician, and songwriter. He has written for magazines including FOW and Triathlon, and is the author of More Towels, a coming-of-age memoir about life on the road. He is an avid cyclist and a reasonable competent flosser. Ways of Leaving is his first novel.

ways of leaving JPEG

Ways of Leaving by Grant Jarrett (AMZ link –

Chase Stoller’s life is crumbling. He just lost his job, his wife Jennifer has filed for divorce, and now his brother Aaron wants him to return to Pennsylvania and help care for their ailing father.

When he arrives at his brother’s house, years of repressed rage float to the surface—along with two married women, one virtual church, several bottles of scotch, one schizophrenic sister, five helpings of Brussels sprouts, three boxes of purloined panties, and a gun-wielding husband with a grudge. But Chase’s greatest challenge comes when his sister attempts to end her life.

Infused with empathy and compassion, bristling with humor, Ways of Leaving explores the impulses and actions of a troubled man whose struggles with isolation, despair and desire illuminate the fierce yearning for a sense of purpose that characterizes the human condition.

Now a few words from Grant:

I’ve noticed that every time I corner an unsuspecting stranger at a bar, a party, or in a public restroom and I’m mysteriously compelled to mention my novel, Ways of Leaving, I’m faced with the same question: “Why don’t you go bother someone else?” But on those occasions when I’m able to block my victim’s exit for a minute or two, a second, more interesting question emerges: “What is your book about?” Although this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, it is not so easy to answer.

I could say that Chase, my novel’s difficult-to-like protagonist, is a wreck. A firing, a divorce and a dying father would be a challenge for an emotionally healthy man. For Chase, who uses sex and alcohol to obscure his emotional pain, it’s a disaster. To add to his burden, his sister is severely mentally ill and he’s still carrying around a moving van-full of childhood baggage.

And so Chase acts out and screws up and growls and drinks while his sister wastes away, unable to connect with or comfort him. Chase fights with his narcissistic brother, tries to develop a relationship with his niece and nephew, looks for love, lashes out at strangers, and between self-destructive acts does everything he can to help the sister he loves. This is some of what happens in my novel. But it isn’t what the book is about.
What my book is about, what any good book is about is more than the events, the plot, or even the story. If I could explain in a few sentences or paragraphs what that is, I wouldn’t have spent the last three years writing this novel. I would have done something constructive, like braiding my eyebrows or teaching my imaginary goldfish Carl to twerk.

I suppose I could tell these bleary-eyed strangers that Ways of Leaving is about the very human need to connect, and about the things we do in our desperation when we feel so alienated and alone that even our own emotions are cryptic and inaccessible. I could, but who would buy a book about that? Would you? How about if I buy you a drink and tell you about it?

You give me a heart attack.

So Stud had his check up and got some interesting news.

At some time over the past 6 months or so, he has had a light heart attack.

He didn’t realize he.

Has remembered a few times of chest discomfort, but nothing really painful.

We are trying to regroup, and figure out what to do, where to go from here. He started aspirin regimine and of course we will be making dietary changes. News like this makes you stop and think.

We are trying to keep it light-hearted. He was fussing at the boys about something tonight, Son3 told him tonight, ” Just wait old man, you are one good chest bump away from a heart attack”.

I’m still in the processing stage. Stud after all is barely 46. For him to have even a light heart attack at this age is definitely not a good thing. That is way too young for that type of thing.

We are all in this together. That is a good thing.

Dancing With Fireflies

What is there to say about Dancing With Fireflies that isn’t trivial in comparison to Denise Hunter’s writing? Denise Hunter’s writing has always touched me, made me cry, laugh, get angry, and just really feel. Dancing With Fireflies brought me to new levels of feeling. A completely new depth of getting involved in a novel and living it right along with the characters. I was blown away in the best way possible.


About the book: A Chapel Springs Romance

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn’t writing, she’s busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Learn more about Denise at:

Birds and the Bees

It is never dull around here.

Today mom called me into their room, ran dad out, said she had to have a serious conversation with me.

Mom: Last night, daddy tried to, you know, do sex with me.

Me: (half laughing, half about to cry) What? I didn’t think that worked anymore.

Mom: For me it doesn’t. That would hurt too bad. I don’t know what to do.

Me: Well just tell him no.

Mom: I did, but he told me ok, we’ll try again tomorrow. Tonight he’s gonna make sure we do sex.

Me: Okay, I wouldn’t worry too much because I thought you said that part of equipment doesn’t work for him anymore, so if it isn’t working then there’s nothing to worry about.

Mom: You gotta talk to him, he’ll listen to you.

Then youngest comes up to me:

Youngest: I know what that was about.

Me: What?

Youngest: Papaw and Nan having sex.

Me: What makes you think that?

Youngest: Papaw told her earlier he was gonna get her pregnant tonight.

Fast forward 8 hours, and she calls me in there again.

Mom: Tell him. Here, she needs to talk to you. Listen good now.

Me: Dad, mom’s a little worried because you have expressed some desires that she can’t fulfill. Her body just won’t let her.

Dad: Well then she needs a new one.

Me: Seriously dad, she’s concerned that you will try to do stuff that she just can’t do.

Dad: I don’t know why, we haven’t done it in 10 years, I guess it’ll wait a bit longer.

I never in my life figured I would have to have the sex talk with my parents. They never had it with me, so why on earth should I have to have with them? I about died. Honestly. Embarrassment does not begin to describe what I felt.


Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.

The stress around here is thicker than fog some days.

The thing is, mom and dad don’t feel a thing. They live in their own worlds most of the time, it’s us around them that have to deal with the stress.

Sometimes the things that come out of mom and dad’s mouth hurt. Painful hurt.

Sometimes its very difficult to just let it blow over.

Sometimes you just feel like fighting back.

Sometimes you just want to tell them, THAT HURTS WHEN YOU SAY THOSE THINGS>

Sometimes, you want them to know they are saying hurtful things.

All the time you want them back to who they once were.

My love for them hasn’t changed.

I do know that it is affecting every aspect of my life.

Including my marriage.

I’m struggling right now.

Stud is struggling right now.

I’m not sure how to fix it.

Maybelle in Stitches

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Maybelle In Stitches

Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)


Joyce Magnin


A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student–he’s a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life’s desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.


Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.


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