Christian Fiction Reviews, September 15, 2012

Fall brings to mind crisp air, bulky sweaters, and fresh fiction. Christian fiction publishers are celebrating the season with some new twists on old themes, some meaty stories, and a bit of romance as well. Zondervan is offering a fresh new look at the presidential campaign with Martha Bolton’s Josiah for President, which finds an Amish man in the White House. Barbour throws its hat into the political ring with a thriller by Robbie Cheuvront and Erik Reed, The 13: Fall. Taking a look at the politics of the past is Michele Phoenix’s Tangled Ashes (Tyndale House), about the Nazi occupation in France. Readers looking for lighter, more whimsical stories will be pleased with Jerry Eicher’s Where Love Grows (Harvest House) and Olivia Newport’s Accidentally Amish (Barbour).

starred review starCheuvront, Robbie & Erik Reed. The 13: Fall. Barbour. (13, Bk. 1). Sept. 2012. c.448p. ISBN 9781616267698. pap. $16.99. CF

CIA agent Jonathan Keene is investigating the disappearance of border agents when a man named the Prophet warns of the United States’s imminent downfall. Fourteen days later, the West Coast is hit and destroyed. Keene is paired with FBI agent Megan Taylor to stop the terrorists, but before they can act, the country is reduced to the original 13 colonies. Can Megan’s faith redeem Jonathan? Together, can they save what’s left of the country they love? Before redemption, comes the fall. ­VERDICT This fast-paced, action-filled suspenseful series opener by the coauthors of The Guardian will appeal to fans of Neesa Hart’s “Left Behind” series. Cheuvront is a former member of the popular country band Lonestar, which will also make for high demand.

starred review starEason, Lynette. When a Heart Stops. Revell. (Deadly Reunion, Bk. 2). Oct. 2012. c.336p. ISBN 9780800720087. pap. $14.99. CF

Medical examiner Serena Hopkins is used to grisly crime scenes. She has managed to shut her emotions off as she navigates the world of death, but that is about to change. When she is called to a murder scene, she immediately recognizes the victim as a former classmate. On the scene is another familiar face—her high school crush, Dominic Allen. As they investigate, evidence begins to point to a serial killer. Serena also realizes that a secret she has been keeping may make her the killer’s next target. ­VERDICT This intense nail-biter of a thriller (after When the Smoke Clears) is a sure bet for Eason fans and those who enjoy Frank E. Peretti.

Rue, Nancy. Too Far to Say Far Enough. David C. Cook. (Reluctant Prophet, Bk. 3). Oct. 2012. c.396p. ISBN 9781434764904. pap. $14.99. CF

Rue returns with the conclusion to the story of Harley-riding prophet Allison Chamberlain (after The Reluctant Prophet and Unexpected Dismounts). Since she was called to serve, mouthy Allison has done everything God’s asked of her. She’s opened two houses for the homeless and downtrodden. She’s also legally adopted Desmond. She’s ready for a break, but God has something more in mind for her in the dark neighborhood of West King Street, where everyone Allison cares about has been threatened. ­VERDICT Readers who have fallen in love with Rue’s feisty protagonist will be thrilled with the conclusion to the trilogy. The author’s unique blend of humor and tenderness will continue to appeal to fans of Neta Jackson and Robin Jones Gunn.

The following titles are reviewed in the September 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Bolton, Martha. Josiah for President. Zondervan. Oct. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780310318729. pap. $14.99. CF

Brendan, Maggie. Twice Promised. Revell. (Blue Willow Brides, Bk. 2). Oct. 2012. c.336p. ISBN 9780800734633. pap. $14.99. CF

Cabot, Amanda. Christmas Roses. Revell. Sept. 2012. c.176p. ISBN 9780800720049. $14.99. CF

Copeland, Lori & Virginia Smith. A Plain and Simple Heart. Harvest House. (Amish of Apple Grove, Bk. 2). Sept. 2012. c.320p. ISBN 9780736947558. pap. $13.99. CF

Davis, Bryan. Liberator. Zondervan. (Dragons of Starlight, Bk. 4). 2012. c.432p. ISBN 9780310718390. pap. $9.99. CF

Eicher, Jerry S. Where Love Grows. Harvest House. (Fields of Home, Bk. 3). Sept. 2012. c.288p. ISBN 9780736939454. pap. $11.99. CF

Fabry, Chris. Borders of the Heart. Tyndale House. Oct. 2012. c.400p. ISBN 9781414348629. pap. $13.99. CF

Gray, Shelley Shepard. Found. Avon Inspire: Avon. (Secrets of Crittenden County, Bk. 3). Sept. 2012. c.272p. ISBN 9780062089755. pap. $12.99. CF

Henderson, Dee. Full Disclosure. Bethany. Oct. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780764210907. $22.99; pap. ISBN 9780764210891. $15.99. CF

Irvin, Kelly. A Heart Made New. Harvest House. (Bliss Creek Amish, Bk. 2). Oct. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780736943833. pap. $13.99. CF

Lawhead, Stephen R. The Spirit Well. Thomas Nelson. (Bright Empires, Bk. 3). Sept. 2012. c.400p. ISBN 9781595548061. $24.99. CF

Lessman, Julie. A Love Surrendered. Revell. (Wings of Change, Bk. 3). Oct. 2012. c.416p. ISBN 9780800734176. pap. $14.99. CF

starred review starMeissner, Susan. The Girl in the Glass. WaterBrook: Random. Sept. 2012. c.352p. ISBN 9780307730428. pap. $14.99. CF

Neale, Michael. The River. Thomas Nelson. Sept. 2012. c.320p. ISBN 9781401688486. pap. $16.99. CF

Newport, Olivia. Accidentally Amish. Barbour. (Valley of Choice, Bk. 1) Oct. 2012. c.368p. ISBN 9781616267124. pap. $14.99. CF

Phoenix, Michele. Tangled Ashes. Tyndale House. Oct. 2012. c.384p. ISBN 9781414368405. pap. $12.99. CF

Sundin, Sarah. With Every Letter. Revell. (Wings of the Nightingale, Bk. 1). Sept. 2012. c.464p. ISBN 9780800720810. pap. $14.99. CF