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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog Tour: Lost Mission by Athol Dickson

Lost Mission Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Prior to receiving my book for this blog tour, I had not heard of Athol Dickson. To be honest, I am not very familiar with contemporary authors, generally preferring the classics by authors such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and the like. That is one thing I really like about being part of the Litfuse blogger program - being exposed to new-to-me authors. But I digress.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lost Mission. If you read Christian fiction, you know that many of the books that fit in that genre are what I call "fluff" literature and are poorly written with sketchy character development and thin plot lines.

Mr. Dickson's book was the complete opposite. His writing showed an excellent grasp of the English language yet was not pretentious. The story was a gripping tale, not a dry text to wade through. You do not need a master's degree in English to read his novel with comprehension and enjoyment.

The characters were complex, human, and compelling. Their emotions and the motives behind their actions were completely believable. All the characters made both good and bad choices - just like in real life. And as in real life, their actions had consequences that affected people other than themselves.

The plot, too, was detailed and multi-faceted. The novel alternates between the story of a Catholic mission founded centuries earlier (hence the title) and the present-day story of several individuals whose lives become intertwined. While that may sound confusing, I found that the alternating story lines kept me intrigued as to what would happen next and why.

Here's the official info about the book and its author.

About the book:
What haunting legacy awaits deep beneath the barrios and wealthy enclaves of Southern California?

A billionaire driven mad by grief.

A pastor in love with the wrong woman.

An illegal immigrant desperate to feed his family.

Only Lupe de la Garza can save them from the ancient evil lurking in a lost mission's ruins, but it will take an act of faith beyond all human power.

An idyllic Spanish mission collapses in the eighteenth century atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime. Twelve generations later the ground is opened up, the forgotten ruins are disturbed, and rich and poor alike confront the onslaught of resurging hell on earth. Caught up in the catastrophe are...

  • A humble shopkeeper compelled to leave her tiny village deep in Mexico to preach in America
  • A minister wracked with guilt for loving the wrong woman
    An unimaginably wealthy man, blinded to the consequences of his grand plans
  • A devoted father and husband driven to a horrible discovery that changes everything

Will the evil that destroyed the MisiĆ³n de Santa Dolores rise to overwhelm them? Or will they beat back the terrible desires that led to the mission's good Franciscan founder's standing in the midst of flames ignited by his enemies and friends alike more than two centuries ago?
From the high Sierra Madre mountains to the harsh Sonoran desert, from the privileged world of millionaire moguls to the impoverished immigrants who serve them, Athol Dickson once again weaves a gripping story of suspense that spans centuries and cultures to explore the abiding possibility of miracles.

About the author:
Athol Dickson is an award-winning author of several novels. His Christy Award-winning novel River Rising was name one of the "Top Ten Christian Novel of 2006" by Booklist magazine. He lives in California with his wife. Find out more about Athol and his books by visiting his website.

It's available for purchase through

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Athol Dickson’s redemptive tale #LostMission is a MUST read! Gripping story about mistakes and miracles!

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Blog Tour: See what other bloggers are saying!


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Blog Tour: The Great Christmas Bowl

You know, I'm feeling really sheepish about this post. I was supposed to publish it October 2nd, and I simply forgot! Which is a shame, because I really enjoyed this book. Which is why I'm publishing this post now.

The Great Chirstmas Bowl by Susan May Warren is the perfect holiday story to remind us that Christmas is a time for giving, not just for getting. Marianne, a mom with a nearly-empty nest, has planned the perfect Christmas. But things don't go as planned.

After reluctantly becoming the high school's mascot and her church's hospitality chairwoman, Marianne goes on an oft-times hilarious journey that twists and turns in unexpected ways. In the end, everyone involved rediscovers exactly what Christmas is about. I promise that the ending will leave you with a lump in your throat if not tears in your eyes.

Visit the blog tour post to find out what other bloggers thought about this book.

About The Great Christmas Bowl:
Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s team in their bid for the state championship.

Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot-the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea.

When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can’t come home for Christmas.
As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?

About Susan:
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. Her larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at

Link to Buy the Book:

Available at Christian

The Great Christmas Bowl website:
The website features a note from the author, fun updates from Big Lake Gazette, info on how to host your own Great Christmas Bowl Tea to benefit a local ministry or charity and a fun Recipe Exchange contest!

Be a part of the Great Christmas Bowl recipe exchange!
Susan loves getting recipes from friends, and sharing the delicious cookies, soups, breads and other fun fixings that go with celebrating the Christmas season. More than that, she loves the crazy stories about favorite Christmases – serious, touching, funny…whatever. Find the recipe contest here:

Will you share your story and recipe with Susan and the readers of the Great Christmas Bowl? She will post your story and recipe on the FRONT PAGE of the Great Christmas Bowl website, and send you a link when it goes up so you can tell all your friends. Then, at the Great Christmas Bowl party (December 5th, 10am, online! Details TBA) she’ll make the entire cookbook available for download!

For every recipe/story you submit (up to 3), you will be entered in a drawing to receive one of SMW’s collections (Noble Legacy, Team Hope, Heirs of Anton, Deep Haven Series, Josey series, or THE ADVANCED COPY of Sons of Thunder – Susie’s brand new epic World War 2 novel, due out in January 2010!)

Go – run, get your recipe, then come back here and click on the link below to share your Christmas memories!

DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, and my review was not influenced by my receiving the book for free.