Prism Tours: Wildwood Creek Grand Finale

The Grand Finale for Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate…


There is a mystery in Wildwood Creek’s history, a mystery that affects Allie’s present…


Wildwood Creek
Wildwood Creek

by Lisa Wingate

Christian Romance

Paperback, 384 pages

February 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.

Bethany House

Lisa, the Writer

Part IV of IV:

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

Writing two novels per year for two different publishers these last several years has been very time-consuming, especially while raising a family, driving carpools, and shuttling forgotten sports equipment to stadiums all over a three-county area. I’m still a mom, and I don’t want to miss anything, which often means that I’m up late or up early to finish my writing. I think for me, the sacrifice has probably come in terms of giving up time for hobbies and other things I like to do outside of the writing business.

What keeps me going is the pure love of story and at times the letters from readers.  There is nothing more powerful than knowing that your words on a page affected a life, helped to inspire growth, or just walked through the dark night of the soul with someone. A few years ago, a reader wrote to tell me she’d couldn’t sleep on as the first anniversary of her young granddaughter’s death approached, so she picked up one of my stories.  The book took her away from that pain for a while. It made her laugh, and that was what she needed.  There’s an incredible sense of human connection in that.  A story can literally transport the mind, and body, and soul to another place. It never fails that when I’m having a “down” day, a note will come in from a reader and remind me that the human side of story is what matters most.

What advice would you give other writers?

It’s gauche to talk about money, but don’t do it for the money. Everybody seems to think that becoming a full-time writer is the measure of success, but I would urge writers coming along to really take their time about making the decision to give up another career and write full time. Being financially dependent on writing as your livelihood adds a new level of stress. I’ve seen the way too many young writers make that jump too quickly, and that always seems to be the question at conferences, “Are you a full-time writer?” I don’t think you’re any more legitimate because you write full time or don’t. In truth, it’s more important to find out how to preserve the magic and enthusiasm that kept you sitting down at the computer when no one was paying you to write, and you weren’t sure anyone ever would.

Did you miss the other three parts about Lisa, the other guest posts, or reviews?

Catch them now!

2/11: LDS and Lovin’ it – Review
“I quite enjoyed this book, the characters, the plot, the mystery, everything really.”

2/12: Mythical Books – Guest Post
“Well, to begin with, that our journeys, struggles, and challenges are never without purpose.”

I imagine the words as he’s lookin’ at me, hear the echo as he spies Maggie outside the door. It troubles me not so much for myself, but for my sister. . . .

“It’s impossible not to wonder, from the safer vantage point of a modern life, if I could have endured what those pioneer women endured. If I were in the shoes of my ancestors, would I have the metal to survive?”

2/13: Kelly P’s Blog – Excerpt
The man trails the steeple along his bottom lip. “Yes,” he says quite slowly, thinking the words in the speakin’. “Yes, you will do nicely, I believe.”

2/14: Mel’s Shelves – Review
“I love a good mystery and this book delivered!”

2/16: Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
“There is also, undoubtedly, a bit of my own hidden dream in Allie’s opportunity to join the historical reenactment — to go back in time.”

I felt something . . . happening, but I didn’t know what.

+ Paulette’s Papers – Guest Post
“The story is a combination of folk legend, historical fact, and wild flight of fancy. I like to think of it as part historical, part contemporary, part romance, part adventure, and part drama.”

“It was mysterious, and interesting, and exciting to read.”

+ The Written Adventure – Excerpt
“One final thing,” she added. “Are you familiar with the name Bonnie Rose?”
The interview had taken another hairpin turn. “No, not that I know of . . .”

2/19: Getting Your Read On – Review
“Like I said, the ending was my favorite part. The mystery climaxed, the action picked up, the romance finally entered and I got a Happily Ever After.”

+ Bookworm Lisa – Guest Post
“There were two special challenges in writing Wildwood Creek. The first was definitely the research…
The second challenge in writing Wildwood Creek involved the actual threading together of Allie and Bonnie’s stories.”

2/20: The Wonderings of One Person – Interview
“I think we all have mysteries that linger in our family histories or in our hometowns. Those tales are told at family gatherings, in the corners of local cafés, and around cook fires at Scout campouts. It’s impossible not to wonder, when hearing the retellings of things that have been passed down by word-of-mouth for generations, how much is true?”


+ Platypire Reviews – Review
“Wildwood Creek is the sort of book that drew me in from the first page, and I had to keep on reading to find out what was going to happen.”

“If you are a fan of romance, historical fiction, and/or cozy mysteries, this story is for you. The author has created a completely scintillating story written in exquisite style.”

“The way the characters and storyline were woven together was brilliant!”

+ Reviews By Molly – Review
“I try to remind myself of the things that really matter and to stay focused on what will be significant in a year, five years, ten years, and so on.”

Lisa Wingate Author PictureLisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels.  Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.


Tour-Wide Giveaway
February 10 – March 2nd  US Only

Found out more about this amazing giveaway on the Launch and here.

See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

1 Winner, 1 Amazing Prize Pack from Bethany House and Lisa Wingate:

$50 Amazon Gift Card

Print copy of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

Handmade-by-author Prayer Box with notepads

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Grab Our Button!
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

CSFF Blog Tour: Leviathan

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. (Revelation 12:3)

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:9)

The only time a dragon appeared by name in the Bible was in the dizzying visions of Revelation. But if you go by description and not only names, dragons appear in the Old Testament also.

In Job 41, God describes the Leviathan, and it sounds for all the world like a dragon: “Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth? His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. … His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. … Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.”

Near the end of the chapter, God says that the Leviathan “makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron” – a connection between the Leviathan and the sea that is echoed in nearly every mention of the creature. Asaph, praising God in Psalm 74, writes:

It was you who split open the sea by your power;
you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.

It is implied here that the Leviathan had, or could have, multiple heads – as the red dragon that symbolized Satan did. Another curious parallel to the vision of Revelation is found in Isaiah 27:

In that day,

the LORD will punish with his sword—
his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Leviathan the gliding serpent,
Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster of the sea.

“The great dragon” is also called “that ancient serpent” – and indeed, John uses serpent interchangeably with dragon near the end of Revelation 12.

It is common to see dragons portrayed as good in modern Christian fantasy. Yet the Bible symbolizes Satan with a dragon and calls the dragon-like Leviathan a monster.

I will begin by admitting that if Scripture uses a dragon as a symbol for Satan, it is because something in the nature of dragons corresponds to something in the nature of Satan. Allegories and symbols, similes and metaphors are all based on a real likeness.

But not a complete likeness. That is the other side of the coin. The Apostle Peter famously wrote that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. And for all that the devil is like a lion, Jesus Himself is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”. The lion as predator – brutal and devouring – resembles Satan, but the lion as the king of the beasts – strong and majestic – resembles Christ.

Like the dragon, the serpent is used to represent Satan, and imagery throughout the Bible associates snakes with evil. Jesus more than once used the denunciation “brood of vipers”. And He still commanded His followers to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Satan may be an ancient serpent, but serpents are not all bad.

Doves prove the same principle from the other side. As the Bible usually invokes snakes negatively but may invoke them positively, so it usually invokes doves positively but may invoke them negatively, cf. Hosea: “Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless.”

To think that Satan’s representation as a dragon is a commentary on the intrinsic evil of dragons ignores both the logic of symbolism and the richness and diversity of Scriptural imagery. Perhaps it ignores, too, the truth that since God is the Creator of all things, nothing is intrinsically evil.

Many things are evil, and some things are evil without redemption. But nothing is evil in its original nature, because that nature comes from God. The fierce and powerful Leviathan – the “monster of the sea”, fire-breathing, invincible, and undeniably dragonish – has another side. Psalm 104 has what may be the only gentle imagery of the Leviathan:

There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

Gentle – and also mighty. Like the lion laying down with the lamb, gentleness and strength may be the truest nature of Leviathan, and even of dragons.

CSFF Blog Tour: One Realm Beyond

Cantor only ever wanted one thing: To be a realm walker – to travel from one plane to another, helping, discovering, adventuring, with an impressive dragon by his side.

All right. He wanted two things. One he will certainly get.

One Realm Beyond is the first book in Donita K. Paul’s Realm Walkers series. The shape-shifting mor dragons are a classic fantasy element, but overall the book had sci-fi flair to it. The “realms” were given a more or less sci-fi explanation; even the special powers of the realm walkers struck me as more superhuman than supernatural.

The setting of this novel completely engaged me. I enjoyed the various bits of technology, I enjoyed the political intrigue and the educational “rounds”, I enjoyed the fantasy mix of races – dragons and humans and Brinswikkers. I enjoyed the idea of the realms and the realm walkers.

The characters were even more engaging. Bridger and Bixby charmed me at once, and the more I saw of Totobee-Rodolow, the more I appreciated the uniqueness of her character – supremely confident, supremely knowledgeable, and almost exaggeratedly feminine. Cantor was the straight man of the foursome, which made him less flashy but not less needed. Somebody has to be normal.

One of the interesting pieces of this story is how the dynamics between the two young realm walkers and their dragons work out. Cantor is persuaded to accept a dragon as a “temporary constant” (now there’s a contradiction in terms), and Bixby persuades a dragon to accept her as a temporary constant. Bixby ends up with the sort of dragon – elegant and sophisticated – that Cantor dreamed of having, and Cantor gets an offbeat, diversely talented dragon who is much more like Bixby than himself.

Religion was a persistent theme of the story, but by no means an overstated one. Primen (their name for God) is mentioned a good number of times, but always in ways that seem natural to the characters and their situations. (In a brief but fascinating moment of complexity, a character who has been studying “Primen’s Guide” denounces realm-walking as witchery.)

One chapter revolves around going to sanctuary – an obvious church equivalent. And what is interesting about that is that even fantasy novels with religion generally have no church equivalent. Going to church (or the synagogue, temple, etc.) is such a constant in real-life religion, and so rare in fantasy-world religion, that I have to congratulate Donita Paul for the chapter.

The plot of One Realm Beyond moved only gradually to the main point; it took a while for the story to find its dramatic center. I noticed this as I read, but it never really bothered me. I was enjoying myself anyway. It is such a fun book, such a light-hearted book, with entrancing characters and a terrific setting. I like fantasy, and I like sci-fi, and I hold a special fondness for well-done science fantasy – which is what One Realm Beyond is.


In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

CSFF Blog Tour: Landmarks

This month, the CSFF blog tour is featuring One Realm Beyond, the first book in Donita K. Paul’s new Realm Walkers series. It involves realm walking. And dragons.

Donita K. Paul is the first author ever toured by the CSFF, back in the distant day, so returning to her work is something of a landmark. My own personal landmark is that this is the first time I have ever begun a tour without first finishing the book.

Yes, I’m ashamed. Yes, I will be reviewing the book. Yes, I will finish the book first.

My plan for this tour is as follows: Day one, introductory post with links and confession; day two, review of book; day three, musings on the contrast between Scripture portraying Satan as a dragon and modern Christian fiction portraying dragons as our big, loveable friends. What is the import of this biblical symbolism to our fantasy novels? Where does the leviathan come in, and what about snakes and lions?

The links follow below, so that you can begin your exploration of One Realm Beyond. As for me, I’m thoroughly immersed; the characters are scurrying towards the climax and I’m going with them.

One Realm Beyond on Amazon;

Donita K. Paul’s website;

best of all, the blog tour:

Julie Bihn
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Mike Coville
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Rebekah Gyger
Janeen Ippolito
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Donita K. Paul
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Jojo Sutis
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Jill Williamson
Deborah Wilson

NoiseTrade and Other Ventures

Recently NoiseTrade – the site that has, for five years, connected musicians with their listeners – expanded into the book-sphere. Now NoiseTrade boasts an e-book library, all available for free download with an option to tip and an encouragement to share on social media. Reportedly NoiseTrade has been good for musicians; we’ll see how it is for authors.

And I’ll see how it is for this author. Yes, this is what I am getting around to: My novella Beauty of the Lilies is on NoiseTrade.

With winter flying away, The Valley of Decision is growing ever nearer to its release date. I’ve set up its official Facebook page, and given it an entire page on this site. “The Valley of Decision” features a preview, a book description, a little more about the Facebook page, and – most excitingly – the novel’s first endorsement. I plan, as time goes on, to add more.

On Monday, the CSFF blog tour begins, so I should be back then. This month’s book is One Realm Beyond, by Donita K. Paul – and yes, it involves dragons, too.

CrossReads Book Blast: Timothy Phillips by Cliff Ball

Timothy Phillips

Timothy Phillips

By Cliff Ball

About the Book:

Can a nineteen year old stay true to the faith he was brought up on when he’s under the spotlight?Timothy Phillips dreams come true when he’s discovered by the producer of a national talent show. So what’s the problem? The recording contract is not in the Southern Gospel he would prefer to sing. As he begins recording and performing the music, he encounters increasing hostility towards Christians. Can he stay true to his faith, or will he end up compromising his beliefs little by little the more famous he becomes?

When his world comes crashing down, will he have anything left to help him stand as the end times approach?

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK
cliff41Cliff Ball
lives in Texas, born in Arizona, is a Christian and is Baptist. Has two BA’s, and a Certificate in Technical Communications from the University of North Texas. Has published ten novels and four short stories in multiple genres, but is currently writing a Christian fiction series called “The End Times Saga.” Cliff’s first taste of being published was when he won third in high school for a short story written in Creative Writing class for a young adult magazine.

Follow Cliff Ball

Website | Facebook | Twitter

This book blast is hosted by CrossReads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Review: Greetings From the Flipside

Hope Landon has had a hard time. When she was a little girl, her father disappeared mysteriously; when she was a teenager, her unique mother left her wondering if it was possible to drop dead from cringing too often. As an adult, she’s been stuck in the nothing-town Poughkeepsie. And now, just when she thinks she’s about to escape her life, her fiance jilts her on her wedding day.

Then somebody steals her car. There’s a hospital involved soon enough.

And Hope is about ready to give up on hope.

Greetings From the Flipside is the second collaboration between Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay. I read their novel Never the Bride a few years ago and loved it. So as soon as I heard about Greetings From the Flipside, I wanted to read it.

There’s a lot of humor in this novel, as I had hoped; Hope is an entertaining narrator, and there are many funny moments. At the same time, an undercurrent of seriousness flows through the story. The characters seem, most of them, to be struggling.

Greetings From the Flipside has an unconventional structure: The beginning and ending chapters are in the third-person past tense, but the majority of the chapters only begin that way; then they flip to first-person present tense.

Here I am going to plunge into what I believe, after looking at the reviews, is the most controversial part of the book. I think the spoilers are light, but those who want to be spoiler-free should probably skip to the end of the review. Now, here we go:

Hope spends the majority of the book in a coma, and the third-person narrative at the chapters’ beginning takes place in what we call the real world, and the first-person narrative is the dream-world of Hope’s coma. Briefly, the main character spends most of the story unconscious. Some people disliked this.

I think it worked, and for several reasons. Due to the medical fact that comatose people can have some awareness of what is happening around them – and perhaps also to the suggestion of another realm – the two worlds do interact. The same drama plays out in each of them. Hope’s adventures, in one sense, never happened, but the central question of the story – Will she come back? – was answered in them.

Another reason it worked is that the authors made it fun. Sometimes it was funny to see the real world breaking into Hope’s dreams; sometimes it had the fun of a mystery. (I knew those random letters added up to something.) I came to look for any cross between the real world and the coma-world; their overlap fascinated me.

The novel’s overall theme is one of hope: Jake holding onto hope, though he sometimes doubted, and Hope ready to bid a snarky good-bye to hope, although she had, deep down, a scrap she couldn’t let go. True and false hope both take their turns on the stage.

Greetings From the Flipside executes a unique concept with deftness, all the while mixing its serious questions with humor. The style is engaging, the writing is skillful, and the characters are sympathetic – altogether an original and compelling romance.