Tag Archives: novels of suspense

Erin Healy to Publish Stranger Things, a Novel of Suspense and Hope #thinplaces #sextrafficking

Bestselling novelist Erin Healy’s latest supernatural thriller, Stranger Things, comes to stores on New Year’s Eve! I can’t wait to read my copy; it sounds amazing and I’ve loved all her other work. In regards to this particular book, human/sex trafficking is a cause I am really interested in and support and I was enouraged to read that she also has a heart for this social issue and incorporated it into her novel.

As an author, she does a wonderful job of mixing spirituality with the supernatural and is one of the masters of allegorical literary fiction.  I have always loved Ted Dekker, which introduced me to Erin after she has co-written several books with him. Both are stellar writers in that they succeed at opening those small windows in your brain to make you think harder and longer during and after reading their books.  They are two of my favorite authors.

When I read Erin’s work, I delve deeper into myself, into humanity, into existence, and into the questions of spirituality and purpose. She reaches out and touches my soul. I imagine this book will also speak to me.


So here’s the synopsis for Stranger Things and a chance to read the first two chapters….then following is a short interview and all the other information about the upcoming book, Erin, and how to connect to her. PLUS there is a chance to enter for a giveway!

Stranger Things, Synopsis~

Stranger ThingsIn the forest’s burned-out hollow, a house of dark secrets also glows with bright promise.

Serena’s career as a high school biology teacher comes to a halt when an angry student makes shocking accusations. Stunned and suspended, Serena retreats to the forest where she usually finds peace of mind. But on this day she encounters a killer and his prisoner—as well as a stranger who dies to save Serena’s life.

The stranger, Christopher, had dedicated his life to rescuing girls from forced prostitution—starting with his sister Amber. They formed a tiny nonprofit organization to protect girls and have been working furiously to bring down John Roman, the powerful criminal who first took Amber and has ruined scores of young women’s lives since.

When Christopher’s grieving colleagues suspect Serena of being in league with Roman, her life spirals further out of control. How will she clear her name? Why did this stranger protect her with his life? And what is the meaning of the visions she sees every time she visits the gutted house where he died?

If you’d like to read the first two chapters of Stranger Things, click here.

Add to your GoodReads shelf NOW!  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18126907-stranger-things

Check out the COOL Pinterest Board here—> http://www.pinterest.com/erinhealybooks/stranger-things/



Enter to WIN one of 10 autographed copies by clicking here (A U.S. shipping address is required and books will be mailed after January 1 2014—-> a Rafflecopter giveaway or go here—> http://www.erinhealy.com/2013/11/30/stranger-things-giveaway/


ST leaves

Interview with Erin Healy~

Welcome, Erin! (BTW, that always feel a little strange, since it’s my name too-lovely to share it!)  It’s so wonderful to feature you here on the blog. I’ve been a longtime fan of yours for many reasons. I’m looking forward to your answers surrounding some questions on your new book, Stranger Things!

Q:  How was your idea for Stranger Things born?

A:  Two years ago, during a Good Friday service, my pastor (Kelly Williams of Vanguard Church, Colorado Springs) asked the congregation: “If a complete stranger died while saving your life, wouldn’t you want to know everything you could about that person? Wouldn’t you want your life to honor that person’s death?” He challenged us to consider Jesus Christ in a new light—as a stranger, as a savior we might not know as well as we think we do. This idea has roots in Romans 5:8—“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Before I ever had the chance to know him, while he was a complete stranger to me, Christ died for me. The Message translation says “when [I was] of no use whatever to him.” Why would he do that? Have I investigated him thoroughly enough to connect my own life with his purposes? This is all background, though. Stranger Things isn’t an overtly Christian tale as my previous novels have been, but it’s a parable about these questions.

Q:  Stranger Things sounds like a pretty dark read. Why did you choose to write about sex trafficking?

A:  Human trafficking (of which sex trafficking is a subcategory) is the world’s third-fastest growing illegal industry behind drugs and weapons. It is the most horrifying kind of modern captivity I can imagine, and my research proved that even my imagination fell short of reality. I picked it because it’s a real contemporary crisis, but also because it profoundly symbolizes the kind of bondage that Christ came to end (Isaiah 61:1-3). Freeing the captive, physically and spiritually, is a high calling for followers of Jesus who want to express their gratitude for his sacrifice and demonstrate his love through the continuation of his work.

Q:  What does all this have to do with the “thin places” that you’re always talking about?

A:  The traditional (Celtic) definition of a thin place is a physical location in the world where the division between physical and spiritual realities falls away, a place where we can see the greater truth of our existence. In my stories I use the term “thin place” to define moments when a person experiences a sharpened spiritual awareness about what’s really going on in his or her life. Stranger Things  is the first novel in which I’ve combined both ideas. The thin place is a physical location, a burned-out house in a sparse terrain, where Serena discovers her purpose. “There are places in the world where you will encounter things so real that you will be surprised others don’t have an identical experience,” Serena’s father tells her. “But then you will realize that the clarity given to you is a gift from God. Perhaps this gift is just for you, maybe also it will touch the lives of others.”

Q:  Did anything surprise you while writing the novel?

A:  I started with intentions to write about an Asian-based trafficking ring, but in the course of my research was distressed to learn just how close to home the problem lies. Though it’s impossible to get a precise count of how many people are victims of sex trafficking in the US, most estimates fall between 100,000 and 300,000 (mostly women and children). Since I learned this my own awareness has expanded, and I’m happy to see just how many efforts are already underway—not only in the US—to end this atrocity. The Polaris Project is a great place to begin learning about global human trafficking.

Q:  What do you hope readers will take away from Stranger Things?

A:  I hope the novel is layered enough to meet each reader individually. Maybe some will be challenged to investigate Jesus Christ further. Maybe some will use their new awareness of trafficking to do something about it. (I’ve joined the prayer team of a local home for girls rescued from sexual slavery.) To date my favorite response to the book was from the person who found herself looking in a new way at the strangers who surrounded her. She felt unexpectedly protective and concerned, on heightened alert to ways in which she might be able to help them. In other words, ways in which she might be able to do what Christ did for her. So many opportunities! If we all moved through the world with eyes like that, what might change for the better? I love to think of all the possibilities.

Stranger Things Details~

Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: Dec. 31, 2013
Company: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10:  1401689582
ISBN-13:  9781401689582

Stranger ThingsPraise for Stranger Things~

Of the novel, Library Journal says: “Serena Diaz’s teaching career came to an abrupt end when a student falsely accused her of sexual misconduct. Seeking solace in the woods, she discovers that a gang of sex traffickers has taken over a vacant house. Serena is almost captured by one of the criminals but is saved by an unknown man who has been shadowing her. He is shot, and Serena escapes with her life. But she is drawn to know more about this stranger who died for her. What follows is a suspenseful story of danger and pure evil. Whom can Serena trust in a world that seems intent on serving its own self-interests? VERDICT – Healy (Afloat; coauthor with Ted Dekker, Burn and Kiss) has written an edgy, fast-paced spiritual thriller that will please Dekker fans.”

Erin Healy, Biography~

Erin HealyErin Healy is the best-selling co-author of “Burn” and “Kiss” with Ted Dekker and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels “Never Let You Go,”,”The Baker’s Wife,” “House of Mercy,” and “Afloat.”

Healy earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in communication studies from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. She began her career as an editor for Christian Parenting Today before serving as a book editor for WaterBrook Press. Healy founded WordWright Editorial Services in 2002 and specializes in fiction book development. She has worked with many popular authors in a number of genres such as Frank Peretti, James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Robin Lee Hatcher, Gilbert Morris, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer and Robert Whitlow.

While her interest in supernatural fiction grew she while working with Dekker (she edited 12 of his well-known, heart-pounding stories before collaborating with him as a co-author), her interest in the spiritual realm has always been a part of her. “The Irish girl in me is fascinated by the concept of thin places, a Celtic name for locations in the world where the veil between physical and spiritual realities is so delicate that a person can see through it. For me, thin places are revelations about what it means to be a spiritual creation in a physical world. I write supernatural suspense novels from a Christian worldview, with eyes open to God’s mysterious side and where His world world intersects ours,” she explains.

Healy currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO, with her husband, Tim, and two children. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers.  Erin can be contacted through her website www.ErinHealy.com or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.

Social Media Links to Connect with Erin Healy:





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You can help by using these hashtags for posts you might share related to Stranger Things or search for them on your sites to follow the updates or get involved in the conversation: #StrangerThings #ThinPlaces #SexTrafficking


Filed under Feature Articles, Guest Posts, Q and A with Authors

Historical Author C.W. Gortner Creates Tudor Era Espionage, Drama, and Deceit in Thriller Series

The Tudor Conspiracy USToday has a been a day I’ve been waiting to announce for several years! It’s the U.S. launch date for one of my all-time favorite authors and people, C.W. Gortner, and his second novel in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles, The Tudor Conspiracy!

We’re introduced to the main male protagonist, Brendan Prescott, in the novel The Tudor Secret which started the series–and is practically is responsible for this blog coming about as well! You can even read my review of this first novel by clicking HEREThe Tudor Conspiracy picks up after The Tudor Secret, during the time with Mary 1 on the throne as Queen and traitors from the last novel are in the Tower.  Brendan is sent back to court and begins to be a double agent between the espionage, paranoia, and drama happening amongst Queen Mary and her half-sister, Elizabeth. All of England is at each other’s throats over religion and both facets, Queen Mary’s Catholic followers and Elizabeth’s Protestants, want to be in charge and able to dictate conversion among the masses.

Brendan, who for those of you that read The Tudor Secret know, has a special tie to this Tudor family.  The Tudor Secret set-up the character of Brendan so well that I urge you to please go back and read it if you haven’t yet. You’ll feel completely connected to Brendan and it will give you a more invested interest in The Tudor Conspiracy. You’ll understand his motives more and your reading experience will be better for it.  I don’t wish to say anything in this review that might give away the story of the first book in the series, as it is SO wonderful and I had such a great time reading it.

Brendan is conflicted and caught between both sisters and Gortner again does a fabulous job of showing Brendan’s emotions and thought processes as he keeps his feelings in check around almost everyone. There is a spy in every person, and eyes around every corner. Life in Tudor court in this time period is unstable and everyone is unreliable, with personal pursuits and feelings hidden and kept close to the vest.

The loss of one of the main characters halfway through this novel is heart-breaking and I don’t know how Gorter penned through that, except that he must have funneled his own personal feelings from the recent loss he had of his beloved dog, Paris. That’s the mark of a spectacular author to be able to channel life tragedies and complexities into their works of fiction so that readers can literally feel what a character is feeling.  I could relate to Brendan’s emotional loss of this friend and mourned this character myself, partly because I had become endeared to him in the first book.

As the reader, I felt strapped into the mindful roller coaster of emotions that Brendan must surge ahead with every day in pursuit of doing what he feels is the most right . For such an entertaining novel with a fictional character (unlike many of his other bestsellers based on true women of history), he does extremely well as a writer in character development.  I realized I’d come to know the characters personalities quite thoroughly, yet without all the overindulgence of some historical fiction novels. His detail is just enough for a mind picture, while also being subtle enough that the drama and mystery propel the story forward. I didn’t want to put down this book as I traveled with Brendan on his journey and tasks! I was a spy right along with him, and loving every minute of it!

People complain that the Tudor era is over done in books, and maybe it is over saturated, but readers are still interested in their stories because there is so much speculation.  What makes the Spymaster Chronicles so readable, and what The Tudor Conspiracy as the second Spymaster Chronicle book continues to do, is the fact that it takes a commonly historical time period with similar cast of characters and completely gives it to us as a suspense mystery told from the view-point of a male, rather than from the strong women of this time period.  It isn’t just telling history, it’s using history to weave an enjoyable, imaginative story.  We are used to hearing about the Queens, Princesses, Duchesses, and court drama,  but I believe Gortner’s series stands-out from the rest as rather than being heavily history laden, it’s in fact light, fun, entertaining, and perplexing.

Gortner gives us a glimpse of Queen Mary in a different light, showing her personality as strong, yet forgiving, loyal and endearing. Doesn’t sound much like Blood Mary, does it? It’s a side less commonly reported but is believable.  We can relate to this Mary. On the other side, we can see the wild abandon and motivated essence of Elizabeth for her cause and her country. Both views of each woman is fantastic and I feel that Gortner does a wonderful job of really looking into the feelings of these historical women based on their historical experiences. He knows enough on the subject of each, and is a skillful researcher, that he can bring us their personalities without overindulging historical references or clichés.

Among other delightful things already mentioned, I loved his use of animals in the book as well. The beautiful horse, Cinnabar (great name!!) and the sleek and lovable Urian, a greyhound, were great companions to his human characters.

The Tudor Conspiracy is a book that’s fast-paced, emotional, full of intrigue, and dripping with drama.  We are tasked along with Brendan in figuring out the espionage-laden intricacies, which fence together like swords, making dramatic music until finally it crescendos to a resounding high note.

I can’t recommend this series enough!  If you’ve read The Tudor Secret, don’t pass up The Tudor Conspiracy, but buy it today for one of your summer reads.  If you’ve not read any Spymaster Chronicles, I’d pick up both! They are perfect for those of you who want an immersing, intricate, and intelligent read that’s laced with fun and excitement.

Here’s a look the the first book in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles, The Tudor Secret:

Tudor Secret

And be sure to watch tomorrow, July 17, for my exclusive interview with C.W. Gortner!


The Tudor Conspiracy USUS Publication Date: July 16, 2013

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback; 352p
ISBN-10: 0312658494

If you need the UK Version:

The Tudor Conspiracy UK

UK Publication Date: July 18, 2013

Hodder & Stoughton
Paperback; 352p
ISBN-10: 1444720856
Hunted by a shadowy foe in Bloody Mary’s court, Brendan Prescott plunges into London’s treacherous underworld to unravel a dark conspiracy that could make Elizabeth queen—or send her to her death in C.W. Gortner’s The Tudor Conspiracy

England, 1553: Harsh winter encroaches upon the realm. Mary Tudor has become queen to popular acclaim and her enemies are imprisoned in the Tower. But when she’s betrothed to Philip, Catholic prince of Spain, putting her Protestant subjects in peril, rumors of a plot to depose her swirl around the one person whom many consider to be England’s heir and only hope—the queen’s half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.

Haunted by his past, Brendan Prescott lives far from the intrigues of court. But his time of refuge comes to an end when his foe and mentor, the spymaster Cecil, brings him disquieting news that sends him on a dangerous mission. Elizabeth is held captive at court, the target of the Spanish ambassador, who seeks her demise. Obliged to return to the palace where he almost lost his life, Brendan finds himself working as a double-agent for Queen Mary herself, who orders Brendan to secure proof that will be his cherished Elizabeth’s undoing.

Plunged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a mysterious opponent who hides a terrifying secret, Brendan races against time to retrieve a cache of the princess’s private letters, even as he begins to realize that in this dark world of betrayal and deceit, where power is supreme and sister can turn against sister, nothing—and no one—is what it seems.

Praise for The Tudor Conspiracy

“The Tudor Conspiracy weaves a suspenseful, tangled skein of intrigue. It is a vibrant historical mystery and crime-thriller with an A-list cast of characters. Here are Elizabeth Tudor and her Robert Dudley in a light you’ve seldom seen them. —Margaret George, author of Elizabeth I

“C.W. Gortner has done it again! Intrigue at the Tudor court never looked more lethal than in his capable hands, as forbidden desires and deadly rivalries turn sister against sister and plunge our bold hero into a labyrinth of deceit. Full of breathtaking action, dark twists and unexpected revelations, this is an unputdownable read!” —Michelle Moran, author of Nefertiti

“In C.W. Gortner’s skillful hands, the plots and counterplots come to seething life, with Brendan using every ounce of his brains and courage to protect those he loves while struggling to stay alive. . . . Lovers of Tudor history and suspense fiction will be riveted by this swift-paced, sexy, enthralling novel.” —Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown

“Suspense, intrigue, betrayal, and deadly rivalry: what more can you ask for? From the serpentine halls of the court to the vicious back alleys and stews of Tudor London, Gortner has brewed a swashbuckling, perilous adventure that you simply can’t put down!” —M.J. Rose, author of The Book of Lost Fragrances

“C.W. Gortner has an unmatched talent for bringing the past to life. The Tudor Conspiracy is historical fiction at its best: a compelling story masterfully told, vivid characters fully drawn, and an accurate depiction of history of the time. A novel not to be missed.” —Tasha Alexander, author

Author C.W. Gortner, Biography~

CWGC.W. Gortner holds an MFA in Writing, with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies. Raised in Spain and half Spanish by birth, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall.

He welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats. Please visit him at www.cwgortner.com for more information. You can also follow Christopher on Facebook and Twitter.

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thetudorconspiracyvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #TudorConspiracyTour

The Tudor Conspiracy Tour Banner FINAL

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Do you Feel Held Up When Life Goes Wrong? Erin Healy Delivers Allegory for Life in her Novel, Afloat

AfloatI enjoy books by Erin Healy because she mixes the supernatural and spiritual realms into her fiction in an absorbing sort of way….this time, in Afloat, we are drawn in to the wonderment by the brilliant underwater lights first seen by Simeon, the son of Healy’s female protagonist, Danielle.

The tidbits of strange occurrences is the part of the book that kept me engaged from the beginning. As the luxury residential units are floating on the river, with more being constructed, a sinkhole and hurricane-like rains send the residents into upheaval and they begin scrambling to survive.

The cast of characters each has a different personality, and some with hidden agendas, which all begin to unravel and come to light as the storm and mess continues on. I am not a huge fan of disaster and survival-type stories that have to do with the weather (or construction accidents), and due to that some of the early middle dragged for me, but the prospect of what the bright lights under the water were, as well as the encounter that Danielle had, kept me intrigued.

Afloat gives us a message that most of us can appreciate. That in the bad times, we are held up by a firm foundation that we cannot see. That sometimes things are more simple than we see. That sometimes bad things happen in order for good people to become better.  Sometimes even bad people are shown the light. Healy does a good job with her characters and I enjoyed following Danielle’s growth as a person through this trial.

By the middle of the book, after we had a chance to understand the characters and how their thoughts and actions effected each other, the mystery and suspense picked up and the story moved faster for me. I felt this was the meat of the book and that the second half delivered the supernatural vibe, as well as the mystery that I had been waiting for. Her allegory is always strong in her books, and with Afloat, Healy delivers again in giving us a thought-provoking story that is easily applied to our own situations.  It teaches us, through creative story, how faith can help us overcome the most dire of circumstances.

This is a Christian book, from a Christian publisher, so this might not be for all readers.  But if you are a fan of Christian fiction that uses allegory and encouraging, faith based writing, then I highly recommend this book for a unique perspective.  Healy’s use of the supernatural and ethereal eerie elements of life always creates an enjoyable read for me.

Afloat, Synopsis~

 AfloatWho will you trust when dark waters rise?

Eagle’s Talon is an architectural marvel-shining residential units afloat in a protected cove of the gorgeous Rondeau River. The project is nearly complete, partially occupied, and ready to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Then torrential rains and a flood leave a ragged collection of builders, investors, and residents stranded in one floating building, cut off from the rest of the world.

They’re bitterly divided over what to do next.

Architect Vance Nolan insists they should sit tight and wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single mom Danielle Clement, desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, struggles to hold their motley band together.

Power failure, a pall of unnatural daytime darkness, explosions in the distance, then a murder ratchet tensions to a boiling point. But Danielle’s young son, Simeon, has spotted something strange underwater-beautiful, shifting lights in the dark water below.
In this watery world where everyone’s secrets will eventually come to light, salvation may mean more than just getting out alive.

Another stunning exploration of the human spirit and supernatural possibilities from best-selling author Erin Healy.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/liNmq

Author Erin Healy, Biography~

Erin HealyErin Healy is the best-selling co-author of “Burn” and “Kiss” (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels “Never Let You Go”, “The Baker’s Wife”, “House of Mercy”, and “Afloat.” She and her family live in Colorado. Erin can be contacted through her website ErinHealy.com or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.

Find out more about Erin at http://www.erinhealy.com.
See More Stops on Erin’s Afloat Tour:
Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway……..

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin’s blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin’s blog on the 17th!


Filed under Book Reviews