Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fire Storm by Mackenzie Dare + Giveaways!

Fire Storm GIVEAWAY!  The author has offered to give away a few copies of her e-book, depending on how many comments I get!  So leave a comment with your email address in a spam fighting format, such as lovestoread(at)yahoo(dot)com, and we'll notify you if you're the winner!  I'll leave the contest open until July 20th!

“But we have no enemies!”… Why would a young mother, happily married and safely nestled amongst the cornfields of small town Illinois suddenly start finding murder attempts around every corner?

A fireman, Jim thrives on danger, that is until, coming in a different form, it creeps closer than he ever expected – not for him, but for the one he loves more than life itself – his wife. Who and why? How can the “protector” keep his most cherished possession from this unseen killer?

Totally innocent – untouched by evil, Jess cannot explain nor understand the incidents threatening her very existence. Holding on to her husband and clinging to her knowledge of a powerful God, she can only strive to keep trust in her soul and a smile in her heart, as the icy fingers of death lurk, coiled behind every corner. Safe in innocence, secure in love – marked for murder! God bless our home – if it doesn’t blow up!

(Goodreads description)

This is an action-packed and suspenseful story, with a touch of humor!  I liked that it's told from different perspectives and that it's hard to figure out who the bad guy is.  I enjoyed the characters, but felt like they seemed a little too perfect.  The action and suspense parts had me on the edge of my seat, but the other parts dragged a bit.  I was really glad to see a clear and thorough presentation of the gospel.  If you're looking for an exciting read, check it out!

I received a pdf copy of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.


1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t remember a conscious decision. I think that’s just the way the Lord made me. I’ve always loved writing and making stories up in my head for as long as I can remember.  Every once in a while, I’ll find a page of an ancient second or third grade short story and chuckle as I read it and try to decipher the context.

2.) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Like I have any writing quirks…. ;)  Probably my most interesting one is the fact that my characters refuse to ever conform to my outline. Sure, I start out with a neat and detailed plan, but by mid-story, sometimes before, my characters are all running every which-a-way in their own directions. Sometimes the “good guys” turn into bad guys. Sometimes scenes from the end move up to the middle. Sometimes the wrong people fall in love, and even other times a deep, dark secret that I didn’t even know about will just pop up from somebody’s past. Surprises… that’s what makes writing so fun!

3.) What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love life! One of my favorite things to do is to run outside, especially on a dew-glistening, bird-singing, spring morning… just to run toward a painted sunrise and feel absorbed in the beauty of God’s creation! I love riding my horse down the gravel road or through the cornfields. I love chilly fall days… a cool breeze floating in a slightly open window or the feeling of warm apple-scented  steam against my face as I slide a crusty, golden, apple pie out of the oven just as a drip of cinnamon syrup bubbles out and sizzles in the oven. I like a crisp, breezy walk through a pumpkin patch or a swim in a cool Wisconsin lake. I like camping in the North Woods or browsing souvenir shops. I’ve enjoyed climbing cliffs in the Blue Ridge and drivin’ by buffalo in Yellowstone. I love findin’ deals at garage sales and hangin’ out with my family… cookout style or pizza and popcorn movie nights. My favorite time is Christmas… It’s A Wonderful Life in the DVD player, a fire crackling in the corner, the pop of popcorn, and the sweet aroma of hot chocolate as we hang ornaments and wrap lights around our Christmas tree and nativity scene. I love seeing the Lord work in my life and teach me new things. I love Him because He first loved me. He’s shown me His love sooo many times in my life! One of my favorite verses is “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” He’s the giver of life, the one who makes daffodils smile and the thunderclouds clap. I love life, love, loyalty, and laughter.

4.) For viewers who have not read, but are interested in your book, can you describe it please?

Fire Storm is about a couple of young families living excessively normal lives in a small-town, farming community in Northern Illinois. Wade is a paramedic. His wife, Mellissa, works in a lawyer’s office, and they are expecting a baby very soon. Their best friends, Jim and Jessica, live on a small horse farm out in the country. Jim is a fireman. Jess is a stay-at-home mom with her recently born little girl. Life is fun and carefree till… Jess starts running into threats at every turn. Are they even threats or just accidents? The thought of a killer being after Jess just seems so ridiculous… though not so much… when she comes eye to eye with murder! Who and Why? What about Wade ‘n Mellissa? Will they remain safe in their young existence as they embark in the beginnings of life’s journey, or will the epidemic of murder spread? How far does it reach? What are the secrets?

5.) How does God affect your writing?

He gave me the talent to write. He gave me an imagination and a love for stories. He put me in a strongly Christian home where I received wisdom about spiritual things and knowledge of true love, sacrifice, and care. He saved me and gave me a purpose to write. Fire Storm was written for Him and dedicated to Him, and by His grace, I pray that every book I write will always point heavenward and never downward toward worldly lusts.

6.) Who is your favorite character in your book?

That’s hard to say. I like all my characters. They are all different and unique.  I like variety. The world needs rich and poor, plain and fancy, strong and weak, dream-chasers and content daily laborers, business women and stay-at-home moms, flippant and flighty and rigid work-a-holics. If there was one “right” type of person or one perfect race, the world would be sooo dull. Everyone, fiction or real-life, has their very own story. 

7.) Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m just a country girl who loves running down gravel roads surrounded by walls of corn, baking harvest pies and made-from-scratch bread, getting down in the dirt to plant a garden, or ridin’ my horse though the open fields. I love to write, and I take my notebook everywhere. I’m always looking for a likely place to relax and be transported into the lives of my characters… a thick patch of grass under a willowy, flowering crabapple, a place amongst the clover next to my horse as she eats in her pasture, a spot near a large, picture window on a rainy day with the pane slightly cracked to hear the rhythmic patter of water droplets while feeling the chilly breeze, a cozy spot on the fireplace mantle with a hot cup of tea, feeling the warmth and hearing the crackle as I gaze outside at the swirling snow and the blowing pine branches. I like studying life. It comes in so many forms. It’s everywhere you look, from the golden dandelions and purple violets scattered among the grass to a tiny chick-a-dee and golden finch singing high atop a tree. It’s in the thunderous ocean waves and the song of a gentle brook bubbling over rigid, moss-covered rocks. I cherish my family and consider them the most important people in this world to me. Most of all, I love my Lord and Savior, the Creator of life, the Father of justices, honor, purity, and goodness, the friend of sinners, the giver of love… everlasting love and life.

8.) What do you want readers to take away from your story?

A few laughs… some exciting rushes of adrenaline… moments of curiosity and bewilderment… entertainment and enjoyment… a feeling of genuine friendship, love, and forgiveness… and most of all, a better understanding of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God.

9.) Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?

Yes, I am working on a sequel, and I’m having quite a bit of fun with it!

Danger lurks in the shadows one night as the firefighters leave their shift. While walking home, one hears gunshots and instinctively responds. The victim, killed for a death-stained object within his possession, passes the torch to the fireman before drawing his final breath. Instantly aware of the awesome responsibility that he has just been given, the fireman becomes keenly aware of two things:  the fate of justice is resting within his hands, and he has just been passed the curse of death.

You’ll also find the stories behind all the characters growing deeper and more complex.

10.) Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

Just that I hope everyone who decides to get a copy of Fire Storm has as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

You can find me at poemsofprayerandpraise.blogspot.com or on Goodreads at

Thanks for your interest! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

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