Give-away: E-version of The Tenth Plague

The-Tenth-PlagueSeveral days ago I commented on a post on Adam Blumer’s Facebook page to be entered in a drawing for an e-version of his book, The Tenth Plague. I had thought I was entering to win his new book – which, if I’d thought about it for a second, I would have realized that wasn’t possible because it is not even out yet (I can be a little dense sometimes. 🙂 ). I did happen to win Adam’s drawing, and since I’ve already read The Tenth Plague (reviewed here, along with an author interview), I asked him if I could have a copy sent to one of you instead, and he agreed.

The story is a sequel to Adam’s first novel, Fatal Illusions (reviewed here), but can be read independently. It involves Marc and Jillian Thayer, who have just adopted a new baby boy, and a friend has invited them to  a Christian-themed resort for some rest and time together as a new family. But soon odd things begin to happen: someone rigs the water system to dispense what appears to be blood from the faucets. At first this is thought to be a weird prank, but soon other events occur which are based on the ten plagues of Egypt found in the book of Exodus in the Bible. Marc and a retired detective friend try to find out what is going on while Gillian runs into someone from her past who has hurt her deeply. One of the major themes in the book is the need to extend forgiveness.

Adam writes suspense very well, and his characters are realistic, everyday Christian people trying to discern and apply God’s will in their circumstances.

You can read an excerpt here.

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a free Kindle or Nook version of The Tenth Plague, leave one comment on this post. I’ll use to draw a name from among the comments next Wed. morning (June 4).

The drawing is concluded and the winner is Lou Ann! I’ll be contacting her shortly. Thank you all for entering!


The Tenth Plague: Book Review and Author Interview

The-Tenth-PlagueIn The Tenth Plague by Adam Blumer, Marc and Jillian Thayer have just adopted a new baby boy, and a friend has invited them to  a Christian-themed resort for some rest and time together as a new family.

When they arrive, however, the retreat is in upheaval. A company planning a new Bible translation is having meetings at the resort, and a throng has arrived to protest. Someone rigged the water system to dispense what appears to be blood from the faucets. What seems an odd prank is soon discovered to be the first in a series of events based on the Biblical ten plagues of Egypt, some of them resulting in fatalities. Marc calls on a friend, a retired homicide detective, to help with the investigation as the plagues escalate.

Gillian, meanwhile, runs into someone who has hurt her deeply in the past. She thought she had put it all behind her, but the old anger and hurt rush back in like a flood,  and she wrestles with the need to extend forgiveness.

The Tenth Plague is a sequel to Fatal Illusions, Adam’s first book (which I reviewed here), but you don’t have to have read the first book to understand and enjoy the second. Both books are tremendously suspenseful and feature realistic, everyday Christian people trying to discern and apply God’s will in their circumstances. I enjoyed them both very much!

Here is an interview with Adam:


What was your inspiration behind The Tenth Plague?

 One day I was reading the book of Revelation and came across 22:18–19. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (ESV). My mind began playing the “what if” game. Would God really bring a biblical plague on someone who tampered with His Word? I chatted with a few theologian friends, and the plot emerged from there.

How does this novel compare with your first novel, Fatal Illusions?

Though the plot, of course, is different, the two novels share a number of similarities. Both are set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where I live. I like to write about average folks like Marc and Gillian Thayer, a pastor and his wife who face unexpected, even threatening, events. Of course, there’s another really bad killer who wants to do them harm, and their retired homicide detective friend, Chuck Riley, once again comes out of retirement to help them. I also like to weave in a historical event that somehow relates to the present day. In Fatal Illusions, it was the killer’s obsession with Houdini; in The Tenth Plague, an old mine disaster plays an important role. The past always plays an important role in the present—a running theme in my novels. Overall, I like to write about redemption: how biblical truth offers the answers to the complicated issues of life. Stories, like parables, present some of the best ways to illustrate biblical truths.

 What was one of the most important lessons you learned during the writing of this novel?

The power of the collaborative process. I had a fairly strong first draft, but I was stuck. A novel editor provided a creative springboard and helped me see where my true story lay. Without her help, I doubt this story would have seen the light of day.

 What part of writing this novel took the most work?

 This novel required a ton of research. From an old mining tragedy to autism, from adoption law to anthrax, from pheromones to the Oklahoma City bombing, the research for this one required much more than I ever expected. I’m so thankful for technology and ease of access, thanks to the Internet. Without Google and so many resources at my fingertips, I’d probably still be researching this story.

 So far, what has been your favorite work experience in life?

 During one summer between years in high school, I worked at a library, a book lover’s paradise. Granted, a lot of the work involved stocking shelves, but being surrounded by so many fascinating books and interesting authors was pure heaven. I was born a die-hard book lover, and I’ll probably die one too.

Consider the qualities that make you unique. How do these qualities come out in your writing?

 I love suspense fiction and history, so a blending of the two always seems to come out in my writing. In high school, I won awards in calligraphy; Gillian Thayer, my female lead, is into calligraphy in a big way (it’s her job). I’ve always been intrigued with how one’s past impacts his or her present and future. This is a recurring theme in my novels because it’s part of who I am. Now that I think about it, what I write is inseparable to some degree from who I am.

 Introduce your plot summary and main characters. What is your favorite part of the story?

Water turns to blood. Flies and gnats attack the innocent. Marc and Gillian Thayer’s vacation resort becomes a grisly murder scene, with a killer using the ten plagues of Egypt as his playbook for revenge.

When their friend turns up dead, Marc and Gillian put their vacation on hold, enlist the help of a retired homicide detective, and take a closer look at the bizarre plagues as they escalate in intensity. Meanwhile, a stranger is after the Thayers’ newly adopted baby. Will they uncover the truth behind the bitter agenda before the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn son?

 My favorite part is when the firstborn son is revealed and the novel culminates in the tenth plague. This is the most suspenseful and action-packed part of the story, with several key characters in jeopardy. I had a blast writing it.

 One of the main themes of The Tenth Plague is confronting and dealing with your past. What can readers take away from this theme, especially in a novel that deals with religion and death?

 Both the villain and my heroine, Gillian Thayer, grapple with heartbreaking real-life issues from their past. But how they respond shows two very different paths. My hope is that readers will see the stark contrast in the context of biblical truth presented in the story. The bottom line is that God is enough, and He offers the solution to every problem of life. This is another repeated theme in my stories. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my latest project.

Some content used by permission of Kirkdale Press

Tenth Plague Forgiveness

The Tenth Plague is available in e-book format only from Amazon and Vyrso. You can read an excerpt here.

Thanks to Adam for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

(This will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)

Book Giveaways

Author Adam Blumer writes edge-of-your-seat suspense infused with Biblical principles. His new book, The Tenth Plague, will be released as an e-book on January 29. I’ll have more to say about it then, but meanwhile, if you’d like to have a chance to win a copy of The Tenth Plague or a physical copy of his first book, Fatal Illusions (linked to my review), go here or click on the graphic.

10th Plague Giveaway

Adam discusses the book here, and you can read an excerpt of The Tenth Plague here.

Laudable Linkage

Here are some good online reads from the last couple of weeks:

The Value of Quiet Husbands. Good leadership isn’t always public and showy.

5 Questions Wives Should Not Ask Their Husbands.

Rising Above Familiarity With the Sublime, Part 1 and Part 2. Though written to preachers, it contains good advice for anyone who is in the Word of God regularly and is so familiar with parts of it that we can tend to lose sight of its wonder. Bonus, it’s written by our beloved former pastor.

True Womanhood Is Not About You and Me. “True womanhood is not wrapped in a sparkly white box tied up in the red, satin ribbon of our good behavior or correct conduct. True womanhood is a reflection of the very heart of God; the very character that we can rely on day-in and day-out.”

Author Adam Blumer (Fatal Illusions, linked to my review) has been writing a series In Defense of Clean Speech, arguing against the increasing practice of some Christian fiction authors to use vulgar or crude language or cursing in their work for “realism.” Part 4: What Is Unclean Speech? and Part 5: Flawed Arguments are especially good (you’ll find links to the other parts there.)

Another review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, this one by Mary Kassian, one of the coiners of the word “complementarian,” who feels the author misrepresented the position and the movement.

2012 Photomicrography Competition, HT to Challies. There is a whole amazing world beyond our eyesight.

Years ago while in college I saw the movie  and years later read and reread the book Peace Child about the Richardson family who went to minister to the Sawi tribe of Papua, New Guinea. The Sawi were headhunters who valued deception and thought Judas was the hero of the gospel. Finally one of their rites of a peace child gave an opening to present what the gospel truly meant. This video shows Richardson and his sons going back 50 years after their first visit. Amazing what God can do in people’s hearts!