A nail-biting new thriller in the tradition of Terri Blackstock! The close-knit town of Baxter is shocked when a bizarre houseboat explosion wipes out the McConnell family---or has it? Mike McConnell is missing. Did he murder his own family? With the help of angelic intervention, Mike's friend Jeb races to find him before the FBI does---and discovers redemption and grace in the process. 320 pages, softcover from Multnomah.
Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 320 Vendor: Multnomah Books Publication Date: 2001 Dimensions: 6.25 X 4.5 (inches)
ISBN: 1576739562 ISBN-13: 9781576739563 Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours. Series:Baxter
When a bizarre houseboat explosion rocks the close-knit community of Baxter, everyone stands powerless as the blazing hull sinks to the bottom of Lake Heron. All five McConnell family members are consumed in the blaze--or are they? Baxter's mystery is one only God can solve in this suspenseful story of redemption amidst despair in small-town America.
Kathy Herman is a best-selling author and award-winning poet, who has contributed feature stories and articles to publications such as Bookstore Journal. A former staff member of the Christian Booksellers Association, she has also worked at Better Books Christian Center, specializing in children's products and conducting related seminars in the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and five grandchildren and live in Tyler, Texas.
The night an explosion rattles the windows in the sleepy little lakeside town
of Baxter, GA, Jed Wilson's life falls apart. A houseboat belonging to his
best friend, Mike McConnell, has sunk into the lake with no sign of survivors.
As reports trickle in that divers have found the bodies of Mike's wife and
three children but no sign of Mike, Jed sinks deeper into an alcoholic haze.
Then a witness claims to have seen Mike at the site after the explosion. Jed's
new purpose in life is to find Mike and clear him of the murder charges
hanging over him, but he must first outwit the FBI. While the basic plot is
solid, Jed's sudden decision to quit alcohol cold turkey is no more
convincing than Mike's behavior when he is finally found. God appears mainly
in the lives of the secondary characters, such as Jed's wife, Rhonda, who
discovers faith as a way to cope with the recent tragedy, or as a deus ex
machina to solve Jed's and Mike's problems. This first novel is marginally
recommended for large, comprehensive collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners
Herman's debut novel begins a series based in the small lakeside town of
Baxter, near Atlanta. This first effort capably fulfills the series' promise
to create "an absorbing story with biblically satisfying solutions" based on
recurring characters. The story begins with a shocking tragedy when Mike
McConnell's houseboat inexplicably explodes and sinks right before the
neighbors' eyes, apparently killing all five members of his young family. But
the plot takes a sinister turn when evidence suggests there is a lone survivor
and the deaths may have been murder. The small town is beset with loss,
trauma, the FBI and the modern media circus, and each character from the
big-hearted county sheriff to the morally scrupulous local newspaper editor
is faced with difficult choices in the aftermath. Jed Wilson, Mike McConnell's
best friend and ardent drinking buddy, sets out on his own in search of the
truth. Jed's life has been sadly warped by guilt from a past transgression,
and his search for the truth of the mysterious explosion leads him down a path
of spiritual discovery. The novel's sermons about God's limitless grace are
nicely integrated with believable and sympathetic characters. Herman does wax
mystical when she introduces Secret Service-like guardian angels dressed in
plaid shirts and jeans, and her prose sometimes feels like a cross between
the television scripts for Touched by an Angel and Law and Order. Still, she
also spins an occasional line of real beauty, hinting at the poet that she is.
(Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Author: Kathy Herman Located in: Tyler, TX Submitted: December 10, 2001
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a first-time novelist with a five-book
contract for The Baxter Series, and I'm having a
ball at what God is doing in my life. I'm 52
years old, and have an extensive background in
the Christian retail industry. I spent five years
working in member services for the Christian
Booksellers Association, and then moved to Texas
and became the buyer/manager of a large
children's department in an award-winning
bookstore for the next ten years. That experience
opened a door to do workshops on children's
products in the U.S. and Canada. It also gave me
opportunities to write articles and feature
stories for industry trade journals and local
publications. But my product knowlege and love
for "customers" didn't stop with children's
products. And I feel as at home in a bookstore as
I do on the back cover of the books I write. I
feel as if God has been preparing me for THIS. If
someone had told me that writing novels is what I
would be doing in middle age, I'd have laughed.
But here I am.
What was your motivation behind this project? I was born with creative passion and was always
writing something, usually poetry. But when I got
serious about writing books, I assumed it would
be children's books. I sat down at my laptop and
stared at an empty screen for weeks until it
became depressing. Finally my husband suggested I
spend a month and write something--ANYTHING. That
very day I pounded out a random scene that
sounded pretty good. He said it sounded like it
should be in the middle of a novel. No way did I
want to get involved with writing novels! Too
much work: Research, character development, story
lines, for starters. But I admit I was intrigued,
so I kept typing and the words have never stopped
flowing! I don't make outlines or think really
hard about what the story will be about. Once I
write the prologue, I know what the inspirational
theme will be. The characters take it from there
and the stories begin to take form, often
exploding with action. I'm as surprised as
everyone else at what happens!
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope TESTED BY FIRE is a completely enjoyable
read. The story is suspenseful with many twists
and turns and should be a real page-turner. But
what I want people to gain from this story is a
deeper appreciation of God's saving grace, and a
boldness to share the simple message with those
who need to hear it.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Though my stories are suspenseful page-turners,
there is a strong, inspirational message in each.
They are far more than entertaining. Recurring
characters deal with the hard realities of the
21st century, but with biblically satisfying