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Today I am looking into the Fiction Surprise box from Christianbook.com. This box used to be a complete mystery – a grab bag of fiction titles, if you will. Recently I was browsing the website and my curiosity took over. I’ve been experimenting with box subscriptions – you can check out my unboxings for the Fresh Fiction Box and the Truly Yours subscription.

Anyway, getting back to this surprise box, I was happy to see that Christianbook.com is now giving you the details of what you can expect in this box. The box has 10 fiction titles for $9.99 plus tax and shipping.

Unboxing

The first book in the box was In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey (Contemporary Fiction). Here is the summary:

“Almost two years have passed since twelve-year-old Allie Granderson’s beloved mother, Mary, disappeared into the wild tornado winds. Her body has never been found.
Allie clings to memories of her mother, just as she clings to the broken compass she left behind, the makeshift Nativity scene in the front yard, and her best friend Zach. But even with Zach at her side, the compass on her wrist, and the Nativity right outside the window, Allie cannot help but feel lost in all the growing up that must get done.
When the Holy Mother disappears from the yard, Allie’s bewilderment is compounded by the sudden movement of her mother’s compass.
Following the needle, Allie and Zach leave the city behind and push into the inky forest on the outskirts of Mattingly. For Allie, the journey is more than a ghost hunt: she is rejoining the mother she lost—and finding herself with each step deeper into the heart of the dark wood.
Brimming with lyrical prose and unexpected discoveries, In the Heart of the Dark Wood illustrates the steep transition we all must undergo—the moment we shed our childlike selves and step into the strange territory of adulthood.”

The second book in the box was The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck (Contemporary Romance). Here is the summary:

“According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious science, as serious as Maggie takes herself. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies–for instance, why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.
Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.”

The third book in the box was Risen by Angela Hunt (Biblical Fiction Movie Novelization). Here is the summary:

“Epic in scope, yet deeply personal, this novelization offers a unique perspective on the story of the resurrection. Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down.
His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth–and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history.”

The fourth book in the box was No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens (Suspense/Mystery). Here is the summary:

“How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.
Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?
David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?”

The fifth book in the box was Stratagem by Robin Caroll (Conspiracy Thriller). Here is the summary:

“Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.”

The sixth book in the box was Paul, Apostle of Christ by Angela Hunt (Biblical Fiction Movie Novelization). Here is the summary:

“Paul, Apostle of Christ is the story of two men. Luke, as a friend and physician, risks his life every time he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul, held captive in Nero’s bleakest prison cell. Before Paul’s execution, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians.
Paul has survived so much–floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure–yet as he waits for his appointment with death, he is haunted by the shadows of his past. He wonders if he has been forgotten . . . and if he has the strength to finish well.
Two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to bequeath the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.”

The seventh book in the box was Heaven Help Helen Sloane by J.R. Lucas (Contemporary Fiction). Here is the summary:

“Helen Sloane is in for one interesting year. Written as a series of journal entries, Heaven Help Helen Sloane is refreshingly honest, poignant, and often hilarious, documenting―in Helen’s own words―the daily struggles a young Christian woman must face. Helen’s new job as a social worker keeps her busy all day in a whirlwind of case notes and court papers, and at home she’s a house group leader for Frenton-on-Sea’s New Wave Christian Fellowship. She loves her church but she struggles with faith and doubt, exposed to the religious extremes of both hyper-spiritual friends and her New Age mom. And with her busy schedule, Helen also struggles to make time for love. Still, she finds two men in her life: a handsome worship leader who might not be as godly as he seems, and a former Christian turned Bohemian bad boy. Can she keep her faith strong in the midst of a chaotic life? Jeff Lucas answers this question through the joy, tragedy, love, and heartbreak revealed in the pages of Helen Sloane’s journal.”

The eighth book in the box was Nobody’s Child by Austin Boyd (Contemporary Fiction). Here is the summary:

“Austin Boyd’s vivid writing plunges you into Appalachia with such descriptive realism that you taste the perfume of summer clover and melt into the tender heart of a young woman who would sacrifice anything for Daddy. Hearkening to the myth of Pandora’s Box, Nobody’s Child sweeps you into a world where unprecedented choices never intended by heaven lead to unintended consequences never before seen on earth. Meet… Laura Ann McGehee—Determined to honor her father’s dying request, the young West Virginia woman will do whatever it takes to save the family farm, including using the one remaining financial resource she has—her body. Sophia McQuistion—Thanks to the unusual sacrifice of a woman she has never met, she carries the child she could never conceive. Ian Stewart—In Laura’s time of need, he’s more than just a close friend. He is a source of grace, a man who loves Laura Ann through her many trials. When unusual circumstances place Sophia’s baby in Laura Ann’s care, Laura Ann is now the virgin mother of her own biological son. The media call him “Nobody’s Child.” But somebody wants him badly enough to steal him. Weaving together bioethics and faith, Nobody’s Child dramatizes a future that is already upon us with consequences we can no longer avoid.”

The ninth book in this box was Darkness Rising by Lis Wiehl (Suspense Thriller). Here is the summary:

“Dani Harris thought there wasn’t much left that could surprise her after serving as a forensic psychiatrist in East Salem. And Tommy Gunderson has faced few challenges in his life that he couldn’t overcome by either physical strength or his celebrity status.
But as they race to uncover what’s really happening behind the high walls of St. Adrian’s Academy, it becomes clear that supernatural forces have been at work here for generations. And now their focus is on making sure Dani and Tommy don’t interfere.
When the unseen becomes seen, faith is the only weapon strong enough to fight in a battle involving not just murder and betrayal—but angels and demons.”

The tenth book in this box was The Case of the Sin City Sister by Lynne Hinton (Mystery and Suspense). Here is the summary:

“Sister Eve Divine recently discovered she’s got a gift: turns out she’s a natural at private detective work. But is it a temptation or a calling? As Eve wrestles with this question, she’s taking a leave of absence from the convent, investigating a case with her PI father.
But something else troubles Eve. It’s been weeks since Eve heard from her sister, Dorisanne. And Eve’s gut tells her that something sinister has happened to her difficult sibling. There’s only one place Eve can find the answers she’s looking for: in Dorisanne’s world, under the bright lights of Sin City—Las Vegas.
Late night visits to the casino and some clever clues hidden in an address book set Eve on a trail that soon reveals that Dorisanne’s life is darker and more complicated than Eve ever expected. In the end, Eve’s ability to understand her sister—and herself—may be a matter of life and death.”

Here is the whole box.



Overall Opinion

Even though this is a surprise box, I am happy that the book titles were not a surprise. I particularly wanted to read No Less Days and that book was worth the price of the entire box. The box was under $15 which is a great price for 10 new trade paperbacks. I recommend it.

-Loraine Nunley

Unboxing and review of the Fiction Surprise box from @Christianbook for 2020 #ChristianFiction Click To Tweet

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