Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Falls Like Lightning

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Falls Like Lightning
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
Shawn Grady


Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire, Tomorrow We Die & Falls Like Lightning.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

After graduating from James Logan High School in Union City, California, Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego as a Theology undergrad. There he found clarity of direction and proceeded on to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.


When hotshot smoke jumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he's achieved what he's always wanted. But a lightning-sparked fire in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas has his team in a plane before they can even train together.

Pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to drop the crew into the heart of the forest infernos. A single mother of a mysteriously ill six-year-old, she can't imagine her life getting any more complicated.

It doesn't take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing. Silas is able to parachute to safety but soon discovers his crew can't be trusted. They're hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle from the flames--and from a more dangerous threat: his own team.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Falls Like Lightning, go HERE

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady is a fast-paced novel about a smokejumper and a pilot trying to survive against both man and nature in the Desolation Wilderness in the Sierra Nevadas. Silas Kent loves his job fighting fires, but he's still struggling with his feelings for Elle Westmore even though he left her six years ago. He's suddenly forced to face those long-buried emotions when Elle is assigned as his pilot for him and a brand new crew to jump into the wilderness to fight a fire that is beginning to rage out of control. What Silas and Elle don't know is that their crew has a completely different mission in mind, and they aren't afraid to sacrifice anyone to achieve it. Falls Like Lightning has a stunning opening line that will quickly pull readers in: Heaven banished Lucifer in one air-rending fissure. Grady's books always make me long for a sequel, not that he doesn't end his stories well, he does! I just come to care about the characters so much, I'm not ready to let them go. Grady tries to pack a bit too much into this action-packed suspense novel. Between the bad guys search for gold, Silas and Elle's past, Elle's search for her missing father, and her daughter Maddie's health issues, it seems like an awful lot of subplots to pack into less than 300 pages, and it strains imagination for every single issue to be resolved so neatly. Grady is a strong and imaginative writer who is taking Christian fiction into new lands, but I wish this novel had focused only on Silas and Elle vs the bad guys; that would have been plenty of excitement and kept the thrills coming.