Thursday, April 28, 2016

Meet Lisa Bergren

Lisa Bergren is a very prolific writer, both for adult and young adult readers. In recent years, her work has moved off the beaten path, crossing into the speculative genre with supernaturally gifted protagonists and even a little time travel.

Her detailed writing is probably what drew me to her books, along with the fact that they don't shy away from the messiness of life. While they aren't everyone's cup of tea, the solid writing and some of the questions she raises makes many of the books a worthwhile read.

Imagination Investigation carries:

The Begotten
The Betrayed
The Blessed
Bourne & Tributary
Season of Wonder
Season of Fire
Season of Glory

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meet Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes, much like Mary Weber, was a new author for my table last year. Her work is targeted for young adult readers (late teens) and carry a strong dystopian feel.

I wouldn't term her books a "pleasure" to read in the way I might the books of Jenny Cote or Donita K. Paul. The stories are too intense for that, both in style and content. Yet the writing is impeccable, and her strong, driving plot is certain to keep readers turning the pages late into the night.

Books found at Imagination Investigation:
A Time to Die
A Time to Speak 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meet Jenny Cote

Jenny Cote writes a series of animal adventure books for 8-12 years (although they are equally entertaining for adults). Although technically broken into two series, the book take readers through the biblical & historical stories, telling them from an animal point of view.

I greatly appreciate these books, because although they are written for 8-12 year-olds, Ms. Cote assumes her readers are smart. She doesn't talk down to them with the language she uses, but rather believes they are capable of understanding some pretty deep theological concepts and have the ability to enjoy long books. And although I enjoyed the first book, it wasn't at the top of my stacks of favorites for several reasons. But with every new book, the writing seems to become stronger, and I have fallen more and more deeply in love with these characters, and inevitably I end up recommending the series multiple times through conferences, especially for young voracious readers.

Books found at my Imagination Investigation booth:

The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud
The Dream, the Schemer, and the Robe
The Prophet, the Shepherd, and the Star
The Roman, the Twelve, and the King
The Wind, the Road, and the Way
The Fire, the Revelation, and the Fall 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meet Bryan Davis

The books of Bryan Davis are targeted for late tweens and teens. His premises tend to be a bit mind-bending (e.g. protagonists who are half human and half dragon), so they aren't for everyone. But the stories are full of action and adventure, making especially a good read for boys.

I'm not sure what attracted me the most to the books of Bryan Davis. I know that I picked up his Dragons in Our Midst series at about the same time as Donita K. Paul's DragonKeeper Chronicles, and I found them great complements to each other: Davis excelled in plot whereas Paul excelled in characters. As a result, to this day, the two series inevitably end up side-by-side on my tables, because together, they provide a wonderful read.

Books sold (currently) by Imagination Investigation:
Raising Dragons
The Candlestone
Circles of Seven
Tears of a Dragon
Eye of the Oracle
Enoch's Ghost
Last of the Nephilim
The Bones of Makaidos
Song of the Ovulum
From the Mouth of Elijah
The Seventh Door
Omega Dragon
Beyond the Reflection's Edge
Eternity's Edge
Nightmare's Edge
Masters & Slayers
Third Starlighter
Exodus Rising

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Meet Sharon Hinck

Sharon Hinck writes stories about ordinary heroes, genres spanning fantasy, women's fiction, humor, and even a cozy mystery. But no matter the genre, the plots provide plenty adventure with sympathetic characters and deep spiritual insights.

Science-fiction and fantasy can be a dark and cruel world. Yet Sharon Hinck's books carry a grace and gentleness that many books in this genre lack. And it is not because the content is a bunch of fluff either. Her stories tackle some very painful and difficult topics, while plumbing some deep spiritual questions. Yet darkness never overwhelms, keeping the stories accessible to even younger teens.

Books promoted by Imagination Investigation:
The Restorer
The Restorer's Son
The Restorer's Journey
The Deliverer
The Secret Life of Becky Miller
Renovating Becky Miller
Symphony of Secrets
Stepping into Sunlight

Friday, April 22, 2016

Meet Stephen Lawhead

Stephen Lawhead and his work will not need any introduction to voracious readers of fantasy and science-fiction. He has written a wide variety of books, ranging from pure fantasy to science-fiction, for both the Christian and secular markets. But he is best known for his mixture of legend and history, written with a literary edge.

Personally, I have never read his Pendragon Cycle, for which he is most famous for, largely because I am not a fan of Arthurian legend. But I have read other works of his over the years. While some of his books push the edges of content in a variety of ways, he doesn't seem to overstep in any the most important ways, and I appreciate his intricate prose, which amazingly does not bog down the plot, like so many literary-styled books, but actually enhances the vividness of the stories.

Books carried by Imagination Investigation:
The Skin Map
The Bone House
The Spirit Well
The Shadow Lamp
The Fatal Tree

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Meet Matt Mikalatos

The books by Matt Mikalatos fall into the category of satire. So the humor in these books is sharp and at times scathing, making them not the easiest of reads. Nonetheless, his penetrating look at the Christian life is quite revealing.

I don't agree with everything he says in his books, but most of those disagreements circle around minor issues which don't obscure or hurt the bigger and more important messages of his books--messages which are very needed in our current culture. Indeed, the books make great discussion books, and for that reason I carry his books at my booth.

Books found at Imagination Investigation:
My Imaginary Jesus
Night of the Living Dead Christian