Bonnie S. Calhoun 

Bonnie S. Calhoun is the Founder and Publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine . She is also the Owner and Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance which is the parent organization for the magazine.

In addition to her passion for spreading the word about Christian fiction, Bonnie is also an aspiring author of action/adventure thrillers. She is represented by Terry Burns at Hartline Literary.

Introducing CherryBlossomMJ

This month I'd like to introduce one of my favorite friends and a great reviewer from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. MJ, the stage is all yours!

Margaret ChindMy name is Margaret Chind. Online, most of my friends know me as MJ, or my Internet-alter-ego CherryBlossomMJ. This September I was asked to speak for the Monroe-Walton County Friends of the Library about blogging book reviews. This came about from telling someone about the book reviews and how Christian fiction has grown by leaps and bounds and has become fabulous. I wanted to explain to the group why I (and so many other people) willingly write book reviews and post them to the Internet. I spoke on the various Christian fiction (and some nonfiction) publishers. My purpose was to open the eyes of the Friends of the Library to all the possibilities Christian fiction offers, and that this genre would be a great addition to their collections.

In August 2007, I joined the goodreads Web site ( Here you can catalog books you own, have read, or want to read. You can write reviews and even discuss books with other readers. Starting small, I made contacts and then created a blog so that I could post the pictures of my quilts as well as the book reviews I wrote. Then I started finding publishing contacts and blog tour alliances, such as CFBA (Christian Fiction Blog Alliance,, various FIRST Alliances (, and CSFF (Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour, Ultimately, my blog is all my own, and with other sites, I’m a team member of CBReviews ( and an Assistant Director for FIRST (Fiction in Rather Short Takes,

Titles I use for myself are Book Reviewer, Influencer, Endorser, and AR (Advanced Reader). Depending on the publisher and their preferences, I get galley copies or ARC (Advanced Reader Copies), as well as final press prints. The books I receive come from publishers, independent publicist organizations, and authors. (When you request a book to review, the first thing you want to do is keep the publicist happy by being courteous and timely in your replies and assignments. I have learned the value of making very good friends with publicists!

An average day for me starts with checking my Twitter ( and e-mail, followed by responding accordingly and checking links if necessary. After e-mails have died down a bit, I send the out-going mail, then settle in to read a book. During a day, even with the usual distractions, I can get through a good 200- to 300-page book and put out a review. When I finish a book, the first place I write a review is on goodreads, and then I copy it to my blog, Shoutlife profile,,, Google Books if it is available,, if it has been released (once it’s released I go back and post it), Barnes &,, and I submit it to an online magazine, Christian Bookworm Reviews, as well as e-mailing it to the author and the publicist contact I have for the particular publisher. Sometimes, I also post it on Facebook. On the rare occasion that I do not like a book, I still post a tactful critical review. Other things that can sometimes be found with my reviews are a bio blurb for the author and a short press release of the book. When available, I love to embed a trailer of the book on the page with my review to give readers another glimpse of what lies within the pages.

I find it rewarding that my reviews can reach so many people instantaneously. When someone searches a book title, usually the first ten results provide a site or two to purchase the title, the author’s Web site, and the remaining results are almost all reviews of the book. Every person who provides a review of a book gives his or her opinion. Some present a synopsis, while others describe the themes presented and lessons learned through the story. Potential readers can look anywhere to get a synopsis, and that is why, to me, the best book reviews are the ones that describe what a book is without revealing the plot. It leaves the reader curious to grab the book and find out more.

I think it is extremely important that people read and discover for themselves that Christian fiction is wonderful and provides entertainment and worship. Having reviews posted all over cyberspace allows other Christians seeking information on a particular book to find it. In addition, non-Christians have an opportunity to run across something that might intrigue them and plant a seed. Not too many years ago, Christian fiction was justifiably criticized for lack of literary merit, yet today that could not be further from the truth! Currently in Christian fiction you can find a quality narrative addressing a wide variety of topics, whether you want extremely conservative characters or beyond edgy stories that twist and turn. The creative stories that are shared from the heart of so many gifted writers really enter into a reader’s heart and soul and leave them with more than a taste of strength and faith. Not all stories are “preachy” as once thought, but something is always gained from reading Christian fiction. In today’s market, Christian fiction is a destination, not just a stop along the way in the literary journey. It provides quality reading that keeps readers coming back for more. Running the gamut of genres from suspense, romance, mystery, historical, chick lit, fantasy, science fiction, chillers, supernatural thrillers, contemporary, to even edgy fiction, there is something for every reader.

Margaret Chind and her engineer husband live just east of Atlanta, Georgia, where he does his engineer thing and she reads books—lots of books—researches genealogy, quilts, and stitches a bit of embroidery. Margaret has an AS in Nursing and a BA in Religious Studies. She believes these have prepared her for many an educated discussion. She has always been a bookaholic, and ever since entering the book review world, she has completely fallen in head-over-heels hoping never to leave her little library. In an attempt to show her family what she was up to, Margaret created Creative Madness (, where she posts pictures of her current quilt project and writes many book reviews. She thrives on Historical Fiction, but her bookshelf includes volumes of different genres.