Review of Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries

Joylene Nowell Butler has done it again – written another excellent, ‘un-put-downable’ murder mystery. Her previous two, Dead Witness and Broken but Not Dead, are what I’d call psychological thrillers. Her latest novel, the sequel to Broken but Not Dead, Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries, is more of a police procedural while still providing a suspenseful probe into complex and troubled characters. It kept me enthralled right to the last page.


I’ll be taking part in Joylene’s virtual book tour next Friday, October 28th, with a sneak peek at Mâtowak, posting a chapter excerpt here for you. I guarantee it’ll whet your appetite and have you wanting to read more!

If you’d like to follow her book tour, you’ll find a schedule of the daily posts on Joylene’s blog, here.


Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…

When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…


Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries will release on November 1st and is currently available for pre-order in eBook at the following sites:
Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C

The print copy is available for pre-order at:

author-joylene-nowell-butlerJoylene lives with her husband and their two cats, Marbles and Shasta, on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.


Book Review & Giveaway: Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak


What if there were no books written in your language? Not a single one. What if your language had no written form at all?

Most of us, especially if we are writers, take the written word for granted. Not everyone in our country can read, of course, but there are opportunities to learn, and books are always there, waiting to share their messages. Deep in the Amazon jungle, however, the remote Wilo tribe spoke a language that had never been deciphered. They lived in fear of evil spirits and witchcraft, unaware of the freedom offered by a loving God.

*OUR WITCHDOCTORS ARE TOO WEAK: The Rebirth of an Amazon Tribe is the personal story of Davey and Marie Jank, missionaries who ventured into the jungle to the village of Pakali on the Balawa River, braved snakes, alligators, hordes of gnats, and ten years of life in a mud and thatch hut to live with the Wilos. Challenged to learn their language and create a written version, Davey first had to build a relationship with them and learn the intricacies of their culture. His goal was to be able to transcribe scripture into understandable lessons of the Christian faith.

The Janks’ biography is a series of anecdotes written with humour and humility, illustrating the complexity of a primitive lifestyle mixed with the inner strength of a people anxious to discover the mystery of “God’s Talk”… the Bible.

I admit to some skepticism about how a tribe who managed to have matches to light their fires, aluminum pots for cooking, outboard motors on their dugout canoes, and store-bought clothes to wear could have remained isolated enough to miss out on other benefits of what we think of as civilization. I wonder, too, why Davey chose to wait ten years until he could use the Wilo language to create written lessons before he began sharing basics of the faith to help dispel the fear and superstition.

But despite my questions, this account of the Janks’ experiences blazes with authenticity. They write with an easy-to-read conversational style that takes us with them on a remarkable journey — an adventure of faith, sacrifice, and determination.


I’m offering a free copy of the Janks’ OUR WITCHDOCTORS ARE TOO WEAK to someone who comments on this post between now and the end of the weekend… Sunday evening, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. The winner will be determined by a random number draw.  So c’mon, say hello, and you might win yourself a good read!


UPDATE MAY 2, 2011

For those who have been captivated by Davey and Marie Jank’s story, here is a link to the video of their May 2nd interview on the television show 100 Huntley Street. (I’m not sure how long the video will be available.)


Others also reviewing on this blog tour:

Carol Benedict
Valerie Comer
Carol J. Garvin
Tana Adams
Sharon A. Lavy
Sue Harrison
Susan Panzica

Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak
Davey and Marie Jank
Monarch Books (2010)

*This book was provided for review purposes by the publisher.

EYES OF ELISHA: A Book Review and Giveaway

Author Jeanette Levellie and I made a deal. She had committed to reviewing EYES OF ELISHA for Brandilyn Collins but then discovered it wasn’t her “cup of Starbucks”. What to do? It was a dilemma solved by finding someone else who met the same criteria that had initially won her the book, and I ended up being that person:

  1. I had never read a Brandilyn Collins novel before;
  2. I agreed to review it on my blog; and
  3. I will pass it on to someone else who fits ( 1.) above.

If you’ve never read a Brandilyn Collins novel before and, after reading my review, think you’d like to read EYES OF ELISHA, please leave a comment with your name before 9:00 a.m. PST this Friday, February 12th. I’ll make the draw and post the winner’s name at noon Friday.


I’ve explained before that I don’t read a lot of Christian fiction. I’m just not into the syrup and slop that characterized my first experiences. Granted, that was decades ago and more recently I’ve found a few Christian authors whose novels I do enjoy. Brandilyn Collins has just become one of them.

From the back cover of EYES OF ALISHA I read, “The murder was ugly. The killer was sure no one saw him. Someone did.“ This didn’t sound like a typical Christian novel to me… and it isn’t.

Like many of us, Chelsea Adams is a Christian living in a secular society where violence happens and visions handed down from God are viewed with skepticism. When she experiences a victim’s last moments in a terrifying vision, Chelsea is compelled to report the murder to the police, but they have neither a body nor evidence of a crime. Using her vision as a guide, she locates the body and an investigation begins that puts more lives in jeopardy, including hers.

Brandilyn Collins manages to combine high suspense with Christian values, treating both with convincing honesty. There is no simplistic moralizing or Bible-thumping evangelizing, just faith, everyday realism, and a nerve-jangling mystery.

I’d rate this a strong four out of five and recommend it to anyone who loves an exciting story. And if you haven’t read any of Brandilyn’s novels and think you’d like to read this one, just let me know. I’ve already provided the review so if your name is drawn you get to sit back and just enjoy the read.

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Zondervan (2001)

ISBN 10: 0-310-27532-6

ISBN 13: 978-0-310-27532-9