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Volume 26, Number 6 — June 2019

First Thriller by Critically Acclaimed Storyteller Investigates the Fine Line between Good and Evil

Local author Steven James conjures up more questions than answers

October 08, 2007

What would it take for us to do what we deem most unthinkable? What makes us really so different from the distraught mother who kills her child or the man who takes the life of his pregnant wife? What about the teen who takes the lives of professors and students he feels misunderstood by? How much do our own choices and decisions matter?

Readers will search their own souls with these questions and more after reading the first thriller, The Pawn (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3240-0, September 2007, $13.99) from Steven James, one of the nation's most innovative storytellers.

While writing a thriller represents a radical departure from the non-fiction, James is best known for, early reviews from Publishers Weekly ("a riveting thriller") and other outlets are proving that James' writing holds strong across genre lines. The Pawn is the first book in a new trilogy, The Bowers Files, where James does what he does best — tell a compelling story — one that he hopes will cause readers to ask themselves new questions.

In The Pawn, James introduces FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers, an investigator who has never met a man he couldn't catch. Until now. When he's called to Asheville, N.C. to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself in a deadly game.

Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he's about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers's instincts and training to stop this man who calls himself the Illusionist. And just when the pieces start to come together, Bowers realizes they're not quite adding up. Can he unravel the pattern and save the next victim? Or will the Illusionist win the game by taking one of his opponent's pieces? Thrilling and chilling with brisk pacing, The Pawn will hold suspense lovers in its grip until the very last page.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet. Visit for more information.

Steven James is one of the nation's most innovative storytellers. He is the author of more than 20 books and a full-time speaker, having appeared more than 1,500 times throughout North America, Europe and Asia since 1996.

Now harnessing his ability to build suspense with his vivid imagination and evocative writing, James is launching his first series of high-octane thrillers, The Bowers Files. With his first title in the series, The Pawn, James is proving that
he can cross genre lines and find critical acclaim in a new style of writing.

James has had many outlets for his creativity. He holds a Master of Arts in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University. In 1997, he became one of only 100 people in the world with this degree.

Over the past four years, James has focused on crafting nonfiction books that explore and broaden the connections of story, imagination and Christian spirituality. He has written for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Zondervan, Tyndale, InterVarsity Press, Cook and Standard. His recent books include Sailing Between the Stars and the critically acclaimed Story: Recapture the Mystery. He has been honored with six national awards for his writing and storytelling, including a nomination for an ECPA Gold Medallion Book Award. His book Story: Recapture the Mystery received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Hundreds of his articles and stories have appeared in over 80 different magazines and publications, including Writer's Digest, Guideposts for Teens, and Campus Life.

James lives and writes in Northeast Tennessee near the town of Jonesborough, the heart of the modern storytelling revival. He likes rock climbing and science fiction movies. When he's not writing or speaking, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters.

For more information about Steven James, visit

A! ExtraTopics: Literature

Author Steven James lives near Jonesborough in Northeast Tennessee.