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June 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson — Can a woman whose life has been damaged by addiction trust her heart to a man in recovery? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — Horse rescue farmer Ashley helps Ben start an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm. When they consider a relationship together, her bitter experience with her opioid addict brother reins in any hope for a future with Ben, who is five years in recovery from alcoholism. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Risking Love by Toni Shiloh — Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

General:

Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith — When Bailey sets out to rescue her lost friend in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain, she discovers more about the Land—and herself—than she bargained for. (General from Edenbrooke Press)

Six Houses Down by Kari Rimbey — Two days after Sharon Webster’s distant husband returns for a surprise visit, their autistic son slips out of the house and is lost in historic Washington D. C. As they search for their boy, Sharon is forced to rely on the husband she believes no longer loves her. An elderly black couple down the street seems to understand her unspoken hurts. Has God sent them to help her find trust again? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Historical:

In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger — Beset by doubts and jealousy about prophecies spoken over her brother Yeshua, Hannah struggles to see the truth before her eyes until it is too late…or is it? (Historical from Carpenter’s Son Publishing)

Historical Romance:

This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller — An adventure-seeking wilderness girl and an ex-cavalryman looking to settle down fall in love while caring for a wounded Indian child that shows up in his barn. Will their differences keep them apart or become their greatest strengths? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. Adventure indeed follows two competing journalists, one of whom carries the cameo while looking to expose a smuggler, a trouser-wearing frontierswoman and a reverend who are on a mission to ransom the cameo from a manipulative brothel owner, two Pinkertons who are charged with the care of the cameo but must rely on one another when the cameo is once again stolen, and a young woman who doubts the cameo can help her when a handsome Scottish library administrator ruins her dream of overseeing the new Carnegie Library children’s department and keeps a social chasm between himself and her father. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier — Carly Blair from Baltimore buys a train ticket to Kansas where she will become the wife of a man she’s never met. She must leave Baltimore to escape the evil plans her ex-fiance has for using her artistic talents for a counterfeit operation. Rand Stafford, Kansas cattle rancher is looking after his two orphaned nieces, but knows they need a mother. He’s not interested in love since being left at the altar so he advertises for a mail-order bride, willing to do whatever it takes to give Mary Jo and Jenna a proper home and upbringing. Can Carly and Rand find love where they least expect it, or will the shadows of the past dash their hopes for the future? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky — Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Truth by Robin Caroll — Adelaide Fountaine, general manager, is enthusiastically renovating parts of the Darkwater Inn. Her intentions come to a screeching halt when a skeleton is found behind a makeshift wall—an axe beside it. As Adelaide works alongside owner Dimitri Pampalon and Detective Beau Savoie, the two men who have been pursuing her heart, she learns the eerie death has tentacles that reach deep into the seedy past of both the Darkwater Inn and the evil underground of New Orleans. The past and the present collide as the stakes are upped—not only for Adelaide’s heart, but for her very life and her father’s life as well. The threats are deadly, the coils of evil are tightening around everyone involved, and they are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin — Gabriela’s brother is missing, he’s a suspect in a murder, and she’s in the cross hairs of a criminal organization. The only person who can help her is the one man she can’t trust. Will Gabby & Eli find her brother before it’s too late? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills — As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission. American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel Alier, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void noticed both by Paul and by Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

The Last Chaplain by Carl M. White — At the request of Pastor John Grant, the last chaplain of the United States Senate, Lisa Smithy embarks on the adventure of a lifetime: find a former Senate staff member and convince him to reveal to a DC reporter the plot that led to Dr. Grant’s removal and the discrediting of his best friend, a United States Senator. From the South, to the West, to the Midwest, evil men are desperate to stop her, and romance surprisingly finds her. Can she bring together the former Senate staffer who knows all and the Washington reporter who can tell all, while eluding the men who would end it all? (Romantic Suspense from Austin Brothers Publishers)

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If you like period fiction and Jane Austen, you will love Linore Rose Burkard’s regency romance, Before the Season Ends.

The setting is early 1800s, the plot involves a true-hearted young woman of little means, Ariana Forsythe, who decides to marry an elderly parson because marrying someone who shares her faith is her utmost priority. Her parents whisk her off to London to live with a wealthy aunt, who sets her up in fine state for the season. She eventually meets Mr. Mornay, a disgruntled and angry young aristocrat who has determined never again to be taken in by feminine wiles or fruitless faith. But there is always more to a person than is commonly known.

A simple story, but the author so artfully and adeptly wraps it in authentic period language, style and custom, that the reader imagines herself in the scenes. The journey is well worth the obstacles that stand in the way of the main characters, who are realistic and identifiable. And wherever Miss Forsythe goes, she carries her faith with her unapologetically, giving the novel added depth.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes regency romance, especially with a faith based story.

The author employs authentic language which at times may require a look at the glossary for clarification, an aspect of regency fiction that I enjoy.

       Linore Rose Burkard

I recently came across the following quote sometimes attributed to motivational speaker Tony Robbins: “If you do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.”

The quote resonates with me, because I am preparing to launch a new book the same way I launched the previous two, yet expecting it to sell better than they did. How can I honestly expect anything different if my plan of action is the same as it was? Or if I don’t really have a plan? Obviously, I desperately need to redirect the process this time.

              photo credit to pixabay.com

If my expectations aren’t being met, if my goals go unachieved, then something has to change.

How will I go about making the necessary changes?

  1. Become aware of the problem. In other words, stop pretending it’s not there. Stop denying.
  2. Decide what I want to accomplish. What are my goals? My expectations?
  3. Decide when I want to accomplish my goals.
  4. Decide how to meet these goals. This may take a bit more effort to break down, but this might be a good time to put the SMART method into action. I was reminded of this at an InScribe WorDshop I attended in Saskatoon this spring, in a workshop led by Sally Meadows, who expanded the acronym to SMARTER:

S — Specific

M— Measurable

A— Actionable

R— Risky (discomfort can be a catalyst for growth)

T— Time-keyed

E— Exciting

R— Relevant

  1. And one more thing. I need to make myself accountable to someone, at regular intervals. I need to reassess my progress from time to time. And I need that objective viewpoint to encourage me forward.

               photo credit to pixabay.com

Even if the changes I make are small, the outcome will improve. And life is for learning.

JAN: Today, I’d like to introduce you to Sheila Webster, a gifted friend who writes and speaks and does anything else that needs to be done.

Sheila, how long have you been writing and how did you come to it?

SHEILA:  I have been writing since I was young, probably from grade one or two. The first prize I won for writing was in grade six for a fictional piece called Agerstoa. I won a whole dollar bill.

JAN:  Wow, back when there were dollar bills! Who are some of the people who most influenced your decision to write?

SHEILA:  I don’t think anyone influenced me to write; I always did it as I had a form of mutism as a child and another learning disability. It was easier to express it in writing.

JAN:  Do you have a preferred genre?

SHEILA:  I used to say my preferred genre was non-fiction, and I do the most in that. However, lately I have discovered the fantastic way fiction can convey truths more easily to some audiences.

JAN:  I certainly get that. Why do you write?

SHEILA:  Because I can’t not write.

JAN:  Ah. How and where do you write? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

SHEILA:  I probably spend more time plotting in my head, sometimes years before I write something. I can speak as a pantser sometimes but usually on topics I have crafted in my head beforehand.

JAN:  Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?

SHEILA:  My ideas have always been with me and I have had the same basic themes my whole life: tragedy, drama, obstacles, joy in minutae and others. Music, nature, emotion—these inspire me.

JAN:  How do you research and how do you know you can trust your sources?

SHEILA:  I research by asking, by trolling, by reading, by finding common denominators amongst all sources. Since the internet I trust nothing; there is a lot of opinion, false news, conspiracy theory, etc. I look at who publishes what is written and what slant is behind the publisher of the piece. Everyone has an agenda these days. I think praying for wisdom works best!

JAN:  Very helpful. What do you like most / least about writing?

SHEILA:  I love writing. I hate the idea though that everyone has a book in them. Maybe everyone’s lives could be a book at some pivotal point, but not everyone should or can write.

JAN:  What are some of the best methods of promoting your work?

SHEILA:  Word of mouth, conferences, networking, passion, not enough people write with true passion or knowledge. Too much opinion and not enough well-crafted or thought-out pieces are published. Passion will always market. I believe in natural marketing. My documentary naturally marketed itself and for those that didn’t see it, I probably didn’t target their market for internal reasons.

JAN:  What are your favorite / most effective social media?

SHEILA:  I don’t really like social media, pretty much at all. It is glutted with inane and urgent things that are not helpful in today’s unbalanced world. If I had to choose one it would be short audio clips or video. My favorite is still the radio interview.

JAN:  How do you balance professional time with personal time?

SHEILA:  I don’t … that’s honest. I still raise children and currently I work full time as an addictions worker in a detox. I probably write the way I always have—in bits and pieces, and culling the storage places of my mind for cross references. I am always trying to stay alert to what is current in media or news though to see what may be relevant.

JAN:  What are you currently reading? Do you prefer digital or print?

SHEILA:  Currently I am reading something about psychoanalysis and neuroscience and where the cross section is. I read my son’s poetry book over and over to different groups aloud and I see what a huge impact it has. John Grisham is my staple for fiction. Tolstoy. I reread some things like Desert Fathers each year and of course my Bible. James, Psalms, Isaiah, Acts and portions of the gospel are standard.

JAN:  What are some of your favorite things? What makes you unique?

SHEILA:  Everyone tells me I am unique. I just am, people say. I do things they haven’t seen others do. In teaching at detox I am my most creative because I have such a varied audience each time. I love picking up the mud of life and crafting personal impact for clients. My fav things are a couple of my good buds, laughing with them, crying with them, deepening our stories through community. I love being alone, I love wind, trees, water, sun, and fire. I like driving a decent car with tunes on and windows open. I like church but different kinds of church for different kinds of life.

JAN:  I’m glad you are uniquely you! Few people have the courage to truly be themselves. What keeps you going in your writing career?

SHEILA:  I am one of those people who has also written because I do…there are no stops or false starts. I write because that is the life God poured into me and my last piece will be a note to someone as I lay dying. I was born to write and will do so without thinking about it.

JAN:  How is your faith reflected in your writing?

SHEILA:  It is written in everything but I only write evident faith in sermons. Most of my faith is a watermark behind my writing, but it is always there if you know me.

JAN:  I like the watermark idea. What are some things you learned from your own writing?

SHEILA:  That I am not as dumb as I used to think I was, that I haven’t changed much since I was five or six years of age, that I am way more passionate about individuals than crowds, that I love more deeply than I let on, and I am way happier as an introvert than my socialized extroverted persona. Also, that no matter what my external mortal body has done or gone through, that God is written in my DNA and pours out in different ways.

JAN:  Beautiful! What is your ultimate writing goal?

SHEILA:  To release as many God stories in others as humanly possible with God’s help, before I die.

JAN:  Advice for beginning writer…

SHEILA:  Just be…and begin…

…love God and life deeply

…hold all else loosely

JAN: Thanks for the lovely interview, Sheila. All the best in your writing and all the other wild and wonderful things you are involved in!

Sheila Webster

May 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

When Love Won’t Wait by Roger E. Bruner — Laugh at Pastor Dan’s impulsive efforts to get out of the ministry and marry a woman of his own choosing by going against his domineering widowed mother’s wishes. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman — After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sing a New Song by Candee Fick — Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she? Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated–and irritated–by the newest addition to the staff. After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Pigtails and a Tool Belt by Janetta Fudge-Messmer — The Christian Romance where circumstances seem impossible. But with God – all things are possible. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner — After four years of dating Will, Cadie questions his love for her and sends him packing. Their breakup only makes Will more determined to become the man Cadie wants him to be. With the help of his work buddies and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, he devises a “foolproof” plan. What could possibly go wrong? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

General Contemporary:

Over the Waters by Deborah Raney — As “Dr. Botox” to the bored rich women of Chicago, plastic surgeon Max Jordan was shocked by the decision of his son, Joshua, to focus his medical talent on Haitian orphans. Embittered by Joshua’s death, Max searches for resolution in the very place his son called home. The selfless labor of Joshua’s coworkers stuns Max. He is particularly taken by American volunteer Valerie Austin, whose dream of a honeymoon on a tropical beach were crushed, replaced by a stint working in the impoverished orphanage. But Valerie’s view of Joshua’s sacrifice challenges everything Max has lived for. Now Max wonders if he can ever return to his “Max-a-Million” lifestyle, or if the doors to his gilded cage have finally opened. (General Contemporary from Raney Day Press)

Historical:

True Freedom by Carol Ashby — When a Roman slave rescues his master’s daughter from the kidnapping arranged by her own brother, will his sacrificial service earn the freedom and love he never dreamed possible, or will it only end in death? (Historical from Cerrillo Press)

Historical Romance:

The Daughter’s Predicament by Mary Eileen Davis — Can a patient love win her heart? As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle–always the unfavored daughter–becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Isabelle loves her sister, but with three suitors interested, will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Mail-Order Mishaps by Susan Page Davis, Linda Ford, Vickie McDonough, and Erica Vetsch — In The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis, Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne to learn that man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. But has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair’s life? In Romancing the Rancher by Linda Ford, Amelia expects a safe home for herself and her niece in Montana as mail-order bride to Zach Taggerty. Only Zach has never heard of her. In The Marriage Sham by Vickie McDonough, Texas mail-order bride Zola Bryant is a widowed newlywed. Worse, they were never truly wed because the officiant was an outlaw not a preacher. What will she do now that her life and reputation are in tatters? In The Galway Girl by Erica Vetsch, a mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid — Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth. Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways. Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Love’s Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett — When the Third Reich implements mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution, is midewife Pia Hertz’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man? Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army, despite the reason–a battle that cost his arm. After he returns to Berlin, only to discover the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Shelter Bay by Pamela S. Meyers — Adventurous bicyclist Maureen Quinn and her best friend, Preston Stevens, a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service, find love and face life-altering events on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Mystery:

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove — When a DNA kit reveals blond, blue-eyed Jessica Warren is half Cherokee, she confronts her adoptive parents and learns her birth father is in prison…for murder! Now he wants her help in exonerating him. Can Jessica trust the handsome, young Tulsa district attorney to help, or does he have an agenda of his own? (Cozy Mystery from Write Integrity Press)

Bitter Pill by Richard L. Mabry, MD — Things were going along just fine until the miracle fouled them up. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)

Latter-day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott — Kirsten Young, a well-known and rebellious Utah heiress, is found murdered in Provo Canyon. The strange markings carved into her flesh and the note written in 19th century code seem to cast a shadow on ancient Mormon laws. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned to cover the story– and it quickly grows out of control. (Historical Mystery from Moody)

Romantic Suspense:

Running Target by Elizabeth Goddard — A routine patrol turns deadly when marine deputy Bree Carrington’s boat is sunk by men carrying illegal weapons. Fleeing a barrage of bullets, she’s suddenly rescued by DEA agent Quinn Strand—her ex-boyfriend. Quinn’s return threatens more than Bree’s heart…because he’s the one the men are really after. As criminals hunt her to get to him, can Quinn and Bree take down a drug ring? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart — Allison Moore’s dad was living a secret life and left her mom in massive debt. As she scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. The pressure to rescue her mom mounts, and Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal. But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces—words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light. Ignoring those words could cost her everything…but so could embracing them. (Speculative from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Subtitle: A woman’s guide to life-changing prayer

In this excellent study on prayer, author Sheila Walsh leads the reader into a deeper understanding of communication with God. It’s more than a method; it’s a lifestyle. Our prayer life hinges on how we see God, how we think He sees us, and our level of commitment to Him. Walsh shares many interesting, funny, and sometimes poignant examples from her own life. She opens herself up in this book so readers can identify and be encouraged.

I found this to be a challenging, comforting, thought-provoking, inspiring book that I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in a deeper understanding of prayer in the life of a Christian.

Check out Sheila’s website.

 

 

I belong to a writing group that meets twice a month. It’s great to talk shop, critique the pieces members have sent out ahead of time, and discuss in a group the ideas we have concerning the submissions. We learn as much from critiquing as from submitting.

Our group holds a workshop every year, supported by the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild, of which most of us are members. This year’s guest asked what we did in and with the community to make people aware of our existence and to promote the art of writing. We were silent as we looked around the table at each other. We meet regularly, but don’t reach far beyond that. The presenter encouraged us to become more visible and active in our area.

“Let’s host a coffeehouse,” suggested one of our members. “We can each present a short reading and invite people from the area.”

The event was organized and advertised, and the people came. Not a lot, but more than just the readers and their families. A good beginning.

image credit pixabay.com

We invited a local businessman/musician to play guitar and sing for us, which added to the ambiance, and each of us read a short piece from our work. Of course, there was coffee and snacks as well. At the end of the evening, the emcee, not a member of our group, announced that this was the first “annual” writer’s workshop, and the audience applauded. Those who had never heard of us before, or didn’t know who “we” were, said they were looking forward to next year’s offering, and would bring others with them. We, as members, felt supported and positive.

Not every community needs the same kind of event, but if you are part of a writing group, it’s good to create a way others can hear about you and offer interest and support. Why not set up a short program and put the coffee on?

image credit pixabay.com

 

 

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