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New Christian Books

November 2017 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Rooted in Love by Valerie Comer — A divorcé with a set of rambunctious twins falls for the boys’ daycare administrator, but does he deserve another chance at love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Prescription for Romance by June Foster — Though history teacher Scott Townsend made a commitment to the Lord as a teen, he can’t relinquish his bitterness toward his younger brother after he squanders their parents’ money. When a beautiful, young pharmacist seeks affirmation in a way that challenges Scott’s values, he must uphold his Christian upbringing. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romance [Winged Publication])

Believing in Tomorrow by Kimberly Rae Jordan — Sammi struggles to accept the consequences for her actions and to live with her new reality—unwed mother instead of wife and then mother. Though it eats at her soul, she feels that the judgment she faces is her lot to bear. Can Levi get Sammi to see that their child deserves better? Or will she lose everything she’s dreamed of for her tomorrow because she can’t accept that forgiveness is hers for the taking? (Contemporary Romance, ACFW QIP)

Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner — Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Historical:

The Legacy by Carol Ashby — A father’s martyrdom makes his son and daughter hunger for revenge on their brother who betrayed him and the people who led him to faith until God answers their father’s final prayer in unexpected ways. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)



Jerusalem Rising by Barbara M. Britton — When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit,God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David. Nehemiah challenges the people of God to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Will her father, who rules a half-district of Jerusalem, be forgotten forever? Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same stones they hope to construct? (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical Mystery:

Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering — Amateur sleuth Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline travel to Scotland for the 1935 British Open, but instead of a relaxing holiday, they find murder, mystery, and international intrigue. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Waiting for His Return by Carrie Turansky — The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover the battles near Union occupied Nashville. (Historical Mystery from Flowing Stream Books)

Historical Romance:
The Virtuous Viscount by Susan M. Baganz — Lord Remington falls for a woman he rescues and recovers in his home, but can Miss Storm trust his virtue when he risks his reputation to unbeknownst to her, saves her life. (Historical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])


Lord Phillip’s Folly by Susan M. Baganz — Lord Westcombe finds himself falling in love with his unexpected wife and having to rescue her from the devices of the Black Diamond with the help of his friends and newfound faith. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Regency Brides Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch — Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England…Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love…. Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago. Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism. Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans. Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret. Esther is empowered to choose between two men. Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash. Jamie and William face a daunting London season together. Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas — Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. Larkin Heyward’s life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more–maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company. Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Legal Thriller:

Guilty Blood by Rick Acker — A desperate mother tries to prove her son’s innocence, but shadowy forces want to keep him in jail–and kill him there. (Legal Thriller from Waterfall Press)

Romantic Suspense:

An Unexpected Legacy by Amy R. Anguish — When Chad Manning introduces himself to Jessica Garcia at her favorite smoothie shop, it’s like he stepped out of one of her romance novels. But as she tentatively walks into a relationship with this man of her dreams, secrets from their past threaten to shatter their already fragile bond. Chad and Jessica must struggle to figure out if their relationship has a chance or if there is nothing between them but a love of smoothies. (Romantic Suspense from Tulpen Publishing)

Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey — Undercover Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn’s convinced Danielle Segovia is really a wanted criminal—until she’s nearly kidnapped right in front of him. Now Colter must keep her out of the clutches of the notorious drug cartel leader whose traitor sister is a dead ringer for Danielle. The drug czar wants the drugs he thinks the pretty shop owner stole from him. And with the younger brother Danielle is raising dragged into the crosshairs, Colt has to find a way to protect them both. But a showdown at Christmas—with Danielle as bait—may be the only way to make sure they all survive the holidays. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright — Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Speculative:

Awakened by Morgan L. Busse — The monster has awakened. After her escape from the Tower and from her father’s experiments, Kat Bloodmayne wakes up to discover the dark power inside of her has grown stronger. Now more than ever she needs to find the doctor who holds the key to healing her, but the only one who can help her find him is Stephen Grey, the very man who betrayed her. Stephen Grey cannot change the past or what he did to Kat, but he will do everything he can to help her now. But will Kat let him? Or will his transgression be too much to overcome? Time races against them as they travel with sky pirates through harrowing storms and across the war-torn country of Austrium in search of the doctor who can cure Kat. But can he cure what is broken inside of her? Or will the monster inside of Kat consume her soul? (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

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Not Another Rant!

Oh good. A fifth Tuesday means I get to write a “random” blog. That usually means, unfortunately for my readers, a rant from me.

Today’s topic: The Joys of Technology…or not.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the advantages I receive from internet and email access. I love the almost instant connections, the ability to submit articles online, to schedule and post my own blogs, to research for a new book.

But, it’s the tech-failures that drive me to semi-controlled rage. Picture my hands shaking, my stomach in knots, me biting my lip, occasional racing of my heart.

We recently changed internet providers. It was not our choice. One company bought out the other, and we decided to tag along. All went fairly well until last week when we stopped receiving emails through our “local” provider. I called them, and a young man spent some time on the phone with me trying to fix the problem. At one point, he had me change a setting for another of my emails, and my original problem seemed to be solved. However, the result included failure with my other email address. He informed me that since that email address was not through their email provider, he couldn’t fix it. (Couldn’t or wouldn’t, I wondered.)

I didn’t want to spend another afternoon on the phone, but today when I saw my second email had 15 messages waiting, but none of them showed up in my inbox, and I couldn’t send emails from any account, I called again. This time, a nice woman looked into it with me and suggested I go to Apple Care. (I’ve always used Apple products and love them, except the price.) She even helped me find the phone number.

When I connected with the young woman at Apple Care, she said, “Don’t worry. I will help you fix this.” Desperate as I was, I believed her, and she came through. After forty minutes on the phone and screen sharing, she had me up and running on all accounts. I kept telling myself as the minutes ticked by while we waited for my old MacBook to restart, that she was getting paid well for her time.

When the missing emails popped up and unsent messages started sending, I exclaimed, “Bless your heart!” She liked that. I hadn’t planned to say that; it doesn’t sound very cool, but that’s what came out.

So, if you have occasional technical problems, don’t lose your faith in people. You may come up with a dud now and then, but most times, they are lovely folks who are happy to help.

 

NOTE: All three of the photos in this blog come from pixabay.com, a great place to find free photos.

JANICE: Today I’m welcoming Sally Meadows to my blog. Sally is an award-winning author and singer/songwriter. Sally, how long have you been writing and how did you come to it?

SALLY: Like many writers, I was drawn to creative writing when I was young. Beyond elementary and high school, writing continued to be an integral part of my work life. From research scientist to editor to children’s entertainer to educator to administrator, I have had the autonomy to incorporate creativity through the written word into a wide range of projects. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that I started getting serious about sending submissions to anthologies and writing contests. In 2013 I took a leap of faith and left my job at an engineering firm to focus full time on writing and music.

JANICE: Who are some of the people who most influenced your decision to write?

SALLY: I had two high school teachers English teachers—Mr. Marland and Miss Kingsbury, both of whom I adored—praise my work and encourage me. I also received the Grade 13 English award. In my first year of university, I took an English course as an elective (I was a science major), and the professor told me that I produced some of the best writing he had ever seen by a first year student. These were all things that I tucked away in my heart and which eventually confirmed for me, that when the time was right, to pursue a career in writing.

JANICE: What’s your preferred genre?

SALLY: I write in a wide range of genres, including short, inspirational true-life stories, informational articles, children’s books, and songs. I have also recently started writing fictional short stories. Part of who I am as a writer is being diverse. It would be hard to say which genre I like best, because I like them all! As the Lord leads, I challenge myself to expand into genres that are new to me.

JANICE: Why do you write?

SALLY: Writing is the best way for me to communicate my thoughts and feelings. The flow of ideas from my mind/heart/soul through my hands is my most effective way to release heartache, make sense of difficult times, raise awareness about causes dear to my heart, share the gospel, and spread joy. It’s cliché but true: I write because I must.

JANICE: How and where do you write? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

SALLY: I have a computer desk that sits in our family room with my official office close by. But I usually bring my computer up to my sunny kitchen with big windows. There is something about writing in close proximity to nature that both calms and energizes me. Although I mostly write on the computer, I occasionally hand write the first draft of an article or story. Regarding the second question, I am more of a plotter when it comes to writing short stories, articles, and children’s stories. I have a really, really good idea of what I want to write already in my mind before I sit down and write. Interestingly enough, when it comes to writing songs, I would say I’m more of a pantser. Usually, a melody line comes to me first. The majority of lyrics come only after I have worked out the entire score on the piano.

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

SALLY: For the first couple of years, I focused mainly on writing autobiographical stories. I still get inspiration from my own journey, but now I tend to take only a snippet and build a fictional story from there. My kids have always inspired me. Nature inspires me. People who are on the “fringes” and have overcome odds inspire me. I wouldn’t be the writer and songwriter I am today without the profound influence of God’s own Word and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

JANICE: You are well-versed on promotion. What are some of the best methods of promoting your work?

SALLY: As long as I can flex my creative muscles when promoting, I am willing to try anything! Earlier this year I collaborated with a number of other authors in launching the “7 Days of Great Canadian Giveaways” (for more information, see https://sallymeadows.com/blog/blog/day-one-7-days-of-great-canadian-giveaways). And when I released my new single “Holy Spirit” ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL2LxARc7Kg) I had a bestselling author/illustrator design a colouring sheet as a giveaway. Both these inspired events boosted my (and the other authors’) profile. I do post quite a bit on Facebook (less often on Twitter), and I use a lot of images, usually my own photography. I also do a lot of cross-promotions. For example, my children’s picture book Beneath That Star is based on a song I wrote on my Christmas CD Red & White. But my best sales are when I do a public event—a concert or speaking engagement. This year I want to explore doing more video/live Facebook events for promotions. It’s the way to go right now in getting yourself out there.

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

SALLY: Facebook has been my go-to for promotions, although in retrospect it has been less effective on the sales end than I would have liked. Nonetheless, it has certainly raised my profile. This year I hope to explore using Pinterest more. I am very visual and I have created a lot of images. And as mentioned above, I would like to get more into video productions.

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

SALLY: Working from my home and being an empty nester, this is always tricky. When I am focused on a project, I could easily work all day and all evening. However, I am also aware of the need for balance. I usually go for two walks each day, and do my best to keep off computer (as much as possible) in the evenings and on the weekends.

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

SALLY: I still prefer print. Like my writing, there is no one genre that I am particularly drawn to, although I mostly read Christian authors. What I do read: suspense, historical romance, contemporary drama, humorous stories, short stories, non-fiction, children’s picture books, articles, and more. I recently read your (Jan’s) latest novel In A Foreign Land as well as Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt. I’m about to start Joel C. Rosenberg’s Without Warning and Jeff Goins’ Real Artists Don’t Starve. And my Bible is always close at hand. Right now I am reading through the Book of Judges.

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

SALLY: I love to do paper crafting and try out all kinds of different techniques and products. In fact, I have been exploring writing a craft book—I have a great title already picked out. I also like miniature things; and have been growing (go figure!) a collection of realistic-looking stuffed animals. Photography is definitely a passion. What makes me unique is that my interests and abilities are so diverse; the most common comment to me is “What haven’t you done?” I am always on the lookout to try something new. Challenging myself beyond my box is something I constantly aspire to do.

JANICE: What keeps you going in your writing career?

SALLY: As above: challenging myself. I am always stretching, always growing, and sometimes take on things that kind of terrify me.

JANICE: How is your faith reflected in your writing?

SALLY: I write for both the faith-based and mainstream markets. However, writing for the mainstream market is always informed by my faith.

JANICE: What are some things you learned from your own writing?

SALLY: I have learned that the learning never truly ends. I thought I was a good writer until I started writing full time. I still have LOTS to learn.

JANICE: What is your ultimate writing goal? And any advice for beginning writers?

SALLY: Like many writers, I have a lot of projects swirling around in my head, and I would love to see them all come to fruition one day. However, I am also being more prayerful about what project to focus on at any given time, and am open to discarding projects according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am ready and grateful for any doors the Lord opens. My advice (and ultimate goal) is to walk with one foot in front of the other each step of the way with eyes fixed on Jesus. He’ll get us to where you and I are to go.

Sally Meadows is a six-time national/international award-winning author and singer/songwriter. She is the author of two children’s books, The Two Trees and Beneath That Star, and has released two CDs Turn the Page and Red & White. You can connect with Sally at https://sallymeadows.com, https://facebook.com/SallyMeadowsMusic, @SallyMeadows, and sally@sallymeadows.com.

As usual with Lisa Flickinger’s books, I love the cover.

A young woman—Alda Lealand—travels with a string of donkeys from Kansas to California, and encounters many trials along the California Trail. She also meets a young bounty hunter named Cord, who helps her accomplish her goal.

The characters in Fool’s Notion are strong. Alda is as feisty as one might expect of a young woman who takes on such a challenge, and her brilliant, curly red hair seems to add exclamation to her personality. She has trouble trusting, due to past experiences, but won’t give up. Cord has his own reasons for doubting her, as well as himself. The relational advancement is intriguing, and the dialogue natural and believable, giving the reader a sense of individual character development and story progression.

I was drawn into the setting of this book: the old West, wagon trains, the law of the land, how people engaged with each other when their lives were in constant danger from men and nature. The author has done much research in order to present this story in a credible manner.

I also appreciated the use of humor for pacing and interest, with just enough romance to engage the historical romance reader.

As far as plot goes, this novel is full of unexpected twists, which make the read exciting. One never knows what the next challenge will be or where it will appear from. There are definitely some unanticipated sources of the obstacles in Alda’s path.

Throughout the novel, Alda senses the fragrance of faith, which influences her life and its direction. A great take-away value for a fascinating story.

I recommend this book to readers who appreciate a well-told story, especially one from a historical perspective with a touch of romance. Five stars from this reviewer.

For more about Lisa, check out her website.

LISA FLICKINGER

JUST IN TIME TO ORDER FOR CHRISTMAS: Secret Christmas Twins

I’m pleased to share a review of Lee Tobin McClain’s newest Love Inspired romance: Secret Christmas Twins. Release date: TODAY! October 17, 2017.

Story in a Nutshell:  Erica and her twin baby boys arrive at the Stephanidis farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania shortly before Christmas, sent by her good friend, whose grandfather owns the farm. She has no idea that her friend’s brother, Jason, has returned home to help out on the farm.

Both Erica and Jason have been wounded by life, and although they are drawn to each other, aided by the adorable twins, they have trust issues resulting from past experiences and relationships.

Just as life seems to be shaping up for Erica and Jason, a well-kept secret threatens to divide them for good.

My Reaction:  This lovely Christmas tale has all the makings of a good Christian romance: two main characters who are broken and needy, a couple of solid secondary characters who add wisdom and humor to the story, a setting complete with snow and sleigh rides, two adorable babies who win the hearts of all, spiritual struggles, and a huge secret that threatens to create disaster and prevent the two from happiness and healing.

I was captivated by the story and the characters’ efforts to overcome the obstacles between them and a fulfilling life.

I give this book 5 stars for its quality and positive impact. Readers of Christian romance will love it.

Lee Tobin McClain

Look for more from Lee Tobin McClain.

Where do our ideas come from? Best answer: everywhere.

I’m visiting with friends and someone mentions a strange circumstance that intrigues me. Or talks about a quirky character they met. Or refers to a larger-than-life experience they read about online. These are all fodder for the idea mill.

 

First lesson: Be observant. Listen. Imagine how this or that can be recreated in our writing.

 

 

Sometimes good ideas slip away on me because I’m not convinced they are novel-worthy. Can I build an entire book around a particular idea? Will it really fit into my plan without messing it up? Perfectionist tendencies show up and may need to be squelched in order to give the brain free reign to imagine the possibilities.

 

Second lesson: Cast off perfectionist tendencies. Welcome the ideas and save them for later use.

 

 

As amazing as some of the ideas are that come to me, I have a confession to make: they often take leave as quickly as they come. I have an unfortunately poor memory. I may remember having a fantastic idea, but the gist of it is gone forever.

 

Third lesson: Write. It. Down. We can’t always trust our brain to remember even the most intriguing ideas. At least I can’t.

 

 

 

 

To recap:

* Observe

* Accept

* Note

Grab those ideas and run with them. They are everywhere, but they want tending.

NOTE: This post first appeared on the InScribe Professional blogsite on August 30, 2017.

ANOTHER NOTE: All photos from pixabay.com.

 

Remember the days of Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys create-your-own-ending books? My daughters were at the perfect age for these books when they first came out, and they loved them.

The idea was to read up to a certain critical point where the heroes/heroines had a choice to make, and then choose one way or another. At each juncture in the story road, the reader had to choose which direction to follow. For the obsessive, the book could be read a number of times, choosing different endings each time until the entire book was consumed.

As a writer, I certainly have many choices to make for my characters. Better to say, they have many choices to make as I set them up. Just recently, I was writing a scene where the lost person was found, but she refused to come home. The following day I re-read the scene and changed it. The lost person did come home, but it didn’t really bring her back.

As in reading, writing and life itself, we have many choices to make all along our journey through our specific storyline. These choices can make a night or day difference in the outcome.

As a Christ-follower, I have the blessing of the Spirit of Christ living in me, and He offers guidance in His still, small voice that I can choose to listen to or not. He knows the beginning from the end and exactly how each decision will affect the outcome. But He allows me to choose. When I choose a wrong or less desirable path, I may lose out on things, but because of His mercy, God always brings me back, through the detour, onto the road He has for me.

I find it such a relief and encouragement to know that God loves me so much that no matter how often I fail Him, as His child, I am the apple of His eye and He loves me enough to bring me through to the best ending for my life. And after that, the promise of eternity with Him.

Joshua 24:15

“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

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