A Great Christmas Gift

Sweet stories of second chances from a God of second chances. The stories in this collection will warm your heart and encourage you to keep on going when all your circumstances say otherwise. No matter where you are or what you’re struggling with, these stories will touch you where you’re at. Each story stands on its own, but in total, paints a picture of a God who offers second chances, and third chances, and more. Stories include forgiveness, living out your dreams, revising your opinion of others, and finding a forever home. A sweet read. Learn more.

Donna

Inspirational Releases for December

December 2016 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

bella-natale Bella Natale! by Marianne Evans — An aspiring American artist and the widowed, Italian owner of a premier art gallery meet and fall in love in Florence when he champions her work, but there are her American family’s expectations and his five-year-old son to consider. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

with-this-kissWith this Kiss by Marianne Evans — A kiss stolen in a midnight snow. A jealous colleague at Jonathan’s firm is bent on revenge…revenge that puts Isabella’s store into legal peril. Will love be enough to see them through? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

mistletoe-daddyMistletoe Daddy by Deb Kastner — Bubbly Vivian Grainger bids on gruff Nick McKenna at Serendipity Texas’s annual Bachelors and Baskets for one reason–to help her build her hair salon; but once Nick finds out she’s pregnant, he does his best to build a path to Vivian’s heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

a-hero-for-heatherA Hero for Heather by Marion Ueckermann — When a “homeless” man she’s been helping rescues social worker Heather Blume from a vicious attack, she’s so grateful she violates one of the most important rules in her profession–she takes him home to tend his wounds. But the mysterious Paxton Rathbone is no homeless man…he’s a gentleman. When feelings grow, and Paxton’s past beckons, both he and Heather discover there’s a fine line between gratitude and love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

a-husband-for-hollyA Husband for Holly by Marion Ueckermann — Holly Blume loves decorating people’s homes, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to play house. Believing a house is not a home without a woman’s touch, Reverend Christopher Stewart is in the market for a wife. What woman would consider him marriage material, though, with an aging widowed father to look after, especially one who suffers from Alzheimer’s? Despite their differences, Holly resolves to finish her job of redesigning the Stewart home, while Christopher determines to re-form Holly’s heart. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

rocky-mountain-cowboyRocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe — Twelve years after she married another man, Rebecca Anshaw Simpson is back at Joe Gallagher’s ranch as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. Becca won’t let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. But Becca never expected she’d fall all over again for her first love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:

christmas-cookie-mysteryChristmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller — With Christmas right around the corner, Katie Chupp and The Sweet Shop get involved in a mystery when a certain dear family finds an unexpected package at their door. (Cozy Mystery from S&G Publishing)

 

Historical:

michelMichel: The Fourth Wise Man by Katheryn Maddox Haddad — This descendant of Daniel, also a wise man, sacrifices everything – his wife, his father, his home – to do what he is convinced God needs him to do, then finds out he was wrong (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)

five-nights-with-pharaohFive Nights with Pharaoh by Kristen Reed — Shortly after entering Egypt with her husband, Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s harem as his newest, most favored concubine. The breathtaking, ageless beauty is forced to cling to her faith in God as she prays for the strength to accept her new position and endures a series of mysterious plagues that can only be indicative of a wrathful deity’s divine judgment. Discover a remarkable reimagining of Sarai’s plight in Egypt, where she humbly set aside her own honor to protect the man through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Historical – Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

seven-brides-for-seven-texansSeven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Leslie Seilstad, Erica Vetsch — Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children–until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

a-pony-express-romanceA Pony Express Romance by Misty M. Beller — Pony Express rider Josiah English and the station master’s sister, Mara Reid, fall in love, but when the Express shuts down and Mara’s family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara’s life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Military Suspense:

conspiracy-of-silenceConspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig — A former Green Beret is confronted by past mistakes as he and his team battle a centuries-old plague and the terrorists bent on rewriting history. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

 

Romantic Suspense:

hazardous-holidayHazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson — Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment–and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin’s struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he’ll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi’s certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it’s really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they’ve been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

christmas-conspiracyChristmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman — When Commander Jake Marsh loses control of a hostage situation and Tessa Long is injured, guilt eats at him. He blurs the line between the professional and personal, and visits Tessa at the hospital. But when a man tries to kill her in her hospital room, Jake disregards all of the rules and regulations that have allowed him to control his world and vows to keep her safe no matter what. Trouble is, the situation brings back memories from his childhood of the loss of his entire family, and for the first time in twenty years, he fears he’s no longer in charge of his life, and knows when he’s out of control bad things happen. Very bad things. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Jodie Wolfe — Author Spotlight

I am happy to welcome author Jodie Wolfe back today as we get to know her a little better.


Please describe yourself with three words.

Faith, hope, and laughter.

 

Most people who know me would probably say that I love to laugh. I recently asked my husband what readers would want to know about me and that’s what he picked.J I’ve been through some difficult challenges in my life, but God has taught me the importance of having a heart like Proverbs 17:22 (NIV). A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

 

My faith in God is a part of who I am. It pours out into every area of my life, particularly in my writing. My desire is to share His hope and for others to see and know the hope that is only found through Jesus Christ.

 

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

One way that my husband and I keep our sanity is to set aside a day of rest each week. We attend Sunday morning services at our church and come home and eat lunch together. The rest of the day is spent relaxing. Most Sunday afternoons you’ll find me taking a short snooze on my living room couch. Whenever possible, we don’t fill up this day of the week with anything else. I find that choosing to slow down helps to refresh my mind, body, and soul.

 

What can your readers expect from you next?

I recently signed a contract for a novelette that will be coming out as part of a collection with Celebrate Lit this spring. I’m working on researching where I want to set my story as well as finding out what it’s like to have sisters. I grew up with two older brothers so I don’t have any experience in that area. My character, Esther Love is a dime novelist who finds herself desperate to save the home she loves, even if it means she has to go husband hunting to do so.

 

BIO:

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com. Jodie is the author of Hearts Tightly Knit, and her latest release, Love in the Seams came out in November.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2exeB1g

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

Website: http://www.jodiewolfe.com

 

Jodie Wolfe — Interview with Mae Stafford

Today I am happy to host author Jodie Wolfe as she interviews Mae Stafford, a character in her latest release.

 Jodie: Welcome, Mae, please tell us a little bit about you.

Mae: Thank you for allowing me to be here. Let’s see, I guess one of the most interesting things about me is that I have an identical twin sister.

Jodie: I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be or have a twin. Did you and your sister ever swap places with each other?

 

Mae: (Chuckle). Yes. We attempted several times when we were children, but we could never fool our parents.

 

Jodie: Did you ever switch places as adults?

 

Mae: I tried a few months ago to fill in for Ellie, that’s my twin, at a ranch where she was temporarily filling in as a cook.

 

Jodie: Were they able to tell the difference?

 

Mae: You could say so. My sister is gifted in cooking, me not so much.

 

Jodie: Sounds like there is more to the story. I wished we had time to have you share more about it. Where do you make your home and what do you do?

 

Mae: I’m a seamstress in Calder Springs, Texas. I recently became the sole proprietor of a dress shop.

 

Jodie: Wow! That’s exciting. If you had to narrow it down to one thing, what would you say you desire most in life?

 

Mae: A family of my own.

 

Jodie: I think it’s something many women long for. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share a little more of your story.

 

 

First page of Love in the Seams

 

Chapter One

 

October 1875, Calder Springs, Texas

 

“Will you be my new mama?”

Mae Stafford startled at the small child standing beside her elbow and nearly dropped the garment she’d been sewing. She hadn’t heard the bell chime on the door to her dress shop. Golden strands slipped free of the single plait running down the girl’s back. “Why, I…”

“Nein, mein tochter.”A towering blond man placed a hand on the pixie’s shoulder. The gruff sounds of his language were somehow soothing.  “You’ll have to excuse my daughter.” His gaze didn’t quite meet Mae’s. “Sometimes she forgets—”

“But, Papa. She’s the lady we saw a few months ago with the beautiful white dress.”

Warmth flooded Mae’s cheeks, and she cleared her throat. “You must be thinking of my twin sister, Ellie. She, uh, got married in the beginning of summer.”

“What’s a twin?” Her nose wrinkled.

“It means that both my sister and I were born at the same time. We look alike, although not all twins do.” Mae refrained from touching the child’s shoulder.

The girl leaned against Mae’s leg and stared at her face. “Do you have a husband and children?”

 

 

BIO:

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com. Jodie is the author of Hearts Tightly Knit, and her latest release, Love in the Seams came out in November.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2exeB1g

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

Website: http://www.jodiewolfe.com

 

SOMETHING’S GOTTA CHANGE FOR CHANGE TO OCCUR — WADE WEBSTER

Today I am happy to welcome author Wade Webster as he shares some thoughts on one thing most of us resist — change. Read all the way to the end as he also shares some things you might find interesting about him as a person. And, he’s offering a free book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment, so make sure to read all the way through.

The year is 2009. Many businesses are struggling. Some won’t survive. Why doesn’t Zane King notice the warning signs all around him? His kids are growing up without him in their lives.

Erosion is a gradual, often silent process. A man can drift off course in so many ways.

After the death of his father ten years ago the family business was all Zane’s now. So are the demons that come along with such a high calling. When he learns running helps to stave off the depression that haunts him Zane enters every marathon he can find.

His wife, Lindsey, has her hands full with their three kids, especially when the swine flu invades their home. Zane takes advantage of the situation to hire a young secretary he can keep after hours.

That’s the backdrop for Something’s Gotta Change, book one of the King of Kings series.

Men’s issues are seldom addressed in fiction, mostly because few men read fiction. At least they claim they don’t read fiction. Perhaps if more books were written addressing their issues there would be a higher demand for such books.

Being a novice writer I didn’t know this fact when I wrote Something’s Gotta Change. I just wrote the book that had to come out of me. I don’t know how many men will read it, but somebody needs to.

Like other books I’ve written there were bits and pieces of ideas floating around my head that didn’t seem to have a place to land. As soon as a publisher showed some interest in my mouse book, Eek’s Gifts, the plot for this book took shape on its own.

The turning point for Zane’s transformation takes place after he reads Eek’s Gifts. It’s then that he realizes what’s been missing in his life and what Lindsey found after their wedding; a saving grace relationship with God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Christian writers have the most natural means of offering transformation than any other sector of writers. Jesus was always changing people’s lives when He walked this earth. That power didn’t leave when He left this planet. His Spirit still remains to continue that process.

The background and circumstances will change with each story, but the method remains simple. Bring the main character to the point of hopelessness so they find the only true source of hope and grace.

Rock bottom is where most people finally look up, especially as adults. Too many writers are too kind to their characters. Real life isn’t as relenting. Writers need to search their own souls to discover the demons that attack us all.

It’s only then that we can show those demons attacking our characters to shape them into what will be agents of change. That’s the only way change will reach the readers.

Question: What personal demons have shown themselves to you as you write?

Here are some interesting things Wade Webster has been known to say that stand out to people:

I was saved so young I don’t remember not being born again.

I never want to be considered normal. That’s why it makes sense to be a born-again Christian.

I can’t not write.

My best piece of advice to young people is: be the best you you can be.

I spend a lot of time by myself, but I’m never alone. Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me.

Always keep a piece of paper handy for those moments when inspiration strikes, even if it’s when you’re driving an 18-wheeler down an Interstate highway. (Don’t tell anybody I actually do that.)

Wade Webster is a truck driver turned writer. His writing drives people closer to God through Jesus Christ. He attended Grace Bible College sometime in the last century. He’s never run a marathon or a large corporation.

A copy of Something’s Gotta Change will be mailed to a random commenter.

Links: Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWadeWebster/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WadeWebster1

Tate Publishing buy page: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781683330851

Website/blog: http://wadewebster.com

 

Cynthia Simmons — The Story behind “Pursuing Gold”

I am excited to welcome author Cynthia Simmons today as she shares the Story behind the Story. And read all the way through for a sneak peek into her novel.

I grew up in Chattanooga surrounded by the history of the Civil War. Our family often enjoyed picnics on the battlefields and I have memories of climbing on cannons. My father became an expert on weaponry used at the time. I loved to pelt him with questions as I tried to recreate the scene of battle and the people involved.  At Chickamauga battlefield, which sits just south of Chattanooga, a small frame home sat close to the fighting.  I often wondered about the horrible things the owner must have faced. Whenever we visited the military cemetery in downtown Chattanooga, I used ponder about the people buried there. In fact when I started dating my husband, we spent a lot of time reading tombstones in old graveyards and speculating about the lives of each person.

Right out of high school, I went to nursing school and became a registered nurse. My love of history led me to research medicine and nursing in the Civil War. Later I branched into herbal medicines, which Mary Beth Roper prepared in the story. Plus I read about development of anesthesia in both the United States and England.

In school, I always hated math, and I often joke that I married an accountant so I wouldn’t have to do math. After we married, my husband, Ray, taught me bookkeeping. Just like Mary Beth, I discovered I liked it—especially if the computer did the calculations. Ray’s interest in money and finance oozed over into my head over time. While attending social events with Ray, I quizzed a banker until I learned how he thought. That helped me develop Peter Chandler’s personality.  I also got interested in ways the government printed money to prevent counterfeiting. That led to a study of counterfeit money and Confederate banking laws.

As my children grew older. I developed an interest in writing about historical people, and I started visiting Chattanooga often to research. Mom stayed with the children, and my dad visited the library with me as I poured over old records. The information I learned there formed the background for the novel. I unearthed information on Dr. Milo Smith and fell in love with the McCallie family. When I wrote about one of the McCallie’s daughters, I met a descendant and enjoyed exploring her archive.

Writing a complete novel challenged me. I took numerous classes and attended conferences, but I needed hands on help to complete Pursuing Gold. A huge thanks goes to Christina Miller and Sandra Byrd who helped me polish and perfect the story.

It’s such a thrill to see Pursuing Gold in print. I hope each of my readers enjoys the history, but most of all I hope she acquires a desire to pursue Christ, even in the darkest times.

 

Bio: Chattanooga native, Cynthia L Simmons has five children and resides in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild and directs Atlanta Christian Writers Conference. Cynthia is fond of history and has a heart for younger ladies, offering them the elegance of God’s wisdom. She hosts and produces Heart of the Matter Radio. Click here to read a scene from her novel.

What is your least favorite part of writing? I’m not a detail person, and I have to make myself look at the minutia. I’d rather someone else catch a missed comma or period.

What is your go to routine to write? I love to visualize a scene even smelling the surroundings. I might not use all that I see in my head, but that exercise prepares me to get words on paper.

What is your next book? I have a sequel to Pursuing Gold in process, and I’m also working on a story about Susannah Spurgeon, the wife of C. H. Spurgeon.

 

Pursuing Gold Blurb: The moment Peter Chandler finished college, he’s faced with operating C&R Bank alone in the midst of the Civil War. His partner suffered a heart attack, and offers only minimal direction. Mary Beth, his partner’s daughter, discovers counterfeit bills bearing the bank’s name and Peter’s forged signature. The two of them must find the culprit before the bank goes under. As they unravel the mystery, they learn to pursue gold and seek their heavenly Father.

 

website is www.clsimmons.com

twitter: CynthiaLSimmons

Facebook Radio: www.facebook.com/HrtMtr/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Chattanooga-and-the-Civil-War-320816348262218/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/heart-of-the-matter-radio

 

Scene from Pursuing Gold Ch 1

Mary Beth Roper arched her back to relieve muscles stiff from nursing and paced across the woolen rug. The sitting room, all the mahogany furniture gleaming with a new coat of wax, was ready for visitors. But none had arrived.

Maud entered holding folded papers. “You must be mightily important, miss. These here jus’ came for ya.”

“Thanks.” How she longed for companionship tonight. She broke the first seal and read silently:

Mary Beth,

Have you heard the rumor about spies approaching the city? My mother is beside herself and has decided to leave for my grandparent’s home. Since my father is gone to fight, I may not return until the war ends.

 Best Wishes,

 Emily

 

With a groan, Mary Beth opened the next one:

Dearest Mary Beth,

I hate to cause you distress right now, but I must beg your forgiveness tonight as I will not attend your tea party. My father was at the telegraph office when news of the stolen train reached the city. He believes the spies are coming here. Further, he convinced Ida’s father of the danger so she will be absent also.

I offer my deepest apology. You and your father remain in my prayers.

Jane

 

Maud turned to leave. “I be getting that tea.”

“There’s no need. I shall have no guests. Papa is so much improved I felt I could spend a few hours with friends, but this horrid war interfered.”

“There be no fightin’ here abouts, ma’am.”

Mary Beth held up the pages she’d just read to herself. “These came from my friends. Rumors of approaching spies frightened everyone No one wants to be on the streets for fear they’ll be in danger.”

“I wished I’m a never. I be hearing nothing today, not even a word of such.”

“I should be thinking of marriage and children at my age instead of all this worry. Once Papa gets well, I want to marry and have a houseful of children. But this war frightens me.”

“You be gettin’ upset. I can see that. I’d best be gettin’ that tea. Nothin’ like a warm drink ta calm ya nerves.” Maud darted out.

Mary Beth jumped as something brushed her leg. Mr. King! Her cat rubbed against her skirt with a loud purr.

Her heart pounded hard as she glared at him. “I prefer someone who talks, Mr. K.”

He tossed her a superior look and jumped onto the brocade sofa.

“I see you are more concerned about your comfort than the rumors. Maybe you are wise.” She edged onto the plush cushions beside her cat. “Perhaps we all must take comfort where we may.”

Mr. King closed his eyes as she caressed his soft fur. “You are so elegantly clothed. My dresses are threadbare—I cannot find even a small bolt of new fabric.”

“Miss Mary Beth?” Elsie, her former nanny, stepped into the room. Her plump form filled the doorway. “Mr. Peter is comin’ up the sidewalk. I thought you be wantin’ to know.”

“I appreciate the warning.” Peter. Like his father, an air of confidence surrounded him.

Elsie stepped out. Mary Beth’s pulse tapped a happier rhythm. She’d hoped her message would bring Peter right away. One could depend on him.

She stood and turned to the gilded mirror over the sofa and arranged her blonde curls. At least, she hadn’t pinned up her hair. Peter preferred the waves about her shoulders.

Elsie opened the door and gave her a covert nod. “Mr. Chandler is here.”

Peter came toward her offering a smile. “Good evening.”

She’d always thought him as handsome as his late father. Right now, she’d welcome a gentle hug like her father gave her when she was young. But she shouldn’t think such.“It’s so good to see you.”

“You look so tired. I’ve been concerned about you.”

“I despise this war, but father’s illness truly wears on my soul. Should something happen, I would be alone.”

“Not quite.” He took her hand and squeezed. “You have me. If the worst happens, we would be business partners. But I understand your father has improved.”

Did she see wistfulness in his eyes? She hoped so. What a mistake she’d made with Eddie.

She sighed deeply as she searched Peter’s face. “He is not out of danger, but much improved. I vowed to do anything and everything for him. Dr. Smith recommended several herbal preparations. I now grow the herbs and mix them myself.”

Peter’s face brightened. “I admire your persistence, and I know the strong ties you have with your father.”

She nodded, and then waved him to a chair before sitting on the sofa. “Have you heard the rumors today?”

He sat in the wing chair beside the sofa. “Mr. Riddle said something about spies.”

“A band of Union soldiers stole a train somewhere north of Atlanta, and everyone says they are coming—here.”

“Where did you hear of this?”

“Jane said her father believed the news and convinced Ida’s father.”

“Ah, Jane’s father is quite reliable. However, I should have heard from the local militia.” He leaned back as he drew down his brows. “Did you talk with either of them in person?”

She shook her head. “Each sent a written message. Jane said the news came from the telegraph office and set the city abuzz. Spies stole a train called The General.”

“The news sounds authentic.”

“Northern spies have been burning bridges nearby, but these men are supposed to be coming toward us. Do you think it safe to stay here?”

He rubbed his chin. “At this point, I cannot say for sure. This story could be another wild rumor like the ones we heard when Nashville fell. But maybe not. We need more information.”

“I long to feel safe—like the days when we played together as children. First, they draft all the young men in the city, and then we experience shortages. I’m so weary of baseless rumors about an attack.”

He gestured toward the window. “Sooner or later Union forces will target Chattanooga.”

She shut her eyes and moaned silently. They could not fight here. Must not fight here, ever. “But when the war began, the newspaper said the mountains around Chattanooga would protect us from advancing armies.”

“Whoever wrote that did not consider the steam engine. The railroad will bring the battle right to our doorstep. I feel sure the Union wants our city.”

She cringed as she pictured soldiers marching into Chattanooga. “How dreadful. Papa will not be able to travel for quite some time, and I cannot leave him alone.”

The muscles in his face tensed, but he offered no resolution.

She inhaled, trying to keep her dinner in place. Peter always told the truth, and sometimes he dumped it by the bucketful.

“I fear I alarmed you. That was not my intention, I assure you. In light of the war, we must keep praying for your father’s recovery.”

She turned away, trying to focus on her father’s improved health. Breathe. In and out, in and out.

“The war unsettles everything,”

“Sometimes, especially at night when I sit with my father, I wonder if we truly have a God who is good. Why wouldn’t he stop such suffering?

“I’m sorry you must suffer like this.”

She no longer had the energy to continue this topic. If only she had kept her uneasiness to herself, but her fears slipped out. “I believe you came to see my father.”

“Yes, I did.” He eased toward the door. With his hand on the doorknob, he turned. “But I should like to talk with you again before I leave.”

As he slipped out, she bowed her head, putting her hands to her face. What will become of me?

 

 

 

 

 

Ada Brownell — Thank God He’s Always With Us

This week we’re changing things up a little bit by focusing on reasons to be thankful, and to help us, I invited Ada Brownell to share her take on the season and this whole attitude of gratitude.

“David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing and harps, and with psalteries (stringed instruments), and with timberls (tambourines), with cymbals, and with trumpets.” 1 Chronicles 13:8KJ.

I played a French horn in a high school marching band. I can remember playing Stars and Stripes Forever with all my might while the bass drum and the snares beat out the rhythm for our feet. The piccolo, flutes, and clarinets and other woodwinds blew some bird-like notes and then the brass trumpets blasted the melody. Trombones, baritones, tuba and French horns joined in.

The French horn in our band played rhythm most of the time. We played off beats. oom Pa! Oom Pa ,  oom Papa! oom Pa, oompa  Oom PaPa! Over and over again. When you play with the band it’s easy to play with all your might, knowing you add to the orchestration, and the music, although most of what I played on the French horn couldn’t be classified as music by itself.

Even today when I go to a parade and hear a band fill the whole town with Stars and Stripes Forever, my heart thumps, chills go over me, and I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

I imagine the music in David’s day had a lot of musicians in tears as they marched behind a new cart carrying the Ark of the Covenant back toward home. Israel made the mistake of taking the ark into a bloody battle with the Philistines, and the enemy captured it.

The Israelites mourned and said, “The glory of the Lord has departed.”

The proud Philistines put the ark beside their god, Dagon, whose man-like head, arms, and body towered above a lower portion designed like a fish.

In the night, Dagon fell on his face before the Ark. They propped him back up and the next morning Dagon lay down again, and now the head and hands broke off and only a stump remained.

Tumors, sickness and death plagued the Philistines, and the sickness spread. Great destruction spread through the city no matter where they put the Ark, so they sent the Ark back to Israel, at first to Bethshemesh and then Kirjathjearim to the home of Abinadab.

That’s where it was when David decided to go get it and bring it home, and the procession began, oxen pulling the cart with the Ark. Priests and many Israelites followed behind.

David joined the band. You could hardly hear the sound of the thousands of marching feet. Oh what singing! Oh, what shouting. What joy!  Musicians blew the trumpets, strummed the stringed instruments, clanged the cymbals, and ran their fingers over the harps playing joyful songs.

I imagine those who didn’t sing or play clapped their hands. The glory of the Lord was on its way back, and joy erupted in Israel once again.

PRAYER: Lord, Thank you that your presence isn’t confined to an Ark today, but your presence fills the church as it did the Temple in Solomon’s day, and that you promised  before you ascended back into heaven you would be with us always (Matthew 28:20).

rancher-cover-1

Free book days info

Ada Brownell’s book, Peach Blossom Rancher, an Inspirational Historical Romance, will be free 11/20 to 11/24 on Amazon: A handsome young man inherits a ranch in ruin and hopes to bring it back to its former glory and also marry a beautiful young widow who is an attorney. But she takes up the case of a brilliant doctor committed to an asylum because of one seizure. Will the rancher, the attorney, and the asylum patient achieve their dreams?

Suspense, romance, humor, murder, insanity, hope, fun, wrapped in a Western you won’t forget.

http://amzn.to/2arRVgG

ada-brownell

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is the author of seven books and more than 350 articles and stories published in Christian magazines. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 

Her books: Read sample chapters on Amazon. Her Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

 

Connect with Ada at:

Facebook:

Twitter: @adabrownell

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Google https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdaBrownell/posts

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654534.Ada_Brownell

  Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement

 

Ada Brownell — Music: Something to be Thankful For

This week we’re focusing on an attitude of gratitude, and I’ve invited author Ada Brownell to share some insights with us.

“There was joy in Israel.” I Chronicles 12: 40b

When I was a child, great joy filled our house. I didn’t know at first why everyone sang and played instruments, but I liked it.

Shortly after my family moved from Kansas to Colorado and I was born, the oldest girl in our family of eight children, Marjorie, went to church with a new friend she met in high school. Marjorie accepted Jesus as Savior and one by one everybody in the house gave their lives to the Lord, including Mama and Daddy.

My oldest brother, Virgil, said the orchestra in our church was so big he thought everybody who became born again was expected to play an instrument. Virgil already knew how to play the harmonica and the guitar, and he dusted off his talents and joined the orchestra.

What singing filled our church! After being scattered across the earth for nearly 2,000 years, Jews returned to Palestine and were becoming a nation again. This was a sign of Christ’ soon return. We sang, “Oh, our Lord is coming back to earth again!” and many other joyous songs about Jesus and His Coming.

In 1 Chronicles joy filled Israel. Samuel, at God’s command, anointed David king. But Saul, whom God rejected, tried to kill David so he had to hide. Now Saul was no longer a threat. “All these men of war that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king” (1 Chronicles 12:38 KJ).

Israel threw a feast and prepared for celebration. How would they celebrate? With rejoicing, music and singing!  A whole nation turned from sin and praised God.

Do you have something to be thankful for? Do you live expecting God to do great things? Rejoice! That’s what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians. Rejoice and make music in your hearts to the Lord. Even when he had trouble, David wrote, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord” (Psalm 27:6).

Prayer:

Lord, I know my joy doesn’t depend on other people or circumstances. Your Word says ‘’the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Like David, I will sing of your mercies forever!”

PEACH BLOSSOM RANCHER: SUMMARY

What do peaches, an asylum, and dead bodies have to do with inspirational romance?

According to Author Ada Nicholson Brownell, they’re as important to her seventh book, Peach Blossom Rancher, as baking powder to a cake.

“Baking powder might not taste so great by itself, but it adds the chemical balance necessary to make baked goods great,” she explained.

To write this historical romance the author drew from her experiences growing up in Fruita, Colo., near peach country, and from her years as a journalist covering the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

Although the fictional asylum is in Boston, the author says you wouldn’t believe the types of diagnoses that could get you committed in the early 1900s. She took the information from historical lists compiled by the Colorado Board of Lunacy Commissioners on the supposed cause of insanity of those held in 1899 to 1910, when asylums were young. Many of those conditions are revealed in the novel.

The leading man, rancher John Lincoln Parks, yearns for a wife to help rebuild the ranch and eyes Valerie MacDougal, a young widow who homesteaded, but also is an attorney. One of those she hopes to be released is a doctor who had one seizure in a public arena.

Will the doctor ever be released from the asylum? Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor he constantly fusses with? This neighbor has a Peeping Tom whose bootprints are like the person’s who dumped a body in John’s barn. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?

Get e-book or paperback on Amazon now at http://amzn.to/2arRVgG

rancher-cover-1

Free book days info

Ada Brownell’s book, Peach Blossom Rancher, an Inspirational Historical Romance, will be free 11/20 to 11/24 on Amazon: A handsome young man inherits a ranch in ruin and hopes to bring it back to its former glory and also marry a beautiful young widow who is an attorney. But she takes up the case of a brilliant doctor committed to an asylum because of one seizure. Will the rancher, the attorney, and the asylum patient achieve their dreams?

Suspense, romance, humor, murder, insanity, hope, fun, wrapped in a Western you won’t forget.

http://amzn.to/2arRVgG

ada-brownell

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is the author of seven books and more than 350 articles and stories published in Christian magazines. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her books: Read sample chapters on Amazon. Her Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

 

Connect with Ada at:

Facebook:

Twitter: @adabrownell

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Google https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdaBrownell/posts

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654534.Ada_Brownell

  Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement

Her books: Read sample chapters on Amazon. Her Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell

 

Connect with Ada at:

Facebook:

Twitter: @adabrownell

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

Google https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdaBrownell/posts

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1654534.Ada_Brownell

  Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement

November New Releases

November 2016 New Releases

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

Biblical:

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory — In a deadly race to save her son, a young slave woman dares defy the most powerful man in the world. (Biblical from Barbour Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

Crazy Woman Christmas by Renee Blare — A quiet cowboy whisks Bianca to his ranch to ride out the Christmas blizzard where she discovers life is cold but also beautiful in the “Cowboy” state. (Contemporary Romance from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

Other Than a Halo by Valerie Comer — Even though she’s a new woman in Christ, single mom Bren Haddock was no angel as a teen. Now managing the Hiller Farm for a CSA, life is good until a friend offers to enter her daughter into the Little Miss Snowflake Pageant. Old insecurities flare when she meets the intriguing head of marketing the pageant. Rob Santoro isn’t so sure about handling the pageant portfolio until he meets Bren. Soon he’s fallen for her and her two kids. When a Thanksgiving adventure goes awry, he’s left wondering how to love a woman who refuses to be loved. What will it take for Bren to retire her tarnished halo and move into the future God has for her? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Do You Know What I Know? by Becky Melby — What if a phone call from the obstetrician’s office went to the wrong person? Elizabeth Schmidt can’t figure out why her husband doesn’t seem excited about the news she’s sure he heard. Is he unhappy? Or is James cheating on her? Pastor Jay Davidson is in shock. Bethany Schmidt, the woman he’s in love with, is pregnant. Should he walk away, or is God asking him to play the part of Joseph in real life and not just in the church Christmas program? Bethany can’t figure out why Jay is acting so weird. Has he figured out one of the two secrets she’s keeping until after Christmas? Can a ponytailed itinerant carpenter with a pet chicken help unravel the confusion? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart by Candice Sue Patterson — Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers to aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay — After a whirlwind romance and marriage, Emily Price returns home to Italy with her new husband and learns that life at its richest is only found when she accepts its chaotic beauty. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Contemporary Women’s Fiction:

Forgiveness by Marianne Evans — Country music bad boy, Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up-and-comer, Pyper Brock and instantly sparks ignite. Despite her rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation and soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. No way will Pyper repeat the mistake of trusting a man whose done battle with the bottle. Can a sin-damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness? (Women’s Fiction from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical:

Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson — As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path. (Historical from Waterfall Press)

Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert — Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan — On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Historical Romance:

The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Gina Welborn, and Becca Whitham — Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley — In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace until she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancé. Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart. (Historical Romance from Sourcebooks)

Mail Order Mommy by Christine Johnson — Nursing a broken heart, Amanda Porter had answered a frontier mail-order bride ad placed by Garrett Decker’s children—only to find the groom-to-be didn’t want a wife. But his adorable children are determined she’ll be their mother by Christmas… His wife’s betrayal and tragic death demolished Garrett’s life. Now he can’t even look at another woman, let alone marry Amanda, who resembles his first love. But with his daughter convinced Amanda is the perfect mother, will Garrett realize she’s also his perfect match? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Hope’s Design by Dawn Kinzer — An independent city girl aspiring to be a fashion designer falls for a stubborn artist from the country who wants to keep his talent a secret. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Brides of Wyoming by S. Dionne Moore — Roam the Wyoming range alongside three couples who meet under danger from bands of outlaws. Renee escapes a gang of outlaws and lands in the arms of a sheepherder. Olivia’s sleuthing upturns secrets key to solving the murder of a reluctant rancher’s father. Maira is trying to keep her ranch running alone when a drifting cowboy offers a hand. Can love develop where suspicion and greed roam the range? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Negotiated Marriage by Christina Rich — When the railroad pushes to buy her land, orphaned Cameron Sims will do anything to keep the only home she and her sisters have ever known. Even if she must marry a stranger. Duncan Murray doesn’t want a wife. He wants Sims Creek, a sanctuary that can help him forget a troubled childhood. But his reluctant, and captivating, bride-to-be is key to making his dreams a reality. And despite their business arrangement, Camy and Duncan might be signing on the dotted line for true love… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love in the Seams by Jodie Wolfe — A little girl on a quest for a new mama has the local seamstress in her sights. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell — On the run from a hit man, Patricia Campbell is unaware of the FBI’s search for her to learn what information she might hold, so she continues to hide out. Then she meets a persistent computer technician, a charming philanthropist, and a handsome, wealthy businessman who wants to marry her. But her fears resurface, and she wonders if she can trust any of them. Can she survive long enough to find peace…and perfect love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Counter Point by Marji Laine — Her dad’s gone, her diner’s closing, and her car’s in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose … except her life. And a madman, bent on revenge, is determined to take that, as well. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)

Speculative:

The Flaming Sword by Heather L.L. FitzGerald — When evil joins forces in the Tethered World, Sadie Larcen must risk all to protect the Flaming Sword and her family…even if it takes her life. (Speculative Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)

Amber Stockton — Author Spotlight

I am thrilled to welcome Amber back again today. And read all the way through — she’s giving away a free copy of her book!

Here she answers three tough questions for us:

  1. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I’d be a bald eagle. The primary reason is they are one of the few mammals which mate for life. They only seek another mate if they lose their first. I don’t believe in the idea that if you don’t like the person you chose to marry, you just divorce them and find someone new. Now, of course there are mitigating circumstances such as abuse of any kind and infidelity, but far too many people today don’t take commitment seriously, and they allow the simplest little thing to send them packing, when what they should have done is fought harder for the success of their marriage.

Another reason I love the eagle is when there is a storm, the majority of the animals nearby will hunker down and find a way to endure the storm. They will either stand in the rain until it passes, or they will attempt to find shelter and wait it out. An eagle, however, will fly directly *into* the storm, braving the winds and rain with the goal of reaching the area above the storm where the skies are blue and the weather is beautiful and clear.

Every one of us faces storms in our lives. It’s a fact of life, and storms can’t be avoided. How we respond to those storms is critical to the levels of success we achieve. I look to the eagle for inspiration and have used it as an icon for my business at home.

 

  1. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

Honestly? I think about all the distracted drivers out there who have gotten behind the wheel of a two-thousand-pound vehicle and are either focused on something else or driving completely unaware of any other drivers on the road with them. See, I tend to be a talking driver as it helps me release the stress other drivers cause me when they’re not driving defensively and not taking other drivers into consideration. I know they can’t hear me, but that’s okay. It makes me feel better voicing my frustrations so I don’t succumb to road rage. If you ride along with me, though, you probably don’t want to be eating or drinking anything because you never know what zany things might come out of my mouth. *grins*

One of my biggest pet peeves is those who drive far below the posted speed limit. I grew up on the East Coast, and there, the speed limit is actually seen as the actual speed you’re supposed to drive on that road, not the limit. So, when drivers are going 15-20 miles below the posted speed, I get antsy and do everything I can to get around them. It’s times like these when I’m so glad to have my iPod handy and playing my favorite tunes. Music truly does “soothe the savage beast.”

 

  1. Tell me about your ideal reader.

I have encountered a handful of these along my writing journey. Each one of them comes from a different walk of life, and even a completely different background, growing up in a different state altogether. But one thing they all have in common is loving my books so much they tell everyone they know about them and recommend my books all the time. Not only do they purchase every book I’ve ever written, but they buy additional copies as gifts for family members and friends they know would also love my stories. Whenever someone asks them who their favorite author is, my name ends up being somewhere in the mix.

Another aspect I love about these readers is they take the time to write a short note to me, whether via email, comments on my blog, a handwritten card or letter, or interacting with me on social media. I get the opportunity to learn more about them and hear what they loved or didn’t love about my books. This is always great, as I am able to know what works and doesn’t work so I can improve with my next book.

Finally, I can almost always count on these readers to write reviews of my books and post them on GoodReads, or retail web sites which sell my books, and even share their reviews online in various sources or post on social media with a mention of my book. I, in turn, offer free copies of my books as gratitude, or I include them when I’m brainstorming something for a new novel, and I have even named characters after them in some of my books. Sometimes, I’ve even sent small little thank-you gifts to them. I can’t do that all the time, but I do what I can to show them how much they’re appreciated.

An author is nothing and can go nowhere without readers, so we greatly need you in order to continue doing what we love and sharing our books with you. My ideal readers keep me going!

** Don’t forget! I’m giving away a FREE copy of my latest release, Blue Ribbon Brides. Check out the post from Tuesday for your chance to win. Thank you for hanging out with me this week.

tiff_headshot_lowres

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having a very active imagination and cited with talking entirely too much. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who works in the wellness industry, helping others become their best from the inside out.

She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one girl and one boy, and a Retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold twenty (20) books so far and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn or at her web site: www.amberstockton.com.