November 2020 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Snowbound in Winterberry Falls by Ann Brodeur — Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and to seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget. Former photojournalist Jason Miller hadn’t planned on being solely responsible for saving his family business from financial ruin. He’s barely keeping the newspaper in print, his News Editor has gone AWOL during the town’s most celebrated holiday festival, and reports of missing Christmas decorations have everyone on edge. When a desperate knock at the newsroom door brings a ghost from Christmas past back into his life, can Jason make up for his prior behavior without breaking his promise to Stephanie’s father? Will Stephanie’s quest to solve the town’s Christmas caper, and uncover the truth about Jason’s disappearance, cost her everything she’s ever wanted? (Contemporary Romance from Anaiah Press)
The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson — All’s fair in love and prank wars. As a live theater actress, Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor. Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
The Calm I Seek by Christina Lourens — After the violent death of her husband, Rebecca Holmes is content leading a quiet life spending time with her sisters and niece. When her younger sister Hannah asks her to plan her wedding, Rebecca discovers her friends and family all think her life is empty. Determined to prove them wrong, Rebecca takes up salsa lessons where she meets the charismatic salsa teacher, Gabriel Rodriguez. Falling in love is the last thing Rebecca wanted to do, but she is inexplicably drawn to Gabriel. Just when she’s decided to give her heart to Gabriel, disaster strikes her family, and she is forced to confront her past actions. Can there be redemption for her and can she forgive those who betrayed her? (Contemporary Romance from Pheasant Hill Press)
His Christmas Wish by Allie Pleiter — All he wants for Christmas is a family… To make his little nephew happy, this bachelor will need help… After his nephew, Cole, is orphaned, Jake Sanders vows to give the little boy the best Christmas possible…except Jake doesn’t know the first thing about kids! So when Cole’s preschool teacher, Emma Mullins, offers to pitch in, Jake’s grateful for her guidance. But while Jake and Emma share an immediate connection, their blossoming love must first survive the secret she’s hiding… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Together for Good by Penelope Powell — Having lost her mother in a tragic accident, Laney Spence is no stranger to grief and loss. Despite this tragedy touching her life at such a young age, Laney has maintained her belief that God brings good out of even the most difficult circumstances. For her, that good came in the form of her older brother’s best friend, Matthew Jordan. Kind and compassionate, Matthew helped her grieve—and she’s been harboring a crush on him ever since. Years later, when tragedy shatters Matthew’s life, Laney is there for him the same way he’d been there for her all those years ago. But they’re not kids anymore. She’s a teacher with little life experience, and he’s a jaded divorce lawyer with a past he’d rather keep secret. Neither of them can ignore the attraction that blooms, though, leaving them both wondering—is attraction, history, and a shared faith in God enough to keep them together for good, or will circumstances beyond their control drive them apart? (Contemporary Romance from Anaiah Press)
Dangerous Deceptions by Evelyn M. Hill — Rachel Garrett has the ideal life in a small town, surrounded by people she trusts—until a stranger arrives and tells her that she is living a lie. Michael Sullivan’s claim that she’s been brainwashed can’t be right. Her life is perfect. But ever since he’s shown up, she’s had to deal with people attempting to manipulate, drug, or even kidnap her. Now Rachel must decide if she believes her closest friends…or the one man who makes her feel truly safe. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Forgiven Again by Gina Holder — Annie Staten, now known as Kathleen Phillips, has dreamed of pursuing a political career and following in her father’s footsteps. But Richard was a hated man during his tenure as governor and now his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent his daughter from winning the election. Ryan Whitestone has loved Annie since high school, but his heart is broken by the woman she has become. When the daughter she gave up for adoption comes back into her life, can he help Kathleen heal from her pain and remind her of who she used to be? Will Kathleen be able to forgive herself, put the past behind her, and find love again? The continuing story of No Greater Love. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover — Discovering buried evidence makes her a target. At a prehistoric site, forensic anthropologist Taya McGill uncovers a recently buried body days before Christmas and finds herself in a killer’s sights. Now on the run with undercover ATF agent Keegan Stryker, she must rely on him to guard her as they figure out why someone would kill to keep this murder unsolved. But can they unearth the truth before someone silences them both for good? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Uncharted Freedom by Keely Brooke Keith — Naomi McIntosh is running from her family’s oppressive expectations and the loathsome man her father has demanded she marry. Renaming herself to live incognito, she takes a housekeeping job at the Inn at Falls Creek and promises God this false identity will be her last. When shepherd James Roberts goes home to the Inn at Falls Creek for his sister’s wedding, he doesn’t expect the woman who once broke his heart to be working there. No matter how much he wants to be with Naomi again, he can’t go along with her charade, especially since he is trying to persuade his father to make him the inn’s heir. Though Naomi yearns for a future with James, if she confesses her deception to everyone, her estranged fiancé will find her. And the longer James goes without telling his family the truth about Naomi—and their growing relationship—the further he jeopardizes the inheritance. But just when their relationship looks promising, the inn proves to be a poor hiding place from Naomi’s past. (Speculative Romance, Independently Published)
Termination Zone by Adam Blumer –In the Justice Club, you’re either all in, or you’re dead. Pianist Landon Jeffers has been hiding in Georgia’s woods to keep his loved ones safe from the Justice Club, the cybercrime network seeking to control him through his brain implant. But when his means of blocking their controlling signals is compromised and he receives word that a family member may be in danger, he is forced out of hiding. Now Landon covertly works with unexpected allies including the FBI to help shut the Justice Club down from the inside. But when he is prepped during his concert tour for a high-profile hit targeting the highest levels of the US government, the stakes have never been higher. Can he and his allies thwart the Justice Club’s mission of violence in time? Even if that means placing the woman he loves in danger? The deadline is coming. And death is certain if he fails. (Techno-Thriller Suspense, Independently Published)
Soul Raging by Ronie Kendig — Leif Metcalfe is done waiting for answers and seizes control, a move that comes with a high price and a deadly risk: teaming up with the enemy. He can only hope that what he uncovers will heal the wounds he’s inflicted on those he loves. Iskra Todorova believes Leif is on a collision course with death and knows firsthand the irrevocable cost of that path to the soul. While trying to protect her daughter and intervene with Leif, Iskra is forced to set her sights on the man behind the evil organization ArC–Ciro Veratti. Torn apart by injuries and opposing views on how to handle Leif’s act of treachery, team Reaper hunts one of their own. The only thing they agree on is not stopping but starting the final battle prophesied in the Book of the Wars. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
Fortune’s Fall by Katherine Barger — While her classmates prepare for elite careers across America, Nyssa Ardelone trains for her secret job as the president’s dream interpreter. But when her mentor lies to the president about the prophecy in his latest dream, Nyssa must figure out why before the lie unravels. What she learns could destroy her own future. Fearful of a rumored rebellion, the president has launched a gas attack on Nyssa’s hometown, and her mentor lied about the dream to protect the survivors from more harm. When Nyssa learns her parents were injured in the attack, she flees with a stranger sent to steal the antidote—a stranger who claims to know her. Together, they race to deliver the cure as well as an interpretation of another prophetic dream only Nyssa can provide. But a devastating loss dulls her caution, and she learns too late that not everyone is trustworthy. To survive the president’s deadly pursuit, Nyssa must break every rule she’s ever followed, learning along the way that faith is the only thing that can save her. (Young Adult from Anaiah Press)
Today I’m happy to welcome author Cynthia L. Simmons as she shares a fascinating little piece of history regarding traffic lights.
Do you ever get frustrated with traffic? Sometimes when I sit in bumper to bumper traffic, I stew while thinking I could go faster in a horse and buggy if the way wasn’t clogged. However, roads had different issues in the past. Recently, I found a video on YouTube of a Berlin street in 1900. I was amazed to see horses, street cars, cars, and horse-drawn carriages traveling together. People also meandered between the vehicles, and everyone dodged each other at intersections. The road had no lines, and only the busiest crossroads had a policeman. I couldn’t see anyone demanding the right of way, but I wondered what might happen if a horse spooked.
That film made me wonder when they started using traffic signals. Obviously, cars got better, went faster, and car accidents became a problem. At first, governments used semaphores like those employed by the railroad. J.P. Knight installed the first gas operated red and green light outside Parliament in 1868. However, the gas leaked and exploded, killing a policeman.
In 1912 Lester Wire, a Utah policeman, developed the first electric traffic light. He had first-hand experience directing heavy traffic and believed the job too dangerous. He made a wooden box, painted it yellow, mounted it on a pole, and added red and green lights. A nearby policeman flipped a switch to change the color.
Of course, now we have road signs, traffic laws, road markings, rumble strips, and synchronized traffic signals. Now when I get stuck in traffic, I remind myself to praise God for the advantages I have today. Cars are more reliable and comfortable, and I can listen to an audiobook while waiting. Road markings make lanes clear, and I don’t have to worry about the behavior of the horse in front of me.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Uneasiness permeated Chattanooga where Mary Beth Roper grew up. Every conversation she overheard is heated, yet her banker-father was hesitant to reveal the facts. Will Tennessee secede and force them into a war? She was an adult and demanded he tell her the truth, yet she feared the angry politics she’d seen. Then she learned a rogue customer threatened their bank. Somehow, she must find a way to work with Peter Chandler, her father’s partner, even though she can’t bear to be near him. As she unraveled an impossible puzzle, she learned to value her faith.
Cynthia L. Simmons is a former homeschool mother of five and president of Christian Authors Guild where she led a writing conference for six years. Cynthia has a special place in her heart for moms and homeschool moms in the trenches. She has written historical fiction, curriculum, devotions, and nonfiction. Currently she serves as columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine, produces Heart of the Matter Radio, does ‘Cynthia Chats’ and ‘Momlife encouragement’ videos for young moms, and offers an other-centered calendar each month for her followers. For more information see her website: http://www.clsimmons.com
October 2020 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website
Harvey, the Traveling Harmonica by Becky Van Vleet — Meet Harvey, a little harmonica that likes to travel. From Grandpa to Dad to Walter, Harvey sings tunes sweeter than candy. But Harvey has competition with Buddy, the family dog, whose howling is so annoying that even the birds fly away. When Harvey accidentally falls into the rushing creek waters, losing sight of Walter, can Buddy save him? Young children will delight in this fun tale filled with colorful illustrations about a little harmonica’s adventures. (Children’s from Elk Lake Publishing)
Saving Grace by Amy R Anguish — Michelle Wilson’s one goal in life was to become a top journalist at the local paper back in her hometown of Cedar Springs, AR. But on the way to bringing that dream to reality, a life-changing wreck interrupts Michelle’s plans and adds an orphaned baby into the mix. Now, she has tough decisions ahead—did God put her in that accident to save baby Grace? And if so, why is it so hard to convince everyone else she should be the baby’s new mommy? Greg Marshall has been Michelle’s best friend his whole life. He’s thrilled she’s moving back home, but not so sure about her sudden desire to be a single mom. His feelings for her have grown through the years, but she’s never seemed to notice. Can he help Michelle with the adoption and grow their relationship at the same time? (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)
Melodies of Christmas Love by Lynnette Bonner, JoAnn Durgin, Chautona Havig, Annette M. Irby, Dawn Kinzer, Lesley Ann McDaniel, and Sylvia Stewart — Seven Contemporary Christmas Romance Novellas, each centered around a Christmas carol. The Heart of Christmas by Lynette Bonner, Love on a Mission in Millcreek by JoAnn Durgin, The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig, A Christmas Duet by Annette M. Irby, A Night Divine by Dawn Kinzer, To Hear the Angels Sing by Lesley Ann McDaniel, and Prairie Rose by Sylvia Stewart. (Contemporary Romance from Pacific Lights Publishing)
The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter — All she needs is a date for the holidays… She needs a date for a wedding. But a fiancé wasn’t part of the plan… Unwilling to attend a wedding alone, artist Lila Penry makes a deal with Sam Gibson—art lessons for his adorable niece in exchange for being her date. But their Christmas agreement becomes a nightmare when everyone thinks they’re engaged. All Lila wants is to leave town for her dream job…so what happens when Sam steals his way into her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Christmas Lights and Romance by Joi Copeland, Judy Goodman Howard, Elizabeth Ludwig, Patti Jo Moore, J. Carol Nemeth, Martha Rogers, Diane Yates — Christmas contemporary romances sure to warm your heart during the Christmas season. Romance, mystery, suspense. This collection has it all. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)
His Love Revealed by Cynthia Herron — Since childhood, Ida Mae Hoscutt, the beloved proprietress of the Come and Get It Diner, has loved Charles “Chuck” Farrow from afar. Now on the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday with no marriage proposal in sight, Ida Mae mourns past mistakes and contemplates a makeover. When a radio commercial wrenches Ida Mae’s heart, will a sudden turn of events sabotage her chance for happiness or will a long-held secret be the answer to love ever-after? As Ida Mae’s right-hand man at the Come and Get It, Chuck yearns to shift gears and start over. He’s ready to shelve bachelorhood and blunders in favor of possibilities and new beginnings. When he prepares to move forward, two things challenge his objective. One is the father who walked away and never looked back. The other? A decades-old question that only Ida Mae can answer. And Ida Mae isn’t talking. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)
Falling For the Foe by Milla Holt — She can’t stand him, and he blames her for his company’s woes. But now HIV treatment activist Nia and pharma boss Magnus have to work together to get what they want. He’s out to rescue his business, and she’s trying to save lives. Neither ever dreamed it would be their hearts on the line. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Christmas in Galway by Elizabeth Ludwig — It’s been two years since a drunk driving accident claimed the life of Elinor Walsh’s fiancé. Though she’s forged on to create a thriving design business for herself, the past still haunts her. Prompted by her friends, she finally capitulates and schedules a flight to Ireland—a trip that should have been her honeymoon. Armed with just a list her fiancé wrote and the keys to a rental car, Elinor heads to Galway, never dreaming that the people she meets there will change her life forever. Confronted with a choice—her past with an old friend or her future with a new one—will she finally be able to move beyond her grief? Or will she cut her losses, and her trip short, and miss out on the one thing she never expected? (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)
The Key To Love by Betsy St. Amant — The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she’s created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral–or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He’s definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.
Just when it seems Bri’s bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she’s kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri’s recipe just needs to be tweaked.
Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn’t always look the way we expect–and maybe that’s a good thing. (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Soft Whisper of Roses by Myra Johnson — Rebecca Townsend has only been married six months and already doubts Gary’s promise of “till death do us part.” Betrayed by her first husband, she’s trying her hardest to get it right this time. But when her new husband’s unresolved family issues resurface, she’s afraid she and her son will be abandoned once again. Just when Gary thought he’d found happiness with a woman who truly understood him, the death of his first wife blindsides him with unanticipated grief and guilt. After years of letting his career get in the way of being the husband and father he should’ve been, he must now live up to his new wife’s expectations while attempting to fit his resentful teenage daughter into the mix. But high-pressure careers don’t leave much time for stopping to smell the roses, and this family is almost out of time. A radical plan conceived by Gary’s ex-wife before her death risks tearing them all apart…or will it finally bring them together as the family God meant them to be? (Contemporary, Independently Published)
The Cedar Key by Stephenia H. McGee — Stuck in a quirky little Mississippi town, Casey’s hope for a fresh start died as soon she had to lay the grandmother she’d just met to rest. (Contemporary, Independently Published)
Setting Two Hearts Free by Janet Grunst — Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him. Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her. Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost; Setting Two Hearts Free? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
A Haven For Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason — A young woman struggles to find redemption by helping troubled women and in doing so finds love but deems herself unworthy of happiness. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
A Doctor in the House by Linda Shenton Matchett — Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Solid Ground by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey — Seven years between them, Kirby and Riley, nurtured by their pastor father and loving mother, experience almost ideal childhoods growing up in the Boston area. Then a season of misfortune culminated in the worse of all possible tragedies – the death of their beloved parents. Four years have passed. Kirby, having failed at marriage and pro-baseball, is now a Florida police detective. He finds himself in little Adairsville, Georgia along with Riley, his law school bound sister. They are there to settle their uncle’s massive estate. It is soon apparent that Uncle James’s death was no accident. But the worst of it is their names at the top of the suspect list. The siblings are embraced by spunky caretakers, Amos and Carol, whose love, wit, faith, and plain ole horse-sense bolster efforts to solve the murder and put Kirby’s life back on track. (Mystery from CrossLink Publishing)
Dangerous Deceptions by Lynnette Bonner, Luana Ehrlich, Lynne Gentry, Elizabeth Goddard, Lisa Harris, Lisa Phillips, Jan Thompson, and D.L. Wood — Lives…and hearts…are on the line in eight brand-new Christian Romantic Suspense novels from the genre’s most explosive authors. “Lethal Outbreak” by Lisa Harris & Lynne Gentry, “Collision Course” by Elizabeth Goddard, “Glimmer in the Darkness” by Robin Patchen, “Expired Plot” by Lisa Phillips, “Ice” by Lynette Bonner, “Never a Traitor” by Jan Thompson, “Ben in Love” by Luana Ehrlich, and “Liar Like Her” by D. L. Wood. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter — After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. Amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community where she retreats, Tessa uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. This leads Tessa and orchard caretaker, Zeke, on an intricate tale of danger, family intrigue, and romance. (Romantic Suspense from Kregel Publications)
Certain Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Katrina White’s garage explodes and she fears someone is out to get her. When things escalate further, Frank Davis is certain of two things—he cares a lot for Katrina and he can’t let anything happen to her. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Deadly Connection by Jennifer Pierce — Private Investigator, Reid Lucas, and his mentor, Joe Lockhart, haven’t spoken in years, but when Joe wants to meet in a small-town diner, Reid’s interest is piqued. Without explanation, Joe calls and tells Reid he has five minutes to get waitress, Quinn Matthews, and her son out of the diner before they’re kidnapped by the group of thugs about to walk through the diner’s front door. Quinn Matthews’ life is simple and safe, exactly how she likes it—until Reid Lucas walks into the diner. Now, she and her son are running for their lives, and she has no idea why. But when the father of her son shows up and dies saving them, she realizes they all have one deadly connection: Joe Lockhart. Now, she’ll have to trust the mysterious private investigator to not only save their lives but connect her past to her present so they can figure out who is after them. And why. As the danger escalates, unexpected feelings arise. Reid doesn’t believe he’s worthy of Quinn’s love–or God’s. And Quinn is too worried about having her heart broken again and the effect of having a new man in her son’s life. Can they let go of their preconceived notions of love and relationships, or are they doomed to just let go of each other? (Romantic Suspense from Anaiah Press)
Signs in the Dark by Susan Miura — Deaf, beautiful and brilliant Haylie Summers struggles to escape her kidnappers as Nathan Boliva does whatever it takes to find her, despite his role as key suspect in her abduction. (Romantic Suspense from Vinspire Publishing)
Today I’m happy to welcome author PeggySue Wells as she shares about her book, Chasing Sunrise.
Like finding treasure in each novel, I include unique places the reader probably has not visited, adventures my reader most likely has not experienced, and historical facts about our zany world that were not in our text books. When a fellow author accused this was a carry-over from being a homeschool mom, I assured her I was this way long before homeschooling.
In suspense novel, Chasing Sunrise, I take the reader scuba diving along the wall off the coast of St. Croix. While scuba diving is fairly commonplace, diving the wall is akin to plunging down an elevator shaft. The majestic formation drops some 3000 feet below the ocean surface.
With the island as the setting, I included the historic sugar mills, rum production, the seven flags that flew over St. Croix, World War II sonobuoys, sea glass, how to crack open a fresh coconut, mocho jumbies, Alexander Hamilton, and crab races.
Pivotal to the plot, our characters experience Hurricane Hugo, the category four Cape Verde tropical cyclone that decimated 95 percent of the island in 1989. International killers and the killer hurricane descend simultaneously on the island. Unable to save the life of someone he cared about earlier, will our hero’s skills be enough to protect those he loves on the island?
Native to the island, the manchineel tree is deadly to everyone except a species of land crabs. St. Croix is the only United States-owned soil where Columbus landed, and he quickly discovered the danger of the manchineel after several of his men ate the fruit and died.
Michael examined the extent of the damage. “If it’s so dangerous, why not get rid of the tree?”
“That’s just as dangerous.” Jake shook his head. “Maybe more. Standing beneath the tree during rain may cause blistering. Cutting the tree gets the poisonous sap everywhere. Burning the tree causes blindness if the smoke reaches the eyes. Inhaling the smoke blisters the nose, mouth, and respiratory system.”
“Nuisance,” Michael groused.
Discovering the tree and its parts contain strong toxins, what’s an author to do? Of course, I let our military pararescueman leverage the tree as a weapon against the unsavory bad guys.
Exploring, learning, and researching are perks of being an author. The fun is multiplied by weaving in the lesser-known history of places like St. Croix. Chasing Sunrise becomes an experience for my readers.
Watch for my new release, The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make on November 17. Preorder is available now. New website, Single Mom Circle, launches mid-October. Drop in for lots of resources and free gifts.
“Eminently quotable, PeggySue Wells is a tonic — warm like your favorite blanket, bracing like a stiff drink.”
History buff, and tropical island votary, PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Writing from the 100-Acre wood in Indiana, PeggySue is the bestselling author of 29 books, translated into eight languages, including The What To Do series, The Slave Across the Street, Slavery in the Land of the Free, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, and Chasing Sunrise. Radio talk show host, author, and speaker, PeggySue interviews industry experts, entrepreneurs, and exceptional voices to help people live better, together. Click HERE to get a free Chasing Sunrise bonus chapter: Wings for Christmas
Connect with PeggySue Wells at
Captain Michael Northington looked toward the patient’s room. The door was closed.
“There’s a VIP patient at Bethesda.” Corbin MacIntyre, the special ops commander had briefed him earlier. “Protect the room. No one is allowed access except medical staff, and they already have their orders.”
“You’re expecting an attempt on the patient’s life?”
“Monitor the floor. Apprehend anyone.”
The night watch in a hospital in the late 1980s was atypical for the parajumper accustomed to more active assignments. Establishing a runway before an invasion, rescuing a downed pilot, or descending from a hovering helicopter to a ship bucking like a bronco in a wildly choppy sea were customary fare for Michael and his four-man team. But tonight found his partner and him serving more as security guards in the upscale medical center than as trained rescue personnel. Still, orders were orders.
Now, Michael casually observed a gray-haired janitor as he lugged a wash bucket into the hospital corridor. Mop. Slosh. Wring. Mop. The overhead fluorescent lights gleamed off the man’s glasses, and his name badge swung back and forth as he swept the mop from side to side.
“Evenin’,” the custodian mumbled as he shuffled up to Michael.
As the old man swished the ammonia-smelling mop, Michael stepped away and let the man do his job. The janitor mopped his way into the room across the hall from the room occupied by the protected patient.
A thick-waisted nurse in soft-soled shoes walked toward the patient’s room. She frowned when Michael stepped in front of her and flashed her identity badge and an irritated attitude. He nodded and moved aside. She brushed past and entered the room, closing the door behind her. Suppressing a yawn, Michael checked his watch. In a couple of hours, the sun would rise and his shift would end. He anticipated a platter-sized breakfast at the twenty-four-hour diner followed by a nap.
Eager for morning and breakfast, Michael glanced out the window. A pale glow promised daybreak, and he could almost smell bacon spitting on the grill. He thought of the diner with its chrome and red vinyl seats that let him belly up to the counter. Early in the morning before the pert waitress arrived, the cook took orders and slathered the hot grill with margarine. Like a symphony conductor, the white-aproned expert simultaneously threw eggs and hash browns to sizzle, adding ladles of melt-in-your-mouth flapjack batter to the crackling, popping breakfast serenade. Michael’s stomach growled and he looked again at his watch.
The nurse came out of the room, adjusted the stethoscope around her neck, and shut the door behind her. Michael watched as she entered another room, continuing her rounds. Turning his attention back to the patient’s room, he observed the slightest movement as the door silently closed.
Jaguar-fast, Michael covered the space down the hall. He opened the door without a sound. In the darkened room, bending over the still form in the bed was the janitor. Light from the hall spilled into the room behind Michael. The janitor whirled around just as Michael lunged at him. With well-trained maneuvers Michael quickly pinned the man’s arms and muscled him into the hall.
“Send someone to collect.” Michael spoke into his radio.
The janitor struggled like a wild man, surprising Michael with his desperate fight.
“Please,” the man pleaded. “She needs water.”
“Easy, old-timer.” He gripped the man tighter.
From the stairwell, Captain Bryce Lassiter ran to meet Michael. “Okay, partner?”
“Yeah.” The man in his grip stopped struggling.
Bryce’s attention shifted to the elevator as the doors opened and four uniformed men stepped out and strode toward them. Suddenly, the janitor jerked from Michael’s hold and ran back toward the patient’s room. Michael dove and tackled the man, and the two fell hard on the clean linoleum.
“She needs me,” the man rasped.
Without a word, Michael jerked the man to his feet. The janitor’s glasses were broken from the impact and blood from his nose mingled with tears on his face as two special-forces officers roughly grabbed his arms and nearly carried him to the elevator.
“Let me care for her,” he sobbed.
As the group reached the elevator, the old man craned his neck, the tendons standing out like cords, to look back toward the patient’s room.
The look of anguish on his face twisted Michael’s gut.
“Verity,” the man wailed. “My Verity!”
The two soldiers pushed him into the elevator and the doors whispered shut.
“Back to work.” Bryce made shooing motions to the two remaining soldiers who turned toward the elevator.
“Back to my post.” Bryce clapped Michael on the back. “Call if you need me.”
He took several steps toward the stairway and then looked back. Michael stood rooted to the spot. His partner returned to his side. “What’s up? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Michael spun on his heel and strode to the patient’s room. Three paces took him to the bedside where he looked at the still form. The light was dim, but enough to see the spilled cup of water on the floor. Enough to see her.
The nurse brushed past to check on her patient, scolding everyone for the mess, and reminding them to keep quiet. In a rush of motion, two sets of strong arms grabbed Michael on either side and hauled him from the room. Too stunned to resist, Michael was unceremoniously dumped in the hallway.
One soldier closed the patient’s door and stood in front of it. “I’m sorry, sir.” He addressed Michael. “Orders are that no one goes into this room.”
Bryce pushed his nose into the man’s face. “He’s your commanding officer, you moron.”
“Sir, yes, sir.” The soldier straightened his shoulders. “Our orders are no one goes into the room. Not even my commanding officer.”
“I have to relieve you of your post.” The second soldier took a position between Michael and the room.
Staring at the closed door, Michael murmured, “No problem, soldier. I was just leaving anyway.” He turned and walked toward the stairway.
Bryce caught up. “Where we goin,’ partner?”
A soldier jogged after the two and blocked their way. “Sir, I have to escort you out, sir.”
“Knock yourself out.” Michael brushed past him.
The soldier ran and blocked the way again.
“You’re getting redundant,” Bryce said to the man.
“By way of the elevator.” The soldier spoke to Michael.
“I prefer to walk.” Michael’s hands were fists at his sides.
“I realize that, sir.” The soldier swallowed. “Orders are that we use the elevator.”
“Bloody orders.” Bryce sighed.
Michael looked at Bryce.
“I love when you do that,” Bryce said.
“Raise one eyebrow like that.”
“I can’t believe you used that word.”
The soldier cleared his throat. “Sirs, can we continue this conversation in the elevator?”
Bryce turned toward the elevator and started walking. “What word?”
Michael followed while the sweating soldier trailed behind. “My word.”
Bryce’s expression was the picture of innocence. “Your word?”
The elevator doors opened, and Michael stepped inside. Nervous and perspiring, the soldier stood to his right. The second soldier occupied the post Michael had kept near the patient’s room.
“Yeah, my word.”
Bryce remained in the hall. “Who said it’s your word?”
The elevator doors closed.
September 2020 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Until I Met You by Tari Faris — Libby Kingsley dreams of a new life and a new library for the charming small town of Heritage, MI. Things get complicated when her big ideas threaten Austin Williams’ blueprints and his plan to leave town unattached. (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
A Love Redeemed by Lisa Jordan — They agreed to help each other out. No one mentioned falling in love. Back home after losing her job, Isabella Bradley plans to stay only long enough to save her father’s diner, but she can’t do it alone. Her childhood friend Tucker Holland has the perfect solution—he will renovate the diner if she’ll be a nanny for his twins. But as Isabella and Tucker reconnect, their arrangement begins to feel a lot less temporary… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Christmas Tale for Little Women by Linda Brooks Davis — Broadview is attired for Christmas. Adelaide Fitzgerald must provide two girls a Christmas like no other. Has she thought of everything? Has she accomplished enough? What would top off this Christmas in an extraordinary way? Addie’s answer lies just the other side of Rock Creek. What will it take for her to recognize it as the Christmas topper she’s been seeking? (Historical, Independently Published)
Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee — Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena. As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming? (Historical from Tyndale House)
A Joyful Christmas by Cynthia Hickey, Liz Johnson, Vickie McDonough, Liz Tolsma, Carrie Turansky, and Erica Vetsch — A Christmas Collection to Warm the Heart Grab a warm cup of tea and watch as romance is kindled and joy is restored to broken lives during six bygone era Christmas celebrations. (Historical from Barbour Publishing)
Palmer Girl by Dawn Klinge — When insurance tycoon, Cornelius Nordeman, is recruited to work for the Exposition Corporation, the New Yorker brings his family to live at the Palmer House Hotel, far away from any reminders of a recent tragedy. He’s hopeful this move will offer respite from his family’s grief. Elizabeth Nordeman, his daughter, has something to prove, which leads her to seek work as a florist at Marshall Field’s, Chicago’s finest department store. John Lewis knows something is different and intriguing about the new florist he hired. When his boss, Marshall Field, informs him that Elizabeth is the Nordeman heiress, his job suddenly becomes more complicated–especially when he finds himself falling for her. On the eve of the Columbian Exposition of 1893, Chicago prepares to prove that it’s a first-class city, and the brightest minds from around the country will plan the most spectacular fair the world has seen. The World’s Fair will bring change and innovation into a society bound tightly by class and tradition. Elizabeth’s heart longs to push against those boundaries, so what’s holding her back? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Forsaken Island by Sharon Hinck — The people of Meriel have long believed their island world floats alone in the vast ocean universe, so they are astonished when another island drifts into view. With resources becoming scarce, Carya and Brantley quickly volunteer to search the new land for supplies. After navigating a barrier of menacing trees, the pair encounter a culture of perpetually happy people who readily share their talents and their possessions. But all is not what it seems. At the core of the island is a horror that threatens everyone, including Brantley and Carya. Freeing the villagers of the bondage they’ve chosen may cost Carya and Brantley more than they could have imagined. Even if the two succeed, they’ll have to find a way to return to Meriel quickly … or be cut off from their home forever. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)
August 2020 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
The Price of Dreams by Toni Shiloh — Ballet has always been my life, but one terrible moment may have destroyed everything I’ve worked so hard for—especially my title of Octavia Ricci, principal ballerina. I thought for sure my physical therapist, Dr. Noah Wright, could help me obtain my dream once more, but he wants more than I’m prepared to give. I’ve seen firsthand the trials of interracial relationships. I’m a product of one myself and promised I’d never put my hopefully-someday kids through that drama. Everyone keeps telling me to let go of other people’s expectations, but I’m just not sure I can. Besides, if my dreams of returning to ballet are futile, what hope is there in seeking unconditional love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Peace in the Valley by Kelly Irvin — After a devastating wildfire sweeps through her town, one young Amish woman is shown a different way to practice her faith . . . but pursuing it could cost her everything she holds dear, including the man she loves. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
The Plans We Made by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue — Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations. Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect – a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart. Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that things don’t always go according to The Plans We Made. (Women’s Fiction from White Glove)
In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan — While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression? (Historical from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Heart of a Warrior by Angela K. Couch — All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization’s embrace, survival is not a skill she’s learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail. Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother’s tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life … and his heart. (Historical Romance from Prism [Pelican Book Group])
The Shopkeeper’s Widow by Izzy James — When the love of her life returns with a load of smuggled firearms, she must discover a new way to happiness. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Dinah’s Dilemma by Linda Shenton Matchett — Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife. As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Katherine’s Arrangement by Blossom Turner — Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Meanwhile, Josiah works hard to befriend Katherine, to earn her trust and win her love. And Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to Josiah, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts? (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)
The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y’Barbo — Called to London by her great grandmother Queen Victoria, former Pinkerton agent Alice Anne von Wettin goes undercover to assist Scotland Yard in catching Jack the Ripper after working a similar case in Austin, Texas. (Suspenseful Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Accidental Target by Theresa Hall — Allison Moore can’t deny what she sees—a lifeless hand sticking out of a tarp in the back of a crashed pickup truck. Seconds later, she’s on the run with a murderer on her heels. Nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted…except police sergeant Jackson Archer. But with someone set on silencing her, can Jackson keep his promise of protection? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Minutes to Die by Susan Sleeman — It’s the intel every agent fears—terrorists have been smuggled into the country intent on unleashing the most deadly attack since 9/11. With the threat imminent, FBI Agent Kiley Dawson and ICE Agent Evan Bowers are charged with taking down this terrorist cell. Only problem is, Kiley blames Evan for the death of her former partner, and she can barely be in a room with him. But with millions of lives on the line, she has no choice. If it wasn’t for a bad call Evan made, Kiley’s former partner would still be alive, and Evan has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life. When he starts falling for her, the agent’s death seems an impossible obstacle—but it’s also the last thing he needs to think about. As the terrorist plot veers toward targeting Kiley’s family, the two are pushed to the breaking point in a race to save countless lives. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
Kokopelli’s Song by Suzanne J Bratcher — Seventeen-year-old twins Amy Adams and Mahu Sekatewa team up with Mahu’s friend Diego James to stop ancient evil from tipping our universe into chaos. (Speculative from Scrivenings Press)
Rose in the Desert by K.M. Daughters — Anna Babic Robbins, dubbed “The Rose Of The Adriatic” by pilgrims to her village, leaves her home bound for America. She is to deliver secrets concerning the fate of the world to a Chicago priest who will shepherd mankind to prepare to hear God speak. Four women travel to Las Vegas, and while there, snow begins to fall during triple digit heat. They soon learn that the non-accumulating snowfall is a worldwide phenomenon—a universal sign from God preceding the gift of a permanent sign inexplicable by earthly standards. With the culmination of these miraculous events, all their paths intersect, and God will reveal His plans to each soul on earth. Will mankind listen? (Speculative from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
Song of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson, When a vlogger spots a man stalking young children, she’s spreads it on social media only to learn she may be mistaken–the man might be innocent. (Contemporary Romance)
When Heaven Sighs by Susan Guinn, Angels, death and mysticism surround the arrival of a Dead Sea Scroll in Nashville, Tennessee as a dedicated homicide detective and a local pastor struggle to capture the murderers of two young men brave enough to believe in the scroll’s unique message. (Mystery)
Two Hearts by Ruth Kyser, Tory Hendricks visits a guest ranch in the Hill Country of Texas where she meets the owner, Reed Montgomery. Even though they’ve both decided to remain single, they become good friends. The question is, does God have something more in store for them than just friendship? (Contemporary Romance)
Devil’s Cauldron by Michael Jack Webb, The FBI asks an ex-Special Forces Ranger once accused of domestic terrorism to investigate a Black Swan event in Antarctica. He must battle interdimensional, supernatural enemies attempting to regain power over humanity after ten-thousand years. (Supernatural Thriller)
July 2020 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
How Sweet It Is by Robin Lee Hatcher — A businessman trying to reconnect with his brother returns to his hometown and rents the apartment where his great-great-grandparents lived during the late 1920s. He never suspects his attractive landlady, a struggling restaurant owner who works with women at a local shelter, is the one person who might help him reach his brother. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Love’s Autumn Harvest by Patricia Lee — A widow, a divorcee, and a widower find themselves in a love triangle that gets complicated as each one finds themselves drawn into the tangled web they weave. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)
Ready to Trust by Tina Radcliffe — Rancher Reece Rainbolt’s shocked to learn he’s inherited half of Claire Ballard’s family farm—and that he’s a father. Now Claire’s determined to break ties with the man who once left her behind. But Reece will buy her half only on one condition: she must stay in town to help with the harvest…and let him get to know his little girl. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
The Truth About Fame by Toni Shiloh — When a superstar’s bodyguard pretends to be her fiancé to flush out her stalker, the woman starts falling for a happily ever after that’s just as fake as her tabloid life. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Falling for the Innkeeper by Meghann Whistler — Single mom Laura Lessoway won’t accept her mother’s plan of selling her late grandmother’s inn without a fight. But when big-city attorney Jonathan Masters arrives to arrange an offer from his client, she’s drawn to him. And working together as he helps with repairs only brings them closer. With his career and her home on the line, can they ever find common ground? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Place to Call Home by Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, and Erica Vetsch — Duck for cover in the Superstition Mountains as a woman flees her capture and a marshal pursues his prisoner while the couple is handcuffed together. Exit a stagecoach in an Idaho boom town, where a mail-order mix-up has everyone scrambling to right an embarrassing mistake—or was it really a blessing? Gallop into Fort Bliss, Texas, where a battle wages between an eastern fashion artist and a US Cavalry surgeon for the custody of two orphans. Delight in the journey as faith and romance intersect in these three full-length novels. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch — A bluestocking and a newly minted duke join forces to unravel a mystery…but the greatest mystery might be the duke’s true identity. (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications)
A Bitter Brew by Elizabeth Ludwig — The cousins are thrilled when Jan is invited to compete in a nationally televised baking contest. Things go awry, however, when the prize money disappears. Worse, Jan and Elaine find themselves as the prime suspects! Certain they are being framed, the cousins seek out clues that will lead them to the thief. Can they do it before the contest ends, or will they fall faster than Jan’s award-winning souffle? (Cozy Mystery from Guidepost Publications)
Murder at Madison Square Garden by Linda Shenton Matchett — A private investigator helps a scrappy, female photojournalist, who is accused of murder after an assassination attempt on Charles Lindberg at the America First rally leaves another man dead. (Historical Mystery from Shortwave Press)
Explosive Situation by Terri Reed — With his K-9 partner at his side, can he survive false accusations and a bomber? Detective Henry Roarke’s determined to prove his innocence to internal affairs officer Olivia Vance—but first he must survive the bomber targeting him and his bomb-sniffing K-9, Cody. With a coming baby to protect and an investigation to pursue, Olivia has her hands full…until she becomes a target, as well. Can they catch the bomber before they all lose their lives? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Rocky Mountain Revenge by Rhonda Starnes — To survive her deadly homecoming, she’ll need to trust a man from her past… Temporarily home to help at her family’s vet clinic, Grace Porter has no intentions of staying—but someone’s determined she won’t live long enough to leave. With both Grace and her sister in the crosshairs, her ex-boyfriend, Police Chief Evan Bradshaw, must protect them. But can the single dad lawman uncover the truth about why a killer’s out for vengeance before time runs out? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks — Forensic sketch artist Tucker Landry and American heiress Piper Boone form a bond after surviving a mass shooting on Curlew Island. Amid rumors of the Curlew Island Curse which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of Piper’s family, the pair must unravel the Boone family’s true history before Piper becomes the next victim. (Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie — Behind the smiles and designer clothes, Princess Alina has a secret. She’s barely holding it together. After a moment of panic almost ends in tragedy, Alina is sent to a refuge far from the palace to recuperate. Her family claim it’s for her own good but – faced with cows, knife-beaked ducks and far too many of her own insecurities – Alina is pretty sure it will kill her first. And Joha Samson, infuriating man that he is, will laugh as it does. Only there’s more to Joha than she realizes, and more to herself too. When the time comes to make a stand, will she find the courage? (Young Adult from WhiteFire Publishing)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
Before Summer’s End by Johnnie Alexander, Brenda S. Anderson, Eleanor Bertin, Sara Davison, Deb Elkink, Stacy Monson, and Marion Ueckermann, A collection of stories of faith, family, and forgiveness. (General Contemporary)
The Sugar Baron’s Ring by Lorri Dudley, A ring is her only tie to a distant homeland, until a marooned Englishman anchors her heart. (Historical Romance)
Let Him Go by LuAnn K. Edwards, Keedryn and Blake acknowledge their love in this wholesome romance, only to find trouble brewing at the office and turmoil bursting in their hearts. (Contemporary Romance)
Afraid of the Light by Cynthia Ruchti, Clinical psychologist Camille Brooks vows she’ll never let another family suffer from the fallout of a hoarding disorder like her mom’s, but soon discovers that she has her own collection of hurts to confront. (General Contemporary)
Today I’m happy to welcome author Linore Rose Burkard for an interview about the writing life. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.
Linore, welcome. Please tell us more about yourself as a writer. I understand that you feel very purpose-driven in your vocation. How did you come to know your purpose as a writer?
A writer needs to be humble enough to accept what they’re giftings are–and aren’t. It took me awhile to recognize that what I most wanted to write first, was Inspirational, and that it was romance. To my mind, having been schooled in many of the classics, both British and American, this is a relatively humble calling. Georgette Heyer, a writer I greatly admire, once said she ought to be shot for what she writes. Because there’s this perception among the literati that romance literature is less than respectable. But Heyer has avid fans all around the globe to this day, though we lost her in 1974. So I had to accept that a) I was not going to be the next Pulitzer Prize winner, and b) wholesome romance is worthy in itself, whether it is overtly evangelistic or not, and whether English professors would agree or not. I believe that all romance begins with a God-given desire to be loved, and not only loved, but loved unconditionally. Besides Heyer, think of all the Jane Austen books and screen adaptations; how grateful are we that she wrote what she did? While I am not comparing myself to Jane, readers have written to me with such gratitude that it really showed me that what I write is no less valuable –to those who will be blessed by it—than the classics.
How did you get started?
I’ve been an avid reader all my life and was always was drawn to write, even as a child. But I saw a need for something specific that wasn’t out there–Regency Romance that included a Christian worldview. I wanted to read that book, but it didn’t exist. So that’s what I started out writing. My first three novels published with Harvest House are Inspirational Regencies, and the first one was, to my knowledge, the first of its kind. A genuinely well-researched Regency with a distinctly Christian theme. The genre since then has grown by leaps and bounds, which I think is great. But after doing that trilogy, I came to believe that my purpose as a writer was broader. I have since written a young adult series in a completely different genre, apocalyptic suspense. (The Pulse Effex Series). I’ve done a Regency time travel, called Forever, Lately. (Which has turned out to be hugely popular, as well as winning two awards). I’ve written contemporary romance and am now writing a Regency series called The Brides of Mayfair which is for the general market, though it contains implied Christianity.
How does your Young Adult suspense series fit in with your brand?
So, my brand is “Romance to Warm the Heart; Fiction to Stir the Soul.” The Pulse Effex Trilogy is in that 2nd category–soul-stirring fiction. It’s about three teens and their families who must survive after a catastrophic EMP (that is, an electromagnetic pulse) takes down the grid, and all electonics. It’s like the COVID pandemic times ten; EVERYTHING shuts down—the internet, all technology. I wrote the series not only because something like this is actually possible, but quite frankly, to stir people out of complacency. We always think the disaster can only happen to someone else. Our society as a whole—and the COVID pandemic really showed us this—is not prepared for long term disruptions. So is it soul-stirring? Well, I just got an email from a reader yesterday—and these books have been out for a few years now—that she read the whole trilogy non-stop, which she’d never done before for any series. And that it kept her reading all night long when she should have gone to sleep. Numerous other readers have written to me saying similar things. Many of them have actually changed the way they shop and especially that they’ve started to store food and other supplies , so that if—God forbid—an EMP should happen, they will be better prepared. The books give a lot of information in the course of the story that people can emulate. I interpret these notes from readers as they’re way of saying that yes, they’ve been soul stirred!
Another word about branding: I did use only my first initials and last name for the YA series, so that my readers would know at a glance it isn’t my usual “sweet romance”. So my romance novels are written under my full name, Linore Rose Burkard, whereas for the Pulse Series I use L.R. Burkard.
Would you like to give a tip for any writers who may be listening?
It’s important to write the book on your heart, not the one you THINK you SHOULD write because it will make money, or because it’s what people want. A lot of gurus are out there saying you should research the audience before putting pen to paper to make sure your book will be marketable. Well, there is some truth in that—if you write a book about some obscure dog breed that only 200 people own, you’re not gonna have a bestseller. But there’s a big danger in that method, too. The book on your heart, the story that won’t go away, is most likely the one that will help point you to your purpose in writing. It’s probably the one the Lord is directing you to write; and it will be the one that most resonates with other people.
GIVEAWAY: Writers aren’t the only ones on a journey of discovery to know their purpose. Tell us, in a sentence or two, what you believe your purpose is, either personally or professionally. Ultimately, we all seek to glorify God, but how do you that? One commenter will win a copy of any of my books. (Print for US only, sorry, and as available.) You can see all my books at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Linore-Rose-Burkard/e/B001JSC7H6/
Or on my website at: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com
Readers can HEAR this interview (a shortened version) live here if they prefer: https://anniejenningspr.com/authorexpertwire/specialty/insights-into-the-writing-life/
Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.
Today I’m happy to welcome author Terri Wangard for an author spotlight and character interview.
Our guest today is Rosaleen Bonnard, a survivor of the tragic sinking of the Lusitania last May. She traveled with her husband, Geoff, who was badly injured in the disaster. Tell us, Mrs. Bonnard, how is he doing?
He is so much better, thank you. Every day we walk, sometimes for as long as an hour. We’re frequently interrupted though. Geoff collaborated with our neighbor, a reporter for the Sentinel, so he’s well recognized and folks seem to think that having touched the war, he’s now an expert. They’re always asking for his insights.
How did you meet your husband?
We were classmates at school and he invited me to attend an ice cream social at church. When I told my mother he’d asked, she quizzed me about him. I told her it was just ice cream, and she said, “Yes, and your father and I met at a church ice cream social.” After that night, I knew I would marry him.
The Cunard Line upgraded you from second class to first, is that right? [Rosaleen nods.] What was that like for you?
At first, I was thrilled. We had a beautiful stateroom with a window. Oh, excuse me, a porthole. That was special. And we had access to the Saloon Writing Room and Library and the Saloon Lounge and Music Room. They were exquisite. The two-tiered first-class dining room was a gorgeous setting to eat in, but I must admit, I would have been more at ease in second class. I didn’t feel comfortable with the first-class passengers. Even the food was unfamiliar.
Did you go shopping specifically for your voyage?
Oh, yes. Two of my sisters went shopping with me at Gimbels. I found two beautiful gowns. My grandmother gave me $10, making it possible to buy both. Plus a traveling outfit, a couple of new skirts and blouses, shoes, hats. Had I known we’d be in first class, goodness, I don’t know what I would have done. The ladies in first class wear a different gown to dinner every night.
Did you note much panic after the ship was torpedoed?
At first, everyone was stunned. After hearing all week about the likelihood of being attacked, when it actually happened, it was hard to believe. The sudden listing to starboard was alarming. Then the power failed and people were trapped in the fancy grillwork elevator. The lifeboats were so chaotic; some spilled out their passengers or dropped down on other lifeboats. So frightful. The ship sank in eighteen minutes, less time than it takes to bake a cake. So many people were still aboard.
What was it like in the lifeboat?
Numbing, sitting on hard wooden benches. We would have loved fresh drinking water. We pulled in many survivors from the sea, and they were so cold. Many people died from hypothermia. We saw them lose their grip on whatever they clung to and slip under the water.
As 1916 dawns, what are you looking forward to?
We hope the war doesn’t pull in the United States. Geoff and I both have brothers who would be affected. In our own home, we’re busy decorating a nursery.
Congratulations! And thank you for joining us today.
- What is your current work in progress?
In Roll Back the Clouds, Geoff and Rosaleen’s next door neighbors are Peter and Maren Bloch. Peter and Maren are the stars of The Sun Still Shines, which follows them in World War One. Geoff and Rosaleen appear frequently.
What would be your dream vacation?
Somewhere on a western Florida beach where there are sea shells. I love shelling.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was on cruises, I took part in adventures I wouldn’t otherwise have had, like parasailing, helicoptering onto glaciers or around Hawaiian cliffs, horseback riding on the beach, going to the Arctic Circle. Maybe not quirky, but definitely out of the ordinary.
Reader question: Do you like to cruise, or would you like to? What would your destination be?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she writes historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber for her WWII series. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
Buy links for your book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1659679842