Author Archives: historythrutheages

C.C. Harrison’s Quick and Easy Way to Cook a Book

Today I’m happy to welcome author C.C. Harrison as she offers a fun way to create a book.

I’m fascinated by the writing process and have always been interested in knowing how authors develop their books. I wanted to know specifically, step by step, what did they do? Eventually I realized there was no one way to write a book, and over time I discovered a process that works for me – index cards. My critique partner at the time called them “cooking cards,” so here I’ll share with you my recipe for cooking a book.

PREPARATION TIME: Varies; days, weeks or months.

ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS: Gather the following together in your mind or on paper

  • A story idea—Just a nugget will do, but more is better
  • Character names—Physical descriptions can come later, but you definitely need names
  • Setting—Geographic location, or specific city/town. It’s okay to make up a place name.
  • Type of journey—Someone seeking something, keeping something, or getting get rid of something. Story goals are many, choose whichever appeals to you.
  • A couple of major conflicts
  • Ending – Yes, you need a general idea of an ending so you know where you’re going and what the finished product looks like.

MIX:

Combine all the above ingredients and stir gently in your head until the story begins to burst out of you.

THEN IMMEDIATELY:

Write a list of twenty (or more) events you want to happen in your story. This gets the creative juices flowing. Brainstorm! You may end up with many more than twenty.

ARRANGE ON COOKING CARDS:

Take a thick stack of 4” x 6” index cards and using a separate card for each jot down story events, plot points, turning points, scene ideas, bits of dialogue, critical and/or emotional character reactions and stumbling blocks. Leave plenty of white space on each card so you can add more later. You WILL want to add detail as the writing progresses. Use the back of card as needed.

SORT:

When you have a stack of cooking cards one-half to three-quarter inches thick (AND NOT BEFORE, lay them all out in no particular order on your bed or your dining room table. Carefully read each one. Then and only then, pick up one card at a time in the general sequence you think the events should appear in your book. By now, you will instinctively have a feel for this. Don’t worry about getting this part wrong, it can always be fixed later by rearranging the cards, which is why when you have your cards stacked in a general order, you will number them in the upper right hand corner IN PENCIL.

THIS IS YOUR STORY:

Wrap a rubber band around your cooking cards, or use a giant pinchy clip. Use the information on these cards one at a time to write your book, and you will always know where you are going even if you don’t always know how to get there. Shovel in huge amounts of creativity, find a way to triumph over innumerable challenges, and you will have a book.

This method is flexible enough to insert new ideas during the writing while still staying on track and moving in the right general direction. I revise my manuscripts as I go, scene by scene, sometimes page by page, so when I reach the end, I have a nearly completed book requiring only minor revision and polishing, but little to no rewriting. I used this method to write all my books. Let me know if it works for you, too. You can contact me at CCHarrisonbooks@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

C. C. Harrison is an award winning author who knew she was going to write novels when she checked out her first beginning reader book from the library. Since then she has been honored regionally and nationally with writing awards for short stories, articles, essays and novels. “I like writing books set in small towns, the kind of small towns people run away to or hide out in. The secrets and misbehaviors there are so much more interesting. I know. I’ve lived in them.”

Her latest books reflect her diversity. SAGE CANE’S HOUSE OF GRACE AND FAVOR, a Western set in a Rocky Mountain mining town introduces the most unforgettable charmer since Scarlett O’Hara. DEATH BY G-STRING, a contemporary ukulele themed cozy mystery, is a Colorado Humanities Book Award Mystery Winner, an American Fiction Awards Finalist, a CIPA EVVY Finalist, and a New Mexico/Arizona Book Award Finalist.

A New Genre in a New Year! — Caryl McAdoo

Today I’m happy to welcome author Caryl McAdoo as she shares about her latest book and a change in genres. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter her giveaway!

Hey everyone! I’m so blessed for this opportunity to visit with you today! Thank you, Donna for inviting me!

Four days ago, DUPLICITY At The Lowell House launched, my first mystery and book one in a new Cross Timbers Mystery series! Cross Timbers like my Romance Family Saga because those beloved characters will be showing up all through the new mysteries!

Morgan and Charity O’Neal Lowell are my investigators—albeit not totally willing. They own the Lowell House hotel in downtown Dallas. They built it in the 1850s more than ten years before the murder as this story is set in 1866.

There’s a dead man in room three-thirteen, and Morgan and Charity have their heads together with Deputy Sheriff Tate McCarthy to try and figure out, “Who done it”! You know, I’ll admit I didn’t know if readers would recognize the story as a mystery. There’s always that enemy whispering in our ears, right? He wants us to doubt.

Can I write a good story that will prosper that isn’t a romance? Of my fifty-seven published titles, just under forty are historical romances . . . Another confession: I couldn’t stand it, I added a bit of romance! Tee hee hee. I mean the deputy has never been married, and Charity loves matchmaking!

It’s so funny that men often think they don’t need a woman. God Himself looked around and saw that there was no suitable mate for His beloved son Adam created in his own image. He knew Adam needed Eve. Yes, she was later deceived, and yes, she gave that forbidden fruit to her husband to eat, but she bore him sons and daughters so that the world would keep turning, go on, and be populated. He needed her. I do love a good romance.

But! This story is a mystery, a historical mystery. And the early reviews coming in have been excellent. I feel like Mikey’s big brothers. Remember that Life cereal commercial where they feed their little brother the cereal that they’re afraid to try? Mikey eats it with gusto, and the older boys both holler, “He likes it! He likes it!”

That’s how I feel about my readers. 😊 “They like it! They like it!”

I always breathe a sigh of relief whenever a new book comes out. Some I have so much fun writing (with my husband—we write everything together) that I’m pretty confident my readers will love it, and don’t have pre-launch flutter-bies. (think butterflies). But here I am with a totally new genre to me.

OoooWeee, as I wrote that . . . Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit saying, “That’s being anxious, Caryl. You don’t need to be anxious for anything.” Which is true, of course!

So now I will choose never to be anxious again over debuts. God gives me every story, so that I can bring Him glory! I choose to trust Him in this area as I do in all the other areas—that I know about! Isn’t it funny how we aren’t even aware until He reveals such to us? Even that is an answer to prayer!

I will never have the pre-launch jitters again! I’ll refuse them, like I do all fear and worry! That is so cool how He does that!

I’m so blessed to be a Christian author with awesome like-focused readers! And I want to say I believe you’ll just love DUPLICITY At The Lowell House!

Please try it! You’ll like it! 😊

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY: I’d like to send a copy of QUINCY & PRISCILLA At The Lowell House to one commenter who’ll answer, what’s a fun way God has spoken to you to help you choose to be more like Jesus? (Like in the middle of writing a blog) 😊

 

 

 

 

ABOUT CARYL:

Award-winning, Christian author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Of her best-selling novels, readers love her historical Christian romance family sagas most, but she also writes Christian contemporary romance, Mystery, Biblical fiction, and for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. A far majority of reviewers give her stories five-stars and praise Caryl’s characters as relatable, complex and real.

The prolific writer loves singing the new songs God gives her almost as much as penning tales—hear a few at YouTube! Married to Ron over fifty years, she shares four children and soon-twenty-one grandsugars with her high school sweetheart. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

CONTACT LINKS:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Caryl-McAdoo/e/B00E963CFG

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo?follow=true

Website http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com    

Newsletter http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

Blog, The Word & the Music http://carylmcadoo.com/blog/

 

January 2021 New Releases!

January 2021 New Releases

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

Contemporary:


A Future for His Twins
by Susanne Dietze — Will these children get their greatest wish? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


For the Love of Joy
by Janet W. Ferguson — When she’s suddenly injured with not a soul to help her or her son, Joy is forced to rely on the man who has the most reasons to hate her. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

An Unexpected Arrangement by Heidi McCahan — He needed a fresh start, but twin babies weren’t part of the plan… (Contemporary Romance, Love Inspired [Harlequin])


An Unlikely Proposal
by Toni Shiloh — For these two best friends, marriage could be their greatest test yet. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Historical:


All Through the Night
by Tara Johnson — When Joshua and Cadence unearth the workings of a secret society so vile, the course of their lives, and the war, could be altered forever. If they fight an enemy they cannot see, will the One who sees all show them the way in the darkest night? (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)


Books Afloat
by Delores Topliff — Blaming herself for her childhood role in the Oklahoma farm truck accident that cost her grandfather’s life, Anne Mettles is determined to make her life count. Will she go it alone? Or will she team with the unlikely but (mostly) lovable characters? One is a saboteur, one an unlikely hero, and one, she discovers, is the man of her dreams. (Historical from Mantle Rock Publishing)


Night Bird Calling
by Cathy Gohlke — With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t. (Historical from Tyndale House)

Mystery:


One for the Road
by Mary Ellis — Staying at an estranged relative’s B&B, Jill’s plan to uncover what makes the state’s bourbon tours so popular goes awry when she discovers a body at one of the distilleries and quickly becomes a suspect in a brutal murder. Can she navigate high-stakes bourbon rivalries, centuries-old family feuds and ill-fated romance to catch a killer?
(Cozy Mystery from Severn House)

Romantic Suspense:

Texas Witness Threat by Cate Nolan — What do you do when you know you witnessed a crime and no one believes you, but the killers are still coming for you? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Thriller/Suspense:


Every Good Plan
by Urcelia Teixeira — Good fortune was always his best friend. Until it became his enemy! Adam Cross is back in another gripping Christian Suspense that will have you strapped to your favorite reading chair until you turn the very last page! (Thriller/Suspense, Independently published)

Young Adult:


Heart of the Crown
by Hannah Currie — The last place Lady Wenderley Davis ever expected to find herself after swearing off princes forever was living in a palace with two of them. Even if it is only temporary. And she did agree to it. Kind of. Against her better judgement. (Young Adult from WhiteFire Publishing)

 
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

Penelope Pumpernickel: Precocious Problem-Solver by MaryAnn Diorio – In this first of the delightful Penelope Pumpernickel Series of chapters books for six-to-ten-year-old children, Penelope Pympernickel learns that no matter how big a problem you face, there is always a way to solve it with God’s help. (Children’s)

The Inn at Cranberry Cove by June Foster – Can two people allow the majestic northwest and fragrant coastal air heal their wounded hearts? Will they discover the secret of The Inn at Cranberry Cove? (Contemporary Romance)

The Rancher’s Family Secret by Myra Johnson – Despite their family feud, Spencer Navarro is determined to help his neighbor, Lindsey McClement, when she comes home to save her family ranch. And Lindsey returns the favor by allowing him to house his foster rescue horses in her empty barn stalls. But when the generations-long strife threatens their forbidden friendship, Spencer must choose between a new love and his family. (Contemporary Romance)

William’s Cry, An Enid Gilchrist Mystery by Sylvia Anne Nash – When genealogist Enid Gilchrist is asked to unravel the family mystery surrounding a seventy-year-old baby blanket, she is intrigued. She expects the project to be a short one that will in no wise interfere with her long-awaited marriage to Chief of Police Patrick Mulhaney. When her short project unravels more threads than expected, both project and wedding plans run amuck as someone makes every effort to stop her investigation. (Cozy Mystery)

A Holiday Heart by Denise Weimer – When Ashlyn arrives at White Falls Lodge armed with cosmetic bags and designer shoes, little is she prepared to be stranded by a snow storm, irritated by the handsome resort owner who seems determined to peel away her facade, and redirected by a God Ashlyn wants to forget, through Mamie Lou’s real gift … the secret story of her grandmother’s past. (Contemporary Romance)

A Midwife’s Tale by Donna Schlachter

Frantic pounding on the door downstairs woke me. In the dim light from the full moon outside, I squinted at my husband. He grunted and turned over, pulling the itchy wool blanket with him.

I sighed. It seemed I would be the one to be roused from my bed to answer the call.

My name is Hannah, and I am a midwife in Bethlehem, I was accustomed to being called out at all hours to help women through their labor, to deliver babies into a world ruled by cruel overseers from Rome. Sometimes it was too late by the time I got there, and all I could do was usher the mother or child, often both, into the hereafter.

No matter how long I did this work, it was never easy to be dragged from my bed in the dark of night. Why did it seem babies always waited until the wee hours to make their appearance? It was almost as if they held on as long as they could — perhaps these little Jewish babies knew where they were best off.

I pulled my day shift on and tied my head wrap around my hair as I trudged down the steps to answer the door. Pausing at the table in the eating area, I lit a small oil lamp that just a few hours before my children had sat around, practicing their letters for school the next day. Grabbing the rough wooden handle of the solid door, I winced at the stab of a splinter in my palm. Pulling my hand to my mouth, I sucked at the spot where the sliver of wood had stuck me. Spitting out the intruding wood, I watched as a drop of blood oozed out, shining nearly black in the dark. Amazing how much that small spike could hurt.

The pounding on the door started again, pulling me from my contemplation of my pain. I wrenched open the door, several sharp words ready on my tongue.

They fell to the ground like dust at the sight of the man on my doorstep.

A hooded figure faced me, clothes dusty, beard slightly unkempt. In the flickering flame of the lamp, I could just barely make out his eyes and mouth. Worry and hard work had lined his face, and the weave of his cloak suggested he was not from Bethlehem.

He clasped his hands together in front of his chest, bowed his head, and fell to one knee. “I most humbly beg your pardon, but are you the midwife?”

Sarcasm and criticism boiled to the top again, threatening to spill over. Anyone who lived in Bethlehem knew I was not only a midwife, but one of the best.

I pointed to the small sign next to the portal. “Can’t you read?” The words “Midwife for hire” had been painstakingly carved into a flat piece of olive wood by my oldest son as a practice piece. The letters may have been crooked, and the last word cramped together as evidence he needed more work on his spacing, but they were clear enough.

The stranger didn’t raise his head. He didn’t answer my question, either. Instead, he reached one hand into a money pouch hanging around his neck and withdrew a small silver coin. “Is this enough?” He held it to me in the palm of his hand.

Enough? A hundred times that was not enough for being roused from your sleep in the dead chill of night. And if it was a difficult birth, a thousand times would not cover my time and energy. But if it ended badly, I would not take even this small morsel.

Still, the unspoken creed of a midwife is, “God gives life freely, and the midwife merely does His will.” As such, I was honor bound to delivery any child, no matter how small the thank offering was.

I pushed his hand away. “We will not defile the labor bed with talk of money. Children are not bought like slaves, even if it will likely live as one.” I pulled the door closed behind me. “Come, let us go. You can express your gratitude to me after the birth” I snatched my supply satchel from the hook near the door, and slipped my cloak over my shoulders.

He turned on his heel and hurried up the narrow path to the main street. Pausing occasionally to look over his shoulder to make sure I was keeping up, he continued along the cobbled walk.

I wrapped my cloak closer around me to ward off the chill night air. After several blocks, he paused and looked around, confusion evident on his face.

I stopped beside him. “Which way?” my breath blew a white cloud in the dark.

I’m not sure.”

Not sure? How can you not be sure?”

I am not from Bethlehem.”

Ah, my earlier observation had been confirmed, and my earlier criticism evaporated. “Where are you staying?”

Near the inn in the market square.”

This way.” I grabbed the sleeve of his cloak and turned to the left. “The inn is just over here.” Another turn at the next corner, and we were outside the inn.

Are you here for the census?”

He nodded.

You were lucky to find a room.”

I did not find a room.”

Then where are you staying?” Horror filled my heart at the thought of delivering a baby out in the open.

Now it was his turn to direct me, past the inn, down a dark alley, into a small courtyard behind. He pointed to a small hole carved in the wall.

My heart leaped in my throat. This was worse than I had feared. “In the stable?” Animals, dirt, mold — this was not a fit place for any child to be born.

He nodded, eyes downcast, embarrassment evident.

If you are here for the census, you have family.Why not stay with them?”

We were detained on the road because my wife could not travel quickly. When we got here yesterday, there was no room for us anywhere.”

I nodded. The city was filled to overflowing. Even my own small house, tight quarters for me, my husband, and my four children ordinarily, now housed two extra families in response to the decree for everyone in Judea to return to the city of their forefathers and be counted. More than likely a new tax would be implemented as a result. I might be a simple Jew, but I wasn’t stupid. I knew how this evil and oppressive government operated.

The man reached the entrance to the small cavelike structure and stopped. He called softly, almost a whisper. “Mary, it is me, Joseph. I have brought the midwife.”

He stooped over and disappeared inside. I waited a moment, then followed him.

The first thing that struck me was how quiet it was in this small structure. THE man had lit a small lamp, and the shadows danced in the corners. The strong smell of hay tickled my nose, and the dust stirred up by my feet danced on beams of light. In the far corner a ewe hovered over its lamb, their eyes reflecting amber in the dim light.

In the center of the small shed lay the woman. Her traveling cloak was rolled under her head, offering the small comfort of a pillow. Her face was white, and perspiration glowed on her forehead and upper lip.

A low moan escaped her lips, and my eye caught a restless movement in the corner. The lamb stood and pressed closer to its mother. The ewe nuzzled the infant, and it settled to its knees again in the hay.

The young woman moaned again, and my training took over. I knelt beside the woman and laid my hand on her forehead. Good. Her forehead was cool, although damp with the effort of her labors.

I looked to her husband. “Wait outside.” He cast an anxious look at his wife. She nodded at him, then turned to face me again.

Tell me what to do.” Her dark eyes were filled with worry.

Is this your first child?” I set my satchel beside her head and loosened the strings.

She nodded.

Have you ever assisted at a birth?” I pulled a small sheet from the bag.

She shook her head, eyes closed. A tear ran down her cheek.

I forced a smile I didn’t feel. “Fear will steal your joy. Don’t be afraid. You are in good hands. I am one of the best midwives in Bethlehem.”

She opened her eyes and smiled at me. “I don’t know you, but I trust God, and I trust Joseph, and so I will trust you.”

I laid a hand on her protruding belly. Deep inside I could feel the contractions that would soon increase to push this baby into the world. Leaning my head to her stomach, I listened. Her heart beat regularly, and there — I could hear the baby’s heart beat, strong and sure.

Sitting back on my heels, I patted her hand. “Everything sounds fine. Now, let’s get you in position to deliver this baby.”

Over the next half hour we worked together, this scared young woman and I, to get her in the delivery position. I went over the stages of labor she could expect, and how long each might be expected to last. As scared as she was, I left out the description of what could go wrong. She had enough on her mind right now not to deal with that.

When she was as comfortable as she was going to get in this dark damp cave, we sat together, two women alone in the dark, as Joseph paced outside and the sheep in the corner nodded.

And so we did what women do, what they have done for eons. We talked.

I learned that Mary was a newly married maiden, married only six months before. My eyebrows raised at that, let me tell you. And when she told me the story of the baby she was carrying, about an angel of the Lord, in a dream, and the Messiah, well, I thought she was just trying to cover her indiscretion.

Joseph poked his head in through the doorway, and Mary smiled at him. “She doesn’t believe about our baby, Joseph. Tell her about your dream.”

And so Joseph began relating the details of a most extraordinary dream he’d had, of God confirming Mary’s story about the child in her womb being conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Okay, so I really wasn’t in any position to contradict their story. I wasn’t there. And, I had a cousin who swore she was still a virgin after she had her first baby, even though we all knew better. Who was I to limit God?

The thing that really convinced me was their complete and unshakeable belief that God not only could but would work through them. Joseph was a carpenter, not an educated man filled with prophecy from the prophets, or able to argue the scriptures to prove his point. His hands were toughened by many hours of hard work. His strong fingers bore the marks of chisels and planes.

All he knew was what he believed God had told him in his dream. And he believed Mary when she told him about the visit by the angel.

This was the first time I had seen anyone risk their entire being for their belief in God. I was humbled by their faith.

After about an hour of minor contractions, Mary’s labor began in earnest. I ushered Joseph out into the dark. “Pray that God will ease her pain and make this child come soon.”

Joseph’s wan smile filled my heart. “God is already here, in this child. Nothing will go wrong.”

His simple words of faith and his complete trust in God pricked at my conscience. Here I was, a woman whose faith was none too evident in her life, a woman confident of her career, secure in her marriage, successful and comfortable, feeling a little envious of the uncomplicated faith of a carpenter and his wife in a stable in Bethlehem.

I wanted what they had.

Within a short time, Mary had put every ounce of strength she had into pushing a tiny baby boy into the world. His full head of dark hair heralded his coming, and his strong cry soon filled the stable. Joseph came into the cave at the first cry, the worry lines erased from his face. Kneeling beside his wife and new son, tears streamed down his face. He reached for the child, and Mary passed the infant gently to its father.

Joseph stared into the child’s face for several moments as Mary and I watched. The infant reached a tiny hand to his father’s beard, grasping it between his miniature fingers.

Joseph smiled, then raised the child over his head. He closed his eyes and looked toward heaven. “Thank You for entrusting us with this gift from You, Yahweh. You have favored us with Your presence in the form of this child. We will raise him and train him to hear You. He is Emmanuel, and He will save His people.”

I was spellbound with this dedication of the child to God. I knelt before them, my heart full and my eyes overflowing with tears. I may not know much about the ways of God, but at that moment I knew I was in His presence as never before. And for perhaps the first time in my life, I was speechless.

I don’t know how long I knelt there, praising God in my heart. All I know for sure is that when I finally stirred, the sun was peeking over the eastern gate.

I rose stiffly, knees protesting the hours spent on the floor. Mary and Joseph slept side by side on the hay, and the infant lay in a manger, wrapped in some old cloths Joseph had found tucked in a small box. When he’d first pulled out the lengths of rough cloth, I’d been appalled that he would be content to wrap his child in cloths used to rub down newborn lambs. I’d even offered to go to my house and bring back some proper baby clothes.

Joseph shook his head. “Scripture says Emmanuel will come like a lamb to save His people. It seems fitting He should be wrapped in lamb’s cloths.”

A child sent as a lamb? It didn’t make any sense to me. Lambs were used as sacrifices and Jews don’t sacrifice their children, so I knew he didn’t mean that. “How can this child be like a lamb of God?”

All I know is what God has told us. This child will save His people.”

Outside the stable, I heard the sound of footsteps. I walked toward the opening of the cave and peered out.

Several men dressed in shepherd’s garb paused outside the stable. They looked into the dawn sky and then back to the stable.

The oldest one spoke. “Is this where the Christ child can be found?”

Christ child? I knew about the Christ child. The one promised who would set the Jews free, who would operate in the anointing of God.

What do you know of this child?”

One of the shepherds stepped forward. “An angel appeared to us while we were standing watch over our sheep. He told us to come here to see the Christ.” He gestured to his fellow shepherds. “Then more angels sang the child’s praises.”

More angels. This couldn’t be any ordinary baby. I looked into the night sky. A large star shone upon the stable. “Is that how you came to be here?”

The youngest nodded. “The angel told us to look for a bright star that would point us to the child, and that He would be wrapped up like a lamb.”

Lamb’s rags. I pointed to the baby inside. “He is in there.”

I wandered out into the courtyard area, listening to the sounds of the city coming awake for another day. I felt sorry for the people. I was pretty sure they had missed a miracle.

Don’t get me wrong. As a midwife, I know every birth is a miracle. As a Jew, I believe the scriptures that say we are created by God, formed by His hand, known from our mother’s womb.

No, the miracle I’m talking about is that God would come to his people in the form of a tiny child, a lamb, to set His people free.

I know a big part of me was set free that night.

I’m going to keep an eye on this Christ-child. I think He is destined to something bigger than His parents, these shepherds, even I can imagine.

And I want to be there when that happens.

December 2020 New Releases!

December 2020 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

A Prayer Quilt Christmas by Nancy J. Farrier — Meg’s ex-husband took her boys away for the holidays, and she’s lost her heart to celebrate, but Wade is determined to make this Christmas special for her. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

His Holiday Prayer by Tina Radcliffe — After receiving an unexpected job offer in Texas, widower Tucker Rainbolt decides he and his twins need a fresh start. But moving on means leaving his best friend, Jena Harper, and their vet clinic behind. For the first time, Tucker sees Jena as more than a buddy. What if leaving isn’t the answer? Maybe what he’s been missing has been right beside him the whole time… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas on Ocracoke by Christina Sinisi — Reeling from the upheaval of a failed marriage, Annie Hanahan is desperate for a new start—and when she inherits a cottage on Ocracoke Island, she may finally get it. Without a second thought, she packs up and leaves everything behind: her first name, her job, and her ex-husband. But when she arrives in the Outer Banks, she finds the island—and her promised refuge—ravaged by Hurricane Dorian. As a contractor who has given so much of his time to helping Ocracoke recover, it surprises no one when Trey Kingsley offers to help the beautiful newcomer, but something is holding her back. Life keeps throwing them together, though, or perhaps God’s hand is giving them a nudge. Will a little bit of divine intervention be enough for a Merry Christmas on Ocracoke? (Contemporary Romance, Anaiah Press)

A Holiday Heart by Denise Weimer — Atlanta film makeup artist Ashlyn Jennings is willed a mysterious box containing a key from her grandmother’s estate. Mamie Lou, the former Hollywood B-lister who inspired Ashlyn’s path in life, always demonstrated a flair for the dramatic. But did Mamie Lou really expect her to put everything on hold to clean out a mountain cabin no one even knew about? And right at Christmas? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Contemporary:

Season of Hope by Brenda S. Anderson — Life is good for Ronnie Coborn. She’s newly married to a man who loves her and dotes on her daughter. A man handpicked by Ronnie’s father, a popular pastor at a megachurch who’s been married to her mother for forty years. Yes, life is good. Until a shocking revelation exposes the fact that everything in her idyllic life—her marriage, family, and faith—is based on a lie. (Contemporary, Independently Published)

Historical:

Hope’s Reward by Carol Ashby — When a gladiator slave becomes a Christian and runs away from his life of killing to join other believers, his rescue of a Roman woman makes him her escort on a dangerous journey that opens unexpected futures for both of them. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)

The Mulberry Leaf Whispers by Linda Thompson — A WWII Japanese naval officer. The teenage daughter of a legendary Christian samurai. Three centuries separate them, but a crucial question binds their destinies together. Which lives have value? (Historical from Mountain Brook Ink)

Historical Romance:

For the Love of Emma by Starr Ayers — A rose-covered grave, seventy-nine letters, and a scribbled note unearth buried emotions and the timeless beauty of first love. Inspired by actual letters found in her mother’s trunk, Starr pens a poignant love story set in the throes of the Great Depression and portrays a young couple’s quest to keep their love alive, regardless of events that threaten to tear them apart. (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Depending on You by Melissa Jagears — Can the joy and hope of Christmas restore their love before it’s too late? Leah Whitsett’s life was ideal until the disastrous day she nearly died because of her husband’s deceit. When he returns home weeks before Christmas, she knows the best gift she can give him is forgiveness, but how can she relinquish her hard-won independence knowing he plans to turn their family’s life upside down again? Bryant has always known his wife was a gift he’d never deserved, but how can he provide for her in a town that no longer wants anything to do with him? He longs to atone for the misery he’s put his loved ones through, but when he brings a family member home for the holidays, he and Leah may end up even further apart. With emotions high and their marriage at stake, will the season bring the hope they need…or are their rifts too large to mend? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Legacy of Love by Linda Shenton Matchett — Escaping Boston to avoid a marriage of convenience aimed at garnering society’s respect for her family name in the shadow of her father’s war profiteering, Meg Underwood settles in Spruce Hill, Oregon. Despite leaving behind the comforts of wealth, she’s happy. Then the handsome Pinkerton agent, Reuben Jessop, arrives with news that she’s inherited her aunt’s significant estate, and she must return home to claim the bequest. Meg refuses to make the trip. Unwilling to fail at his mission, Reuben gives her until Christmas to prove why she should remain in Spruce Hill and give up the opportunity to become a woman of means. When he seems to want more than friendship, she wonders if her new-found wealth is the basis of his attraction. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Romantic Suspense:

Deadly Amish Reunion by Dana R. Lynn — Jennie Beiler’s husband was supposed to be dead, so she’s shocked when he rescues her from an attacker. Although Luke has no memories of his Englisch wife, it’s up to him to protect her from someone who won’t stop until she’s dead. Can the peaceful Amish community he returned to after losing his memory shelter them and their son this Christmas when danger strikes again? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas Protection Detail by Terri Reed — When a call from a friend in trouble leads Nick Delaney and Deputy Kaitlyn Lanz to a car crash that killed a single mother, they become the baby’s protectors. Now figuring out why someone is after the child is the only way to save her. But they must find answers soon…or this baby’s first Christmas might just be Nick’s and Kaitlyn’s last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

Dawn of Vengeance by Ronie Kendig — Haunted by a prophecy that promises pain and war, bounty hunter Marco Dusan forges alliances to protect the primitive world against Symmachia’s devastating influence. But one truth becomes painfully clear: the biggest threat to their world may be much, much closer to home. (Speculative Fiction from Enclave Publications)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

A Question of Survival by Alice K. Arenz – A victim of domestic violence searches for hope after her recent miscarriage. (Women’s Fiction)

Ask Lolita by Roger E. Bruner – Not only does the Town Curmudgeon’s pet hen Lolita learn to use the computer and get her own newspaper column, she helps the lifelong bachelor survive the challenges of old age and find true love in the process. (Contemporary Fantasy)

The Mistletoe Contract by Jennifer Chastain – He needs a wife to inherit the family business, she needs money for her mother’s medical treatment, but is their convenient marriage a blessing or a disaster waiting to happen? (Contemporary Romance)

Dreaming of Tomorrow by Michelle De Bruin – Love leads them to a lifetime of commitment where the dreams they have held onto for so long start to come true. (Historical Romance)

Grumpy the Gator by Melissa Henderson – In Grumpy the Gator, we are reminded to be careful around alligators. Always tell an adult when we see a gator. (Children’s)

Lessons Learned in Love by Milla Holt – The boss’s daughter is off-limits. Especially when she steals the job that should have been his. (Contemporary Romance)

Fractures by Jason C. Joyner – A group of teens with superpowers must navigate high school, parents, and the enemies that want to destroy them. (Young Adult)

His to Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid – He’s fighting for his inheritance – she’s marrying her sworn enemy. (Historical Romance)

Making Memories by Ruth Kyser – When her life is changed by a car accident, Kelly finds hope again through faith and an old friend from high school, Michael. (Contemporary Romance)

Reagan’s Reward by Susan G. Mathis – As trouble brews, Daniel sees another side of Reagan, the woman he’s come to love. (Historical Romance)

Georgia Ann, English Rose by Elva Cobb Martin – The lure of the legendary Spice Trail beckons, but he may never find a spice more precious than the treasure he left in Charles Town. (Historical Romance)

Giving Grace by Jennifer Pierce – Nothing is more embarrassing than Grace Dixon’s dog peeing on the new mailman. Except maybe when she thinks she’s hit the handsome man with her SUV. When he’s assigned to cover an injured co-worker’s route, Evan McDonald assumes it will be like any other mail route he’s done. But then he meets Grace Dixon, and he’s thrust into total Christmas chaos. (Contemporary Romance)

The Snowbound Bride by Davalynn Spencer – On the run from a heartless uncle, Arabella Taube hides in Nate Horne’s farm wagon just as a harsh winter storm sweeps into Colorado. Despite Ara’s mysterious background, Nate’s mother thinks she is the answer to a prayer and the hope for his future. (Historical Romance)

More than Jewish Shabbat — Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis as she shares an excerpt from her Christmas novella.

Have you ever experienced a Jewish Shabbat? I have, and it’s amazing, especially when you overlay the Christian symbolism. In my latest Christmas novella, Reagan, a Gentile experiences it with a Jewish family. Here’s an excerpt:

I’d like to understand Shabbat better. The prayers. The symbolism. It’s so beautiful.”

Jacob started. “Me first. The candles show us when God created light. The wine gives us joy.”

And we wash our hands before we lift them up to God,” Joseph added.

Daniel interjected. “Very good. And what of the bread?”

The Challah? It’s braided like this.” Joseph folded his arms. “When your arms are folded, you can’t work, and the Shabbat is a day for resting.”

And there are two loaves ’cuz God gave a double portion of manna on Fridays, and the lacy covers are the dew that the Israelites saw before the manna appeared.” Jacob grinned.

Really? That’s so amazing. Thank you.” Reagan smiled at the boys before turning to Daniel. “We worship the Light of the World and the Bread of Life.”

Goodness! Such beautiful ways to remember God. Thank you, boys. I shall forever remember that you were the ones who enlightened me.”

I can’t help but see Jesus in all of it. He said He was the light of the world and the Bread of Life. He took the cup of wine and said, ‘this is My blood of the covenant’. His body was even wrapped with spices like in the little box the boys talked about. Can you not see how Jesus fulfills all this?”

Daniel gazed at the sparkling river. “We Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for so long.”

But He’s already come. Jesus came and fulfilled it all.” Reagan touched his forearm giving it a soft pat before returning her hand to her lap.

  ABOUT THE BOOK

In my sixth Gilded Age story, Reagan’s Reward, it’s 1912, and Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family when she is a Gentile and tending to eight-year-old, mischievous boys yields challenges galore.

Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. He tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, but she calls into question his own faith background and forces him to face the hurts of his past. Then there’s the jealous lady’s maid who seems intent on wedging herself between them. Can he and Reagan ever find common ground on such a small island?

      ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award and the Indie Excellence Book Award. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

Amazon: Susan G Mathis author

Pirate and Traveler Game — Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis as she shares about an interesting piece of history and how she weaves it into her stories.

A popular board game of the 1910s was called “Pirate and Traveler.” Board games hit their peak of popularity during the Gilded Age, so 1870-1920 is called “The Golden Age of Board Games.” Because I write during this period, each of my stories include a famous board game of its day.

Here’s an excerpt from Reagan’s Reward when twin nine-year-old boys receive the game for their birthday:

Wanna play with us, Mr. Daniel?” Jacob hollered at Daniel, who was walking toward Casa Blanca, hedge clippers in hand. He gave a wave and joined them on the veranda.

We got a new game for our birthday!” Joseph picked it up and shook the box.

Happy birthday, boys.” Daniel sat where Mrs. Bernheim had. He nodded Reagan’s way and gifted her with a handsome smile. “Miss Reagan.”

Daniel reached for the game and showed it to Reagan. On the cover, colorful artwork of a smiling pirate, a ship on an angry ocean, and a treasure chest was accompanied by the words, “Pirate and Traveler, Amusement and Instruction for the Greatest of all Games.”

Daniel chuckled. “How can I say no to the greatest of all games?” He handed the game to Joseph who opened the box to find a map of the world, travel cards, a spinner, pawns, and instructions. Once they read the rules, they played the game…twice, but soon it was nearly time for the noon meal.

  ABOUT THE BOOK

In my sixth Gilded Age story, Reagan’s Reward, it’s 1912, and Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family when she is a Gentile and tending to eight-year-old, mischievous boys yields challenges galore.

Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. He tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, but she calls into question his own faith background and forces him to face the hurts of his past. Then there’s the jealous lady’s maid who seems intent on wedging herself between them. Can he and Reagan ever find common ground on such a small island?

      ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award and the Indie Excellence Book Award. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

Amazon: Susan G Mathis author

 

November 2020 New Releases!

November 2020 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

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)

Historical Romance:

Rocky Mountain Revelation by Lisa J. Flickinger — Widowed at nineteen, Madeline Lamb seeks to find a new husband amongst the crew of the Rocky Mountain log drive. With a baby growing inside her, she has no choice. She signs on as cook’s helper, and it soon becomes apparent her options for a mate are limited. Madeline’s grieving heart wavers between the security an older man offers and the tender feelings a new crew member stirs. Will Matheson earned the chance to work the high-paying spring log drive. The boon ensures he can recoup the logging wages stolen by a pretty face with some fast fingers. Frustration builds when the boss pulls him from the river and assigns him the job of camp chore boy. If it wasn’t for the pretty cook’s helper, he’d take the first train home. When the dangers of the river journey prove more treacherous than anyone expects, the budding attraction between Will and Madeline is put to the test. If they survive the adventure, life as they know it will never be the same. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

A Bride for Seamus by Linda Shenton Matchett — When her father dies after a lengthy illness, Madeline Winthrop is horrified to discover his will bequeaths their home to his business partner, a cruel and dishonest man, leaving her destitute. With no job or marriage prospects, she seeks help from her pastor who suggests she considers becoming a mail order bride. There’s just one catch. She’s to marry the man by proxy before ever meeting him. After three mail order brides refuse to stay and marry Seamus Fitzpatrick because of his brother’s mental issues and two rambunctious children, Seamus decides a proxy marriage is the only way he’s going to secure a wife. When the Boston-bred socialite arrives with few practical skills, he wonders if he made the biggest mistake of his life. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Romantic Suspense:

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])

Speculative:

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)

Thriller:

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])

Young Adult:

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)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

Methuselah Project S.O.S. by Rick Barry – In order to rescue a friend, Air Force Captain Roger Greene accepts temporary duty with the CIA–and lands in more danger than he ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense)

Mercy Will Follow by Sarah Hanks – Natassa is a devoted, and slightly devious, wife and mother. But when the unthinkable happens, she is forced to reexamine what she believes about life, truth, race, and the God she always thought she believed in. (Contemporary)

Hearts Aglow by Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Jaycee Weaver – Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish farmhouse, and a hidden family heirloom. What more could you want in a Minnesota Christmas romance? (Romance)

Lighter Than Air by Linda Hoover – Elena Bishop’s father has gambled away their home, but she feels God has shown her what to do to save it in spite of interference from Justin Ramsay, her neighbor, who has an agenda of his own that doesn’t allow both of them to succeed. (Historical Romance)

Bag of Bones by Jackie Layton – Andi Grace Scott puts her sleuthing skills to the test when the island’s Cat Lady is found dead. (Cozy Mystery)

Seasoned ~ A Love Story by Jayme H. Mansfield – If you had one last chance to love, would you take it? (Contemporary Romance)

Verdict at the River’s Edge by Colleen K. Snyder – In a test of faith, God challenges Collin Walker to face her deepest fears for no other reason than, “Because I love you.” (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller)

Always and Forever by Cathe Swanson – Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish farmhouse, and a hidden family heirloom. What more could you want in a Minnesota Christmas romance? (Romance)

Ghost by Michael Jack Webb – The FBI’s youngest, most brilliant Profiler is tracking a serial killer with supernatural abilities, and the life-threatening case will challenge her beliefs about the world around her and her understanding of what is real, what is myth, and what is something in between. (Supernatural Suspense)

Resisting by H. L. Wegley – Civil war has begun and a band of patriots takes on the president in a battle for the soul of America. (Romantic Suspense)

Traffic Then and Now — Cynthia L. Simmons

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.

https://www.amazon.com/Valuing-Gold-Novella-Civil-War/dp/1649490801/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-p13n1_0?cv_ct_cx=valuing+gold&dchild=1&keywords=valuing+gold&pd_rd_i=1649490801&pd_rd_r=be6f2430-fef7-43a7-bad1-8334bb0ace7e&pd_rd_w=fd9RE&pd_rd_wg=kqVtJ&pf_rd_p=5be4970c-0256-4afe-9550-68021bd84e5b&pf_rd_r=RXV949X9RXMJ87DY3D9P&psc=1&qid=1604429819&sr=1-1-791c2399-d602-4248-afbb-8a79de2d236f  

 

About Cynthia:

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!

October 2020 New Releases

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

Children’s:

The Firefly Warriors by Susan Count — They chase a light and then it chases them. (Children’s from Hastings Creations Group)

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)

Contemporary Romance:

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)

Contemporary:

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)

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner — An old farmer who regrets his past, a young girl who fears her future, and an unexpected friendship that will change the course of their lives forever. (Contemporary from Bethany House)

Historical Romance:

 Joy to the World: A Regency Novella Collection by Amanda Barratt, Carolyn Miller, and Erica Vetsch — In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness. “Far as the Curse Is Found” by Amanda Barrat “Heaven and Nature Sing by Carolyn Miller, and “The Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch. (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications) 
 
The Lost Heir by Candee Fick — A foundling raised by the local vicar and his wife finds herself the ward of an earl and on a direct path to a London Season. If only her heart wasn’t still drawn to her childhood friend and their small Yorkshire village. (Historical Romance, 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)

The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano — A career-minded woman in Victorian England sets out to deliver a lost love letter to its rightful owner–unless it’s already too late. (Historical Romance from Revell – A division of Baker Publishing Group)

Mystery:

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)

Romantic Suspense:

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)

 
 

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

 
Murder, Mysteries, & Romance in Tarryton, Missouri by Alice K. Arenz, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, The Case of the Mystified M.D., The Wedding Barter, and Hiding from Christmas. (Romantic Mystery)
 
 
Brides of the Wild West by Anne Greene, Abby Hollister must find a husband in one month. (Historical Romance)
 
 
The Promise of Hope by Julie Lessman, A woman of deep faith, a husband with deep joy, until one careless comment steals it away. (Historical Romance)
 
 
Guardian Prince by Lauricia Matuska, A healer running for her life is aided by fey as she joins a prince in a race to secure humanity’s freedom. (Speculative Fantasy)
 
 
For the Love of Llamas by Patti Jo Moore, When a realtor tries to buy out a Georgia farm girl, more than the land draws them together, but can she trust him with her heart? (Contemporary Romance)
 
 
Dogwood Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels, An injured veteran and a plantation belle team together to care for younger family members, but can their wounded hearts heal when the War of 1812 is just getting started? (Historical Romance)
 
 
Charlotte Masterson Gets a Life by Carol Raj, When Charlotte Masterson gets a life, life gets interesting. (Young Adult)
 
 
The Pulse of His Soul: The Story of John Lothropp, a Forgotten Forefather by Ora Smith, When his wife refuses to break from her Anglican roots, John must decide whether to obey his conviction to renounce the Church of England and become an outlawed Separatist or conform and save his marriage, his family, and his life. (Historical)
 
 
A Home for Her Daughter by Jill Weatherholt, Love-shy single mom Janie finds a fresh start with the inheritance of a house and a camp, but she must work with her childhood friend and crush to get the camp running. (Contemporary Romance)