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February 2019 New Releases!

February 2019 New Releases

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

Amish Romance:

Convenient Amish Proposal by Jan Drexler — When Bethany Zook’s childhood friend returns to Indiana Amish country a widower, with an adorable little girl in tow, she’s willing to aid him in any way. But there’s just one thing Andrew Yoder needs – a mother for little Mari. And he seems convinced Bethany is the answer, just as she’s sure any union between them would be one strictly of convenience… Andrew thought Bethany had married another. Now, determined to keep Mari despite his mother-in-law’s interference, he offers Bethany marriage in name only. But she’s quickly becoming more than a housekeeper and a mamm. Can he leave the past behind to claim a family of the heart? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Contemporary Romance:

Ocean’s Edge by Cindy M. Amos — Tired of Kansas, Wynn Yardley places her wish to touch the ocean into Dreams Come True Director Teague Montgomery’s hands, and then launches into an adventure to the seashore with him to discover the tidal zone–and affections for her companion. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

Home Another Way by Brenda S. Anderson — Can a senator’s daughter and convict’s son overcome their differences and learn what it really means to love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love, Lies, and Homemade Pie by Sally Bayless — Cara Smith has a whole new life planned in Abundance, Missouri. If she can just avoid questions from that intriguing guy at the newspaper, no one will ever find out about her past. Will Hamlin, local editor, desperately needs a big story to keep his newspaper afloat, and Cara Smith is clearly hiding something. But after Will’s initial inquiries fail to turn up anything, he grows less interested in Cara’s past and more interested in winning her heart with slices of pie and stolen kisses. When a crime is uncovered at city hall just as Will unearths Cara’s dark secret, the repercussions shatter their romance. Has Cara really left her past behind? Can Will finally find a way to save the paper? And can they each place their trust in God and together find freedom in the truth and overcome the obstacles to their love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Their Family Blessing by Lorraine Beatty — She owns the lodge but he owns the land. When single mom Carly Hughes the Longleaf Lodge, she gains a heap of trouble – her teenage crush Deputy MacKenzie Bridges. Her father left Mack the land around the lodge. While Carly wants to sell for her daughter’s sake. Mack wants to stay for his niece’s. and if they can’t work together, they’ll both lose everything… including the renewed spark between them. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Courting Calla by Hallee Bridgeman — Calla Vaughn is trying to get her life in order so she can go back to culinary school. No matter how hard she works, though, she feels like she is just treading water and can’t see any way out of the hole dug for her by a con artist who stole her identity. When flowers she sends to her best friend with a dinner invitation accidentally get delivered to Ian Jones, she decides to cook him the best meal he’s ever had. By the time she admits that the flowers were never for him, he is as convinced as she is that God orchestrated the mistake in the first place. All that’s left is to tell him the dark secret about her father’s widow. She waits a little too long, though, and is carted off to jail for questioning on felony charges before she gets a chance. Will Ian understand her situation, or will the deception surrounding Calla destroy any trust he has in her? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Different Season by Jennifer Heeren — How do you go on when your heart is broken? Twenty-two-year-old Lisette Carter is grief-stricken over her husband’s death—which occurred before she knew she was pregnant. Now in her last trimester, she meets David Baranski, who has a tragic past of his own. He seems to care for Lisette, but she’s not sure she can trust him. Besides, her sorrow and survivor guilt are all she can handle. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac — Rachel Somers, ghost writer for America’s #1 relationship expert, is running out of ideas, but it’s keep up the charade or lose the income required to care for her father. The last thing she needs is her boss’s publicist concocting a scheme to pair her with some radio star in hopes it will spark the next book idea. Lucas Grant didn’t expect his fame on a late-night sports show to come with constant calls from women wanting relationship advice. Which means he has to waste hours on the phone with an expert like Dr. Donna Somerville talking about feelings when he’d rather be talking about his first love: football. Then a deal opens up with a big-time producer who suspects Dr. Somerville isn’t what she seems, and he wants Lucas to discover her secret. To do that, he needs to win over her tight-lipped assistant who holds the key to his success and—he begins to suspect—his heart. Can love find a way through the lies that force them apart? (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Season of Hope by Lisa Jordan — His dreams can all come true…but only if his ex-wife will agree! Jake Holland’s peaceful dairy farm is a sanctuary—one he wants to share with other worn and weary veterans. He just needs one more piece of land to start his program…and it belongs to Tori Lerner, his ex-wife. A collaboration could benefit them both, but with a past full of secrets between them, is there any hope for renewed love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Carolina Grace by Regina Rudd Merrick — She knows about God’s grace for her life, but pushes it away. He hasn’t experienced it, but finds grace in a way he never expected. First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies in her family. Rance Butler is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things will only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy, carefree life seems to disintegrate. Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment turns to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace. (Contemporary Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

The Street Singer by Kathleen Neely — While planning her own wedding, a law student works to help her favorite recording artist who has fallen on hard times. She finds an attorney who will work pro bono, but will her growing friendship with him come between her and her fiancé? (Contemporary Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical Romance:

A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin — During the Nome, Alaska gold rush of 1900, a merchant sends for a serious-minded bride to help him raise his young nephews but welcomes a cheery and adventuresome woman who tests his determination to hold her at arm’s length. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

When Valleys Bloom Again by Pat Jeanne Davis — After fleeing impending war in England, nineteen-year-old Abby Stapleton works to correct her stammer and to become a teacher in America, only to discover this conflict has no boundaries and that a rejected suitor is intent on destroying her name, fiancé, and fragile faith. (Historical Romance from Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.)

Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle GriepThe Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady, Cornish Coast, 1815: When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret? The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner) Dakota Territory, 1862: Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins. A House of Secrets, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890: Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Love’s Rescue by Linda Shenton Matchett — Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp? Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city? Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin — Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in late 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion. Violet Lindstrom wants to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment and refreshments for the men of the 357th in the base Aeroclub and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement. Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])


The Watch On the Fencepost by Kay DiBianca — In a deserted park on a cold winter day, twenty-seven-year-old Kathryn Frasier discovers a gold watch on a fencepost, and she has an ominous sense that it was deliberately left for her to find. But when she identifies the owner of the watch, she uncovers a dark family secret and a suspicion that her parents’ recent deaths may not have been an accident. (Cozy Mystery from CrossLink Christian Publishing)

Coffee Club Mysteries by Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Elizabeth Ludwig, Dana Mentink, Candice Prentice, and Janice Thompson — The coffee shop on the corner of First and Main in Oak Grove, Kansas, seems to attract a series of mysterious events. Or perhaps it is the six women who frequent the shop for book club who are the magnets for trouble. . . . Morgan Butler, owner of the Coffee Perk, finds a project worker hanged at her shop. Evelyn Kliff discovers a church meal organizer dead. Harper Daggett is being stalked for an antique jade owl she bought. Baker Jeanine Gransbury’s charity event money goes missing. Jo Anderson shares hazelnut coffee creamer, sending a man into anaphylaxis shock. Penny Parson finds a gun in one of her beehives. Join them as they unravel six unexplained events that have the potential to ruin business and spoil friendships if not handled with care. (Cozy Mystery from Barbour Publishing)

The Sleuth’s Dilemma by Kimberly Rose Johnson — A high school English teacher’s life is turned upside down when she becomes the object of someone’s anger. (Romantic Mystery from Mountain Brook Ink)

Romantic Suspense:

Restoration of the Heart by June Foster — Leaving his beautiful fiancé’s world of alcohol, parties, and nights at her apartment, Luke Chamberlain returns to his Christian values, rededicates his life to the Lord, and vows never to fall into the lifestyle again. When the state of Idaho’s Tourism Department offers his construction company the contract to renovate Silver Cliff, an 1890’s silver mining ghost town, he accepts. Janie Littleton, project historian at the restoration of Silver Cliff, Idaho–an 1890’s silver mining ghost town–believes no man would find her attractive, with her extra pounds, eye glasses, and mousy brown hair. So when contractor Luke Chamberlain shows an interest in her, she doubts his sincerity. But strange turns to worse when someone claiming to be the miner who founded Silver Cliff in 1890 intimidates her with frightening midnight visits. Can Luke convince Janie he’s in love with the godly woman she is? Can Janie hold onto her faith as she’s harassed by frightening appearances of old Ezra Barclay who died a hundred years ago? (Romantic Suspense from Forget Me Not Romance)

Innocence Denied by Mike Garrett — Derrick Walton, to atone for past sins, helps an Arizona socialite hide out in Alabama while a nation-wide manhunt ensues. Can he help Larissa see the need for her soul’s salvation in time? (Romantic Suspense from CrossLink Publishing)


The Soul Searcher by Erin R. Howard — Elnora’s parents gave her one rule: Stay hidden away at all costs. Elnora Scott is used to her survival depending on the decisions of others. Locked away in her safe house, it is easy to follow her parents’ dying wishes until an angel, demon, and seer show up on her doorstep. Now, waking up in a dirty cell, she wishes she would have gone with them when she had the chance, because the very ones who unknowingly ushered the kidnapper to her location may be the only ones who can save her now. When Thea learns that Elnora may be in danger, she doesn’t hesitate to go find her. Thea thought stepping through the portal would be her greatest obstacle, but it only reveals a more sinister threat. (Urban Fantasy from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Women’s Fiction:

A Vow to Cherish by Deborah Raney — When his precious wife receives a devastating diagnosis, John Brighton feels his world has fallen apart. As Ellen slips away from him day by day, their love is tested as never before. Desperately needing someone to confide in, John meets Julia Sinclair, a young widow who seems to understand his pain as no one else can. Torn between doing what he knows to be right and what his heart tells him surely can’t be wrong, John soon discovers that the heart cannot be trusted where true love is concerned. (Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Young Adult:

You’re Amazing by Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini – Middle schooler Jazmin’s a natural at dance until a series of changes make her wonder if she should even keep up with her favorite hobby. Lena’s a mom with young children overwhelmed with her schedule when a woman remarks that what Lena does isn’t even important. Both Jazmin and Lena belong to Linked, a mentoring ministry where all ages encourage each other and build friendships. Can these two surrender the lies they are believing and realize they are amazing? (Young Adult from Surrendered Scribe Media)


Deep Calling Deep — Carole Towriss

Today I’m happy to welcome author Carole Towriss as she shares about her book, Deep Calling Deep.

Last year about this time I was asked to join two other authors in The Psalm Series. Each book in this series is a fictional story inspired by a different Psalm and written by a different author. Included with the books are detailed Bible studies of the psalms covered, and an in-depth explanation of the author’s approach to the Scriptural text.

I decided to write about Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome. I searched the psalms looking for one that would fit the time period I’m writing in. As soon as I read Psalm 42, I knew I had found it. The up and down feelings of the psalmist seemed to perfectly represent what I imagine Paul and Timothy would experience during this turbulent time. When I discovered Sextus Burrus, I knew I had my story.

Sextus Afranius Burrus was a real man, the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard from 54 to 62 AD. By all accounts, he was a good man, honest and upright. Not much else is known about him.

The story is told from the points of view of Sextus and Timothy. Sextus, as he wrestles with the violence of Rome and the uselessness of the Roman gods, and Timothy as he smuggles with why God would allow Paul to suffer in this way.


About the Book

Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus has spent his life fighting for the glory of Rome, but that glory has lost its shine. As both his health and his career crumble, he is drawn toward the seemingly inexhaustible peace of one of his Jewish prisoners, the Apostle Paul. The moment Timothy hears his mentor and surrogate father Paul has been arrested, he rushes to Rome. Under the looming threat of execution, Timothy struggles to make sense of what is happening. Finally, an unexpected crisis requires him to reexamine everything, and places their hope for Paul’s freedom on the shoulders of Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus. 

ALL three Psalm Series books will be on sale Feb. 6-12 for .99 cents.


About the Author:

An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge watches British crime dramas and does the dishes four times in one day.
Twitter: @CaroleTowriss
Amazon Author page:


Chapter One
And when we came to Rome,
the centurion delivered the prisoners to the praetorian prefect,
but Paul was allowed to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
—Acts 28:16, JUB

Rome, seventh month, September, 61 AD

Praetorian Prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus had imagined the scene spread out before him, but his worst nightmares weren’t even close.

Lucius Secundus, the former city prefect, had been murdered by one of his slaves. Following an ancient law, the senators had called for the execution of all four hundred of the slaves who had worked for him.

The Praetorian Guards had been called out to quell the resulting riot.

The new city prefect and his cohortes urbanae were an astounding picture of Roman efficiency. All three cohorts, five hundred men each, gleefully took part in the bloody vengeance. Some of the urban guards pounded stakes into the ground along the Appian Way just outside the city’s walls. Others guarded the remaining slaves, and still others confiscated wood from anywhere they could find it.

Sextus had seen teams of soldiers leaving the Secundus estate. Apparently, they’d razed the slaves’ quarters, tearing down doorways and roof supports.

The all too familiar metallic scent of blood permeated the air. Sextus wiped sweat from his brow as he walked along the oldest of Rome’s wide stone and cement roads. Crosses of all shapes lined the highway on his right and left—crossbars at the top, the middle, wherever. The victims’ feet hung only a cubit or so above the ground, their anguished faces easier to see, their tormented cries easier to hear.

The Guards had started with the men. Obviously wanting to eliminate as much resistance as possible, the youngest and strongest were first to be nailed to the posts, staked at regular intervals along the Via Appia. Most of those had already been crucified by the time Sextus arrived.
The clanging of hammer against nail clashed with the screams of women watching husbands and sons writhe in agony. The noise grew so loud, Sextus’s ears hurt. He rolled his shoulders, trying to dull the pain as he trudged south.

The condemned waited in a loose grouping on the east side of the Via surrounded by armed and angry guards.

At the end of the seemingly endless line of limp bodies, Sextus halted. With his good hand, he shaded his eyes against the brutal midsummer sun, gazing south toward the nearby Alban Hills. The via continued all the way to Capua, rarely veering to left or right. Even when hills, rivers, or cities stood in the proposed path, Rome’s engineers barreled straight through.

Ancient pine trees lining the highway stretched toward the few wispy clouds above him, as if trying to rise above the slaughter. In the distance, family vineyards and peaceful villages dotted the landscape. If he kept walking, maybe he could reach one and forget this nightmare had never happened.

But he had responsibilities.

He clenched his fists and spun around to trudge back toward the city’s center, trying to shut out the detestable images, only to have them replaced with pictures even more gruesome.

A boy not old enough to shave trying to stop the guards from dragging his little sister away.

A mother desperately clinging to her newborn as one of Secundus’s avengers ripped him from her arms.

A toddler squirming so violently, the soldier trying to pin him to the wood gave up and unsheathed his dagger. Sextus tried to avert his eyes, but the horror compelled him to watch as the soldier nailed the lifeless body to the upright.

He was already dead, so what was the point?

To incite fear. Abject dread. To remind any who dared to go against the world dominating power that was Rome, that she would always win.

Back inside the walls, Sextus ensured his men had the desperate crowd firmly under control. Held back by Praetorians, both citizens and slaves lined the street leading from the Capena Arch to the city center; he avoided meeting their accusing eyes. His stomach roiled. His heart pounded. If he stayed inside the walls, maybe the angry cries from the crowd would drown out the shrieks from beyond them.

He’d seen more death than all the senators combined. So why was he the only one who seemed to be bothered by today’s slaughter? He’d served in the army since he was seventeen years old. More than forty years had passed since he’d first tasted combat. He’d been part of the deadliest battles, left entire villages bloody and burned, all in the name of the glory of Rome.

But no matter how hard he tried, today he found no glory in the death of innocents.

Guest Post — Ethyl Smith

Today I’m happy to welcome author Ethyl Smith as she shares some Scottish history.

At speaking events I find people know little about Scottish history but want to know more. Hopefully this might intrigue you.

17th century Scotland was full of political intrigue. It still is. One review says of my series … ‘this reminds us that the past is neither as distant nor as complete as we might think.’

My writing is based on fact, covering 1679-89 because my main character John Steel was on the run from the law this long but never caught.

Extensive research, visits, etc help understanding the full picture.
An unexpected bonus has been contact from Steel descendants here and abroad.

It begins with the Stuart kings who believe in the Divine Right of Kings which gives them the right to preside over all matters civil and temporal. Scottish Presbyterians believe in a direct line to God with no need for an intermediary. Such opposing views cause trouble …

Armed rebellion fails. The crown reacts, demanding allegiance or be declared a traitor.
Many refuse. Terrible repercussions follow.
Charles 11 dies in 1684. His brother James, a Roman Catholic, is now king. More protests. There is another rebellion which fails.
James offers Scotland religious freedom provided individuals swear allegiance. This is impossible for any Presbyterian.
English nobles are alarmed when James’ wife produces a Catholic heir to the throne.
They offer crown to Protestant prince William of Orange, who is married to James’ eldest daughter. William lands at Torbay with troops. James flees to France then asks his main supporter John Graham to rally Scotland for his cause.
Graham tries but fails.
William of Orange restores Presbyterianism to Scotland.
Is Scotland now a happier place? Not really.
I hope this gives you some idea of the twist and turns and proves that ‘naethin ivver chainges.’

Books available from Amazon (paperback& kindle)
Blackwells Edinburgh
Independent bookshops

About the Author:

I have always liked stories, always admired a good storyteller, longed to become one. As a child I told stories through pictures. Later as an illustrator I interpreted the words of others before daring to link my own words with my own pictures. Gradually the words took over. Now I only illustrate my bookcovers.

In my ‘Times’ series I have worked to portray the images of turbulent 17th century Scottish lives in words, and give them their voice.
twitter @ethylsmith

D.A. Glasgow School of Art
A.D.F School of Advanced Studies Manchester College of Art
Graduate University of Srathclyde Novel Writing Course
Stirling University M.Litt Creative Writing
Range of publication, mostly short stories in magazines


Guest Post — Catherine Brakefield ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author Catherine Brakefield as she discusses historical romance. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” Harry S. Truman

What is your favorite part about faith-based historical romance? Is it the humanistic facts or the immemorial story of true love?

Wilted Dandelions begins in 1837; my Destiny four book series begins with the antebellum era in 1857 and climaxes through to World War II in 1944.

I soon learned I couldn’t rely on the internet for my research, nor modern-day history books, movies, or Hollywood films. I felt like I had one foot in modern pop culture and one foot in a watered-down version of the past.

My Grandmother and my Amish friends were instrumental in helping me to feel the history.

Through my experiences, I learned that the mind-set, emotions, and needs of the populace of the 1800 and 1900s versus modern-day people of 2000s were polar opposites!

What my Grandmother knew to be true and I what I now know about her generation was dissimilar. I understand that this century’s generation is ‘the enlightened generation’ but I want my readers to experience a feeling of entering a time capsule. I decided not to watch any show or read any books dated from the 1960s forward.

History books published before 1959 gave me insight, as did old newspaper clippings, and interviews. I felt the nostalgia of our forebears as I leafed through these books and newspaper clippings.

Vivid words and pictures of the southern plantation life, and Rough Riders on their faithful steeds encouraged my imagination. The cavalry of the Great War, the silent films of the Roaring 20s burned into my imagination. Glenn Miller’s rise to fame and the exploits of our determined World War II infantry inspired me.

The typical American did not cherish modern conveniences. Their family, however, was a vital part of their existence. When I wrote history books for Arcadia, I learned that the first settlers that came to Lapeer County in Michigan came for their Christian values. They built schools because they wanted their children to learn how to read The Holy Bible!

Scripture verses were as common as everyday language in the 1800s and on up through the 1940s. Families recorded their marriages, births, baptisms, and deaths within their Holy Bible.

Below is a short synopsis of each novel:

Wilted Dandelions (a stand-alone). The story unfolds during the Second Great Awakening in 1837. High-spirited Rachael Rothburn doesn’t need a husband. She wants to travel out west as a missionary to the Native Americans. Jonathan Wheaton desires the same. They agree on a marriage of convenience. In the process of co-existing, they discover God doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities.

Wilted Dandelions

Book 1: Swept into Destiny. Maggie Gatlan is a Southern belle who’s a rebel disguised in frilly clothes. She is secretly educating the slaves. Ben McConnell is a proud Irish immigrant who is hired to dredge out the Gatlan’s snake-infested swampland. An unexpected chain of events leads Maggie into choosing where her loyalties lie when Civil War erupts—did she care more for Ben or for her beloved South?

Amazon: Swept into Destiny

Book 2, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Collina McConnell promises her father that his legacy for Shushan will continue. Dashing Rough Rider Franklin Long offers his help, and Collina’s heart has a will of its own. War calls Franklin to the shores of Cuba. She finds herself tangled in a web of deception and greed when a vindictive lawyer places the family in peril. Will Franklin return in time?

Amazon: Destiny’s Whirlwind

Here is a link to a special bonus chapter that ties Swept into Destiny and Destiny’s Whirlwind together!

Book 3, Destiny of Heart As 1917 arrives, Ruby McConnell Muir leaves her kindred for the prairies of Colorado with her husband and child. Back home, Ruby’s sister, Collina, battles to save not only Shushan, but her own life as well. The Great War and the Great Depression change not only the nation’s borders, but theirs. Each yearns for contentment. Will their legacy of their mustard seed of faith see them through?

Book 4, Waltz with Destiny releasing summer, 2019. The offspring of the Great Depression awaken into the Big Band Era of eloquent ballrooms and frivolous gaiety. Across the ocean Hitler is awakening his youth to the idea of a “Master Race.” Esther Meir can’t halt America from entering World War II, but love was different… That is until Eric Erhardt waltzes into her life. What starts as a frolic ends in a battle for survival, heaven or hell, a heartbeat away.

I will give away a book of your choice, either an e-book or a print. (Please note: for readers outside of the United States, I can only do an e-book.)

What is your favorite part about faith-based historical romance?

About the Author:

Catherine is the award-winning author of the faith-based historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her new Destiny series begins with Swept into Destiny. The second of her four-book Destiny series is Destiny’s Whirlwind, followed by, Destiny of Heart. The fourth book, Waltz into Destiny, will release this summer. She has written two pictorial history books: Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books; Baker Books, Revell; CrossRiver Publishers; and Bethany House.

She enjoys swimming and horseback riding. She lives in Addison Township, Michigan, with her husband and their Arabian horses. Her children grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!

Blog: Hopes, Hearts, & Hoofbeats:

Twitter: :


Sold Into Freedom by Carole Towriss

Today I’m happy to welcome author Carole Towriss as she shares about her book, Sold Into Freedom.

I write biblical fiction. My books don’t feature the people everyone knows, like Moses, David, Esther. I like to write about the characters that are mentioned only once or twice. My Old Testament series books were about Bezalel—the man who built the Ark of the Covenant, Gaddiel—one of the ten spies who rejected God’s promise of Canaan, and Acsah—Caleb’s daughter.


Sold into Freedom is the first book in my new series, “Planting Faith.” This series follows the Apostle Paul though his second missionary journey. Each book will focus on two or more little-known biblical characters who came to faith through his ministry. This first one takes place in Philippi, and is based on Acts 16—the story of the slave girl possessed by the spirit of prophecy, and the jailer.


Elantia, a seer, is kidnapped from her home on the coast of Britannia and sold as a slave in Ephesus. Her new owners take her to Philippi, where they put her to work each day in the marketplace telling fortunes. When they take from her the only good thing left in her life, she vows she will take her revenge and find her way home, even if she has to kill to do it.

After a devastating injury and vicious rumors, Tribune Quintus Valerius is forced from the army he loves. Given land in lieu of a cash pension, he settles in Philippi, but a betrayal forces him to become the city’s Keeper of the Prison. At least until the truth comes out.

Everything changes when a simple Jewish preacher visits Philippi. Tia and Quin are both intrigued by Paulos’s message of peace, but it seems too good to be true. Are they willing to leave behind everything they know to experience a freedom like no other?


Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke, Lydia—they’re all here as minor characters. Come explore ancient Greece with me!


About the Author:

An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge watches British crime dramas and does the dishes four times in one day.
Twitter: @CaroleTowriss
Amazon Author page:


January 2019 New Releases!

January 2019 New Releases

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

Amish Romance:

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston — Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Courting Her Prodigal Heart by Mary Davis — Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Contemporary Romance:

Her Hope Discovered by Cynthia Herron — Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, Missouri, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery. Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course? Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined. A new place to call “home,” the possibility of what might be, and the answer to someone’s prayers unite this unlikely pair with the help of the town’s residents. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Cozy Mystery:

Murderous Heart by Lynne Waite Chapman — Freelance writer, Lauren Halloren pens popular magazine articles extoling the comfort and security of small town America. And Evelynton, Indiana treasures its wholesome small town values. Ask anyone. Streets are safe to walk. People look out for one another. Marriage vows are treasured. Murders are solved. In this third volume of the Evelynton Murder series, Lauren, along with friends, Clair and Anita stumble over another body. The partially mummified remains turn out to be an Evelynton resident. But how, in this close knit community, could a woman be deceased for over six months without being missed? (Cozy Mystery from Winged Publications)

Historical Romance:

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham — Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Homeward Journey by Misty M. Beller — Finally free from her dead husband’s addicted lifestyle, Rachel Gray and her young son set out for a new life in the wilderness of the Canadian territories. She is reluctant to accept help from another man, but after a bear threatens her son’s life, she agrees to accompany two God-fearing brothers who are traveling to the same area. Slowly, she begins to trust the one named Seth. Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to Seth—until a secret from his past proves he had more in common with her husband than she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Stepping into the Light by Candee Fick — With war looming and a madwoman in their midst, the only hope for a peaceful future may lie in a marriage alliance between a disfigured recluse of the Gunn clan and the overlooked second son of Clan Sinclair. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse — Tayler Hale is ahead of her time as one of the first women naturalists. She has always loved adventure and the great outdoors, and her remote job location also helps keep her away from the clutches of the man to whom she once made a foolish promise. It seems she must keep running, however, and in secret, her boss from Yellowstone arranges for a new job . . . in Alaska. The popular Curry Hotel continues to thrive in 1929 as more visitors come to Alaska and venture into the massive national park surrounding Denali. Recent graduate Thomas Smith has returned to the hotel and the people he considers family. But when a woman naturalist comes to fill the open position and he must work with her, everything becomes complicated. The summer brings unexpected guests and trouble to Curry. With his reputation at stake, will Thomas be able to protect Tayler from the danger that follows? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Devotion by Olivia Rae — Injured and unable to make his living by the sword, Sir Theo de Born needs to secure his keep by becoming an educated man. As he finds himself falling for his reluctant teacher, he learns of her plan to leave England before the winter sets in. How can he convince her to stay and fulfill her promise while protecting his heart? Denied her true love and sent away to a convent, Lady Rose de Payne has no choice but to accept to become Sir Theo’s teacher. However, she has a plan to escape the confines of her new prison and start fresh in a different country. As the chilly winds blow, her resolve begins to waver. Will she abandon Sir Theo to a miserable fate or will she give up her dreams to make his come true? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

The Process of Death — A Character’s and Author’s Ultimate Truth — B. J. Thompson

Today I’m happy to welcome author B. J. Thompson as she shares insights into her writing.

All stories have climaxes and endings where a character in a literary work evolves or devolves. But I’ve always asked myself, what if the pinnacle of realization as a living human being comes not at the apex of one’s journey, but at the end, in those very final moments before death?

Yes, it’s not a comfortable thought, for we can greedily say, what’s the point of experiencing any apex if afterward your very existence fades to black?

Yet, I feel I must travel down this literary road in order to meet face-to-face with those very seconds in every work I have ever undertaken. The Plan: I choose a real life icon or event or ideal and wrap fictional characters and a side story around said and have they and it play out to that final moment. Now, you could assume all my tales have a mortal ending, and to some extent they do, but I entertain the idea that life is cyclical, renewable, regenerative, and those life lessons put on display by the dead help we, the survivors of such tales, move on to better understand the possibility of ever-lasting life.

Yes, I know, all very airy-fairy there, B. J., but why, you may ask, delve into and ever dwell in such dark corners? Well, I’m Canadian of North Irish descent and you cannot be Northern Irish and not accept the marriage of death with life as an everyday and natural thing. Back in the day, the Irish were known for the 3-day Olympic-class funeral wakes. There wasn’t anything in those rites of passage that were distant or sanitized for your protection. You had a front-row seat to death. You kissed the corpse before the coffin was closed. The men, after the respectable daytime luncheon, would hold a darker version and stuff a drink in the dead man’s hand and party alongside the coffin until dawn. We are a people who look at death head-on and choose to see it as a renewal, of lessons learned in this life that we take to the next.

In my first novel, No More Blood, I examined the last three hours of the iconic celebrity author, Truman Capote, to see how he wrestled with his own demons after his explosive rise to fame and fortune from his reportage of the Kansas Clutter family murders of 1959, depicted in his non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood. In my second work, a political thriller, I examined the death of an ideal through President Nixon and the Watergate scandal, and how those acts forever tainted our view of politicians and democracy. In Eighteen Minutes to the Beast, I tell the reader what was said on the infamous 18 ½ minute gap of the Nixon Watergate tape #342 which today is housed at the Washington D.C. National Archives. And in my third work, a psychological noir, entitled, Sessions, I examine the death of the soul through the eyes and acts of an imaginary sexually sadistic female serial killer, who is related to a real life killer, and who chooses to spend seven sessions with a psychiatrist at the end of her life.

For me as an artist, death must be faced in order to appreciate life. Grab a pint of Guinness, won’t you, and come along for the ride.

About the Author:

B. J. Thompson was born in the Lake Country District of southern Ontario, Canada and is a retired public relations liaison, and currently a Calgary-based novelist of historical literary works. An only child to an RCMP Constable father and industrial accountant mother, B. J. grew up very Anglo-Saxon, very Northern Irish. B. J. has done extensive travelling and now lives to swim, hike and fish in the Rocky Mountains, enjoys her friends and family, leads an avant-garde writers group likened on the 1920s Montparnasse, Paris “Lost Generation,” and pens her tales on either side of Cocktail Hour. B. J.’s upcoming historical epic, entitled, AIR, tells of six US Navy sailors on December 7, 1941 as they try to hold on to life in the capsized USS Oklahoma after the Pearl Harbor attack. All six, trapped below the sea, find out there can be far worse things in life than death. AIR is due to be released on December 7, 2020.

Click on the links below to view;

Words to Write By… and Books by BJ Thompson

B J Thompson Amazon Author Page

Facebook Fan Page

Medium Articles


Click on the links below to read;

No More Blood – Epilogue on the Life of Truman Capote and In Cold Blood

Eighteen Minutes to the Beast – A Nixon Watergate Political Thriller

Sessions – Predator vs. Shrink Who will survive?

A Problem of Clutter — Donevy Westphal

Today I’m happy to welcome author Donevy Westphal as she shares some great tips for dealing with the clutter of life.

“Human History is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” C. S. Lewis

2018 is now history. We have arrived in the New Year. That should not be surprising, but I have begun sixty-five New Years, and I’m as ill-equipped this year as I was on the very first one. I wonder—when will I get it right?

I spent several weeks cleaning, painting, and renovating my office, which quite a few years ago was our youngest son’s bedroom. Last week he began cleaning out his closet, a long overdue project, but he left the junk he didn’t want on the floor of my newly cleaned office.

Sometimes my life and undertakings seem to be like that. It is like finding my way through someone else’s clutter.

Sorting through the clutter of life, be it clutter we make or clutter we inherit, is a challenge. In this stage of my life some things I’ve discovered are:

• If it isn’t broken, give it away
• If it is broken, throw it away
• If you don’t need it, sell it or give it away
• If your heart needs repaired take it to God
• If you have a broken relationship take it to God
• If you need to forgive, take it to God
• Never lose faith, take it to God

The New Year will bring its share of problems, we can be sure of that. As each problem raises its ugly head remember to take it to God in prayer. Then become content with His answer.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God hath done it, that men should fear before him.”


What genre(s) do you write in and why?

My favorite genre is historical fiction. I’m fascinated by the early 1900’s through the early 1960’s.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I enjoy research, although I’m not as proficient at it as need be, I end up chasing rabbits and finding dead ends.

What kind of books do you write: what is your next book and when is it going to be published?

I’m currently working on a series that is set in the Vietnam era forward. That is slightly out of my preferred range, but it is part of a family puzzle that begins in my preferred range. It is currently in a (hopefully) final edit, and should be published by October(?) this year.

As of present, I am working on a series ‘Ebenezer’. The first book, If I Should Die, follows detective, Julius Armstrong, part of an elite group, on his last case as he tracks a crime boss.


Donevy is a primitive artist who has worked with raw materials in many different mediums. An artist with paint, canvas, clay, etc. and a mother, a teacher, a Bible class teacher, and a writer. She has homeschooled seven children; writes a blog at; has an author website at and you can reach her on her facebook page: . Donevy is a member of ACFW. ~When you only have words~

Mise-en-scene for Novelists — Sharon Wilharm ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author Sharon Wilharm as she shares some writing tips for authors. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

As a filmmaker who teaches at writing conferences, I’m often asked how writers can give their novels a cinematic touch. I teach them visual storytelling and the concept of Mise-en-scene.

Mise-en-scene is a film term that refers to everything you see in the shot. Nothing shows up randomly. It’s all planned ahead of time so that each detail contributes to the story. It can include cast, costumes, location, set design, blocking, and props. So how does mise-en-scene relate to novelists? Everything in your scene needs to be there for a reason, and it needs to help tell your story.

Cast – Casting directors know the importance of selecting the the right actors for each role. Not only do they need to look the part, but they need to work well with the cast as a whole. When casting your novel, give much thought to who you choose for each role. Don’t limit yourself to cliches. Stretch yourself to include diversity so that each character is distinctive. Include short and tall, dark and fair, beautiful and homely. Most importantly, make them interesting and unique.

Costumes – People wear clothes. Characters wear costumes. Everything your character wears reveals something about their personality. So don’t just clothe him in jeans and a t shirt. Put her in a bohemian dress, a canary yellow raincoat, or a pair of worn sneakers with a hole at the toe. Use costumes to define personality and to show character change.

Location – Location sets the tone for a scene. Your readers need to know where a scene takes place and what it looks like. They love to be transported to exotic locations, bu this doesn’t have to be a foreign country or another time period. It can be as simple as a a small town drugstore, a frozen lake in the midst of a forest, or a dilapidated shack on the wrong side of town. The importance is including details that allow the reader to feel they’re there.

Set Design – Furnish your sets with furniture and decor that enrich the story. Instead of just a couch, have an overstuffed leather sofa, a floral couch from the Truman era, or a burgandy velvet settee. Insert wallpaper, artwork, appliances, and flooring.

Blocking – Avoid talking heads. Talking heads refers to scenes where people sit and talk without doing anything. Most often talking heads scenes take place in restaurants where they eat their meal and talk, but nothing else happens. Get your characters moving. Stand up. Sit down. Walk around the room. Keep it active rather than stagnant.

Props – Give your characters items that reveal character traits. If they’re going to write a letter, pick out a writing utensil that tells us something about them – a pen that never writes, a pencil with a perfect point, an engraved gold fountain pen.

Filmmakers have a limited time to tell their stories. Novelists have more freedom. However, each word you choose should be there on purpose, not to fill up space. Make the most of your mise-en-scene.

Readers, leave a comment below to enter her giveaway for a copy of “Summer of ’67”.

About the Author:

Sharon Wilharm is a filmmaker, blogger, and speaker who teaches screenwriting, visual storytelling, and marketing at film and writing events. . Her films have screened in theaters around the country, amassed dozens of festival accolades, aired on multiple television networks, and sold in bookstores throughout the U.S., Australia, and Canada. Her awards include the “Shibboleth Award” for Visionary Leadership in the Field of Christian Film Making”. Her latest film Summer of ’67 is available at Amazon Prime, Christian Cinema, Google Play, and other online outlets.

Connect with Sharon:




Sharon’s website –

Sharon’s blog –

Summer of ’67 website –

Where Do Fiction Writers Get Their Ideas? — Janet Grunst ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author Janet Grunst as she shares insights into life as an author. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

Ideas for stories can come from a variety of sources; historical or current events, people, a news story, personal-spiritual-social-political issues, something we’ve seen or read about—and even dreams. Even as our stories take form, rabbit trails we meander down offer new ideas.

While the stories I write are historical, they also deal with human issues, emotions, and hopes that are timeless. I live in Virginia and have always been fascinated with the people and events that led to the founding of our nation. What determination and faith it took for people to travel across the ocean to an unknown land to make new lives for themselves. And, what courage and tenacity it took for colonists, with only local militias, to seek independence and fight the most powerful Army and Navy of that era.

In A Heart Set Free set in 1770, Heather Douglas is an indentured servant who emigrated from Scotland. Indentured servitude was a very common way for 17th and 18th century people to settle in the colonies. After their period of indenture ended, they practiced trades and lived lives like most colonists. But Heather’s path is a bit more complicated The theme of the story is forgiveness.

In A Heart For Freedom set in 1775, Matthew Stewart is a planter who wants to farm his land and manage their family’s ordinary (inn). But as strife intensifies between the colonies and England, he is torn about where his responsibilities lie. Some colonists had valid reasons to maintain ties with Britain, some wanted to avoid conflict, and some believed seeking independence was essential. The Revolutionary War was America’s first civil war. The theme is faithfulness.

Readers, leave a comment below to enter her giveaway for a print or e-copy of either book or an audible of “A Heart Set Free.” (Print copy must have a USA address).

About the Author:

Janet lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that can communicate the truths of the Christian faith, and entertain, as well as bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader.

Amazon links to books: