Friday, November 21, 2014

Lizzy and Jane


Lizzy and Jane
Katherine Reay
(HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401689735
October 2014/252 pages/$15.99


Sometimes the courage to face your greatest fears comes only when you've run out of ways to escape.

At the end of a long night, Elizabeth leans against the industrial oven and takes in her kingdom. Once vibrant and flawless, evenings in the kitchen now feel chaotic and exhausting. She's lost her culinary magic, and business is slowing down.

When worried investors enlist the talents of a tech-savvy celebrity chef to salvage the restaurant, Elizabeth feels the ground shift beneath her feet. Not only has she lost her touch; she's losing her dream.

And her means of escape.

When her mother died, Elizabeth fled home and the overwhelming sense of pain and loss. But fifteen years later, with no other escapes available, she now returns. Brimming with desperation and dread, Elizabeth finds herself in the unlikeliest of places, by her sister’s side in Seattle as Jane undergoes chemotherapy.

As her new life takes the form of care, cookery, and classic literature, Elizabeth is forced to reimagine her future and reevaluate her past. But can a New York City chef with a painful history settle down with the family she once abandoned . . . and make peace with the sister who once abandoned her?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked in not-for-profit development before returning to school to pursue her MTS. Katherine lives with her husband and three children in Seattle, WA. Dear Mr. Knightley, her first novel, was a 2014 Carol Award double winner (Debut Novel and Contemporary Novel) and a 2014 Inspy Award winner. Twitter: @Katherine_Reay Facebook: katherinereaybooks


MY THOUGHTS

Katherine Reay is an absolute delight and Lizzy and Jane is every bit as charming as she is. Guaranteed to resonate with any Jane Austen fan, the appeal of this novel isn't limited to that audience. Reay has layered this novel with multiple threads that intertwine and tug at the heart. 'Tis best to read this one after dinner, as Elizabeth's culinary journey and experiments will have your taste buds wanting to crawl through the book. Stunning succulent details provide rich color and a unique depth without turning the novel into a nutrition lesson or cookbook. Family dynamics--and the strain that a cancer diagnosis adds to the already tenuous cords between sisters, spouses, parent & child--are honestly yet tenderly portrayed, and the pages fairly palpate with emotions that simmer and, at times, boil over. Care, friendship, love, forgiveness, and the shared bond of literature infuse this heartwarming story. Don't miss the opportunity to read anything that Katherine Reay writes. You'll be richer for it.


I purchased a digital copy of this book because I loved meeting and interviewing Katherine Reay back in June at ICRS. If you missed that interview, you can read it here.




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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Have Seen God


I Have Seen God
Klaus-Dieter John
(Monarch Books)
ISBN: 978-0857215741
October 2014/288 pages/$16.99


The miraculous founding of a top class hospital for some of the world’s poorest people

Klaus-Dieter and Martina John–both brilliant, talented, and highly qualified doctors–turned their backs on lucrative careers to follow their dream to open a first-rate medical facility for the Indians of the Peruvian Andes, some of the world’s poorest people. The Peruvian Andes natives suffer appallingly from the diseases of poverty and, although they make up approximately 40 percent of Peru’s population, are ignored by the authorities.

Having studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon, Dr. Klaus-Dieter John together with his wife, Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, developed a concept for a modern hospital in the Peruvian Highlands.
Turning down other offers, including a professorship, they set themselves the task of raising the millions of dollars needed. God opened the hearts and consciences of individuals and companies to create not just a health center, but a fully equipped hospital. Their story and vision has captured attention around the world and today they have the backing of 180 corporations and 50,000 private supporters.

The hospital’s name, Diospi Suyana, means “we trust in God” in Quechua, the native language of the people it serves. It is a testament to their experience that with God the impossible can happen. The incredible conviction and profound faith of the Johns will refresh your heart and stir your spirit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Klaus-Dieter John studied at the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Johannesburg during his training as a surgeon. He and his wife Dr. Martina John, a pediatrician, have dedicated their lives to the establishment of the hospital in Peru.


MY THOUGHTS

Having a family member who was a career missionary in South America, I was particularly interested to read this book and it did not disappoint. This is a fascinating account of a couple called to serve God as medical missionaries among the poorest population of Peru and how they built a modern hospital through donations of time and materials and amazing interventions by God. A beautiful testimony of faith and commitment to the cause of Christ, this stirred my heart. I am grateful they have translated this best-selling German book into English for those of us in the USA to read and be encouraged - and maybe even humbled as sometimes I think we believe we are the only ones who have been called to "go and tell." (My one slight disappointment with the book is that John did not share a bit more of the personal struggles of those involved. He alluded one time to some interpersonal conflict among the missions staff, but it was an isolated incident and he did not detail the resolution. While the purpose of the book was to highlight God's movement, I wish John had depicted that power among the lives of his fellow missionaries, who are flawed and human.) I highly recommend this book. It will encourage and inspire you.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Monarch Books and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Monday, November 17, 2014

The Christmas Cat


The Christmas Cat
Melody Carlson
(Revell
ISBN: 978-0800719661
August 2014/176 pages/Hardcover/$15.99

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, as well as The Christmas Pony and A Simple Christmas Wish. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.


MY THOUGHTS

A sure harbinger of the holiday season is a Christmas novella by Melody Carlson once again, she provides a heartwarming story with The Christmas Cat. I was hesitant to read this one since I am about as fond of cats as Garrison but Carlson's talent for storytelling and character development drew me in. Cat lovers will adore this book and even those who eschew felines, such as I, will still enjoy this engaging tell. A purr-fect holiday read!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Revell Publishers as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Friday, November 14, 2014

A Question of Destiny


A Question of Destiny
Anita Higman
(Amazon Digital Services)
ASIN: B00P0FINPE
November 2014/1496KB/$0.99

Lucy O'Brien is about to be given ten millions dollars and a chance to live a life she never imagined. Will this newfound wealth be Lucy's undoing, or can she rise above the temptations within high society and choose to become a nobler version of herself? And will the solitary Andrew Whitfield—a man who watches over Lucy as she adapts to her new lifestyle—cause her to close the door on her dreams or be the key that opens the rest of Lucy's destiny?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. Learn more on her website, www.anitahigman.com/.


MY THOUGHTS

What a bargain! This is a great little novel and such a deal at less than a dollar! Anita Higman has crafted an engaging story with an intriguing premise: what would be the impact of sudden wealth on the life of a humble young woman dedicated to helping others? I immediately connected with Lucy as she tried to navigate the new world thrust upon her as she simultaneously tried to figure out what aspects of her old life to keep or upgrade, with relationships proving to be the most challenging. Andrew Whitfield and his boss fascinated me, and the remaining characters were spot-on; some were completely irritating while others garnered my sympathy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found that it gave me much to ponder as I wondered how I would react, were I in Lucy's position. Grab a copy of this book for your Kindle or Kindle app today!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an electronic copy of this book free from Anita Higman. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A FREE Novella!


Out of the Storm
Beacons of Hope: A Novella
Jody Hedlund
(Bethany House)
ASIN: B00NB3LMEG
October 2014/141 pages/FREE


Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle Thornton has ever known--and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her lightkeeper father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund's Out of the Storm is her first novella and introduces readers to Beacons of Hope, a new series set in the 1800s amid the romance, history, and danger surrounding the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of five children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she’s not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee. Learn more about her at her website, http://jodyhedlund.com/


MY THOUGHTS

I've enjoyed several of Jody Hedlund's books in the past and was intrigued by this new novella which introduces her upcoming Beacons of Hope series. By their nature, novellas can be frustrating because their abbreviated length provides less opportunity for deeper character development and plot progression without seeming rushed. For the most part, Hedlund successfully navigates these challenges. The isolation of life on the tiny Great Lakes Presque Isle and Isabelle's loneliness with only her overly-protective father for company are well-portrayed, and the romantic element, though predictable, is engaging. A bit of danger and intrigue provide the necessary hurdles for the characters to overcome. I look forward to Hedlund's series set amongst the Great Lakes lighthouses, beginning with Love Unexpected, coming November 25!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an electronic copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November Wednesday Hodgepodge


Joining in with Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge once again. Come along and join the fun!

1. We celebrated Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

A friend's son was deployed a year or so ago and I commented on his blog. I've also expressed thanks to veterans who are patients or their family memebers.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

Right now, I'd take fifty pounds of blankets because I'm a bit cold. LOL

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?

A wedding invitation for next weekend which, sadly, I had to decline because of my work schedule. I am generally an early responder if I am accepting but I tend to wait until the last minute if I'm going to decline, sometimes because I hope circumstances will change and allow me to accept.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

Money. Time. Words.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

Definitely M*A*S*H*, although I never watched it until it was in reruns. I've never watched Friends or Seinfeld.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

Well, it's a given that I'm glad I decided to follow Christ. I'm glad I married my husband. Glad we had our kids.

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

I'm not a newbie in my position at work. This time last year, I'd only been working a month. It's always nice to get through the first year of a new job!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Only 127 days until the First Day of Spring!



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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trails and Targets


Trails and Targets
Dangerous Darlyns (Book 1)
Kelly Eileen Hake
(Barbour Publishing)
ISBN: 978-1628367720
November 2014/336 pages/$12.99

The four Darlyn sisters discover the family farm is mortgaged to the hilt when their father falls desperately ill. Plagued by a creditor with designs on more than their land, will a traveling stranger be the answer to their prayers? Greyson Wilder, searching for buffalo bones, is surprised to find himself saddled with a slew of sisters, instead. But it’s the eldest—sharpshooting Beatrix—who hits the mark of his lonely heart.

Armed with courage, cleverness, and some seriously unconventional skills, Grey and Bea just might find a new future to fight for. Join the fun on a journey filled with trouble, Trails & Targets!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Eileen Hake received her first writing contract at the tender age of seventeen and arranged to wait three months until she was able to legally sign it. Since that first contract a decade ago, she’s fulfilled twenty contracts ranging from short stories to novels. In her spare time, she’s attained her BA in English Literature and Composition, earned her credential to teach English in secondary schools, and went on to complete her MA in Writing Popular Fiction.

Writing for Barbour combines two of Kelly’s great loves—history and reading. A CBA bestselling author and member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she’s been privileged to earn numerous Heartsong Presents Reader’s Choice Awards and is known for her witty, heartwarming historical romances.

A newlywed, she and her gourmet-chef husband live in Southern California with their golden lab mix, Midas! Visit Kelly at her website, www.authorkellyeileenhake.com/.

MY THOUGHTS

I read one of Kelly Eileen Hake's early novels before I even began blogging and reviewing books, so it is a delight to catch up with her and see where her writing career has taken her. Trails and Targets is a fun read reminiscent of a Mary Connealy novel: strong women, clever banter, humor, and romance, with a bit of danger thrown in. The Darlyn sisters are a force to be reckoned with, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Greyson deal with this unique family. Pure enjoyment, this is the perfect novel for a quiet evening. I'm looking forward to the next adventures of the Dangerous Darlyns!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Barbour Publishing as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Monday, November 10, 2014

Surprised by Love


Surprised by Love
The Heart of San Francisco (Book 3)
Julie Lessman
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800721657
October 2014/416 pages/$14.99


From Ugly Duckling to Swimming with the Swans …
but is she over her head when it comes to love?

As a shy and pudgy child, Megan McClare has always been ridiculed by her classmates, but when she returns from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. Hopeful of becoming a lawyer or doctor to help the disadvantaged women of the Barbary Coast, Megan accepts an internship at the District Attorney’s office only to discover she’ll be working with the boy who mocked her in school. She turns to her best friend Bram for support and advice, and Bram—fighting an unwelcome attraction to a friend he’s always perceived as a little sister—encourages Meg to forgive Devin and pursue a friendship. The friendship with Devin evolves into a serious romance, but when a sailboat accident tosses Bram and Meg into the seas of attraction, both her heart and her emotions capsize, threatening to change the course of love …


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series The recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards, as well as many other accolades, Lessman was chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 and 2012 Readers' Choice Awards. She resides in Missouri with her family. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.

MY THOUGHTS

This has been such a fun series! I loved the first two books, Love at Any Cost and Dare to Love Again (click the titles for my reviews), and this third and final book is just as delightful. Julie Lessman creates romantic tension like no one else, and this novel fairly sizzles with fervor. Easily read as a standalone, Surprised by Love will be that much more enjoyable for those who have read the first two installments and are familiar with some of the characters. While this tale focuses on Bram and Meg, the conflicted and turbulent, albeit devoted, relationship between the widowed matriarch of the McClare clan, Caitlyn, and her brother-in-law Logan, provides a strong secondary storyline and once again significantly impacts the family. I devoured this novel, ignoring my sensible bedtime to stay up and read it. Don't miss this book and this series!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Revell Publishers as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten


Where Treetops Glisten:
Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage
and Christmas Romance During World War II

Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin
(Waterbrook Press)
ISBN: 978-1601426482
September 2014/368 pages/$14.99

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?


Read an excerpt.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including “Chasing Mona Lisa,” and a speaker and blogger. CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including “Shadowed by Grace.” She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

Click on their names to find out more about Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin at their websites.


MY THOUGHTS

I love Christmas novella season, and I was particularly delighted to find these three authors teaming up and coordinating novellas set during World War II. Each novella focuses on a sibling in the Turner family, and since they are packaged together in one book, you don't have to miss a single one! Goyer, Putman, and Sundin are gifted authors and they have created charming stories that tug at the heart. I loved the characters and the stories, which blended well together. Personal struggles amongst the tensions of war stretch this family's faith as Christmas approaches, giving them a new perspective of the season. Don't miss this heart-warming collection!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Press and Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Love Never Fails


Love Never Fails
(The Homeward Journey #3)
Martha Rogers
(Realms)
ISBN: 978-1621366478
November 2014/304 pages/$14.99


At odds over their beliefs and separated by the war, Molly and Stefan must learn to depend of God.

In book three of the Homeward Journey series, Daniel and Sally Delaney’s daughter Molly finishes school and returns to her home to teach. When old friends of her parents come for a visit with their son, Stefan, Molly is attracted to the young man. Stefan talks about his position in the army and his furlough but keeps his attraction to Molly at bay because of her obvious disdain toward his views on war and weapons. When Stefan leaves to rejoin his regiment, Molly is both relieved and saddened. Can they overcome their differences and find love?


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martha Rogers was born in Texas and lived in Dallas the first 18 years of her life. After graduating from Baylor University she moved to Houston and has been there ever since. Martha is a retired teacher at both secondary and college levels. She and her husband Rex enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football, baseball, and basketball games when one of the grandchildren is playing or performing. Her two great-grandsons are most important right now. Martha loves to cook and experimenting with recipes and enjoys scrapbooking when she has time and isn't on a deadline.


MY THOUGHTS

Martha Rogers is a delightful author, and her books are just as charming. This series began with Love Stays True, the love story of her great-grandparents, and now concludes with Love Never Fails. (My review of Love Stays True and an interview with the author is here.) Though this book is purely fictional, Rogers brings the late 1880s to life with her gift for creating authentic scenes and engaging characters. Rogers also expertly portrays the struggles Molly faces as a result of her family's personal experiences as the War Between the States concluded, years before she was even born. Don't miss this heart-warming novel!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Martha Rogers and Realms Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ACFW November New Releases

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

Amish Romance:

Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport) by Laura V. Hilton -- Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents' farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they've hired Esther Beachy to be a "mother's helper." Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor's grandmother's stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi's in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther's gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther's gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again? (Amish Romance from Whitaker House)

Biblical Fiction:

A Soft Breath of Wind by Roseanna M. White -- A gift that has branded her for life. Zipporah is thirteen when the Spirit descends upon her, opening her eyes to a world beyond the physical goings-on of the villa outside Rome she has always called home. Within hours, she learns what serving the Lord can cost. Forever scarred after a vicious attack, she knows her call is to use this discernment to protect the Way. She knows she must serve the rest of her life at Tutelos, where the growing Roman church has congregated. She knows her lot is set. Yet is it so wrong to wish that her master, the kind and handsome young Benjamin Visibullis, will eventually see her as something more than a sister in Christ? Samuel Asinius, adoptive son of a wealthy Roman, has always called Benjamin brother. When their travels take them to Jerusalem for Passover, the last thing he expects is to cross paths with the woman who sold him into slavery as a child, the mother he long ago purged from his heart. His sister, Dara, quickly catches Benjamin s eye, but Samuel suspects there is something dark at work. When Dara, a fortune-teller seeking the will of a shadowy master determined to undermine the Way, comes into the path of Zipporah, a whirlwind descends upon them all. Only the soft wind of the Spirit can heal their scars...with a love neither divination nor discernment could foresee. (Biblical Fiction from Whitefire Publishing)

A Little Lower Than the Angels by Caryl McAdoo -- Seduced by evil, Cain kills Abel then flees with his sister to the land of Nod. Bereaved of all their children in one day, Adam and Eve are heartbroken, but not until they both see a vision of Abel in Paradise with their childhood pets Lion and Lamb does Eve find the strength to wait upon the Lord for His blessing. Though dead, Abel's soul lives on in Paradise, resting, learning from the old Cherub who God sent to teach the murdered son of Adam. He listens to the war songs the legions of angels sing that battle for his brother and sister and even his mother's soul. But best of all, the angel elder tells him stories of Heaven and how one day, man and God will be reconciled. Again the first couple is tested, and must wait upon the Lord's blessing to begin again. Can they walk in obedience for seventy long years? And Cain's offering is finally accepted, but by whom? (Biblical Fiction from Independent Author)

Contemporary Romance:

Winter Brides: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection by Betsy St. Amant, Denise Hunter and Deborah Raney -- The honor of your presence is requested at three winter weddings . . . "A February Bride" by Betsy St. Amant: History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day-wearing a dress that has ushered generations of the family's brides into failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears repeating her family's mistakes. Months later, Allie and Marcus are thrown together for another wedding and discover their own story might be far from over. "A December Bride" by Denise Hunter: When Layla O'Reilly and Seth Murphy make their engagement public, it's only to impress her high-society client. But for Seth, who has secretly loved Layla for years, this is his chance to finally win her heart. "A January Bride" by Deborah Raney: Novelist Madeleine Houser arranges a peaceful writing getaway in a local bed and breakfast, but ends up falling in love via daily notes with the inn's owner--a man she's never met. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Her Tycoon Hero (Heartsong Presents) by Narelle Atkins -- Set on proving to everyone that she's no longer a party girl, Cassie is focused on her career as an event planner. But her dad's top executive, Ryan Mitchell, proves to be a handsome distraction. Especially when someone from Cassie's wild past tries to get her tangled in the life she's worked hard to escape. Ryan is taken with his boss's beautiful daughter. But having been fooled by a brother who ran in her same circles, he is slow to trust. When Cassie's newfound faith works its way into his heart, Ryan soon finds he wants to claim both her faith and Cassie as his own. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sweetened with Honey by Valerie Comer -- Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing, Idaho, once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife. Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again? Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe's health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in Romania. Now he's back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long enough to spark a romance? But Sierra's hope falters when she begins to suspect she can't give Gabe the life he deserves. Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Hope for the Holidays-Contemporary Collection by Mary Connealy, Audra Harders, Ruth Logan Herne, Sandra Leesmith and Tina Radcliffe -- Six heart-warming romances remind us of the true spirit of Christmas: faith, hope--and love... Hope for Christmas by Mary Connealy: Kelsey is alone, lost, pregnant, stuck in a blizzard and surrounded by wolves. Tanner Harden finds her but with trouble coming and a baby at risk, can they stay alive long enough to fall in love? Her Christmas Cowboy by Audra Harders: Single mother Shayna Leon has disappointed her community once and hopes a successful Christmas pageant will restore their faith in her. Then disaster strikes - her accompanist is unable to play. The prospect of disappointment looms again until a reclusive cowboy steps up to save her day. Longing for a Miracle by Ruth Logan Herne: Christmas dimmed when an automobile accident claimed Tasha Sorkos's little girl... could saving Rafe Karralis's sick daughter bring the light of faith, hope and love back into her eyes? A Heart Full of Hope by Sandra Leesmith: Elena Delgado loves her father's new business partner, Stephen Edwards. As they work together to find funding for the project that will bring jobs and hope to their small community in time for Christmas, will Stephen notice her? Or is he still in love with the fiancée who left him? I'll be Home for Christmas by Tina Radcliffe: Dr. Matthew Christopher doesn't believe in happily ever after. Can wedding planner Patience McCord melt the heart of the last bachelor in time for Christmas? One Perfect Gift by Missy Tippens: In this sweet Cinderella story with a country music twist, a homeless single mother with a secret may get more than she expected for Christmas, including hope, love and home, sweet home. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love Without End (A King's Meadow Romance) by Robin Lee Hatcher -- Chet Leonard's life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men. Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King's Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of opening her heart again. Then 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King's Meadow and to the Leonard ranch and brings healing to the two hurting families. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Swept Away: Quilts of Love Series by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven -- Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don't always go as planned. Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane's grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer's granddaughter. Still, it doesn't take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn't what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life-and her heart-forever. (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press)

Yuletide Baby by Deb Kastner -- When Pastor Shawn O'Riley finds an abandoned baby at his church, his whole life goes into a tailspin that only foster mother Heather Lewis can calm. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Cajun Christmas Miracle: A Belle Camellia Novel by Marian P. Merritt -- Thirteen years ago, Mandy St. Pierre and Bridger Mathews were in high school and hopelessly in love. When his parents moved to Colorado in his senior year, Mandy was left behind with a broken heart and a secret. Then Mandy married and became mother to a child with special needs, only to have her husband abandon her. Bridger married, but lost his wife to cancer three years later. When mandy moves back to Belle Camellia, the River Road, Louisiana plantation home of her youth her Autistic son, she finds Bridger is working next door with a rescue horse his best friend has saved. Mandy's son bonds with Bridger and his horse, but Mandy wrangles with letting Bridger back into her life, letting him into her son's life, her unnatural fear of horses, and her wavering faith in God. Can both Mandy and Bridger open their hearts to trust one another in order to give Daniel an experience that may unlock his world and allow him to interact like never before? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Calculated Risk by Zoe M. McCarthy -- Whoever said opposites attract was right, of course...but no one ever said what they attract. Jilted by her father's latest choice of a son-in-law, Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father's "list," but is he trying to take advantage of her vulnerable emotions over the holiday? Nick only invited Cisney out of pity, now he's stuck with her and her sticky notes and her quirks. To make matters worse, his family thinks she's his perfect match. He'll do what he can to keep his distance, but there's just one problem-he's starting to believe Cisney's magnetism is stronger than he can resist. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

Historical Romance:

Hope for the Holidays-Historical Collection by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne , Myra Johnson and Julie Lessman -- Four old-fashioned Christmases featuring inspirational romance at its best. "Sophie's Other Daughter" by Mary Connealy: Laura McClellen is just answering a call for her big sister, Doctor Beth, at the Reeve's home when Ike Reeves, shows up exhausted, and filthy, for a surprise Christmas visit. Ike claims the right to escort Laura home and outlaws after Ike turn a simple ride into a fight for their lives. "A Town Called Christmas" by Ruth Logan Herne: When gruff English pioneer Edward Stillwell offers a former prostitute a job, he gets more than he bargained for: a wagon train more! With winter rollng in, can Sylvie's faith, hope and optimism be just what the guilt-laden Idaho rancher needs to love Christmas-and people-- again? "Designs on Love" by Myra Johnson: Ranch foreman Jacob Collins has had designs on Vera Mae Beasley since their schooldays. When the pretty seamstress returns home to settle her late family's affairs, Jacob hopes his Christmas surprise will win her heart and convince her to stay. "A Whisper of Hope" by Julie Lessman: With a husband dead-set against adoption, Charity O'Connor Dennehy has barely a whisper of hope for more children, but if hope doesn't disappoint ... could it be enough to find a precious bundle under her tree? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Rocky Mountain Dreams (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite -- The last thing Joseph Stone expects to discover upon arriving in Leadville, Colorado, is a newfound little sister. Hoping to find his late father's silver mine and hopefully keep his siblings back home out of an orphanage, Joseph needs an ally. The preacher's lovely daughter agrees to care for the little girl. She's just not as willing to trust the prospector.... Annabelle Lassiter has seen what men do in pursuit of riches. Yet for all the hardship he's known, Joseph still shows tenderness and warmth. Annabelle's plan has long been to leave Leadville far behind. But Joseph's quest for silver could cost them a more precious dream-one of family, love and new beginnings. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love Never Fails (The Homeward Journey) by Martha Rogers -- At odds over their beliefs and separated by the war, Molly and Stefan must learn to depend of God. In book three of the Homeward Journey series, Daniel and Sally Delaney's daughter Molly finishes school and returns to her home to teach. When old friends of her parents come for a visit with their son, Stefan, Molly is attracted to the young man, but all he is interested in is talking about his position in the army. When he leaves to rejoin his regiment, Molly is both relieved and saddened. Can they overcome their differences and find love? (Historical Romance from Realms [Charisma Media])

Romantic Suspense:

Hawk by Ronie Kendig -- Staff Sergeant Brian "Hawk" Bledsoe is a man of his word. But when he gives a promise to the green-eyed Afghan woman named Fekiria, the short-fused soldier never knew how much it could cost him. Fekiria Haidary is keeping secrets and telling lies. Going against her strict traditional upbringing and estranged from her family, she is a pilot with the Afghan Air Force. On a mission to track down the terrorist who has plagued Raptor and the U.S. military with corrupted intel and planted information, Brian and his brothers-in-arms are nearly killed when their location is bombed. Hunting the attacker, Brian stumbles upon Fekiria and her friend, who are protecting several young girls from the Taliban. Fleeing for their lives, Brian is embroiled in a daring escape into the mountainous Tera Pass. As frigid temperatures, crippling injuries, and friction between Brian and Fekiria strain their survival prospects, Brian uncovers a lethal threat against Raptor and is faced with an impossible decision: save Raptor or save Fekiria and the girls. (Romantic Suspense from Barbour Publishing)

Identity Withheld by Sandra Orchard -- After exposing an illegal adoption ring, newly named "Kara Grant" is promised safety in Witness Protection. But someone has found her-and wants her dead. If only she could trust the handsome firefighter who catches her fleeing from a suspicious fire. Jake Steele seems to think she's guilty of burning her own home. But how can she tell him who she really is and what she's been through without bringing danger to the widowed single father's door? Yet with the criminals quickly closing in, taking such a risk might be her only chance at survival. Because the price she'll pay for her silence could be her life. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Secrets and Lies (Redemption's Edge #2) by Janet Sketchley -- Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again. Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing's certain. She can't risk prayer. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Silent Night Standoff by Susan Sleeman -- When armed robbers strike her bank, hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan's life is on the line. Rescue comes from the last person she thought she could count on-the ex-boyfriend who chose his job over their relationship. FBI agent Logan Hunter knows how much is resting on this case. The promotion of his dreams...and the safety of the woman he's never been able to forget. But when an unexpected twist in the case pulls Logan in two separate directions, he'll have to make an impossible choice. Will he manage to have it all by Christmas-a career and love-or will he lose them both? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Fiction:

Vanquished by Katie Clark -- When Hana's mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she is denied the medication that might save her life. Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there are people who can help-except Hana's not sure she can trust him; Fischer is involved in a religious group, and religion has been outlawed for the last hundred years. Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. When the truth is uncovered does Hana stick to what she knows? Or does she join the rebellion, taking a stand against an untrustworthy society? (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)

Deliverance by Katie Clark -- Hana is Greater. It's a future she never envisioned for herself, but she's not about to ignore the opportunity she's been given--the opportunity to find answers about her Mom, Jamie, and Fischer. This could be an opportunity to tell others the truth about God and uncover the secrets the Great Supreme has been keeping from their small, struggling nation. When Hana's search brings her to the mysterious prison she's only heard of in rumors, the desire to get inside drives her to dig deeper for answers, but what she uncovers may be bigger than them all. Can she save herself and the others before the Great Supreme realizes what she's doing, or will she give up everyone she loves in her quest for the truth? (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)

Redeemer by Katie Clark -- In this final chapter of the Enslaved series, Hana is faced not only with a new life, but an entirely new way of thinking. Unexpected friends give insight into who the Greaters truly are. Deciding what to do with this information sends Hana on what may be her very last journey. Ever. (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published)

Techno-Thriller:

Triple Threat by H L Wegley -- Two brilliant PhD candidates' discovery of a cyber-terror plot sends them on a dangerous mission, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow's paper, but pray you never will. (Speculative Fiction from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])


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