Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Be Caught in a Deadlock!

FBI: Houston #3

DiAnn Mills
(Tyndale House)
ISBN: 978-1414389950
October 2015/416 pages/$14.99

Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?

That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.

When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.

Read an excerpt.


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader's Choice, and Carol Award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope & Love chapter; and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


I know when I pick up a book by DiAnn Mills that I won't be doing anything else until I finish it, and Deadlock indeed brought my day to its titular standstill! Mills never disappoints with her compelling romantic suspense novels that grip the reader from the opening scenes to the final page. I'm continually impressed by the depth of knowledge she possesses about FBI procedures, knowledge gleaned from thorough research and interviews with active and retired agents. As someone born and raised in Houston, the setting of these novels provides a personal connection and I can visualize many of the locations mentioned in the story. Equally gifted at character and plot development, Mills perfectly balances the relational and romantic with the suspenseful aspects of this and her other novels. The interactions between Bethany and Thatcher reflect the many complexities that impact their working and (potential) personal relationship--from the different ways they approach a case to their shared background regarding the arrest of Bethany's brother--and add depth to the story. Combined with the escalating suspense, the result is a riveting, read-in-one-sitting novel. Don't miss Deadlock, available now!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from DiAnn Mills. 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.”

Read my reviews of the first two stand-alone books in the FBI: Houston series:
Double Cross

DiAnn Mills talks about writing Deadlock:


View blog reactions

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jody Hedlund Discusses Luther and Katharina

Yesterday I told you about Jody Hedlund's new book, Luther and Katharina, which releases on October 6. Today I am happy to share a Q&A that she has provided which tells a bit about the writing of this compelling novel.

Luther and Katharina
A Novel of Love and Rebellion

Jody Hedlund
(WaterBrook Press)
ISBN: 978-1601427625
October 2015/400 pages/$14.99
Available for pre-order at
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD,
and other booksellers


Katharina von Bora is a name that most people would never connect with Martin Luther. Why do you think it’s important that we uncover and shine a light on some of the forgotten female figures who helped shape the Church?
My goal is to give a voice to the forgotten women of the past. Since most of history has been written by men, unfortunately all too often the accounts neglect to include or minimizes the many women who played critically important roles in the shaping of history.

As a mother of five children and a wife to a husband in Christian ministry, I've had a firsthand learning experience of the incredible work load and responsibility that comes with raising a family, being a wife, managing a home, as well as helping do all of the things necessary to provide emotionally, physically, and financially for our family. As I go about this calling God's given me at this stage in my life, I have a greater appreciation for the women of the past who also struggled through the same issues (but without all of the modern conveniences that I have!).

I believe modern women will benefit from hearing their stories, will be incredibly encouraged to see these women who persevered through discrimination and found the strength to use their God-given abilities to make a difference. Not only did they make a difference in their era, but today (decades and even centuries later) we can see the fruits of their bravery and strength. These women of the past have encouraged me to persevere and to use my skills and talents to make a difference in my time. No matter how big or small that difference might be, I want to be faithful to leave an impact, just as those women did.

As you began to read and learn more about Katharina, what particularly captivated you about her?
I was particularly fascinated by the fact that Katharina had once been a nun. And as we know, nuns take a vow of celibacy.

I was curious to know why she'd become a nun in the first place. What led her to that decision? And then what made her later decide to forsake her vows? What was life like for her after escaping her convent knowing that if she was caught and recaptured, she could face persecution and even death for running away? What were her hopes and dreams for her life after she'd denied herself for so long? What was it like for her to interact with men when she'd never before had the opportunity?

All of those questions and more reverberated through my mind. And what I really wanted to know was how she'd ended up with Martin Luther. What brought this couple together? It was a forbidden love during a time of incredible turmoil. It was a love that was never-meant-to-happen. So how did it come about?

What was the biggest surprise in researching this story?
As I dug into the research, the thing that surprised me most was that Luther and Katharina didn't experience "love at first sight." In fact, they had no thought of marrying each other. Katharina was a woman of noble birth and Luther a man of peasant beginnings. They were in two different social classes, which doesn't sound like a big deal to us today. But at that time, social class was extremely important.

After leaving the convent, Katharina expected to marry a nobleman. And even though Luther preached the goodness of marriage and encouraged other monks and nuns to leave their convents and get married, he had no intention of getting married himself. So, the question begs answering, how did these two opposite people with opposing personalities and aspirations, end up together? You'll have to read the book to discover the answer!

Tell us a little about the cloistered life that Katharina von Bora would have grown up in. What was it like to be a nun?
During the middle ages, many men and women entered cloistered life. Everywhere throughout Europe, abbeys and monasteries were built and the church at the time encouraged cloistered life. For men, becoming a monk was a way to gain a good education, to learn to read and write when there weren't many options to do so. Monastic life provided protection from the many dangers of the middle ages. And it also was a way to become more spiritual during a time when salvation was thought to be something one could earn or buy.

Women usually didn't enter cloistered life voluntarily, at least during the time of Martin Luther during the late 1400's and early 1500's. Instead, noblemen often looked at a convent as a place to put their unwanted daughters. Many noblemen, particularly land-rich but monetarily poor knights, couldn't afford a large dowry for their daughters which was required to make a favorable and advantageous match within the nobility. Of course, it was out of the question for those noble daughters to "marry down" in class, to laborers or tradesmen who wouldn't require so hefty a dowry. So rather than try to come up with the appropriate funds to make a noble match, many noblemen decided to put their daughters into convents.

Similar to men who entered monasteries, cloistered life for women was seen as advantageous. So fathers didn't feel too guilty about putting their unwanted younger daughters into a sheltered life of service to God because the convent was a place where they would be safe, fed, clothed, housed, and usually taught to write and read. Although a severe lifestyle, it was relatively easy and comfortable and suited to a woman of noble birth.

At the time of the story, how were Luther’s teachings and writings already inspiring change and revolution?
At the start of the book in 1523, Martin Luther had already been declared a heretic by the pope and the church. He'd already nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg church (which detailed his concerns about the corruption within the church). He'd already faced an inquisition by important people sent by the pope in the city of Worms. He'd faced the Emperor himself and had refused to recant his teachings and writings. He'd been excommunicated and declared a heretic. And since that time he'd essentially been hunted down so that he could be burned at the stake for his beliefs.

Luther went into hiding for a time, but continued to write and preach. During that time, his band of followers began to grow exponentially. As Luther's popularity grew, his teachings spread and made their way secretly into the convent where Katharina lived. When Katharina and some of the other nuns heard Luther's views on the unnaturalness of cloistered life and the goodness of marriage, something about his message resonated deeply within them. And their lives (and many others like them) would never be the same again.

It's also thought by some that Luther's teachings incited the peasants in Germany to revolt against authority. Although Luther was of peasant origin and was tempted to side with the peasants, he maintained his relationship with the Elector and a number of other princes.They finally gave the Reformation and the gospel their allegiance in a move that likely wouldn’t have happened had Luther sided with the peasants during the Peasant Revolt. He had alienated himself from the peasant class, but in doing so had preserved the success of the Reformation.

Beyond the entertainment factor, what do you hope your books bring to your audience? What do you want a reader to walk away with after having read Luther and Katharina?
First, I hope that after witnessing the great commitment of faith of believers in past ages, readers will come away with a greater commitment to their own personal faith especially in light of the difficulties and trials that may come our way. If a man like Martin Luther was willing to go to the stake for what he believed, that should give us courage. And if a woman like Katharina von Bora risked her life, comfort, and future for her growing faith, that too should inspire us to do the same.

Second, I hope that readers will have a greater appreciation and understanding of the dangers and difficulties that many went through in their efforts to preserve the gospel of Jesus and to correct corruption. Again, I ask readers to consider what they're willing to face in order to stand against corruption and to speak the truth in today's culture that is once again shifting away from Scripture.


View blog reactions

Monday, September 28, 2015

Luther and Katharina

Luther and Katharina
A Novel of Love and Rebellion

Jody Hedlund
(WaterBrook Press)
ISBN: 978-1601427625
October 2015/400 pages/$14.99
Available for pre-order at
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD,
and other booksellers

She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.

His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.

Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.

But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.

Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.


Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling author of ten books. Her first novel, The Preacher's Bride, won the Reader's Choice Award as part of the RWA Faith, Hope, and Love contest. Hedlund revels in bringing forgotten historic women to life and can usually be found with a book, a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate. She lives in Midland, Michigan with her husband and five children.

"Katharina von Bora is one of those women who has been largely ignored by today's culture, but she's a strong woman whose story deserves to be told every much as her husband's. I'm excited about sharing her story, about her daring and dangerous escape from a convent, how she met Luther, and how the two of them overcame many obstacles to eventually fall in love and form a strong marriage." Jody Hedlund


Wow. I don't even know where to begin to talk about this book. I am generally not a big fan of novels set in the 16th century because it was such a bleak and primitive time, but I was drawn to this one for several reasons. For starters, beyond knowing the basics of Martin Luther and the Reformation, I knew very little about his life and had never even considered whether or not he ever married and the implications of that, so the premise intrigued me. Secondly, I've enjoyed many of Jody Hedlund's novels and knew she would handle the story well. And then there's the cover! We say don't judge a book by it but this one is just as impressive as the story within! Hedlund immediately plunged me into the tale by opening with Katharina's daring escape from the convent where she had been since she was five years old. (My heart ached at the idea of parents dropping off their little girls and sentencing them to the cloistered life, either because they were unwanted or because they couldn't afford to feed them.) The danger, corruption, and coarseness of the era was realistically portrayed without being brutal or graphic. This is no idyllic romance, by any means. In fact, Katharina and Luther both repeatedly demonstrate their strong wills and tempers when interacting with each other! The class distinctions between nobility, from which Katharina hails, and the commoners such as Luther, establish boundaries that Katharina especially determines not to cross as she yearns for someone to give her a home, if not love. While this is a work of fiction, it is steeped in research, and Hedlund seamlessly blends the two into a compelling tale. Completely satisfying from a reader's perspective, the novel enhanced my appreciation for the boldness of Martin Luther, and now for Katharina, and all they did for the cause of Christ. Do not miss this inspiring novel! Available for pre-order now, it releases in just one week on October 6!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Jody Hedlund and Bethany House Publishers. 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.”

Join me tomorrow for a Q&A with Jody Hedlund!


View blog reactions

Saturday, September 19, 2015


The 2015 Carol Awards were presented Saturday night at the ACFW Annual Gala. The Gala is always an eagerly-anticipated event that closes out the annual conference. The Carol Award winners are listed below, along with other honor recipients from the evening's festivities.

Francine Rivers

Sandie Bricker – Managing Editor, Bling! Romance (imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Mary Sue Seymour – Agent, The Seymour Agency

Joy Avery Melville


The ACFW Genesis Contest is for unpublished Christian fiction writers. With ten categories to enter, Genesis provides the opportunity for unbiased feedback on writers' work by published authors and experienced judges, and the chance for finalists to have their work read by Christian publishing house editors and literary agents.

Lindsay Harrel - One More Song to Sing

Jeannine Brummett - Heirlooms

Elizabeth Lukinuk - he Knight’s Promised Bride

Joseph R. Courtemanche - Assault on Saint Agnes

Chandra Lynn Smith - Turtle Box Memories

Courtney Ballinger - Flipping Hearts

Sarah Hamaker - The Dark Guest

Preslaysa Williams - Coming Home to Love

Carol Eaton - Null

Sarah Tipton - Forgetting Yesterday

(Hyperlinked titles will take you to my reviews.)


The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate, Tyndale House, editors Sarah Mason, Jan Stob


Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editor Beth Adams


With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr

A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Amanda Bostic, Natalie Hanemann

An October Bride by Katie Ganshert, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Philpott

The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Ami McConnell, L.B. Norton


Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter, Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards


Second Chance Summer by Irene Hannon, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Melissa Endlich


A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, Enclave Publishing, editors Jeff Gerke, Karen Ball


Storm Siren by Mary Weber, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors Raela Schoenherr, Luke Hinrichs


View blog reactions

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Sea Keeper's Daughters

The Sea Keeper's Daughters
A Carolina Heirlooms Novel
Lisa Wingate
(Tyndale House)
ISBN: 978-1414386904
September 2015/448 pages/$15.99

From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.

Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?

Read an excerpt.


Selected among Booklist's Top 10 for two consecutive years, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable settings with elements of traditional Southern storytelling, history, and mystery to create novels that Publishers Weekly calls "masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "a good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe."

Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty-five novels. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a multiple Christy Award nominee, a two-time Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice award winner for mystery/suspense. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, "Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller." More information about her novels can be found at


Lisa Wingate once again demonstrates her gift of story-telling with The Sea Keeper's Daughter. She intertwines the past and the present in this tale that pulsates with emotion. While the beginning of the novel certainly held my interest, I didn't particularly like Whitney or several of the other characters. However, as the story developed, I discovered a richness and depth that made it impossible to put down. I could practically hear the waves lapping the shore as Wingate transported me to the Outer Banks. This is a gem of a story. Don't miss it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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.”


View blog reactions

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September Morn Hodgepodge

Not sure how we got to September already, but a great way to start is with Joyce and the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. What's on your September calendar? Anything fun?

Yes, indeed! My boy's birthday is Friday, I'm going to the ACFW conference in two weeks, and we end the month with my husband's birthday.

2. You might be described as a natural born _____________________?

Nurse/Caregvier. I've been told it's apparently inbedded in my DNA!

3. September is National Courtesy Month...what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large?

I have to pick one?! Courteous language and tones of voice. I am so weary of strident voices and harsh/foul language.

4. Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently?

Clam up. I'm fairly quiet, and I'm big on confidentiality, whether it's what's going on with a friend or at work. And I was that way long before HIPAA.

5. What's your movie theatre snack protocol? Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins? Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kind of prices? What's the last movie you saw in a theatre? How many thumbs up would you give it?

I rarely go to movies at the theater. (And notice I spell it the American way. LOL) I will occasionally buy popcorn as my "lunch". Because if I go, it's usually to a matinee with my girl. And occasionally we will splurge and go to the fancy moviehouse nearby that has the leather recliners and meal service.

6. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind." Agree or disagree? Why?

Pretty much agree. People with too much time on their hands generally have an unbalanced perspective of what is going on.

7. What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to 'work like a dog' until it was finished?

Sunday, when a nurse called in and I had to cover the day shift, showing up at 6:00 am after getting home at 11:00 pm the night before and getting only 4 hours of sleep.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

A sight for sore eyes. . .and taste buds!


View blog reactions

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ACFW New Releases - September

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

Contemporary Romance:

Moments of Truth by Sandra D. Bricker -- Divorced blogger Regan Sloane's new book club meetings quickly morph into evenings with her friends trying out recipes and decompressing by sharing their most private thoughts, fears and ponderings. With the first writing tip she'd ever received - Write what you know! - skipping around her brain, the fodder those gatherings provide is just too delicious to resist, and Regan gravitates toward them and their various romantic challenges for blog content. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Birdhouse by Laura V. Hilton -- Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game-which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. When Greta's father is injured in a farming accident, Josh steps in to help. Greta admires one of his birdhouses, and he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta prove her innocence, get beyond her family's distrust and return home? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

The Bishop's Son (The Amish of Bee County) by Kelly Irvin -- Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father's store, but she can't make sense of his intentions. Jesse may be the bishop's son, but his faith has been wavering of late. Is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide? Then there's Will, Jesse's cousin, who has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires? Leila knows Will is the "safe" choice, but when her heart speaks, it's Jesse's name she hears. Could leaving everything she knows-even her own faith-be a part of God's plan? (Contemporary Romance from Zondervan)

A Tide Worth Turning by Beth Wiseman -- Successful real estate agent Addison Burke is forced to find a caregiver for her estranged mother following a stroke. She hires an agency to fill the position, and to her surprise, they send a man for the job. Logan has to make enough money caring for Lee Ann Burke to flee the country before his world comes crashing down around him. But when Lee Ann's beautiful daughter, Addison, begins to awaken feelings in him that he thought died long ago, he begins to question whether or not fleeing from the past is worth leaving Addison forever. And why is Lee Ann selling everything she owns on EBay and Craig's List? (Contemporary Romance Novella, Independently Published)

Contemporary Women's Fiction:

When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- It wasn't easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own-have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again-but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne's apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing? (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate -- Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina's Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney's estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney's only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything? (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Tyndale House)

A Texas Christmas by Ramona K. Cecil, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Pamela Griffin, Cathy Marie Hake and Kathleen Y'Barbo, -- Spend Christmas in the Old West with six unconventional women who take on Texas-sized challenges-and unexpected romance. Bridget falls for a man opposed to her teaching Indian orphans. Polly is trying to hold her family together when her childhood love returns to town. Rugged rancher Charlsey is inexplicably attracted to a tenderfoot accountant. Vivian shuns marriage until meeting a nomadic photographer. Lacey's cooking draws a quiet blacksmith out of his shell. Tracker Bessie Mae helps a ranger hunt down a villain. (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Barbour Publishing)

General Fiction:

Hungry for Home by Brenda S. Anderson -- After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger…who turns out to be a hungry, homeless teen. The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled. The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts. And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home. (General Fiction, Independently Published)

Historical General Fiction:

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke -- In this time-split story, Hannah Sterling (1972) seeks to uncover the secrets of her estranged mother's past (WWII), only to learn that she has a grandfather still living in Germany, hiding tragic wartime secrets that stretch across the generations. (Historical General Fiction from Tyndale House)

Historical Romance:

12 Brides of Summer, Novella Collection #4 by Diana Brandmeyer, Vickie McDonough, and Davalynn Spencer -- The Columbine Bride: Lucy Powell is determined to get her neglected homestead up and running again after a winter filling in as the school marm in town. But can she keep neighboring rancher, Buck Reiter from helping her when he seems just as determined to work his way into the lives of her children as well as her heart? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter -- Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in un-mailed letters to her brother's old school friend, a duke. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother's new valet. When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men--one she's never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White -- When Brook Eden's friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, she leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to visit her supposed family. The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but their loyalty may come too late to save her from the same fate as her mother. When matters of his future dukedom force Justin far from Brook, the distance between them reveals their friendship has grown into something much more. But their loyalties are very different. And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession--and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry -- In World War II, fighter pilot Roger Greene wants only three things in life: fast planes to fly, a chance to serve his country, and to find the perfect girl to love. All three ambitions screech to a halt--seemingly forever--when his P-47 is shot down over Nazi Germany. Captured, Roger becomes a guinea pig in a hush-hush Nazi experiment. The war may end, but the Methuselah Project will continue. Escape is constantly on Roger's mind, but is escape possible? (Romantic Suspense from Kregel Publications)

Beyond the Cherokee Trail by Lisa Carter -- When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on-literally-into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago. Though at odds, Linden and Walker must unite against an unseen threat to derail the festival. (Romantic Suspense from Abingdon Press)

Expert Witness by Rachel Dylan -- Minutes after testifying in a murder trial, sketch artist Sydney Berry is almost killed in a drive-by shooting. United States Marshal Max Preston saves her life then whisks her away to safety. She's his first protected witness, and he'll do everything in his power to keep her safe. But Sydney doesn't want to hide from danger. She is determined to finish her testimony and put a killer away. With potential suspects coming from all corners, Sydney will have to trust Max with her deepest secrets-and her life. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Young Adult:

A Reluctant Assassin by JC Morrows -- Her mission is simple - get close to the Prince, and kill him. . . Kayden entered the palace under a lie, one designed to get her close to the Prince. On the outside, she may look like a princess but beneath the mask, a killer lays in wait - for the perfect moment. Dvarius is not ready to take the crown, nor is he ready for a wife. But due to his father's unexpected death and an archaic law - he must find a bride before he is allowed to take his rightful place on the throne. (Young Adult, Independently Published)


View blog reactions