A Conversation With Carrie Daws

God rewrote Carrie’s dreams to include being an author. With a background in weekly devotions, a mentor and several friends encouraged her to try fiction. The writing monster that she now barely keeps contained was born. Since then, she’s completed several books including her new romantic suspense, the Embers series.

What is your favorite spot for reading or reflecting on your current work-in-progress?
Carrie: I do most of my thinking and writing at a desk in my home office. But if I get stuck or am not sure how to proceed, I’ll go do something mundane and let my mind wander. I’ve solved many of the problems with a scene or a character while cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry.

How do you come up with titles for your books?
Carrie: This is hard for me! I sometimes talk to other writing friends, and I often discuss ideas with reading friends. If I’ve interviewed or shadowed anyone for a character in the book, I’ll ask if they have any ideas. I’ll search current book titles available for sale and think through synonyms and word variations. And quite frequently, I’ll put a poll up on my Facebook page asking for thoughts and votes.

What’s your go-to when you need a pick-me-up to keep writing?
Carrie: Reading! I love to read other great books, but sometimes when I’m reading, my mind is thinking how it could have been done better or how I would have done it differently. Those are the moments that it is easier for me to put down a book and pick up my manuscript.

Where do you get the inspiration for your plots?
Carrie: From real life. My Ember series of books all started when a friend started teasing me about writing a book about a fire inspector, her career of choice. At the time, I was busy with another book project and couldn’t imagine diving into her world. But she was persistent and gained the permissions I needed to be able to shadow her in her job. It was fascinating! And I was hooked. Besides the ideas that presented while I worked with her, I also read news reports and books about fires that happened all over the United States.

Current book: The Embers Series
Can Inspector Cassandra McCarthy protect her town from both the hurricane and arsonist that threaten to destroy them?

Connect W/Carrie
Website: CarrieDaws.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/CarrieDaws
Twitter: @CarrieDaws
Google Plus: Plus.Google.com/+CarrieDawsAuthor
Instagram: Instagram.com/AuthorCarrieDaws

June 2018 New Releases in Christian Fiction

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


Contemporary Romance:

The Sleuth’s Miscalculation by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Librarian Nancy Daley loves a good mystery and enjoys moonlighting as a consultant for the sheriff’s department. When license plates go missing in Tipton County, she’s on the case. But she’s been partnered with the new deputy, Carter Malone, and he’s not interested in her help. When the minor case they are working morphs into something more, things quickly go from harmless to scary. Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late, and more importantly, what will they do about their growing attraction? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe — Hiring Amanda “AJ” McAlester as his assistant at the Big Heart Ranch isn’t foreman Travis Maxwell’s first choice—but his sisters insist she’s perfect for the job. And AJ’s determined to prove she’s just as qualified as any man. But with money on the line, AJ and her innovative ideas could put him at risk of losing everything…including his heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh — Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah Campbell has her wondering if she’s changed at all. Can love really conquer all or will Belle’s past be too much for Micah to handle? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)


General Contemporary:

A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer — Out of options, Maribel takes a safe enough seeming job, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder, a search for a missing girl, and a race to find a lost treasure. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Kuwaiti Seeker by Jim Carroll — A young Kuwaiti Muslim searches for truth in Islam, but God finds him anyway. (General Contemporary, Crosslink Publishing)


General Historical:

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett — Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end. (General Historical from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])


Historical Romance:

Orphan Train Sweetheart by Mollie Campbell — Spring Hill is the orphan train’s last stop—a final chance for Simon McKay to find homes for his young charges. When his fellow placing agent quits, Simon enlists help from the frontier town’s pretty schoolteacher. Cecilia Holbrook is as intriguing as she is independent, yet Simon’s devotion to his mission will soon call him back to New York. Long overshadowed by her flirtatious sister, Cecilia is done with waiting for a man to choose her. She’s already fighting the school board to keep her position. Now she’s struggling not to lose her heart to Simon. Could their shared concern for the children show them how to follow a new dream, together? (Historical Romance Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn — She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of-until a promise from his past threatened their future. (Historical Romance from Pelican Book Group)

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman — In 1792, Quinn O’Shea leaves Ireland for Natchez, Mississippi, ready to force his oldest brother to reclaim the role of family guardian so Quinn can be free to pursue his own adventures. While aboard ship, a run-in with tenacious yet kind Kiera Young and her two Irish sisters lands him in the role of reluctant savior. Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera realizes her intended groom never existed and a far more sinister deal has been negotiated for her and her sisters. Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter — When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. Graham, intent on finding his friend’s missing sister, is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling. After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different, but long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. As much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer — Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. She’s made a safe haven with Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. Seeking justice against the gambler who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Instead, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


Romantic Suspense:

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley — It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators–one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken–she’s forced to reevaluate. When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four? (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter — After losing his closest friends and now his girlfriend to the ravages of war, Caden Wallis arrives on the Outer Banks for one final mission–to thank the woman who sent him a quilt while he was recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital. McKenna Dockery knows about loss. She juggles the family business, her ailing father, and an aging grandmother. Much to Caden’s surprise, she–not some elderly lady–is the quilter. The quilt was something she’d begun for her future husband but shipped to the military hospital after the tragic death of her fiancé. When a man is found snared in a net and murdered on McKenna’s property, she and Caden must work together to bring the killer to justice. (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)

Ransom of the Heart by Susan Page Davis — Police Captain Harvey Larson’s exhausting day takes a big detour when a teenaged girl approaches him at the diner, announcing that she is his daughter. When Harvey is on his way home from work a few hours later, his sister-in-law Abby calls him. She went to meet her husband for a dinner date and found a dead man on the floor at his place of business, and Peter has vanished. Harvey calls in his detectives and turns his car around. It’s going to be a long night, too. Once again, Harvey depends on his wits, his faith, and his squad, the Priority Unit, to solve a tough case and carry out Maine Justice. (Romantic Suspense from Tea Tin Press)


Speculative:

Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams — Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged. Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie’s aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair’s sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran’s schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army—singers who can shake the earth and master the sea—and monsters rampage across the land. As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

A Conversation With Joanie Bruce

As an avid reader, Joanie welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considers it a wonderful way to honor the Lord. She has four published Christian suspense novels, and enjoys writing from her home in the country. She also enjoys painting portraits and taking long walks on the farm.

What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense?
Joanie: I think living through the scary situations is the hardest. I always try to put myself in the character’s situation, emotions, panic attacks, etc., in order to help my readers “feel” the suspense.

What’s the weirdest way someone has died or been killed in your novels?
Joanie: In my book Murder for the Time Being, the bad guy pushes the vehicle of one of the minor characters into the path of a train.

What did you want to be as a child (and did that dream come true)?
Joanie: I always wanted to marry a country boy and be a housewife in the country. I also thought writing or illustrating books would be professions would allow me to work from home. I’m so happy that all of those things actually came true for me … even the secondary dreams.

What does your family think of your writing romantic suspense?
Joanie: Believe it or not, all three of my children never read fiction. They do think it’s strange that their mother, who is too squeamish to watch war stories, murder scenes, and “Forensic Files,” spends time writing about murder and suspense.

Current book: Murder for the Time Being
After witnessing a bank robbery, Lexi wonders if men are attacking her to keep their identities secret, or is it because of her past?

Connect W/Joanie
Website: www.joaniebruce.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joaniebruceauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joaniebruce
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joaniebruce/?hl=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6930120.Joanie_Bruce
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/joanielbruce/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=joanie+bruce

 

 

 

A Conversation With Cynthia L. Simmons

Cynthia L. Simmons is an author, speaker, and mother of five. She hosts Heart of the Matter Radio weekly and encourages women to seek God’s wisdom. Combining history and scripture, she ministers to women of all ages, but has a special place in her heart for homeschool mothers.

When do you find time to write?
Cynthia: I write all the time and everywhere. I’ve taken either a computer or kindle to doctor’s offices and other appointments to get something started.

What is your favorite spot for reading or reflecting on your current work-in-progress?
Cynthia: I need to see my characters to write about them. At times, I find a photo that becomes the character, but I allow my imagination to roam before I start writing.

How do you connect with your characters?
Cynthia: I often use a real person for my template, so the person will seem real. I like to watch the energy and rhythm when people interact and recreate that on paper. Books on body language help too.

How do you research ways to kill someone for your books?
Cynthia: I am a retired nurse, so that helps, but I also research online and with medical professionals. For example, I’ll pick out a real disease and show its progress.

Current book: Pursuing Gold
During the Civil War, Peter and Mary Beth discover Peter’s name forged on counterfeit money. Can they find the culprit before their bank fails?

Connect W/Cynthia
Website: www.clsimmons.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.l.simmons.7, https://www.facebook.com/HrtMtr/
Instagram: instagram.com/Cynthialsimmons
Google Plus: plus.google.com/+CynthiaLSimmons
Twitter: twitter.com/CynthiaLSimmons

When Is It Finished?

One of the most challenging aspects of writing is knowing when to put down the pen—or, in our modern world, lift the fingers off the keyboard—and declare the article, blog or book finished. No matter what you’re working on, there will always seem like there’s room for improvement.

But if you keep refining and revising and redoing a novel or blog post or story, you will never share it with a wider audience.

Sometimes writers think, “If it’s not absolutely perfect, no one will read it.” The truth is that perfect in our writing is impossible to achieve. Even great writers make mistakes. How many times have you read a New York Times bestselling author’s latest work only to find a typo on page

10 or a dangling participle on page 201. It happens to the best of writers, and it will happen to the least of writers.

But what good writers have learned is that perfection isn’t the goal—writing for their audience is, and that audience—no matter how big or how small—is forgiving. For novel readers, they want a good story with strong characters that connect with them personally. They want to escape for a few hours into a different world.

They don’t want perfection. They don’t expect perfection. They do expect a clean copy not riddled with grammatical errors, but they overlook small imperfections, knowing that those can’t be helped.

That’s right. You will never catch every single thing that’s “wrong” with your work-in-progress. It’s impossible. You fix one thing, and another slips in. Your best bet is to do the best you can, have proofreaders lend a hand, then it’s time to send that work out into the world.

Yes, it might get stomped on and chewed up by those who don’t recognize steak. That’s the way this world works. Even multi-published authors have unsold manuscripts sitting in a desk drawer.

How do you know when it’s time to stop editing and revising? A good rule of thumb for a novel is to

  • Write a rough draft
  • Do extensive revisions (with a critique partner or group if possible)
  • Send to a few beta readers, making corrections as needed
  • Read through it again
  • Mark it done.

Some newer writers might do the revisions twice if their story changes significantly from the rough draft, and some experienced writers don’t need a step or two. The point is that there is a stopping point that every writer needs to adhere to in order to move the project on to the next level (indie publishing, agent review, editor review, etc.).

The more you write, the more you’ll intuitively know when it’s ready to meet the world. Don’t be afraid to say enough is enough when it comes to editing your work—and let it see the light of day.

A Conversation With Gail Kittleson

When Gail Kittleson’s not researching World War II, drafting scenes or editing, she facilitates writing workshops and retreats in Iowa and Arizona, where winters find her enjoying the gorgeous Mogollon Rim Ponderosa forest. Favorites: grandchildren, exploring WWII sites with her husband, walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers.

What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense?
Gail: Couple the grave danger of World War II clandestine work French Resistance work with a hero and heroine grieving for their first loves. Add a growing commitment to each other plus the suspense of knowing they could perish at any moment, you get romance and suspense. To be honest, I label my writing women’s historical fiction, but A Purpose True seems to fit both genres.

How do you connect with your characters?
Gail: They live with me, walk with me, and sometimes wake me up at night with nuances about their stories.

How do you come up with titles for your books?
Gail: I research songs of the era, Scriptures and applicable quotes, and explore what expresses the bottom-line premise of my characters’ needs and challenges.

What’s the weirdest way someone has died or been killed in your novels?
Gail: I suppose it would be the treacherous Nazi spy responsible for many deaths among the Resistance. He meets his Maker via a firing squad, after my heroine identifies him as the imposter to whom she once delivered messages vital to the cause. He transmitted these to London, but also shared them with the Nazis. ARGH!! Despicable!

How do you develop your plots?
Gail: Research and more research. Light dawns as I study actual events in the historical record, and I see how my characters fit into these perilous underground operations so vital to Allied victory.

Have you ever regretted killing off a character? Why?
Gail: Nope. The heroine and hero are the ones living in my heart, so any enemy of theirs is an enemy of mine—no regrets about ensuring their longevity. This connection with my characters is the one essential for me to write. Pungent tea, quietness, and time all help, but the characters themselves drive me to write.

What has been most frustrating about writing romantic suspense?
Gail: Hearing that the ending of a novel in a series disappointed them. That’s wartime, fraught with ambivalence and disappointment. Expecting a perfect outcome isn’t in the cards. Perhaps that’s why what I write is more aptly labeled historical fiction. The romance proves a strong thread, but not the main theme.

Current book: A Purpose True
Magnetized by clandestine French Resistance work, Kate and Domingo discover a growing commitment to each other. But everything depends upon the wiles of war.

Connect W/Gail
Website: www.gailkittleson.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/gailkittleson
Twitter: www.twitter.com/GailGkittleson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/gail-kittleson-b0693543
Google Plus: plus.google.com/106969195211961187796

 

May 2018 New Releases in Christian Fiction

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

 


Children’s:

Feebs to the Rescue by Kathy J. Perry — Feebs the kitten is new to the farm. She’s a long way from the farmhouse and doesn’t know her way home in the dark. Her new friend, Ollie the dog, needs help. Can she find the courage to lead a night rescue? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Nibbler and Captain Make Peace by Kathy J. Perry — Nibbler the beaver works hard to keep his lodge and dam perfectly patched. A river otter knocks a hole in his great work. Now he’s so angry, he could almost spit nails. Can he learn how to handle his anger? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Rascal’s Trip by Kathy J. Perry — Rascal the raccoon is sorry he ignored the warning signs He’s surprised by a whirlwind and he’s taken for the ride of his life. Now it’s up to the Bandana Buddies to help him learn the importance of thinking ahead. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to get back home? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)


Contemporary Romance:

Solo Tu: Only You by Narelle Atkins — Can two high-school teachers, a girl from Tuscany and a boy from Australia, risk everything for love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck — According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious–serious science, that is. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge. Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart. (Contemporary Romance, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Hometown Reunion by Lisa Carter — Widowed former Green Beret Jaxon Pruitt comes home to face his toughest battle: reconnecting with his toddler son. He also makes an unwitting enemy of childhood friend Darcy Parks when he takes over the kayak shop Darcy hoped to buy! For little Brody’s sake, she’ll stay until summer’s end. But could a growing connection turn their temporary truce into an unexpected forever? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston — When her best friend Savilla dies, Laura steps in to help Allen raise his infant daughter. She soon finds herself coping with the jealousy of her boyfriend Rudy, and her own growing attraction to Allen. Have Laura and Allen been brought together to console and support one another…or is there an even deeper purpose they must fulfill? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Cowboys of Summer by Mary Connealy, Tina Radcliffe, Lorna Seilstad, Sherri Shackelford, Cheryl St. John, and Missy Tippens — Six of Christian fiction’s most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Bella Notte by Heather Gray — As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, Piero Carter is used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side. Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. But when Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter — Regardless of what any blood test says, Brady Collins will go to any lengths to keep his son. Even pretend his friend Hope is his fiancée. Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has finally been offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams. As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Finding Love on Bainbridge Island Washington by Annette M. Irby — A “broken” therapist with PTSD finds a fresh start at her family’s beach cabin, but when her parents hire her ex-boyfriend to finalize repairs on the place, they’re forced back into close proximity. He’s falling for her again. But can anything heal the past? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

And Cowboy Makes Three by Deb Kastner — Coming home with a baby and no wedding ring was just what everyone in Cowboy Country expected from bad girl Angelica Carmichael. But she’ll brave their scorn to fulfill Granny Frances’s dying wishes, even if it means ranching with Rowdy Masterson…her jilted ex-groom. Rowdy’s still bitter but this new, softer Angelica—paired with a precious baby—might be too lovable to resist! (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Falling for You by Becky Wade — A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin — then suffered the consequences when their relationship fell apart. Now that a decades-old mystery has brought them together again, they’ll have to confront their past and the feelings they still harbor for one another. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


General Contemporary/Women’s Fiction:

Long Way Home by Brenda S. Anderson — Stuck on a six-day road trip with the man who once bullied her, can Lauren Bauman learn that love keeps no record of wrongs? (General Contemporary, Independently Published {ACFW QIP Author})

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli — The Hidden Side is about a family that is torn apart by the unspeakable actions of one of its members and how a woman from the past helps them to heal. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt — It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine—until her middle sister Jillian’s engagement pulls the family back together to plan the festivities. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Tyndale House)

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West — Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon, Savannah is given a challenge that she can’t run away from. Forgiving the unforgiveable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all. (General Contemporary from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


General Historical:


Faithful by Carol Ashby — When a foolish choice lands one man in a fight for his life, unlikely friendships are born, love blossoms, and broken relationships are restored as his best friend’s faith and courage guide the quest to rescue him. (General Historical from Cerrillo Press)


Historical Romance:

All for Love by Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Jen Turano — Three of Christian historical fiction’s beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. Mary Connealy’s “The Boden Birthright” journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter. Kristi Ann Hunter’s “A Lady of Esteem” follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Jen Turano’s “At Your Request” tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Perfect Bride by Debbie Lynne Costello — Avice Touchet has always dreamed of marrying for love and that love would be her best friend, Philip Greslet. She’s waited five years for him to see her as the woman she’s become but when a visiting lord arrives with secrets that could put her father in prison, Avice must consider a sacrificial marriage. Philip Greslet has worked his whole life for one thing—to be a castellan—and now it is finally in his grasp. But when Avice rebuffs his new lord’s attentions, Philip must convince his best friend to marry the lord against his heart’s inclination to have her as his own. (Historical Romance from Forget Me Not Romances)

Backcountry Brides Collection by Angela Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Pegg Thomas — Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Rebecca’s Song by Dawn Kinzer — A small-town teacher who lost hope of having her own family, and a big-city railroad detective driven to capture his sister’s killer, must do what’s best for three young orphans who need them both. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Love’s Silver Lining by Julie Lessman — A soft-hearted suffragist incurs the wrath of a bull-headed bachelor when she reforms his favorite girl at the Ponderosa Saloon. (Historical Romance (Western), Independently Published)

Redeeming Light by Annette O’Hare — While Sarah weathers the deadly storm inside the lighthouse, her prayers are for Frederick, caught in the midst of the tempest. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

To Claim Her Heart by Jodie Wolfe — Elmer Smith didn’t need a man when she competed in the Cherokee Strip Land Run and she sure as shootin’ doesn’t need one to keep her land either. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)


Romantic Suspense:

No Safe Place by H. L. Wegley — A young man returning from the far country trying to regain his honor, and a young woman with a heart broken by her parents’ rejection because of her newfound faith, each have what the other needs, but will the assassin who put them on his hit list allow them enough time to discover what they have in each other? (Romantic Suspense from Trinity Press International)


Speculative:

No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens — As far as David Galloway knows, he can’t die. He wonders where he fits in the world, in God’s plan for the past and the future. He believes himself to be the only person on earth who hasn’t aged in over a century. He’s wrong about that. (Speculative from Barbour Publishing)


Young Adult:

Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett — Left at her grandma’s house in Hawaii after a family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to fly home to Boston and stop her father before he does anything drastic. (Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)

A Conversation With Brenda B. Taylor

Brenda B. Taylor writes sweet historical romance connecting readers of today with events in history, and telling stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She most enjoys writing stories set in post-Civil War Missouri and 16th century Scotland.

What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense?
Brenda: The hardest part of writing romantic suspense is keeping the tension going between the hero and heroine, then weaving in the mystery.

When do you find time to write?
Brenda: I write each morning. After a short devotional in my favorite chair, I open my computer and begin work on the current story. About noon, I stop, cook lunch, rest, then sometimes return to work in the afternoon. However, my best writing is completed during the early morning hours.

What is your favorite spot for reading or reflecting on your current work-in-progress?
Brenda: My favorite spot for reading and reflecting on the WIP is a favorite chair beside a window overlooking bird feeders. I rest my eyes by watching the birds and squirrels at the feeders.

How do you connect with your characters?
Brenda: I connect with my characters by getting into their heads. I write by scenes, so I determine the POV character for each scene, then imagine what he/she does and says. The story is outlined before writing begins and a character sketch for each character completed. Sometimes I search for photos of the character to look at while writing. By sketching characteristics and looking at photos, I get an idea of the character’s actions, reactions and conversations for the scene.

Why do you like writing romantic suspense?
Brenda: I enjoy writing romantic suspense because my favorite genre is historical romance with interwoven mystery.

Current book: A Highland Bride
After six years as a fugitive in France, Alistair returned to Scotland. His wife and son are gone. Can he find love again?

Connect w/Brenda
Website: www.brendabtaylor.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorbrendabtaylor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rayburnlady
Amazon Author Page: amzn.to/2hSKCXt
BookBub Author Page: www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-b-taylor
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/rayburnlady/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/brendataylor

 

A Conversation With JP Robinson

JP Robinson began writing as a teen for the Times Beacon Records in New York. He holds a degree in English and is a teacher of French history. JP is known for creating vivid, high-adrenaline plots laced with unexpected twists. JP Robinson writes to ignite faith in a living God.

When do you find time to write?
JP: I don’t find time to write—I make it. For me, writing is a commission—it’s part of my life’s purpose. There are thousands of compelling stories to write, lined up inside my head like planes waiting to take off. Each one carries a powerful message that reflects God’s relationship to humanity and our relationships with each other.

How do you connect with your characters?
JP: Simply put, I become them. For me, they are people with scars from their past, dreams for the future and challenges in the present. I start by searching on Google for a photo of someone that visually epitomizes the character in my head. This can take hours or even days. But I always know when I’ve found my character.

I also do extensive research on the people, times and climate I’m writing about. Bride Tree, set during the French Revolution of 1789-99, took well over a hundred hours of research. This allows me to better understand my characters’ problems, background and probable reactions to their own unique situations.

Why do you like writing romantic suspense?
JP: I see the Bible as one intense love story. Genesis, Song of Solomon, Revelations and all other 63 books are actually chapters of the greatest book of all time. This kind of love is to die for—as Christ showed us on the cross. As to suspense? No mortal could ever pen the kind of drama in the Bible. Bride Tree is driven by intertwined factors of love, intrigue and revenge. It is my attempt to encapsulate the greatest love story of all time.

Where do you get the inspiration for your plots?
JP: You’re going to laugh at this one. Most of my inspiration comes from sermons! Especially those by the late Rev. WM Branham.

There’s so much in the Word of God that relates to any society’s problems. From religious hypocrisy to political liability to temptation, each sermon holds the potential to be dramatized and set in a different epoch of the past or the present. For example, my first novel, Twiceborn, was created based off a mind-blowing sermon on the Fall of Man called the “Serpent’s Seed.” Bride Tree is a riveting allegory of the Church condensed into 430 unforgettable pages.

Current book: Bride Tree
In 1789 France, one woman finds herself torn between a noble who has sacrificed everything for her and a peasant who promises true freedom.

Connect w/JP
Website: www.jprobinsonbooks.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/jprobinsonbooks
Twitter: @JPRobinsonbooks
Google Plus: JPRobinsonbooks

April 2018 New Releases in Christian Fiction

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

 


Contemporary Romance:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon — After inheriting a crumbling lighthouse, ex-Army doctor Ben Garrison wants to sell it. But Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber is determined to save the town landmark. Can these two romance-wary souls finds a meeting of the minds…and hearts? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Beth Wiseman — From bestselling Amish authors come four novellas about the meaning and tradition found behind every family heirloom. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


Historical Romance:

This Wilderness Journey by Misty Beller — He’s been sent to retrieve the new missionary… But she’s not at all who he expects to find. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy — Deborah and her sister and two little children survive a wagon train massacre. Trace finds them and takes them home. He finds himself their accidental guardian. He must protect them all and gain justice. When he does, all these friendly visitors–especially Deborah–will leave him forever. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

First Love Forever Romance Collection by Susanne Dietze, Marcia Gruver, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancette Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, Erica Vetsch, and Jennifer Uhlarik — Coming face to face with a lost love can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.” In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

All Things Beautiful by Keely Brooke Keith — It’s 1868 in the settlement of Good Springs, and Hannah Vestal is passionate about writing fiction and keeping her stories to herself. When her father asks to read her work, she decides to have it printed secretly for his 50th birthday. Hannah tries to arrange the printing with the settlement’s pressman, but the witty and dapper Henry Roberts has better things to do with his ink. In order to secure settlement support for his printing press, the elder council says Henry must print an error-free copy of the New Testament before the settlement’s 8th anniversary celebration. He is determined to meet their challenge, but when the enigmatic Hannah proves to be a beguiling distraction, Henry longs for something more than a life at the letterpress. (Historical Romance from Edenbrooke Press)

Adoration by Olivia Rae — Sir Darrin de Longue is desperate to get his lands back from Lady Faith de Sainte-Marie, the woman who betrayed him and may have had a hand in his father’s murder. But King Richard discloses on his deathbed that Lady Faith is the king’s daughter and then issues an ultimatum Darrin must obey. In order to reclaim his lands, he must marry Lady Faith and get her with child in a year’s time. Lady Faith has loved the rowdy and bold Sir Darrin since childhood, but cannot be a true wife to the bitter, angry man whom she has wed. In order to gain his trust and love, she vows to find the truth about his father’s murder. But when she stumbles upon deadly secrets, will she be able to prove her innocence–and his–to erase the past and win Darrin’s heart? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

Under Prairie Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Illinois prairie, 1855. Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths are destined to cross again. Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo — The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


General Contemporary:

Shadows of Hope by Georgiana Daniels — Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around. But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope. (General Contemporary from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Secret Past by Sharee Stover — With gunmen at her doorstep, Katie Tribani learns her true identity. She’s been in witness protection since childhood, and now her crime-lord father has found her. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Young Adult:

Chase by Glenn Haggerty — Tyler, a middle school newbie, shadows drug runners to rat out the methamphetamine dealer before his friend turns into a brain-dead druggie. (Young Adult, Independently Published)