Saturday, October 2, 2010

Getting Closer...

I've been talking about my upcoming series based around a Christian dating agency for some time now. In the last newsletter, I mentioned that White Rose Publishing had contracted all three books in the Solomon's Gate collection.

This month, I have cover art to share with you! Isn't it beautiful? Destiny's Dream is first in the series, and I've been told that I'll have a release date within a week or so. Kylie's Kiss will follow Destiny's Dream, and Gypsy's Game winds up the series.

I hope you're all planning on picking up your own copies of these books. They'll be available in paperback - and in e-book, so you can read it on your Kindle if you prefer.

Now...on to this month's newsletter. I have a special treat for you. I've interviewed TWO wonderful authors this month. Carla Stewart is our spotlight author, and I'm shining a mini-spotlight on Vickie McDonough. Both of these ladies are wonderful people in addition to being talented authors. I know you'll enjoy our chats with them.

Diana Rahe Taylor provides the devotion. What woman couldn't learn a lesson of faith from Samuel's mother, Hannah? My review this month is Daughter of Scarlet, by my friend Bonnie Winters. Bonnie has an amazing gift for bringing Bible stories to life through fiction. This is the story of Rahab. I loved this book, and I know you will too. Be sure to check out the new and upcoming titles. And, last but not least, you'll want to see if YOUR name is in the winner's slot in the Contest section.

As always, thank you for being a Bookshelf subscriber! I look forward to your comments.

Blessings,


Notes of Devotion: Diana Rahe Taylor

Diana Rahe Taylor

HANNAH—A WOMAN OF FAITH
1 Samuel 1-2:1-10

Hannah is my heroine. I, to some degree, identify with her plight. I say to some degree because barrenness doesn’t carry the stigma today in our culture as it did in hers. However, I remember those dismal times when I thought I would never have a child. Like Hannah I prayed for conception, but unlike Hannah, my faith floundered. God didn’t seem to be listening.

Because of some physical problems, the doctor told me I would probably not have children, and even if I got pregnant wouldn’t carry the child to full-term. I was eighteen at the time. With no immediate prospects of marriage, I tucked the diagnosis away with only a little concern. A couple of years after Charlie and I married, the physician’s comment came back to haunt me.

Charlie was headed to Vietnam—a war where casualties were high and his chances of being killed or maimed were infinite. I wanted his baby. If something happened to him, I wanted a child to preserve his memory. I wanted it bad enough to beg the doctor for fertility drugs. The doctor, whose name has long since disappeared from my remembrance, refused my request. I can look back now and admit his advice was good, but at the time I was very unhappy.

After a year on the front lines and after being wounded twice and awarded two bronze stars for valor, Charlie returned home, not unscathed, but whole. After another year of trying to get pregnant, we applied for adoption, which incorporated another long wait.

The longer the wait, the more I struggled. I couldn’t go to baby showers; I cried my way through Mother’s Day celebrations. I hated talk about formulas, teething, and jubilant comments about a baby’s first year. I avoided walking past the church nursery. While I felt God had let me down, I did pray. In fact, in my journal is one such prayer. Sometimes I read it as a reminder of my limited faith and God great goodness.

The scripture says that Hannah was in “bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.” (1 Samuel 1:10 NKJV). It’s an emotion I truly comprehend. But what speaks most to me from Hannah’s story is her tremendous faith-filled prayers. I wish I could say the same about mine.

Hannah was a woman who beseeched God with purity, believing God would give her the desire of her heart. Her heart was breaking, but her connection with God didn’t waivered. When Elkanah, Hannah’s husband, down-sized Hannah’s broken-spirit, saying, “Am I not better than ten sons?” Hannah took it to the Lord. When Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, ridiculed Hannah and dangled her own motherhood before Hannah, Hannah took her anguish to the Lord. And when Hannah relinquished her first-born son, though just a toddler, into Eli’s care at the temple thus fulfilling her promise to the Lord, she rejoiced in the goodness of God.

Oh, that all of us would grasp the power of faith in our loving Lord. The Apostle Peter said, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon him, for he cares for you” (1 Peter 4:6-7 NKJV). Peter’s exhortation continues with this warning, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 4:8 NKJV).

Like Hannah, when our souls languish in desperation, we can bring it to God, believing he will respond with love and kindness. Let us heed Peter’s advice and not waver in our faith or give Satan the power to destroy God’s name and our testimony. God never forsakes us or fails us. We can trust Him, because he cares for us. His goodness is guaranteed. Let us follow Hannah’s example and become women of faith.

Author of Note: Carla Stewart


I am so pleased to welcome Carla Stewart to The Bookshelf. This author has recently released her debut album, Chasing Lilacs, and already has a second ready to release next year.

Carla, we’ll be talking about your writing journey, and I also have a few just-for-fun questions. First, however, I’d like you to tell us a little about Carla Stewart, the lady next door.

I am literally the lady next door, walking my little doxie in my neighborhood, dashing out to the curb in my night gown to put out the garbage (I do check to see that no one is looking), and pulling weeds in the flower bed. The only difference in me and my neighbors is that while they flit about to jobs or lunch with friends, I’m chained to the computer. And I love it! I never dreamed I would be enjoying my empty nest years so dearly.

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to do what you love to do? Would you share a little with us about how you got started as a writer? Was there an “aha” moment when you knew that’s what you wanted to do?

I’ve always wanted to write a book. Always. But I kept waiting for the kids to grow up, for my job as a nurse to settle down . . . the usual “when I have more time” excuses. Only when I turned fifty, I realized I was running out of time if I was going to write very many novels. That was the first aha moment. The next came when I was wrestling with whether or not I wanted to quit my job where I drove sixty miles to work one way. All those hours on the road gave me time to think and pray about becoming a writer. Then I read the verse in Matthew that says, “Let your yes be yes and your no, no. Anything else is from the evil one.” I knew God had planted the desire to write in my heart so my struggle was not with Him, but from the doubts and fears planted by Satan. I quit my job and a year later had finished my first novel which shall remain forever unpublished, but I was on my way. I’ve never looked back.

Your story and mine share many parallels. We’ll have to chat a bit at the next WIN meeting. Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

They usually arise from the legendary “what if.” Chasing Lilacs came from my childhood curiosity about “nerve” problems as they were called in those days. I wanted to explore what it would have been like for a young girl to have a mother with those problems. The story was born.

For my novel which comes out next summer (see below), the inspiration was a newspaper article about the renovation of the Big Ten Ballroom in Tulsa, a landmark from the early jazz era of Tulsa. I wanted to have a former jazz singer recall what her life might have been like. The story evolved from that.

And it sounds fascinating! How much time do you spend writing?

I’m on the computer ALL day long, but when I’m working on a novel, I try to spend a dedicated 3 to 4 hours on just that without looking at email or FaceBook or Twitter. Some days work better than others.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and aspiring writers?

Network with other writers. Find a writers’ group and attend a conference. It will inspire and educate you and save you a lot of time in the long run.

Give us one writing tip that you personally find invaluable.

You can’t polish what hasn’t been written.

Good one! Tell us about your newest release, and what inspired you to write it.

Oops, I already gave you a hint of that above. What I didn’t tell you was that Chasing Lilacs is set in a petroleum camp very much like the one where I grew up. I chose to set it there after making a visit to the camp which is now a ghost town. The emotions flowed from me as I stood on the street where I’d lived and remembered the magical childhood I had. In that moment, the theme of the book—the power of community—washed over me. After that, I couldn’t NOT write the story.

What can we expect from you next?

Broken Wings releases next June and is the story of an unlikely friendship between two women, one an aging jazz singer, the other a young paralegal who is engaged to an abusive attorney. A strong nostalgic thread weaves past and current events together. I’m very excited about this book and can hardly wait for its release.

I look forward to it, as well. Now for those off-the-cuff questions I mentioned. If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question, what question would you ask of whom?

I don’t want to get too serious with “off-the-cuff” questions, but the disciple I most relate to is Simon Peter—he was hand chosen by Jesus and he tried to be a good follower. I know he had faith, but he was weak, as I often am. So with that in mind, I would ask Peter, “What was your visceral reaction when the cock crowed three times and you knew—you knew you were the one who had denied Christ?”

Wow. I can’t even imagine what he must have felt! Carla, what books are on your bedside table right now?

I’m almost finished with The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Next up will be Susan Meissner’s Lady in Waiting and Alice Wisler’s Hatteras Girl. I’ve also just purchased three Elizabeth Berg novels that look very tempting.

What word annoys you more than any other?
Oh, don’t get me started. How about "my bad" or "doable." And "paradigm." Ugh!

LOL! What “super power” would you like to borrow for awhile?

It has nothing to do with writing, but I would love to have the ability to fly. I sometimes dream I hold out my arms and soar around the room, over the clouds, and it’s so effortless and freeing. Funny for someone who’s afraid of heights, no?

I seriously think most human beings have had that same dream. I know I have. Now…share a grammatical pet peeve…go ahead, sound off.

"Between you and I." And I’m not sure if it’s a grammatical error or just using the wrong word, but misuse of "effect" and "affect" drives me crazy! Nuts!

Isn’t it funny how certain words antagonize certain people? It makes me want to choke someone when I hear the (un)word “et.” You know, “Have you all et supper yet?” (((Shudder!))) Another one is saying “retch” instead of “reached.” Gag!

Thank you for hanging out at My Book Bag for awhile, Carla! I have enjoyed chatting with you. Where can readers find your books?

Everywhere books are sold! Most stores have me in the Christian fiction section, but in a surprising and lovely turn of events, Barnes and Noble has Chasing Lilacs in the Fiction and Literature section. Very cool to be on the same shelf as The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Cool indeed! Thanks again for being with us.

About Carla:
Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. Carla launched her writing career in 2002 when she earned the coveted honor of being invited to attend Guidepost's Writers Workshop in Rye, New York. Since then, her articles have appeared in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and several regional magazines and anthologies.
More recently, Carla received two American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis awards for unpublished authors. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, great books, and weekend getaways with her husband. Chasing Lilacs from FaithWords (Hachette) is her debut novel.

Contact Info:

Author of Note: Mini Interview - Vickie McDonough


It’s a pleasure to welcome Vickie McDonough to The Bookshelf. Vickie is chiming in as an additional spotlight author this month, and you are in for a treat! This author’s sense of humor and lively writing style are amazing, and I know after chatting with her here, you’re going to want to look up her books.

Welcome to The Bookshelf, Vickie. Tell me…who is Vickie McDonough, the lady next door?

My favorite color is green, I love steak and fried chicken but don’t eat any kind of fish. I used to be an avid Coke fan but rarely drink one now as I’m working on losing weight. I love wearing jeans and hate dresses—believe it or not, I only own two dresses and neither of them fit since I’ve lost weight. :) I grew up attending a Pentecostal church and have been a Christian as long as I can remember.

I’m a wife of 35 years and mother of four grown sons. My oldest son, a restaurant manager, is married, and he and his wife have a four-year-old daughter, my only grandchild. My #2 son works at Walgreens, #3 son is deploying to Egypt next Sunday with the National Guard, and #4 son is a sophomore in college. I’m primary caregiver to my partially handicapped mother, so I go over to her house frequently and run errands for her. I also pick up my granddaughter from school and watch her two afternoons a week.

I was a tomboy most of my life, preferring sports to dolls when I was young, and as a teen, riding horses and my motorcycle over girly stuff like dressing up for the prom. I enjoy gardening and have flowers blooming almost year-round. I love reading historical fiction and traveling.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a detail person. I’m organized and don’t like clutter. I got my quirky sense of humor from my dad, who loved to tease and play jokes on people. If you meet me in a large group, I’ll probably be very quiet, but among my friends, I talk up more and crack jokes.

Wow! I feel like I know you so much better now. :) How did you get started as a writer?

I’ve read Christian fiction for over twenty-five years, ever since I discovered my first Janette Oke & Tracie Peterson books. One day, a story started running through my mind and wouldn’t go away. It got to where I couldn’t sleep at night, so I decided to write it down in hopes of making it go away. I finished that book and quickly wrote another one. Those books will never be published, but God used them to get my attention and to see the new direction He was taking me. Now, I’ve been writing almost ten years and have just sold my 27th book. That amazes me more than anyone.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Inspiration is everywhere. In nature, in books I read, in something my granddaughter said, but my main inspiration comes from believing I’m walking the path God has for me at this time in my life. I pray as I write that God will speak through me—that I will be a tool He uses to touch readers’ hearts.

Give us a brief glimpse into “a day in the life of Vickie McDonough.”

In the early morning, I eat breakfast, go for a walk with my husband, and tend to chores and emails. My goal is to start writing by 10, but I don’t always make it. I normally write two – six hours a day, depending on whether I have to run errands for my partially-handicapped mom, babysit my granddaughter, or do family things. Then there are more emails, ACFW board stuff to do, and sometimes more writing. In the evenings, I may watch a little TV, read, or work on research or other writing-related stuff.

Busy some? Give us one writing tip that you personally find invaluable.

Read your manuscript out loud or listen to it through a verbal reading program like Natural Reader. You’ll hear mistakes that your eyes pass right over when you’re reading, because you’re so familiar with the material. I always try to do this before I turn in a manuscript or proposal.

What’s your newest release, and what inspired you to write it?

Second Chance Brides, book two in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, released the first of September. It’s the sequel to The Anonymous Bride.

Shannon and Leah, two mail-order brides, came to Lookout, Texas, as mail-order brides. They both expected to marry the town marshal, but when he married another woman, they were stuck in Lookout, without any means to support themselves. I just had to find out what happened to them, plus my editor wanted another book in the series, so I wrote Second Chance Brides. A contract and deadline are great inspiration.

I also have another book that just released, Christmas Mail Order Brides, a Christmas novella collection. It tells the story of four mail-order brides who travel the transcontinental railroad to marry men they’ve never met. The other authors in this collection are Susan Page Davis, Therese Stenzel, and Carrie Turansky.

What can we expect from you next?

Next year, I have a historical Heartsong trilogy set in South Carolina that will be coming out. Two of the books are set in the 1700s and one is in the late 1800s. The titles are Mutiny of the Heart, Indigo Dreams, and Dueling Hearts.

Sounds like lots of good stuff for your readers to look forward to! Where can we find your books?

Most of my books are available online at Christianbook.com and Amazon.com. Some of the more recent books are available in Christian book stores and Wal-Mart.

About Vickie:
Award-winning author Vickie McDonough has lived in Oklahoma all her life, except for a year when she and her husband lived on a kibbutz in Israel. Vickie is the author of 20 books and novellas, including the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series. Historical Christian romance is her favorite genre to read and write. Vickie is currently the ACFW treasurer and a founding member of WIN, an ACFW chapter in Tulsa, OK. She is a member of RWA, CAN, Women Writing the West, OKRWA, and OWFI. Vickie’s books have won the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, Texas Gold, and the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a multi-year finalist in ACFW’s BOTY contest.

Notes on Writing: Amy Deardon

Designing the Story’s Plot
by Amy Deardon

The plot describes the outward shape of your story. This is what people usually think of for a “story,” and what they will describe to you when you ask what a book or film is about. Unlike nonfiction in which you clearly present the material without leaving hanging questions, in fiction you should always have at least one, preferably many, intriguing bits and uncertainties throughout. The reader or viewer will eagerly continue to discover the answers to these points.

There are three large components of the plot that move it forward:

1. Story Goal and Story Question

Before you start writing, you need to know your STORY GOAL, which is the thing that your protagonist wants to accomplish during the course of your story. This goal needs to be something unequivocal, something that clearly is attained, or not, by the end of the story. Whether this goal is attained or not becomes the STORY QUESTION.

For example, in Lion King, Simba is the young (lion) heir to the throne when Scar engineers Simba’s father’s death to seize control. The story goal is for Simba to regain ownership of the kingdom. Failure occurs if Scar remains in control. The story question is: will Simba become king?

In The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond is falsely imprisoned, then escapes and gains an enormous fortune. The story goal is that he wishes to take revenge on those who stole his youth, his career, and his fiancée. Failure occurs if the wrong doers get away with a great evil. The story question is: Will Edmond be able to suitably punish the guilty (without losing his integrity)?

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is a hobbit who comes into possession of the One Ring, which is the focus for evil power and greatly desired by many. The story goal is that Frodo must destroy this ring. Failure occurs if the ring is not destroyed. The story question is: Will Frodo be able to destroy the One Ring?

2. Stakes

You also need to decide why this story goal is so important to your protagonist. If it isn’t important, he could just go home and eat dinner instead of knock his socks off to achieve. What horrible things might happen if the story goal isn’t achieved?

For example, in The Lion King if Simba does not become king, Scar will govern as a tyrant, and irrevocably ruin the Pridelands and let the hyenas take control.

In The Count of Monte Cristo if Edmond cannot wreak an appropriate revenge, great evil will go unpunished.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, if Frodo fails to destroy the One Ring, Middle Earth will fall into chaos and horror under Sauron’s dominion.

3. Obstacles

If your protagonist can simply go and achieve the story goal, there is no story. All stories need multiple obstacles, both internal and external, that hold the protagonist back from getting what he wants. An important rule for writing is to NEVER MAKE IT EASY ON YOUR HERO.

For example, in The Lion King Simba is a little cub who runs away when his father is killed. He must grow up, learn that he needs to fight for his kingdom, then battle hyenas and ultimately Scar. Internally he must overcome feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

In The Count of Monte Cristo Edmond must learn to live alone in prison, then to escape, then to find the men responsible to wreak his revenge. His revenges are elaborate and full of twists. Internally Edmond copes with rage, power, and losing and gaining love. He also grapples with the role of mercy mixed with justice.

In The Fellowship of the Ring Frodo must make his way past the Nasgul and fights Orcs, rough terrain, Gollum, and other varied creatures and problems. Internally he finds carrying the Ring of Power an almost unbearable burden.

*

There is obviously much more to a plot than just these three plot components. However, if you don’t get these right, you won’t HAVE a story!

AMY DEARDON is a skeptic who came to faith through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. Her first novel, A LEVER LONG ENOUGH, is about a small military team that travels back in time to film the theft of Jesus' body from the tomb. Her newest e-book pulling together writing entries from her blog, including how to write a subplot and how to publish on Kindle without knowing HTML, will be released in a month or two. She can be reached through her website at www.amydeardon.com

Notes in Review: Daughter of Scarlet


Stolen from her family, Rahab has been forced into harlotry by a harsh master since childhood. Only the luxurious surroundings of her home on the Jericho wall bring her comfort—certainly not the silent, unhearing false gods she’s been taught to worship, nor the friends she does not have. Despised and scorned, she lives in sad solitude, save for the men whose needs she is forced to satisfy, and the master who communicates most effectively through physical and mental abuse.

Until the day Salmon and Amos barge into her home. Narrowly escaping death at their hands, Rahab ultimately offers them sanctuary and helps them escape the soldiers who come in search of the two Israelite spies. They leave with a promise of safety for herself and her family when Israel defeats Jericho and claims its land. After instructing the young woman to hang a scarlet cord from her window to ensure their promise is kept, the men depart. One of them takes with him a piece of Rahab’s heart.

And they do keep their promise. When Jericho is overtaken, Rahab and her family alone are saved. Still, Rahab’s burgeoning love for the God of Abraham is put to the test when she finds herself ostracized by Israel, condemned for a past she had no choice in, and forbidden the love of the one man to whom she would give her heart.

No one makes a Bible story come alive better than Bonnie Winters. Daughter of Scarlet is amazing—riveting action, heart-tugging emotion, authentic detail. I became Rahab in the pages of this book. I felt her pain, her joy, her love … her healing.

A must-read for any woman who feels sullied by a tainted past. Rahab’s story beautifully depicts God’s love for the “mottled sheep.” Absolutely unforgettable!


Reviewed by
Delia Latham

Contest Notes

The drawing for this edition of The Bookshelf will be held on the last day of November. (There will be no Bookshelf in December.) Winner will be announced via e-mail in early December.

The winner will receive Valeria’s Cross by Kathi Macias & Susan Wales, and a $10 gift certificate to White Rose Publishing.


(Click on the cover to read my review of this book)

The August/September winner of Third Time’s a Charm and a $6 gift certificate to White Rose Publishing:

SISTER BEVERLY GORDON

Congratulations,Sis.Gordon!

Note: You don’t need to “do” anything to enter the newsletter drawing each month. If you are subscribed to The Bookshelf, you will be automatically entered. Here’s how to subscribe: Use the icon on my website’s Home page, or the link in the Navbar (top of page) on that site, which will put you on my e-mailing list. You will then receive an e-mail link every other month when the newsletter posts, as well as occasional updates or announcements between posts.


Note: The books given away in these drawings are in excellent condition, but most have been read once for review purposes. Some may be Advance Reader Copies, sent to me for review before their final edit, so you might come across typos or formatting errors. They are handled carefully and you will receive them in great condition.

New & Upcoming Titles

August

Vanishing Act
by
Liz Johnson

Vanishing Act is the story of Nora James, a young woman who sees her father shot in an alley. Afraid for her life, she hides in tiny Crescent City, Colorado, changing her name, appearance, and job. It worked for months ... but now her luck has run out. A ruthless assassain is on her trail, and soon Nora will be found out. But this time she has FBI Special Agent Nate Andersen by her side. The handsome agent would give his life to protect his assignment, but he's weary of giving his heart ... until a deadly confrontation leaves him with both on the line.

When the Snow Flies
by
Laurie Alice Eakes

Audrey Sinclair Vanderleyden sets her heart on fulfilling a promise to her deceased husband to continue practicing medicine, despite opposition from their families. But the old physician from whom they bought a practice stands in her way and refuses to honor the contract. Audrey must either give up medicine and return to her family, or marry a near stranger.
A gunshot wound robs Nathan Maxwell of the ability to continue practicing medicine. He must find another purpose in his life. Marriage isn't an option; only a desperate woman would want a blind man for a husband. Audrey is desperate, but marriage to Nathan isn't the salvation of her medical career she thought it would be. For Nathan, the union challenges loyalties and exposes what he's lost.

Seaside Romance
by
Tamela Hancock Murray
, Darlene Franklin, and Lynette Sowell

Relive yesteryear’s glory days in Capernaum Island, Providence, and Newport, Rhode Island, through the eyes of three young women on the tide of love. Judith lives at the lighthouse her father operates, but when an old friend returns, will his fears keep him from reaching her? Becca’s first day on the job as a maid ends with a marriage proposal to a business tycoon, but can she trust his sincerity? Francesca is being pressured to enter a prestigious marriage, but can true love be within her reach? Enjoy this delightful collection of historical romances.

The Newcomer
(Book 3, New Jersey Historical Series)
by
Laurie Alice Eakes

Killing Time
by K. Dawn Byrd

Mindy McLaurin, thinks it's the end of the world when she's incarcerated on trumped-up embezzlement charges. While in jail, she investigates the death of an inmate who allegedly died of an overdose. Mindy suspects foul play when her cellmate dies and she learns that both women had ingested the same drug. Mindy trusts no one, including Mark Stone, the handsome counselor she can’t stop thinking about. She faces many challenges, including constant interrogation by the Major and emotional abuse from the other inmates. Upon release, someone is stalking her and framing her for the murder. Can she prove to Counselor Stone that she’s innocent of all charges before she loses him forever?


Lost Island Smugglers
by
Max Elliott Anderson

Sam Cooper had just moved to Harper’s Inlet where he met Tony and Tyler. While Tony’s father was away on a buying trip, the boys took one of the rental sailboats out for a diving adventure. Everything went well until the biggest storm Tony had ever seen blew up from out of nowhere, and the boys found themselves stranded on Lost Island.

But, if they thought the worst had happened, they were wrong. The boys discovered a secret hideout that was used by men in high powered speedboats. Sam and his friends knew the men were up to something, only they didn’t know what. They had to find a way to stop them, but how? And, even if they did, the boys could never tell anyone about it. Lost Island Smugglers is a story with danger, excitement, and heart-pounding action.



September

A Suitor for Jenny
by Margaret Brownley

When looking for a husband, it's best to go where the odds are in your favor. And that would be Rocky Creek, Texas, 1880. But Jenny Higgins's plan to find husbands for her two sisters hits a snag when enthusiastic applicants fail to meet her stringent requirements. Rejecting her sisters' choices for mates and riding herd on her growing feelings for Marshal Rhett Armstrong, she refuses to give up. Jenny thinks choosing a husband is not a job for the heart. It'll take one strong and handsome marshal to convince her otherwise.

A Woodland Christmas
(Romancing America)
by
Tamela Hancock Murray, Ramona K. Cecil, Darlene Franklin, and Janelle Mowery

Four Couples Find Love in the Piney Woods of East Texas: Experience a nostalgic Christmas in the Piney Woods of East Texas where a traveling wood-carver dispenses wisdom that brings four couples to realize the gift of love. Can Bridget show Seth how to forgive? Will Mary see Joseph live up to his promise? Can Seth steer Emma away from the need for vengeance? Will R. C. help Gabriella find her grandfather?



Where Hearts are Free
by Golden Keyes Parsons


The odds are stacked against Bridget and Philippe reuniting. But God has a plan for them if they'll only believe.


It's 1687, in the burgeoning town of Philadelphia, and for seven years, Bridget Barrington has watched with growing affection as Philippe Clavell worked as an indentured servant for her father, a wealthy landowner. Her father rejects her request for Philippe to be a potential suitor as he has none of the qualities Mr. Barrington hoped for his daughter's future husband, the least of which is a respectable income. Heartbroken, Bridget accedes to her parents' wishes and gets engaged to a man she does not love. However, Bridget's husband-to-be does not love her, but only her wealth. But there's always light in the midst of darkness for those who have faith. This stunning historical romance concludes the gripping Darkness to Light series.


October

Hatteras Girl
by
Alice J. Wisler

There are two things that journalist Jackie Donavan dreams about--marriage and owing a bed and breakfast in Nags Head, NC. But why is the bed and breakfast she desires deteriorating, and why won't her relatives behave so that she can go out with the handsome realtor? Filled with quirky friends and relatives that help and hinder Jackie to and from her goals, Hatteras Girl, is about uncovering the truth while finding the way to your dreams.



One Year Alone With God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God
by
Ava Pennington

One year from now, will you be able to say that you know God better than you did before? One of the best ways to start is by learning what He says about Himself—the names and attributes He gives Himself. One Year Alone with God is a devotional guide to the names and attributes of God. It provides 366 life-changing, personal devotions exploring who God is, who we are, and how we relate to others. One Year Alone with God will examine each of 122 names and attributes of God from three perspectives:
1. How God describes Himself
2. How this name/attribute changes or strengthens our relationship with Him 3. How this name/attribute changes or strengthens our relationships with others

Wrangler in Petticoats
by
Mary Connealy


Sally McCellen finds herself injured and in the care of the biggest wimp she's ever met. Logan McKenzie paints pictures of the wild west—and claims he makes a living doing it. When the two of them see an elk she reaches for her rifle, he reaches for a sketch pad. The word DRAW means completely different things to them. When Sally falls off a cliff practically into his arms, he decides he's keeping her. So far her broken leg is keeping her close, but she's a quick healer and she needs to get some tougher help, because the outlaws who dropped her into Logan's arms are hunting hard for the one witness to their crime.

A Door County Christmas
by
Cynthia Ruchti, Rachael Phillips, Becky Melby and Eileen Key

A year ago, a Door County florist promised four single women that love would come to each of them when the Christmas cactus bloomed again. But as this Christmas nears in the sleepy tourist town, none of the women are holding their breath in anticipation of romance—not yet.





Head in the Clouds
by
Karen Witemeyer

When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart’s not the only thing in danger.






November

Wounded Spirits
by
April W. Gardner

Budding love struggles for survival between a white slave and her Creek master, but before it has a chance to bloom, will the feverish onslaught of racial hatred put an end to it …or will God?






The Master’s Wall
by
Sandi Rog

He fights for his freedom. She fights for her life. Together, they fight for each other.
After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome. David trains to become a skilled fighter. He works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom. However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call. Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master's granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit. David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan—sacrifice his own life to save hers.


A Daughter for Christmas
(Love Inspired)
by Margaret Daley

Dr. Max Connors had no idea he'd fathered a child thirteen years ago. Or that his baby girl had been given up for adoption. He locates his daughter in a small Oklahoma town and moves there, hoping to become a part of her life. But when he meets her widowed mother, Max is unsure how to reveal his identity. As he helps Rachel Howard with her plans to homeschool the girl, he's welcomed into the family. But with the holidays approaching, Max must tell Rachel who he really is. Can he make his dream of family come true by Christmas?

Bridge to Love
by Darlene Franklin

December

Michigan Brides
by
Amber Stockton

In a rapidly changing industrial world, three women react differently. Felicity’s noble deed puts her in danger. Annabelle tries to break through society’s stigma. Shannon stubbornly refuses to change. Can each woman find the faith and strength to weather their times and welcome love into their hearts?





The Blacksmith’s Bravery
(Book 3, Ladies’ Shooting Club Series)
by
Susan Page Davis

A reformed saloon girl and decent markswoman, Vashti Edwards earns the opportunity to drive stagecoach, but blacksmith Griffin Bane fears for her safety—and his growing attraction—as the line becomes repeatedly targeted by robbers. Can The Ladies' Shooting Club catch the bandits and bring the stubborn couple together?




Christmas Bodyguard
(Love Inspired Suspense)
by
Margaret Daley


Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho
by Angela Ruth

Stunt woman turned actress Emily Van Arsdale returns to her home state to film a rafting movie. She also plans to spend time with her mother, which brings on feelings of guilt for not having been more supportive after her father’s death. She considers moving home for good, especially after meeting rafting guide Tracen Lake.Tracen Lake is thrilled to be hired as a rafting consultant for the movie. Not only will the job bring in more business to his rafting company, but it will pay for the log cabin he’s dreamed of building. Unfortunately, he also has to deal with an actress who previously left Idaho to seek her fame, which reminds him of his ex-fiancée’s dreams of stardom.Throughout the filming of the movie, and through wakeboarding, fishing, mechanical bull riding at a rodeo, and family reunions, Tracen gets to know Emily’s heart. But when she is offered another film role, he fears she will choose Hollywood over him.