Blog / Recent Posts

March 2015 Christian Fiction Releases

March 6, 2015

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

Contemporary Romance:

8 Weddings and a Miracle Romance Collection by Janet Lee Barton, Lena Nelson Dooley, Nancy J. Farrier, Pamela Griffin, Diann Hunt, Loree Lough, Tracie J. Peterson, Sandra Petit and Gail Sattler — Weather the storms of life alongside nine modern couples who hope to make it to the altar-someday. Be it a meeting in the wrong place at the right time, an accident that opens hardened hearts, or weather that seems to blow things off course, sometimes love needs a little divine intervention. (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing )

Dandelions for Dinner: A Farm Fresh Romance by Valerie Comer — When man-hater Allison Hart gains custody of her nephew, she decides to build a house and farm school at Green Acres. Too bad contractor Brent Callahan builds a rapport with the boy. Can Brent tear down the walls around her heart or will their secrets push them apart forever? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Valentine for Kayla by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Florist owner, Kayla Russell hates Valentine’s Day, but this year something is different. The beautiful florist-and hopeless romantic-has nearly given up on love, when the man of her dreams walks into her shop…to buy flowers for another woman! (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Cowboy’s Forever Family by Deb Kastner — Rough rodeo cowboy Slade McKenna is determined to protect his late best friend’s wife and baby, even if Laney Beckett is too stubborn to admit she needs his help. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Splash of Substance by Elizabeth Maddrey — She’s a caterer who doesn’t vote. He works for a Senator. Is it a recipe for love or disaster? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

In Defense of Love by Pat Simmons — While playing saxophone at an anniversary party, criminal attorney Shari Carmen grabs the attention of U.S. Marshal Garrett Nash. Only, she’s learned never to mix business with pleasure. As God draws them closer together, the Almighty makes a request of Garrett, one to which it will prove difficult to say “Yes, Lord.” (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg — The only thing Ava Kingsley and Seth Walker have in common is a knack for wordsmithing, which landed them a popular “He Says/She Says” column back in college. At their ten-year class reunion, they pick up squabbling right where they left off and strike up an unlikely friendship. When Ava rents the apartment above the restaurant he’s been remodeling in Maple Valley, Iowa, she finds herself warming up to Maple Valley as well as Seth. Which would be exciting…except he only sees her as a friend. After all the words they’ve swapped through the years, will they ever be able to say the three little words that matter most? (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Historical Fiction:

Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green — Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from River North [Moody Publishers])

The Tomb: A Novel of Martha by Stephanie Landsem — Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha-a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past-to hope and a new life. (Historical Fiction from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Historical Romance:

Romancing the Schoolteacher by Mary Davis — A young teacher with a secret meets a miner with a secret. Will their deceptions destroy the love they have always longed for? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Outlaw Takes a Bride by Susan Page Davis — Which would be worse for Johnny-being arrested for murder or marrying Sally Golding? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Hill Country Courtship by Laurie Kingery — Maude Harkey has given up on being married, but when an orphaned baby needs her as a mother and a job is offered that will provide a home for her and her daughter, should she take it, even if her employer has no use for romance in his life? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Romantic Suspense:

Beast of Stratton by Renee Blare — Architect Aimee Hart, determined to locate her father, infiltrates Miles Stratton’s engineering firm as a secretary. Betrayed by his best friend, Miles would rather hide from the man’s daughter than help her. But something’s not right. Someone’s trying to destroy Stratton Industrial from the inside. A decorated war veteran, Miles has defended his own before and the Beast of Stratton can do it again. Even with the enemy at his side. (Romantic Suspense from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

Shadowed (Heart of a Warrior) by Kariss Lynch — Nick Carmichael is a Navy SEAL, committed to God and country when he meets Kaylan Richards. Idealistic and sheltered, Kaylan has just graduated college and is ready to save the world. Nick faces the demons of his past on a mission to catch Janus, and Kaylan comes to terms with loving a man who leaves. Will light shine in the darkness or will Kaylan and Nick’s love forever be stalked by shadows? (Romantic Suspense from Realms [Charisma Media])

Thriller/Suspense:

Persephone’s Fugitive (Book #2 Cayman Islands Trilogy) by Dianna T. Benson — Cayman Island paramedic Sara Dyer is taken hostage by an escaped murderer and forced to mend his injuries-or die trying. (Thriller/Suspense from Ellechor Publishing House, LLC)

Young Adult:

The Induction by Melinda Louise Bohannon — Maggie comes to the frightening realization that, by marrying Peter, she has become a member of The Inner Society. She is then forced to prove her allegiance in order to get off their hit list. Meanwhile she is also being tested by The Resistance, dissidents of The I.S. who wonder if she will jeopardize their cause with her reckless rebellion. As The I.S. begins secretly giving vaccines to their own people, The Resistance becomes privy to an impending biological attack that The I.S. is about to wage against the country. (Young Adult Fiction from Ellechor Publishing House, LLC)

Happy reading~

by jill at 11:18 am in

Research and kitties and what were we thinking?

February 24, 2015

IMG_3899Let me just say – I am SO ready for spring. BUT, I am also extremely grateful the furnace is working, we don’t have foot-high mounds of snow, and we can get out of the house now and then. I really feel for those who are suffering so much more than we are witIMG_3866h the cold temps and snow this winter. After last year’s misery of the endless winter and highest snowfall in Detroit’s history, we thought we would make out easy this year. No snow had really fallen until February. But the cold is making up for lost time.

So what better thing to do in winter than destroy a bathroom and redo it, while making a few trips to our local veterinarian’s office to consider adopting another kitty, and stare at the mound of research books for my next project wondering if I will ever get through them all? (This picture includes only part of the books alluded to.)

Apparently, this is what we do when we’re cooped up inside for too long. But seriously, what were we thinking? Breaking up the old one-inch tiles in the bathroom did give Randy a change in his routine exercise, one he had perfected on the other bath last year, but when the tub sprang a leak and started pouring water onto the floor and into the light fixture of the kitchen below…let’s just say, that wasn’t part of the plan…And now we have two projects to finish!

IMG_4284And then there is Tiger. Sweet boy that he is, seems to have spring fever of his own. Not even the birds and squirrels come out much in this weather and no cats have pranced through our yard to give him someone to “talk” to.

Our niece and great niece paid us a visit this past week (the baby is 8 months) and poor Tiger didn’t know what to do with such a small human. (He thought we all came in adult sizes.) And I realized he had never seen a baby in his nine years on earth. (All the baby relatives live out of state.)IMG_2042

To combat his loneliness (not ours), we have had the crazy notion of adopting another cat, which warranted a trip to the vet’s adoption center, and we spent time meeting their kitties. We narrowed the choices to two females (one is two – seen in the above picture, the other seven, whose pic I forgot to take but she’s beautiful), and though they are cute and affectionate and sweet, Tiger gets to have the last say. (He is king here, after all.) So in this frigid weather, we made an appointment to take him to “meet” these young ladies.

I seriously question my sanity sometimes!

Because in the midst of this we have a son getting married and there is that stack of books still waiting…they don’t seem to move on their own…and the pile keeps growing when I order another commentary.Don't touch my bag

Ah well…I take hope in knowing I will eventually get the work done, comfort in the sun that is peeking out of our gray skies, and though the windchill is determined to stay below zero, I believe spring will come. As it always has. As God planned for it to do. A little bit of hope on this blustery day. Perhaps for Tiger too.

Shalom~

by jill at 4:06 pm in

This and that

February 17, 2015

IMG_8230This past week has been both good and challenging. I must say that I thank God for praying friends, because sometimes you just need a friend to hold you up in prayer and see you through tough times. Not that my birthday or Valentine’s Day was too difficult – I felt very blessed. But each day, as Jesus said, “has enough trouble of it’s own.” And a few of these past days have surely had their share of trouble.

A lot of that trouble probably has to do with change and me accepting that it’s coming. Have you noticed how hard change can be? In my younger days, I loved new things. I was sixteen going on twenty-one, a young wife wanting to be a young mom, a young mom wanting to do everything possible with our kids, while at the same time exhausted with some of those things three boys can lead you to do.

Now, I find change a challenge. (Sometimes it’s an adventure too – don’t get me wrong!) I’m just one of those girls who needs time to think it through, but I also love to have something new to set my sights on. I guess, I actually do enjoy a challenge, but more of the type that I seek out for myself. Not those that are handed to me without warning. I suspect you understand.

Some changes for me of late have been:

  • I’m researching a new book. So the next month or two will be devoted to reading, reading, reading, and buying a few more research books on Ruth so I can get a good feel for her story.
  • I’m waiting on edits for one novel (The Prophetess, Deborah’s Story), and the next novella in Solomon’s series.
  • I’ve goten a sneak peek on some preliminary work for the cover of The Prophetess, and can’t wait to see it completed!
  • We have a son’s wedding coming up in April in what will be a two-part ceremony/reception. (Long story.)
  • We decided we weren’t busy enough so Randy is tearing apart another room in the house for remodeling. (It sorely needs it!)
  • Tiger had his first vet visit in far too long. He did not appreciate the visit, but we are happy to report he is healthy and up to date on all necessary shots…which means…
  • We are torn between adopting another cat or two and taking Tiger on some future road trips. Though I suppose that if it is possible to travel with one cat, we could travel with more thanIMG_1782 one…

That’s more than you probably wanted to know. Amid all of this, I’ve been soaking up some encouraging devotional books, journal praying a lot (winter is hard on me), and learning to trust the Lord and thank Him for what He is doing that I can’t see. I know that He is behind the scenes in our lives just as every author is behind the scenes in creating a new story. The great part about God is that He is the ultimate story-teller, and we are guaranteed an ending that is beyond anything we could ask or imagine.

Sometimes I want to help the Lord write my story or write the stories of the people I love. But even my story isn’t entirely mine to tell. I’m simply ink in the Author’s pen, who writes His love on the pages of my heart.

May we all allow Him to write our stories with grateful hearts, even during the troubling times when we can’t see the next plot point or around the next bend. Know that God is a far better writer than we could ever be, and He has the ability to create and mold our character to make us into the best person we could ever be.

Until next time~

by jill at 9:57 pm in

February 2015 Christian Fiction Releases

February 15, 2015

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

Amish Romance:

Keys of Heaven: A Healing Grace Novel by Adina Senft — Apprentice Dokterfraa Sarah Yoder grows herbs for her tinctures and tries to ignore her matchmaking relatives, but she can’t ignore her budding friendship with her neighbor, Henry Byler. Henry has to resist her attraction when his pottery investors decide to market him as Amish-he has never joined the church and doesn’t plan to. When Sarah and Henry are called upon to help a runaway, Sarah oversteps her bounds and finds that God knows best how to heal the heart. (Amish Romance from Faith Words [Hachette])

Biblical Fiction:

The Crimson Cord, Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith — Rahab’s gambling husband sells her into prostitution. Then spies infiltrate Jericho and she ends up in league with them. She offers her body for a debt she does not owe-what price will redeem her soul? (Biblical Fiction from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Contemporary Romance:

Winning Over the Heiress (Heartsong Presents) by Narelle Atkins — Can Sean Mitchell be redeemed? His new boss, Julia Radcliffe, isn’t so sure. After walking out on her a year ago, the bad boy with the surfer good looks is back in her life and determined to keep it that way. It took time and faith, but Sean is finally on the right path. When his past threatens his and Julia’s future, can he convince her that love can overcome every mistake? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Secretly Yours: A Riverbend Romance Novella by Valerie Comer — Chef Lindsey Solberg agrees to cater the church’s Valentine’s Day fundraising banquet as a favor to her teen sister, but she’s shocked to discover the bad boy from her high school days is now Riverbend’s youth pastor. Seriously? How could he have changed that much? Nick Harrison has prayed for years for an opportunity to make amends. Now Lindsey’s back in Riverbend and won’t give him the time of day. What’s a guy to do except leave a trail of gifts from a secret admirer? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck — American heiress Corina Del Rey reignites her career in journalism after a long fog of grief, but her past with war veteran and star rugby player Prince Stephen of Brighton catches up to her. With a little help from heaven and his brother, King Nathaniel II, can they overcome the tragedy of war, move forward, and find love again? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Contemporary Women’s Fiction:

The Vigil by Marian P. Merritt — In Bijou Bayou fleeing an abusive boyfriend, Cheryl Broussard finds work as a Hospice nurse. While reading a dying patient’s Korean War love letters, family secrets shatter Cheryl’s beliefs about herself and shed light on the reason she first fled her hometown. Can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept a second chance with her family, old friends, and the God she never really knew? (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates Gilbert — Following in her estranged father’s footsteps, Dr. Juliet Ryan is climbing the ladder of success providing safe drinking water for millions, when disaster strikes and she learns this kind of achievement often comes with a very high price. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance:

The Homestead Brides Collection by Mary Connealy, Darlene Franklin, Carla Olson Gade, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, DiAnn Mills, Erica Vetsch, Becca Whitham, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Through nine historical romance adventures, readers will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature, the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Brandywine Brides by Amber Stockton — A family of bookstore owners has their faith restored and love multiplied in beautiful historical Delaware. Caroline manages a bookstore while her parents would prefer she marry. Grace seeks a missing heirloom book with the help of a questionable young man. Lillian reopens the bookstore in her brother’s memory. Will each woman’s literature inspired dreams lead her to a man of faith and devotion? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis — When the heiress to England’s largest textile mills travels to Wilmington to restore cotton shipments during the American Civil War, class distinction, political loyalties, and family feuds guarantee trouble for her new romance. (Historical Romance from Harvest House Publishers)

Romantic Suspense:

Fugitive Trackdown by Sandra Robbins — A shy Southern librarian and a bounty hunter join forces to track down her father’s killer. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey — Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska’s Iditarod race, a growing attraction forces aside old arguments. When a girl is kidnapped, Kirra and Reef are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who also threatens to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Speculative:

Found and Lost (Haven Seekers #2) by Amanda G. Stevens — Violet DuBay has an opportunity to infiltrate the Christian resistance, but what she learns dents her resolve to turn them in to the Constabulary. (Speculative Fiction from David C. Cook)

by jill at 8:26 am in

Perfect love

February 14, 2015

Sunset Leave youWhat words would you use to describe perfect love? What person do you know that might embody such love?

I think most of us would admit that perfection is impossible to achieve. Human beings just aren’t capable of doing something exactly perfectly every time. So perfect love is impossible then, right?

Yes. And no. There was one man who embodied perfect love and His name is Jesus. The Bible also tells us that God Himself is love. The Old Testament describes God as having steadfast love for people. And the whole reason Jesus came to earth, lived the life He did, and died the death of a criminal (for crimes he did not commit) was because of love for human beings.

The apostle John tells us that anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love. In other places we are told that we love Him because He loved us first. God shows us, teaches us, how to love because Love is who He is.

It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. (TLB)

For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).
But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void,Mt. Gilboa8 and superseded). (AMP)

There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (TLB)

I quoted these out of order, but they are from the same chapter (1 Corinthians 13) and you get the idea. Right now we can’t imagine perfection in it’s completeness nor can we express love as perfectly as God does. But Jesus did that for us and He is still loving us as no one on earth can or ever will love us. He loves us with an everlasting love. Only HIS love never fails.

Perfect love also casts out fear. When we know at an experiential level that God truly loves us no matter what, that He will never abandon us, that He wants only what is best for us, then we have no need to fear the future or the present or be held captive by the past. (The fear in the above verse means to hold God in reverence–to recognize that He is holy and worthy of worship.) Jesus came to put us at peace with God so that we can rest in perfect love.

I hope you know that love, not only on this Valentine’s Day, but always.

Selah~

by jill at 8:00 am in