WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Laura Hilton and Free Books!

 photo snowglobecover2_zps9f481f43.pngShe colored inside the lines. . . he marched to the beat of a different drummer. They say opposites attract… She colored inside the lines . . .

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Playing by Heart, by D'Ann Mateer, is:

mttip5@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your book to you right away.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's revisit novelist Laura Hilton, author of The Snow Globe (Whitaker Housee, November 2014).

 photo 35839_1469192045700_1110551537_1419357_4095333_n_zpsf0902548.jpgAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

--  I don’t like spicy foods. I prefer mild.

--  I hate peanut butter. Except in peanut butter cookies. They’re good.

--  My favorite color is white, like new-fallen snow, or a blank piece of typing paper.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Snow Globe.

 photo snowglobecover2_zps9f481f43.pngVictor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm.

When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it.

Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization.

Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?

What is it about Esther and Viktor that will make your readers care about them?

Viktor is really sensitive underneath all the toughness. Esther cares for others, puts their needs first.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo images_zps42de24c9.jpegA younger version of Tom Cruise (and taller) for Viktor




 photo Unknown_zps4aadff14.jpegand I don’t know, maybe Anne Hathaway for Esther.




How much prep work do you usually do before you actually start writing your books?

Not much. I am not a plotter, I’m a seat of the pants writer. I know the character names, a good start, and a vague idea. . . and then pray a lot.

I would love to be able to write like that. I plan so much that sometimes I have to just stop and start writing my first few chapters just to keep from driving myself crazy. It's easier after that to go back and finish the outline.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

The last book I read that I recommend is Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher. It was a really good Christmas novella.

What are you working on now?

The third book in the Amish of Jamesport Series, The Birdhouse.

Where else can readers find you online?

Amazon
visit my blogs: lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com and lauravhilton.blogspot.com
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook
Pinterest:


The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
11174X: Snow Globe, Amish of Jamesport Series #1




And Laura's other books are available here:

Amazon
CBD
Barnes and Noble
Deeper Shopping

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What is your favorite holiday and why? Do you like to read books set around that holiday?

Thanks, Laura, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Laura has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 6. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Laura's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Marlo Schalesky, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Marlo Schalesky and Free Books!

 photo wrestling_with_wonder_revised_zpsce06f9e7.jpeg You’ve never seen Mary, or her God, like this! Wrestling with Wonder is a unique, contemplative journey through the life of Mary, Jesus’ mother, to reveal a passionate God who works in ways we don’t expect.

Today we're talking with author Marlo Schalesky, author of Wrestling with Wonder, a Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary (Zondervan, September 2014).

 photo MarloSchaleskyClose2013_zpsa886d086.jpegMarlo Schalesky is the award winning author of nine books, including Wrestling with Wonder, a Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary, as well as Empty Womb, Aching Heart, Hope and Help for Those Struggling with Infertility. Her fiction includes RITA finalist Shades of Morning, the Christy Award winning Beyond the Night, and ACFW Book of the Year winner Veil of Fire.

The author of nearly 1,000 articles, Marlo is also a small business owner and a graduate of Stanford University (with a B.S. in Chemistry!). She has earned her Master’s in Theology, with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, eight horses, six cats, two parakeets, one rabbit, one rat, one dog, five goldfish, and one lonely betta in a log home in Salinas, California. (Note: Critter numbers may change without notice, especially if Marlo attends yet another adoption event for rescue animals … to her husband's chagrin.)

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

— I went to Harvard University (yes, the one in Boston - a long way from home for this California girl) for summer school before my senior year in high school, where I got a D on my very first writing assignment. Ha - look at me now! (Thanks to that same writing professor and my friend Ann Mei who sat down with me and went through my paper line by line to help me.)

— I am a terrible singer and terrible dancer. Sigh, which is such a bummer because I do so love singing and dancing. (Word to the wise: Do not sit near me during a worship service unless you sing really loud and on key so as to drown me out.)

— I got pregnant with my first child while writing my book on infertility (Empty Womb, Aching Heart) … after nearly 11 years of marriage and no babies. And, after 20 years of infertility and six miscarriages (and 3 three more kids who were born through extensive treatment), I got pregnant (twice!) without medical help, in my forties, and had our last two children medical-treatment-free (which was a first, and second!) … because God is just crazy that way.

Wow, that last one is truly wild. The cool thing is, you must have had such a surrendered heart to be willing and able to start your book on infertility. That had to count for something!

Please tell us a bit more about Wrestling with Wonder.

What if God is more passionate, more wild, and more wondrous that you ever believed him to be? What if he is calling you deeper than your dreams? What if he’s calling you to the foot of the cross? Wrestling with Wonder invites readers to walk with Mary, Jesus’ mother, on a journey of God’s favor and to discover their own journeys reflected in hers. Through fictional retellings of Mary’s story, careful exegesis, and moving personal examples, Schalesky focuses not on Mary’s character but instead on the amazing, incredible, and perplexing God who burst into her life and changed everything.

Through this transformational, contemplative encounter with the life of Mary, readers are invited to see God’s purpose, discover how he works in the lives of those he calls highly favored, and experience him in deeper ways in their own lives. They are invited to come, wrestle with wonder, and find God on the wild journey from an angel’s unexpected arrival to beyond an empty tomb. Find him, and be transformed . . .

Why will readers enjoy your book?

When I say readers have never seen Mary, or her God, like this before - I mean it! Mary's journey was transformational for me, and I think it will be for readers too. It seems that in our culture we either deify Mary or we ignore her altogether, but the truth is, she's a lot like you and me. Her journey with God reveals so much about our own journeys. It shows us God in ways we may have never seen Him before.

After all, everyone wants to be highly favored by God. And yet, like Mary, we face hardships, life’s unexpected twists and turns, and times when God seems absent. What do we do with this apparent discrepancy? We walk with Mary through her journey, and let her and her God, walk with us in ours.

In the end, this book invites readers to recapture their hope, restore their souls, and renew their vision of a passionate and breath-taking God. It encourages them to experience a walk of faith that is vibrant in the face of disappointment, a relationship that is dynamic, alive – wondrous! It says, “Come, join the adventure of being highly-favored of God!”

I usually ask this question of my guest novelists, but I'd still be curious about your answer for your nonfiction book, since it involves an amazing story about real people: If you were the casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

 photo images_zpsa4313bd9.jpegI'd love to see Mary played by Sandra Bullock, because I think she can bring any character to life and make her relatable, likable, and real.




 photo Unknown_zpsaff53f0d.jpegAs for Jesus, it's hard to think of anyone who could play Him better than Jim Caviezel did in The Passion of the Christ (though Jim's getting a little old now for the Jesus role, but still…).




 photo images-1_zps1f1d78b7.jpegAnd I'd choose Russell Crowe to play Joseph, just because Russell Crowe is my favorite actor and any movie is better with him in it.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

Wrestling with Wonder has a section in each chapter where a part of Mary's story is retold in fictional way using first person present tense. It's meant to help us see and feel what it must have been like for her and to draw us into the story. Those first person present scenes are what comes easiest for me. I so loved just closing my eyes, meditating on the scripture, then imaging Mary's journey and bringing it to life in words. I love that part! I hope readers will too.

As for the biggest struggle, besides trying to find time, quiet, and space to string two thoughts together (let alone write) with six kids and all those various and sundry pets, the marketing part of writing is the biggest burden to me. It doesn't help that I'm an introvert and find that chitchatting online is just as draining as chitchatting in person. So, I've decided to focus on what I love -- finding the wonder of God in everyday life. I talk about that. I just want to see God working and moving and whispering to me of truth in everything that happens to me and happens around me. I don't want to tweet about my breakfast … unless of course I find something interesting about God in my eggs and toast (you never know, I have found God's truth in bad eggs before, and blogged about it!).

What is the last book you read that moved you? How did it affect you?

I recently reread (out loud, to my kids, one chapter a day) Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I love that book - it changes me, encourages me, gives me vision and hope. This time as I read through it I was reminded that the journey isn't easy, but I'm not alone in it. Sorrow and Suffering may hold my hands for a time, but they are transformed by Jesus into Joy and Peace. There is purpose in our journeys, there is a destination of cleansing and healing and JOY. So I can keep on walking, keep on climbing, keep on hoping, even in the storms.

What are you working on now?

Keeping my kids from turning into self-centered, entitled monsters, keeping my house from turning into a junk heap, wiping bottoms and scooping horse (and various other critter) poop. Oh, that's not what you meant?!!? You meant writing-wise? Well, I'm not under contract right now, but if this book does well enough, I'd love, love, love, to write something similar but instead of looking at Mary's journey, I'd like to explore the one-time encounters with Christ in the gospels … the woman with the issue of blood, blind Bartimaeus, the woman at the well, Jairus' daughter, etc … and find Jesus in a fresh way through their stories. I'd call it, if I had my choice, Reaching for Wonder. I have some notes, but haven't put it all together and started the "real" writing yet. Maybe soon! I just think there are so many gems to mine in the stories of how people encountered Christ in the gospels.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

I hope readers will visit my website at www.VividGod.com and sign up for my quarterly Tales of Wonder newsletter. For daily thoughts on finding the wonder of God in everyday life, "like" my page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
337409: Wrestling With Wonder: A Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary


Now here's a question for today, readers: Marlo's book encourages the reader to realize they are highly favored by God. Briefly share a circumstance where you were well aware of being highly favored by the Lord. 

Thanks, Marlo, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Marlo has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 2. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to my question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with D'Ann Mateer, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Monday, September 22, 2014

D'Ann Mateer and Free Books!

 photo PlayingByHeart_covermck_zpsf60f54a7.jpg Lula Bowman is used to having all the answers, but this assignment has her questioning all her plans for the future.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of The Marshal's Pursuit, by Gina Welborn, is:

dkstevensne@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of Her Montana Twins, by Carolyne Aarsen, is:

fishingjan@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your books to you right away.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's meet novelist D'Ann Mateer, author of Playing by Heart (Bethany House, September 2014).

 photo AuthorImage-36small_zps29e44ec2.jpgAnne Mateer is passionate about bringing history to life through fiction. She is the author of four historical novels set in the years just prior to and during World War I and was a 2013 Carol Award finalist. She also has a contemporary short story in the upcoming A Cup of Christmas Cheer II.

Anne and her history-loving husband live in Texas and are the proud parents of three young adults.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

--My husband and I met while doing summer internships in Washington, D.C.

--I hate cooking.

--I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Playing by Heart.

 photo PlayingByHeart_covermck_zpsf60f54a7.jpgLula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But a shocking phone call from her sister changes everything.

Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to help her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Lula commits to the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula only has plans to return to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look very different than she expected.

What is it about Lulu that will make your readers care about her?

Lula is a young woman who has become strong as she’s pursued a dream against the norm, and yet she finds herself torn between crafting her dreams to please others or embracing the things she is uniquely gifted to do. I think that’s a struggle for many of us—especially women. We struggle to balance sacrifice for those we love with pursuit of our own goals. I think the universality of these issues will endear Lula to readers.

You're so right, D'Ann. Women in particular tend to struggle with the nurturing aspect of our personalities and the ambitious side. 

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

I don’t see a lot of current movies, so this is always a hard question for me! I’ll go with what I know, which might not be super mainstream, but who knows?

 photo images_zps57275821.jpegI am kind of enamored with the girl from the new movie The Hundred Foot Journey, Charlotte Le Bon. Give her a bit of a twang and I think she’d make a great Lula.



 photo Unknown_zpsd6c48a73.jpegAs for Chet, I lean toward Jack Ashton from last season’s Call the Midwife. (He plays Trixie’s new love interest, the hunky priest.) He has that “All American Boy” look, though my guess is he’s British. But maybe not. ☺



If you could set your next novel absolutely anywhere you’d like, where would you set it? And during what time period? Why?

I’ve always had a penchant for everything British, so I’d set a story in England or Scotland—or even Wales or Cornwall. Any time period would do. I love all of history.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. Not only was it a fascinating historical novel (set in 1600s Massachusetts), but I consider Ms. Brooks one of the best at conveying an accurate historical worldview in her characters. She is also amazing at creating a sense of time and place through her word choices in storytelling. Her books truly transport the reader to experience history, not just read about it.

Agreed. She's a phenomenal author. 

What are you working on now?

I’m about to begin a new project and I’m not exactly sure which idea I’ll be pursuing! I have several bits of information that have spurred my imagination recently. The difficulty comes in deciding which one to follow.

Where else can readers find you online?

I blog at www.annemateer.com. I am also active on facebook , twitter , and pinterest . You can also check out my bookshelf on Goodreads.

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
210655: Playing By Heart




Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What is your primary purpose in reading fiction—escape or discovery (of yourself or history or the world)?

Thanks, D'Ann, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, D'Ann has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 29. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to D'Ann's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Carolyne Aarsen, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Carolyne Aarsen and Free Books!

 photo 9780373879076_zps2f29b148.jpeg Can a once-bad boy convince the grieving widow of a war hero that he can be the best husband for her and best father for her twins.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Chapel Springs Revival, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is:

saubleb@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your books to you right away.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's revisit with novelist Carolyne Aarsen, author of Her Montana Twins (Harlequin Love Inspired, August 2014).

 photo IMG_8537_zps66a0e2d2.jpeg Raised in the city, Carolyne moved to the country to follow her farmer husband. As his jobs changed so did her own resume. Wife, gardener, mother, chaser of cows, rider of horses, keeper of the accounts, foster mother and then, writer. Her life has been blessed and challenged by her four children, numerous foster children and, lately, grandchildren.

Her faith has been the constant bedrock on which she and her husband leaned through the tears and laughter and disappointments of their lives. It is this faith that she hopes shines through all the stories she tells.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- I won first place in a moose calling contest!

-- I overpurchase craft items whenever I start a new craft. So there’s an abundance of embroidery floss, wool, quilting fabric, doll patterns, card-making supplies, scrapbooking stuff for my granddaughters to craft with and my kids to get rid of when I die.

-- Sometimes my work means staring out the window and watching the leaves blow in the wind.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Her Montana Twins.

 photo 9780373879076_zps2f29b148.jpegRaising twins on her own hasn’t been easy for widowed mom Hannah Douglas. But she’s determined to see her family succeed. Still, there are times she wishes for someone to lean on. To her surprise, Brody Harcourt, the town’s favorite firefighter and one-time bad boy, is always there when she needs him. But Hannah’s not sure she’s willing to take another chance, especially with someone whose jobs puts him in harm’s way.

For his part, Brody isn’t sure he can step into the shoes of Hannah’s first husband, a war hero. Can they overcome their own doubts to make their own family?

What is it about Hannah and Brody that will make your readers care about them?

Hannah is a single mother of twins, trying to make it on her own and get past the death of her soldier husband. She’s determined and strong, yet, when it comes to her children, vulnerable.

Brody is a hero in his own right and is attracted to Hannah and her adorable twins, but isn’t sure he wants to fight the fire of an old flame, Hannah’s first husband.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo Unknown-2_zps72dee593.jpegI always pictured Liam Hemsworth as my hero firefighter




 photo Unknown-3_zpsfd18c258.jpegand Norah Zehetner (the late Dr. Reed from Grey’s Anatomy) as Hannah Douglas.



If you could set your next novel absolutely anywhere you’d like, where would you set it? And during what time period? Why?

Up here, in my farming community because I know it so well. The rhythms of the seasons and the characters. It would be a contemporary novel because I love my modern conveniences and would like to grant my character the same.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

The False Prince, a young adult faux history story by Jennifer A. Nielson. Loved it. Great characters, vibrant writing and engaging storytelling.

What are you working on now?

I’m finishing the third in a new series for Harlequin Loved Inspired, called Refuge Ranch. Two sisters and a brother, with pain and sorrow in their life, return to their home ranch in Montana for their own reasons but end up facing their deepest secrets and fears in the process.

Where else can readers find you online?

I have a website that I dabble in from time to time – www.carolyneaarsen.com

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
879070: Her Montana Twins



Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Do you look for a ‘takeaway’ factor when you read a fiction book or are you willing to simply go along for the ride?

Thanks, Carolyne, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Carolyne has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 22. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Carolyne's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Gina Welborn, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gina Welborn and Free Books!

 photo themarshalspursuit_zps393d53f3.jpgTrouble arises when a wounded U.S. marshal hides a beautiful mafiosi witness in New York’s ultra-exclusive Tuxedo Park community.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the PDF copy of Murder in Time, by Veronica Heley, is:

von1janet@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of Wonderful Lonesome, by Olivia Newport, is:

mcnuttjem0@

Congratulations! I'll email you today, and we'll get your books to you right away.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's revisit with novelist Gina Welborn, author of The Marshal’s Pursuit (Love Inspired/Heartsong Presents, September 2014).

 photo GINA2012_zps890c2b49.jpgGina Welborn wrote public service announcements for a news radio station until she fell in love with writing romances. She's written three novellas for Barbour, including 2014 Selah Award finalist Mercy Mild in the ECPA-bestselling Mistletoe Memories.

The year 2014 ushers in the release of her novels: The Heiress's Courtship, The Marshal's Pursuit, and Masterpiece Marriage.

A moderately obsessive fan of Community, Once Upon a Time, and Chopped, Gina lives in Cache, Oklahoma with her pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, a box-lab, two rabbits, four guinea pigs, and a fancy Russian dwarf hamster named Tom Bob Deucalion.

She is currently at work on two novellas for Barbour to be released in 2015 and 2016.

Oh, I just love Community! So many cultural references--I often have to pause and repeat.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- My newest hobby is upscaling furniture.

-- For my birthday last year, I had my left forearm tattooed with “all is well” and “all will be well.”

-- I saw the musical Wicked four times in one year (Broadway, Oklahoma City, Austin, & Tulsa).

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Marshal's Pursuit.

 photo themarshalspursuit_zps393d53f3.jpgMalia Vaccarelli Needs a Place to Hide

When her brother is arrested for a gangster’s murder, Malia is plunged into danger. Her life in peril, she trusts no one—not even the special U.S. marshal assigned to protect her. But handsome Frank Louden isn’t what Malia expects.

Hiding Malia on his grandparents’ Tuxedo Park estate may not be the best idea, but Frank is determined to do anything to protect her…even if he’s soon unable to ignore his growing feelings for the beautiful woman. As their romance blossoms, will Malia’s criminal connections force her to choose between family and her heart?

What is it about Malia that will make your readers care about her?

We often think of the “desire to fit in” being a teen-years issue. Whether it’s a church women’s ministry or a knitting club or a writing group, we want to feel we are in the “in crowd.” My heroine Malia grew up wealthy. She had a prestigious Knickerbocker heritage from her mother. Her maternal aunt was married to a British aristocrat. Her maternal grandfather was on first name basis with the Rockerfellers and Astors. Yet her paternal Italian heritage kept her on the outside looking in. Her journey is learning not everyone is going to like or accept her, but not everyone matters.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo Unknown_zpsab3550ee.jpegEver see the Twilight movies? When I was finding character photos, the two actors who captured the appearance and personality of Malia and Frank are Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz. She has a mixed-ethic heritage like Malia,


 photo Unknown-1_zpsa05339c9.jpegand he’s totally a boy scout all grown up.


If you could set your next novel absolutely anywhere you’d like, where would you set it? And during what time period? Why?

Historical romances are my first love. Always will be. Lately I’ve been thinking I really want to write a contemporary “time-travel” idea. Setting is, obviously, in Scotland. Story begins today and returns to the medieval era.

The CBA hasn’t been overly (even minorly) enthusiastic for time-travels. I’m not sure why that is. But I told my husband when I was judging a published contest, “If the book is a time-travel, it starts out with a perfect score and then I deduct but, still, I’m generous. If it’s an Amish, it starts out in the red, and then I reward.” I don’t say that to blight Amish novels. Vannetta Chapman is my favorite Amish author. Lynette Sowell has a new series I’m interested in reading too. Time-travel, though… It’s chocolate to me. So I’d love to write my version of a time-travel. Maybe I’ll be crazy and pitch the idea at ACFW conference later this month.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

I loved Becky Wade’s Undeniably Yours. Sometimes CBA romances tend to tread the shallow waters of a spiritual thread, or soak ya with preaching. Becky’s novel perfectly balances the romance, character growth, and a spiritual lesson that challenges and uplifts. I certainly would list it in my Top Ten of best inspirational romances I’ve ever read. While I generally don’t do book reviews, I knew I wanted to share why I recommend this book. http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/2014/05/undeniably-yours-by-becky-wade.html

What are you working on now?

The next story I’m working on is 1910 Fort Worth, Texas. There’s a neighborhood there that was the wild west equivalent to Tuxedo Park. In Quality Hill were some of the largest mansions in Texas. My story takes place in an 11,000-square-foot mansion quite similar to one of the few remaining turn-of-the-century Quality Hill mansions. I love the opulence of the Edwardian era. Costume was synonymous with clothes. Most of the time we toss on jeans and a t-shirt. Men and women back then took the time to dress well. I don’t know about you, but I feel different when I’m all fancied up than when I’m running errands in good ol’ comfy yoga pants. The story is called “Baker’s Dozen” and will be out next year in Barbour’s The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection. For years I’ve wanted to write my version of “The Bachelor” tv show. I’m so thankful Becky Germany gave me this opportunity.

Where else can readers find you online?

WEBSITE
BLOG
TEAM BLOG
FACEBOOK
TWITTER (@gina_welborn)
PINTEREST
TUMBLR
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
LINKEDIN
GOOGLE+

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:





Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Have you ever thought about writing a book or had an idea for a book? Did you try writing it? If so, how far did you get? Why did you stop? Or why haven’t you don’t anything with the finished product?

Thanks, Gina, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Gina has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 22. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Ginas question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jane Kirkpatrick and Free Books!

 photo ALightintheWildernesscover_zps78129aa7.jpgA true story, imagined, of one of the first black women to cross the Oregon Trail and the law suit that makes us remember her and be inspired by her courage.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Chapel Springs Revival, by Ane Mulligan, is:

cpk153@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of Song of the Prairie, by Vickie McDonough, is:

may_dayzee@

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing addresses, and we'll get your books to you right away.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's revisit with novelist Jane Kirkpatrick, author of A Light in the Wilderness (Revell, September 2014).

 photo Janesbiophoto_zpsebfe18a0.jpgJane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of 26 books, including A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center, an award won by Barbara Kingsolver and James Michener.

Her works have been finalists for the Christy, Spur, Oregon Book Awards, WILLA Literary, Reader’s Choice Awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award, USABestBooks.com Award and the Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Many of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections.

Jane speaks internationally about the power of stories in our lives and is a frequent keynote and retreat leader. She was named the Distinguished Northwest Writer of 2005 by Willamette Writers.

A former mental health clinic director, consultant to Native American tribes and a rancher for 27 years, Jane now lives with her husband Jerry and two dogs in Central Oregon near Bend.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- I’m a licensed pilot.

-- I wrote wretched little poems as a child.

-- My first article was published in Sports Afield about how to repair a fishing rod in the wild using pine tree pitch. I don’t fish much but my husband told me this story and I loved it! So I wrote my version.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Light in the Wilderness.

 photo ALightintheWildernesscover_zps78129aa7.jpgLetitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. She trusts these words she cannot read – as she is beginning to trust Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to leave Missouri and come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she’s so deeply in love with her husband and knows she will follow him anywhere.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley, Oregon Territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. And she’ll soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it truly means to be free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. Based on a true story, imagined.

What is it about Letitia that will make your readers care about her?

Letitia is making an incredible change in her life, entering into an unknown both in relationships and landscapes. Her courage in a time of trial, her good humor in the midst of sorrow, her faith and allowing others to sustain her in a wilderness place I think makes her one of those characters that we cheer for and learn from at the same time.

That the story is based on fact makes it all the more remarkable for what she accomplished during a time when Oregon Territory was not friendly to persons of color, had exclusion laws and lash laws meant to strip the dignity and freedom from anyone of color courageous enough to build their dreams in Oregon Country.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo images_zps72ccc1b3.jpegThis one is easy-easy. Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave as Letitia



 photo Unknown_zps8a66c366.jpegand Jason Biggs (the sweet husband from Orange is the New Black) for Davey Carson.



If you could set your next novel absolutely anywhere you’d like, where would you set it? And during what time period? Why?

Somewhere in the west in the 1850s because as Pulitzer prize winner Wallace Stegner once said “It is not an unusual life curve for Westerners - to live in and be shaped by the bigness, sparseness, space, clarity & hopefulness of the West…” It just makes a great setting for exploration of the human spirit.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Mistaken by Karen Barnett. It was an authentic portrayal of the time period (during prohibition); each of the characters had desires and flaws that made them real and made me care about them. The dialogue was snappy and poignant; the secrets characters had were unveiled with great pacing and there was mystery, danger and surprise. And I learned new things, always a plus for me! I stayed up late to finish it….

What are you working on now?

Two Elizas Tangled in Time…it’s about Eliza Spalding, first missionary to the Nez Perce Indians and her daughter Eliza Spalding Warren who at age ten survived a massacre and how memories entangle us and also lead us toward family unity if we allow.

Where else can readers find you online?

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
Youtube
www.jkbooks.com where readers can access my monthly Story Sparks newsletter and my blog, Jane’s Words of Encouragement.

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
722310: A Light in the Wilderness


Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What makes a story sweep you away and give up daily tasks or stay up late just to find out what’s happening next? Or, Stephen King (I think it was) said writers shouldn’t write what readers skip over. I try to write using that advice. But what do you skip over when reading a novel that you know you’ll finish? Description? Dialogue? Details of fact? Long sections of text? Just curious!

Thanks, Jane! I think maybe it was Elmore Leonard who suggested not writing those parts readers skip over--I have him in mind because I'm currently binge watching Justified, based on his writings.

Thanks for visiting with us, Jane, and for telling us about your novel. Readers, Jane has offered to give a PDF copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 15. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Jane's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Olivia Newport, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Olivia Newport and Free Books!

 photo WonderfulLonesomecover_zps915caee9.jpgIn a struggling Amish settlement on the Colorado plain, Abbie refuses to concede defeat to hail, drought, and coyotes, but when she discovers the root of a spiritual divide that runs through the settlement, she faces her own decisions about what she believes.

Today we're featuring novelist Olivia Newport, author of Wonderful Lonesome (Shiloh Run Press, Barbour, September 2014).

 photo OliviaNewport_zps788d6fe4.jpg In addition to Wonderful Lonesome, Olivia Newport is the author of three historical novels (Avenue of Dreams series), three Amish stories (Valley of Choice series) and Hidden Falls, a 13-episode serialized contemporary novel available in digital formats.

She chases joy in Colorado Springs, where the daylilies and sunflowers in her wild backyard grow as tall as she is.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

--In the last year, I have become enamored with The West Wing, a show I never saw when it originally aired. Thank you, Netflix.

--I have lived in my current home longer than in any other home in my life.

--I’ve discovered I enjoy long drives by myself—from Colorado to Illinois, for instance. I’m as surprised as anyone about that!

I'm with you on the streaming/binging of old shows, Olivia! Very addicting.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Wonderful Lonesome.

 photo WonderfulLonesomecover_zps915caee9.jpgAbbie Weaver fights for the life of the church she cherishes. Hail, wind, drought, and coyotes are daily enemies to the farming Amish, but the loss they feel most deeply is the lack of a minister. The true reason that even visiting bishops have stopped coming looms as a question that demands explanation.

Ruthanna is pregnant and fearful about her husband’s illness. Rudy is lonely and weary. Willem is fiercely determined to succeed at any cost. Their unfolding responses to daily challenges press Abbie to confront her unbending convictions. Though Abbie loves Willem, his choices put a wedge between them and turn her eyes to Rudy, her best chance to save the settlement.

When Abbie discovers the root of the unspoken spiritual divide that runs through the settlement, and finds herself disagreeing with her own father, the collision of loves and values makes her wonder if she has lost Willem forever.

What is it about Abbie that will make your readers care about her?

Abbie is tenacious, even indefatigable. But is there a right time to let go? And when do you know when that time has come without letting go of your faith as well?

If you could set your next novel absolutely anywhere you’d like, where would you set it? And during what time period? Why?

I have two projects under contract with established settings, but if I were starting from scratch, I think I’d like to use a small town in a place surrounded by water—a cove, a peninsula, maybe even an island. And I’d like to try something in the 1930s or 1940s, perhaps because these were the decades of my parents’ young adulthoods and I find myself wanting to understand their world better.

Yes, that's a terrific motivator! 

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Actually, I recommend anything by Jojo Moyes. This book I especially loved because she artfully weaves together a story in the past and a contemporary story, filling it with characters who are so easy to feel an attachment to and to admire and to struggle alongside. It’s a great read for someone who likes historical fiction as well as someone who likes contemporary.

I'm sold. I haven't read any of her work, but the covers even make the books look like fun.

What are you working on now?

I just finished the edits on Meek and Mild, the second book in the Amish Turns of Time set that begins with Wonderful Lonesome. So now it’s time to dive in to writing the third one.

Where else can readers find you online?

Find me at www.olivianewport.com, @OliviaNewport, or Facebook.

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
366316: Wonderful Lonesome, Amish Turns of Time Series #1


Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What’s the last novel you recommended to someone who knows you well, and what did you say about it?

Thanks, Olivia, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Olivia has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 11. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Olivia's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Vickie McDonough, Veronica Heley, and Ane Mulligan below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ane Mulligan and Free Books!

 photo CSRCOVERcopy2_zps8adf48a2.jpeg With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Today we're talking with novelist Ane Mulligan, author of Chapel Springs Revival (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, September 2014).

 photo Ane-PRheadshotcopy_zps4e8cb26b.jpeg While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist.

Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups.

President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you, Ane.

--I sat in Maggie Thatcher's seat in the House of Commons dining room in London while the luncheon guest of Lord Graham.

-- When I was a lobbyist for Christian Coalition, I was on Ralph Reed's Dream Team. He always called the team (all state lobbyists from around the U.S.) when there was a hot bill to lobby in Washington D.C.

--I was on The Newlywed Game back in the dark ages.

Now, that's some TV footage I'd love to see. 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Chapel Springs Revival.

 photo CSRCOVERcopy2_zps8adf48a2.jpegEverybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble.

And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town.

No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages. With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

What is it about Claire that will make your readers care about her?

Claire is a good-hearted mess and lots of fun. She speaks what she's thinking without filters. She moves too fast and gets into all kinds of trouble. But she's a loyal and always ready to defend her friends.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo Unknown_zps83bfd4d4.jpegI rarely use actors as my character models, but Diane Keaton in the movie Baby Boom is Claire. Things just happen to her. I'm not sure about Claire's best friend, Patsy. She's more subdued, but she always rescues Claire from her messes.

If you could set your next novel absolutely anywhere you’d like, where would you set it? And during what time period? Why?

Right back in Chapel Springs. I love this town. It's filled with dozens of rich, quirky characters and I want to write their stories. Time would be contemporary/today, although, I'd like to go back and explore one or two of the town's ancestors during the depression.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Angela Hunt's Passing Strangers. The characterization is excellent, and she's simply a great writer.

What are you working on now? 

The third book in the Chapel Lake series, Dream Keeper (working title). The second book, Chapel Springs Survival, is done. It follows the town and characters to see if they can survive the revival.

I especially like that last title.

Where else can readers find you online?

I'm all over the place: website, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, and Twitter

The book can be purchased online via the following button:




Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Do they have any funny stories (something that has happened to an adult) that I can use in one of my books? One of my good friends has supplied me with two that actually translated to fiction very well. The last chapter on Chapel Springs Revival comes straight from one of her friend's life. It fit perfectly. Another provided the black moment for Claire in Chapel Springs Survival. If any of your readers has a good one I can use, I'll name a character after her.

Oh, that's a fun one, Ane. I hope some of my readers take you up on that!



Thanks, Ane, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Ane has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 8. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Ane's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Veronica Heley, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a PDF copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

As you scroll down to the bottom of this post to answer Ane's question, take a look at some of the terrific Inspirational fiction being released in September!

Action/Adventure:

The Promise by Beth Wiseman -- Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend, parents, or anyone else get in the way of her #1 goal-to save a life. A new friend she met online offers her the chance, but she'll have to leave behind everyone she loves to take it. Tate Webber has loved Mallory for years. He begs her not to go, but Mallory embarks on the dangerous journey to Pakistan anyway, only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray she'll make it out alive. Inspired by actual events, this riveting story will take you on a wild journey and have you asking yourself: How far would I go for love? (Action/Adventure from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Amish Romance:

A White Christmas in Webster County by Laura V. Hilton -- Mercy Lapp relocates from Shipshewana to Seymour, Missouri to heal after the death of her beau. Abner Hilty flees Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he's changed physically since she's last seen him. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place? (Amish Romance from Whitaker House)

Biblical Fiction:

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee -- There is the story you have heard: A foreign queen journeyed north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king favored by the One God. The tale of a queen conquered by a king before returning to her own land laden with gifts. That is the tale you were meant to believe. Which means most of it is a lie. The truth is far more than even the storytellers could conjure. In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father's throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world-or of Sheba's queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite-and ruin-them both. (Biblical Fiction from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Contemporary Romance:

Christmas Comes to Bethlehem - Maine by Lorraine Beatty, Elizabeth Ludwig, Sandra Robbins and Virginia Vaughan -- This year, spend Christmas in Bethlehem, Maine, as the town prepares for annual living nativities. Will stepping into the roles of Mary and Joseph help empty nesters David and Kate Walters discover the joy of becoming parents again unexpectedly? Can a young pastor and a pretty choir member convince the town to be like three wise men of long ago when a devastating hurricane threatens tradition? Can veterinarian Leesa McElroy survive working alongside a man more at home with camels than Christians? Will the truth about singer Angeline Monroe's abandoned career come to light at Christmas? (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Her Hometown Hero by Margaret Daley -- Home to a Cowboy In a split second, a tragic accident ends Kathleen Somers's ballet career. Her dreams shattered, she returns home to the Soaring S ranch...and her first love. Suddenly the local veterinarian, Dr. Nate Sterling, goes from her ex to her champion. With the help of a lively poodle therapy dog, the cowboy vet sets out to challenge Kathleen's strength and heal her heart. He'll show her there's life beyond dance, even if it means she leaves town again. But maybe, just maybe, he'll convince her there's only one thing in life worth having...and he's standing right in front of her. Caring Canines: Loving and loyal, these dogs mend hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Campaigning for Love by KD Fleming -- For Katherine Harper, running for city council is about protecting children from the kind of grim childhood she had. And she won't let privileged politician's son Nick Delaney ruin her chances. Like he once ruined her dreams of true love and a family of her own. Nick has his sights set on public office, not on rekindling a star-crossed romance from years ago. Yet as he and Katherine spend time together on the election circuit, his competitor compels him with her beauty and heart of gold. Falling for the opposition was never in his plans, but Nick will give anything to earn Katherine's forgiveness and renew their love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant -- Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. At twenty-six years old, Kat is still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single. But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York. As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself---her---is suddenly in danger of slipping away. Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General/Contemporary:

Last Family Standing by Jennifer AlLee -- Twenty-five years ago, Monica Stanton gave up a baby girl for adoption. Now, Jessica is willing to meet her birth mother, but she wants the reunion to air on a reality TV show. Monica would rather chew glass than appear on TV. But she'll swallow her pride-and a few other unsavory items-if that's what it takes to reconnect. As if getting to know her grown daughter while competing on a remote island isn't hard enough, Monica is further confused when Jessica's long-lost birth father shows up, complicating both her relationship with her daughter and the attraction Monica has to the hunky reality show host. The fruit-basket upset of emotions, accusations, and regrets might make for good TV, but will it destroy the family in the process? (General/Contemporary from Abingdon Press)

Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes -- When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until his late wife's illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, knocks on his door. Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby's father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other. (General/Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Historical Romance:

Ozark Wedding by Helen Gray -- Gavin is determined to bring his sleepy hometown of Deer Lick, Missouri, into the electric age. But he doesn't count on his wayward brother's schoolhouse hijinks getting in the way-or the lovely teacher who sends Gavin's heart into a tailspin. Teacher Irene Delaney is a talented pianist who dreams of making music far beyond her small town. As the electricity humming between her and Gavin begins to grow, she worries falling for the striking man will douse her big-city plans. Can Gavin convince Irene she can keep her dreams-and they can still have forever? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Bride In Store by Melissa Jagears -- Unfortunate events bring mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell to her fiancé's town a week early with no dowry. But Axel, her groom-to-be, isn't even in town. When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, William Stanton feels responsible and lets her help around the store--where she quickly proves she's much more adept at business than he ever will be. The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. When Axel finally returns, both Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams--or if God has a new dream in store for them both. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

The Christmas Brides Collection by Kristin Billerbeck, Lauralee Bliss, Irene B. Brand, Lynn A. Coleman, Kelly Eileen Hake, Vickie McDonough, Tamela Hancock Murray and Therese Stenzel -- Journey back into history to experience Christmas alongside nine brides-to-be whose wedding dreams are overshadowed by doubts and troubles. Meet an English immigrant wanting to return home. A ranchero's daughter being forced to marry a despicable man. A soldier's fiancée facing the realities of war. An optimist who believed a lie. A snowbound woman near death. A do-gooder fighting for orphans. A bride sought only for an inheritance. An orphan protecting her father's land. A motherless daughter wishing for yesterday. Will love shine its light of hope and truth into each life? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Westward Christmas Brides Collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Susan Page Davis, Melanie Dobson, Cathy Liggett, Vickie McDonough, Olivia Newport, Janet Spaeth, Jennifer Rogers Spinola and MaryLu Tyndall -- Take the journey into the American west alongside nine women who are chasing their dreams-Cynthia, for security; Beryl, for a new family; Adeline, for freedom; Molly, for marriage; Beth, for a new start; Belinda, for a place to heal; Suzette, for adventure; Carolina, for peace; and Caroline, for a future for her children. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Grand Teton Sleigh Ride by Elizabeth Goddard and Lynette Sowell -- Four Generations of Wyoming Ranchers Celebrate Love at Christmas. Wyoming's spectacular mountains have drawn many, from trappers to ranchers to skiing enthusiasts. This Christmas, spend the holidays with the Covington family, who have called Wyoming home for generations. Rough, bristly rancher Zebulon sets his sights on eastern lady Belle Murray. Forward-thinking Emily would rather stay a dog musher than become a bride. Outfitter Sam wants to make his name in Wyoming, not say, "I do." Hayley's quest for her father's approval goes sour when she takes an interest in a local ski bum. Will four festive sleigh rides rein in romance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Historical:

The Lyre and the Lambs by Sydney Avey -- Modernity and tradition clash as two newlywed couples set up house together and their young relatives begin to show up; when a body is found in the backyard, the life they are trying to build comes undone. (Historical from HopeSprings Books)

Romantic Suspense:

Hidden in the Stars: Quilts of Love Series by Robin Caroll -- Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother's offer to return to their family home. Detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, but Sophia's silence frustrates him and thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn't help either. Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia's mother's "special" quilt design. When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer-still at large-silence her forever? (Romantic Suspense from Abingdon Press)

Under A Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter -- When Aaron Yazzie is assigned to protect the only witness to a drug cartel execution, he hides high-maintenance Southern belle Kailyn Eudailey in the safest place he knows-the vast, untamed wilderness of the Navajo Nation. (Romantic Suspense from Abingdon Press)

Nowhere to Turn (Hidden Identity) by Lynette Eason -- The day Danielle Harding takes her 11-year-old son, Simon, and flees from her abusive husband, is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, the danger has just begun. When Kurt was alive, he took something important to a mysterious person. That person wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker Publishing Group])

Sunken Treasure by Katy Lee -- Shipwreck diver Gage Fontaine is used to modern-day pirates chasing after his boat and the buried treasure he salvages. But when he unknowingly leads a dangerous criminal to the waters off Stepping Stones Island, he puts a beautiful fisherwoman in grave danger. Rachelle Thibodaux has spent the past year hiding on her boat to avoid the town's censure for her father's crimes. But when she comes face-to-face with a gun-wielding pirate, she becomes a new kind of target. To save her own life, she'll have to work with Gage to find the treasure before the pirates do. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Rancher Under Fire by Vickie McDonough -- Jackson Durant would go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. He knows the puzzling incidents on his homestead are no accidents. Someone is after him...but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life-nor that she'd fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson's daughter is kidnapped, she'll do anything to help save the little girl-even if it means becoming a target herself. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Danger at the Border by Terri Reed -- When a mysterious toxin threatens lives and livelihoods near the border between the U.S. and Canada, Dr. Tessa Cleary is called to trace the source. But when the no-nonsense doctor is forced to work with border patrol agent Jeff Steele, she finds the lone wolf's dedication to his job-and country-chipping away at the walls around her heart. Just as Tessa and Jeff are about to uncover the toxin's deadly source, armed thugs kidnap them in the forest. Now they must trust each other to survive before time runs out. (Romantic from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Marshal's Pursuit by Gina Welborn -- When her brother is arrested for a gangster's murder, Malia Vaccarelli is plunged into danger. Hiding Malia on his grandparents' Tuxedo Park estate may not be the best idea, but U.S. marshal Frank Louden is determined to do anything to protect her. As their romance blossoms, will Malia's criminal connections force her to choose between her family and her heart? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Fiction:

Seek and Hide (Haven Seekers #1) by Amanda G. Stevens -- Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment—including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent. Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she's targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she'd never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help. When Aubrey and Marcus's lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus's life in a way he'd never expect, turning a loner into a leader. (Speculative Fiction from David C. Cook)

Women's Fiction:

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate -- Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing -- until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper's hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she'd left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she's willing to pay. (Women's Fiction from Tyndale House)

Happy reading!
 

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