Monday, September 15, 2014

SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE



Title: 10K a Day, The Secret of Quality Speed Writing
Author: C R Myers
Publisher:
Pages: 64

I happen to run across 10K A DAY, THE SECRET OF QUALITY SPEED WRITING by C R MYERS, and couldn’t resist. After years of plugging away at writing, I have come to a point of realization that something is missing. There are several components that make up a great story, and if one of those is absent, the reader is left lacking the full potential of a great story.

I didn’t purchase 10K A DAY, THE SECRET OF QUALITY SPEED WRITING to accomplish speed writing – though I do desire to write more words a day - but to incorporate the missing pieces to my stories.

As soon as I received my copy, I couldn’t resist the urge to read it. At just 64 pages, and desperately seeking the key to better my writing, I dug in, completing it in one sitting.

MS MYERS has constructed a quick and easy to read, understand, and implement book. She went from a SOTP (Seat of the pants.) writer, to an outline. Something I’ve been wrestling with for months.

Being a SOTP writer, I have struggled with whether to change my approach, and if so, how to go about it. With much research and advice, I’ve learned there is no right or wrong way to approach your writing, yet as much as I’ve been told being a SOTP or outliner is fine, I’ve come to discover my all out SOTP approach is not working. I need to incorporate plotting, greater character knowledge, and overall story familiarity before beginning to write to flush out the issues I have with my overall story.

What I’ve gained from MS MYERS book is fresh ideas to approach my story. A key moment was in reading “working with your brain, not against it.” It was eye opening to realize that, in not using the right approach, you are actually hindering your writing/making it more difficult and timely to accomplish your story.
Though I may not incorporate every idea MS MYERS has, to the extent that she does, I am left with a fresh look in how to approach my writing. At just 64 pages, I found 10K A DAY, THE SECRET OF QUALITY SPEED WRITING to be a wealth of information. Often, less is more, and that is certainly the case with this gem of a book.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

YOU WILL BE READING AT FULL STEAM AHEAD


Title: Full Steam Ahead
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 3, 2014)
Pages: 352

If you read my reviews for KAREN WITEMEYER, you might think perhaps I write all reviews with such excitement and praise, but that is not the case. However, that is the case with all the books I’ve read by MS WITEMEYER.

Where do I begin? FULL STEAM AHEAD by KAREN WITEMEYER is amazing! Each time MS WITEMEYER delivers not only a story well written, but an engaging, inspiring, intriguing, and compelling story.

Nicole Renard’s father requested that she find an heir for the family business. She is determined to not only carry out his wish, but to keep her family and their dowry safe. Something that proves to be life threatening and life altering.

Darius Thornton is focused - obsessed might be a better word. Obsessed with finding a solution to the horrific reality of boiler explosions. But that doesn’t mean he’s blind to the beautiful, intelligent, and determined Nicole Renard.

MS WITEMEYER always manages to create characters that are so tangible, you dread flipping to the last page where you will be forced to no longer be a part of their lives. Nicole and Darius are fascinating. I LOVED their quirks. I LOVED how they complimented one another, both in strengths and weaknesses. I especially LOVED how Darius has a flaw that didn’t just disappear by the end of the story. No, instead it was Nicole that helped to keep his weaknesses and flaws in check, without completely fixing them. I found that to be brilliant. Too often Christian fiction  doesn’t allow for specific flaws, and for the most part by the end of the story the flaws have been resolved. But that isn’t how life always plays out. Too often, we struggle with a weakness or flaw for the majority of our lives, never quite able to conquer them.

In FULL STEAM AHEAD, I was blown away with MS WITEMEYER’S ability to keep the reader, reading. She has mastered the art of ending a chapter - and beginning one – where the reader can simply not put it down. As an aspiring fiction writer, she inspires in me the desire to create such stories.

Every aspect of FULL STEAM AHEAD is brought full circle. MS WITEMEYER didn’t leave any unanswered questions, or pieces unresolved. To say the least, one is left completely satisfied.

Honestly, I can’t think of one book by MS WITEMEYER that I didn’t become fully engaged in, and wasn't left inspired and satisfied. Can’t wait for whatever she has in store for the future.

 

Monday, September 8, 2014

WILD WEST CHRISTMAS


A novella is not an easy task to undertake, but that is what all three authors did in WILD WEST CHRISTMAS: A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER/DANCE WITH A COWBOY/CHRISTMAS IN SMOKE RIVER (HARLEQUIN HISTORICAL)

A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER by JENNA KERNAN

A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER is the first book I’ve read by JENNA KERNAN. I loved the storyline MS KERNAN created. Right away, it grabbed my attention.  

Dillen Roach did just fine by himself. Well, fine might be stretching it...just a bit. When he sent off a message to two different parties, he is shocked when he discover he sent them to the wrong individuals.

Alice Truett is given a mission. A mission that seems to be a misunderstanding. One that just may lead to something she never expected.

DANCE WITH A COWBOY by KATHRYN ALBRIGHT

Truth be told, DANCE WITH A COWBOY by KATHRYN ALBRIGHT is why I wanted to read WILD WEST CHRISTMAS. I’ve previously read her books and loved them. THE ANGEL AND THE OUTLAW still holds a warm spot in my heart. MS ALBRIGHT is truly a gifted storyteller.

This is the first I have read of MS ALBRIGHT’S books that is not of Christian genre, and I have to be honest, I was a little surprised and worried. Especially when the first story in WILD WEST CHRISTMAS has cuss words on the first pages.

I soon realized my fears were unfounded. MS ALBRIGHT may have not woven in faith elements, but she also didn’t weave in anything that a Christian would find offense, or in question. For that, I applaud her. It is my belief that all authors could do the same.

Kathleen Sheridan is hesitant to see her in-laws. After all, the last time she saw them, they weren’t very welcoming.

Garrett Sheridan is on edge at that thought of seeing his brother’s wife. What was she up to, moving back to their little community? Even more perplexing, why hadn’t she come to visit his family?

CHRISTMAS IN SMOKE RIVER by LYNNA BANNING

This is the first time I’ve ever read anything by LYNNA BANNING, and I am terribly sadden to say that it will probably be the last. Not because is wasn’t good. No, just the opposite. It was amazing. What will keep me from purchasing her books in the future is the reason content.

I was shocked to see the word “Lord” and cuss words within the same pages. However, I do appreciate that she didn’t use foul language I loathe and that makes me cringe. The sexual content was far from the most explicit I’ve read, but I could have certainly done without it.

Gale McBurney is a private man. A man with secrets he keeps to himself. When he encounters the lovely Lilah Cornwell, all his plans to live alone is blow to the wind.  

Lilah Cornwell, shy around others, likes to keep to herself. She does fine with her writing, and the flowers she loves to grow. When a handsome cowboy arrives at her door, offering to fix and paint her picket fence, she can’t decided if she loathes or likes the man.

MS BANNING is an amazing writer. I was blown away with the unique – at least to me – format she chose to write in. I have read first person, but I don’t recall ever reading first person in what I like to call “Cowboy” stories. It isn’t just the fact that she wrote in first person that makes her writing original. It’s the way she went about it. I loved that she started a new chapter with each person/point of view. The way she wrote, it was as if you are reading a personal journal, which was quite fascinating.

LYNNA BANNING spun together a complete story. Something not many authors are capable of doing in so few words. Truly amazing. Any author wanting to know what it takes to create a great novella, I’d urge you to read and study what MS BANNING has done in CHRISTMAS IN SMOKE RIVER. She has captured what it takes to write a complete and satisfying short story. Too often, they will start out fine, but soon turn into a rush of drama, action, and words. Often leaving you questioning the believability and feeling unsatisfied.

Now if only MS BANNING would try her hand at Christina fiction, I’d have a new favorite author. At the very least, keep all the foul language and sexual content out, and I’d be sure to purchase each she wrote.  

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

AN ENDING YOU WILL NOT SOON FORGET


Title: The Lawman's Oklahoma Sweetheart (Love Inspired Historical\Bridegroom Brothers)
Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired (June 3, 2014)
Pages: 288
 

If you look at my reviews, it’s no secret that I’ve read several of ALLIE PLEITER’s books. And yes, I have a few of my favorites. And yes, I prefer her historical over her contemporary. I have yet to read an author who has the ability to change her voice with each genre she writes, the way MS PLEITER, can.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was when I spotted the upcoming cover for THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART (LOVE INSPIRE HISTORICAL/BRIDEGROOM BROTHERS) by ALLIE PLEITER. My heart started to race, not just from the choice of the picture, but the title. You see, I am a cowboy/western/ranch, freak. Yes, I will admit to it.

As I began to read THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART, I was immediately drawn in. Not just drawn in to the first paragraph, or even the first chapter, but from the first page to the last.

Sheriff Clint Thornton is all about the law. When a team of bad guys attempt to harm his good friends sister, Clint will stop at nothing to insure Katrine’s and her brothers safety.

Katrine Brinkerhoff will never forget what the good Sherfiff did for her. But the lie he insist they keep to protect her brother, is nothing short of heart wrenching.

Clint and Katrine’s growing attraction is left unspoken. After all, they both have secrets that won’t allow their feelings for one another to take root.

MS PLEITER did an amazing job with THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART. I didn’t think her writing could get any better or different then what I’ve read in the past, but was I wrong.

Being a HUGE fan of western settings, I tend to be judgmental. I place THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART right at the top of my list of beloved cowboy stories. Up until now, two others of MS PLEITER’S novels were my favorite PLEITER books. They have just moved down a notch, being replaced with this amazing novel as number one.

MS PLEITER did an remarkable job with the plot, incorporating her typical witty lines that will leave you in wonder. The characters are distinct and three-dimensional. From start to ending I was captivated. Some books start out great, then fade a bit, then pick up speed in the end. THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART continued on a steady up climb, not stopping until the very last word.

Every aspect of the writing process in a novel is important. However, the wrong ending can ruin all the good efforts one puts into a story, literally going from becoming a great book, to leaving a sour taste in your mouth. It’s a shame that the last few pages of a story can hold the power to destroy a book. Sadly, something I’ve experienced firsthand.

However, that was not the case in THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART. As the story ended, I was a bit surprised the author chose that route, but not in an unpleasant way. I was satisfied with the way it ended.

But then I started the prologue! MS PLEITER spared nothing in taking her story to a whole other level. It’s done beautifully, with believability that brought me to tears. It warmed my heart, and made me want to cheer, and love the story all the more. Truly one of the best endings I’ve ever read. 

So taken I was by the story, I desire to purchase the other books in the series to read about the other men I encountered in THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART. Looking forward to any future – what I like to call “cowboy books” – by MS PLEITER.
 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

AUGUST 2014 ACFW NEW RELEASES

August 2014 New Releases

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

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)

Chapel Springs Revival by Ane Mulligan -- With both the town and her marriage in need of restoration, Claire and her best friend embark on a journey of mishaps and miscommunication. (General/Contemporary from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

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)

Friday, August 29, 2014

GREAT INSIGHT TO WHAT ONES GOES THROUGH EXPERIENCING INFERTILITY


Title: Faith Departed (Remnants Book 1)
Author: Elizabeth Maddrey
Publisher: HopeSprings Books (March 1, 2014)
Pages: 195

I was interested in reading FAITH DEPARTED by ELIZABETH MADDREY when I discovered it was a story about infertility, a subject that spikes my interest. I could easily relate to much of the main characters journey.
 
Twins, June and July are tough woman, but experiencing infertility has presented a challenge for them. Each sister has their own story. One that threatens to test their bond as sisters, twins, and friends.

FAITH DEPARTED is a wonderful account of experiencing infertility. It gives readers that are starting their own journey of the trials and tribulations of conceiving, a realistic perspective of what one may go through on a day-to-day basis. For those that have gone through such a process, they will easily connect with the characters and what they are experiencing in a way that will bring some peace in knowing others experience the same.
 
ELIZABETH MADDREY is a wonderful writer, who spins a realistic journey of infertility in not one, but from two different characters perspective, which makes FAITH DEPARTED unique, and powerful.

What a wonderful gift FAITH DEPARTED makes for those that are experiencing infertility, have gone through it, or to help those in one’s life that are currently experiencing infertility to gain a better understanding and compassion for what they are going through.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IS IT WRONG I'M IN LOVE WITH TY PORTER?


Title: Meant to be Mine
Author: Becky Wade
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Pages: 384

There are books that are good, and then there are ones that when you read the last word, you let out a long sigh. That would be a sigh that is quickly followed by a warm and tingly sensation, and what comes after reading an amazing book. that is exactly what happened with MEANT TO BE MINE by BECKY WADE.

A friend of mine read MEANT TO BE MINE and proceeded to let me know I MUST read it. She's read some of my writing, knows my fascination for cowboys. She knew the fact that the hero is a bull rider, would be enough to entice me. Needless to say, she was right.

Celia Park has had a crush on Ty Porter since the day she laid eyes on him in high school. Years later in Vegas, it didn't take long to realize her feelings for the cowboy hasn't changed.

Ty Porter is making a living doing what he does best - riding bulls. A few days in Vegas with Celia Park, gives way to his reckless side. Doing something that would change the course of their lives, and cause him to focus a hundred percent on his career and little else.

MEANT TO BE MINE is the first book I've read by BECKY WADE, and won't be the last. In fact, only minutes after finishing, I ordered UNDENIABLY YOURS, the first of the Porter brother's books. I can only hope MS WADE has another in the making for Jake Porter. My interest is already spiked regarding Ty's brother with so few words.

The very first page of MEANT TO BE MINE captured me, pulling me in. A slow reader, I stayed up late into the night, reading until I could no longer keep my eyes open, finishing some ninety pages. If I had the time to sit and read all day, I would have. When I had less than a hundred pages left, I woke the next morning realizing I wasn't about to get anything done until I completed this incredible story.

MS WADE knows not only how to write, but how to create a story that ropes you in and doesn't let you go. I LOVED the characters...all of them. Each is districted. What she did with the characters may not have worked for other authors, but for MS WADE, it did.

If I had to pick one quality of the story that made MEANT TO BE MINE stand-alone from other novels I've read, I would have to say it would be the uniqueness of the path the author took the characters on. There were several situations that were easily predictably, not that I had problem with it, because I didn't. But MS WADE caught me completely off guard by NOT doing what the reader would expect. Not once, not twice, but several times. And I LOVED it.

I can't wait for UNDENIABLY YOURS to arrive to read about Bo Porter, and looking forward to the story about Jake in the future. I guess I've just found myself a new favorite author.

Friday, August 22, 2014

WITH EVERY WORD I LOVE THIS STORY


Title: With Every Breath
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
Pages: 368

Every book that I have read by ELIZABETH CAMDEN has blown me away. She is a phenomenal writer AND storyteller. There are those that write well, and those that create a good plot. But it’s those that can do both that produce a novel that a reader gets wrapped up in and will remember for a long times.

Kate Livingston is intelligent and ambitious. Hesitant, she gives in and accepts an offer for a job from the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A man she hasn’t seen since their high school days.

Trevor McDonough is good at keeping his distance from those that might hurt his wounded heart. That goes double for Kate Livingston. If she knew the secret he carried, she would think twice about the attraction she has for him.

As always, ELIZABETH CAMDEN produced a novel that is not only entertaining, but enlightening. I am not only left with a warm feeling you get from reading an amazing story, but filled with a new sense of knowledge and understanding about a subject I may not have pursued on my own.

WITH EVERY BREATH by ELIZABETH CAMDEN is not a novel you want to miss. I loved the characters growth. MS. CAMDEN does an amazing job transforming Trevor. Only a remarkable writer can do what MS. CAMDEN did with his character, and still have the reader loving him.  

There is no question that when I spot an ELIZABETH CAMDEN novel, I will be reading it in the near future.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE SONG



Too often Christian movies fail to show a realistic picture of a faith based life. The journey of a Christian is unique to the individual. A common misconception is that people of faith have not experience the trials and tribulations others have. That once they give their life to the Lord, it’s easy going.

What I love about THE SONG is the journey Jed King embarks on.  An aspiring singer who thinks his career is over before it starts, crosses paths with a woman of faith that inspires a song within, stirring up the passion he lacks.

Rose Jorden is a wholesome girl who is committed to her faith and family. Jed King promises a life of love that soon turns her world upside down.

THE SONG is packed full of one man’s trials and tribulations. It’s a story about aspirations, commitment, temptations, love, faith, hope, redemption, restoration, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

Jed King is a man with a past, struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps as he faces the price that often comes with a career in music. The uniqueness of THE SONG is the depiction of a realistic life. One of drugs, drinking, and other temptations that often comes with fame.

THE SONG is a great representation that some things are worth fighting for. You will be left with a sense of hope. Hope that no matter what we go through in life, as long we have God as our center, we can get through it.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A MUST GET, MUST READ, MUST SHARE!


Title: Rusty Spigot, Dirty Water (An Introspective journey for the Offender.)

Title: Rusty Spigot, Dirty Water (An Introspective journey for the Offender.)
Author: Michael Farlin
Publisher: WestBowPress (January 14, 2014)
Pages: 108

I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I ran across RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER (AN INTROSPECTIVE JOURNEY FOR THE OFFEREND) by MICHAEL FARLIN. What I soon discovered is a treasure. Not only for those that are incarcerated, but those that have been, about to be, involved in the ministry, and for those that know of someone in any of the above situations.

RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER may be only 108 pages, but don’t let the amount fool you. It’s packed with honest life perspective on having been incarcerated. I have many highlights and notes throughout.

A few notes I took along the way:

-An honest account, in a realist way on prison, life, and faith.
-Speaks straight talk. No fancy words or dancing around the facts.
-Persevere over the discouragement and disappointments. It will all be worth it.
-Straight truth without being preachy.
-Because MR FARLIN has been incarcerated, and not afraid to speak honestly, makes it very powerful. 

I highlighted several powerful insights throughout the book. Here are just a couple:

Page 44-45 – “All Jesus is asking is that you believe in Him, His truth and power and His ability to take your life into a whole different reality that it is now. It can and will happen, but you have to do your part.”

Page 66-67 – “If you can get clean and mean it, do it! It will get messy, but that’s because you may not know how to handle life when your mind is not altered. Getting clean and sober in prison was the best place to do so.”

MICHAEL FARLIN also is a speaker. I am excited to meet and hear him in person at our monthly prison and jail gathering at the church I attend. I am ordering several copies of RUSTY SPIGOT, DIRTY WATER to share with others. Those in the ministry as well as those that are incarcerated. If you know of someone that is incarcerated or in the ministry, this wonderful book will make a great gift that may open one’s eyes and change lives, possibly even saving one.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

NOT A SHADOW OF DOUBT THAT I LOVED THIS BOOK


Title: Gathering Shadows (Finding Sanctuary
Author: Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Pages: 320

What you need to know about me before reading my review are two things: One, I’m not a fan of Amish stories. Two, I’m not a fan of mysteries. Therefore, the fact that I LOVED GATHERING SHADOWS (Finding Sanctuary 1), speaks volumes about NANCY MEHL’S writing and ability to tell a story.

Wynter Evans, a reporter, heads to the small town of Sanctuary, after discovering a photograph of a young man that resembles her abducted brother. Zac, the stations photog, is assigned to tag along to capture the story in pictures, while Wynter does so on paper.

Rueben King, the mayor, means to make sure Wynter and her photographer don’t cause any undue harm to the people of Sanctuary, respecting their privacy. What he didn’t expect is to have a growing attraction to the beautiful reporter.

MS MEHL’S writing is superb. I was captivated from the first to the last, page. As a writer, I know that it is an author’s goal to end a chapter in such a way the reader can’t stop. Though many accomplish it for the most part, MS MEHL takes it to another level. She NEVER left it easy to stop at the end of one. I had to force myself to put the book down in the middle of a chapter when I needed to attend to other things, because I knew once I got to the end, I would HAVE to continue on.

The faith aspect is light, yet powerful. The characters strong, and two-dimensional. The storyline keeps you interested, with an ending you would not have guessed. Though the end was satisfying, it left me wanting to read more. I can’t wait for the next in the series. I have a feeling Zac, the photog, will become a main character, and for that I am excited. I also would love to hear more about Wynter and Rueben, and Wynters, brother.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

 

Monday, August 4, 2014

FORGIVENESS, FINDING PEACE THROUGH LETTING GO by ADAM HAMILTON


Title: Forgiveness, Finding Peace Through Letting Go
Author: Adam Hamilton
Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 1, 2012)
Pages: 160

Honestly, I can’t remember where I heard about FORGIVENESS, FINDING PEACE THROUGH LETTING GO by ADAM HAMILTON. If I had to guess, I would say it was a recommendation in another book I read.

Don’t let the size of FORGIVNESS fool you. It’s packed with great information. Most of my copy is highlighted, underlined, notes written within, and pages dog-eared. I copied a few pages to share with others. They were so intrigued, they purchased the book themselves.

Some of my favorite gems within the pages:

“Forgiveness is believing that the future can be better than the past. The past can’t be changed, but God can do something redemptive with it.” Page 122

“You can choose to harm everyone because you were hurt, or you can choose to harm no one because you were hurt. Either way, it’s a choice.” Page 123

I loved the whole concept, “Just RAP: REMEMBER your own shortcomings, ASSUME the best of people, and PRAY for them.” Page 76

I could go on and on in what I gained from reading FORGIVENSS. I highly recommend this amazing little book for everyone. None of us has escaped being hurt by someone at one time or another in our lives, or hurting another, whether knowing or unknowing.

I hope that one day MR. HAMILTON’s book will be available in soft cover, so I can share it with those through the prison ministry I’m involved in. Don’t miss out on this book that will help to change your life for the better. I will definitely be seeking out more books by ADAM HAMILTON.

Friday, August 1, 2014

ACFW 2014 AUGUST NEW RELEASES

August 2014 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Small-Town Billionaire by Renee Andrews -- When trapped in a tiny North Alabama "Mayberry" town, billionaire Ryan Brooks wants nothing more than to get back to Chicago ASAP, but a business opportunity--and the eclectic yet gorgeous woman with the brainstorm idea--keep him planted, if only temporarily, on his sister's ranch. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Doctor's Return by Narelle Atkins -- After years spent traveling the globe, Megan Bradley never expected to be back in her hometown sharing an office with her former sweetheart, Dr. Luke Morton. Though too busy to dwell on past mistakes, she can't ignore her feelings for the handsome doctor. Luke is afraid to trust his heart to Megan, knowing she may not stay for long. But as they work together, their romance quickly rekindles. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes her way, Luke must free Megan to choose between a big-city career or love and family...right there in Snowgum Creek. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Rescuing the Texan's Heart by Mindy Obenhaus -- Cash Coble is desperate for a change. Stressed out and overworked, he heads to Colorado to visit his ailing grandfather and finds his mood lifted by the beautiful woman living next door. After a troubled past, ice climber Taryn Purcell isn't looking for love. Especially not with a charming Texan who's consumed by work. But there's something about Cash that captures her heart. Never one to back down from a challenge, Taryn promises to show Cash how to carve out a happy life-one that includes her. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter -- Guidance counselor Heather Browning is desperate. She needs a mentor to help Simon, a disabled student who is struggling at Gordon Falls High School. Unfortunately, hotshot Max Jones is her only option. Confrontational and cavalier, Max uses his flashy persona to hide the bitterness he's felt since his life-changing accident. Perpetually cautious, Heather finds Max's bad-boy bravado as intriguing as it is infuriating. But as Heather and Max work together to build Simon's self-confidence, they begin to trust each other. Max has never been slow and careful with anything. Can he be gentle with Heather's heart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Stranded with the Rancher by Tina Radcliffe -- Stranded at single father Dan Gallagher's ranch during a Colorado blizzard, Dr. Beth Rogers is counting the days until the roads are clear. She can't wait to leave for her exciting new life in New York. But suddenly the big-city doctor is delivering babies in log cabins, helping to feed newborn calves and teaching Dan's little girl to play hymns on the piano. No-nonsense Beth even throws a snowball or two at the handsome, love-shy cowboy. She thought she had her heart set on leaving, so why does she dream of Dan asking her to stay forever? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Herb of Grace by Adina Senft -- Amish widow Sarah Yoder struggles with single motherhood and a forbidden attraction while she learns herbal medicine ... and God cures the ailments of the heart and spirit. (Contemporary Amish Romance from Faith Words [Hachette])

General Fiction:

Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney -- When empty-nesters Grant and Audrey Whitman spend the bulk of their retirement funds to renovate their home into a beautiful bed and breakfast, the last thing they expect is that their five kids will return home. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her children so desperately need? (Contemporary from Abingdon Press)

A Grand Design: Quilts of Love Series by Amber Stockton -- A quest to piece together an heirloom quilt takes a surprising turn when a man from Alyssa Denham's past-the reason she hadn't returned to the island in fifteen years-interrupts the relaxing getaway for her and her best friend, Libby. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa's fractured heart-and bring healing to her entire family? (Contemporary from Abingdon Press)

Historical Romance:

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden -- In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now. Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

Tried and True (Wild at Heart) by Mary Connealy -- Kylie Wilde fought in the Civil War dressed as a boy and now she's homesteading as a man. But when land agent Aaron Masterson comes to inspect her claim, he immediately realizes she's a woman. She begs him not to tell, but can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government, even if she really did serve in the war? Aaron is interested in the little spitfire from the moment her long hair falls from her cap, but when he tells her of his plans to make a life up in the mountains, she draws away. Kylie's focus is to "prove up" her homestead, sell it for a profit and move back east to civilization. When someone tries to burn her out, Aaron and Kylie suspect local land baron Gage Coulter, who denies any involvement. He does suggest a way for Kylie to stay safe, though--marry him! More attacks scare Kylie into considering matrimony. Should she tie her fortune to Gage or Aaron? Either choice will put an end to her dreams of a civilized life. And what if marrying doesn't stop the attacks after all? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

The Lady and the Officer by Mary Ellis -- Madeline Howard never planned to become a spy, but when military intelligence falls into her lap, how could she not serve her country behind enemy lines? Two men love her-one a Rebel, the other a Union General. Maddy's heart is pulled between wanting to be loyal to those who care for her and wanting to help the man she believes is on the right side of the conflict. Will her faith in God show her the way to a bright future, or will her choices bring a devastation of their own? (Historical Romance from Harvest House)

A Stranger On My Land by Sandra Merville Hart -- Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find a wounded soldier on their land after a battle which later became known as "The Battle Above the Clouds." Adam, a Union soldier, has been shot twice in the arm. Though Carrie is reluctant to take Adam to their cave where her family hides their livestock from both armies, she cannot turn her back on him. But her Aunt Lavinia, bitter over what Yankees have done to their land, urges Carrie to allow Adam to die. Carrie refuses, but cannot remove the bullets. Adam's friendship with Jay softens her heart toward him. Even though Carrie's father fights for the Confederacy in far-off Virginia, her feelings for the handsome young soldier begin to blossom into love. When Adam's condition worsens, Carrie knows a Union surgeon is needed to save his life. How can she accomplish this and keep her family's hiding place a secret? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Song of the Prairie by Vickie A. McDonough -- Janie Dunn's life changes when, at the request of her dying cousin, she flees with her cousin's newborn son to protect him from his abusive father. She moves to Kansas, but things take a dire change when her brother is killed. Is a marriage of convenience to kindhearted Aaron Harper the answer to her problems? Is Kansas far enough away from New York that they are safe from the baby's father? (Historical Romance from Whitaker House)

Romancing the Widow by Davalynn Spencer -- Martha Stanton isn't looking for love. The light went out of Martha's soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Canon City, she's convinced she'll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger. Haskell Jacobs has a mission. And the beautiful, flame-haired widow sure isn't it. But Martha is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town...and soon, she's entangled in the lawman's heart. But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it's too late? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin -- World War II flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, so how can C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be immune to her charms? Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don't want to go. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts? (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker Publishing Group])

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas -- It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle. Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor...until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

The Wrangler's Inconvenient Wife by Lacy Williams -- With no family to watch over them, it's up to Fran Morris to take care of her younger sister, even if it means marrying a total stranger. Gruff, strong and silent, her new husband is a cowboy down to the bone. He wed Fran to protect her, not to love her, but her heart has never felt so vulnerable. Trail boss Edgar White already has all the responsibility he needs at his family's ranch in Bear Creek, Wyoming. He had intended to remain a bachelor forever, but he can't leave Fran and her sister in danger. And as they work on the trail together, Edgar starts to soften toward his unwanted wife. He already gave Fran his name...can he trust her with his heart? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sweet on the Cowgirl by Rose Ross Zediker -- Laura Barnes Wants to Be a Wild West show. But her father will only allow her to perform if she disguises herself as Mr. Buckskin Jones. When soda-pop king Guy Roberts shows up to do business with her family, Laura is torn between keeping her identity under wraps and revealing her growing feelings for Guy. Guy is drawn to Laura's poise and beauty, but he, too, guards a secret. As their affection for each other grows, Guy begins to think about a future that includes Laura. When both their secrets suddenly come to light, their romance will face the ultimate showdown. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Middle Grade/Young Adult:

Speak No Evil by Mary L. Hamilton -- At 15, Taylor Dixon dreams of getting his driver's license and driving race cars when he's older. His sister, Marissa, is the only one who believes in his dream, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Consequently, Dad won't let him get his license and predicts Taylor is heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother. Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he finds a classic Mustang in the camp's garage and jumps at the owner's invitation to help restore it. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens both the car and his dreams for the future. Will Taylor fulfill Dad's prediction and end up in jail? Or will he finally learn the Truth found in the old car's engine? (Middle Grade from HopeSprings Books)

Rebels (The Safe Lands) by Jill Williamson -- The Safe Lands have long kept the true meaning of Liberation secret from their people. But after being sentenced to Liberation themselves, Mason and Omar soon discover the truth. Levi watched his brothers' public sentencing and tries to hold out hope they are still alive, He is forced to focus his attention elsewhere, however, when his new wife, Jemma, is captured and made the Safe Lands' newest Queen. His only choice to save Jemma may be to take up Omar's old role of undercover vigilante, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government. But will Levi's new role be enough? Meanwhile, Jemma's sister, Shaylinn, is ready to give birth to the "Safe Lands'" children … but not even Ciddah is sure they can be delivered safely in the midst of a rebellion. And Mason must face the fact Omar's illness could be fatal. If they can all unite their efforts, together they may be able to expose the Safe Lands' lies to the people. But if they fail, they will all surely die. (Young Adult from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson & Zondervan])

Thriller/Suspense:

Her Stolen Past by Lynette Eason -- When Sonya Daniels finds a kidnapped baby's birth certificate hidden in her late mother's home, she's shocked. What was her family's connection to the child, still missing for over two decades? And what happened to the little girl? Sonya hires detective Brandon Hayes to help her get to the truth. But someone doesn't want the truth to come out and will stop at nothing to keep them from investigating. Sonya knows the guarded cop won't rest until he unravels the mystery-but the answers could be more than she can bear alone. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks -- In the shadow of the Mormon church, a 19th-century conspiracy is about to be shattered by a 21st-century forensic artist. In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women, and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day-but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims. When renowned forensic artist Gwen Marcey is recruited to reconstruct the faces of recently unearthed victims at Mountain Meadows, she isn't expecting more than an interesting gig . . . and a break from her own hectic life. But when Gwen stumbles on the ritualized murder of a young college student, her work on the massacre takes on a terrifying new aspect, and research quickly becomes a race against modern-day fundamentalist terror. Gwen finds herself in the crosshairs of a secret society bent on fulfilling prophecy and revenging old wrongs. Can a forensic artist reconstruct two centuries of suppressed history . . . before it repeats itself? (Thriller/Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson & Zondervan])

Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty Pt 3 by Ronie Kendig -- After all the hits they've taken, it'd be easy to quit. But Annie, Teya, and Nuala didn't train so intensely to be part of the first all-female special ops team to let their enemy win. Now that the fight's been incited so fiercely with Jessie, Candice, and Keeley, the rest of Zulu won't go down without a fight. They'll find answers, justice, and vindication for that tragic night they were set up in Misrata. Or die trying. Sam Caliguari won't give up, either. Not even the thugs who steal him away from Manson in an effort to muzzle him will stop him from getting Annie out of trouble. Annie knows Sam will use every bit of his SEAL training to track her down, but she didn't expect the tangle of strong feelings she'd have for him and Trace. Teya never imagined the nightmare that would hit after crossing the deadly path of The Turk. What could he possibly want with her so specifically? And while Trace anticipates physical threats, he's also watching his back for the next political fallout, because Francesca Solomon is unyielding in her quest to bring him down. Will Zulu ever catch a break? (Military Suspense from Barbour Publishing)

Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason Pt 4 by Ronie Kendig -- It's Zero hour for Zulu. They've been targeted, hunted, deceived, and betrayed. Zulu is crumbling in their pursuit of justice. Even rifts within the team are tearing them apart. In the shocking, explosive finale of Operation Zulu: Redemption, the team has one last plan to draw the enemy out and take them down-for good. But will it work? Who can they really trust? Ultimately, what price will justice demand? (Military Suspense from Barbour Publishing)