Gail's Book Nook

Monday, August 13, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Carol Award Finalist Lillian Duncan Talks About Puzzle House. Gives Away An E-book.

A Warm Welcome to Lillian Duncan

Lillian will give away an e-book of Puzzle House

To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below

Congratulations, Lillian, on being a finalist for the prestigious Carol Award. Tell us about Puzzle House.

Puzzle House is the book I never wanted to write!

What??? Let me explain. Rachel Summers, the main character in my new book, Puzzle House, has brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2.


That’s what I said when my doctor told me I had brain tumors because of something called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2 for short) in 2012. The tumors are almost always benign, but there’s two meanings for benign. One being non-cancerous and the other being harmless. The good news is that my tumors are not cancerous, the bad news is they are definitely not harmless.
That’s why I say Puzzle House is the book I never wanted to write. I would never have written it if it weren’t for the brain tumors. But Romans 8: 28 promises that God works all things for the good of those who love Him.

Even brain tumors? Yes, even brain tumors. Recently, I was blessed with the news that Puzzle House is a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award. An award for excellence in Christian Fiction.

I won’t know if I’ve won or not until September. Of course, I want to win but the truth is I feel like I’ve already won just by being a finalist. I know everyone says that but now I know it’s true.
In many ways life is like a puzzle—not a box of candy! There’s lot of pieces that have to be put together before you can see the whole picture. Many times we don’t understand why we need a particular piece of our puzzle but God does.

If we trust God with all the puzzle pieces of our life, he will use them to create a thing of beauty.

More About Puzzle House

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.
Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.
Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

Buy on Amazon
Pelican Book Group
Barnes and Noble

Bio: Lillian Duncan…mysteries, miracles & wonder.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance as well as stories that demonstrate the wonder and power of God. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at her website or blog. She also has a devotional blog,  at www.PowerUpWithGod.comPower Up With God.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Looking Out The Window: American Christian Fiction Writers August New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Out of Their Element by Angela Breidenbach, Robin Lee Hatcher, Vickie McDonough, and Deborah Raney -- They are totally out of their element! Four mismatched couples find unexpected romance. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Redemption Road by Christa MacDonald -- As Alex awaits retribution, he means to keep Annie safe at any cost, but she knows it’s redemption he needs and she’ll pay any price for him to find it. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Scarlet Tears by Laura Hervey -- Caught in a romantic triangle with her brother’s best friend and a charming pastor, former call girl Carly Lawrence struggles to start a new life. (Contemporary Romance from Alabaster Box Press)

Historical Romance:

Rebecca’s Legacy by Betty Thomason Owens -- After a threat against her family, a spoiled heiress is sent to the country to work on her aunt’s produce farm and finds love. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse -- Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Cozy Mystery:

Deadly Harvest by Marissa Shrock -- Georgia’s biggest challenge in the farming town of Wildcat Springs, Indiana, is figuring out how to win Evan Beckworth’s heart. Until the day she discovers the body of a former student in the woods. When she starts to suspect this wasn’t an accident, memories stir of her father’s murder nine years earlier. A murder never solved. As Georgia works with the sheriff's department’s newest detective, Cal Perkins, she finds her heart slipping into his hands. But her head is pummeled with conflicting evidence and anonymous threats of severe consequences if she digs any deeper. In the end, Georgia faces a paralyzing choice. Ignore the dark secrets inside the family and friends who surround her or be willing to risk her own life to uncover the truth. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)

Unknown Enemy by Janet Sketchley -- A young woman with a traumatic past must discover the truth about who's playing mind games with the Green Dory Inn's owner. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

Hiding in Plain Sight by Mary Ellis -- When a Charleston PI rents a room above an Italian restaurant owned by a handsome chef, she lands in the middle of a family feud with robbery, arson and murder for the daily specials. (Romantic Suspense from Severn House Publishers LTD)

Wildfire by Gayla K. Hiss -- A female wildfire scientist and a firefighter team up to solve the mystery behind the outbreak of wildfires in the Rockies and find themselves at the center of a firestorm. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)

Amish Country Ambush by Dana R. Lynn -- A police officer and a dispatcher travel deep into Amish country to rescue her nephew and to escape a killer. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Imperfect Promises by Elizabeth Noyes -- When a homegrown terrorist threatens the woman he loves, former Special Forces soldier Jonas Cameron calls on old friends to help him eliminate the danger. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)

Cold Fear by Susan Sleeman -- When a sniper’s ex-girlfriend, a musician, is framed for murder during her summer tour, he jumps to defend her from an imminent arrest and a killer’s deadly rage. But the evidence against her stacks higher as three bodies are found with her name tattooed on their wrist. (Romantic Suspense from Edge of Your Seat Books, Inc.)

Cold Case Cover-Up by Virginia Vaughan -- The first thrilling Covert Operatives tale An infant is believed to have been murdered thirty years ago—but investigative journalist Dana Lang is convinced she’s that baby. Now someone’s willing to kill to stop her investigation. And only secretive deputy Quinn Dawson, whose grandfather may have faked Dana’s death to protect her, can keep her safe. But a killer’s dead set on burying the past—and them—for good. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Pretense by John Di Frances -- A dark cloud hangs over Europe after the brutal murders of two heads of state just days apart. A diabolical plot appears to stretch westward to the United States, implicating the CIA. But do the facts reflect reality or is there a sinister force working behind the scenes to destabilize Europe and NATO? The team of investigators led by Interpol’s Marek Frakas, 'The Wolf,' moves quickly to track the perpetrators and uncover the identity of the unseen mastermind behind the conspiracy. This cadre includes the lovely Adrianna, a young forensic weapons expert who can hold her own on the male-dominated international team of investigators. Together they seek to understand reality versus the shattered mirror-like reflections meant to obfuscate the truth and shroud the mastermind’s identity and ultimate purpose. (Political Thriller from Reliance Books Publishing, LLC)

Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig -- Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies' blood. Cole "Tox" Russell wants only to put the dangers of his past behind him and begin his new life with Haven Cortes. First, though, he's called to complete a final mission: retrieve the sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order. The AFO, however, is determined to reunite the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the artifact is tied to a string of unsolved serial murders. Tox and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to target the true enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must destroy the AFO . . . or join them in the flames. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Winners From The Bear Lake Family Saga Giveaway

Whistles and yells!

Everyone who commented! Linda's giving you e-book or audio book!


Monday, July 23, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Linda Weaver Clarke Talks About Her Historical Romance Series, The Bear Lake Family Saga

A Warm Welcome to Linda Weaver Clarke

Linda will give away an e-book to one winner and an audio book to another. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address. Also, please tell us whether you prefer the e-book or the audio book.

Hi Linda, first, tell us a little about yourself.

I was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now live in Color Country in southern Utah. I am the author of 23 books. I have several genres that I write in. I have a historical romance series: Bear Lake Family Saga, a mystery suspense series: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, a cozy mystery series: Amelia Moore Detective Series, and a period/adventure romance: The Rebel Series. All my books are family friendly.

Tell us about your historical romance series.

Bear Lake Family Saga has strong female characters who have a destiny to fulfill. Each woman wants to make a difference in the small world where she lives. No matter the trial that comes her way, she is ready to fight for what she believes. There are five books in this series.

What inspired you to write this particular series?

My ancestors were my inspiration. I was writing their histories so my children would learn to appreciate their heritage. Their stories were intriguing and full of adventure. When I was done, I decided to write a historical romance series and give these experiences to my fictional characters. I’ll give you an example.

One experience involved my father when he was a young boy. He had collected skunk oil from the skunks on his property. One day he took the skunk oil to school to show his classmates and accidentally dropped it. The bottle broke and the skunk oil splashed all over the floor, and the room filled with the most putrid odor known to man. Everyone ran outside as fast as they could. The school was quickly abandoned for the day until it was aired out. He said the children considered him a hero for getting them out of school. In Melinda and the Wild West, I gave this experience to Billy and Melinda was his teacher.

What do you love about this series?

I love that each female character is strong and determined. We have a schoolteacher, a nurse, a journalist, a dance teacher, and a female doctor. Each has her own trials to overcome. I also love the male characters in my stories. Even though they are strong and masculine, they have their tender moments that can melt your heart.

More About The Bear Lake Family Saga

In Melinda and the Wild West, Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho.

In Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, Edith is a nurse and has gone home to assist her cousin who is “with child.” Edith has wonderful qualities but never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high.

In Jenny’s Dream, Jenny desires to escape her small hometown and become a writer. When she develops a friendship with a young farmer, Jenny soon realizes that he means more to her than she thought. She must now choose between a career and romance. Which dream should she pursue?

In Sarah’s Special Gift, Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher. She is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. And it does not stop her from falling in love with a man who needs her help, someone who is grieving and needs support.

In Elena Woman of Courage, Elena Yeates settles into a small western town as the newest doctor. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. She must struggle against this prejudice to establish her new practice.

Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?

It most certainly does. I have a strong belief in a loving Father in Heaven and in my Savior, Jesus Christ. This faith shows in the characters of my books.

Do you put true stories from your life in these books?

Yes. Here is an example of a funny experience that happened when we took our youngest daughter fishing. This is from Melinda and the Wild West. Gilbert is a widower and his young daughter wants to go fishing with him. This is what happened with the actual conversation:

Jenny watched with interest, wondering what her father was going to do next. She saw him carefully take the hook out of the fish’s mouth and put it in a small bucket. As she watched the fish wiggle, sadness overtook her. Before long, her eyes filled up with tears. Her heart pounded loudly as big drops of tears fell down her cheeks. Jenny looked up at her father and begged, “Pa, put him back in the water.”

Gilbert was busy putting another fat worm on his hook when he heard her voice quiver. He turned to her and saw tears trickling down her cheeks. He was confused. Jenny was the one who had begged to go fishing in the first place.

“Pa, the fish is suffering. See him wiggling and trying to fight for his life. He wants to go back to his family. How would you like it if someone took me away from you? Pa, he wants to live his life and be happy. See? He’s suffering. Please let him go.”

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on having all five stories put into audiobook form from Audible. I had one narrator do Melinda and the Wild West, and another narrator, Carolyn Kashner, who is doing the next four books. Carolyn actually sings in Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, and she has such a lovely voice.

If you could interview any character in one of your books, which one would it be?

It would be Elena from Elena Woman of Courage. In 1868, Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate with a doctor’s degree and she endured a lot of prejudice. Elena had to endure this same sort of prejudice from the town bully who felt that women doctors had no right to practice medicine. But that isn’t all. Elena lived during the roaring twenties, and she decided to be a part of this new generation by bobbing her hair and raising her hemlines.

Bobbed hair caused a lot of commotion: A teacher in Jersey City was ordered to grow her hair back by the school board or she would be fired. Women with bobbed hair were fired from prestigious department stores without any warning. A preacher pounded the pulpit, saying that a “bobbed woman was a disgraced woman.” The raising of hemlines had its problems, as well.

I think it would be fun to interview Elena and find out how she endured this time period. Of course, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart. He actually admires her tenacity. I admire Elena, as well.

What shocking thing might your character say?

This question is fun. During the roaring twenties, they spoke a language foreign to their parents and it could be quite shocking at times.

If Elena didn’t agree with something, she could say: Ah, horsefeathers!
If John tried to kiss her, Elena could say: The bank’s closed.
If John liked what he saw as Elena walks away from him, he would say: What a chassis!

At the end of my book, I have the definition of each expression for those who couldn’t figure it out.

What are you doing when you aren’t writing?

I am a missionary at the Family Search Center. I help people find their ancestors and learn more about their heritage. It’s such fun. I really love it.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Read samples and purchase books at my website
My audible author page

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Looking In The Window: When A Bug Bite Means More

Thirteen years ago this month I contracted Lyme disease, but I didn’t receive treatment until November that year, so I have Chronic Lyme disease. I wish no one else ever would get it. There are ways to prevent it.

When outdoors one should wear protective clothing, bug and tick spray, and keep hair away from leaves, foliage and grass. At the onset of a bite that looks as though it’s not an ordinary run of the mill spot, see a physician. For instance, if it’s unusually large or red, or if there’s anything that would make one suspect it could be a problem. If illness, such as chills and fever, appear about the same time as the bite, definitely see a physician.

For those who find treatment for Lyme disease while it still exists as a spot or localized bite on the skin, the entire situation soon becomes a non-event. If one isn’t sure whether or not the bite might be serious, and he or she decides to wait to see about it, that’s not a huge problem as long as it’s tended to while the bacteria, parasites, and other diseases the bug was carrying are still in one’s bloodstream. IV’s given in the hospital will take care of it. However, if one waits until the spirochetes, or Lyme disease bacteria, have burrowed into the body tissue, he or she embarks on a long, difficult road paved with much suffering and few answers.

Here are a couple of myths about Lyme disease. 

Only ticks carry it, and most of those are in the Northeast. 

Any insect that bites, especially mosquitoes and spiders, as well as ticks can carry Lyme disease, and there are many cases in parts of the country other than the northeast.

If it’s Lyme disease, one will see a bull’s eye rash.

Some people see a spot only; others, a rash different than a bull’s eye, and a few, no rash at all.

Enjoy this wonderful summer weather, but while outdoors be safe!

Fortunately, I was led by divine intervention to David Lee, Ph.D, D.C, C.AD. In 2016, I published Barely Above Water, a novel about a young woman who suffers from Lyme disease. The romance and fun kids’ swim team in the story are made up, but the symptoms and treatment for the illness are real. In the back of the book Dr. Lee and another expert Raphael D’Angelo, M.D., share information about this little-understood malady.

About Barely Above Water

An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?

Buy Barely Above Water on Amazon
Pelican / Prism Book Group
Barnes and Noble (paperback)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Darlene Franklin Talks About Her Newest Book, Co-authored with Helen Gray, Risking Love. She'll Give Away An E-book.

A Warm Welcome to Darlene Franklin

Darlene talks about Risking Love, an e-book of four novellas she co-authored with Helen Gray. It tells the story of four contemporary couples who risk everything. Darlene also shares a devotional.

To enter to win the e-book join the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Following the Leader

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2-3
A baton strikes a music stand. Absolute silence falls on the auditorium. All eyes fix on the five hundred voice choir—all of their eyes are fixed on their director.

He lifts his baton and the orchestra plays. A few measures later, he brings in the sopranos followed by the alto section, then the men. They have learned to read his hand gestures, large and small. When to hush. When to soar. When to accent. When to cut short. When to start. When to stop. Just as those singers follow their conductor, so also Christians follow the lead of their coonductor, Jesus Chrst.

The author of Hebrews describes the Christian life as a race. From start to finish, we can fix our eyes on the finish line where Jesus waits. He set the standard for all who have followed when He ran the first heat.

The contest takes perseverance. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint. The course is clearly marked, the rules given in the word of God, and our breath comes from the Holy Spirit. Jesus knows the best way to run. He teaches us how to persevere. The race wasn’t easy for Him either. He endured the cross, and the scorn that came with it.

Like the orchestra conductor, Jesus will tell you when to move quickly and when to slow down. When you follow His instruction, you won’t grow weary. With Him as your compass, you won’t lose your way. He and the Holy Spirit go with you – so fix your eyes on your leader and do as He says.

About Risking Love

Four Novellas To Warm the Heart

Her Rocky Mountain Highness

Krystal Black had helped foreign dignitaries before but never was tempted to join their ranks.

Prince Johann "John" van Koppelberg came to the Colorado Rockies expecting a vacation. He hadn't planned to fall in love with his tourism director.

But like John Denver, the prince found a home and fell in love. Now if only he could get Krystal and his parents to agree.

Hawthorne Hope

Jenna Michaels can’t risk falling in love.

She has already lost too much. When she meets Evan Bryant, their mutual attraction sends her running from the possibility of another loss.

Principal of Hawthorn Christian Academy Evan Bryant never thought he would be attracted to another woman after the death of his beloved wife. Meeting Jenna convinces him that he can love again, but is there hope that they can move beyond their pasts and find happiness together?

Merry Christmas With Love 

People from around the country send their mail to Christmas, Florida, to receive a special Christmas postmark. War widow Randi Pearson enjoys sending Christmas cards to men and women serving in the armed forces--until retired major Troy Brennan shows up as a post office volunteer. Can Troy convince Randi to let go of the past and move into the future?

Tree of Hope


After leaving law enforcement, Travis takes a job as temporary handyman at the Quinn landscaping business and gift shop that two sisters are try to run now that the father is dying of cancer. But he doesn't figure on getting involved in constructing a living Christmas tree, or his heart getting entangled with Reagan Quinn.

Reagan has too much on her plate, operating the businesses and dealing with grief over her father, and confusion at the inevitable changes confronting her. Can Travis convince her that they can form a partnership—in business and life?

Buy Risking Love here

Bio: Best-selling Amazon and ECPA author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she continues to write from a nursing home. She keeps going because God keeps giving her more assignments. She’s written more than fifty-five fiction and nonfiction books, including Pray Through the Bible in a Year here

Of Cash and Cats in Love Comes on Kitten Paws here  

Check out a complete list of Darlene's books here

Visit her website here

Find Darlene on Facebook

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