Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Leeann Betts Introduces In Search of Christmas Past, A Romantic Suspense. Giveaway.





A Warm Welcome to Leeann Betts


Leeann will give away EITHER a print book (U.S. residents only) OR an ebook of  In Search of Christmas Past. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

 Hi Leeann, tell us about your latest book.

In Search of Christmas Past is a romantic suspense about two people who want what the other has. Grace Bellows, a senior in college, receives a Christmas card one month after her grandmother’s death, where her beloved Grammie challenges her to an old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Raised by her grandmother after her parents’ death in a car accident when she was eight, Grace has lived a jetsetter lifestyle with her wealthy grandmother. Now all she wants is to settle down and have a normal life.

Luke Fisher manages his family’s Christmas tree farm out of a sense of loyalty to his deceased mother because she gave up her dreams of being an attorney. He doesn’t want to live with any regrets, and longs to escape the confines of loyalty to live a life of adventure in the real world.

Can Grace and Luke solve the clues and uncover the truth about their real feelings, or will the tension and their differences in goals and faith drive them apart?

What do you love about this book?

 And what do you hope readers will tell others about it? I love the fact that despite our best laid plans, God still has room to work His way into our lives and get us on the right path.

In three words describe your style of writing. Structured. Passionate. God-centered.

How do you get to know your characters?

I usually spend about two chapters writing backstory, then I work my way through to the real start of the story. I delete the backstory, marvel at what I discovered about my characters, and weave in the backstory later.

What themes do you write about?

 I write about second. . . and third. . . and fourth chances and a God Who is bigger than our mistakes.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write? I usually write in my office, but two or three times a week, I can be found in a local coffee shop, because I find that getting away from the laundry and cobwebs that scream at me for attention helps me focus.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I am a plotter, and I have used all forms of plotting tools in the past including charts, diagrams, snowflakes, and the like. I’ve recently figured out that since I need a teaser, a blurb, and a synopsis for a publisher, I might as well start with that. So I write those before I write my story, and it serves as a plot outline for me. Keeps me on track, too.

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

As a born-again Jesus follower, my faith affects every part of my life. Otherwise, I couldn’t call myself a Jesus follower. And while not every book I write has a salvation scene, the characters are on a journey to find where they fit into God’s plan.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Prepare to invest time and money in your writing. Attend writing conferences. Join local writing groups but don’t spread yourself too thin—you don’t need to join every group. Get involved in a critique group. Read books on writing. Read lots of good books and lots of bad books. And ask God to show you His plan for your writing. And don’t be scared off by what He shows you.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

I am an accountant by training, so I guess I’d be counting beans somewhere, just like my heroine in my By The Numbers series. Carly Turnquist, a forensic accountant, has made it her life mission to prove that accountants are not boring. That would be me.

What is the coolest, whackiest thing you've ever done? 

I left everything behind and moved to the US to marry my husband. We met online. But that’s a story for another day.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time)

Grace Bellows is a college student who wants to settle down. Raised by her jet setter grandmother after her parents died, she has lived on just about every continent, enjoyed the best of hotels and food, but finds it hasn’t filled that empty spot in her life. She thinks that if she can just do this one thing—live in one place long enough to wear out the welcome mat—she’ll be happy. What she doesn’t realize is that the God she blames for her parents’ death is still chasing her—and while she might be done with Him, He still has good plans for her.





About In Search of Christmas Past:

Grace Bellows, a senior in college, receives a Christmas card one month after her grandmother’s death, where her beloved Grammie challenges her to an old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Raised by her grandmother after her parents’ death in a car accident when she was eight, Grace has lived a jetsetter lifestyle with her wealthy grandmother. Now all she wants is to settle down and have a normal life.

Luke Fisher manages his family’s Christmas tree farm out of a sense of loyalty to his deceased mother because she gave up her dreams of being an attorney. He doesn’t want to live with any regrets, and longs to escape the confines of loyalty to live a life of adventure in the real world.

Can Grace and Luke solve the clues and uncover the truth about their real feelings, or will the tension and their differences in goals and faith drive them apart?

About Leeann:

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released six titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, with Petty Cash releasing in December. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at www.LeeannBetts.com or follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com All books are available on Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com in digital format.

Learn more about Leeann on her website  and receive a free ebook just for signing up for the quarterly newsletter.

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Books on Amazon  and  Smashwords



Monday, November 20, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Laura V. Hilton Introduces Us To Three Novellas In Love's Thankful Heart. Gives Away An E-book



A Warm Welcome to Laura Hilton

What fun — three Thanksgiving stories! Laura will give away an ebook of Love's Thankful Heart. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.






Gingerbread Wishes

As Thanksgiving approaches, Becca Troyer finds herself overwhelmed with an abundance of winter squash and pumpkins that she isn’t a bit thankful for. Desperately trying to sell them at a farmer’s market so she won’t have mountains to can, she’s surprised when a mime drops to his knee in front of her and proposes marriage.

Yost Miller is helping the volunteer firefighter raise funds at the city park when he notices his long-time crush Becca selling vegetables. Drawn across the grass, he spontaneously proposes marriage. But afterward, Yost isn’t sure how to proceed to show her that his feelings are real.
Just as he begins to find solid footing, confidence is yanked away, leaving him floundering. Will he lose Becca to another man? Or will this Thanksgiving be a season of blessings and wishes come true?

Thanksgiving Strangers

 Faithe Beiler believes God wants her to feed the poor at her family’s restaurant, but when she mistakes Crist Petersheim for a homeless man and gives him a free breakfast, he’s offended. Yet he can’t help being intrigued by this pretty waitress with a giving heart.

Crist blames God for the tragedies in his life, so the last thing he wants is to get involved with an Amish girl, who trusts God in all circumstances. He fears for Faithe’s safety, though, when she invites every homeless person in the neighborhood, including drug dealers and criminals, to a free Thanksgiving dinner. Street savvy, Crist risks his life to protect her from danger.

As Crist’s heart softens toward God, Faithe finds herself falling him. Then she discovers his deception, and her world is shattered. Can she ever trust him again?

The Thanksgiving Frolic

Monroe has the prettiest girl and the fastest horse— but pride goes before a fall.

Monroe’s girlfriend, Rosemary, and her family organize the Thanksgiving Frolic, a service project to help Amish folks who have fallen on hard times. Monroe wants to go along but his dad won’t let hi. Furthermore, Monroe’s dad thinks Rosemary’s family should clean up their own messy farm before they try to help others. Will the contrast between Monroe’s and Rosemary’s families end their relationship for good? Rosemary’s grandpa tries to offer words of wisdom, but people don’t take him seriously. The Thanksgiving Frolic heats up to a fever pitch, before a moment of silence changes everything.

Buy Laura's Books

On Amazon
CBD
Barnes and Noble
Deeper Shopping

Bio:

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and home schools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Learn more about Laura
On Amazon
Her Lighthouse Blog; and Her blog
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook
Pinterest


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Winner of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor



I mixed up the names and pulled one...

And the winner is...

Hats...

Horns...

Congratulations, Faith!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Michelle Griep Shares Victorian Christmas Traditions To Celebrate 12 Days At Bleakly Manor, Her New Christmas Book. Gives Away A Copy




A Warm Welcome to Michelle Griep

Michelle will give away EITHER a print copy (U.S. residents) OR an ebook. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

Victorian Christmas Traditions

by Michelle Griep

It’s Christmas—practically. If you stroll in to any Michaels or Hobby Lobby or even swing by a Hallmark store, you can’t help but miss that the Christmas decorations are out in full bloom. Wrapping. Bows. Lit Christmas trees. Christmas music playing in the background.

What’s up with all this Christmas craziness? Personally, I blame Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. Believe it or not, before the Victorian era, the holidays really weren’t much of a wingding. Here are some traditions that you might still be enjoying all thanks to merry ole England. . .

A Lighted Christmas Tree

While Christmas trees had been around as a German tradition since the 17th century, it was Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria, who introduced the custom to the royal family. And if a tree was gracing Windsor Castle, you better believe all of England wanted in on the rage. Live trees were decorated with tinsel, paper chains, ribbon, and lighted candles. Quite the fire hazard!

Sending Christmas Cards

Holiday greetings have always been exchanged, but the first formal Christmas card was published in London in 1843. Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a card for his friends . . . and the tradition took off from there.

Reading A Christmas Carol

Before 1843, if you called someone a Scrooge, no one would know what you meant. That all changed when Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol—and it was an immediate success. Nowadays, no one wants to be known as a Scrooge.

Christmas Dinner with the Family

While you may be serving ham for family dinner, the preferred meat of the day in London for Christmas dinner was goose. Plum pudding was a big hit as well but the name is a misnomer. There were no actual plums used in this dish. The word plums was a term for raisins. And you couldn’t wait until the day before Christmas to whip this bad boy up. It is usually aged a month or more—or sometimes even up to a year.

Wish you could escape to a simper time with candlelit trees and a backdrop of singing carolers? Grab a cup of tea and settle yourself down with a copy of my latest release, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. 





About 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they've been striving for isn't what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Buy 12 Days at Bleakly Manor on Amazon

Bio:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at her website or blog or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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






November 2017 New Releases

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



Contemporary Romance:


Rooted in Love by Valerie Comer -- A divorcĂ© with a set of rambunctious twins falls for the boys’ daycare administrator, but does he deserve another chance at love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



Prescription for Romance by June Foster -- Though history teacher Scott Townsend made a commitment to the Lord as a teen, he can't relinquish his bitterness toward his younger brother after he squanders their parents' money. When a beautiful, young pharmacist seeks affirmation in a way that challenges Scott's values, he must uphold his Christian upbringing. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romance [Winged Publication])



Believing in Tomorrow by Kimberly Rae Jordan -- Sammi struggles to accept the consequences for her actions and to live with her new reality—unwed mother instead of wife and then mother. Though it eats at her soul, she feels that the judgment she faces is her lot to bear. Can Levi get Sammi to see that their child deserves better? Or will she lose everything she’s dreamed of for her tomorrow because she can’t accept that forgiveness is hers for the taking? (Contemporary Romance, ACFW QIP)



Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner -- Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Historical:


The Legacy by Carol Ashby -- A father’s martyrdom makes his son and daughter hunger for revenge on their brother who betrayed him and the people who led him to faith until God answers their father’s final prayer in unexpected ways. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)





Jerusalem Rising by Barbara M. Britton -- When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit,God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David. Nehemiah challenges the people of God to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Will her father, who rules a half-district of Jerusalem, be forgotten forever? Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same stones they hope to construct? (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])


Historical Mystery:


Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering -- Amateur sleuth Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline travel to Scotland for the 1935 British Open, but instead of a relaxing holiday, they find murder, mystery, and international intrigue. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])



Waiting for His Return by Carrie Turansky -- The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover the battles near Union occupied Nashville. (Historical Mystery from Flowing Stream Books)


Historical Romance:


The Virtuous Viscount by Susan M. Baganz -- Lord Remington falls for a woman he rescues and recovers in his home, but can Miss Storm trust his virtue when he risks his reputation to unbeknownst to her, saves her life. (Historical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])



Lord Phillip’s Folly by Susan M. Baganz -- Lord Westcombe finds himself falling in love with his unexpected wife and having to rescue her from the devices of the Black Diamond with the help of his friends and newfound faith. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])



The Regency Brides Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch -- Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England...Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love.... Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago. Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism. Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans. Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret. Esther is empowered to choose between two men. Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash. Jamie and William face a daunting London season together. Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)




The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas -- Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother--and nearly his own life--in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. Larkin Heyward's life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more--maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she's never even met someone who's lived there--until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father's timber company. Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


Legal Thriller:



Guilty Blood by Rick Acker -- A desperate mother tries to prove her son's innocence, but shadowy forces want to keep him in jail--and kill him there. (Legal Thriller from Waterfall Press)



Romantic Suspense:


An Unexpected Legacy by Amy R. Anguish -- When Chad Manning introduces himself to Jessica Garcia at her favorite smoothie shop, it's like he stepped out of one of her romance novels. But as she tentatively walks into a relationship with this man of her dreams, secrets from their past threaten to shatter their already fragile bond. Chad and Jessica must struggle to figure out if their relationship has a chance or if there is nothing between them but a love of smoothies. (Romantic Suspense from Tulpen Publishing)



Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey -- Undercover Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn’s convinced Danielle Segovia is really a wanted criminal—until she’s nearly kidnapped right in front of him. Now Colter must keep her out of the clutches of the notorious drug cartel leader whose traitor sister is a dead ringer for Danielle. The drug czar wants the drugs he thinks the pretty shop owner stole from him. And with the younger brother Danielle is raising dragged into the crosshairs, Colt has to find a way to protect them both. But a showdown at Christmas—with Danielle as bait—may be the only way to make sure they all survive the holidays. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright -- Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])



Speculative:

Awakened by Morgan L. Busse -- The monster has awakened. After her escape from the Tower and from her father's experiments, Kat Bloodmayne wakes up to discover the dark power inside of her has grown stronger. Now more than ever she needs to find the doctor who holds the key to healing her, but the only one who can help her find him is Stephen Grey, the very man who betrayed her. Stephen Grey cannot change the past or what he did to Kat, but he will do everything he can to help her now. But will Kat let him? Or will his transgression be too much to overcome? Time races against them as they travel with sky pirates through harrowing storms and across the war-torn country of Austrium in search of the doctor who can cure Kat. But can he cure what is broken inside of her? Or will the monster inside of Kat consume her soul? (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)