Gail's Book Nook

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Jennifer Slattery Discusses Her New Book, Healing Love




A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer's here to introduce new book, Healing Love. Women's fiction with a strong romantic thread, it's set in Southern California and El Salvador

First, tell us a little about yourself, Jennifer.

I live in Nebraska, in a relatively small town outside of Omaha. We love it here—the four seasons, the laid back lifestyle (largely), close access to the city. Plus we’ve got some really fun coffee shops!

Many writers loved to read as children. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

I’m pretty sure I was, but I can’t remember really what I read. I had an obsession with Shakespeare for a while, and I loved more literary works. Later. I especially loved discussing themes and such with my husband, who wasn’t quite as amused with the topic. Such a patient man! Haha!

Why do you write?

First, it’s who I am. It’s what I enjoy, almost more than anything else. It’s like God created my brain for story and my fingers to type. Haha! When a thought, idea, whatever, goes through my brain, I often have a strong desire to share it. I’m not sure why that is, but if you’ve seen my FB feed, you understand what I mean. I’ve been told I’m an include, so that may be part of it.

The second answer to your question is, I want to glorify Christ and see others experience the freedom He offers. I hope and pray that absolutely everything I write, whether it’s a fun, goofy piece or a serious ten-point article, in some way brings Him glory and reveals a bit of who He is.

Tell us about your latest book.

How about if I share the back cover text?

Sounds good.






About Healing Love

A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn't on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of "missional tourists" full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

What inspired you to write this particular book?

The idea for this story came as I was flying home from a weeklong mission trip to El Salvador. At the time, all I had was a vague idea, but I knew the ending. Normally, that doesn’t happen. My stories usually start with a character that won’t leave me alone. I’ll know her struggle, her insecurities, her dreams, and soon, her arc. The plot points and endings usually evolve slowly.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

Oh, there’s so much! First, I absolutely love Central America and the El Salvadoran culture, food, and people. I really hope I get a chance to go back, maybe even for a longer stay. I also really connect with and understand Brooke. To some, she seems selfish and … controlling, but she’s really just hurting. She grieved her parents, but didn’t realize some of the residual emotions that were left—like a fear of losing those she loves. This is the root of her need for control. Sometimes God brings us into uncomfortable situations to free us from that. Though she might not be aware of this, this is the journey Brooke is on.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Hm … I think I’ll let my readers answer this one. For fun, I posed this question on Facebook. Here’s what readers and reviewers had to say:

Sally Davidson: “Tender-hearted research.”

Deana Dick: “Graceful, compassionate, heartwarming.”

Then there’s my husband’s answer: “I’m not good at those kind of questions. If you have any golf or baseball questions, I can answer those. 6-4-3=2

I’m pretty sure that equation came from the sermon at church on Sunday. 


Buy Links for Healing Love.

Amazon

Goodreads

 Learn more about Jennifer at her Website

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Looking Out the Window: James Scott Bell Wins International Thriller Writers Award




A Warm Welcome to James Scott Bell


James Scott Bell's Book, Romeo's Way, won the award for Best E-Book Original at the International Thriller Writers Awards banquet in New York , held July 11 - 15th.

ThrillerFest is the annual conference of ITW, International Thriller Writers. It was created in 2004 by bestselling authors to bring thousands of writers, readers, publishers, producers, editors, and agents together to promote and support thriller authors everywhere.

Their mission is, “To bestow recognition and promote the thriller genre at an innovative and superior level for and through... Active members; to provide opportunities for mentoring, education, and collegiality among thriller authors and industry professionals; and to grant awards for excellence in the thriller genre."

About the honor, Mr. Bell says, "The award means a great deal to me, as the goal for my entire career has been to write quality fiction, to keep getting better at it. The ITW Award is a lovely confirmation."




About Romeo's Way

Mike Romeo, the former cage fighter living low in L.A., doesn't look for trouble. He doesn't have to. It comes after him. So when he's hired by a California senatorial campaign to do undercover work, Romeo doesn't have any illusions. Especially when his duty takes him to San Francisco.

But as Romeo gets closer to solving the mystery of who is behind the hit job on an honorable man, things heat up in the City by the Bay -- and between Mike and a beautiful political operative. Until a bullet nearly takes him out for good.

Now all bets are off. Because if there's one thing Romeo wants, it's justice. And he's going to get it--his way.

Brief Excerpt

   "I don't want anybody bleeding to death, okay?" I said. "I think your problem is education. There's just no discipline anymore. You have to know there are consequences for bad behavior. Without that, society falls apart."

   Baton Guy croaked, "I can't breathe."

   "You just can't go around doing this sort of thing," I said. "It isn't right. Now, one of you is bleeding pretty badly and won't be riding a bike anytime soon. The other one still needs to learn, am I right?"

   "Don't kill us," Knife Guy said.

________


I'm a fan of Mr. Bell's Mike Romeo books. Here's my review of Romeo's Way.

Mike Romeo, who used to be a fighter, can take care of himself and handle bad guys. He’s hired to find out who’s behind a hit job that occurs in the midst of a political campaign.

First, he beats up a couple thugs, but they’re just the hired hands and none too willing to fill him in on what they’re up to. One path after another takes him to more thugs, a murdered woman and few answers. But, he won’t stop until he finds out who’s committing the crimes and why.

The plot kept me on the edge of my seat and the main character, Romeo, who takes his name from the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet, is a tough guy with past pain that gnaws at him. He rather reminded me of Mike Hammer, but deeper. He’s a Christian man of faith and honor wedging himself into a sub-culture that has little of either. At the same time he’s struggling to make peace with his own missteps. They keep him from opening up to people who may want to be friends with him or more. Toward the end there’s a hint he’s growing in his inner struggle and his outward approach to others, especially one lady. I highly recommend this book as a crime drama with an interesting Christian main character and a plot that includes a behind-the-scenes peek at politics.

Buy Romeon's Way here

Monday, July 10, 2017

Looking Out The Window: A Great Book Deal From Linda Weaver Clarke









A Warm Welcome to Linda Weaver Clarke

Linda is having a Book Giveaway, which will last until Aug 21st: Every visitor will receive 7 EBOOKS FREE if they preorder the Historical Romance: The Fox of Cordovia. For these promotional giveaways, go to Linda's website






Hi Linda, tell us a little about yourself.

I am the author of 22 books: historical romances, period romances, a romantic cozy mystery series, a mystery suspense series, a children’s book, and non-fiction. I have also traveled throughout the United States giving lectures on writing techniques. All my books are family friendly. I live in Color Country, which is located in southern Utah among all the red mountains.







Tell us about your latest book: The Fox of Cordovia.

In this swashbuckling romance, a sinister plot has just been uncovered and its up to a former patriot and a young nurse to discover who is behind it. Caroline is engaged to the future mayor of Laketown, a man of influence and greatly respected. But all that changes when she overhears a conspiracy behind closed doors. After being discovered, she runs for her life. Caroline needs to report her findings, but whom can she trust? When she asks Jesse Conover for help, the adventure begins.

What inspired you to write this particular series?

All three books in this series are love stories set in the late 1700s. The Rebel Series was inspired by the stories of the American patriots who fought to be free from the dictatorship and tyranny of a king. It’s a theme that is dear to me. Liberty is something that I cherish. It’s a precious gift given to us by those who fought so valiantly. When I read the stories of the American Revolution, my heart swells with gratitude for those loyal patriots. When I look at our flag and pledge allegiance to it, tears well up in my eyes. When I listen to The Star Spangled Banner or God Bless the U.S.A., I get choked up. Especially when it’s sung by a choir.

What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

I love adventure mixed with romance. I absolutely love stories that are page-turners, which have some mystery and suspense. I love a romance where the man and woman know they are meant for one another. Even though there are trials along the way, they never give up on the other. I also like strong women characters in a story.

How do you get to know your characters?

As I develop my characters’ personalities and describe their inner most feelings, then I get to know them quite well and they tend to pop off the page as if they are real.

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

Definitely. My characters have a great deal of faith in a loving God. They know that God wants them to be free and have the liberty they desire.

What kind of research did you do for this series?

When I did some research about the “waltz,” I was surprised by what I found. The peasants were the first to dance the waltz. It was such fun that bored noblemen would sneak out and go to the country-dances. The Oxford English Dictionary back then called the waltz “riotous and indecent.”

In a 1771 German novel, someone complains about the “newly-introduced waltz” among the aristocrats. He wrote: “When he put his arm around her, pressed her to his breast, cavorted with her in the shameless, indecent whirling-dance of the Germans and engaged in a familiarity that broke all the bounds of good breeding—then my silent misery turned into burning rage.” Haha. It finally became fashionable in Great Britain when the wife of a Russian ambassador endorsed it.

I learned some interesting facts about lamplighters. The city is careful about who they hire because lamplighters also act as night watchmen and need to be trustworthy. I learned that the job is usually handed down from father to son and kept within the family. I love doing research.

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

To read a sample chapter from each of my books in The Rebel Series,go here and click on the title of the book that you want to read.

A Peek Inside The Rebel Series

The Rebels of Cordovia



The Highwayman of Cordovia



Buy books here

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Happy July 4th


God Bless America!

Kate Smith Introduces "God Bless America"


Wishing everyone a safe, fun and patriotic July 4th.





New Releases from American Christian Fiction Writers here just in time for the holiday.

 




Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Mary Ball Talks About Her Latest Release, Sparks Of Love. Gives Away An E-Book.




A Warm Welcome to Mary Ball

Mary will give away an e-Book of Sparks of Love. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

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

Thanks Gail, I live in North Carolina. When I’m not working on my latest story, I enjoy fishing, reading, and ministering in song with my husband at various functions. Some of my novels include Escape to Big Fork Lake, Redemption in Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny and Moment’s with God’s Word.

Many writers loved to read as children. Did you. If so, what did you read?

Yes, I enjoyed Nancy Drew books most of all. LOL, Now you know my age.  

I’m a big Nancy Drew fan, and my daughter is also, so I'm still guessing. LOL

 Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?

I write to help readers see that God never gives up on people. He is always willing to welcome a repetitive heart. For me, it’s a part of my ministry.

 Tell us about your latest book.






Sparks of Love

Misjudged and accused, Lynette Cunningham walks away from God and everything she loves.

Ten years later, a phone call from her father offers hope when he announces he may have a clue to the unsolved crime that forced her to run. She’s scared, but encouraged. This could clear her name from slander in her small North Carolina hometown.

Tragedy strikes. A Fire destroys her childhood home and kills her father. While she sorts through the ruins and hopes to find the clue, Lynette meets the new pastor, Price Fletcher. She must face the two things that scare her most. The past and a man of God.

Someone wants the past to stay buried. Will Lynette stay alive long enough to prove her innocence and accept the love that is offered?

In three words describe your style of writing.

When I first began writing a reader told me that my books reminded her of a Grace Livingston Hill novel. I suppose that means that they offer, promise, redemption and love.

What themes do you write about?

Faith is the most prevalent subject matter. However, every one of my books has a character that is not a believer, or has strayed. Through the novel, he/she learns how to accept love, forgiveness, and grace offered through Jesus Christ.  

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

 Right now, writing schedules do not work. I have commitments with an elderly mom (Alzheimer’s ) and Step-dad (Dementia and severe health issues.) They keep me busy at all times of the day. I usually devote time to my work-in-progress early in the mornings, while everyone else is sleeping. Then, as the day unfolds, I will sneak in writing times as I can. The evenings, before bedtime, offers a few hours to let my creative juices flow. I have a dedicated home office, but it’s not uncommon to find me on the front porch or sitting on my chase in the living room with my laptop.

I'm sorry for you family members' illnesses and wish God's blessings for them.     

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

Most assuredly, my faith affects all my stories. Faith is a big part of who I am. Because it means so much to me, it adds a different perspective to my plots. When my characters face problems that don’t work out the way they want, they still must accept things, and find a way to be happy. Since, I’ve struggled with issues, and difficulties, I can lead my characters through their circumstances, no matter what they face, with an assurance that the Lord always paves a way. It may not be the road most wanted, but it’s one that still offers satisfaction.    

What are you working on right now?

I have two manuscripts in the works. Thanksgiving Secret is one I’m polishing up. I hope to sub it soon. Asheville Hearts is a novella that I’m half-way through. I plan to send it to my publisher (Pelican Book Group) as part of a “Destination Romance” series.

I would like to share the blurbs with your readers.

Thanksgiving Secret
Decisions direct our destiny.

Matthew Blake left home in search of fame. Years later, writer’s block threatens his career. He returns to his roots hoping to rejuvenate his creative juices. Unknown to Matt, he’s involved in a mystery that is soon to be unearthed.

Lucinda Wise rents her tiny house to Matt. Despite his self-centered ways she finds herself wanting to be around him, but timing is everything. She’s dedicated her life to her five-year-old daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.

When Lucinda discovers she is the partaker of a secret that will change their lives forever can she protect her daughter's future and let herself love again?

Asheville Hearts

Barbary Willis is one Los Alamos, New Mexico’s elite. She enjoys life on her own terms.  A visit with her elderly grandfather has him recounting one of his fondest memories of a famous Western North Carolina attraction. She decides to take a trip to Asheville and tour Billmore Estate. What she discovers challenges everything she believes, and trusts.
   
Trace Youngbird accepts that not everyone appreciates his native roots. He’s learned that patience is the key to happiness and is content utilizing his degree in horticulture at the gardens in Billmore, but meeting high-spirited Barbary, disrupts his plans, and tests his easygoing attitude.

Barbary and Trace are worlds apart. Still, their hearts collide. Can they overcome their preconceived notions long enough to follow God’s plan?

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

Yes, Gail thanks for highlighting my book. I wish you success in all your ventures. I also hope your readers always have a reason to smile and time to stop and enjoy the beauty that God bestows on us.

It's my pleasure to have you.


Look for Sparks of Love

on Alibris
and Amazon

Bio:

Mary L. Ball is a multi-published author and member of ACFW. She resides in the heart of North Carolina. When she isn't working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.

Readers can connect with her

on her  web page,

Facebook

twitter

Visit her singing ministry site  here

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Coming Soon! Mattie's Choice by Gay Lewis. Clue Into Kindness e-Book Giveaway.



A Warm Welcome to Gay Lewis

Gay will give away an e-Book of Clue Into Kindness. 

To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

Hi Gay, tell us a little about your writing and your upcoming book, Mattie's Choice.


Coming Soon! Mattie's Choice


I usually write faith and humor, and you find both those elements in my Sarah series.  Mattie’s Choice is different. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s still Christian. It details the faith of the characters. This book's premise is about choices, the way we interpret Scripture, right or wrong, and the choices we make based on what we perceive the Bible to say.  The choices we make have a ripple effect on the lives of others. There weren’t many resources in 1925 to help abused women, but they exist today, and I hope women will search for them.

Mattie’s Choice is historical, and although my book is fiction, my husband’s family inspired the book.

The excerpt you are about to read below is Mattie's backstory. Mattie eloped with Jesse but jealousy soon consumes him, and he forbids Mattie to see her family. He thinks she will leave him for her former, better life if she visits with them. Jesse is a controlling, abusive man, and he’s resentful of Mattie’s twin brother, Maury. He believes Scripture teaches he is the head of the house and women are inferior.

Do men and women feel that way today? Does Scripture teach that concept? This book makes a good book club selection and discussion questions are there for you.

Will Mattie choose to give up family? You'll need to read the book to discover the answer.

Excerpt

Avril counted the strokes as she brushed her hair. When she totaled one hundred, she laid the brush aside and turned to her husband.

“Charles, are you ever sorry you married me?”

Charles made it to her side in one giant stride, placed his hands on her shoulders and met her eyes in the mirror.

“Never one day, my dearest. I fell in love with you on sight. If President Jackson hadn’t forced your ancestors to move to Oklahoma, I’d have gone to Georgia to find you.”

Avril smiled. “But you were born into a prominent Virginia family. I doubt your parents wanted you to marry someone of Indian descent.”

“It wouldn’t have mattered to me.”

“I guess Jesse feels the same way.”

“Maybe. The Colbys came from Kentucky, and Kentucky was once heavily populated with Indians. Back in his day, President Thomas Jefferson met with an Indian delegation and told them to mix in marriage. White men have married Indian maidens over the years. Everyone knows the story of Pocahontas. Nevertheless, such marriages are frowned on by some. I know several who keep their blood a secret. I’m guessing Mattie’s Cherokee heritage doesn’t matter to Jesse or he wouldn’t have married her. Our families accepted each other. Jesse doesn’t accept us. If it hadn’t worked out for us, what would you have done?” Charles massaged her shoulders.

“I would’ve done all I could to change their minds—just like Mattie says she’s doing.” Avril grinned at him in the mirror.

Charles laughed and kissed the top of her head. “One look into your beautiful black, flashing eyes is all that it takes for me to do your bidding. Our Maury and Mattie have your dark, good looks. I’m not surprised Jesse fell in love with Mattie. I simply wish he was a reasonable man.”

“Our younger girls resemble you and your English ancestry, and I’m sure it won’t be long before they have boys courting them. I hope they marry someone who won’t split the family.”

Avril stood and Charles placed his arm around her waist, tucked her into bed, turned off the electric lamps, and joined her.

“We see my family, but we don’t see your folks in Virginia. I regret that. Do you want to move?” Avril reached for his hand.

  “We’re staying here. Oklahoma has the best opportunities.” He squeezed Avril’s hand. “If I could’ve come with the first land rush, I’d have met you sooner. I had to wait an extra four years for the second land opening, but I got here as fast as I could.”

“Yes, you and about fifty thousand other white men,” Avril stated in a subdued tone. “Many of my Cherokee ancestors weren’t happy about the first land rush, and they were also irritated about the second one. They’d endured too many broken promises from the government, and those broken promises resulted in our Trail of Tears. Then look at what happened. After a mere fifty years of giving us a new home and calling it Indian Territory, the government approved land for white settlement. Those authorizations removed Indian control and the white man took over. We lost our land again.”

Charles squeezed her hand again. “I hate that. My good luck came at a price for your people. I’m sorry.”

Avril acknowledged his hand hug with one of her own.  “I know, but it wasn’t your doing, and thanks to you, I’ve benefited from the white development, so I have mixed emotions—happy for me, sad for my people.”

Charles remained quiet and waited for Avril to speak again.

Avril clucked her tongue and began once more. “I doubt the men were thinking about taking land from my ancestors, just as you weren’t when you came. Like you, they wanted to build a life for themselves and their families. Most arrived in Guthrie with nothing but a dream, and even after years, they didn’t acquire much—if anything at all. It’s sad, isn’t it? Sad for them and my people.”
Avril grew silent for a few moments and then continued. “You made money in the construction business during those boom days in Guthrie, but most of those people didn’t make it. They suffered loss and defeat, just like my ancestors did. I have no idea why God allows some to achieve and not others. Do you?

“No. I don’t have an answer to that question.”

“Are you happy you sold out and moved to Fossil Creek?”

“Of course I am. This is where I met you. A smaller place is better for a family, and I wanted one. Tulsa is a day’s journey by buggy, and Oklahoma City takes about two days. I can conduct business in the bigger cities if I need to.”

Avril chuckled. “The trip would be faster if you bought a gasoline buggy like Maury plans to do.”
Charles caressed her arm. “And chug down the road in a cloud of black smoke from one of those things? No thanks.”

In the black night of their bedroom, Avril smiled. “I predict Ford will eventually fix that smoke problem.” After a moment, she continued. “God has blessed us.”

“Yes, He has, but I don’t want to flaunt our position. I could have hired more help, but we both agreed that wasn’t a good idea. Our children know the value of a dollar and how long it takes to earn one. Maury builds pens and coops. He also helps with the planting and harvesting. The girls learned how to cook, clean, sew, grow a garden and tend animals. Our daughters don’t know how to bookkeep money accounts—no need for that, but Maury does.”

“I think you should teach our daughters to bookkeep as well.”

 Charles chuckled. “Now sweetheart, let’s don’t get carried away. There’s men’s doings and then there’s women’s doings. I’ll teach Maury about business. We’ll continue to be involved in construction and land development here in Osage County. We can use our influence to help others.”

“Even Jesse?”

“We’ll see. Time will tell. At this moment, Jesse doesn’t want anything from me.”

“What about Mattie? If she asks to come back home, will you let her?”

“Of course I will, but I don’t believe in divorce. Besides that, divorce isn’t an easy thing to get these days. I doubt there’s a court that would issue one. I don’t believe in interfering with a man’s marriage, either. We’ve taught our offspring to keep an oath once it’s given, and Mattie gave one to Jesse.”

“Mattie is a woman-child. Not quite grown up enough in some ways and too much so in others. She didn’t realize what she might be doing.”

“Especially where Jesse is concerned. I’ve got to think on it. She’s put us all in a dilemma.”
He released her hand and turned his back to her. “Goodnight, Avril.”

I hope you enjoyed meeting Avril and Charles, and I hope you'll soon meet Mattie and Jesse.


About Clue Into Kindness




Georgia loves her husband, Alan. She shows him kindness with actions and words, but Alan responds in a heartless, selfish way. To receive respect and admiration from people, he believes he must have a perfect wife—so he criticizes Georgia at every opportunity—even tells her she’s fat! Alan’s best friend Ken and his wife Jana reassure Georgia that she remains the gorgeous beauty queen she was during her college days. Who will Georgia believe—her friends or the mysterious, handsome stranger who comes into her life?

Circumstances bring a change to Alan’s attitude. But is it too late to save this marriage?


Bio:

A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear, a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures.  Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets. Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is also a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

All of the Sarah books have appeared on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List. The Sarah series is available in eBook format as well as print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Pelican Book Group, and other book sellers. Some additions are available in Amazon Audible. Each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.

For more information, please go to Gay's website

Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog

Visit her Amazon page

www.facebook.com/GayNLewis

and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Looking Out The Window: The Summer Reading Challenge Is Underway!

Join the fun!

Challenge lasts from June 15th - August 31st. 

One book read earns one entry in the giveaway. 

There are ten great prize packs. Stop by and check out all of the authors and books at http://sarahruut.com/summer-reading-challenge 




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Springs of Love: An Amish Spring Collection


The FREE e-books of Springs of Love:  An Amish Spring Collection aren't available. Apologies from Laura and me for any inconvenience.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Looking Out The Window: American Christian Fiction Writers' June New Releases

June 2017 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:




Engaged by Julie Arduini -- Trish Maxwell returns to Speculator Falls with egg on her face and apologies to make as she tries to determine what's next, especially when around paramedic Wayne Peterson. (Contemporary Romance from Surrendered Scribe Media)



Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter -- When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down. But when Josephine drives out to Noah's North Georgia cottage to deliver the corrected papers, they are trapped there during a snowstorm. Things couldn't get worse…until they are forced out into the storm and must rely on one another to survive. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Zondervan])




Then There Was You by Kara Isaac -- Would you give up everything for a life you hate with the person you love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



An Encore for Estelle by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- A former A-list actress seeks to redeem herself in the most unlikely of places—a children's theater. The writer/director didn't anticipate a famous actress would ever show interest in his musical much less him. Will their pasts pull them apart or join them together? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)




The Cowboy's Baby Blessing by Deb Kastner -- When Ex-soldier Seth Howell suddenly becomes guardian of a two-year-old, he needs Rachel Perez's help. Though she is gun-shy about relationships, this handsome cowboy and his adorable son break through. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



Finding Love by Toni Shiloh -- Delaney Jones is putting her life back together after widowhood when in walks Army soldier, Luke Robinson. Luke had a part in the death of Delaney's husband--will his secrets widen the gulf in their relationship or will he finally find absolution? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)


Cozy Mystery:




The Copper Box by Suzanne Bratcher -- When antiques expert Marty Greenlaw comes to Jerome, Arizona to search for a copper box she believes will unlock the secrets of her past, deadly accidents begin to happen: someone else wants the copper box, someone willing to kill for it. (Cozy Mystery from Mantle Rock Publishing)


General Contemporary:




Coming Home – A Tiny House Collection by Yvonne Anderson, Michael Ehret, Kimberli S. McKay, Pamela S. Meyers, Ane Mulligan, Chandra Lynn Smith, Linda W. Yezak -- Tiny houses are all the rage these days, but what can you do with something so small? Here are seven stories about people chasing their dreams, making fresh starts, finding love, stumbling upon forgiveness, and embarking upon new adventures in tiny houses. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Katie's Quest by Lee Carver -- Katie Dennis hopes for fulfillment as a single missionary nurse after the death of her fiancé. She trusts God for a new direction, but she'll never fall for a pilot again. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Historical Romance:



A Sweetwater River Romance by Misty M. Beller -- Rocky Ridge Stage Stop Manager Ezra Reid is put in a difficult situation when two ladies show up on his remote doorstep seeking refuge, one of them being Tori Boyd, the mysterious correspondence partner writing him letters for over a year now. Tori refuses the most proper solution to their circumstance—marriage. But when danger follows, it will take a lot more than luck to ensure Ezra's heart is the sole casualty. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)




High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin -- In German-occupied Brussels, a WWI nurse struggles to keep two life-threatening secrets. She's in league with the British Secret Service, and she's harboring a wounded British pilot. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])



Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection by Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Gina Welborn -- Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas', finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn't return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)



The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere -- When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)




Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson -- Set in WWII, an Irish woman must choose between her heart and her freedom when she finds a downed combatant pilot. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press)




Mail Order Sweetheart by Christine Johnson -- Singer Fiona O'Keefe must make a wealthy match to support her orphaned niece. Musically talented Sawyer Evans is a self-made, but not wealthy, sawmill-manager. Unwilling to live off his father's railroad fortune, can Sawyer prove to Fiona he's the man she needs when she's already determined to mail-order a rich husband? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])




Freedom's Price by Christine Johnson -- On a quest to find her mother's family in Louisiana, Englishwoman Catherine Haynes enlists a dashing Key West man seeking revenge for his own family. When an incredible secret comes to light, she and Tom will face a choice. Can they relinquish their dreams to step forward in faith? (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])




Sutter's Landing by Betty Thomason Owens -- Still reeling from tragic losses, Connie and Annabelle Cross face life with their signature humor and grace, until fresh hope arrives on their doorstep. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)


Romantic Suspense:





Hidden Legacy by Lynn Huggins Blackburn -- When someone threatens the baby she's adopting, Caroline Harrison must rely on Detective Jason Drake, the man who once broke her heart, to figure out why. If Jason wants a chance at a future with with Caroline and her son, he'll first have to help them outrun a hit man. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])




Weaver's Needle by Robin Caroll -- Pitted against each other to recover a map to the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, two recovery specialists follow the trail to Arizona. But someone doesn't want them to find the map. . .or the mine. They must work together despite their mistrust and growing attraction, to save themselves. (Romantic Suspense from Barbour Publishing)


Speculative:




The Revisionary by Kristen Hogrefe -- Revisionary or Rogue? To rescue her brother, Portia might have to break every rule in the book she set out to rewrite. (Speculative from Write Integrity Press)


Women's Contemporary:




Redemption's Whisper by Kathleen Friesen -- Desperate to escape her past, a suicidal young woman flies from Toronto to a Saskatoon pastor's home, the only people who may be able to help her. If only someone could love her, in spite of all she's done. On the flight, she meets a young man torn between seeking affirmation in the big city and helping his parents in Saskatoon. Can these two troubled souls gain the peace they need—and in the process, find love? (Women's Contemporary from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])


Young Adult:




All Things Now Living by Rondi Bauer Olson -- Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him. (Young Adult from Written World Communications)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Looking In The Window: In Honor Of Memorial Day

FREE GIFT BOOK

Messages: Poems and Short Stories To Live By will be free from Saturday, May 27 - Monday, May 29.





Find inspiration for our hectic times in these straight-forward poems for happy and sad days.

Find history, warmth and a touch of the paranormal(similar to the Twilight Zone) in three stories.

Getting the Goat peeks into the early 1900's when mountain life was tough. Does Mama's advice hold true today?

In Stitches in Love Rose's deep love for her grandmother motivates others to share their gifts. Does Rose reap her reward?

Robert Horner is tempted in The Stranger, but does he succumb to the lure?

From The Readers

“A beautiful book of stories made to savor. Gail Pallotta has put the magic and comfort back on the written page. Southern prose at its finest.” Donna Richards

“This book is full of inspiring poems and short stories that will bless your heart!” Sherri Johnson

“For joyful as well as down times, you will find encouragement in these wisdom filled poems and short stories. The poems give positive messages to lift our spirits, something we desperately require. The short stories return us to a simpler time, yet giving us hope in modern times...” VMLM

“This group of poems made me both laugh and cry. Gail Pallotta is a talented poet that compares to the best. Though I usually don't read poetry, I loved this collection.” Virginia J. Foster

One of the poems

Hope

There comes a day
when only dark clouds
light our way
and rain’s
ceaseless drops of blue
disguise the path
we thought we knew.

We cry
into our rooms of black
and only silence
answers back.

We listen
for a voice to care
and all we hear
is no one there.

Hope is lost
in deep, deep despair.
But wait.
Say a prayer.
God is there.




Story Excerpts

From Stitches in Love

Rose stood and weakness swept over her like a hurricane coming ashore. She let herself out and locked the door with the key Grandma Jackie had given her seven years ago—the year Rose had turned sixteen. Sobs erupted from the depths of her soul as she slipped into her two-door coupe and drove to 143 Broadway.

Within minutes she walked toward the white-columned two-story home while she bent double holding her stomach. It was a hot, dry day in Springdale, Georgia. No breeze stirred, and the humidity as high as a kite. Air conditioning caressed Rose's face when she opened the front door. Clearing the foyer, she hurried up the oak staircase to her room. Tears flooding her eyes blurred the flowers on the pink and green comforter as she stepped to it and fell face-down on the bed.

Amy, Rose's mama, had called last week about Grandma Jackie's health. Rose could hear her distressed words now.

"Mama hasn't been the same since Dad died. She's been slipping away little by little. The doctors say nothing is wrong other than high blood pressure and cholesterol, but she's just not herself. I've hired Miz Mary Clark, a local caretaker, to come during the day to make sure she takes her medicine and to tend to her personal needs."

That's why Rose had come home to see Grandma Jackie. It was worse than she had suspected. There must be something someone could do. She sat up and wiped her cheeks. What if she picked the peaches off the tree and told Grandma Jackie to make a pie? No. The last time Rose talked to Grandma Jackie on the phone she'd told Rose cooking at the homeless shelter wore her out.

Doing things for others pleased Grandma Jackie, but maybe she'd reached a time when she needed others to do something for her. What? She liked to read, but that wouldn't make her want to live. Sweat popped out on Rose's forehead. What did Grandma Jackie love enough to get up and do every day?

From Getting the Goat

What was wrong with this animal? Why did Father think he could handle her? His heart pounded as he stood. He raced after the unruly creature, blood flowing from a cut on his leg. She ran in a circle, Norman behind her panting until she halted and let him clutch the leash hanging by her side.

He led her to the tree, secured her, and brushed off his hands. Anger at the goat for her meanness festered inside him, but ire in the boy who wanted to be a man boiled over because she'd gotten the better of him. He hurried to the house and charged inside.

"Mother, look what the goat did."

His mother's eyes filled with compassion. "Sit down." She guided him to a straight back chair at the wooden kitchen table, grabbed a cloth, cleaned his wound and applied iodine. "I'm sorry. Leave the chore for today and try again tomorrow after school."

Norman gasped. "You want me to go back?"

From The Stranger

Stress shot through every muscle in Robert's body. "That's ridiculous, Mac. No one turns down money."

"I've been perfecting the design of these nails for years. I painted the tops to keep them separate from my regular supply." He picked up a nail and rolled it around in his hand. "I'm going to market these. Then you can have some for exactly what it costs to manufacture them."

Sweat popped out on Robert's forehead. "What's so unusual about them?"

Mac raised his dark, thick eyebrows. "I'll tell you and everyone else after my final test on Monday."
Robert tried to sound pitiful. "I need to put them in an old green table."

Mac laid down the nail and lifted a small box off the shelf. "Paint the tops of these nails." He handed them to Robert. "You can have them. The box is nearly empty."

"I'll give you a thousand dollars for the green-tipped nails."

Snag your free copy on Amazon 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Hallmark Talks About Sweet Freedom A La Mode, A Collection of Stories to Bring Peace and Joy



A warm welcome to Jennifer Hallmark


Jennifer will give away a Kindle copy of Sweet Freedom A La Mode
To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.


Jennifer shares a favorite Bible verse and a favorite recipe.

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Growing up, we always had a big garden. As I grumbled my way through hoeing weeds and picking produce, I never dreamed God would take those experiences and let me use them in stories. He certainly does have plans for our future, even when we don’t know it. 😊

We still have a good-sized garden. Our beets will be ready before you know it, so my family knows it’s time for me to cook borscht, a soup made with beets for the main ingredient. I’ve made a few changes in Grandma’s recipe such as adding potatoes, honey and substituting olive oil for butter. It’s still a wonderful recipe and freezes well also…

Grandma Lena’s Borscht

1 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced beets
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrot, sliced
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped red cabbage
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sour cream, for topping

Place sliced potatoes and beets in a medium saucepan over high heat; cover with stock, and boil until vegetables are tender. Remove potatoes and beets with a slotted spoon, and reserve stock.

Pour olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and salt; cook until onions become soft and translucent. Then stir in celery, carrots, and cabbage. Mix in reserved stock; cook, covered, until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and beets to the skillet. Season with black pepper. Stir in cider vinegar and honey. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, dill weed, or chopped fresh tomatoes.

Yield: Eight Servings

Yum!




About Sweet Freedom A La Mode

 For some, the fourth of July is a celebration of freedom; for others it is a reminder of bondage. Of pain. Of fear. Of hopelessness. But there is a hope that is deeper, a love that is truer, and a freedom that no one can ever snatch away.

Freedom. Peace-saturated, joy-infusing freedom.

We pray our stories demonstrate what it looks like in the day-to-day…and provide a little insight into how one grabs hold of that treasured state of heart and mind.

Bio

Jennifer Hallmark has published articles, short stories and been part of four book compilations, A Dozen Apologies, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, Unlikely Merger, and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage. Jennifer’s website and the group blog she co-founded focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers.

Connect with Jennifer

Facebook
Author Facebook Page
Twitter
Pinterest


Monday, May 1, 2017

Looking Out the Window: May New Releases From American Christian Fiction Writers





May 2017 New Releases

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


Contemporary Romance:



Amish Brides by Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber, Amy Lillard -- Under bright blue skies, wedding bells ring--fulfilling sweet dreams, impossible wishes, and joyous new beginnings among these three new stories. (Contemporary Romance from Kensington Publishers)




Sprouts of Love by Valerie Comer -- An overzealous community garden manager delivers more than the food bank manager can handle. Can love sprout amid the tsunami of vegetables? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)





Summer Dreams by Delia Latham -- God's love...reflected in the waters of the Pacific, and in the eyes of a young couple who walk its moonstone shores. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])





Right Where We Belong by Deborah Raney, Melissa Tagg, Courtney Walsh -- Three sweet stories of small-town romance by three tried-and-true authors. Whether in a quaint home bakery in Langhorne, Missouri, a cozy boho coffee shop in Maple Valley, Iowa, or a charming lakeside cottage in Sweethaven, Michigan, love grows best in small towns just like this! (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)




A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell -- Two Spring wedding novellas, "A Proxy Wedding," and "Hope Beyond Savannah." (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)





True to You by Becky Wade -- Former Navy SEAL John Lawson hires genealogist Nora Bradford to help him to uncover the identity of his birth mother. As they work side-by-side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)




Cozy Mystery:


What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman -- A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly, Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House Publishers)


General Contemporary:



A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal -- The heart wrenching love story of a small town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York, of the two men who love her and of the forbidden kiss that changed everything. (General Contemporary from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)








Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman -- A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations. (General Contemporary from Waterfall Press)




Historical:



Blind Ambition by Carol Ashby -- What began as a bored man's decision to try a different road turns into an emotional and spiritual quest that changes the direction of his entire life. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)






Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette -- A broken and bitter Canaanite woman dresses as a man to fight against the invading Hebrews, never expecting that she would live to be captured and married to one of her enemies, and certainly not to find love and healing among the very people who killed her family. (Biblical/Historical from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)


Historical Romance:


  The Secret Admirer Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Penny Zeller -- Shy expressions of love lead to nine historical romances. Declaring one’s love can be hard--even risky--especially when faced with some of life's greatest challenges. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)






The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson -- She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)





My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze -- It’s a mail-order disorder when newlyweds realize they've married the wrong partners with similar names. An annulment seems in order--and fast. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca Rice wonders if Tad Fordham wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . . (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)




A Love So True by Melissa Jagears -- They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)




Road to Harmony by Sherry Kyle -- When Jonas returns to Harmony, Elena's heart is torn between her secret love, and the storeowner her parents hope she marries. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)







Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt -- Can a young widow hide her secret shame from the Irish preacher bent on helping her survive? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)



Romantic Suspense:



Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman -- Each day could be her last...but not if he can help it. An FBI agent must protect the woman who can identify a terrorist bomber in bestselling author Susan Sleeman's riveting romantic suspense novel. (Romantic Suspense from Faith Words [Hachette])