Gail's Book Nook

Thursday, May 31, 2018

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

June 2018 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

The Sleuth’s Miscalculation by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- Librarian Nancy Daley loves a good mystery and enjoys moonlighting as a consultant for the sheriff’s department. When license plates go missing in Tipton County, she’s on the case. But she’s been partnered with the new deputy, Carter Malone, and he’s not interested in her help. When the minor case they are working morphs into something more, things quickly go from harmless to scary. Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late, and more importantly, what will they do about their growing attraction? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe -- Hiring Amanda “AJ” McAlester as his assistant at the Big Heart Ranch isn’t foreman Travis Maxwell’s first choice—but his sisters insist she’s perfect for the job. And AJ’s determined to prove she’s just as qualified as any man. But with money on the line, AJ and her innovative ideas could put him at risk of losing everything…including his heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh -- Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah Campbell has her wondering if she’s changed at all. Can love really conquer all or will Belle’s past be too much for Micah to handle? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

General Contemporary:

A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer -- Out of options, Maribel takes a safe enough seeming job, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder, a search for a missing girl, and a race to find a lost treasure. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Kuwaiti Seeker by Jim Carroll -- A young Kuwaiti Muslim searches for truth in Islam, but God finds him anyway. (General Contemporary, Crosslink Publishing)

General Historical:

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett -- Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? As Clark opens Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas--a revelation that may bring her charade to an end. (General Historical from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Historical Romance:

Orphan Train Sweetheart by Mollie Campbell -- Spring Hill is the orphan train’s last stop—a final chance for Simon McKay to find homes for his young charges. When his fellow placing agent quits, Simon enlists help from the frontier town’s pretty schoolteacher. Cecilia Holbrook is as intriguing as she is independent, yet Simon’s devotion to his mission will soon call him back to New York. Long overshadowed by her flirtatious sister, Cecilia is done with waiting for a man to choose her. She’s already fighting the school board to keep her position. Now she’s struggling not to lose her heart to Simon. Could their shared concern for the children show them how to follow a new dream, together? (Historical Romance Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn -- She was nothing like the woman he'd envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she'd ever dreamed of-until a promise from his past threatened their future. (Historical Romance from Pelican Book Group)

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman -- In 1792, Quinn O’Shea leaves Ireland for Natchez, Mississippi, ready to force his oldest brother to reclaim the role of family guardian so Quinn can be free to pursue his own adventures. While aboard ship, a run-in with tenacious yet kind Kiera Young and her two Irish sisters lands him in the role of reluctant savior. Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera realizes her intended groom never existed and a far more sinister deal has been negotiated for her and her sisters. Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter -- When Katherine "Kit" FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she's forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. Graham, intent on finding his friend's missing sister, is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she's telling. After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different, but long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. As much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn't worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer -- Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. She’s made a safe haven with Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. Seeking justice against the gambler who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Instead, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Romantic Suspense:

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley -- It's Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn't sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators--one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken--she's forced to reevaluate. When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four? (Romantic Suspense from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter -- After losing his closest friends and now his girlfriend to the ravages of war, Caden Wallis arrives on the Outer Banks for one final mission--to thank the woman who sent him a quilt while he was recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital. McKenna Dockery knows about loss. She juggles the family business, her ailing father, and an aging grandmother. Much to Caden's surprise, she--not some elderly lady--is the quilter. The quilt was something she'd begun for her future husband but shipped to the military hospital after the tragic death of her fiancé. When a man is found snared in a net and murdered on McKenna's property, she and Caden must work together to bring the killer to justice. (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)

Ransom of the Heart by Susan Page Davis -- Police Captain Harvey Larson’s exhausting day takes a big detour when a teenaged girl approaches him at the diner, announcing that she is his daughter. When Harvey is on his way home from work a few hours later, his sister-in-law Abby calls him. She went to meet her husband for a dinner date and found a dead man on the floor at his place of business, and Peter has vanished. Harvey calls in his detectives and turns his car around. It’s going to be a long night, too. Once again, Harvey depends on his wits, his faith, and his squad, the Priority Unit, to solve a tough case and carry out Maine Justice. (Romantic Suspense from Tea Tin Press)


Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams -- Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged. Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie’s aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair’s sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran’s schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army—singers who can shake the earth and master the sea—and monsters rampage across the land. As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Award Winning Author E.A. West Talks About Redeeming Honor, Her Latest Novel. Serializes A Free Read On Her Blog.

A Warm Welcome to E.A. West

E.A.’s serializing a novel, Tapas: Out of Her Element, on her blog, and readers can access it for FREE. Read chapter one here and the rest of the chapters here

Hi E.A., first, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an author who writes sweet and inspirational romance, contemporary young adult fiction, women’s fiction, and any other genre that catches my fancy. Most people don’t realize it, but I have learning disabilities, including dyslexia. It makes writing and editing a challenge at times, but the reward of seeing my books available for readers is worth it. I’m also autistic, which can make for some interesting challenges of its own.

What an inspiration you are. Lots of writers enjoyed reading as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

I loved reading as a child (still do, actually). I spent hours reading my way through my local library’s children’s department. Most of what I read was fiction, but sometimes I picked out a nonfiction title. My favorite types of books usually involved adventure, animals, or both.

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

I write because I love to create stories and share them with other people. Or you could say I write to get the characters in my head to shut up. Lol

Lol. Tell us about your latest book.

Redeeming Honor is an inspirational romance between an American woman and an Afghan man. Meghan Carpenter owns an alpaca farm and yarn business; Basir Hamidi is a former interpreter for the Marine Corps. After he’s injured in Afghanistan and undergoes medical treatment in the United States, Meghan’s brother talks her into letting him stay on her farm with them. What follows is an unusual romance that has to overcome cultural and personal challenges in order to happen.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

I’ve been writing romances with veterans for several years, and I absorbed a lot of information about the war in Afghanistan in the process. One thing that caught my attention was the interpreters. Learning about them and the danger they face inspired the character Basir Hamidi.

That sounds so interesting. What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

I loved the challenge of writing about a character from a culture vastly different from my own. It gave me a deeper respect for the Afghan interpreters and made me consider things I hadn’t thought about before, such as how a religion can become so ingrained in a people that it influences the culture. I hope Redeeming Honor will help readers see another side to the war in Afghanistan and understand the challenges immigrants face when transitioned to American culture.

More About Redeeming Honor

 One man’s honor is another man’s shame.
Meghan Carpenter loves God, her yarn business, and her twin brother Ryan — a former marine who currently lives with her. When she agrees to let his wounded buddy live with them on her small Indiana alpaca farm, she expects an American marine. What she gets is a former Afghan interpreter who’s painfully shy around women.

Scarred from the war, both physically and emotionally, Basir Hamidi is grateful for a place to live. But his attraction to Meghan is a problem. With his honor destroyed by events in his homeland, and nothing to offer her but his broken, scarred self, he vows to avoid her and protect her reputation. Yet he is drawn to her with a strength that can only be God's leading. For a man who has lost everything, letting go of the past is a difficult process. When he must also redeem his honor, his only chance of success is to rely on God.

Buy Redeeming Honor 

Where do you get ideas for your books?

Like many authors, I get ideas from a variety of sources. I’ve been inspired by television shows, movies, books, conversations, news reports, posts on social media, etc. Literally anything can give me an idea for a story.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Clean. Hopeful. Literary.

What themes do you write about?

I write about a wide variety of themes. My books have covered PTSD, veterans going to college, autism, immigration, street children in Bogota, disabilities, having a step-parent, and more.

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

My faith does affect my writing simply because it influences the way I see the world. Even in my books that aren’t inherently Christian, you can see glimpses of my faith in the way the characters behave and think.

What are you working on right now?

I’m serializing a novel on my blog and Tapas (formerly Tapastic) called Out of Her Element. It’s the story of a twenty-year-old Palestinian immigrant woman who goes from dirt-poor and homeless to living a life of luxury in the blink of an eye, thanks to wealthy family friends. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy a life as she might hope.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Writing for publication is hard work. It gets discouraging at times, and rejections or poor reviews can be downright depressing. But if you truly want to be an author, want to see your work published and available for the world to read, you have to keep going. Learn to accept constructive criticism and apply it to your writing. Realize that a bad review about your book isn’t about you as a person. If you develop a thick skin, never stop learning, and persevere despite the inevitable discouragement, you have the opportunity to go far.

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

If I weren’t an author, I would probably be an artist. Believe it or not, art was my first love. I actually hated writing when I was a kid, so painting and drawing were my creative outlets.

An Excerpt from Redeeming Honor

The oven timer dinged, and Meghan grabbed a hot pad. Golden-brown cookies filled the air with the delicious scents of vanilla and chocolate. She set the tray on the granite counter, shut off the oven, and then turned to the task of transferring chocolate chip cookies to the cooling rack.

As she set the baking sheet in the sink, the front door opened. Meghan’s heart jumped, and she hurried from the kitchen, eager to see which of Ryan’s friends would be living in her house. She stepped into the hall and spotted her brother and a swarthy-skinned, black-haired man wearing huge dark sunglasses. Each of them carried a black suitcase.

Ryan grinned as his friend closed the door. “Hey, Meghan, this is my buddy Basir Hamidi. Basir, meet my sister, Meghan.”

The black-haired man removed his sunglasses to reveal a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and scar tissue around his tawny-brown eyes. “Thank you for letting me stay in your home.”

Meghan swallowed her surprise at his heavy accent and pushed aside her sorrow that he had endured something terrible to cause the scars. Regardless of what he had been through, the only thing that should matter to her was helping him to feel comfortable in her home. She offered a warm smile and clasped her hands at her waist. “I’m glad I had an empty guestroom for you. I’ll let Ryan give you the grand tour of the place while I put the finishing touches on lunch, but remember that this is your home, too, for however long you need it.”

“Thank you.” He inclined his head, his right hand over his heart. Then, he lowered his hand and glanced at Ryan.

Her brother slung an arm around Basir’s shoulders and guided him to the stairs. “Your room’s up here.”

Meghan returned to the kitchen and struggled to wrap her mind around her new houseguest. She’d expected an American marine, but her brother had brought home an Afghan man. Had Basir somehow become a marine? Had he been part of the Afghan army? Questions flowed in a steady stream as she chopped hardboiled eggs for the chef’s salads she’d planned.

Bio: Award-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A.

on her website
sign up for her newsletter
join her on Facebook

Friday, May 11, 2018

Looking Out The Window: Christine Lindsay's Award Winning Novel, Sofi's Bridge, On Sale

A Warm Welcome To Christine Lindsay

(Shown with her Tom Horton cup)

Christine's publisher offers a rare discount of only 99 cents May 11 and 12 for Sofi's Bridge, the winner of the RWA Readers Choice Award 2017 for Historical Romance.

Read the First Chapter Free  here

Snag the 99 cent deal here

Hi Christine, congratulations on your award. Let's talk about books and your writing. Many writers loved to read as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

Huge reader as a child, and all the childhood favorites. It all started when my mother used to read to me as a child, and the book I remember a first was Heidi. I guess that’s why I live close to the Cascade Mountains that cross the border from Canada into Washington State which is where Sofi’s Bridge is set.

Why do you write?

LOL, it’s in my DNA. Can’t help but write. What pushed me to actually do the thing I had wanted to do all my life, and which I didn’t start until I was in my mid 40’s, was after a difficult time in my life after I met my birth-daughter. I gave my first-born up, a baby girl when I was 21 because I wasn’t married at the time and wanted to do the best I could for her. Just about killed me to do that, and it hurt so much meeting her as a grown up 20 years later to love her as my daughter and yet she could never love me as Mom. That  beautiful role and title belonged to her adoptive mom. Through journaling that difficult time, I felt the Lord urge me to put that spiritual and emotional healing into Christian fiction.

That's a wonderful calling. Tell us about your latest book.

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener, continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

The buy link and special price for Sofi's Bridge: a rare discount of only 99 cents May 11, and 12  here

What inspired you to write this particular book?

Sofi’s Bridge features an Irish immigrant as the hero who brings with him a load of history from where I was born—Belfast Northern Ireland, and also features several other immigrants to the US, most of all Sofi herself is second generation American of Swedish background. This suspenseful romantic adventure is set in the glorious Cascade Mountains close to where I currently live. I was inspired by personal family history from Ireland, and the gorgeous place in which I live. This is the first lighter historical romance I’ve ever written, and I’m tickled pink that she won the 2017 RWA Readers’ Choice Award.

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

Sofi’s Bridge deals with the issue of grief and how people go through the stages of grief in different ways. Sue there are stages to grief, but we don’t all go through them in the same order. I hope readers tell others that while this book entertained them, that it also encouraged them in their own struggles with grief.

What themes do you write about?

I never can write a book with light themes even when I try.  LOL  The topic of grief seems to be one of the lighter of my themes. In my other books, especially my trilogy Twilight of the British Raj, I’ve tackled spousal abuse, women’s rights, the sex trade of children, alcoholism and recovery, post traumatic stress syndrome, military issues, bias toward people of different races to name a few. But I always, always, always have happy endings. Nor do I like to drag my readers down. There is always humor too, as well as romance and adventure.

 Does your faith affect your writing? How?

I simply wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for the Lord’s guidance in my life, and the intimacy of our relationship. He brings me such joy as we work together in this creative venture.

 What are you working on right now?

Book 1 of a brand-new 3-book series set in Ireland. It will be a time-slip series set on the rugged and majestic northern coast that entwins the past with the present. Lots of what I like to read and write about, tough issues, adventure, mystery, women’s issues and romance.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Get your story down on paper first. Then go back and work on the details. Otherwise you’ll fiddle and fiddle with the details and it will take much too long to write your book. Although this is an issue I still have difficulty with because sometimes it takes a while to figure out where you want your book to go.

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

Yes, please remember to take advantage of the rare discount price for only 99 cents for this Readers’ Choice Award novel on the BookBub site here.

Bio: Irish-born Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award- winning Christian fiction and non-fiction. Readers describe her writing as gritty yet tender, realistic yet larger than life, with historical detail that collides into the heart of psychological and relationship drama. Christine’s books have garnered the ACFW Genesis Award, The Grace Award, Canada’s The Word Guild Award (Twice), the READERS’ CHOICE AWARD, and was a finalist twice for Readers’ Favorite and the Selah Award.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Looking In The Window: Hidden Or Shining


  Heron Photo Courtesy of Google

The blue heron stood perfectly still in the warm morning sun on the white sandy beach of Destin, Florida. Six feet from a fishing pole and a bucket of bait, the two-foot tall skinny bird moved not a muscle, his head held high. The fisherman in a beige fishing cap waded barefoot into the white foamy breaking waves. He cast his line, and the blue heron slowly lifted his pencil thin legs, moving forward ever so precisely, ever so carefully. As soon as the fisherman gazed backward the bird straightened his slender body. When the fisherman faced forward again, the heron tentatively stepped with his long wiry feet positioning himself even closer to his goal. The moment the fisherman glanced at the pretty light blue creature this finely feathered piece of the shore’s landscape assumed his statuesque pose. Over and over he and the fisherman repeated the action.

     “He thinks he’s a stealth bird that we can’t see as long as he isn’t doing anything,” I told my husband. Listening to the roar of the tide beside me, watching the power of the water washing ashore I understood how he might assume that. Then I asked myself, “When I’m in a sea of people is my belief in God visible or invisible? Do I stand still, doing nothing with my faith?”

As a Christian from a small town I grew up taking food to the sick, donating to charities and contributing to my church, but is that enough? What do I do when help’s needed on the spur of the moment when it isn’t convenient? Do I stand still, or does my faith compel me to let my light shine?

By the way, the heron made it near the bait bucket, and I hoped the fisherman would throw out a fish, but he shooed the hungry bird away.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 15: 14 - 16 (NIV)