Please welcome our guest and my friend, Rosemarie Ross as we discuss her new cozy mystery, Cobblered to Death and talk about writing! And, Rosemarie has generously offered a copy of Cobblered to Death to one lucky commenter (US only).
SHAREE: I absolutely loved your new cozy mystery, Cobblered to Death. You’ve written in many different genres. What drew you to cozy mysteries?
ROSEMARIE: Cozy mysteries are so fun to read and write! You get to create quirky characters and infuse humor into your story line. It’s also fun to develop a series character and watch them grow and change over time.
SHAREE: You definitely endeared me to Courtney. Since this is book one of the Courtney Archer series, what can we expect in book two?
ROSEMARIE: The American Baking Battle is a wedding themed show in book two of the series and book three is a Christmas book which is what I’m working on now.
SHAREE: Can’t wait!! What gave you the inspiration for the story?
ROSEMARIE: My editor was looking for a baking show scenario in a book. Since I watch a lot, A LOT, of cooking shows, it was easy for me to come up with a show premise then twist it with the behind the scenes filming being much different than what you see when you watch the program.
SHAREE: I enjoy cooking shows too, but they make me hungry. Giggle. What is the message you hope readers gain from Cobblered to Death?
ROSEMARIE: I don’t know if I have a message worked into my theme? I like to entertain readers, help them forget about their problems or stresses for a few minutes.
SHAREE: Cobblered to Death was definitely entertaining. Let’s shift gears a little bit. Rosemarie has done wonderful writing workshops and if you ever get the chance to hear her teach, I’d highly recommend it. What advice would you give to writers?
ROSEMARIE: For beginning authors, READ. Read books about the craft of writing and believe what they say. Read books about the marketing side of writing. Take writing courses through colleges, tech schools or online. Writing is not for the faint of heart. It’s a tough, competitive business and knowing as much as you can about the process is vital to your success. Also, keep your eye on the market. I don’t mean following trends, but know your genre. For mid-career authors, keep abreast of the marketing trends and continue to develop your craft either by taking courses or attending workshops. Also, for all authors, don’t be afraid to try something new, a different genre, writing in 1st person vs. 3rd, etc. It helps stretch those writing muscles!
SHAREE: I’m taking all of that advice to heart. Okay, now for fun, do you have a dream vacation? Or a bucket list item?
ROSEMARIE: I’m going to combine these two questions. I don’t have a dream vacation or bucket list, but I would like to visit all 50 states in the U. S. I’m a little over halfway but for a few states I’ve only ‘visited’ an airport.
SHAREE: I have visited many states via the airport only. Giggle. What a fun idea to visit all 50 and you’re halfway through?! Wow! What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done?
ROSEMARIED: Hmm…I don’t know. I do a lot of silly things.
SHAREE: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
ROSEMARIE: Pertaining to my writing? Having to regroup and reevaluate my writing career after losing an editor who liked working with me and having the new editor cancel my contract with only one of the four books in the series published.
SHAREE: That does sound hard. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
ROSEMARIE: Yes, I want to say: THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart. Writing is a lonely profession so having readers, and hearing from readers, is very special.
SHAREE: I agree, Rosemarie! Thank you so much for joining us today. And friends, Cobblered to Death is such a fun read. It would also make a wonderful Christmas gift! You can read my review here.
Rosemarie Ross is a pseudonym of multi-published in multi-genres author, Rose Ross Zediker. Rose writes cozy mystery novels, contemporary and historical inspirational romance novels, and has hundreds of publishing credits in the Christian magazine genre for children and adults. Her titles have appeared on ECPA bestseller lists and been finalists for the RITA, National Reader’s Choice, Booksellers Best and Book Buyers Best award contests. Visit Rosemarie at www.rosemarieross.com.
December 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Stranded for the Holidays by Lisa Carter — Running away led her right where she belonged. A new mom for Christmas? She’s everything they’ve wished for. Runaway bride AnnaBeth Cummings needs shelter for the holidays when a blizzard leaves her stranded, and rancher Jonas Stone’s happy to help. But his son’s been wishing for a mommy for Christmas, and town matchmakers are convinced Annabeth and Jonas are perfect for each other. As the storm clears, city girl AnnaBeth will have to decide: does her heart now belong in the country? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson — After a knockout first date where Cassie Everson and Jett Bentley claim to not want kids, both come home to find three children dropped in their laps. . . each. While struggling to keep their heads above the parental waters, and without wanting to break up their relationship, they decide to do the mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Home for Christmas by Candee Fick — After an embarrassing failure, a prodigal retreats to a secluded cabin in backwoods Missouri where he encounters an intriguing young woman and an old guitar. When the message in the music touches his heart, will he make it home in time for Christmas? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Getting Out of the Comfort Zone: Ayanna by Barbara James — While interning as a hospital chaplain, a young military officer falls for an EMT who is an antiwar activist. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Battle In The Valley by Susanne Blumer — The church bell tower transports Chip, Caroline and Billy back thousands of years to an ancient battlefield. There they meet a young shepherd destined to be king and a giant warrior bent on his destruction. Will the children survive the upcoming fight and make it back to Palmetto Island in one piece? (Middle-grade from Sutton Avenue Press)
Hope Unchained by Carol Ashby — When a former legionary and a gladiator are hired to escort a young woman on her quest to rescue her brother and sister from slavery, more chains are broken by forgiveness and love than any of them thought possible. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)
The Major’s Daughter by Regina Jennings — In a western land run, an adventurous socialite stakes a claim on an orphaned outlaw’s chosen land, so he decides to stake a claim on her heart. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
Sew In Love by Debby Lee, Jacquolyn McMurray, Darlene Panzera, and Kimberley Woodhouse — When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their sewing lead to love? In Hearts Sewn with Love, during the California gold rush, a beautiful seamstress finds her heart torn between the men who want to marry her and the one fortune hunter who won’t. In Woven Hearts, a shirtwaist factory fire survivor struggles to provide for her family despite the disastrous misguided intentions of the handsome union organizer who tries to help. In A Language of Love, a milliner with thick Irish accent and a renowned baseball player with speech impediment meet at the office of a language teacher. But the issues with their backgrounds that first brought them together will also drive them apart. In Tailored Sweethearts, a parachute seamstress struggles with her faith in desperate circumstances. A fighter pilot teaches her to hope in her darkest hours. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear — During the clash between Union and Confederacy, quiet Tennessean Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to nurse both Rebel and Yankee wounded who seek refuge at her family’s farm. She is determined to remain unmoved by the Yankee cause—until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee. The MacFarlane family fits no stereotype Joshua believed in; still he is desperate to regain his footing—as a soldier, as a man, as a Christian—in the aftermath of his debilitating injury. He will use his time behind enemy lines to gather useful intelligence for the Union—if the courageous Rebel woman will stay out of the line of danger. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Silent Night Suspect by Sharee Stover — Suspected of a crime she knows she didn’t commit… All she wants for Christmas is to remember. Blood on her blouse. A gun in her hand. A cartel leader’s dead body in front of her. Widow Asia Stratton can’t remember what happened—just that she’s been framed. The only way to prove her innocence is to work with her ex-sweetheart, Nebraska state trooper Slade Jackson. But can they clear her name before this Christmas turns even deadlier? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Brand of Light by Ronie Kendig — After a catastrophic explosion, Kersei Dragoumis awakens in a derelict shuttle, alone, injured, and ignorant of the forbidden technology that has swept her into a nightmare. The brand she’s borne since childhood burns mysteriously, but the pain is nothing to that when she learns her family is dead and she is accused of their murders. Across the quadrants, Marco Dusan responds to the call of a holy order-not to join them, but to seek a bounty. Gifted-or cursed-with abilities that mark him a Kynigos, a tracker sworn to bring interplanetary fugitives to justice, Marco discovers this particular bounty has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with prophecy. One that involves the hunter as much as the hunted. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)
Laynie Portland, Renegade Spy by Vikki Kestell — Laynie must fight to earn her place on the task force—even as unfolding events expose a looming danger. Wolfe’s task force has a leak . . . one that threatens them all. (Suspense, Independently Published)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
Promise for Tomorrow by Michelle De Bruin, Historical Romance
Call to Love by Mary A. Felkins, Contemporary Romance
Joy’s Song by Ruth Kyser, Contemporary Romance
Hope Between Us by Christy LaShea, Contemporary Romance
The Trouble in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols, Contemporary
Off the Ground by Catherine Richmond, Historical Romance
Crinoline Cowboys by Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Marilyn Turk, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Historical Romance
A High-Country Christmas by Davalynn Spencer, Historical Romance
The Christmas Gazebo by Marilyn Turk, Lenora Worth, Historical Romance
But before we talk about the book, I would love for our readers to get to know you better.
SHAREE: For those of you who don’t know, Joy is an amazing mentor. She’s a three-time CONSECUTIVE Mentor of the Year Nominee (2016-2018) and she won ACFW’s 2015 Mentor of the Year. What do you think is the most important thing about mentoring writers?
JOY: I firmly believe anything I’ve learned should be imparted to others, not hoarded for only my personal gain.
SHAREE: I love that you’re willing to share those incredible morsels, and those of us who have learned under your prayerful wings (waving hand emphatically), we are most blessed! Would you please share a little about your writing journey?
JOY: How much time and space do we have here? I was in the last marking period of 8th grade, when God used my English teacher and then a combination of other people, circumstances, and situations, I fondly call my God-given Dot-to-Dot Connections. In 2008, I was able to finally dig in and write in accordance to obedience and trust – lots and lots of trust.
SHAREE: Trust and obedience are definitely must-have writing essentials. Great writers are also readers. What are your favorite genres to read?
JOY: In order of preference – Gripping Romantic Suspense, Romance, Historical Romance and light Women’s Fiction.
SHAREE: I sooo appreciate that you like romantic suspense since it happens to be one of my favorite genres too. LOL. So, of all those wonderful books, what was the most influential book you’ve read and why?
JOY: I was 13 years old. I read a book by the author, Christmas Carol Kaufman (real name) LIGHT FROM HEAVEN was the title – I think I read that book once a year for five or six years afterward. That author knew her characters and put them into positions that were anything but pleasant, yet they persevered. I tear up now, remembering how the mother in the story was such an example of love under horrid conditions and how it shaped her son’s life.
SHAREE: The greatest stories are the ones that stick with us. What are you working on now?
JOY: I’m scheduling book signings, book club presentations, blog tours, and review tours like crazy. I’m also editing for a long-time client – we are into my 16th book with her. I will be getting ready for the holidays – squished in like a slice of meat in a sandwich – and January 2nd – without any time to READ or HALLMARK MOVIE-WATCH – I’ll be tearing into editing/revising Book One of my wounded warrior series, Operation Return To Peace, SOWN IN PEACE. Lord willing, I’d like to see it published before Veteran’s Day 2020. (Of course, that means it’ll be squeezing me up against another holiday season with promotions, right?!) I’ll have to see what the Lord intends for that book.
SHAREE: Whew! No rest for you! We know it’s serious when there’s no time to read or watch Hallmark movies. When you’re writing, are you a plotter or a pantser?
JOY: Is there such a thing as Plantser? LOL – Seriously, my characters are extremely well developed with definite backstories before I commence writing. I also write chronologically, so the story unfolds as the characters lead me forward, often shocking me with things they do or say, I can’t believe as I write it. Those tend to become my, and many readers’, favorite places in the book, also.
SHAREE: I absolutely believe in PLANTSERS!! I am one. 😊 What’s one fun fact about you?
JOY: Oh, boy. One fun fact? (Isn’t that an interviewing trick – asking a question of the interviewer to gain time as the interviewee flounders for an answer?) Honestly, I’m kind of at a loss since I spend so much time in my personal library with a computer screen in front of me, I don’t know exactly how to answer that. BUT During the holidays, when hubby is working, I get out the snackies instead of a real lunch – curl up in a comfy chair with our Is-A-Bella Bindi (Is-A-Beautiful Little Girl) and watch Hallmark Christmas movies to death – it’s my reward for having worked like a crazy woman all year, and I do it when Jerry is at work, because he cannot handle so much “gush” as he puts it.
SHAREE: I’m laughing because when you asked if my fun fact question was a time stall technique. All I pictured was when the dentist asks you a question while he’s working on your teeth. LOL. Joy, I’m so glad you were able to join us today. Blessings on your long-awaited debut. I cannot wait to get my hands on the print copy! And Joy is generously offering ONE lucky commenter a print copy of Meant for Her (US only for print/ Ebook for International).
Now let’s talk about Meant for Her:
Had it all truly been ~ MEANT FOR HER?
Kidnapped, raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead, Candi Reynolds becomes a prisoner of fear. Faced also with the impact of the unexpected break-up with her fiancé, and an unwanted pregnancy resulting from the attacks, she believes God has forsaken her. Choosing to move back to the Michigan horse farm, owned by her older brother, Dr. Cam Reynolds, Candi essentially goes into seclusion.
Dr. Patrick (Mack) MacKevon, long-time friend of Cam’s, watches from the sidelines at the farm, w here his horses are stabled, while Candi struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. His own big-brother tendencies develop into a much deeper emotion over the months he prays for her.
Is it possible for Candi to put all of the pain and trauma behind her and renew her former relationship with the Lord? Will she allow her heart to open enough to discover authentic love, while making decisions of victory on her personal journey to joy?
Get your copy at:
November 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Royally Yours by Betsy St. Amant, Ashley Clark, Liz Johnson, and Melissa Tagg — Tinsel, Vermont is known for its no-paparazzi policy and Christmas decorations that are fit for a queen. This holiday season, join four royals on a stroll through town square as they each find their Christmas wishes for a happily-ever-after…tiaras optional. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Restoring Christmas by Julie Arduini — A young woman overcome by grief teams up with a special education teacher to bring joy to the community through a Christmas-themed tourist attraction. (Contemporary Romance from Surrendered Scribe Media)
An Unexpected Family by June Foster — Grant Elliot leaves his father’s veterinarian dynasty and overambitious twin brother to practice in the small town of Homedale, California. When local baker Kate Klein brings her ailing dog into the office, Grants’s intrigued by the lab’s gorgeous owner. He wants to get to know her but can’t reveal his origins. What would she think if she knew his father’s clinics cater only to the wealthy who spoil and pamper their pets instead of practicing genuine medicine? Kate Kline inherits Aunt Ella’s Bake Shop when her aunt passes away and must make a success of the failing business or lose her father’s respect. Now California Plastics, her major account, has moved their plant to Sacramento. She’s faced with the possibility of closure and won’t accept Grant’s offer to bail her out. She doesn’t need a man’s help. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romances [Winged Publications])
All is Bright by Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Kari Trumbo — Four of your favorite contemporary romance authors join festive forces to bring you the fourth-annual Christmas Lights Collection. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Simply Smitten by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Business brought them together but will betrayal pull them apart? Michael Pierce co-owns a start-up software development company. They are well on their way to success when Michael discovers something that changes everything. Can the beautiful economist he hired fix the mess, or are they doomed to bankruptcy? Hailey is under a lot of pressure at work. Not the least of which comes directly from her new boss. She’s dreamed of being a successful businesswoman, but now her heart wants more. Can she have love and a career, or will she have to choose? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
By All Appearances by Dawn Kinzer — An attractive special events planner from a wealthy family and a disfigured musician find their lives entangled when he is hired as a caretaker on her family’s estate. (Contemporary Romance from Mountainview Publishing)
Courting the Amish Nanny by Carrie Lighte — Embarrassed by an unrequited crush, Amish maedel Sadie Dienner needs a vacation from her life in Pennsylvania—and from romance. Until Christmas, she’s working in Maine as a nanny to Amish widower Levi Swarey’s twins. But Levi is frustratingly overprotective and they just can’t see eye to eye on anything. And the worst part? Sadie can’t seem to stop herself from losing her heart… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Meant For Her by Joy Avery Melville — Kidnapped, raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead, Candi Reynolds becomes a prisoner of fear. Faced also with the impact of the unexpected break-up with her fiancé, and an unwanted pregnancy resulting from the attacks, she believes God has forsaken her. Choosing to move back to the Michigan horse farm owned by her older brother, Dr. Cam Reynolds, Candi goes into seclusion. Dr. Patrick (Mack) MacKevon, long-time friend of Cam’s, watches from the sidelines at the farm where his horses are stabled, while Candi struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. His own big-brother tendencies develop into a much deeper emotion over the months he prays for her. Is it possible for Candi to put all of the pain and trauma behind her and renew her former relationship with the Lord? Will she allow her heart to open enough to discover authentic love, while making decisions of victory on her personal journey to joy? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)
When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser — A bestselling author, her daughter, and the perpetrator of her assassination attempt are brought together in a story about complicated choices, mental illness, forgiveness and grace. Set against the flaming hills of North Carolina and the peaceful shores of the Mediterranean Sea, When I Close My Eyes tells the story of two families, struggling with dysfunction and finding that love is stronger than death. (Contemporary from Bethany House [Baker])
Historical: Wounded Heart by Colleen Hall — Orphaned Della Hughes chafes at her strict Victorian upbringing and goes west with her uncle’s family in order to find adventure and freedom. (Historical from Anaiah Press)
Misleading Miss Verity by Carolyn Miller — What happens when the hoydenish youngest daughter of the Viscount Aynsley is spirited off to Scotland and meets a kindhearted gardener of the mysterious Laird of Dungally? (Historical from Kregel Publications)
The Silk Merchant of Sychar by Cindy Williams — One woman, five husbands and a weary rabbi at the well who knows ‘everything she ever did.’ From the olive groves of Samaria to the bloodied sand of a Roman stadium to the exquisite silks brought from the East, The Silk Merchant of Sychar weaves color into the biblical account of the woman at the well. (Historical from Rhiza Press)
The Highlanders by J’nell Cieselski, Janet S. Grunst, Jennifer Lamont Leo, and Naomi Musch — Never underestimate the heart of a Highlander in these four romantic novellas set across two centuries from 1715 to 1915. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Marisol by Elva Cobb Martin — Alone and with child, Marisol Valentin flees Spain after murdering the nobleman who molested her. She is sold as an indentured servant at the Charles Town Harbor, but her ship is captured at sea by privateer Captain Ethan Becket, once a Charles Town minister, who is grieving his deceased wife. Ethan decides Marisol’s elegant manners make her a perfect governess for his young son. But when he sets out on a quest to find his captured sister, said to be in Cartagena, little does he expect his new Spanish governess to stow away on his ship with her six-month-old child. Her offer of help to free his sister, however, is too tempting to pass up. As is her beauty and strength of character—until he learns she is a wanted murderess. Once their paths intertwine on a journey filled with danger, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome their pasts and ignite a new beginning. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)
In Black and White by MaryAnn Diorio — When graduate student Tori Pendola and Jebuni Kalitsi, a Ghanaian exchange student and heir to his tribe’s chieftaincy, fall deeply in love, they must face not only their own inner demons of rejection and guilt but also the demons of societal hatred bent on destroying their relationship. Will their love survive the cruel and bitter attacks against them? (Historical Romance from TopNotch Press)
Serving Up Love by Regina Jennings, Tracie Peterson, Jen Turano, and Karen Witemeyer — On the Menu for These Ladies? Adventure, Independence, and a Big Serving of Romance! A storied part of American history, Harvey Houses offered women a unique chance to gain independence and see amazing parts of this great country. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)
While the Rain Whispered by Kim Williams — Clara Williams has a good life, but she would walk away from it if she could. She longs for adventure greater than both the confines her rural Texas town and the people she loves have to offer. Clara is certain the stories she writes for children contain more adventure than her reality. She cannot reconcile the internal frustration with her faith. When opportunity presents itself at last, Clara is faced with a choice between the life she’s known and the life she longs to know, and the men who each belong in one but not the other. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Pocket Change by Debbie Archer — When Publisher’s Clearing House winner, Mary Clare Casteel, decides to help rejuvenate her dying town, she has no idea she’ll end up solving not one but two mysterious deaths. (Cozy Mystery from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman — When Agatha Lapp’s brother and sister-in-law are tragically killed in a buggy accident, Agatha relocates to the new Amish community in Hunt Texas, nestled in the Texas Hill Country. She’s there to make a success of her brother’s dream–an Amish B&B. Agatha is friendly, efficient, and capable. She’s also a fifty-five year old widow who has learned to be independent. When she discovers Russell Dixon’s lifeless body in Cabin 3, she runs next door where retired detective Tony Vargas lives. The police determine that her guest died of natural causes, but as Agatha and Tony put together the events of the previous two days they become convinced that the police are Dead Wrong. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)
A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff — John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God’s calling. He’s not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past. But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf–an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to do penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again. Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John’s secrets are laid bare. Can he keep his vow–even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he’s learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, John’s life may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer. . . (Thriller/Suspense from Kregel Publications)
The Sleuth’s Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Danger lurks and suspicions abound when a librarian, her young assistant, and a local reporter try to solve the mysteries of both a dead woman and an abandoned child. (Cozy Mystery from Mountain Brook Ink)
Deadly Harmony by Marissa Shrock — Georgia Rae Winston’s romance has broken up. But that’s the least of her problems. Georgia and Detective Cal Perkins are through. Fine. Maybe it’s an opportunity to give charmer Hamlet Miller a chance. But there’s no time for romance when Georgia hosts her stepsister and her roommate, Quincy, during a college chorale tour—and Quincy steals Georgia’s car and disappears. When her car turns up in a cemetery with a cryptic note lying on the front seat, Georgia decides to take action. As Georgia and her stepsister dig into the mystery, they uncover Quincy’s tumultuous past. A past that points to a frightening present. They dig deeper and discover a web of deception they’re determined to untangle, if they can stay alive long enough to bring the truth to light. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)
One Day Gone by Luana Ehrlich — Mylas Grey, the chief investigator for Senator Davis Allen, enlists the help of a beautiful photographer when he returns to his hometown to investigate the disappearance of Lizzie Allen, the senator’s missing daughter. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Dangerous Christmas Memories by Sarah Hamaker — Hiding in witness protection is the only option for Priscilla Anderson after witnessing a murder. Then Lucas Langsdale shows up claiming to be her husband right when a hit man finds her. With partial amnesia, she has no memory of her marriage or the killer’s identity. Yet she will have to put her faith in Luc if they both want to live to see another day. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
What If? by Roger E. Bruner — Three teens join forces with Holyland’s outgoing president to prevent the inevitable election of a man who’s determined to wipe out the remnant of New America’s few remaining Christians. (Speculative, Independently Published)
October 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton — To keep her orphaned sisters together, Mahlah must seek what has never been granted to girls, an inheritance of God’s Promised Land. (Biblical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])
Hiding from Christmas by Alice K. Arenz — No matter how hard she tries, Maddie Kelley can’t seem to fit in at Ornamental, a company founded by her great grandfather and his best friend. Now, after yet another screw-up, she’s been sent into the “enemy’s” camp—two hours away from home for the next two months. A punishment or a blessing? Her life is turned upside down when the mundane turns unexpected, and she finally discovers where her heart truly lies. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romances [Winged Publications])
Practically Married by Karin Beery — Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Once Upon a Christmas by Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, and Jaycee Weaver — Embrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales. Upon a Dream: A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage. Claim My Heart: Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts. A Snow White Christmas: Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles. Christmas Ella: Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star. A Splash of Love: Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
The Twin Bargain by Lisa Carter — A mutually beneficial temporary arrangement…But can they keep it strictly professional? Nursing student Amber Fleming couldn’t be more stunned when ex-marine Ethan Green makes an offer: he’ll babysit her twin girls if she cares for his injured grandmother. Amber knows it’s temporary. Ethan isn’t one for roots—or their hometown. But his steadfast caring has her wanting more than friendship. And with help from Amber’s mischievous twins, can they risk becoming a forever family? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
The Amish Christmas Matchmaker by Vannetta Chapman — With her wedding business thriving, Annie Kauffmann could never leave her beloved Amish community. So when handsome Amish cowboy Levi Lapp tries to convince her father to move the family to Texas, she must put a stop to it. If Annie finds Levi a wife, he might forget his dream of moving…but can she keep from falling for him herself? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Sara’s Gift by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Christmas is the season of giving, but Sara isn’t sure she is up to the task. Playing secret angel in high school was fun, and now, years later, Sara has the opportunity to do it once more on a bigger scale. She enlists the help of Gabe, her long-time best friend, to come up with a deserving recipient. But something is off with Gabe—he’s more attentive than usual.
The Christmas season has put Gabe in a reflective mood. His evaluation of his life has left him lonely and wanting more. But can his heart have its desire? That’s up to Sara. Can these two long-time best friends navigate their changing relationship, or will the romance Grinch steal their Christmas joy? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Their Christmas Prayer by Myra Johnson — Searching for a new start, Pastor Shaun O’Grady can’t wait for his next foreign missionary assignment…until he begins working with Brooke Willoughby on the church’s Christmas outreach program. Even as they clash over program specifics, Shaun and Brooke are drawn to each other. Now Shaun’s not sure where he belongs: overseas for his ministry, or at home by Brooke’s side… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Her Amish Holiday Suitor by Carrie Lighte — Lucy Knepp has no time for heartbreaker Nick Burkholder…until a pretend courtship means she can finish her embroidery for a Christmas fund-raiser in peace. Nick’s arrangement with the too-reserved Lucy is the perfect cover while he repairs the cabin his brother damaged. But once Nick sees how vibrant Lucy really is, can he prove himself—and show their love is for all seasons? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Chasing Dreams by Deborah Raney — Reconsidering her dream of law school, Joanna Chandler finds promise in a possible wedding planning career—especially when she meets wedding DJ Lukas Blaine. But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. The angry young boy he’s been mentoring has lost his mother and become Luke’s ward. How can Luke possibly find the time to start a new relationship or saddle someone else with a wounded child? He may have to let go of the woman of his dreams–and crush her dreams at the same time. (General/Contemporary from Kregel Publications)
Unwrapping Hope by Sandra Ardoin — When Phoebe receives a handcrafted cigar box by mistake, her desperation to give her daughter something special for Christmas drives her to suggest a trade with Spence Newland, a man she views as no more principled than her daughter’s late father. But the more time she spends with the department store heir, the more Phoebe struggles to keep up her guard against him. Spence believes the cigar box will help him gain a reclusive investor’s financial support for his proposed five-and-ten-cent stores. Yet he hesitates to bargain with a widow who mistrusts him for no apparent reason…until he meets a charming little girl at the train station who awaits the arrival of a prince. Will a betrayal in Phoebe’s past and Spence’s unraveling business plans derail their hope for happiness and keep a child’s fairy tale from coming true? (Historical Romance from Corner Room Books)
Hope’s Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller — Ingrid Chastain travels readily with her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. But after a tragic accident leaves her alone and injured, Ingrid finds rescue in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her wounds. Micah Bradley gave up his own medical career after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine as soon as she’s well enough, he has no choice but to accompany her through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains. The risk-laden journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
Aiming for Love by Mary Connealy — Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world–a world she’s been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls’ secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away. David’s parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David’s father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
Lessons on Love by Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, and Carrie Fancett Pagels — Step back into the classroom alongside four new teachers who face unexpected tests. In 1840 New York, Gilda’s religious beliefs are challenged. In 1870 Kansas, Mary helps ostracized immigrant children. In 1894 Michigan, Jesse discovers an unlikely friendship. And in 1904 Virginia, Margaret wants to make controversial changes. Will these tests teach the teachers about faith and love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Silver Lode by Suzanne J Bratcher — A dying child and a seventy-year-old cold case draw historian Paul Russell and antiques expert Marty Greenlaw into a desperate search for the silver lode, a rich deposit of silver and gold one person considers worth murdering to keep. (Mystery from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Deadly Commitment by Kathy Harris — When Danielle Kemp walks out of her downtown Nashville condominium, she gets the eerie feeling that someone is watching her. She’s convinced that the homeless man outside her building is stalking her. But after learning the real identity of the intimidating stranger, she faces something even more threatening?the truth about her fiancé. (Romantic Suspense from New Hope Publishing)
Cold Pursuit by Gayla K. Hiss — A December tour of Yellowstone National Park sounded like the perfect escape from Faith Chandler’s problems at home—until she discovers her tour guide is her jilted childhood sweetheart, Jake Mitchell. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)
Legacy Restored by Robin Patchen — She’s a new Christian working to take down an art thief and murderer. He’s a grieving artist who refuses to let another woman die needlessly. When their desires clash, will it lead to hostility… or fireworks? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Heart of a Royal by Hannah Currie — Brought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner. But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust, both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with? (Young Adult from WhiteFire Publishing)
Please join me in welcoming my beautiful friend, Jackie Layton.
Hi Sharee, thanks so much for inviting me to join you today.
This summer I read What’s Best Next by Matt Perman and treated it as a Bible study. As a writer there are so many issues to address, and paralysis can set in. What is the best step to take next?
Perman didn’t write this book for authors specifically. It’s for anybody and everybody. He says we can learn to be effective in the “midst of seventy-five emails, twelve phone calls, and eighteen interruptions a day.”
I learned to look at every aspect of my life as an opportunity to glorify God.
One point that punched me in the gut was being efficient is not as important as being effective. I can be efficient, but if I’m doing the wrong task efficiently, I’m not effective. Ouch.
I’ve always been a prayer, but I’m trying to listen better after reading Perman’s book. I’m also trying to keep my eyes open for opportunities to glorify God. Big things and little things.
As far as my writing goes, I learned to write in blocks of time. I don’t step away to rotate the laundry or load the dishwasher. I am giving myself blocks of time to sit down and only write. I belong to an online accountability group of writers and we check in with BICHOK. Butt in chair hands on keyboard. When I sign in with that, I ignore social media and focus on writing.
I’d love to hear ways you’ve found to be more effective in your work. Also, I’d love to pray for you. Please leave me a message, and I’ll pray.
Sharee, thanks again for hosting me.
Jackie, your words are a great reminder! Thank you for joining us!
Friends, you can find Jackie at:
September 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Reunited in the Rockies by Mindy Obenhaus — For widow Kayla Bradshaw, restoring a historic Colorado hotel means a better life for her and her soon-to-arrive baby. But she needs construction help from Jude Stephens, the love she lost through a misunderstanding. Working with Kayla, the police officer finds himself forgiving her—and longing to rebuild her shattered confidence. But can they trust each other enough to forge a future together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky — After years spent helping manage her family’s Christian bookstore, it’s time for Adrie Chandler to give her own dream of playing her flute with a symphony orchestra a chance. But can she really trust the beloved shop to new manager Ross Peterson? The man is too handsome, too charming….and too much a reminder of another dream Adrie had to let go of – marriage. Yet Ross surprises her by knowing a thing or two about making sacrifices. Suddenly, Adrie is questioning what she really wants. And whether the dreams she once thought unlikely are within reach after all. (Contemporary Romance from Flowing Stream Books)
Fall Flip by Denise Weimer — The tragic death of Shelby Dodson’s husband–her partner in a successful Home Network house flipping business–stole love, status, and career. Now a bungalow redesign thrusts Shelby into the company of a new contractor. Scott Matthews remembers high-and-mighty Shelby from high school, and her prissy, contemporary style goes against his down-to-earth grain. When the house reveals a mystery, will its dark secrets–and their own mistakes–cost them a second chance at love? (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Listening to Love by Beth Wiseman — Lucas is Amish. Natalie’s Englisch. They are best friends—and friends only. Despite what the gossips say. Besides, they couldn’t be together even if they wanted to be. Lucas would never leave the Amish faith, and Natalie is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine. But when a terrifying accident happens, Natalie and Lucas are forced to confront their true feelings and decide if they can stay true to themselves and each other. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
General Contemporary: The Christmas Portrait by Phyllis Clark Nichols — A family facing their first holiday season without Mama finds a way to celebrate Christmas. (General Contemporary from Gilead Publishing)
Historical: Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson — 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape. Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life?and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried. (Historical from Tyndale Publishing)
Treasured Christmas Brides by Amanda Cabot, Rebecca Germany, Cathy Marie Hake, Colleen L. Reece, MaryLu Tyndall, and Michelle Ule — Six historical Christmas romances prove life’s most priceless gifts come not in the form of polished gold or silver—but from the vast riches of a loving heart. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Thankful for the Cowboy by Mary Connealy — Hero Tom MacKinnon rides up driving a wagon with a second wagon trailing him. He and his sister want to be hired to build windmills. They’ll ask for very little money and, in exchange heroine, Lauren Drummond, newly widowed mother of four nearly grown sons, will help them learn to survive in the Sandhills of Nebraska. What to grow, what to hunt, how to build a sod house.
Tom’s windmills will save her ranch. Lauren needs three windmills on this drought year or her growing herd of cattle is going to die of thirst. She agrees to teach him the ways of the Sandhills, and to give him fifteen head of cattle. She’s not ready to think of another man. But Tom changes her mind. His little sister and one of her sons find love together before Tom and Lauren do. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Return of the King’s Ranger by Angela K. Couch — The war is over…for everyone but him. The war for American freedom is over, and the British have gone back to England. Not knowing what has become of his family since he was forced into the Continental Army nine years earlier, Myles Cunningham wants to go home as well. He returns to the Mohawk Valley with the understanding that he is believed to have been shot for deserting—fiction that might be made real if anyone recognizes him as the son of a Tory and a King’s Ranger. Everything is wonderful in the growing community along the Mohawk River, except Nora Reid is still alone. With her brother happily settled and both her younger sisters starting families of their own, Nora feels the weight of her twenty-four years. A long walk leads her to the overgrown rubble of the Cunningham homestead where a bearded stranger begins to awaken feelings she’d lost hope of ever experiencing. With secrets abounding—including whether Myles even cares for her—Nora must determine what she is ready to give up and how far she will go to secure his affections. She begins to break through his defenses, but Myles can’t risk staying. Not if he loves her. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Christmas Next Door by Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonough — Visit an Old West Texas town where a mysterious benefactor leaves gifts each Christmas, but also where four pairs of neighbors battle over hearsay, secrets, and mysteries. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Under Moonlit Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Esther meets Stewart, her brother-in-law’s ranch hand, when helping her sister recover from childbirth. Any interest she may have in the cowboy is hopeless, since she must return home to Cincinnati and the man her overbearing mother intends her to wed. till reeling from a hurtful relationship, Stew is reluctant to open his heart to Esther. But when he faces a life-threatening injury with Esther tending him, their bond deepens. Heartbroken when she leaves, he sets out after her and inadvertently stumbles across an illegal slave-trade operation, the knowledge of which puts him, as well as Esther and her family, in jeopardy. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Mail-Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer — Preacher Bern Stidham is a peacemaker—when he’s not carrying one on his hip. His little girl wants a helper for her widowed father and a mama for herself, so she writes for a mail-order bride. Without telling him. Recently widowed dressmaker Etta Collier is a half-step ahead of the banker who carries a lustful eye for her as well as the note on her home. When her pastor encourages her to answer an unusual letter from a little girl, hope opens an unexpected door. Running from one man’s lecherous pursuit into the home of another she knows nothing about, Etta may have to risk everything to ease a little girl’s loneliness and find a second chance at love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Witness Tree by Denise Weimer — Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother. Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Don’t Give Up On Me by Jodi Artzberger — When Cragge Automotive Group’s heiress, Amanda Cragge is left for dead, the only man she’s ever loved finds her. As the threats continue, will she accept help from the man who left her eight years ago without explanation? When Ryker Scott returns to Otter Bay, he is brought face to face with his past. He thought he could handle coming back but he might have been wrong. As a trained Army Ranger, he’s going to have to use his skills if he wants to keep the only woman he’s ever loved alive.
Will their past become their future or will their futures be destroyed forever?(Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Breaking Point by Marji Laine — Ever since her father’s death, Alynne Stone has had a series of strange “accidents.” Police Lieutenant Jason Danvers believes her father was murdered. He tries to connect the attempts on Alynne’s life, but things just don’t add up. Even in a small town, the mere rumor of treasure can change lives, end friendships…maybe even kill? Still dealing with the pain of his own wife’s death, he can’t allow an innocent woman’s life to be snuffed out on his watch. Especially one who shines as bright as Alynne. (Romantic Suspense, Write Integrity Press)
Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills — FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. (Romantic Suspense, Tyndale House)
The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal — Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe–a department only known as “Other.” When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she’ll be back in DC within a few days. But that’s before she knows where the designs are stored–and who’s after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere. Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes? (Techno-thriller from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
Please join me in welcoming my very dear friend, the Queen of Suspense, Connie Queen as she shares her tips on the fast track to traditional publishing. Connie is a brand new author with Love Inspired Suspense! Please also leave a comment for your chance to win a super, cool custom-made coffee mug!
The Fast Track to Traditional Publishing
Do you hear that? Yeah, me too. Silence.
If you’re looking for the secret pill or magic formula to get your stories contracted quickly by a traditional publisher, I’m afraid I have no clue. But I do have some things I’ve learned along the way that I’ve found helpful and can hopefully encourage you to continue trudging along on this crazy path of becoming published authors.
First, let me thank Sharee for inviting me today. She’s a sweet friend and a great encourager of both published and unpublished authors. I love her books and am honored she asked me to be her guest.
In addition to encouragement from my family and faith in God, there are gobs of writing advice out there that has benefited me. I’m going to narrow down my list to three, and these do tend to overlap.
- Time doesn’t matter. That’s right. Don’t worry about how long you’ve been writing. Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep submitting. Unless you’ve just quit your day job and you’ve got ten hungry mouths to feed, stop rushing your journey. I only say this because we all want, me included, to receive the call or that next big contract right now. Today. Yesterday would be even better.
I’d been writing for over twenty years before I got the call. My first rejection came in 1999 by a Harlequin editor. Many of you will reach your goals much earlier than that, some later. It really is okay.
- Don’t compare apples to oranges. If we were all trying to get to Texas, Writer A in Oklahoma should arrive before Writer B from Montana. What if I had compared myself to the author who received a contract after pursuing publication for only two years? I’m married with 8 kids. Did I really sit down every day and write with kids running around the house? Nope. Sometimes months, even years, went by with little progress. It would be unfair to compare my journey to someone who is single, studies the craft, has a degree in creative writing and sits down to write three hours every single day. Yes, it’s cliché, but don’t compare apples to oranges. It just isn’t fair. It’ll leave you feeling inadequate and sometimes bitter toward those who “seem” to have an easier time.
Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep submitting.
We all start in different places and have different things going on in our lives. Day job? Kids at home? Helping elderly parents? Health issues? Going through a divorce or a major life change? Or maybe you’re an empty nester for the first time (waving my hand ecstatically) and things are calm. Some write a book every month (I know, I still can’t grasp that…) and some take years to complete a single manuscript. Some are natural-born story tellers and others must learn through trial and error. Really, it’s okay.
Just keep writing. Keep learning… Well, you get it.
- Have fun! This is the Grand Poohbah of writing. Whether your goal is to increase someone’s faith, entertain, educate or offer hope, enjoy the process. Life is short. No doubt, I will still have writing challenges and setbacks no matter how many books I publish, but I love my critique partners, a special mentor who took me under her wing, publishing professionals, and all the many people I’ve met along the way. Sharing stories with readers and other writers, really is living the dream. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey.
What about you? What motivates you to keep writing? Please share any words of wisdom that’s made a difference for you.
Share your comments below and one person will be chosen at random to win this fabulous mug!!
Connie Queen is a brand new author for Love Inspired Suspense.
When she’s not writing, she’s busy spending time with her kids and grandkids. She has a houseful of BIG LOVEABLE dogs called Great Danes. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over 33 years. A native-born Texan, she now resides in Nebraska.
Follow Connie at: conniequeenauthor.com
Friends, I’m so excited to share the fabulously wonderful Bethany Turner! If you haven’t read any of her books yet, stop whatever you’re doing right now (okay not right now but as soon as you’re done reading this post) and get Wooing Cadie McCaffrey. You can read my review here but suffice it to say, I absolutely love, love, love it.
BETHANY: You’re so sweet! And I LOVE when I can cause people to get strange looks in public. Ha ha! Seriously, so glad you’re enjoying it. And thank you so much for asking me to be on the blog! I’m honored.
SHAREE: One of the things I love most about your books is that your characters are real, tackling real life issues, and behaving like normal people. I think your stories are revolutionary to Christian fiction in that respect. I couldn’t help but wonder if you’d gotten any pushback when you first pitched your story ideas to Christian publishers?
BETHANY: First of all, thank you for that. Some readers have appreciated the real-life issues I write about…some have not! But I do think I was prepared a bit for that by the responses I received when I first began sending out queries for The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. I didn’t have an agent until after I had signed with Revell, so I really just pitched to agents. (My editor found me on a list from Writer’s Edge, a manuscript submission service.) Of the agents I queried, about 80% of them said they liked my writing and liked the story, but that the Christian fiction market wasn’t ready for it. They said it would be a very hard sell to publishers. But thirteen days after I got on Writer’s Edge’s list, I was contacted by Revell. They were the only publisher I spoke with, because from the very beginning it was easy to see that my editor was the partner I needed. She wasn’t afraid to shake things up a bit. And soon after, I signed with an agent who is very much on the same page as well. So, yes…there was pushback. And there continues to be pushback…but now it’s from readers. But that’s okay. The positive response definitely overshadows the negative!
SHAREE: You’re a pioneer in Christian Fiction and I’m so excited that you have the support needed to keep publishing these wonderful stories. So, true confessions… Wooing Cadie McCaffrey had me snort-laughing—yes, it’s that good—at myAs you’re writing, do you ever bust out with a case of the giggles?
BETHANY: Wow! What a compliment. Honestly, I do. Once in a while. Most of the time the giggles happen when I land on one line that I think is hilarious, and I don’t care if anyone else thinks it is or not. Usually those lines are relatively obscure. My biggest giggle in Wooing Cadie McCaffrey came because of one simple line: “There is no crying in baseball meetings.” As silly as it sounds, that one still makes me giggle. It’s pure pop culture irrelevance mixed with relevance for the character and relevance to the scene. In The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, it came from a scene in which Sarah is imagining a metaphorical devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, as she deals with being conflicted—but in true Sarah Hollenbeck form, the devil is 1970s-era Stevie Nicks, and the angel is Roma Downey. I think I laughed so hard at that one because I thought I’d never get away with it. But I did!
SHAREE: I love it! And I appreciate the pop-culture references. There were so many great topics within Wooing Cadie McCaffrey! What single message do you hope your readers get from Cadie and Will?
BETHANY: Narrowing it down to one single topic, I’d have to say it’s that we need to be having difficult conversations. With each other, with ourselves, and with God. Some reviewers have said it’s not realistic that Cadie and Will struggle so much with communication, but I beg to differ. Sure, it’s a fictional story with some exaggerated circumstances, but at its heart I think it tells a story that is all too real. We make assumptions, we avoid saying and asking difficult things, and we tell people what we think they want to hear. All the time. Cadie and Will learn the hard way just how much all of those things can get us into trouble.
SHAREE: Communication is definitely a huge part of any relationship and I’d have to agree that it still—and as long as humans are involved, will continue to be—a difficult aspect. Who is your favorite character in Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and why?
BETHANY: Will Whitaker, hands down. This book was the first time I wrote a story alternating between the heroine’s POV and the hero’s, and I’ll tell you…I loved spending time in Will’s head. He is such a good guy—loyal, loving, funny, and kind. But he’s also just the tiniest bit clueless and oblivious. (Okay…more than the tiniest bit…) His obliviousness, partnered with his earnest attempts not to be oblivious, were what made him so frustrating at times, but also irresistibly charming.
SHAREE: Will was so much fun and very easy to like. Readers love to know what the writing life is like. Do you have a certain routine or must-have drink/food when you sit down to write?
BETHANY: Honestly, this is something I always struggle with. Routine. I wish I had a routine! I work a busy full-time job, I’m married to a busy man, and I’m the mother of two busy teenagers. So quite often, I find myself grabbing moments to write whenever I can—but also, all too often, not taking advantage of moments when I could be writing. I will say, though…the one must-have for me when I sit down to write is music. At the start of each new project, I create a music playlist. Songs get added to it as I dive deeper into the story and get to know the characters more, and just like the story helps shape the playlist, the playlist really helps shape the story. Eventually, I reach a point where the playlist helps me cheat a bit. I hear the songs, and I’m instantly in the right headspace for the story.
SHAREE: That has to be one of the coolest things I’ve heard of an author doing. A playlist! Brilliant! What’s your next book about and when does it release?
BETHANY: My next book is called Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish, and it will release in May of 2020—published by Revell. It’s the story of two celebrity chefs who, after a very public altercation, are forced to embark upon the most important stepping stone of their career…together. It’s a romantic comedy, of course, so as you can imagine, sparks fly!
SHAREE: OOOOOOH got it added to my To Be Read list already! I hate to end our time together. You’re so much fun to chat with! Is there anything else you’d like to share?
BETHANY: Apart from just wanting to say how much I appreciate you, and how much I appreciate everyone reading this, I’d just like to say I would love for anyone who’s interested to join me on social media. We have a fair amount of fun there! And for anyone who has read The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck or Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, I’d be thrilled if you’d join me in The Book Club Closest to My House. It’s my reader group on Facebook (named after the reason Sarah Hollenbeck chose her own ultimately life-altering book club), and we have a blast in there! We get together for a live chat every month, and you just never know what’s going to happen…
SHAREE: Bethany, thank you so much for being here today. And for those who haven’t yet read Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, this is your cue to get out there and buy the book! You won’t be disappointed, but you might snort-giggle.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes by her. When a misunderstanding turns into a mistake, leaving her hurt she finally breaks things off. But for Will, the end of the relationship is only the beginning for his quest to win Cadie back. It’s a fool-proof plan, what could possibly go wrong?
Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which was a Christy Award finalist. When she’s not writing (and even when she is), she serves as the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
The Book Club Closest to My House: www.facebook.com/groups/closesttomyhouse
Bethany Turner has changed my reading preferences. I never even knew how much I liked RomCom until I read her first book, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. And now, she’s on my top MUST-READ list. Wooing Cadie McCaffrey takes happily-ever-after and flips it around in the most uniquely told romance of man wins woman’s love.
Will Whitaker is determined to win Cadie’s love again and the lengths he’ll go to will keep you laughing and endear this hero to your heart. There is nothing predictable about Wooing Cadie McCaffrey. Ms. Turner reaches into the depths of a Christian woman’s heart to always do the right thing in a confusing world of changing expectations and norms. This romance offers a wild adventure ride and you’ll have a blast the entire time.
After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.
But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?
Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.
A Heart Surrendered tells the story of a woman desperate to please her parents while fighting her own heart’s desires. Sharonda knows the expectations of being a preacher’s kid, and she’s accepted her role. Sacrifice and surrender are something she has become accustomed to providing to the people she loves, until a blast from her past returns awakening the longing she buried many years before.
Joy K. Massenburge delivers a compelling romance transforming the reader into the lives of the characters and offering not only a realistic view, but an authentic peek into the pressures of ministry life. I absolutely loved A Heart Surrendered and devoured the story. Without hesitation I can give this book five out of five stars and recommend it as a top read.
July 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Hometown Hope by Laurel Blount — In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge — Since her teens, pastor’s daughter Sharonda Peterson devoted her life to church service and solitude after the one night she gave Carl Ray Everhart everything. Sobered by a near-death experience, prodigal Carl returns home from an acting and singing career to serve as the worship leader at Sheronda’s church, and she finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Harambee Press [Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas])
Starting Anew by Melanie D. Snitker — He’s afraid to trust. She has a secret that could change everything between them. Will they let go of their fear, or allow it to rob them of their chance at happiness? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller — Can shy, sweet Cecilia overcome her family’s prejudice to see a future with the recently returned prodigal son from next door? (Historical from Kregel Publications)
Benaiah: Might Man of God by PH Thompson — A novel of Biblical, historical fiction about Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men, examining the premise: What happens when the king’s most obedient soldier is issued a wicked command? (Historical/Biblical from Word Alive Press)
Waltz with Destiny by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield — When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. All they knew was that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world. (Historical Romance from CrossRiver Media Group)
Thimbles and Threads by Mary Davis, Grace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist, and Liz Tolsma — Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When Tilly, a schoolteacher; Alice, a bridal shop owner; Sarah, a seamstress; and Melissa, a rag doll designer, put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to the surprising gift of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Will the promise their hearts cling to finally find joyful fulfillment, or will war’s refining fire separate them forever? (Historical Romance from Sheaf House Publishers)
Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson — To escape an arranged marriage, Cassie Kendrick enlists in the Union army as a man, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer. Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase past guilt, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships along the way, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding. Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
The Express Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse — Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Legacy Rejected by Robin Patchen — She’s not giving up her home, no matter what threats come against her. Realtor Ginny Lamont’s family has abandoned her, leaving her with nothing but a warning that she’s in danger. But Ginny’s built a home in New Hampshire. After a childhood of nomadic living, she’s not running again, certainly not because of some nameless, baseless threat. Real estate developer Kade Powers is thrilled to go out with Nutfield’s beautiful new real estate agent. But the prowler they surprise after their first date offers a glimpse into Ginny’s past and the legacy of lies her parents left her with. She brings a mystery, one he’s determined to help her solve. With Kade’s help, Ginny searches for the truth of her parents’ criminal activity while her enemies close in. When mobsters show up in her quaint New England town, will she find a way to bring them down, or will she lose the home—and the man—she’s come to love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig — Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets–and dangers–never before seen on earth. Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them. Iskra “Viorica” Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most–freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of their past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin — Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret–Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone–least of all herself. The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)
Friends, it’s been too long but I’m so glad to be back with you and today, we’re talking with my very dear friend, and debut author, Cindy Regnier! Her book, Mail-Order Refuge, releases tomorrow, June 11, 2019.
I know…I know…you’re as excited to talk with her as I am. Grab a chair!
First, Cindy, welcome!! We’re so glad you’re joining us today. So, let’s dive right in. What drew you to historical romance as a reader and made you want to write it?
CINDY: As a child, I loved reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I think I read These Happy Golden Years about fifty-bazillion times. When I wrote my first book, I didn’t even think about it. Historical romance is what came out of that pen.
SHAREE: Oh, I remember those books! They were some of my favorite as well! Folks always ask questions about writing life. Do you have any writing routines?
CINDY: Mostly my routine is whatever works. I have a full-time job that’s not writing, so when I get home I usually curl up in my recliner, open my computer, and words start appearing on the page. Kind of fun how that happens.
SHAREE: I love that kind of routine! Now, an important question. Coffee or tea?
CINDY: I like both. Coffee in the morning, especially in winter, and then iced tea the rest of the day.
SHAREE: I’m with you there. I love both of them. What’s the one message you’d want a reader to get from Mail-Order Refuge?
CINDY: Forgiveness and grace are there for the taking. By grace, we can get rid of our guilt and release our burdens. That and cowboy heroes are delightful.
SHAREE: Amen to that! What was the best advice you received and would want to pass on?
CINDY: There’s no wrong way to do this writing thing as long as people want to read what you wrote. Write what you want and don’t worry about the “rules.”
SHAREE: Definitely. The rules can stifle creativity. Writers are readers so what’s your favorite book?
CINDY: My favorite book will always be Pride and Prejudice. (Favorite movie too!) Seriously – how could anybody not love Pride and Prejudice?
SHAREE: Ah, a true romantic at heart. What were your first words when you got THE CALL?
CINDY: Stunned silence immediately followed by “Really?” Pretty eloquent, right?
SHAREE: Giggle, I love that too. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CINDY: My writing sisters, including Sharee, mean so much to me. I couldn’t do this without their help and support.
SHAREE: Cindy, I couldn’t agree more. There’s something wonderful about having a writing community to walk alongside during this journey. I’m so grateful to share this time with you!
Alright friends, there you have the most wonderful reasons to buy and read Mail-Order Refuge. And it gets better, because Cindy has also offered one print or ebook copy to ONE commenter. So be sure to comment! (Winner will be chosen at random. US only for print copies).
Scribbling in notebooks has been a habit of Cindy Regnier since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Born and raised in Kansas, she writes stories of historical Kansas, especially the Flint Hills area where she spent much of her childhood. Cindy is married to her husband of 36 years, has two grown sons, a son residing in heaven, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and a beautiful daughter-in-law-to-be.
A graduate of Kansas State University with a dual major in Agriculture and Business, Cindy works for her local school district as clerk of the board of education and is active in her church and community. Her experiences with the Flint Hills setting, her natural love for history, farming and animals, along with her interest in genealogical research give her the background and passion to write heart-fluttering historical romance.
Find me at:
June 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — Horse rescue farmer Ashley helps Ben start an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm. When they consider a relationship together, her bitter experience with her opioid addict brother reins in any hope for a future with Ben, who is five years in recovery from alcoholism. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Risking Love by Toni Shiloh — Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)
Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith — When Bailey sets out to rescue her lost friend in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain, she discovers more about the Land—and herself—than she bargained for. (General from Edenbrooke Press)
Six Houses Down by Kari Rimbey — Two days after Sharon Webster’s distant husband returns for a surprise visit, their autistic son slips out of the house and is lost in historic Washington D. C. As they search for their boy, Sharon is forced to rely on the husband she believes no longer loves her. An elderly black couple down the street seems to understand her unspoken hurts. Has God sent them to help her find trust again? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)
In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger — Beset by doubts and jealousy about prophecies spoken over her brother Yeshua, Hannah struggles to see the truth before her eyes until it is too late…or is it? (Historical from Carpenter’s Son Publishing)
This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller — An adventure-seeking wilderness girl and an ex-cavalryman looking to settle down fall in love while caring for a wounded Indian child that shows up in his barn. Will their differences keep them apart or become their greatest strengths? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. Adventure indeed follows two competing journalists, one of whom carries the cameo while looking to expose a smuggler, a trouser-wearing frontierswoman and a reverend who are on a mission to ransom the cameo from a manipulative brothel owner, two Pinkertons who are charged with the care of the cameo but must rely on one another when the cameo is once again stolen, and a young woman who doubts the cameo can help her when a handsome Scottish library administrator ruins her dream of overseeing the new Carnegie Library children’s department and keeps a social chasm between himself and her father. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier — Carly Blair from Baltimore buys a train ticket to Kansas where she will become the wife of a man she’s never met. She must leave Baltimore to escape the evil plans her ex-fiance has for using her artistic talents for a counterfeit operation. Rand Stafford, Kansas cattle rancher is looking after his two orphaned nieces, but knows they need a mother. He’s not interested in love since being left at the altar so he advertises for a mail-order bride, willing to do whatever it takes to give Mary Jo and Jenna a proper home and upbringing. Can Carly and Rand find love where they least expect it, or will the shadows of the past dash their hopes for the future? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky — Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])
Darkwater Truth by Robin Caroll — Adelaide Fountaine, general manager, is enthusiastically renovating parts of the Darkwater Inn. Her intentions come to a screeching halt when a skeleton is found behind a makeshift wall—an axe beside it. As Adelaide works alongside owner Dimitri Pampalon and Detective Beau Savoie, the two men who have been pursuing her heart, she learns the eerie death has tentacles that reach deep into the seedy past of both the Darkwater Inn and the evil underground of New Orleans. The past and the present collide as the stakes are upped—not only for Adelaide’s heart, but for her very life and her father’s life as well. The threats are deadly, the coils of evil are tightening around everyone involved, and they are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Over the Line by Kelly Irvin — Gabriela’s brother is missing, he’s a suspect in a murder, and she’s in the cross hairs of a criminal organization. The only person who can help her is the one man she can’t trust. Will Gabby & Eli find her brother before it’s too late? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills — As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission. American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel Alier, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void noticed both by Paul and by Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)
The Last Chaplain by Carl M. White — At the request of Pastor John Grant, the last chaplain of the United States Senate, Lisa Smithy embarks on the adventure of a lifetime: find a former Senate staff member and convince him to reveal to a DC reporter the plot that led to Dr. Grant’s removal and the discrediting of his best friend, a United States Senator. From the South, to the West, to the Midwest, evil men are desperate to stop her, and romance surprisingly finds her. Can she bring together the former Senate staffer who knows all and the Washington reporter who can tell all, while eluding the men who would end it all? (Romantic Suspense from Austin Brothers Publishers)
One of my favorite things about the writing community is the relationships we build with other authors. Witnessing the birth of your friend’s book baby is an honor and there’s nothing like sharing in her excitement. That’s exactly what I’m experiencing with my sweet friend, Sherrinda Ketchersid. Her debut novel Lord of Her Heart comes out on May 14th!
Please join us as we talk about Lord of her Heart.
SHAREE: A favorite question is always where did you get the idea for the book?
SHERRINDA: When I decided to write a medieval romance, I researched women back in that time period. I learned that wealthy girls were often sent to convents to be taught various things like reading, writing, morality, spinning, weaving, and the like to prepare them to be caretakers of their homes once they married. I began to ask ‘what if’. What if a girl’s parents ceased to communicate with her? What if she was abandoned at the convent? What if she was being forced to either take her vows to the church or be married off to an old man? Those questions led to Jocelyn’s story and her escape from a convent as a boy.
SHAREE: Oh yes, “What If” is one of my favorite games! Do you have any special things or chores that must be accomplished before you sit down to write?
SHERRINDA: Yes! I like to have my bed made and kitchen cleaned up before I start. Since I have a puppy, we take a walk to wear him out so he will sleep for a while. Then I fix a cup of coffee, light a candle, and then sit down to write. I can usually get a couple of hours in before the puppy wakes up.
SHAREE: I do the same thing minus the candle, but I do have a Scentsy melting beside me so that counts too, right? I’m so glad you mentioned your puppy. We’ve seen his picture on social media and want to know all about him! Oh, and in case you haven’t yet seen Phineas, let me show you all how adorable this guy is!
SHERRINDA: Oh, my sweet Phineas. Since I quit working outside the home, I kept thinking how nice it would be to get a dog to keep me company. I thought I’d rescue an older dog, but my daughter’s bosses found Phineas out on the street when he was nine weeks old. They tried to find the owner and took it to the vet to see about a microchip, but there was none. My daughter knew I’d been wanting a dog and sent a picture—I was smitten and picked him up that day. I will say that my writing time has been seriously compromised, but I love the little guy. He does get me off the couch and I’m in better shape because of him.
SHAREE: I give my dog all the credit for my walking habits and healthier self. They’re the best and what a wonderful story about you and Phineas’ first meeting. I’m so glad he found his fur-ever home with you! I could talk about animals all day, but I’ll restrain myself and get back to writing questions. What advice would you give to a new writer?
SHERRINDA: Oh goodness. Keep writing. You are going to have days when you do not feel like writing, but just sit down and purpose to write one page. Just one. You will be surprised how many pages will flow.
SHAREE: Absolutely!! What are you working on now?
SHERRINDA: I am in the editing/rewriting phase of my second book, His to Keep. It is the story of Ian McGowan, the head guardsman in Lord of Her Heart. They say the sophomore book is the hardest book you will ever write and I believe it! The doubt, the fear—it’s been paralyzing. With the first book, you just write for the pure joy of it. You don’t know any better. With the second, you know the rules of writing and don’t want to break them. It stifles the creativity. I keep telling myself to just to write—I can clean it up later. Whew! What a cleanup I’m doing right now!
SHAREE: I can give a hearty AMEN to that, but having read your writing, I have no doubt His to Keep will be as fabulous as Lord of Her Heart! When you’re not writing, what books do you enjoy reading?
SHERRINDA: I love romance. Historical or contemporary, it doesn’t matter. As long as there is romance, I’m a happy girl.
SHAREE: Ah yes, we do love our happily-ever-afters! You also have a unique talent in scripture journaling. How did you get started? And do you have a favorite scripture?
SHERRINDA: I happened upon it while searching social media for contemporary lettering. I love calligraphy and brush lettering was becoming all the rage. While scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, I started seeing Bible Journaling and was immediately hooked. Painting and lettering in my journaling Bible (a Bible with wide margins for notetaking) has become a great way to meditate on special verses during my quiet time. My favorite scripture is Galatians 5:1. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” It’s my life verse. We are not only free from sin, we are free to do so many things for Him. There is so much hope in the freedom He gives.
SHAREE: I couldn’t agree more. What’s something our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
SHERRINDA: I love gummy bears. LOVE them. I would eat them every day if I could. But alas, I am a low-carb, no sugar gal now so gummy bears are a thing of the past. Hmm, I’m thinking maybe on the release day of Lord of Her Heart, I should buy a bag of gummy bears to celebrate. What do you think?
SHAREE: I say have at the mega size bag of gummy bears! And we might be having some at our house to celebrate with you! Who is your favorite character in Lord of Her Heart and why?
SHERRINDA: I want to say Malcolm, because he is dreamy and strong, but actually, I fell in love with Ian, the head guardsman. He is funny. He is kind. He is very protective and loyal. He became someone I had to know more about.
SHAREE: Is there someone we’re going to love to hate in Lord of Her Heart?
SHERRINDA: Oh yes, everyone will hate Helen, Jocelyn’s step-mother. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say I just wanted to slap her a time or two.
SHAREE: I love that! Will there be a sequel or is this a stand alone?
SHERRINDA: It is both! I’m giving Ian McGowan, the head guardsman, his own story, but the two books can stand on their own. The characters from Lord of Her Heart don’t make an appearance in the second story. It’s all about Ian.
SHAREE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
SHERRINDA: Thank you so much for having me today and letting me talk about Lord of Her Heart! You are always so generous with your encouragement. Were you a cheerleader at some point in your life? 😉
SHAREE: Bahahahahaha. No cheerleading for me. But I’m loving the chance to cheer you on. It’s almost selfish because I’m getting to see the fruit of your labor and it is so gratifying. Friend, I’m so absolutely thrilled that the world will finally get to read Lord of Her Heart!
He’s fighting for his future—she’s running for her life.
Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle
because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to
force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises
herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.
Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament
and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on
the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny
lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for.
Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite
of her conniving ways.
Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are
determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only
way either of them survives.
Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.
Connect with Sherrinda:
BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q4R9L8Z/
Welcome to another author interview with the brilliant and talented, Ms. Sharon Srock.
Sharon, thank you so much for agreeing to be on my blog! I’ve got lots of questions so let’s dive right in. Jesse is book four in the Sisters by Design series and I had the privilege of listening to the audiobook. I thought the narration was wonderfully done. Did it capture the story the way you pictured it?
SHARON: I don’t think that anyone except the author can capture all the little nuances that you hear in your head as you write the story. But since narration is not a part of my job description, I think Becky does a fantastic job. It helps that she’s done all of the Sisters books and knows the stories and characters almost as well as I do. Each one just gets better as she builds the layers.
SHAREE: I love the books that you write because you have such a wonderful way of making the people and places come alive. I especially love the bond of friendship between the characters. What’s something you’d want a reader to take away from Jesse?
SHARON: I’ve been blessed to have just this sort of friendship with ladies I’ve known since I was fourteen. I guess I’d want my readers to know just how important these friendships are to our well being. We don’t get together as often as my characters, but I know they are there if I need them. I hope they know the same thing about me.
SHAREE: What’s something that might surprise our readers about you?
SHARON: Oh…confession time. I’m a trekkie. I have hundreds of books and videos and a couple of uniforms in my closet. The first serious piece of fiction I wrote was Star Trek fiction. I was able to meet all of the original cast and I even got James Doohan (Scotty) lost in Oklahoma City, but that’s another story.
SHAREE: What does a typical writing day look like?
SHARON: Now that I’m retired, I try to spend regular office ours out in my writing office. I try to keep to regular hours so the hubs knows when he can bother me and when he can’t. Everyday weekday between 1 and 4, I’m “working”. He knows not to bother me unless there is bleeding or death to report. LOL. When I’m writing I try to get a 1000 words a day. First I go over what I wrote the day before and see if it needs work, then I go on to what’s next. If I have writing business to do (newsletter, formatting, marketing…) I spend my time there. Maybe an admin day once every couple of weeks.
SHAREE: Do you have a muse?
SHARON: I actually had to look this up. LOL I knew what it meant, but I didn’t KNOW what it meant. What or who inspires me? Would it be cliché if I said God? He called me to this job and I depend on Him to give me the direction He wants the story to take. If that inspiration ever goes missing, I’ll stop writing.
SHAREE: Are there things you must have done or need to do before you can write?
SHARON: If you are talking about outlines and research, no. I’m a total seat-of-the-pants writer. Outlines make me feel trapped and since my characters are whispering to me all the time, things never go the way I think at the start. Research I do as necessary while I’m writing. In Jesse’s story I needed to know more about spouse abuse than I knew, so I sent out questions to my writer’s groups and Facebook readers groups. Between them and google, I can usually find what I need pretty quickly and just keep writing.
SHAREE: What do you enjoy reading?
SHARON: I am not a reader locked into a single genre. I love well done Science Fiction and fantasy. I like court room dramas and romantic suspense. I don’t read a lot of women’s fiction, and I rarely do straight romance.
SHAREE: Thanks so much for joining us today. Here’s my review of Jesse for all of you.
Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Thirty years ago, she cut her writer’s teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, cook, and travel. She’s still working on a way to do all three at the same time.
Visit Sharon’s website: www.sharonsrock.com..
Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Srock/e/B009OB2HSO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
These are universal links for each of the Sister’s stories:
May 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
When Love Won’t Wait by Roger E. Bruner — Laugh at Pastor Dan’s impulsive efforts to get out of the ministry and marry a woman of his own choosing by going against his domineering widowed mother’s wishes. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman — After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Sing a New Song by Candee Fick — Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she? Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated–and irritated–by the newest addition to the staff. After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner — After four years of dating Will, Cadie questions his love for her and sends him packing. Their breakup only makes Will more determined to become the man Cadie wants him to be. With the help of his work buddies and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, he devises a “foolproof” plan. What could possibly go wrong? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)
Over the Waters by Deborah Raney — As “Dr. Botox” to the bored rich women of Chicago, plastic surgeon Max Jordan was shocked by the decision of his son, Joshua, to focus his medical talent on Haitian orphans. Embittered by Joshua’s death, Max searches for resolution in the very place his son called home. The selfless labor of Joshua’s coworkers stuns Max. He is particularly taken by American volunteer Valerie Austin, whose dream of a honeymoon on a tropical beach were crushed, replaced by a stint working in the impoverished orphanage. But Valerie’s view of Joshua’s sacrifice challenges everything Max has lived for. Now Max wonders if he can ever return to his “Max-a-Million” lifestyle, or if the doors to his gilded cage have finally opened. (General Contemporary from Raney Day Press)
True Freedom by Carol Ashby — When a Roman slave rescues his master’s daughter from the kidnapping arranged by her own brother, will his sacrificial service earn the freedom and love he never dreamed possible, or will it only end in death? (Historical from Cerrillo Press)
The Daughter’s Predicament by Mary Eileen Davis — Can a patient love win her heart? As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle–always the unfavored daughter–becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Isabelle loves her sister, but with three suitors interested, will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)
Mail-Order Mishaps by Susan Page Davis, Linda Ford, Vickie McDonough, and Erica Vetsch — In The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis, Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne to learn that man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. But has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair’s life? In Romancing the Rancher by Linda Ford, Amelia expects a safe home for herself and her niece in Montana as mail-order bride to Zach Taggerty. Only Zach has never heard of her. In The Marriage Sham by Vickie McDonough, Texas mail-order bride Zola Bryant is a widowed newlywed. Worse, they were never truly wed because the officiant was an outlaw not a preacher. What will she do now that her life and reputation are in tatters? In The Galway Girl by Erica Vetsch, a mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid — Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth. Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways. Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Love’s Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett — When the Third Reich implements mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution, is midewife Pia Hertz’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man? Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army, despite the reason–a battle that cost his arm. After he returns to Berlin, only to discover the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Shelter Bay by Pamela S. Meyers — Adventurous bicyclist Maureen Quinn and her best friend, Preston Stevens, a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service, find love and face life-altering events on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove — When a DNA kit reveals blond, blue-eyed Jessica Warren is half Cherokee, she confronts her adoptive parents and learns her birth father is in prison…for murder! Now he wants her help in exonerating him. Can Jessica trust the handsome, young Tulsa district attorney to help, or does he have an agenda of his own? (Cozy Mystery from Write Integrity Press)
Latter-day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott — Kirsten Young, a well-known and rebellious Utah heiress, is found murdered in Provo Canyon. The strange markings carved into her flesh and the note written in 19th century code seem to cast a shadow on ancient Mormon laws. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned to cover the story– and it quickly grows out of control. (Historical Mystery from Moody)
Running Target by Elizabeth Goddard — A routine patrol turns deadly when marine deputy Bree Carrington’s boat is sunk by men carrying illegal weapons. Fleeing a barrage of bullets, she’s suddenly rescued by DEA agent Quinn Strand—her ex-boyfriend. Quinn’s return threatens more than Bree’s heart…because he’s the one the men are really after. As criminals hunt her to get to him, can Quinn and Bree take down a drug ring? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart — Allison Moore’s dad was living a secret life and left her mom in massive debt. As she scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. The pressure to rescue her mom mounts, and Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal. But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces—words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light. Ignoring those words could cost her everything…but so could embracing them. (Speculative from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
Please welcome my very dear friend,
Sara L. Foust
As a new author, I must sheepishly admit I had big dreams. Even though I’d heard in conferences over and over, writing and earning an income that can be considered a full-time career is rare in this industry these days, I chose to hope, with fingers and toes crossed, I might be one of those “special” ones. My first novel was going to go straight to number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list and I would launch my career nationwide. Everyone would love my books. I would be able to provide for my family with my writing within the first few years. Oh, yeah, big dreams.
I completed my first manuscript in late 2015 and started sending out queries. It really didn’t take me long to tuck that manuscript in a drawer and pretend like it didn’t exist. My second manuscript was better. I worked hard, read everything I could about the craft of writing, and applied that new knowledge to improving my writing. It was published in November 2017 and I now have three published novels and one self-published novella.
I’m still not making anything you could exactly call an income, but I have learned to measure my success in other ways. I was recently emailed from my website contact form and invited to come speak at a library about an hour from my home. Friends have sent me pictures of them reading the books, finding them in my local library just down the road, and passing them to friends and family of theirs. I met a bookstore event planner at a local event and she invited me to come for a book signing in May at the store in Sevierville. I have “met” hundreds of new people online who want to engage and talk to me and expressed interest in my writing. And most of all, I have learned so much. Each of these small victories adds up to success in my book (hehehe). I’m not going to stop writing or slow down just because I’m not seeing the big money roll in. This is my passion and I am proud of the things God has allowed me to do so far. Money would be helpful for my family’s finances, but it isn’t why I write.
I recently told my best friend and writing pal that we have to learn to measure our success in different terms than the “big guys,” you know, those little-known writers like J. K. Rowling and Stephen King. We have to be willing to look at every new contact with someone where they express interest in our work, or every new email signup, or every new review as a success. Writing may not yet be paying my bills, but the value this career has added to my self-esteem, my enjoyment of life, and my feeling of fulfilling my God-called role is worth so much more!
Are you a new author out there? Or maybe you are one who has been around the block a few times but still feel you haven’t “made it.” Let’s start thinking about success in this industry differently, together. How do you measure success?
Get your copy of Sara’s book: Rarity Mountain!
No job. Little faith. A paralyzing secret and a life-changing survival show.
Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author and homeschooling mother of five who writes surrounded by the beauty of East Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is the author of the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, which includes Callum’s Compass (2017), Camp Hope (2018), and Rarity Mountain (March 2019). She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and a novella, Of Walls (November 2018). Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.
How to reach me:
- Website: www.saralfoust.com
- Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/cfqP5H
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaraLFoust/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sfoust25
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sfoust25/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SaraFoustSaraLFoust
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/saralfoust
April 2019 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio — Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is preparing her for a greater mission — far beyond what she could imagine. (Children’s from Ambassador International)
Faith and Hope by Amy R. Anguish — Younger sister Hope has lost her job, her car, and her boyfriend all in one day. Her well-laid plans for life have gone sideways, as has her hope in God. Older sister Faith is finally getting her dream-come-true after years of struggles and prayers. But when her mom talks her into letting Hope move in for the summer, will the stress turn her dream into a nightmare? Is her faith in God strong enough to handle everything? For two sisters who haven’t gotten along in years, this summer together could be a disaster…or it could lead them to a closer relationship with each other and God. Can they overcome all life is throwing at them? Or is this going to destroy their relationship for good? (Contemporary Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Match Made in Heaven by Julie Arduini — Beth Prescott wants to make a difference with the senior citizens she serves as a volunteer coordinator, but their matchmaking efforts leave her guarded. She’s experienced too much pain to make that leap again. Dean Kellerman returns to the Finger Lakes area to help his grandfather and heal his own broken heart. He’s recommitted his life to Christ, and doesn’t want any distractions.
When his grandfather needs assistance with a senior program, it places Dean right in Beth’s path. Can these two surrender their pasts to Christ and have faith in each other and their future? (Contemporary Romance from Surrendered Scribe Media)
An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kathleen Irvin, and Beth Wiseman — Their True Home by Amy Clipston: Marlene Bawell’s new friendship with an old crush is threatened when change once again disrupts the home she’s tried to make in Bird-in-Hand. A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman: Separated after tragic grief, husband and wife Ruth and Gideon Beiler are reunited when they accept an invitation to a family reunion they each believe the other has declined. A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller: Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else? Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin: Abandoned by her father, penitent single mother Hannah Kauffman finds support in her old friend Phillip, who has loved her for years, but fears risking another mistake by opening herself up to love. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])
Her New Amish Family by Carrie Lighte — Widower Seth Helmuth needs a mother for his sons, but for now, hiring the Englischer next door as their nanny will have to do. Trina Smith plans to stay in Amish country only long enough to claim her inheritance and sell her grandfather’s house. But as she falls for Seth, his twin boys and Amish life, will she inherit a home and a family? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Beauty for Ashes by Kathleen Neely — Well-known novelist Nathan Drummond revisits painful memories when family responsibilities force him to return to his home town. Although he’d intended the living situation to be temporary, Nathan didn’t count on falling in love. As guilty memories threaten a return of panic attacks, Nathan begins to write a novel paralleling the tragic event from his youthful folly. Will the novel be seen as a work of fiction, or will it expose his secret? (Contemporary Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])
Restoring Her Faith by Jennifer Slattery — An artist fighting to save her career must find a way to work with the handsome yet stubborn cowboy overseeing a church restoration project–without falling for his southern charm. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Sweet On You by Becky Wade — Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long. As they work together to investigate Zander’s uncle’s mysterious death, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light? (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
The Edge of Mercy by Heidi Chiavaroli — A dying request from an elderly neighbor forces a woman in a troubled marriage to find the 300-year-old story of a young colonial woman—one forced into an unwanted betrothal but drawn to a man forbidden to her by society. (General Contemporary from Hope Creek Publishers)
All My Tears by Kathy McKinsey — Meet five women who struggle with life’s deep sorrows. Beth fights to recover from alcoholism and to mend her relationships with her family. Ann doesn’t believe God will forgive her. Kathleen wrestles with a years-old fear and with saving her marriage. Cassie needs to learn to deal with chronic depression. Martie finds herself the single parent of the eight-year-old niece she barely knows when the child’s parents die in a car wreck.
See how God gives them the gifts of hope, healing, and love. (General Contemporary from Mantle Rock Publishers)
The Refuge by Ann H Gabhart — Can Darcie Goodwin find love and a way to keep her baby in a community that doesn’t believe in marriage or individual family units? (Historical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Artful Match by Jennifer Delamere — At loose ends in London after a near-tragedy, Cara Bernay finds herself at odds with the Earl of Morestowe after she befriends his brother, a talented but troubled young artist. Soon she finds herself drawn to the earl as she becomes more involved with his family. Like Cara, they are suffering from unresolved mistakes in their past. Can they form an unlikely alliance and find a way to a new beginning? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse — Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the 1849 Gold Rush. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Justice Delivered by Patricia Bradley — An escaped victim of sex trafficking must find the courage to report her captors to the authorities—some of whom could be corrupt—when her niece is kidnapped by the ringleader. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
You Shouldn’t Have by Susan Page Davis — “I SAW MY NEIGHBOR MURDER HIS WIFE!” But the police don’t believe Petra Wilson. There’s no body, no evidence, no murder. But Petra knows what she saw. And now her dangerous neighbor knows it, too. Her sisters introduce her to private investigator Joe Tarleton. Petra tells Joe her story, expecting him to decide there is no case. But the dedicated P.I. accepts her word, and he vows to uncover the truth. Still, he can’t guard Petra twenty-four hours a day. In spite of her precautions, her neighbor makes inroads in her vulnerability. Petra is left open to a killer intent on silencing the only living witness. (Romantic Suspense from Tea Tin Press)
Beauty in Battle by Robin Patchen — Harper doesn’t want to return to Maryland to face the police. The mess she left behind makes her look guilty of the worst, but it’s too late to run again. Red is safe and the authorities are waiting. At least Jack is by her side.
Now that Jack knows the truth, his feelings for Harper are deeper than ever. He’s not about to leave her side, especially knowing a killer is after her. But Derrick is on their trail, and he’s come unhinged. And he may not be the biggest threat lurking. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])
Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse — Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new role as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill. While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself. With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: accept the Dark Lady’s offer or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other freedom. But time is running out, and if she doesn’t choose soon, her decision will be made for her. (Speculative Fantasy from Bethany House [Baker])
Snow Globe Travelers: Samuel’s Legacy by K.A. Cummins — Transported into another world, an Austrian girl must face a genetically-engineered warrior with an army of vicious hybrids. (Hard Science Fiction (for Children), Independently Published)
The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings — A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job. A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister’s house before her niece’s wedding. And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive. When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcases from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave. (Speculative Allegory from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])
Please join me in welcoming, Rachel Dylan to the WordyNerdyBlog.
SHAREE: Thanks so much Rachel for being here! I have absolutely loved the Atlanta Justice Series and I think Breach of Trust is becoming my favorite! I’m still reading so I won’t be offering any spoilers, but I will say plan to be up late reading with this one.
I’m so excited for you all to meet Rachel. She’s an amazing writer and a beautiful person! If you’re not already an avid reader and fan of her books, I’m urging you to start today with Breach of Trust!
Let’s dive right in and start with writing questions.
Everyone’s always curious about where writers get their story ideas. Have any of your stories developed as a result of cases you’ve worked on (realizing confidentiality plays a huge roll here) or have your characters come from people you’ve met?
RACHEL: None of my stories have arisen out of cases I’ve worked on, and as you suggest, that’s by design. I choose topics and situations that are outside of my cases. But of course, being a lawyer is built into my DNA at this point, so I do bring those parts of me into the story.
SHAREE: I love audiobooks because I can be doing chores while listening to a great book. Would you share a little about the process of converting your books into audiobooks? Do the narrators contact you to make sure they’re conveying the story and characters accurately?
RACHEL: For my Bethany House books, it’s completely dealt with at the publisher level, and I’m not directly involved. For the Windy Ridge Series, which is Indie, my awesome agent got me the audio deal. I have worked with the narrator on pronunciations, and I’m thrilled at how the Windy Ridge Series has come to life. I’ve been listening to the audio during my commute to work.
SHAREE: Could you tell us about your next series and the release dates?
RACHEL: I’m starting a new series called Capital Intrigue and book one: End Game releases in January. This book still has legal elements but brings in a broader group of law enforcement characters and government agencies. I’m really excited about it. End Game involves an FBI and NCIS agent along with a JAG attorney and some other great characters.
SHAREE: Woowhoo!! Can’t wait for that series! You have some of the coolest book trailers. Do you create them yourself?
RACHEL: Yes, I do. Unfortunately, the website I was using to create them has shut down! So, I’ll have to look for other options in the future.
SHAREE: I’m sure the next trailers will be as just as fabulous. Now, for those writers in our reader audience, what writing advice were you given or do you have, that you’d be willing to share with new authors?
RACHEL: Write the story of your heart and know that there isn’t just one way.
SHAREE: Oh, I love that! One of the things that is especially interesting about you is that you’re a lawyer as well as a multi-published, award winning author. I’m astonished how you do both and you do it remarkably well. What would you say is the key to balancing the two?
RACHEL: I ask myself this everyday LOL. The bottom line is there is no substitute for hard work. I take my work ethic from being a lawyer and apply that to my writing. Given the time constraints I have, I must stick to a schedule.
SHAREE: Yes! Writing is hard work and I so appreciate keeping to a schedule. What kind of law do you practice?
RACHEL: I worked in a large law firm for eight years as a litigator defending large companies. Now I work in-house at a global automobile manufacturer. If you pay attention closely enough to the cars my characters drive, you might be able to guessJ
SHAREE: The hunt is on to learn what cars those are! For our readers, if know the answer, please consider adding it to your comments below. As a fellow animal lover, I always enjoy seeing pictures of your fur-babies. Can you tell us a little about them?
RACHEL: Yes! I have five furry babies—two dogs and three cats. Four of them are rescue including a three-legged cat. Chloe the Labrador is the oldest. She turns 13 in April. Happy Birthday!!
SHAREE: AWWW Happy Birthday Chloe! If you could write the book that changed the world, one that would be read for centuries to come, what message would you want it to convey?
RACHEL: That God’s love is relentless, and no matter how far gone you feel like you are, Jesus will meet you there in the darkness and walk with you through the fire and into the light.
SHAREE: Amen and amen! Was there a particular book or television show that propelled you toward wanting to be a writer?
RACHEL: I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl. My love for reading and English classes started super early.
SHAREE: Yep, me too!! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
RACHEL: I love connecting with readers via email or on social media. You can find more info at http://www.racheldylan.com.
SHAREE: Please connect with Rachel and be sure to grab your copy of Breach of Trust! Rachel, thank you so very much for being on my blog!
My husband and I started a slim fast diet on Feb. 18. Mainly, I did it to support him, but let’s face it. A few extra pounds have found me too. As in, I am not comfortable in my clothes but don’t want to admit it. Just in the first week, so many things crossed my mind. Great fodder for this blog post. Fodder as in material for this post, not food for animals. Although, I might be hungry.
When I first started this diet, when I was hungry, I wanted food. Now. Hunger causes us to do things. Hunger is action. You get hungry, you go eat. If you’re hungry for God’s Word, you go read the Bible. Same with writing. If you’re hungry for a published book, you go write those words each day to see that goal come about.
The more you do it, the more you want. The first week of this diet, I saw results. I wanted more of those results. If you read just a little of the Word, the more you want to. When I started running, the more I wanted to keep running. When you start watching what you eat, and especially pay attention to how you feel, like not being bloated, having more energy, etc., the more you want to continue watching what you eat. The more you write, the more you get into your story, your characters, the plot, the message you want to convey, the more you will want to write, make time to write, learn about the craft of writing to do the best job you can with it.
As you have to research how to eat healthy, find healthy meals to prepare, ingredients, content, so it is with writing. Read craft books, other books in your genre, so you know what works, what doesn’t, what marketing initiatives are available (or create your own!), how the books sell, the authors, and agents. That’s how to make your book the best it can be, just as eating healthy makes your body the best it can be.
Are you hungry enough to believe you can do this? ‘This’ being whatever it is that you want to accomplish. Just as with weight loss or running, start where you are right now. Haven’t lost any weight yet? Haven’t started writing yet or gotten as far as you thought you would have by now? Get started. Figure out where you are right now and move. Any step forward is forward motion. Once you lose a few pounds, build from there. Keep going. Once you run for 5 minutes, build from there. Keep moving. Whether you’ve written no words ever, none this week, or none this month, (or year) keep writing. Each word builds on the other, each sentence makes a paragraph, each paragraph makes a chapter, until before you know it, you have a manuscript ready to be edited and submitted.
How hungry are you for the things you want to see in your life?
Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and three more in progress.
When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog; is a member of ACFW; and loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.
Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.
Please join me in welcoming my friend, Laura Conner Kestner!
After 25 years in community journalism, Laura Conner Kestner embarked on a career in inspirational fiction. Laura is a proud seventh-generation Texan. Born in Fort Worth, she now lives in central Texas. She is happily married to the “boy next door” and they have two daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. She’s thankful for God’s grace, her family, and an opportunity to do the work she loves. Laura is a 2016 ACFW Genesis Award winner, 2016 ACFW First Impressions winner, 2016 SWFRW/RWA Joyce Henderson Contest winner, a 2016 NWH/RWA Lone Star Writer’s Contest finalist (second place), a 2016 SARA Emma Merritt contest winner, a winner in the RWA/KOD 2017 Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery suspense, a 2017 Maggie finalist, and winner in the inspirational category of the 2017 RWA Southern Magic Linda Howard contest. Laura was also a 2017 GOLDEN HEART® finalist, and a double finalist in 2018. Her novel Remember Texas was published in October.
Today, we’re talking about Laura’s debut novel, Remember Texas.
Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw.
Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape.
As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other.
Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.
Friends, grab a chair and hang with us as Laura shares insights about Remember Texas.
Laura, First thank you for visiting!!
Thank you, Sharee! I’m thrilled to be here!
- Okay, before we begin, your debut Remember Texas has the most fascinating cover! Did you have any input on the design?
Yes, I had several images in mind for my cover, including a church, a Texas Ranger badge, a gun, and a train, and I was thrilled when the designer worked each of them in. I fell in love at first sight.
- You have a background in journalism? Tell us about that.
For twenty-five years I worked in community journalism, which just means I worked for several small town newspapers doing a variety of tasks including writing and photography. It was never boring. I’ve photographed everything from drug busts to structure fires, to kindergarten programs and record-setting produce (biggest melon, etc.) Okay, so sometimes it was boring. But I definitely benefitted from the experience. And I also wrote historical features about Texas, which included outlaws, gun-toting preachers, floods and fires. I loved every minute of it. But through it all, I wanted to write a novel. I had about a dozen partially finished manuscripts when I finally got serious about fiction in 2015.
- You have so many amazing accolades and awards. Are they all for Remember Texas?
No, many of them are for Fair Haven, a contemporary romantic suspense. That book is scheduled for release in 2020. And one award is for middle grade fiction. I love to write in different genres.
- Did you start with that title?
In a way. I wrote the first part of Remember Texas years and years ago, then put it in a drawer and moved on to other things. At that time, I was owner/publisher of a (small) regional magazine which had a similar name. It was a publication featuring historical tidbits, photos and stories from my home state. When I started working on this novel again I referred back to my own magazine often for research, and that name just seemed to fit.
- What’s been the biggest surprise since becoming a published author?
The biggest surprise is something that I became aware of before publication (but it’s definitely carried through, post publication) and that’s how incredibly supportive other authors are with advice, inspiration and encouragement. I’m so very grateful, and I’m trying to pay it forward.
- You’ve done book signings? What was the most memorable and why?
I’ve done only one official signing, at a nearby library. It was memorable because so many of my friends and family showed up, and I made some new friends. One of the local ladies clubs provided finger foods, and several people brought roses. I was so touched. It was truly a magical day.
- What do you hope your readers discover in Remember Texas
That even though God doesn’t promise believers a trouble free life, He does promise to walk through trouble with us. Also, don’t decide you know everything about a person before you get a chance to really know them. Sometimes things are just not what they seem.
- Is this a standalone or a series?
It can be enjoyed as a standalone, but there are other books about the Calhoun family. In fact, I started writing the second book in the series before Remember Texas, but then Caleb and Abby’s story just didn’t want to wait. The second one should be out in the next few months.
I’m so grateful Laura stopped by today. Please grab your own copy of Remember Texas. Friends, if you have questions or comments for Laura, please post them below. She’s an amazing lady and we’d love to have you join in our discussion!
I never wanted the book to end! The Curse of Misty Wayfair is riveting!
Wow. That one word sums up The Curse of Misty Wayfair, the third book by Jaime Jo Wright. This book had me up at night, invaded my dreams, and kept me transfixed within the story.
We’re taken into 1908 and the tale of Thea Reed, a young photographer who specializes in memento mori. When Thea takes pictures for the Coyle family, she finds herself drawn into their sad existence and is mystified to learn about the curse of Misty Wayfair, a ghost said to haunt anyone who gets close to the Coyles.
Present day, Heidi Lane has returned to Pleasant Valley at the behest of her mother and it means facing an overly critical sister and secrets Heidi didn’t know existed. But someone else has been waiting for Heidi’s arrival. Strange occurrences and notes about Heidi’s sanity exceed bothersome and delve into terrifying.
Thea and Heidi search for answers to their own questions while unraveling a legend and trying to survive The Curse of Misty Wayfair.
One more word to describe this book. Outstanding. Worth every second of reading, this book tops my all-time favorites.
November 2018 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Christmas in Jingle Junction by Tabitha Bouldin — In the small town of Jingle Junction, Holly Winters owns the local coffee shop, Jolly Java. It’s here that she meets Patrick Cooper and promptly throws coffee everywhere. Not only does Patrick not like coffee, he also despises Christmas! It’s up to Holly to show Patrick that Christmas is worth giving a second chance, just as Patrick himself deserves a second chance when he is accused of robbing a local convenience store. In a town full of Christmas spirit, lively debates over the best superhero and riding in a sleigh pulled by actual reindeer is just a normal day. Will Holly be able to prove to Patrick that Christmas is more than a holiday that has to be endured? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
A Picture Perfect Christmas by Candee Fick — Freelance photographers Liz Foster and Ryan Callahan are finally making plans for their future. And what better time to get married than during the festive holiday season that brought them together? If only Liz’s parents weren’t standing in the way of a picture-perfect wedding. Spurred on by the ghosts of Christmases past, Dan Foster has already written Liz out of his will, so even attending the wedding—let alone walking his daughter down the aisle—is out of the question. However, this is the season for miracles and Ryan will do anything to make his bride smile. What will it take to bring this family back together in time for the wedding? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter — When his secret crush joins a dating website, Jack takes a leap of faith and soon becomes Daisy’s online suitor. But when they begin growing closer in real life also, Jack finds himself with an unexpected dilemma. Is Daisy falling for the real Jack or for the online version of himself? And how is she going to respond when she finds out they’re one and the same? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
A Merry Miracle in Romance by Melanie D. Snitker — Baxter Reid returns to his hometown of Romance, eager to see his childhood crush. Unfortunately, Savannah hasn’t forgotten all the ways he used to tease her back then. He’s got his work cut out for him if he’s going to get a second chance. Savannah Miller avoids Baxter and the embarrassing childhood memories he evokes…until he apologizes and suggests a truce. Now what is she supposed to do? Only time will tell whether the spirit of Christmas in Romance is enough to transform a grudging relationship into true love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
I Still Do by Melanie D. Snitker — What’s worse than running into your ex-husband? Becoming snowbound with him and an avalanche of memories you can’t escape. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
A Southern Season by Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Ane Mulligan, and Linda Yezak — Four seasons. Four stories. Each one set in the enchanting world of the South. These are the kinds of stories your grandmother told you from a front porch swing. (Women’s Fiction from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Second Chances by Carol Ashby — A widowed father, still grieving the loss of his wife and child, and a devoted mother, who leaves behind everything she’s ever known to rescue her daughter from the ex-husband who would hurt her, are first drawn together by their love for her little girl, but God has much more for them than either could have imagined. (Historical, Cerrillo Press)
Murder of Convenience by Linda Shenton Matchett — May 1942: Geneva Alexander flees Philadelphia and joins the USO to escape the engagement her parents have arranged for her, only to wind up as the number one suspect in her betrothed’s murder investigation. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, she must find the real killer before she loses her sight…or is convicted for a crime she didn’t commit. (Historical Mystery, Independently Published)
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection by Lena Nelson Dooley, Rebecca Jepson, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Candice Sue Patterson, Kathleen Rouser, Pegg Thomas, and Marilyn Turk — Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of our nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 at Great Lakes Lighthouses bring hope to the lonely lighthouse keepers and love to weary hearts. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
A Musket in My Hands by Sandra Merville Hart — Two sisters have no choice but to disguise themselves as men to muster into the Confederate army in the fall of 1864–just in time for things to go very badly for the Southerners at the Battle of Franklin. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Uncharted Journey by Keely Brooke Keith — Young widow Eva Vestal assumes loneliness is God’s permanent plan for her life. She keeps busy by raising her son and co-managing the Inn at Falls Creek with her elderly father, but her heart yearns for more. Solomon “Solo” Cotter has spent his life working with horses, but he secretly wants to write a book of the children’s stories his grandfather told him as a boy. He barters with Eva’s father for a 40-night stay at the inn, a needed respite from work to get his stories on paper. Once Eva discovers the barter, she believes Solo is taking advantage of her father’s failing memory. But when tragedy strikes and Solo works hard to save the inn, Eva sees his true nature. As her heart stirs with feelings for Solo, she wrestles with the guilt of loving someone new. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Snow Angel by Davalynn Spencer — Lena Carver works as her physician brother’s medical assistant, housekeeper, and cook. Maimed in a childhood accident at Christmas, she believes she is beyond love’s reach—until a dark-eyed cowboy arrives broken, bruised, and bent on changing her mind. Wil Bergman wakes in a stranger’s home with a busted leg and a bullet-creased scalp. Trail-weary, robbed, and penniless, he is at the mercy of a country doctor whose sister’s healing touch has power to stitch up his heart and open his eyes to the impossible. (Historical Romance from Wilson Creek Publishing)
Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin — After Nina Fischer is accused of murdering her uncle and adopted father, she must unlock deadly family secrets in order to clear her name and learn to trust love again. (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
North by Starlight by Diane and David Munson — Attorney Madison Stone hurries to help her client Jordan Star defeat a mysterious relative who claims a share in his inheritance, and during the Christmas season Maddie learns to leave past regrets behind her, embrace the warmhearted people of Starlight, and dig deep to find her true heart. (Romantic Suspense from Micah House Media)
Her Deadly Reunion by Beth Ann Ziarnik — What will it cost an estranged daughter when she meets her birth father at his home and discovers it’s a dangerous place to mix past and present? (Romantic Suspense from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse — When the new Lady of Ravenwood inherits her family’s secret gift of dreamwalking, she discovers a dark history. Women in her family have been wielding the gift to preserve her family’s legacy—through assassinations. She’s determined to find the true reason behind the gift, convinced there must be a more noble purpose. But she’s torn about upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people. What will she do when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations–but who is also prophesied to bring about the downfall of her own house? One path holds glory and power and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and likely death. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen? (High Fantasy from Bethany House [Baker])
Stratagem by Robin Caroll — Psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux creates mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s for their executive retreat, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder. (Suspense from Barbour Publishing)