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liz Johnson

Running by Dave Milbrandt – a book review

Running is a tightly-plotted, fast-paced thriller/political suspense novel with believable and interesting characters. Dave Milbrandt obviously knows his way around the political scene, journalism and police procedure; he handled all of those aspects skillfully, without distracting the reader with extraneous details.

Jim Mitchell, the hero of the story, is a complex man. He’s a new Christian, with a new wife and a baby on the way, when he’s thrust into an unexpected and unwanted legislative role. He’s an admirable man, too, with good intentions and a commitment to his new moral code.

I liked the way the author brought in one reality: especially in politics, one’s past mistakes and actions are always brought to light and can have serious consequences.  He didn’t sugar-coat that or have an instant resolution to the problem.

I haven’t read the previous books in this series, but I was able to figure out what had happened and enjoy this one as a standalone novel. The dialog was sometimes a little long, but the action was fast. It moved along quickly, never getting dull. It was a suspenseful book, not romantic suspense, with various threads that tied up at the end – not in a tidy bow, but in a satisfactory knot, leaving the reader looking forward to the next book in the series.

BTW –  At first, I thought the title was a misnomer, since the hero of this book doesn’t actually do any running. He stays in place and fights! Then I realized (days later) that it probably refers to the fact that he’s running for office. Very clever, Dave Milbrandt!

 

About the Book

 

Running by Dave MilbrandtBook Title: Running

Author: Dave Milbrandt

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release date: May 1, 2018

An assassin’s bullet sends Jim Mitchell running. When he’ll stop is anybody’s guess.

A tragedy propels Jim into a vacant state assembly seat. The new lawmaker and his wife have a baby on the way, but that doesn’t stop the people trying to keep him from a job he never wanted in the first place. Then Jim gets involved in a plan to thwart a major terror attack that could either make him a hero or get him killed.

Political intrigue and high drama accent this tale of what it costs to find one’s purpose, and what the rewards can be when you do.

Running is the third book in the Jim Mitchell series. Previous titles include Chasing Deception and Undue Pressure.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Dave Milbrandt - Review of RunningThe author of Chasing Deception and Undue Pressure, Dave Milbrandt fell in love with writing in junior high and has been a storyteller ever since. A former staff writer for a daily newspap  er, the Southern California native spent five years in journalism and public relations before becoming a teacher. Having worked at several area colleges, Dave has taught high school English and Social Studies classes since 2005 and fills his evenings sharing a passion for politics with his community college students. Dave and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1997.

 

Guest Post from Dave Milbrandt

In 1998, I feverishly pounded out the first draft of Chasing Deception (book one in the Jim Mitchell series) in five weeks. Full of ambition, but bereft of wisdom of how the publishing world works, I assumed my novel would be published in short order. Despite my overly abundant self-assurance, I had to wait until 2013 to get that story out. I was in a hurry, but God, as usual, had other plans.

Over the last 20 years, I have discovered the gift of patience and more about the craft of good writing than I ever could have expected during that summer half a lifetime ago. With Undue Pressure (2016) and Running (2018), I have completed the trilogy I never planned to write and hopefully given readers some characters that will stick with them after they reach the end of the story.

Running by Dave MilbrandtBlog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 28

Carpe Diem, July 28

Bibliophile Reviews, July 29

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 30

A Baker’s Perspective, July 31

At the Fence, August 1

Cathe Swanson, August 1

Just the Write Escape, August 2

Multifarious, August 3

Mary Hake, August 3

Blogging With Carol, August 4

The Midnight Bookaholic, August 4

proud to be an autism mom, August 5

Simple Harvest Reads, August 5 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

Janices book reviews, August 8

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Spotlight)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 9

Reading is my Super Power, August 9 (Interview)

Two Points of Interest, August 10

Bigreadersite, August 10

Giveaway

Books by Dave Milbrandt

To celebrate his tour, Dave is giving away a grand prize that includes ebooks of all three books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d33e/running-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tell me…

Do you enjoy political thrillers, suspense books, mysteries? Have you read this one yet? Who are your favorite authors?

liz Johnson

I Love My Instant Pot

You probably don’t need another raving endorsement for this popular new appliance, but I just can’t stop myself. I love this thing. The Instant Pot does it all.  Often, it does it all at once, and there is only one pot to clean up – a nice big stainless steel pot that washes up easily.

I was skeptical when the kids gave it to me for my birthday. I’d been encouraging the girls to get one, since they have families to feed, but I didn’t think it would be worthwhile to get one for myself. All of our children are grown and gone, and I just cook for my husband and myself.  The Instant Pot seemed  unnecessary. Frivolous. I didn’t want another bulky appliance cluttering up my kitchen and collecting dust.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, go to Amazon and buy one. Here’s my affiliate link: INSTANT POTI love my Instant Pot by Cathe SwansonThis is the one I got:  Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

I started with white rice. It was perfect – just like the chow mein place, A little sticky, but not at all mushy.  Brown rice was just as good. My usual rice is unpredictable, and I always make a mess when the starchy water overflows onto the stove top.  If all the Instant Pot did was cook rice, it would be worth the expense.  But it also makes perfect boiled eggs. (See note above, about my rice-making issues. My eggs technique is similar. ) We now eat more rice and eggs than we used to.

Instant Pot yogurt Cathe Swanson

Then I made yogurt. I eat a lot of Greek yogurt, and the cheapest quart available is nearly $4. I was able to make more than twice that much with one gallon of milk, which cost less than $2, and it’s delicious.  Tastes just like sour cream, and look how thick and yummy it is!

I took a seven-pound ham from the deep freezer and cooked it in an hour.  A whole chicken.  Pork. Sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash,  and even spaghetti (including the dry noodles – just one pot!) Chili and soup of every kind are fast and easy in the amazing Instant Pot! Dried beans without overnight soaking and hours of cooking! Apparently, corn on the cob and popcorn are possible, too, although I haven’t tried them.  And, of course, it operates as a slow cooker, too.

There are many Instant Pot cookbooks, including those for special diets, but Pinterest will provide abundant information and recipes.

So there you have it… my unsolicited, unpaid, hearty endorsement of the Instant Pot.

Do you have one? Do you love it? What do you cook in it?

liz Johnson

ACFW Christian Fiction ~ New Releases ~ July 2018

July 2018 New Releases

Do you enjoy ACFW Christian Fiction?  Check out Fiction Finder – a searchable website for the best in ACFW Christian Fiction of every genre. More in-depth descriptions of these ACFW Christian Fiction books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

 

Contemporary Romance:

A Widow's Hope by Vannetta Chapman

A Widow’s Hope by Vannetta Chapman — After tragedy claimed her husband’s life and her son’s ability to walk, Hannah King doesn’t want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Fire Storm by Laura V. Hilton

Firestorm by Laura V. Hilton — Bridget Behr can’t shake the guilt that it was her fault her family moved—and is too afraid to trust anyone, especially the flirtatious, overly-friendly Amish man who lives next door. Just as Bridget is finally settling into friendship, a new life, and maybe even love, a devastating forest fire ravages the county, destroying both land and the Behrs’ dreams. Now Bridget and her family must decide: will they leave behind the ashes and start anew in another Amish community? Or will they dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

General Contemporary:

Ride to the Altar by Linda Yezak

Ride to the Altar by Linda W. Yezak — Cattle are dying on the Circle Bar, putting the Texas ranch in financial jeopardy. Newly engaged Patricia Talbert and Talon Carlson must root out the cause before they can concentrate on wedding plans—which involves Patricia’s traveling to New York to patch things up with her domineering mother. While she is away, Talon discovers that the attacks on the ranch are connected to the murder of his first fiancée over eight years ago. Before they can move forward together, each have to resolve the past. Will they be able to start their new life with a clean slate? (General Contemporary from Canopy Books of Texas)

General Historical:

ACFW Christian Fiction - My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texax

My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas by Kathleen Y’Barbo — Dodging bullets takes a simple missing person case to a new level as Jonah Cahill, a Pinkerton agent, and Madeline Latour, an investigative reporter, form a tentative truce in Galveston, Texas, 1880. Are they on to a much bigger story when their best witness is suddenly kidnapped? (General Historical from Barbour Publishing)

Historical Mystery:

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright — Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Historical Romance:

This Freedom Journey by Misty M. Beller — Adrien Lockman left France to finally live life on his own terms, but when he discovers a half-starved and half-frozen woman in the treacherous Canadian mountains, the truth soon becomes clear—the only way they’ll survive is together. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Widow’s Plight by Mary Davis — After moving to a new town and joining a quilting circle, a single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart — Orphaned during an early 19th century cholera epidemic and helped by a slave to find a new home, Adria Starr must now stand up for his freedom—and maybe find her own in the process. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano — A young heiress is suddenly the poorest wealthy woman in all of England when her father dies without telling anyone where he put his money. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

Mystery:

Shifting Sands by Elizabeth Ludwig — A mysterious key hidden in the depths of an ancient lighthouse unlocks family secrets hidden for generations. (Cozy Mystery from Guideposts Publications)

Guarded Prognosis by Richard L. Mabry — At first Dr. Caden Taggart feared for his freedom, then for his ability to cope, and eventually he feared for his life. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll — When Adelaide Fountaine, the general manager of a hotel in New Orleans, finds the body of a guest who was stabbed with a kitchen knife, her childhood friend Detective Beau Savoie is shocked to discover a connection between his friend–the woman he’s quietly loved for years—and the murdered guest. But Beau can’t press Adelaide too hard . . . because he’s keeping secrets of his own. Can Adelaide and Beau afford to hide from the truth with a killer on the loose? (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)

Camp Hope by Sara L. Foust — Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will Amy succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in a vast wilderness forever? (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey — Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to join an elite team of terrorist hunters. Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he’s back, asking her help to stop America’s newest terrorist threat—an attack that would shake the country to its core. Together they must navigate secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next mark? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Young Adult:

Launch by Jason C. Joyner ACFW Christian Fiction

Launch by Jason C. Joyner — Teens with special abilities are invited to an exclusive conference where tech billionaire Simon Mazor is looking for those who can help him influence the world. (Young Adult from Little Lamb Books)

ACFW Christian Fiction New Releases July 2018

For the newest and best in ACFW Christian fiction, be sure to check the Fiction Finder website regularly! Its powerful and flexible search program will help you find just what you are looking for.

Have you checked out my own ACFW Christian fiction novels? See them HERE! My springtime novel, Baggage Claim, is available on Amazon now. Check it out!

Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson

liz Johnson

Amish Cooking with Rachel J. Good

Are you a creative cook? It should be easy for most of us. We have year-round access to foods from all over the world, in and out of season. We have refrigerators, stoves and a variety of electric appliances.  Best of all… we have Pinterest! And if we don’t cook, we can still order pizza, right?

How creative would you be without all those conveniences? Day after day, three meals a day? I’d probably do great for one week and then we’d starve. My creativity is not manifested in the kitchen, so I asked Rachel J. Good, author of best-selling Amish romances, to tell us how her Amish friends do it.

Hi Rachel! What inspired you to write Amish fiction?

Rachel J. Good and Amish CookingI grew up near Lancaster, and later when I worked in the library, we had many Amish patrons. I especially loved the Amish children who came to my storytimes. My best friend gave part of her farmland as a right-of-way to an Amish school, so we enjoy watching the children walking or driving their small pony carts to school. I now have many Amish friends in Lancaster County, who have invited me into their homes and lives. I admire their steadfast belief that God is in control of all circumstances of their lives and their forgiveness of others who wrong them, so I try to incorporate those values into my books along with the love and closeness of Amish families and communities.

It sounds your relationships there are a blessing!

One of the fun things about doing research for Amish novels is visiting my Amish friends in their homes. I admire how hard they work during the day. They get up at daybreak to gather eggs, milk cows, feed chickens and other animals, and then cook breakfasts for their large families. Their houses are always spotless, so they have long lists of chores to accomplish. And during the spring, summer, and fall, they add gardening and canning to their list of chores. Actually, they can all year, because they also can meats.

I’ve sometimes gone along to pick up bulk meats, and young boys pull wagonloads of chicken and beef to the car. (Yes, our Amish friends like us to drive them to get the huge meat orders. There’s not a lot of room in their buggies once all the children have been squeezed in.) When they get home, they have plenty of work to do. If you’ve ever seen an Amish basement or pantry, it’s filled with shelf after shelf of gleaming glass jars in a dazzling array of colors. In addition to chicken and other meats, those jars hold fruits, vegetables, tomato sauce, applesauce, cheese sauce, soup, pickles, jam, chow chow, grape juice, and many other delicious foods.

Canned food To can chicken, my Amish friends fill quart jars with raw, boneless chicken thighs. They add a 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper to the jar. They cook the jars in a hot water bath for three hours. If you have a pressure canner, you can cook the chicken for 90 minutes. This chicken is great for quesadillas, casseroles, and soups.

Having canned food on hand helps an Amish wife in many ways. If she needs to serve a quick dinner (lunch to the Englisch, or non-Amish) because friends stop by or she wants a “fast-food” meal after a long day of cleaning and outdoor work, she can send one of the children down the cellar to grab a few jars of ham and bean soup and applesauce. What does applesauce have to do with soup? If you ever dine with the Amish, you will see that they put applesauce on just about everything: pizza, bread, and even in soup. In just a few minutes she has a hot meal ready to serve her friends (adding some crackers and a dessert, of course) or a hearty meal for her whole family.

If her husband’s favorite supper is yummasetti, and she just doesn’t have all the ingredients to prepare it exactly the way the recipe says, she can take some macaroni and add a jar of cooked ground beef and a jar of canned cheese sauce to it and have a quick favorite (close to the real thing) ready when he gets home from work.

*Check out the Yummasetti recipe below!*

Some of the canned foods become part of the Sunday meal the Amish serve after church. Because the Amish meet in homes, each family will host the church service, usually twice a year, depending on the size of the district. Part of the Amish church meal is pickles. Most Amish women will can enough pickles each year to feed their families and to serve when church is at their homes. Pickles are also a staple at most meals.

Cooking with the Amish - manual chopper from AmazonWe often pop things into a microwave, but the Amish don’t have electricity. So how do they can foods, cook such good meals, or heat up leftovers? The more conservative Amish groups use woodstoves; other districts use propane or bottled gas to run appliances. As long as they aren’t hooked up to the grid, these appliances aren’t considered being part of the world. My Amish friends in Lancaster use gas and also run their refrigerators with propane. To warm leftovers, they usually put them in a saucepan or baking dish and heat them on the stove or in the oven covered with foil, so it doesn’t seem much different than our kitchens. But you won’t see any electrical appliances like blenders, mixers, choppers, etc., unless the home uses solar. Our friends have several manual choppers like the one pictured. All of our Amish friends also have grills and enjoy grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, sausages, and other meats outside.

Yummasetti

4 lb hamburger

1 onion

12 oz macaroni

1 ½ qt potatoes

1 pt peas

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

3 c milk

Bread crumbs

Cheese

In a skillet, fry the hamburger with the onion. Cook macaroni and potatoes in two separate pots. Drain both. Mix meat, macaroni, and potatoes with peas and put mixture in a large roasting pan. Mix soups with milk and pour over the meat mixture. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.   Uncover and sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.

Thanks, Rachel! It’s fascinating that even though the Amish are our neighbors, their lives are so different from our own – and in some ways, we are very much alike. I am looking forward to reading your recently released book, The Amish Teacher’s Gift! Can you tell me about it?

The Amish Teacher’s Gift was a joy to write. It’s about an Amish teacher in a special needs school. I had a wonderful time researching Amish methods of teaching their special children and was amazed how up-to-date their techniques were. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, because although the Amish only go to eighth grade in school, all the Amish I know are lifelong learners. They came to the library often to get nonfiction books on many different topics.

The Amish Teacher's Gift by Rachel J. Good The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good

Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it’s not easy with a deaf young son who doesn’t understand why his mamm isn’t coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn’t sure she wanted to take on teaching too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she’ll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. Yet with no time to court and a family secret holding her back, how can she allow herself to fall in love?

And available for preorder now:

The Amish Midwife's Secret by Rachel J. GoodThe Amish Midwife’s Secret by Rachel J. Good
Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her traditions with his modern medicine…
The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.

 

About the Love & Promises series:

Following Rumschpringe the Amish face many life decisions–embracing their faith, choosing their careers, entering lifelong relationships. A group of friends shares this heartwarming time as they grow, live, and learn to love.

 

 

 

The Love & Promises titles:

The Amish Teacher’s Gift  (April 24, 2018)

The Amish Midwife’s Secret (November 27, 2018)

The Amish Widow’s Rescue (May 26, 2019)

 

Rachel J. Good:

Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel loves to travel and visit many different Amish communities. In searching for the best Amish soft pretzels, she’s visited many Amish markets, auctions, and mud sales. Because of her love of Amish food, she tries to include recipes in her books as often as possible. When she’s not traveling, she spends time with family and writing.

In addition to her Amish novels, she’s written more than 40 books, including children’s educational books, adult nonfiction, and fiction for children and teens under several pen names. To find out more about Rachel and her books, you can sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/1qwci4Q

Where to find Rachel online: 

www.racheljgood.com

https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/

https://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-J-Good/100009699285059

https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good

https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-J-Good/e/B019DWF4FG

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-j-good

https://www.instagram.com/rachelj.good

Thank you, Rachel J. Good, for sharing those insights into the Amish community!

 

Amish Quilts Coloring Book by Rachel J. Good

As a professional quilter, I was tickled to see that Rachel has an Amish Quilts coloring book! How fun! Amish quilts are beautiful. A funny story about that…

At a local quilt guild meeting, nearly 30 years ago, we had a guest speaker who told us about Amish quilts. A newspaper reporter was there, and he wrote up a nice article with quotes from the speaker. A few weeks later, at the Amish market, one of the Amish ladies stopped me. She said, “I have a bone to pick with you!” That naturally surprised me very much, since we had just a pleasant, passing acquaintance, talking mostly about sewing and quilting.  I asked her why. “Because you said that we Amish people always make one deliberate mistake in our quilts, because only God is perfect. And that’s not true, because only God is perfect, and we make plenty of mistakes without doing it on purpose!” I didn’t try to explain that I wasn’t the one who had made that statement, but I apologized and said I would set the record straight at our next meeting. She smiled kindly and never mentioned it again.  It’s one of my favorite memories of the Amish community we lived near in Missouri.  They were such nice ladies.

Do you like reading Amish fiction? What aspects of the Amish community and life do you find most interesting?

 

liz Johnson

ACFW Christian Fiction ~ New Releases ~ June 2018

June 2018 New Releases

Do you enjoy ACFW Christian Fiction?  Check out Fiction Finder – a searchable website for the best in ACFW Christian Fiction of every genre. More in-depth descriptions of these ACFW Christian Fiction books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

The Sleuth's Miscalculation by Kimberly Rose Johnson  ACFW Christian Fiction June 2018 Cathe Swanson

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

Falling for the Cowgirls by Tina Radcliffe  ~ ACFW Christian Fiction Cathe Swanson

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

Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh ~ ACFW Christian Fiction Cathe Swanson

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

General Contemporary:

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

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

General Historical:

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

Historical Romance:

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

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

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

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

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

Romantic Suspense:

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

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

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

Speculative:

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

 

ACFW Christian Fiction New Releases June 2018

For the newest and best in ACFW Christian fiction, be sure to check the Fiction Finder website regularly! Its powerful and flexible search program will help you find just what you are looking for.

Have you checked out my own ACFW Christian fiction novels? See them HERE! My springtime novel, Baggage Claim, is available on Amazon now. Check it out!

Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson

liz Johnson

My Favorite Rhubarb Crisp Recipe – with a printable recipe card!

Rhubarb Crisp Recipe ~ Cathe Swanson

Click HERE for a 4″X6″ printable version of my recipe.

First of all… Let’s get real. I have more than one weakness. I admit it – I am a multi-flawed individual. But this is a big one:  I love rhubarb crisp. At least once a year, during rhubarb season, I make as many pans of rhubarb crisp as possible and eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks until it is all gone. It’s good hot from the oven, or at room temperature or cold. I don’t need ice cream or whipped cream. It stands on its own merits. I love rhubarb crisp.

Rhubarb Plant at the Castle - Cathe Swanson - Rhubarb RecipeHey… it’s seasonal

Normally, I eat a fairly clean diet relatively low in carbs and high in protein. I eat weird things like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (not together). All year long, I avoid cakes, candy and other sweets, but during rhubarb season, I eat enough sugar, fat and empty calories to make up for it. And I don’t feel guilty.

In the past, I was dependent on the kindness of my friends, so sometimes I could only make one batch a year, but there is an established supply of rhubarb where I live now.

Rhubarb is easy to grow and harvest, and YES, you can compost the leaves. You can find more information about rhubarb HERE. 

My Favorite Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

My rhubarb crisp recipe came from my friend’s mother. LaVonne assured me it’s not a family secret. LaVonne doesn’t like rhubarb crisp. (That’s why we are such good friends. She doesn’t expect me to give her any of my rhubarb crisp.  Since I won’t be sharing mine, here’s how you can make your own rhubarb crisp.

Harvest rhubarb stalks, cut off the leaves, wash them and chop them into pieces – about 1/3” wide. You will need 3 quarts of chopped rhubarb.

Rhubarb Crisp Recipe - Cathe SwansonHeat the oven to 350*
Grease four 9” square or round cake pans. I use that old-fashioned, much-maligned, trans-fatty Crisco shortening for greasing pans. Butter will scorch.

Put into a large pot:
3 quarts chopped rhubarb
3 C. White sugar (I use 2 1/2 cups, to assuage the guilt)
3 C. Water
3 t. Vanilla
6 T. Cornstarch
Cook this until is it thick and syrupy.
While it is cooking, melt 1 1/2 C. (three sticks!) butter. Put it in a large bowl and stir by hand into crumbles:
3 C. Flour (I use half whole wheat and half unbleached)
2 1/2 C. Oats
1 1/2 C. Brown sugar (I usually use 1 1/4 cup.)
1 1/2 C. White sugar (I usually use one cup.)

Put half the crumbs in the greased pans. Pour the sauce over the crumbs and then put the rest of the crumbs on top. Bake for 40 minutes.

 

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION OF MY RHUBARB CRISP RECIPE!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Recipe for Rhubarb Crisp

What is your favorite food weakness?

(It doesn’t have to be a weakness, really. Maybe your very favorite food is green beans!)