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Comfort & Joy

Comfort & Joy - The 2018 Christmas Lights Collection, with Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, April Hayman, Cathe Swanson and Chautona HavigThis week, I’m finishing up my Christmas novella, The Christmas Glory Quilt. It will be my contribution to the 2018 Christmas Lights novella collection: Comfort & Joy.  This year’s collection is going to be bigger and better than ever before,  with contemporary Christian Christmas stories from Alana Terry, April Hayman, Toni Shiloh, Chautona Havig and me.  Isn’t it a beautiful cover?

Frost Heaves by Alana Terry
The Trouble with Christmas Cheer by April Hayman
Deck the Shelves by Toni Shiloh
The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson
The Ghosts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig

Comfort & Joy will be available exclusively on Amazon on October 15th. We’re looking for a few more launch team members, to help share the news. If you are interested in getting a free advance reader copy of the book and participating in our very fun Facebook group, please click HERE for more information and fill out the form.

 

The Christmas Glory Quilt

The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson - in the 2018 Christmas Lights Collection, Comfort & JoyThe Christmas Glory Quilt will be the first in a series with a seasonal quilt theme – Autumn Glory Quilt, Easter Glory Quilt, etc. (I still need to work on those titles!) Being an overachiever, I designed a quilt to go with the book and plan to offer the pattern as a bonus for early purchasers of the book.  It was a busy summer – and I had to write the book! – so it took a long time just to get it pieced.

Yesterday morning, my good friend and book cover designer, the multi-talented Chautona Havig, said, “I need pictures of the quilt, draped around two people. Now.” So I dropped everything and quilted. For nine hours, I sat at the dining room table and quilted. I finished about six o’clock and my husband helped me take pictures. Triumphantly, I sent them to Chautona.

But they weren’t good enough. An iPhone 5S may take good pictures for posting online, even indoors, but they aren’t good enough to use on the front of a printed book. I thought, “All that work, for nothing. I wasted the whole day, when I should have been working on the book, cleaning house, making dinner, taking a shower…”

Have you even done something difficult and then it fell short? Wasn’t good enough? Did it crush you? Make you feel like a failure? In my head, I know that now I have a finished quilt. I need to figure out how to get a better picture. It will be challenging, but I will make it work out. In my heart, I am disappointed. Deflated. Frustrated. I have to do the pictures all over again and I’m further behind on my book.

Redeeming the Time

But there was a grain of something good in the experience, and it wasn’t the quilt or the pictures. For about half an hour, my husband and I had a wonderful time together.

What we needed was a “green screen” picture of the quilt wrapped around two people. Chautona was going to cut out the quilt part of the picture and superimpose it on the purchased picture of these two attractive models. Kind of like paper dolls, if you remember those.

 

 

 

 

 

So the quilt had to be draped just right, to fit the existing picture. My husband hung a black sheet on the wall, and we set the laptop, open to the picture of the models, on a chair in front of us. To get the right angle, we put the phone/camera on top of a stepladder on top of the piano bench. We practiced standing in the right position first, and then we worked on arranging the quilt.

The thing is, those models are wrapped in a soft, stretchy knit blanket. A brand new quilt is stiff. It doesn’t drape. But we tried. We wrapped up in it, as best we could, then we scooted forward to push the camera button and scooted back, trying to get into position before the ten-second timer went off. It was hilarious. We laughed together, harder than we have in years. We have more ‘blooper’ shots than usable pictures. In most of them, we were rolled up like a burrito or shaped like a Christmas tree. Sometimes, the camera snapped the picture before we were ready.

 

And we laughed and laughed. My husband said, “We know how to do Friday night!” It was a good time, and it will be a sweet memory. Marriage is hard, and sometimes the fun is just drained away. Sometimes we – like many married couples – go along from day to day, doing what has to be done. So I spent a day making that quilt, and even though my original purpose wasn’t achieved, the time was redeemed. God knew we needed that “date night” more quilt pictures. Isn’t He wonderful?

Comfort & Joy

I look forward to sharing more about The Christmas Glory Quilt soon. I’m having so much fun writing it!  All of the books in this year’s collection, Comfort & Joy, are enjoyable, so watch for updates on the Comfort & Joy Facebook page. 
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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?

 

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ACFW Christian Fiction ~ New Releases ~ April 2018

April 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

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon — After inheriting a crumbling lighthouse, ex-Army doctor Ben Garrison wants to sell it. But Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber is determined to save the town landmark. Can these two romance-wary souls finds a meeting of the minds…and hearts? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

An Amish Heirloom novella collection

An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Beth Wiseman — From bestselling Amish authors come four novellas about the meaning and tradition found behind every family heirloom. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Historical Romance

This Wilderness Journey by Misty Beller — He’s been sent to retrieve the new missionary… But she’s not at all who he expects to find. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy — Deborah and her sister and two little children survive a wagon train massacre. Trace finds them and takes them home. He finds himself their accidental guardian. He must protect them all and gain justice. When he does, all these friendly visitors–especially Deborah–will leave him forever. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

First Love Forever Romance Collection by Susanne Dietze, Marcia Gruver, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancette Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, Erica Vetsch, and Jennifer Uhlarik — Coming face to face with a lost love can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.” In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

All Things Beautiful by Keely Brooke Keith — It’s 1868 in the settlement of Good Springs, and Hannah Vestal is passionate about writing fiction and keeping her stories to herself. When her father asks to read her work, she decides to have it printed secretly for his 50th birthday. Hannah tries to arrange the printing with the settlement’s pressman, but the witty and dapper Henry Roberts has better things to do with his ink. In order to secure settlement support for his printing press, the elder council says Henry must print an error-free copy of the New Testament before the settlement’s 8th anniversary celebration. He is determined to meet their challenge, but when the enigmatic Hannah proves to be a beguiling distraction, Henry longs for something more than a life at the letterpress. (Historical Romance from Edenbrooke Press)

Adoration by Olivia Rae — Sir Darrin de Longue is desperate to get his lands back from Lady Faith de Sainte-Marie, the woman who betrayed him and may have had a hand in his father’s murder. But King Richard discloses on his deathbed that Lady Faith is the king’s daughter and then issues an ultimatum Darrin must obey. In order to reclaim his lands, he must marry Lady Faith and get her with child in a year’s time. Lady Faith has loved the rowdy and bold Sir Darrin since childhood, but cannot be a true wife to the bitter, angry man whom she has wed. In order to gain his trust and love, she vows to find the truth about his father’s murder. But when she stumbles upon deadly secrets, will she be able to prove her innocence–and his–to erase the past and win Darrin’s heart? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

Under Prairie Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Illinois prairie, 1855. Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths are destined to cross again. Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo — The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

General Contemporary

Shadows of Hope by Georgiana Daniels — Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around. But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope. (General Contemporary from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense

Secret Past by Sharee Stover — With gunmen at her doorstep, Katie Tribani learns her true identity. She’s been in witness protection since childhood, and now her crime-lord father has found her. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin]

Young Adult

Chase by Glenn Haggerty - ACFW Christian Fiction

Chase by Glenn Haggerty — Tyler, a middle school newbie, shadows drug runners to rat out the methamphetamine dealer before his friend turns into a brain-dead druggie. (Young Adult, Independently Published)

 

 

ACFW Christian Fiction New Releases April 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 newest novel, Hope for the Holidays, is available on Amazon now. Check it out!

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ACFW Christian Fiction ~ New Releases ~ March 2018

March 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:

Finally a Bride by Renee Andrews — Her dreams of love haven’t worked out, but veterinarian Haley Calhoun intends to grant an orphaned boy’s wish. She’ll heal Eli’s injured puppy—while resisting his charming counselor, Gavin Thomason, at the children’s home. Still mourning the loss of his wife and baby, Gavin believes he can’t commit again. But in losing their hearts to Eli, will Haley and Gavin discover they’ve found the family they need? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love and Roses by Sally Bayless — Looking for a fresh start, former Manhattan lawyer Nate Redmond agrees to arrange the sale of the outdated Rose Park in small-town Missouri, not realizing it has deep sentimental value to his new neighbor, Abby Kincaid—a beautiful widow he’d like to impress. When their plans for the park clash, he learns he’s competing against the memory of her husband, a decorated war hero. With plenty of past mistakes hiding in the in the hedges, can Abby and Nate learn forgiveness and courage in time for love to grow? (Contemporary Romance from Kimberlin Belle Publishing)

Courting Her Amish Heart by Mary Davis — In this first book of the Prodigal Daughters series, Kathleen Yoder comes home after fourteen years in the Englisher world. Practicing medicine means sacrifice—no Amish man will want a doctor for a wife. Widowed Noah Lambright offers a cottage as her new clinic, seeing how much Kathleen’s skills can help their community. But as their friendship deepens, could love and family become more than a forbidden dream? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart by Jan Drexler — As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp is finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farm worker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own. Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community – even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes – and hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Reluctant Groom by Kimberly Rose Johnson — When Ray O’Brien’s world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind Ray can’t dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing—they aren’t in love. Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Anna’s Forgotten Fiance by Carrie Lighte — An accident leaves Anna Weaver with no memory of her Amish hometown’s newest arrival—her fiancé! After a whirlwind courtship, their wedding’s in six weeks…but how can she marry a man she can’t remember? Carpenter Fletcher Chupp takes her on a walk down memory lane, but there’s one thing he wants to keep hidden: a secret that might just lose him the woman he loves. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh — Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?
Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise. Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

General & Women’s Fiction:

Justice by Emily Conrad — Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. (General from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel — When her heart donor’s parents give Megan Jacobs their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

ACFW Christian Fiction

Sweet Meets by Deborah Raney — From short stories to novellas, from contemporary to historical, all of award-winning author Deborah Raney’s short works have been gathered into one great collection for one low price.
Includes the following novellas and short stories: Going Once, Special Delivery, Haiti’s Song, Prairie Lessons, Finally Home, Circle of Blessings. (Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Historical Romance:

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Ranchers Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears ~ ACFW Christian Fiction

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears — In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain serves on the schoolboard, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job. Aaron has returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He sets out to prove to Mercy he now has the best interests of the children at heart. Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo — In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper, used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason — A young man suddenly thrust into nobility is torn between the servant girl he hopes to marry and the father he’s always longed for. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyers — Wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, is about to wed a man she loathes. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, postponing the wedding. After escaping to Wisconsin with her family she realizes she loves Irish immigrant, Rory Quinn, and prepares to break the wedding plans, which are still on. Then she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Husband by Arrangement by Angel Moore — Abandoned by her secret fiancé, the mayor’s pregnant daughter marries the sheriff. Can she overcome her past and help him save the town from corruption? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Beneath A Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer — Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence, but when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the grooms-to-be. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Romantic Suspense:

ACFW Christian Fiction

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn — After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. Leigh reaches out for help from her high school friend and volunteer underwater investigator, Ryan Parker. But when Ryan finds the body of a wealthy businessman in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh and deadly implications for them all. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

ACFW Christian Fiction

Secret Service Setup by Jessica R. Patch — Secret Service agent Evan Novak becomes the target of multiple hit men when someone puts a two-million-dollar bounty on his head. Is it the gunrunner he’s tracking…or a traitorous agent? Framed and wanted, Evan reluctantly accepts protection from bodyguard Jody Gallagher, his former love who lost her Agency career because of him. But then the bounty is raised to include Jody… (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

ACFW Christian Fiction

Fugitive Spy by Jordyn Redwood — A spy with amnesia—and a mission he can’t remember. When Casper English lands in her ER with amnesia, Dr. Ashley Drager learns he has a picture of her…and the same tattoo as her long-missing father. With a dangerous man after Casper, and his memories possibly holding the key to finding Ashley’s father, she secretly whisks him away from the hospital. But can she keep him alive long enough to help him regain his memories? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

ACFW Christian Fiction New Releases March 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 newest novel, Hope for the Holidays, is available on Amazon now. Check it out!

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Christian Fiction in every genre and an Amazon gift card!

Have you read Christian fiction lately?

Celebrate Lite Mid-Winter giveaway - Christian fiction in every genre - Contest ends Feb 11, 2018Check out the awesome collection of  books in this giveaway! It’s a sampler with 17 books, representing Christian fiction in every genre, from sweet Amish romances to psychological thrillers and suspense – and everything in between. Historical, contemporary, western, WWII, sci-fi and fantasy… It’s a great opportunity to try something new.

I have eclectic reading habits, so I already own half of these books. Maybe you do, too, so it would be even better if you win the GRAND prize: a $50  Amazon gift card! Seriously… that’s as good as cash. I love Amazon.

My book, Baggage Claim, is included in this giveaway.  It’s sort of a hybrid suspense/romance/family/women’s fiction/comedy/drama/coming-of-age/mystery book.  I had so much writing it. It made me laugh and cry even as I wrote it,  and I can’t wait to revisit the Upper Peninsula and all of the characters — especially the kids — in the next book in the Great Lakes series, which I am writing now!

So enter to win, because both prizes are awesome! The giveaway ends on February 11th.

 

 

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Sins of the Past – a Novella Collection

  Sins of the Past, a romantic suspense novella collection by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason Sins of the Past

Novellas vary, in length and in quality.  In a full-length novel, the author has more time to develop the plot and characters. The novella has to contain all of the story elements in a more compact package. It’s not an easy job – harder, in some ways, than writing a long book. The author has to develop a complete plot, create well-developed characters and (usually) write a believable romance  in a much shorter form. Novellas come in different sizes, usually between 25,000 and 45,000 words. Multi-author novella collections are popular, especially at Christmastime. They can be inexpensive and fun introduction to new authors.

This novella collection from three distinguished writers of romantic suspense, was published one year ago, and I have already listened to it twice. Obviously, I liked it! All three of the authors are on my “read everything list.”

Missing - a novella by Dee HendersonMissing

Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series is one of the most popular and enduring family sagas in its genre. I’ve read them all at least twice, so I had high expectations for her contribution to this collection, Missing. I was disappointed. As I considered it later, I decided that her full-length books are paced in a more leisurely style, developing gradually over a long period of time. She couldn’t do that in a short novella, so the characters had no depth. The romance didn’t make sense. I liked the plot, but unlike traditional mysteries, the ending was based on something totally unknown to the reader. I will still continue to read everything else she writes, of course, because I love her work!

Shadowed - a novella by Dani PettreyShadowed

I have been an enthusiastic Dani Pettrey fan since I found her first book, Submerged, shortly after it was released. It’s still one of my favorite books, and I’ve read everything she’s written since then – usually in audiobook form. Her novella, Shadowed, is by far the best of this collection. It reads like a full-length book, a complex and worthy addition to the Alaskan Courage series. It was set in the 1970’s – a fun and unusual time period we don’t see much of in current books. I enjoyed the “retro” cultural references. Shadowed has terrific characters, plot, setting… and bonus points for continuing the alliteration.

Blackout - a novella by Lynette EasonBlackout

I have only recently started reading Lynette Eason, but I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read so far. Blackout was a little confusing sometimes, with many characters, but still very good. It moved quickly, with intense action, and I liked the base and progression of the romantic relationship.

Each of the novellas is now available separately, but the Sins of the Past collection is a bargain – and you can pick up the audio version for just a few dollars more!

What do you think?

What has been your experience with novellas?  Have you read many of them? What, in your opinion, makes a novella a good book?

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