Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Laura Hilton Introduces The Second Chance Brides Collection and Her Novella, Married By Mistake







A Warm Welcome to Laura V. Hilton

Laura will give away a print copy of Second Chance Brides (USA only). To enter to win leave a comment below and an email address.


Laura's an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Hi Laura, Lots of writers enjoy reading as children. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?  

Yes, yes, yes. I read everthing I could get my hands on, including cereal boxes, grocery store ads, anything.  Reading was a need. I was the type who went to the library and came home with a stack of books.

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

I write because that is what God called me to do. I always wanted to be a writer.

Tell us about your latest book.




Married by Mistake is a novella in Second Chance Brides Romance Collection with eight other talented authors.  The blurb for the collection is:  Hope for Happy Endings Is Renewed in Nine Historical Romances

Meet nine women from history spanning from 1776 to 1944 feel the sting of having lost out on love. Can their hope for experiencing romance again be renewed?

Love in the Crossfire by Lauralee Bliss - Trenton, New Jersey, 1776
Gretchen Hanson watched her beau go off to war and never return. She soon falls for an enemy scout who stumbles upon her farm. If Jake is discovered, it could mean death for them all. Will Gretchen let go of love or stand strong?

Daughter of Orion by Ramona K. Cecil - New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1859
Whaling widow, Matilda Daggett, vows to never again give her heart to a seaman. But when debt drives her to masquerade as a cabin boy on a whaling ship, a young harpooner threatens both her vow and her heart.

The Substitute Husband and the Unexpected Bride by Pamela Griffin - Washington Territory, 1864
Cecily McGiver, a mail-order bride, arrives in the rugged Washington Territory shocked to find herself without a husband—that is until Garrett, a widower, offers to take the position. Can the challenges that face them lead to love?

The Prickly Pear Bride by Pam Hillman - Little Prickly Pear Creek, Montana Territory, 1884
Shepherdess Evelyn Arnold left her intended at the altar so he could marry the woman he really loved. Dubbed Miss Prickly Pear, Evelyn is resigned to a loveless life and the ridicule of her neighbors. When Cole Rawlins sweeps her out of a raging river, she realizes even a prickly pear can find love.

The Widow of St. Charles Avenue by Grace Hitchcock - New Orleans, 1895
Colette Olivier, a young widow who married out of obligation, finds herself at the end of her mourning period and besieged with suitors out for her inheritance. With her pick of any man, she is drawn to an unlikely choice.

Married by Mistake by Laura V. Hilton - Mackinac Island, 1902
When a plan to pose for advertising goes awry, Thomas Hale and Bessie O’Hara find themselves legally married. Now Bessie and Thomas must decide whether to continue the charade or walk away. Either choice could ruin them if the truth gets out.

Fanned Embers by Angela Breidenbach - Bitterroot Mountains, Montana/Idaho border, 1910
Stranded in the treacherous railroad camp after her husband’s murder, Juliana Hayes has no desire to marry a ruffian like Lukas Filips. Can she release prejudice to love again? Or will they even survive the fiery Pacific Northwest disaster to find out?

From a Distance by Amber Stockton - Breckenridge, Colorado, 1925
Financial Manager Trevor Fox sets out to find a lady to love him and not his money, then meets and falls for an average girl only to discover she’d deceived him to protect her heart after he unknowingly rejects her.

What the Heart Sees by Liz Tolsma - Hartford, Wisconsin, 1944
American Miriam Bradford is shocked to see Paul Albrecht, her summer fling from Germany in 1939, escorted into church as a POW. Can they rekindle their romance amid the overwhelming objections of almost everyone in town–including her father?

What inspired you to write this particular book?  I was asked by my agent to join in a historical collection and I always wanted to get into one of Barbour Books collections so I agreed. When trying to come up with an idea, this one came to mind and it sounded fun.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?  I have five children and my husband is a pastor. I also homeschool. I survive on lists, but have had to learn to be flexible because my planned day can change with a single phone call.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?  I am very much a punster. But with a lot of prayer, God always comes through and it always amazes me how He manages to tie it all together.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?  Oh, yes. My faith is very much a part of my writing and there is always a strong faith message and sometimes even the plan of salvation included.

Do you put yourself in your books?  No, I haven’t.  I don’t need to be in my stories. I’m content to be the one God uses to write them.

What are you working on right now?  I’m writing a proposal for a potential Amish series my agent wants to pitch.

Learn more about Laura

On Amazon

Visit her blog
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook
Pinterest

Purchase her books:

Amazon
CBD
Barnes and Noble
Deeper Shopping

Friday, August 11, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Sarah Ruut Shares an Inspirational Devotional




A Warm Welcome to Sarah Ruut




How to Heal the Problem that Separates Us

As I walked down the hallway past my daughter’s bedroom door, I noticed the distinctive smell of a struck match. Curious what was going on (since she was probably one or two at the time and didn’t have access to matches), I pushed open her door. There in the middle of her floor sat her older brother, an open box of matches before him and one black-tipped match lying on the carpet.

I tried to keep panic from my voice. “What are you doing?”

“I wanted to see how these work.”

Oh, my…

I proceeded to explain—again—why we don’t play with matches. He acknowledged that the flame had startled him, and he’d dropped the match. And I swallowed my panic yet again to gently explain to him what could have happened when he dropped that match! (Thankfully, the flame died before the match hit the carpet.)

His eyes grew huge as he realized what he might have caused, and my sweet preschooler said, “I’m sorry, Mommy!”

I gave him a hug and said very seriously, “Let’s not do that again, okay?” And he never has.

This potentially terrible story came back to my mind recently as I was reflecting on Proverbs 18:1: “He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.”

Thankfully my son didn’t quarrel against my sound wisdom regarding matches, but the first part of the verse? When he snatched those matches from the kitchen counter (where I thought he couldn’t reach…), did he proceed to “seek his own desire” in the same room where I was? No. He separated himself from wise counsel by hiding in his sister’s room, where I wouldn’t be watching.

How often do we do the same thing?

When we are tempted to do something we know we shouldn’t, do we give in to that temptation publicly? Not usually. Usually, we don’t want others to know because they might judge us. So we find some way to keep it a secret.

And if others find out or suspect? Well, we just separate ourselves from them!

When we choose to continue in a pattern of sin, going to church becomes uncomfortable. We feel convicted there, as if every person around us somehow knows about our secret. So we just stop going to church.

James has a better solution.

James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

When we humble ourselves and acknowledge our failure, we can be forgiven. Our relationships can be restored and hearts can be healed.

That doesn’t happen when we’re still separating ourselves from “all sound wisdom.” We have to take that step to reach out to someone, confessing that what we’ve done was wrong. Seeking to restore the relationship.

(When someone shares their confession with us, we need to be about restoration and healing, not judgment and condemnation.)

And just like my match-testing son, when we acknowledge that what we did was wrong, we open the door for forgiveness and healing.

Have you separated yourself? I encourage you to seek out sound wisdom and confess so that your relationships can be restored and your heart healed.

Bio:

Sarah Ruut is an avid reader of Christian fiction when she’s not busy homeschooling her four tweens and teens. She also runs two blogs where she hopes to connect with people right where they are. She loves sharing about books and their authors on her blog, Fiction, Faith, and Fun, where you’ll find reviews of Christian fiction, interviews with amazing authors, giveaways and more! She also offers encouragement for Christian living at Breaking Ordinary. You can connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Looking Out the Window: American Christian Fiction Writers August New Releases







August 2017 New Releases

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

Action/Adventure:




Imperfect Lies by Elizabeth Noyes -- When another woman emerges from the past to claim Mallory Cameron's happily ever after, she cuts her losses and sets out to find a headline-worthy story to launch her journalism career. She embarks on a whirlwind journey that takes her across the United States, to the blue-green waters of the Caribbean, on to sunny Mexico, and deep into the dangerous parts of Africa where terror reigns. James Evers turned his back on a life of power and privilege to carve a place in the world for himself. Now that he's finally discovered his niche as a small-town sheriff and found the woman he wants in his future, a past indiscretion struts in on high heels and sends his newfound love fleeing headlong into peril. His mission: neutralize old enemies, defuse new threats, resolve past mistakes, settle family disputes, and—most importantly—find and rescue his woman from terrorists before the unthinkable happens. (Action/Adventure from Write Integrity Press)



Contemporary Romance:




The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family by Lisa Carter -- Young widow Kristina Montgomery moves to Kiptohanock, Virginia, hoping it will give her and her teenage son, Gray, a fresh start. She longs for the peace and quiet only a small town can provide. But her plans are thwarted by her new neighbor, Canyon Collier, a former Coast Guard pilot and a crop duster. Gray is instantly drawn to the pilot and his teenage niece, Jade—and Kristina's not far behind. She and Canyon are soon bonding over parenting their charges and their spark becomes undeniable. Could it be that the spirited pilot is just what Kristina needs to teach her heart to soar again? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])




Gift of the Magpie by Zoe M. McCarthy -- Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia, has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, Amanda’s heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high-school Valentine’s Day date. Camden may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)




A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller --It’s been ten years since Leah Fisher’s mother died in a buggy accident. But when Leah’s father shows interest in Naomi Yoder, Leah isn’t ready for a new mother. Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder's happiness at the same time? (Contemporary from S & G Publishing)



General Contemporary:





Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli -- An antique ring reunites a Boston Marathon bombing survivor with the man who saved her. Together they unearth the two-hundred-year- old history of a woman who suffered tremendous loss in the Boston Massacre, a woman torn between the love of two men – one a patriot, one a Redcoat. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)



Fresh Faith by Elise Phillips -- Joy Abbott had been trying to start her life over for years -- and failing. Then a letter summoned her to Texas and everything changed. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)

Historical:





Enchanted Isle by Melanie Dobson -- In the spring of 1958, Jenny Winter embarks on a two-month adventure to a quaint village in England’s magical Lake District. With a new camera and an eye for capturing the beauty others miss, she can’t wait to explore the heathery fells and mystical waters. Adrian Kemp, a handsome and enigmatic local, makes the sightseeing even more beguiling. When Adrian shows Jenny his late father’s abandoned dream, a deserted island amusement park, she glimpses a kindred spirit in this reckless, haunted young man. Yet as she opens her heart to Adrian, the two stumble into a mystery leading back a generation to an unforgettable romance and an unsolved murder. As long-held secrets come to light, it’s left to Jenny and Adrian to put the past to rest and restore a lost dream. (Historical from Waterfall Press)



Titus: The Aristocrat by Katheryn Maddox Haddad -- Titus intends to become a famous lawyer in the Roman Empire. Instead, he is sent by Paul to arbitrate between arch enemies in wild Corinth, wilder Crete, and wildest Dalmatia. In each place he suffers. But, long before that, he suffers from guilt over the death of his mother when he was eleven years old. How does Titus survive it all? (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)



Historical Romance:





To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander -- With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams - provided the truth doesn't tear them apart first. (Historical Romance from Zondervan)



The Second Chance Brides Collection by Lauralee Bliss, Angela Breidenbach, Ramona K. Cecil, Pamela Griffin, Grace Hitchcock, Pam Hillman, Laura V. Hilton, Tiffany Amber Stockton, and Liz Tolsma -- Meet nine women who each believe their chance for lifelong love has passed them by. From the girls who lost their beaus to war, to the wallflowers overshadowed by others, and the widows deeply hurt by their loss, the desire to love and be loved spans American history from 1777 to 1944. Experience the sweet pull of romance on each life and the blossom of faith that leads them to brighter futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)




The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman -- Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady. The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage. Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe? (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)



Romantic Suspense:





Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason -- When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan's life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone. In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker])



Plain Retribution by Dana R. Lynn -- Ten years ago while on rumspringa, Rebecca Miller and her friends were kidnapped and held captive…and now, living in the English world, she's nearly abducted again. One by one her friends who once helped send their abductor to jail are targeted, and she is next…unless police officer Miles Olsen can stop a killer. Deaf since birth, the only person on the force that Rebecca can communicate with is Miles, and he needs this case to redeem himself of past mistakes. When the relentless killer tracks them deep into the heart of Amish country, protecting Rebecca must be Miles's sole focus. Because a mistake this time will cost something worth more to him than his job—the woman he's falling for. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



Cold Blooded by Anne Patrick -- Detective Gwen Jamison has the highest closure rate in her division, but a string of armed robberies is about to take over her life. Not only will her job be on the line, but the troubling case also wreaks havoc on her personal life. Lieutenant Ian McKean knew he would have his hands full when he took over leadership of the detectives unit. He wasn't prepared for the headstrong Detective Jamison, though, who quickly becomes a thorn in his side. If they can stop butting heads long enough they might realize they are more alike than either imagined. (Romantic Suspense from Anne Patrick)




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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




A Warm Welcome to Jennifer Slattery

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

First, tell us a little about yourself, Jennifer.

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

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

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

Why do you write?

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

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

Tell us about your latest book.

How about if I share the back cover text?

Sounds good.






About Healing Love

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

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

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

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

What inspired you to write this particular book?

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

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

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

In three words describe your style of writing.

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

Sally Davidson: “Tender-hearted research.”

Deana Dick: “Graceful, compassionate, heartwarming.”

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

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


Buy Links for Healing Love.

Amazon

Goodreads

 Learn more about Jennifer at her Website

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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




A Warm Welcome to James Scott Bell


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

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

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

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




About Romeo's Way

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

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

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

Brief Excerpt

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

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

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

   "Don't kill us," Knife Guy said.

________


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

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

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

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

Buy Romeon's Way here

Monday, July 10, 2017

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









A Warm Welcome to Linda Weaver Clarke

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






Hi Linda, tell us a little about yourself.

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







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

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

What inspired you to write this particular series?

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

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

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

How do you get to know your characters?

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

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

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

What kind of research did you do for this series?

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

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

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

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

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

A Peek Inside The Rebel Series

The Rebels of Cordovia



The Highwayman of Cordovia



Buy books here

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Happy July 4th


God Bless America!

Kate Smith Introduces "God Bless America"


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





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

 




Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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




A Warm Welcome to Mary Ball

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Tell us about your latest book.






Sparks of Love

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

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

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

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

In three words describe your style of writing.

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

What themes do you write about?

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

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

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

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

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

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

What are you working on right now?

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

I would like to share the blurbs with your readers.

Thanksgiving Secret
Decisions direct our destiny.

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

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

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

Asheville Hearts

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

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

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

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

It's my pleasure to have you.


Look for Sparks of Love

on Alibris
and Amazon

Bio:

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

Readers can connect with her

on her  web page,

Facebook

twitter

Visit her singing ministry site  here

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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



A Warm Welcome to Gay Lewis

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

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

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


Coming Soon! Mattie's Choice


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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

“It wouldn’t have mattered to me.”

“I guess Jesse feels the same way.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles remained quiet and waited for Avril to speak again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Even Jesse?”

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

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

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

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

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

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


About Clue Into Kindness




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

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


Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please go to Gay's website

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

Visit her Amazon page

www.facebook.com/GayNLewis

and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

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


Thursday, June 15, 2017

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

Join the fun!

Challenge lasts from June 15th - August 31st. 

One book read earns one entry in the giveaway. 

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




Thursday, June 8, 2017

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


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

Thursday, June 1, 2017

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

June 2017 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:




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



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




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



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




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



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


Cozy Mystery:




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


General Contemporary:




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


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


Historical Romance:



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




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



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



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




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




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




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




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


Romantic Suspense:





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




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


Speculative:




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


Women's Contemporary:




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


Young Adult:




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