Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Award-Winning Author Carlene Havel Introduces Her New Novel, Song of the Shepherd Woman. Winner's Choice E-book Giveaway




A Warm Welcome to Carlene Havel

Congratulations on your wonderful new book, Song of the Shepherd Woman

Carlene will give away an eBook. The winner may choose from any of her romance or historical books. Make a selection from Carlene's Amazon Page then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.  Just click on Choose Your Own Option and leave an email address.

Favorites

Carlene Shares her favorite Bible verse and a favorite recipe

Carlene’s favorite Bible verse (today) is John 3:17: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Carlene admits her favorite verse seems to change fairly often, but usually comes either from John or Romans.


December is Carlene’s month to invade her husband’s domain, the kitchen.  She loves to make Christmas treats both to serve and to give away.  She loves quick, easy recipes that yield something cute as well as tasty.  One of her favorites is this simple, no-bake recipe for holiday mints.

Holiday Mints

Thoroughly blend one cup confectioner's sugar for each ounce of cream cheese. Mix and flavor with peppermint extract to taste (I use at least two tablespoons for a batch of 4 cups sugar/4 oz cheese, but I love mint.)

Shape into small balls and allow to dry for at least an hour or two, in the fridge if it’s a warm day.

Dip in melted white chocolate coating after drying. Sprinkle something festive from the cupboard on top, and your mints are both decorative and yummy.




About Song of the Shepherd Woman

In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise.  He is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man with a wife who cannot speak.  Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows.

The ebook is available at an introductory price of 99 cents for a while, and it’s available just about everywhere.  Here are a couple of links.

Amazon
Other Digital Stores

Bio: Carlene Havel writes historical stories set in Biblical times with her writing partner Sharon Faucheux.  The duo’s latest release is Song of the Shepherd Woman.

Connect with Carlene Havel on:

Facebook
Her Website
Twitter





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, December 11, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Terry Marsh Shares Spiritual Insights For Endurance And Overcoming Sorrow In Deep Calls To Deep, A Devotional. Gives Away A Copy.




A Warm Welcome To Terry Marsh

Terry will give away a print copy of Deep Calls to Deep, A Devotional (U.S. Residents Only)

Click on "invent your own option" and leave an email address on the Rafflecopter to enter to win.




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

Growing up, I wasn’t an avid reader.  Once I was older with two precious children, I became fascinated with the Word of God.  I knew there were hidden treasures waiting to be discovered providing that I would diligently seek for them.  Of course, along the way I reared my children in a Christian home.  They blessed me with six darling grandchildren, whom I adore. In recent years, I’ve devoted myself to writing.  Currently, I’m writing my second devotional and loving it.

Tell us about your latest book.

Deep Calls to Deep: A Devotional is my debut into the literary world.  It was my intention to write a Christian love story for many years, yet ten pages into the manuscript, I felt the Spirit of God moving me to write a devotional.  The endeavor seemed insurmountable at the time, but I decided to just sit down and write.  After writing three devotionals, it became evident to me that I was meant to share the insights that God had bestowed upon me.  This devotional was written so that one may embrace the deeper aspects of the Word of God thereby enhancing their walk with the Lord and to perceive the intrinsic beauty created in nature and us.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

Psalm 42:7 had intrigued me for many years, which reads, “Deep Calls to Deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.”  Those mysteriously alluring words resounded in my mind until I fully embraced what they meant.  Once I knew, a silent knowing came over me.  I knew that verse would be the title of my book, although at the time, I didn’t know it would be a devotional. 

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

I love the spiritual connections that the Lord had given me while writing this book, mostly during the wee hours of the morning, which hopefully will translate to everyone in a uniquely personal way.  I hope that readers would share or gift this book to their friends and family.  Often times we would like to share our spiritual insights with others, but time rarely provides the opportunity or they seldom fit into everyday conversations.  Hopefully, this devotional would bless the reader and their loved ones in a beautiful way.   

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I talked about writing a book for years.  Then one day I knew that I had to stop talking about it and just do it.  So, I would advise aspiring writers to create a pleasant writing space first.  After that, write and keep writing until it becomes clear to them what they are meant to do.  In addition, it will help if they make it a priority.  Life will always present obstacles and cause delays, but if you make it a priority, it will happen one page at a time. 

Terry's devotional below shares its title with that of her book.

Deep Calls to Deep 

Passage for the Day: Psalm 42 (ESV)
Verse for the Day: Psalm 42:7 (ESV)
             
A waterfall is simply irresistible.   Gazing upon such beauty beguiles us.  We become mesmerized by the sight of cascading water, continuously falling, ever descending the side of a mountain.  The sound of rushing water speaks to the deepest part of our being.  We are taken captive by a compelling force within us that draws us nearer and nearer.  We willingly surrender.  We partake.  For in that glorious moment, our spirit soars to a place of pure bliss.  Our senses are awakened to the majesty of God.  His presence is felt so intensely that it seems almost tangible.  God’s voice calls to us from deep within the waterfall.  We listen so as not to miss a Word.  As His loving kindness pours out upon us, we are filled with the full measure of His grace.  Our eyes see and our hearts perceive the glory of God.   God Almighty gives us a glimpse of paradise here on earth.

Life is splendid, yet at times, a torrent of sorrow comes upon us.  It can be so tumultuous that paradise on earth seems obscure.  Our perceptions become hazy and dull.  We grope about in murky waters, bewildered by our circumstances.  We question everything, even our salvation.  Our spirit is brought so low that it seems to take our breath away.  We wonder if we will survive.  Yet deep within ourselves, a gentle current flows that gives us hope and reassurance in the midst of our trouble.

In Psalm 42, the psalmist opens his discourse with “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”   He longs for God as he descends to the depths of sorrow.  He writes, “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.”    The psalmist acknowledges that the depth and heart of God calls to him as the waters of affliction are poured out from above.  He, in turn, calls out to God from the deepest aspect of his soul in the midst of his despair.  He listens acutely for God’s voice in the resounding roar of the waterfall.  His life depends on that deep communion, that deep connection with God.  The surface may rage, but that quiet pool within, where only calm waters flow, is where he finds refuge.  In the stillness of his being, deep within his soul, he knows that God is his stronghold and salvation no matter what life presents.  This knowledge and resoluteness sustains him as it comes from an intimate relationship with God.  It fortifies him, enabling him to rest in God’s sovereignty. The rippling water washes away any doubt and despair.  He sings songs of deliverance, as God delivers him from the oppression of his enemies and lifts him out of the mire.

Likewise, deep within us is a calm place where God abides, where there is a resolve, a knowing.  We know that God is in control even though troubling waters may rise.  This knowledge and reassurance comes as a result of testing.  In times past, we have learned that during the crucible of suffering, we come to the end of ourselves.  We sought God when we were weak, helpless, and distraught.   As a result, we experienced His comforting grace and that peace that surpasses all understanding.   During those times, the power of God rested on us, which enabled us to endure and overcome.   This empowerment came only when the breakers and waves threatened to engulf us.  Deep called to deep.  God called to us and we responded.  We survived, and our faith grew stronger.  Our faith was tested, and it proved genuine—authentic.

We should consider future floodgates from above an opportunity.  Deeper testing will surely come as we mature in Christ. We should welcome these divine visitations, for God longs to have an intimate relationship with us.  He wants to manifest Himself in our life.  Testing is a sure sign that God loves us.  When God calls to us, we should listen intently so as not to miss a Word.  Paradise awaits us on the other side.   

~ ~ ~


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
                         —Psalm 46:1-5 (ESV)





About Terry’s Book, Deep Calls To Deep, A Devotional

Once the veil of doubt and unbelief has been lifted from our eyes, the kingdom of God becomes visible to our heart and mind.  Only then may we see the spiritual realm.   Deep Calls to Deep A Devotional was written to inspire anyone who is seeking to perceive the miraculous hidden among the earthly and those who long to embrace the deeper aspects of the Word of God where divine truth and beauty abides.  In this search, profound revelations of God and glorious truths about ourselves are discovered.

Psalm 42:7 intrigued Terry May Marsh for many years.  Those mysteriously elusive Words, “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.” called to her.  They resounded in her mind, beckoning her to discover the true meaning hidden in this alluring portion of Scripture, which ultimately inspired the title.  Like many passages and verses in the Bible, they resonate with our spirit, compelling us to not only seek but to find the heart and mind of Christ.  Terry shares many of her personal insights in Deep Calls to Deep A Devotional.  She invites you to spend some relaxing moments enjoying this devotional in comfortable places of inspiration and insight into the Word of God.

Buy Deep Calls To Deep, A Devotional 

on Amazon
and Barnes and Noble

About Terry 

Terry May Marsh grew up along the Delaware and Maryland shores with her family and friends.  Spending many summers with her grandparents in Virginia was a welcome change, as she worked on the farm with her cousins, and snapped beans and baked biscuits with her grandmother.  Terry grew up loving God’s Creation where she takes long walks along the beach and through the woods taking pictures of whatever catches her eye.  Taking long rides along winding back roads enjoying the sweet aroma of wild honeysuckle and woodland scents is one of her favorite things to do.  Visiting gardens is another chosen past time, particularly Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, where the conservatory is like a sanctuary to her.  When she isn’t writing or gardening, she loves to paint landscapes.  Sharing High Tea with friends and especially her granddaughters is a highlight in Terry’s life.  She presently lives with her beloved husband and two Golden Retrievers in Smyrna, Delaware.  She has two adult children and six grandchildren, whom she adores. 

Visit Terry on Facebook


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 1, 2017

Looking Out The Window: American Christian Fiction Writers December Releases





December 2017 New Releases

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

Contemporary:


Rebecca's Redemption by Lee Carver -- A nurse seeking redemption for past sins joins a doctor contending against the jungle. Both healers need healing. (Contemporary, Independently Published)


Contemporary Romance:


The Christmas Baby by Lisa Carter -- Mistletoe Mommy Anna Reyes is pregnant and widowed, and a Christmas homecoming isn’t so simple. Reuniting with her best friend, Ryan Savage, makes it easier—even though she knows he’ll soon be leaving their small coastal hometown. After putting his career on hold for his family’s business, Ryan’s finally ready to pursue his goals. But as he and Anna work to make the holidays special for a group of at-risk kids, Ryan wonders if he can give up one dream for another. They’re determined to make this a Christmas to remember, but can Ryan and Anna also make their holiday family last forever? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])





You're Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher -- Nick's love of thrills and danger and Samantha's love of safety and security drove them apart two years ago. After her worst fears came true, can they build something new upon the ashes of the past? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)



A Christmas Kind of Perfect by Christine Schimpf -- Conrad Hamilton thought his life would be easy. A great job running his own construction business, living in his hometown in Door County, Wisconsin, with Lila Clark by his side. He planned on marrying her as soon as she returned from her Chicago internship but it never happened.
Lila never expected to become a successful writer nor did she plan on spending the last decade in New York. But she did. Can the magic of Christmas turn two hearts back to one another again or is it too late to capture that special kind of perfect? (Contemporary Romance from Prism Christian Publishing)



Under the Mistletoe: A Christian Christmas Anthology by Jenna Brandt, Lorana Hoopes, Carol E. Keen, Elle E. Kay, Mary C. Findley, Judith Robl, Evangeline Kelly, C.J. Samuels -- Christmas is the time when families get together and love abounds. Eight inspirational authors have teamed up to bring you 8 wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring you joy this season. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



Making Spirits Bright by Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, April Hayman -- Christmas is a season for new beginnings and second chances. A time for hope and joy and laughter. A time for people of all ages to find love and come together in community. Making Spirits Bright is a collection of just such stories - four never-before-published inspirational Christmas novellas. From romance to cozy mystery, with a generous dash of humor, these contemporary stories are sure to warm your heart as well as brighten your season and lift your Christmas spirit. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:



The Calico and Cowboys Romance Collection by Mary Connealy -- The Old West comes to life under the talented pen of bestselling author Mary Connealy. Enjoy a lighthearted ride alongside seven historical and one contemporary cowboys and the women who tame their hearts. (Historical/Contemporary Romance Novella from Barbour Publishing)




Would-Be Mistletoe Wife by Christine Johnson -- Worried she might lose her teaching job if funding is cut for her boarding school, widow Louise Smythe must consider marriage. But the only prospective groom in town is lighthouse-keeper Jesse Hammond, and he wants children--something she may never be able to provide. While Jesse waits for the ideal woman to make his wife, though, Louise can't help but long for something more than his friendship. If he wants to be promoted to head lighthouse keeper, Jesse needs to find a wife suited to his rustic lifestyle. But as he and Louise partner to give the town's homeless orphans a joyous holiday, he's drawn to the petite woman. Will the light of Christmas finally inspire them to trust in each other's hearts? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])




Circle of Blessings by Deborah Raney -- A young college student is determined to win the love of her English professor at the university in the Dakota Territory where she is studying to be an architect. (Historical Romance from Raney Day Press)

Historical:


Return to Bella Terra by MaryAnn Diorio -- When she receives word that her mother is terminally ill, Maria Landro Tonetta travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy. Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm. When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream.
But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul? (Historical, Independently Published)



Brides of Minnesota by Lena Nelson Dooley -- Follow a Swedish family’s journey as they settle in Minnesota where each brother seeks a living—and wife. (Historical from Barbour Publishing)

Mystery:


Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert -- When the dead body of an overdosed teen turns up next to Tess Spencer's mom's trailer, it'll take a miracle to keep Tess from becoming a casualty in her own personal war on drugs. (Mystery, ACFW Qualified Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:


Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman -- The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)



Holiday Secrets by Susan Sleeman -- When his ex is thrust into the crosshairs of a deadly syndicate, FBI agent Gavin McKade will do whatever it takes to protect her. Even work the case with his stubborn sheriff dad. As if protecting Lexie from professional killers isn’t difficult enough, the unlikely reunion has rekindled their complicated romantic connection. But if Gavin can’t untangle Lexie from this dangerous web, the blurring line between duty and love may not matter…because this Christmas could be their last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:


The Redemption of Jedidiah Pinkney by J.R. Pitts -- A crippled and bullied young boy finds redemption and healing after an encounter with Jesus. (Speculative from Ambassador International)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Leeann Betts Introduces In Search of Christmas Past, A Romantic Suspense. Giveaway.





A Warm Welcome to Leeann Betts


Leeann will give away EITHER a print book (U.S. residents only) OR an ebook of  In Search of Christmas Past. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

 Hi Leeann, tell us about your latest book.

In Search of Christmas Past is a romantic suspense about two people who want what the other has. Grace Bellows, a senior in college, receives a Christmas card one month after her grandmother’s death, where her beloved Grammie challenges her to an old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Raised by her grandmother after her parents’ death in a car accident when she was eight, Grace has lived a jetsetter lifestyle with her wealthy grandmother. Now all she wants is to settle down and have a normal life.

Luke Fisher manages his family’s Christmas tree farm out of a sense of loyalty to his deceased mother because she gave up her dreams of being an attorney. He doesn’t want to live with any regrets, and longs to escape the confines of loyalty to live a life of adventure in the real world.

Can Grace and Luke solve the clues and uncover the truth about their real feelings, or will the tension and their differences in goals and faith drive them apart?

What do you love about this book?

 And what do you hope readers will tell others about it? I love the fact that despite our best laid plans, God still has room to work His way into our lives and get us on the right path.

In three words describe your style of writing. Structured. Passionate. God-centered.

How do you get to know your characters?

I usually spend about two chapters writing backstory, then I work my way through to the real start of the story. I delete the backstory, marvel at what I discovered about my characters, and weave in the backstory later.

What themes do you write about?

 I write about second. . . and third. . . and fourth chances and a God Who is bigger than our mistakes.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write? I usually write in my office, but two or three times a week, I can be found in a local coffee shop, because I find that getting away from the laundry and cobwebs that scream at me for attention helps me focus.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I am a plotter, and I have used all forms of plotting tools in the past including charts, diagrams, snowflakes, and the like. I’ve recently figured out that since I need a teaser, a blurb, and a synopsis for a publisher, I might as well start with that. So I write those before I write my story, and it serves as a plot outline for me. Keeps me on track, too.

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

As a born-again Jesus follower, my faith affects every part of my life. Otherwise, I couldn’t call myself a Jesus follower. And while not every book I write has a salvation scene, the characters are on a journey to find where they fit into God’s plan.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Prepare to invest time and money in your writing. Attend writing conferences. Join local writing groups but don’t spread yourself too thin—you don’t need to join every group. Get involved in a critique group. Read books on writing. Read lots of good books and lots of bad books. And ask God to show you His plan for your writing. And don’t be scared off by what He shows you.

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

I am an accountant by training, so I guess I’d be counting beans somewhere, just like my heroine in my By The Numbers series. Carly Turnquist, a forensic accountant, has made it her life mission to prove that accountants are not boring. That would be me.

What is the coolest, whackiest thing you've ever done? 

I left everything behind and moved to the US to marry my husband. We met online. But that’s a story for another day.

Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time)

Grace Bellows is a college student who wants to settle down. Raised by her jet setter grandmother after her parents died, she has lived on just about every continent, enjoyed the best of hotels and food, but finds it hasn’t filled that empty spot in her life. She thinks that if she can just do this one thing—live in one place long enough to wear out the welcome mat—she’ll be happy. What she doesn’t realize is that the God she blames for her parents’ death is still chasing her—and while she might be done with Him, He still has good plans for her.





About In Search of Christmas Past:

Grace Bellows, a senior in college, receives a Christmas card one month after her grandmother’s death, where her beloved Grammie challenges her to an old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Raised by her grandmother after her parents’ death in a car accident when she was eight, Grace has lived a jetsetter lifestyle with her wealthy grandmother. Now all she wants is to settle down and have a normal life.

Luke Fisher manages his family’s Christmas tree farm out of a sense of loyalty to his deceased mother because she gave up her dreams of being an attorney. He doesn’t want to live with any regrets, and longs to escape the confines of loyalty to live a life of adventure in the real world.

Can Grace and Luke solve the clues and uncover the truth about their real feelings, or will the tension and their differences in goals and faith drive them apart?

About Leeann:

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released six titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, with Petty Cash releasing in December. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at www.LeeannBetts.com or follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com All books are available on Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com in digital format.

Learn more about Leeann on her website  and receive a free ebook just for signing up for the quarterly newsletter.

Blog
Facebook
Twitter 

Books on Amazon  and  Smashwords



Monday, November 20, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Looking Out the Window: Laura V. Hilton Introduces Us To Three Novellas In Love's Thankful Heart. Gives Away An E-book



A Warm Welcome to Laura Hilton

What fun — three Thanksgiving stories! Laura will give away an ebook of Love's Thankful Heart. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.






Gingerbread Wishes

As Thanksgiving approaches, Becca Troyer finds herself overwhelmed with an abundance of winter squash and pumpkins that she isn’t a bit thankful for. Desperately trying to sell them at a farmer’s market so she won’t have mountains to can, she’s surprised when a mime drops to his knee in front of her and proposes marriage.

Yost Miller is helping the volunteer firefighter raise funds at the city park when he notices his long-time crush Becca selling vegetables. Drawn across the grass, he spontaneously proposes marriage. But afterward, Yost isn’t sure how to proceed to show her that his feelings are real.
Just as he begins to find solid footing, confidence is yanked away, leaving him floundering. Will he lose Becca to another man? Or will this Thanksgiving be a season of blessings and wishes come true?

Thanksgiving Strangers

 Faithe Beiler believes God wants her to feed the poor at her family’s restaurant, but when she mistakes Crist Petersheim for a homeless man and gives him a free breakfast, he’s offended. Yet he can’t help being intrigued by this pretty waitress with a giving heart.

Crist blames God for the tragedies in his life, so the last thing he wants is to get involved with an Amish girl, who trusts God in all circumstances. He fears for Faithe’s safety, though, when she invites every homeless person in the neighborhood, including drug dealers and criminals, to a free Thanksgiving dinner. Street savvy, Crist risks his life to protect her from danger.

As Crist’s heart softens toward God, Faithe finds herself falling him. Then she discovers his deception, and her world is shattered. Can she ever trust him again?

The Thanksgiving Frolic

Monroe has the prettiest girl and the fastest horse— but pride goes before a fall.

Monroe’s girlfriend, Rosemary, and her family organize the Thanksgiving Frolic, a service project to help Amish folks who have fallen on hard times. Monroe wants to go along but his dad won’t let hi. Furthermore, Monroe’s dad thinks Rosemary’s family should clean up their own messy farm before they try to help others. Will the contrast between Monroe’s and Rosemary’s families end their relationship for good? Rosemary’s grandpa tries to offer words of wisdom, but people don’t take him seriously. The Thanksgiving Frolic heats up to a fever pitch, before a moment of silence changes everything.

Buy Laura's Books

On Amazon
CBD
Barnes and Noble
Deeper Shopping

Bio:

Laura V. Hilton is 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 home schools 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.

Learn more about Laura
On Amazon
Her Lighthouse Blog; and Her blog
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook
Pinterest


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Winner of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor



I mixed up the names and pulled one...

And the winner is...

Hats...

Horns...

Congratulations, Faith!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Michelle Griep Shares Victorian Christmas Traditions To Celebrate 12 Days At Bleakly Manor, Her New Christmas Book. Gives Away A Copy




A Warm Welcome to Michelle Griep

Michelle will give away EITHER a print copy (U.S. residents) OR an ebook. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

Victorian Christmas Traditions

by Michelle Griep

It’s Christmas—practically. If you stroll in to any Michaels or Hobby Lobby or even swing by a Hallmark store, you can’t help but miss that the Christmas decorations are out in full bloom. Wrapping. Bows. Lit Christmas trees. Christmas music playing in the background.

What’s up with all this Christmas craziness? Personally, I blame Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. Believe it or not, before the Victorian era, the holidays really weren’t much of a wingding. Here are some traditions that you might still be enjoying all thanks to merry ole England. . .

A Lighted Christmas Tree

While Christmas trees had been around as a German tradition since the 17th century, it was Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria, who introduced the custom to the royal family. And if a tree was gracing Windsor Castle, you better believe all of England wanted in on the rage. Live trees were decorated with tinsel, paper chains, ribbon, and lighted candles. Quite the fire hazard!

Sending Christmas Cards

Holiday greetings have always been exchanged, but the first formal Christmas card was published in London in 1843. Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a card for his friends . . . and the tradition took off from there.

Reading A Christmas Carol

Before 1843, if you called someone a Scrooge, no one would know what you meant. That all changed when Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol—and it was an immediate success. Nowadays, no one wants to be known as a Scrooge.

Christmas Dinner with the Family

While you may be serving ham for family dinner, the preferred meat of the day in London for Christmas dinner was goose. Plum pudding was a big hit as well but the name is a misnomer. There were no actual plums used in this dish. The word plums was a term for raisins. And you couldn’t wait until the day before Christmas to whip this bad boy up. It is usually aged a month or more—or sometimes even up to a year.

Wish you could escape to a simper time with candlelit trees and a backdrop of singing carolers? Grab a cup of tea and settle yourself down with a copy of my latest release, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. 





About 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they've been striving for isn't what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Buy 12 Days at Bleakly Manor on Amazon

Bio:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at her website or blog or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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






November 2017 New Releases

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



Contemporary Romance:


Rooted in Love by Valerie Comer -- A divorcĂ© with a set of rambunctious twins falls for the boys’ daycare administrator, but does he deserve another chance at love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



Prescription for Romance by June Foster -- Though history teacher Scott Townsend made a commitment to the Lord as a teen, he can't relinquish his bitterness toward his younger brother after he squanders their parents' money. When a beautiful, young pharmacist seeks affirmation in a way that challenges Scott's values, he must uphold his Christian upbringing. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romance [Winged Publication])



Believing in Tomorrow by Kimberly Rae Jordan -- Sammi struggles to accept the consequences for her actions and to live with her new reality—unwed mother instead of wife and then mother. Though it eats at her soul, she feels that the judgment she faces is her lot to bear. Can Levi get Sammi to see that their child deserves better? Or will she lose everything she’s dreamed of for her tomorrow because she can’t accept that forgiveness is hers for the taking? (Contemporary Romance, ACFW QIP)



Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner -- Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Historical:


The Legacy by Carol Ashby -- A father’s martyrdom makes his son and daughter hunger for revenge on their brother who betrayed him and the people who led him to faith until God answers their father’s final prayer in unexpected ways. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)





Jerusalem Rising by Barbara M. Britton -- When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit,God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David. Nehemiah challenges the people of God to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Will her father, who rules a half-district of Jerusalem, be forgotten forever? Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same stones they hope to construct? (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])


Historical Mystery:


Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering -- Amateur sleuth Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline travel to Scotland for the 1935 British Open, but instead of a relaxing holiday, they find murder, mystery, and international intrigue. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])



Waiting for His Return by Carrie Turansky -- The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover the battles near Union occupied Nashville. (Historical Mystery from Flowing Stream Books)


Historical Romance:


The Virtuous Viscount by Susan M. Baganz -- Lord Remington falls for a woman he rescues and recovers in his home, but can Miss Storm trust his virtue when he risks his reputation to unbeknownst to her, saves her life. (Historical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])



Lord Phillip’s Folly by Susan M. Baganz -- Lord Westcombe finds himself falling in love with his unexpected wife and having to rescue her from the devices of the Black Diamond with the help of his friends and newfound faith. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])



The Regency Brides Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch -- Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England...Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love.... Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago. Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism. Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans. Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret. Esther is empowered to choose between two men. Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash. Jamie and William face a daunting London season together. Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)




The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas -- Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother--and nearly his own life--in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. Larkin Heyward's life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more--maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she's never even met someone who's lived there--until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father's timber company. Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


Legal Thriller:



Guilty Blood by Rick Acker -- A desperate mother tries to prove her son's innocence, but shadowy forces want to keep him in jail--and kill him there. (Legal Thriller from Waterfall Press)



Romantic Suspense:


An Unexpected Legacy by Amy R. Anguish -- When Chad Manning introduces himself to Jessica Garcia at her favorite smoothie shop, it's like he stepped out of one of her romance novels. But as she tentatively walks into a relationship with this man of her dreams, secrets from their past threaten to shatter their already fragile bond. Chad and Jessica must struggle to figure out if their relationship has a chance or if there is nothing between them but a love of smoothies. (Romantic Suspense from Tulpen Publishing)



Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey -- Undercover Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn’s convinced Danielle Segovia is really a wanted criminal—until she’s nearly kidnapped right in front of him. Now Colter must keep her out of the clutches of the notorious drug cartel leader whose traitor sister is a dead ringer for Danielle. The drug czar wants the drugs he thinks the pretty shop owner stole from him. And with the younger brother Danielle is raising dragged into the crosshairs, Colt has to find a way to protect them both. But a showdown at Christmas—with Danielle as bait—may be the only way to make sure they all survive the holidays. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright -- Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])



Speculative:

Awakened by Morgan L. Busse -- The monster has awakened. After her escape from the Tower and from her father's experiments, Kat Bloodmayne wakes up to discover the dark power inside of her has grown stronger. Now more than ever she needs to find the doctor who holds the key to healing her, but the only one who can help her find him is Stephen Grey, the very man who betrayed her. Stephen Grey cannot change the past or what he did to Kat, but he will do everything he can to help her now. But will Kat let him? Or will his transgression be too much to overcome? Time races against them as they travel with sky pirates through harrowing storms and across the war-torn country of Austrium in search of the doctor who can cure Kat. But can he cure what is broken inside of her? Or will the monster inside of Kat consume her soul? (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)




Monday, October 23, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Eileen Rife Talks About Her New Children's Book, Kenzie And The Spooky House Adventure, Shares An Authentic Indian Tea Recipe And Gives Away An E-Book




A Warm Welcome to Eileen Rife

Eileen shares a recipe for authentic Indian Chai and a Bible verse and gives away an e-Book. To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.


A Favorite Indian Recipe Enjoyed by My Character, Kenzie (I like it, too!)

In Book one of my fictional missionary kid series, protag Kenzie lives with her family in India. Every afternoon around 4:00, Kenzie and her family enjoy tea and usually some kind of pastry or cake, all in good British fashion. She’d learned from her studies that the Brits ruled India as far back as the 1700s. India eventually gained its independence in 1948 but retained the custom of afternoon tea. The Indians add milk, sugar, and spices to their black tea, thus creating what they call chai. Various recipes abound for this drink, also now popular in the States. I’ve enjoyed chai on several occasions while visiting India, and whenever my missionary kids visit us in the States, they whip up a batch. The aroma alone is cause to keep a pot of this pleasing brew on the stove.

Below is a simple one-cup version.

2 black tea bags
2/3 cup water
½ cup whole milk
1 cardamom pod crushed

Boil tea bags vigorously in water for five minutes. Remove bags. Add milk and sugar (to taste). Boil until the milk rises. The mixture can be boiled longer for a creamier texture. Add the crushed cardamom and serve hot.

Oh my, what a great recipe to share, especially with the cool weather coming. Thank you!

 One of Kenzie's Favorite Bible Verses

In my book, Kenzie and the Spooky House Adventure, Kenzie comes face-to-face with her fear of the strange mask beside the door of the neighbor’s house. Her confidence grows as a result of quoting Psalm 56:3-4a: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, I will praise his word, in God, I have put my trust” (NKJV).

This scripture is especially close to my heart as my mother used to sit on the edge of my childhood bed during my nightly fears, hold my hand, and quote it to me. Years later, my grandkids sing it to me as a song.





About Kenzie and the Spooky House Adventure. How neat to have a children's book about a spooky house available in October.

Kenzie Gunter, new missionary kid in India, wants a friend but finds one in short supply. When an Indian family with a nine-year-old girl moves into the house next door, Kenzie urges her mom to make an introduction. But friendship in a foreign land proves to be a challenge. That doesn't stop Kenzie, however. Her humorous and sometimes dangerous attempts to connect with her neighbor keep the adventures coming . . . and the surprises!

Buy on Amazon

Bio:

Eileen Rife is a multi-published author in both fiction and nonfiction. She and her husband conduct marriage seminars internationally. All three of her adult children and their families serve the Lord in fulltime mission work around the world. Visit Eileen at her websiteher blog and on Amazon.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Donna Schlachter Talks About Her New Book In The Pony Express Romance Collection. Gives Away A Print Copy (U.S.)




A Warm Welcome to Donna Schlachter

Donna will give away a print copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection (U.S. Residents Only). To enter to win leave a comment and an email address below.

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

I am a Canadian by birth, an American by choice, and I consider myself more patriotic and more thankful for this country than many who were born here. When I was little, I would look at the map of North America, and wonder why my ancestors didn’t stay on the boat for another few months. Then again, when my ancestors came to Canada, there was no America. I am an accountant by training, and tend to be very linear. For that reason, although I’ve always wanted to take painting lessons, I’ve never tried because I’m sure I could paint cubes but not much else.

Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

I was an avid reader. I once was so engrossed in a book I was reading on the school bus, I completely missed my stop and ended up at the bus depot about 20 miles from home. The driver had to call my mother who then came to pick me up. I also used to choose my books based on the most number of pages for the price. Scholastic Book Club was my favorite day, and my mother would give me a quarter, and I could usually get two 100-page books for that, plus a little left over for candy.

Why do you write?

I could go all spiritual on you and say because God called me to write. And that’s part of it. And I could go all intellectual on you and say because the stories are inside and they must come out. And that’s another huge part of my reason for writing. But recently, as I have looked back on what I write, I realize they share a common thread: stories of second chances. So I think that’s the reason I write. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, and should have been in prison or dead (that’s a tale for another day), and yet God has been so gracious and merciful in giving me second, and third, and fourth chances, that I want to share that grace and mercy with other broken people just like me who are seeking another opportunity to get it right.

Tell us about your latest book.

The Pony Express Romance Collection is my first traditionally published book, and it contains 9 novellas from different authors about the Pony Express. My particular story, Echoes of the Heart, is about a woman running from her past, and a man who thinks he has no future. Through a series of misunderstandings, they find themselves involved in intrigue and mystery, and must decide whether they will go forward together—or alone.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

 My good friend Mary Davis invited me to be part of this collection, and once I did the research, discovered I loved the Pony Express. I could bend your ear with about 3 hours of facts and information, but suffice it to say, I guess I wrote the story because I love the history and the romantic notion of the Pony Express.

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

I love the physical book itself—the cover art, the feel of the paper, the delightful old-fashioned look about it. The folks at Barbour Publishing did a fantastic job! I also love the sense of camaraderie that developed among the writers as we promoted the book. And I hope readers would be able to tell others that our history is accurate, our stories compelling, and our characters are just like them.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

I collect newspaper clippings, photos from magazines, snippets of information I overhear in coffee shops, internet news stories, and interesting stuff from museums and other historic displays. I like to ask “what if” about history, and I love watching videos. In short, from everywhere.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Constantly percolating and evolving

How do you get to know your characters?

Sometimes I spend the entire first chapter or two getting to know them, then I delete that and start where the story should start. Sometimes I already know them, because I’ve met them somewhere.

What themes do you write about?

Grace and mercy through second chances. I also like my stories to brighten the reader’s day, even if it’s a tough circumstance or topic.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

I write almost every day for at least some part of the day. I have an office that I share with my husband in our home, and I also love to write at a local coffee shop. In fact, every Monday morning, and many times 1 or 2 afternoons a week, I’m at the coffee shop writing. I find the change of scenery helps me focus more on the writing and less on the laundry.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?

First of all, I am truly blessed to be a kept woman. I don’t have to work outside the home, and my husband is very supportive of my writing. That said, I try to compartmentalize the other things I do. I edit, ghostwrite, and publish for clients. I also proofread legal documents one day a week. I do some data entry for a company for about a half hour each morning. Bookkeeping, laundry, meals, etc. etc. all have their time and place. Hubby and I are also very active in an international ministry which takes time. So I use a calendar to keep it all straight, and a white board beside my desk that tells me the bigger tasks I have to do each day. Balance it? What’s that? If anybody can give me the answer to that question, I’d sure appreciate it. Although one thing I did this year is hire a virtual assistant to handle most of my social media.


More About The Pony Express Romance Collection
Nine historical romances revive the brief era of the Pony Express.
Join the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials?

Buy The Pony Express Romance Collection on Amazon
and in Echoes of the Heart on Amazon

Bio:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. Donna recently taught the popular Don't Let Your Subplots Sink Your Story, an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers, and will teach another course in May 2018 on The Middle Muddle. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

Connect with Donna on

History Thru the Ages
Her website
Facebook
Twitter 


Monday, October 9, 2017

Looking Out The Window: Lillian Duncan Talks About Puzzle House, Her New Book. Shares A Link To Enter Her Giveaway





A Warm Welcome to Lillian Duncan 


To celebrate the release of Puzzle House, Lillian’s having a very special giveaway on her blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes. Leave a comment on one of her Puzzle House posts and you’re entered to win.


Hi Lillian, tell us a little about yourself.

My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write? 

Mostly I read and write Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in. Puzzle House is a complete departure from what I usually write. I would simply classify it as Christian Fiction, like the book War Room.

Tell us about Puzzle House. 

I call it the book I never wanted to write!

Really? Can you explain that?

Early on in the story, the main character (Rachel Summers) discovers she has brain tumors due to a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF 2).

Neuro…what?

That’s exactly what I said when I was diagnosed with NF 2 and bilateral brain tumors in 2012. Don’t gasp! The tumors are almost always non-cancerous but as I like to say that hasn’t stopped them from wreaking havoc on my health and my life.

And that is why I say Puzzle House is the book I never wanted to write. I would never have written it if I hadn’t developed the brain tumors. But I do have NF 2 and the brain tumors and Puzzle House is one of the good things that’s come from it.

What inspired you to write this novel in particular?

I wanted to show that even when you have a serious chronic illness, God can use you to help others.

What is Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2)?

It’s a rare genetic disease that allows tumors to grow anywhere there are nerves, but most people with NF2 develop brain tumors, which I did. The tumors affect both your hearing and your balance which can affect your health in significant ways. It’s been a difficult journey but God is good. There’s a lot I can’t do these days because of the brain tumors, but I can still write!

It's wonderful that you're writing. Tell us a bit about the main characters in your new book.

Rachel Summers was all about Rachel Summers until the day she crashed into a semi-truck. While in a coma she has a very special visitor that asks a very special question. Do you want to be healed or to be a healer? Her answer changes the course of her life as well as many others.

What’s the setting for Puzzle House

It starts out in the icy cold city of Cleveland, Ohio but moves on to the warmth of Georgia.

What do you want readers to take away from Puzzle House?

That God can and does still do miracles but the miracle we want isn’t always the miracle we need and God knows the difference.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a sequel to Puzzle House. It’s called The David Years and without giving too much of the plot of Puzzle House away, it follows one of the characters you meet in Puzzle House.




About Puzzle House

Life isn't a box of candy—it's a puzzle! Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers...until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?She makes her choice, but the journey doesn't go quite the way she expected. And so Rachel now runs The Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there's more than one kind of healing.Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she's angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia's aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

Buy on Amazon

Bio:
Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, visit her websiteblogdevotional blogFacebook and Twitter  @LillianDuncan.