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)