Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Imagination Investigation: Virtual Bookstore Hours


Have you ever wandered through a bookstore or browsed an online listing and found a book that looked intriguing—only to walk away because you just weren’t quite sure if that book was for you? I know I have, far more times than I can count. It is an experience that always leaves me wishing I had someone there whom I could ask about the book—someone who had read the book, someone whom I could trust.
 
That is what Imagination Investigation seeks to provide. A real person who is a reader just like you. Who loves books and knows that satisfaction of finding that perfect story which connects with the heart and mind. And who wants that same experience for you.
 
As a result, I only carry books which I feel I can personally vouch for. Books with incredible storylines, delightful characters, and edifying content. As a result, I only carry books written by those professing to be Christians, as far as I can tell. Moreover, I have personally read the vast majority of the books I sell (about 80%) with the remainder by authors whom I trust or which came strongly recommended from a trusted source.
 
This allows me as the bookseller to come alongside you and provide the information you need to decide whether this is really the book for you. Is there some kind of content you want to avoid? Then I’ll steer you away from the books that contain that. Are there certain elements you want? I can point you in the right direction. Or simply tell me about your favorite books and movies, and I’ll try to find you something similar, even if I don’t personally carry it. Because what matters most is finding you that perfect match.
 
For at its heart, Imagination Investigation is a bookstore run by a booklover for booklovers, because I want fabulous stories to find their way into the hands of new readers and for readers to discover that new favorite story that seemed written especially for them.
 
Now normally, I would be traveling to several homeschool conferences during this spring with the mobile version of Imagination Investigation, but due to the current restrictions, all such conferences have been canceled. Instead, I have recently set up “virtual” bookstore hours—times you can log into a video conferencing room, speak with me personally, and “browse” my books, just like you would on the conference floor.

Virtual Hours
Tuesdays 2-4 pm (Central)
Fridays 2-4 pm (Central)
By appointment: Contact me through my contact page


During the posted hours you can access my digital bookstore room through: 
www.webex.com
Meeting room number 126 353 2566

Meanwhile browse my online store, which contains additional information about both the fiction and the nonfiction I offer, check out what workshop & seminars I teach, or stop by my blog. For specific questions, feel free to contact me directly at imaginationinvestigation @ yahoo dot com.

~Chawna Schroeder

Friday, February 28, 2020

Vault's Blog Tour


While I'm traveling through the land of Israel, my new novel, The Vault Between Spaces, is taking a tour of the internet, culminating in a giveaway at the end. You can find more information from Celebrate Lit and then join the fun by stopping by the various blogs that Vault will be visiting. Here's the itinerary:  

Through the Fire Blogs, February 28

Texas Book-aholic, February 29
Rebecca Tews, March 3
Emily Yager, March 8
Pause for Tales, March 12
Mia Reads, March 12

I hope you enjoy the book tour!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Vault Released!


Dear Book Lover,
  
It has been an intense moth of work. While the writing of The Vault Between Spaces has been done for months now, it does little good to write a book if no one reads it! So the past few weeks have been filled with promotional and marketing work, all done in hopes of letting a few readers like you know that the book exists and you might enjoy reading it.

So February 11 marked the official release of The Vault Between Spaces. Pre-ordered books were mailed out, e-books arrived, and I could celebrate—doubly so, since February 11 is also my birthday. For an author, can there be any better gift?

 Meanwhile, all that marketing preparation is kicking in.

The American Christian Fiction Writers, a professional writing organization I belong to, posted an interview.  Lorehaven, a magazine for fans of Christian science-fiction and fantasy, posted an article I wrote about finding God in fantasy. A podcast interview I recorded with Hope Prose aired the 23rd. 

More than that, Vault is taking a grand tour of the internet, starting now with five days on Instagram, hosted by @JustReadTours (February 25-29). Then on February 28th, it’s move onto a two-week blog tour with Celebrate Lit. Both tours feature giveaways, so make sure to check them out. 


But now it’s time to return to my cave. I have another book to write!

Dreaming bigger, growing deeper,
Chawna

Thursday, February 20, 2020

For the Love of Books


Dear Book Lover:

Why do we love books so much?
            It sounds like a “duh” question, doesn’t it? After all, what is there not to love about books? Yet there are many people out there who don’t like reading, much less love it, who look at you and me as if we’re a two-headed monster.
            Of course, when we meet someone like that, it’s easy to launch into a lesson about all the benefits of reading, especially fiction: how it activates different parts of the brain, how it increases knowledge, how it improves empathy, how it boosts intelligence…Yada, yada, yada.
            But that doesn’t really get to the core, to the real reason we love books. There are many things which we know are beneficial, but that doesn’t mean we do them. Like exercise. Or obeying the traffic laws. Or doing housework.
            So why do we love books? Why do we choose to read over watching a popular television show or attending a sports event or going to a concert or taking up a hobby? Why do we love books so much?
            I imagine that there are as many answers to that question as there are book lovers in the world. Maybe more, if you are like me and have more than one reason.
            But if I had to pick one, I think the reason I love books—and story in general—boils down to one word: Hope. A good story provides me hope. Hope that good wins in the end, that love will be found, that justice will be served, that wrong will be righted, that my life has significance and suffering has a purpose, that where I live today in the messy, tangled-up middle is not where I will always be. And while I know that I may not see all these things in my lifetime the way many characters do in a book, it reminds me that my story is but one chapter, one scene, one page in God’s story—a story that ends, for all who follow Him, “and they lived happily ever after.”
            And how can you not love something like that?

Dreaming bigger, growing deeper
Chawna Schroeder
,

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

New Christian Fiction--February 2020

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website. Make sure to check out the last book especially! 😉

Contemporary Romance:


Hands of Grace by Brenda S. Anderson -- She's always looked for love in the wrong places. He wants nothing to do with love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Desert Willow by Patricia Beal -- A stubborn ballerina and a charming young officer are brought together by an old woman's dying wish and last love letter. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Gift to Cherish by Victoria Bylin -- Rafe Donovan, a cop from Cincinnati, is haunted by a recurring nightmare about the drug death of his high school sweetheart. Those nightmares force him to take leave from his job, seek help, and shelter in Refuge, where he pounds nails for his brother’s construction business. Rafe has no desire to stay in Wyoming. His goal is to get back to being a cop in Ohio as soon as possible. But then he meets Daisy Riley . . . When he finds her stranded late at night with a flat tire, he’s impressed by her courage. Daisy is equally impressed by him, but as a former victim of violence, she treasures her safe and secure life in Refuge. Together they navigate the road to love—one that’s complicated by the arrival of Daisy’s troubled best friend, online dating, and the impossible obstacle of 1,600 miles between her home and his. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Her Rocky Mountain Hope by Mindy Obenhaus -- Learning to trust can be the greatest adventure. She’s always played it safe…Can he reach her guarded heart? Ready to open his camp for young cancer patients, Daniel Stephens must impress foundation overseer Blythe McDonald to ensure she approves funding for next year. But the cautious former cancer patient was once let down by a similar program, and she’ll leave no stone unturned in her evaluation. Can he convince her his camp is worthy of the money…and that he’s worthy of her love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Story of Us by Teri Wilson -- When a bookstore owner and an architect go head to head over a new development that threatens her store, they find a box of love letters from the past that may hold the key to their future. (Contemporary Romance from Hallmark Publishing)


General Split Time:


The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavaroli -- Boston, 1773... Emma Malcolm’s father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer’s assistant and Patriot. Her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancĂ©e, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her?as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace. After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel’s wife. Present Day... Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized. Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Historical:


Heavenly Lights by Barbara M. Britton -- God gave Noah bat Zelophehad four sisters, a way with four-legged creatures, and a strong spirit. She will need all three gifts to thrive in the Promised Land of God and find love with a special shepherd. (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])


Historical Romance:


Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly -- Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother's death, so she'll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend's unexpected assistance is a blessing she can't refuse. Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it's been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancĂ© is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement. When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt? (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

The Brightest of Dreams by Susan Anne Mason -- Quinten Aspinall is determined to fulfill the promise he made to his dying father and keep his family together. To do so, he travels to Canada to find his younger siblings, who were sent there as indentured workers when Quinn was away at war. While overseas, he agrees to look for his employer’s niece who ran off with a Canadian soldier. If Quinn can bring Julia back, he will receive his own tenant farm, allowing him to give his ailing mother and his siblings a true home at last. Julia Holloway’s decision to come to Toronto has met with nothing but disaster. When her uncle’s employee rescues her from a bad situation, she fears she can never repay Quinn’s kindness. So when he asks for her help to find his sister, she agrees. The quest draws the two of them together, but soon afterward, Julia receives devastating news that will change her life forever. Torn between reuniting his family and protecting Julia, will Quinn have to sacrifice his own happiness to finally keep his promise? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Three Little Things by Patti Stockdale -- Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind. Arno Kreger can't leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He's eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother's death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He's loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie's pa. One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he's on his way to war across the ocean, and she's still in her father's house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin -- With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. Leah Jones works as a librarian at the army base, hoping to find her lost sisters. A marriage of convenience binds them together, but will D-day—and a foreboding dream—tear them apart? (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Taming Julia by Jodie Wolfe -- A gun-toting, breeches-wearing wife wasn't what the minister ordered. In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery's sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation's ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy. Jules Walker strides into Drew's life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle--more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she's not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])


Mystery:


Under Cover by Linda Shenton Matchett -- In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn't proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case. Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia's death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty. (Historical Mystery from Shortwave Press)


Romantic Suspense:


Legacy Reclaimed by Robin Patchen -- She’ll risk anything to save the company her parents built. When someone makes threats on her life, he’ll risk anything to save her. But that someone will stop at nothing to make sure they both fail. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Speculative:


Cry of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse -- Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins. Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands. At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire's attacks. The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband's power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power. Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her? (Fantasy from Bethany House [Baker])


Young Adult:


Follow the Dawn by Rachelle Rea Cobb -- Anna Emory grew up the invisible, shy younger sister, and she prefers it that way. But when her father attempts to arrange an unsavory marriage, Anna learns that courage is sometimes found in adversity. Then she meets a boy and his father struggling in their relationship, and they tip her quiet world upside down. Captain Mathieu Tudder has run from responsibility, entrusting his young son’s care to another and devoting his Sea Beggar ship to the Dutch Revolution. After that cause fails, Tudder returns to England for the son he left behind. But his son seems to have given his heart to a unknown and quiet lady—a woman who reminds him of all he’s ever loved and lost. Will these two hearts—the battle-scarred and the broken—ever find true freedom? (Young Adult Historical from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder -- Every legend must start somewhere... No prisoner who enters the gates of HopeWell ever leaves. But from the moment Oriel sets foot inside Anatroshka's most formidable prison camp, she unsettles both commandant and prisoner alike with eyes that see beyond the surface and music that trails her everywhere. Petite and delicate though she appears, Oriel bows before neither threat nor punishment. Moreover, she makes no attempt to hide her intention: Oriel plans to escape the inescapable HopeWell. But when facades are stripped away and myth becomes clothed in flesh, what begins as a prison break becomes a mission to stop the invasion of evil itself. (Young Adult Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

It's Here!!!!

My author copies of my newest book, The Vault Between Spaces, has arrived...


You can order your copy here or an autographed copy here.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Year of Reading: 2019


Dear fellow booklover,

Each year we receive 52 weeks to tackle our to-be-read pile. That can sound like a lot of time at first. Then I eye the stacks of unread books on my shelf. Yes, you read that right. Stacks. As in more than one. But surely I’m not the only one with that problem?

Anyway, to some, those mounds (mountains?) of books could seem daunting. I prefer to view it as a…challenge. To see how many books I can enjoy in a year. To see if I can actually cause the mound to shrink.

It turns out that 2019 was a pretty good year for me: 75 books. Not record-setting year by any stretch, but definitely my above average for the past several years. Perhaps more impressive was the variety I managed. At least a couple of books from every major reading level. Genres covered from historical to space opera. And seven—count them, seven!—nonfiction books. Considering I’m usually lucky if I read two, that felt pretty impressive to me.J


Of course, that still didn’t make much of a dent in my mounds of unread books, but hey, I’ll take whatever I can get. And maybe, just maybe, I can do it again this year.

How about you? How did you do on your reading last year?

Dreaming bigger, growing deeper,
Chawna

P.S. Curious about those 75 books I read this past year? Here’s this year’s list, with some of my favorites marked by an asterisk:

Picture Book
Anatole by Eve Titus, ill. by Paul Galdone
Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky
Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express by Margaret K. Wetterer, ill. By Karen Ritz
Casey at Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, ill. By Christopher Bing
Rapunzel the Hairbrained by Sarah E. Morin, ill. By Taylor Lucas
Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

Beginning Reader
Jem Strikes Gold (Goldtown Beginnings #1) by Susan K. Marlow
Jem’s Frog Fiasco (Goldtown Beginnings #2) by Susan K. Marlow

Middle Grade
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Dragon’s Lair (Matterhorn the Brave #5) by Mike Hamel
Rylan the Renegade (Matterhorn the Brave #6) by Mike Hamel
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch by Donald J. Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues by Donal J. Sobol
Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David A. Adler
Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones by David A. Adler
Cam Jansen: The Mystery at the Monkey House by David A Adler
Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery by David A. Adler
Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House by David A. Adler
Cam Jansen and the Tennis Trophy Mystery by David A. Adler
The Case of the Christmas Snowman (Jigsaw Jones #2) by James Preller
Magic Kitten: A Christmas Surprise by Sue Bentley
On Your Mark (Byways #1) by C. J. Milbrandt
Magical Melons by Carol Ryrie Brinks
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World (Wanted: Superheroes #1) by Bryan Davis
Tunguska Event (Matterhorn the Brave #7) by Mike Hamel
The Book of Stories (Matterhorn the Brave #8) by Mike Hamel
*Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz
Hertz to be a Hero (Wanted: Superheroes #2) by Bryan Davis
*The Fire, the Revelation, and the Fall (Epic Order of the Seven) by Jenny L. Cote
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide
The Beginning (The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls #1) by M.J. Thomas
Race to the Ark (The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls #2) by M.J. Thomas
The Great Escape (The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls #1) by M.J. Thomas
The Prince Warriors and the Swords of Rhema (Prince Warriors #3) by Priscilla Shirer and Gina Detwiler

Tween
*Swift by R.J. Anderson
*Nomad by R.J. Anderson
*Torch by R.J. Anderson

Teen
Project Gemini (Mission League #2) by Jill Williamson
Ambushed (Mission League #2.5) by Jill Williamson
Broken Trust (Mission League #3) by Jill Williamson
The Eighth Ransom by Given Hoffman
*Profile Match (Mission League #4) by Jill Williamson
The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

Young Adult
Scarlet Moon (Children of the Blood Moon #1) by S. D. Grimm
A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund
*A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund
*Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
Siren’s Fury (Storm Siren #2) by Mary Weber
Siren’s Song (Storm Siren #3) by Mary Weber

Adult
*The Princess by Lori Wick
*Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson
*Edge of Oblivion (The Chronicles of Sarco #1) by Joshua A. Johnston
A Christian’s Carol by Wayne Thomas Batson
The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen
*Mark of the Raven (Ravenwood Saga #1) by Morgan L. Busse
*Flight of the Raven (Ravenwood Saga #2) by Morgan L. Busse
*Into the Void (Chronicles of Sarco #2) by Joshua A. Johnston
*Through Chaos (Chronicles of Sarco #3) by Joshua A. Johnston
The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians #1) by Dani Pettrey
*The Number of Love (Codebreakers #1) by Roseanna M. White
*The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep
*Forsaken Island (The Dancing Realms #2) by Sharon Hinck
*Windward Shore (The Dancing Realms #3) by Sharon Hinck
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Nonfiction
Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande & Kevin Johnson
Writing from the Trenches by various contributing novelists
*Saying It Well: Touching Others with Your Words by Charles R. Swindoll
The Musical World of Walt Disney by David Tietyen
What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro
*Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Principles by Lee Cockerell
*Preparing to Teach by Hall, Humphrey, Green, Patton & Tyler