Monday, December 9, 2019

Vault for Christmas

Photo compliments of Instagrammer @JaneMareeAuthor

'Tis the season for Christmas shopping. And of course books make a great Christmas gift, especially for that bibliophile in your life who simply can't seem to get their fill of books. But how to give a book that hasn't released yet? 

While I can't solve that conundrum for every book on your favorite bookworm's list, I would love to help you out with Vault. No, I sadly cannot accelerate the printing process to to get you the book by Christmas. Such things are outside of my control. What I can do is write a personalized, handwritten card informing your bookworm of your purchase of Vault Between Spaces for them. Moreover, I will also include a bookplate (if desired) which can be placed in the book later, turning it into an autographed copy just for them! 

Just send me an email at imaginationinvestigation @ yahoo .com by December 18th for any address in the U.S. with the following the information:
  • Who is receiving Vault
  • Who is giving Vault.
  • Which version is being gifted--I would hate to accidentally promise the hardback if they're getting the ebook!
  • Why you are giving the book/why you think the reader will enjoy Vault.
  • A snail mail address to send the card to.
Yes, I'll mark the envelope, "Do Not Open Until Christmas" just to be on the safe side! Yes, giving the book to yourself counts. 

So what are you waiting for? Pre-order a copy (or two or a dozen) of Vault, send me that e-mail, and check off another name (or two or a dozen) off your list! 

(Note: You can order Vault now from variety of places, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from me. However, you cannot "gift" an ebook from most online retailers. That's okay! I'll still write the note for Christmas, and then send you a follow-up email in February, reminding you to order the book for your bookworm on release day.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

New Christian Fiction - October 2019

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

Biblical Fiction: 

Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton -- To keep her orphaned sisters together, Mahlah must seek what has never been granted to girls, an inheritance of God’s Promised Land. (Biblical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Contemporary Romance:

Hiding from Christmas by Alice K. Arenz -- No matter how hard she tries, Maddie Kelley can’t seem to fit in at Ornamental, a company founded by her great grandfather and his best friend. Now, after yet another screw-up, she’s been sent into the “enemy’s” camp—two hours away from home for the next two months. A punishment or a blessing? Her life is turned upside down when the mundane turns unexpected, and she finally discovers where her heart truly lies. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romances [Winged Publications])

Practically Married by Karin Beery -- Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Once Upon a Christmas by Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, and Jaycee Weaver -- Embrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales. Upon a Dream: A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage. Claim My Heart: Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts. A Snow White Christmas: Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles. Christmas Ella: Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star. A Splash of Love: Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Twin Bargain by Lisa Carter -- A mutually beneficial temporary arrangement…But can they keep it strictly professional? Nursing student Amber Fleming couldn’t be more stunned when ex-marine Ethan Green makes an offer: he’ll babysit her twin girls if she cares for his injured grandmother. Amber knows it’s temporary. Ethan isn’t one for roots—or their hometown. But his steadfast caring has her wanting more than friendship. And with help from Amber’s mischievous twins, can they risk becoming a forever family? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Amish Christmas Matchmaker by Vannetta Chapman -- With her wedding business thriving, Annie Kauffmann could never leave her beloved Amish community. So when handsome Amish cowboy Levi Lapp tries to convince her father to move the family to Texas, she must put a stop to it. If Annie finds Levi a wife, he might forget his dream of moving…but can she keep from falling for him herself? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sara’s Gift by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- Christmas is the season of giving, but Sara isn’t sure she is up to the task. Playing secret angel in high school was fun, and now, years later, Sara has the opportunity to do it once more on a bigger scale. She enlists the help of Gabe, her long-time best friend, to come up with a deserving recipient. But something is off with Gabe—he’s more attentive than usual. The Christmas season has put Gabe in a reflective mood. His evaluation of his life has left him lonely and wanting more. But can his heart have its desire? That’s up to Sara. Can these two long-time best friends navigate their changing relationship, or will the romance Grinch steal their Christmas joy? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Their Christmas Prayer by Myra Johnson -- Searching for a new start, Pastor Shaun O’Grady can’t wait for his next foreign missionary assignment…until he begins working with Brooke Willoughby on the church’s Christmas outreach program. Even as they clash over program specifics, Shaun and Brooke are drawn to each other. Now Shaun’s not sure where he belongs: overseas for his ministry, or at home by Brooke’s side… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Her Amish Holiday Suitor by Carrie Lighte -- Lucy Knepp has no time for heartbreaker Nick Burkholder…until a pretend courtship means she can finish her embroidery for a Christmas fund-raiser in peace. Nick’s arrangement with the too-reserved Lucy is the perfect cover while he repairs the cabin his brother damaged. But once Nick sees how vibrant Lucy really is, can he prove himself—and show their love is for all seasons? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


General/Contemporary:

Chasing Dreams by Deborah Raney -- Reconsidering her dream of law school, Joanna Chandler finds promise in a possible wedding planning career—especially when she meets wedding DJ Lukas Blaine. But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. The angry young boy he's been mentoring has lost his mother and become Luke's ward. How can Luke possibly find the time to start a new relationship or saddle someone else with a wounded child? He may have to let go of the woman of his dreams--and crush her dreams at the same time. (General/Contemporary from Kregel Publications)

Historical Romance:

Unwrapping Hope by Sandra Ardoin -- When Phoebe receives a handcrafted cigar box by mistake, her desperation to give her daughter something special for Christmas drives her to suggest a trade with Spence Newland, a man she views as no more principled than her daughter’s late father. But the more time she spends with the department store heir, the more Phoebe struggles to keep up her guard against him. Spence believes the cigar box will help him gain a reclusive investor's financial support for his proposed five-and-ten-cent stores. Yet he hesitates to bargain with a widow who mistrusts him for no apparent reason…until he meets a charming little girl at the train station who awaits the arrival of a prince. Will a betrayal in Phoebe’s past and Spence’s unraveling business plans derail their hope for happiness and keep a child’s fairy tale from coming true? (Historical Romance from Corner Room Books)

Hope’s Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller -- Ingrid Chastain travels readily with her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. But after a tragic accident leaves her alone and injured, Ingrid finds rescue in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her wounds. Micah Bradley gave up his own medical career after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine as soon as she’s well enough, he has no choice but to accompany her through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains. The risk-laden journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Aiming for Love by Mary Connealy -- Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world--a world she's been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls' secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away. David's parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David's father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Lessons on Love by Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, and Carrie Fancett Pagels -- Step back into the classroom alongside four new teachers who face unexpected tests. In 1840 New York, Gilda’s religious beliefs are challenged. In 1870 Kansas, Mary helps ostracized immigrant children. In 1894 Michigan, Jesse discovers an unlikely friendship. And in 1904 Virginia, Margaret wants to make controversial changes. Will these tests teach the teachers about faith and love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Mystery:

The Silver Lode by Suzanne J Bratcher -- A dying child and a seventy-year-old cold case draw historian Paul Russell and antiques expert Marty Greenlaw into a desperate search for the silver lode, a rich deposit of silver and gold one person considers worth murdering to keep. (Mystery from Mantle Rock Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Deadly Commitment by Kathy Harris -- When Danielle Kemp walks out of her downtown Nashville condominium, she gets the eerie feeling that someone is watching her. She's convinced that the homeless man outside her building is stalking her. But after learning the real identity of the intimidating stranger, she faces something even more threatening?the truth about her fiancé. (Romantic Suspense from New Hope Publishing)

 Cold Pursuit by Gayla K. Hiss -- A December tour of Yellowstone National Park sounded like the perfect escape from Faith Chandler’s problems at home—until she discovers her tour guide is her jilted childhood sweetheart, Jake Mitchell. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)

Legacy Restored by Robin Patchen -- She’s a new Christian working to take down an art thief and murderer. He’s a grieving artist who refuses to let another woman die needlessly. When their desires clash, will it lead to hostility… or fireworks? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Young Adult:

Heart of a Royal by Hannah Currie -- Brought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner. But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust, both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with? (Young Adult from WhiteFire Publishing)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sci-fi & Fantasy Scavenger Hunt


My novel, Beast, is being featured in this fun scavenger hunt blog tour, along with several of my fellow Enclave Publishing authors. Come join the fun, and maybe even win a $100 Amazon gift certificate!

The hunt begins today and ends October 5. You can find more information here:
http://www.celebratelit.com/enclave-publishing-scavenger-hunt/.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Coming February 2020!


So things are  moving at a rapid clip for my new novel The Vault Between Spaces. I spent the first half of August working through the notes from my editor, and we also finalized a cover:


 Of course, if the cover catches your eye, the next question becomes, what is this story?

It is a fantasy for older teens and adults set in a pseudo-WWII/Cold War setting, rather than the traditional medieval landscape, and it tells the story of a young girl who intentionally gets herself arrested in order to escape from a prison camp reputed as inescapable.

Still interested? Here’s a long snapshot of the story:

Every legend must start somewhere…

No prisoner entering HopeWell ever leaves. Or so the stories go. But from the moment Oriel sets foot inside Anatroshka’s most formidable prison camp, the petite girl of fragile appearance rattles the long-held beliefs of commandant and prisoner alike.

With eyes that see beyond the surface and music that trails her everywhere, Oriel bows before neither threat nor punishment. The rebellious can be broken, the cowardly terrorized, the arrogant crushed. But what to do when defiance, fear, and arrogance are absent? Moreover, Oriel makes no attempt to hide her intention: to escape the inescapable HopeWell.

But when facades are stripped away and myths become clothed in flesh, what begins as a prison break soon morphs into a mission to prevent the invasion of evil itself.

Of course, that has snagged your attention, you can always preorder a copy now. The book will be releasing in February 2020 as a limited edition hardcover book.

You can order a copy of the book here.

That link is for Amazon. If you are looking to order an autographed copy, I hope to have a place up soon on my website soon where you can order directly from. So stay tuned for future updates!

Dreaming Bigger, Growing Deeper,
Chawna

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Featured Book of the Month: Fawkes

Title: Fawkes

Series: Standalone

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: Young Adult Historical/Fantasy
(Alternate History)

Back Cover:
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father's plot to assassinate the king of England. 

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared by are carried out in the dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th-century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first? 

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn't do something soon, he'll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot--claiming it will put an end to the plague--Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King. 

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas's choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there's no turning back. ​


Excerpt from Chapter 1:
I wasn't ready to turn to stone. 


I leaned so close to the small wall mirror that my nose left a grease spot on the glass, but I held still. Or tried to. I couldn't control the trembling. The grease spot smeared. 

My right eye reflected a bright-blue iris, but it was the left side of my face that held me a whisper away from the mirror. Cracked stone blossomed from the chiseled marble that should have been an eye. The ball didn't move; the lid didn't blink. I lifted shaking fingers to my face. Petrification tickled the hairline of my eyebrow. A single infected hair protruded like a stone needle. 

The plague was spreading. 

Rating: Craft--4.8, Content--4.7, Overall--4.8

My Thoughts:
I personally enjoyed reading this novel--though I admittedly use the term "enjoy" somewhat loosely. Fawkes is a challenging and sometimes dark read. But it is definitely worth the ride.

The thoroughly researched setting and plot events provides a strong mooring for the fantasy, giving it an extra layer of realism. The fantasy recasts the familiar in an unfamiliar light, causing pause and pondering. This allows for more candid discussion of difficult subjects, ranging from racial tensions to religious divides and even to our perspective of God (hint: He has a wonderful sense of humor). All seemed deftly and biblically handled.

 I fully engaged with the characters and enjoyed watching the romance subplot blossom with great realism. The main plot is heart-pounding and page-turning, even knowing the historical outcome, as you agonize alongside the main character over the choices to be made.

And while there may be no happily-ever-after for this book, the ending is bittersweetly satisfying: There is a sense, upon finishing the book, that there was no other way the story could have ended.

Overall, an enthralling and thoroughly engaging read.

Recommendation: 
A highly recommended book for older teens and adults, especially those who enjoy historicals that are off the beaten path or who like fantasy mixed with the real world.

Not for younger teens, those with a sensitivity to the supernatural/magic, or those looking for a light read.

Sound like a book you would like to read? Purchase your copy here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

It's Official!

Last week I sent off this rather innocuous-looking manila envelope to Arizona.

 

Then yesterday I received back a rather plain, white envelope. 


No big deal, right? Until you see what is inside...


Yes, that is a new contract! My second novel has been officially contracted by the publisher of Beast, Enclave Publishing. I feel incredibly privileged to be working with Enclave again, not only because they made the working of publishing Beast such a smooth process for me, but I get to boast that I'm being published along some of my favorite authors, such as R.J. Anderson, Sharon Hinck, Kathy Tyers, and Jill Williamson, just to name a few.

So what is this new book that I'm yapping about?

The Vault Between Spaces is an adult fantasy set in a Cold-War like world, where a young girl plots to escape from a prison camp reputed as inescapable while being hunted by an intelligence officer searching for the legendary Vault Between Spaces. 

Barring any unexpected delays, Vault will be published in February 2020--just a mere eight months away! And even cooler (at least to a bibliophile like me) the book will be initially released in a limited-run hardcover.

Of course, there is much work to be done between now and then. More editing on the story. Cover design. Galleys. But the process has begun! I think it shall be fun to see what the next few months will bring, and I hope you'll stick around for the journey as well...

Dreaming bigger, growing deeper,
Chawna Schroeder

Monday, July 1, 2019

New Christian Fiction, July 2019

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

Contemporary Romance:

Hometown Hope by Laurel Blount -- In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge -- Since her teens, pastor’s daughter Sharonda Peterson devoted her life to church service and solitude after the one night she gave Carl Ray Everhart everything. Sobered by a near-death experience, prodigal Carl returns home from an acting and singing career to serve as the worship leader at Sheronda’s church, and she finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Harambee Press [Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas])

Starting Anew by Melanie D. Snitker -- He's afraid to trust. She has a secret that could change everything between them. Will they let go of their fear, or allow it to rob them of their chance at happiness? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Historical:

Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller -- Can shy, sweet Cecilia overcome her family's prejudice to see a future with the recently returned prodigal son from next door? (Historical from Kregel Publications)

Benaiah: Might Man of God by PH Thompson -- A novel of Biblical, historical fiction about Benaiah, one of King David's mighty men, examining the premise: What happens when the king's most obedient soldier is issued a wicked command? (Historical/Biblical from Word Alive Press)


Historical Romance:

Waltz with Destiny by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield -- When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn't know what lay ahead. All they knew was that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world. (Historical Romance from CrossRiver Media Group)

Thimbles and Threads by Mary Davis, Grace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist, and Liz Tolsma -- Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When Tilly, a schoolteacher; Alice, a bridal shop owner; Sarah, a seamstress; and Melissa, a rag doll designer, put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to the surprising gift of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Refiner's Fire by J.M. Hochstetler -- Will the promise their hearts cling to finally find joyful fulfillment, or will war’s refining fire separate them forever? (Historical Romance from Sheaf House Publishers)

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson -- To escape an arranged marriage, Cassie Kendrick enlists in the Union army as a man, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer. Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase past guilt, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships along the way, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding. Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Express Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse -- Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Legacy Rejected by Robin Patchen -- She's not giving up her home, no matter what threats come against her. Realtor Ginny Lamont's family has abandoned her, leaving her with nothing but a warning that she’s in danger. But Ginny's built a home in New Hampshire. After a childhood of nomadic living, she’s not running again, certainly not because of some nameless, baseless threat. Real estate developer Kade Powers is thrilled to go out with Nutfield’s beautiful new real estate agent. But the prowler they surprise after their first date offers a glimpse into Ginny's past and the legacy of lies her parents left her with. She brings a mystery, one he’s determined to help her solve. With Kade’s help, Ginny searches for the truth of her parents’ criminal activity while her enemies close in. When mobsters show up in her quaint New England town, will she find a way to bring them down, or will she lose the home—and the man—she’s come to love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Suspense:

Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig -- Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets--and dangers--never before seen on earth. Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them. Iskra "Viorica" Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most--freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of their past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Speculative:

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin -- Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret--Gryfelle isn't the only one afflicted by the weaver's curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith's heart is turned upside down, and she's not sure she can trust anyone--least of all herself. The puppet master behind Gareth's rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)