Wednesday, May 22, 2019

New Christian Fiction: May 2019

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

Contemporary Romance:

When Love Won't Wait by Roger E. Bruner -- Laugh at Pastor Dan’s impulsive efforts to get out of the ministry and marry a woman of his own choosing by going against his domineering widowed mother’s wishes. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman -- After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sing a New Song by Candee Fick -- Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri...only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she? Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated--and irritated--by the newest addition to the staff. After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Pigtails and a Tool Belt by Janetta Fudge-Messmer -- The Christian Romance where circumstances seem impossible. But with God – all things are possible. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner -- After four years of dating Will, Cadie questions his love for her and sends him packing. Their breakup only makes Will more determined to become the man Cadie wants him to be. With the help of his work buddies and tactics drawn from Cadie's favorite romantic comedies, he devises a "foolproof" plan. What could possibly go wrong? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

General Contemporary:

Over the Waters by Deborah Raney -- As "Dr. Botox" to the bored rich women of Chicago, plastic surgeon Max Jordan was shocked by the decision of his son, Joshua, to focus his medical talent on Haitian orphans. Embittered by Joshua's death, Max searches for resolution in the very place his son called home. The selfless labor of Joshua's coworkers stuns Max. He is particularly taken by American volunteer Valerie Austin, whose dream of a honeymoon on a tropical beach were crushed, replaced by a stint working in the impoverished orphanage. But Valerie's view of Joshua's sacrifice challenges everything Max has lived for. Now Max wonders if he can ever return to his "Max-a-Million" lifestyle, or if the doors to his gilded cage have finally opened. (General Contemporary from Raney Day Press)

Historical:

True Freedom by Carol Ashby -- When a Roman slave rescues his master’s daughter from the kidnapping arranged by her own brother, will his sacrificial service earn the freedom and love he never dreamed possible, or will it only end in death? (Historical from Cerrillo Press)

Historical Romance:

The Daughter's Predicament by Mary Eileen Davis -- Can a patient love win her heart? As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Isabelle loves her sister, but with three suitors interested, will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Mail-Order Mishaps by Susan Page Davis, Linda Ford, Vickie McDonough, and Erica Vetsch -- In The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis, Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne to learn that man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. But has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair’s life? In Romancing the Rancher by Linda Ford, Amelia expects a safe home for herself and her niece in Montana as mail-order bride to Zach Taggerty. Only Zach has never heard of her. In The Marriage Sham by Vickie McDonough, Texas mail-order bride Zola Bryant is a widowed newlywed. Worse, they were never truly wed because the officiant was an outlaw not a preacher. What will she do now that her life and reputation are in tatters? In The Galway Girl by Erica Vetsch, a mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid -- Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth. Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways. Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Love's Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett -- When the Third Reich implements mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution, is midewife Pia Hertz’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man? Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army, despite the reason--a battle that cost his arm. After he returns to Berlin, only to discover the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Shelter Bay by Pamela S. Meyers -- Adventurous bicyclist Maureen Quinn and her best friend, Preston Stevens, a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service, find love and face life-altering events on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Mystery:

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove -- When a DNA kit reveals blond, blue-eyed Jessica Warren is half Cherokee, she confronts her adoptive parents and learns her birth father is in prison...for murder! Now he wants her help in exonerating him. Can Jessica trust the handsome, young Tulsa district attorney to help, or does he have an agenda of his own? (Cozy Mystery from Write Integrity Press)

Bitter Pill by Richard L. Mabry, MD -- Things were going along just fine until the miracle fouled them up. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)

Latter-day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott -- Kirsten Young, a well-known and rebellious Utah heiress, is found murdered in Provo Canyon. The strange markings carved into her flesh and the note written in 19th century code seem to cast a shadow on ancient Mormon laws. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned to cover the story-- and it quickly grows out of control. (Historical Mystery from Moody)

Romantic Suspense:

Running Target by Elizabeth Goddard -- A routine patrol turns deadly when marine deputy Bree Carrington’s boat is sunk by men carrying illegal weapons. Fleeing a barrage of bullets, she’s suddenly rescued by DEA agent Quinn Strand—her ex-boyfriend. Quinn’s return threatens more than Bree’s heart…because he’s the one the men are really after. As criminals hunt her to get to him, can Quinn and Bree take down a drug ring? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart -- Allison Moore's dad was living a secret life and left her mom in massive debt. As she scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. The pressure to rescue her mom mounts, and Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal. But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces—words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light. Ignoring those words could cost her everything…but so could embracing them. (Speculative from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 2019 Writing Update


Where has the last month gone? It doesn’t seem all that long ago I was composing April’s update with all its tidbits of news from the previous three months.

Of course, since it has only been a month since the last update, this newsletter won’t be as full. But here’s part of what has consumed the thirty days of April:

  • MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators). I vended as Imagination Investigation once again at the annual conference in St. Paul. And once again, I had a wonderful time. Familiar faces and new readers both stopped by to compare notes on favorite books and to discuss the latest additions. Michelle Griep, a local author, also stopped by for a few hours on Friday to chat and sign books, which was delightful. I would share pictures—except I was so busy I forgot to take any! For those who stopped by, thanks. You’re the reason I keep coming back.
  • Preparation for CHCSD (Christian Homeschool Conference of South Dakota). My next conference is just around the corner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on May 10-11. Since this is the second conference of the season, the preparation has been less intense than for MACHE. Nonetheless, there have been books to order, inventory to update, and books to read. Plus I created a scavenger hunt—with prizes!—since I have so many books to browse these days. So if you will be at CHCSD or NICHE in Iowa, make sure to come check it out.
  • And yes, I continue to work on my novel. I’m almost done with the exercises (about a half-dozen to go), and then it will be on to reassembling all the pieces!

Well, that’s it for now. I hope to see some of you in South Dakota!

Dreaming Bigger, Growing Deeper,
Chawna Schroeder

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Allow Me to Introduce…

Each spring, I head out to various homeschool conferences to vend as Imagination Investigation. There I promote resources for practicing discernment along with my favorite Christian novels, especially those belonging to the science-fiction and fantasy genres.

As a result I’m constantly reading and constantly finding new authors to add to my list. So allow me to introduce you to this year’s additions and their fabulous books:

Lindsay A. Franklin is a best-selling author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following. You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn't hijacked all her accounts. She's @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at www.facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.

The Story Peddler is a young adult fantasy about a girl whose storytelling creates visible sculptures—which is all fine and dandy until they start revealing truths that the king doesn’t want told! Fabulous reading for those who enjoy adventurous fantasy. (And book 2, The Story Raider is scheduled to release later this summer!)


S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. That's to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and isn't much taller than a hobbit. Her patronus is a Red Voltron Lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her lightsaber is blue. She believes that with a little faith, a lot of love, and an untamed imagination, every adventure is possible. That's why she writes. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.

Children of the Blood Moon (Scarlet Moon, Amber Eyes, Black Blood) is another young adult fantasy trilogy about a specially gifted group of teens born during a blood moon and who are hunted by an evil queen as a result. Great reading for the fans of high fantasy!


Mike Hamel is a seasoned storyteller who first told the adventures of Matterhorn to his four children—Aaron, Nate, Matthew and Julie—as bedtime stories. The children have grown, and so has the series. He is also the author of the TLC series and several books for adults. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Colorado Springs. He blogs at OPEN Mike, www.MikeHamel.wordpress.com.

Matterhorn the Brave (The Sword and the Flute, Talis Hunters, Pyramid Scheme, Jewel Heist, Dragon’s Lair, Rylan the Renegade, Tunguska Event, The Book of Stories): Ignore the less-than-stellar cover art! These eight adventure stories for middle grade readers (8-12 years) are funny and exciting with quirky characters and a unique blend of portal fantasy and pseudo-time travel.



Joshua Johnston grew up reading the grand masters of science fiction and still devotes more time to their endless galaxies than he really should. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and two daughters.

The Chronicles of Sarco (Edge of Oblivion, Into the Void, Through Chaos): A fan of space opera or Star Trek? Then join Captain Jared Carter and his crew as they search for the lost fragments of an ancient manuscript that may hold the key to a planet swallowing civilizations whole.


So there’s some of the new books found on my tables. See one that looks interesting, but you won’t be at one of the conferences I’m vending? No problem. You can buy a copy through my online bookstore.

Now back to my reading list to find some more great reads.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April 2019 Writing Update

No, I've not yet fallen off the edge of the world, though I must admit that the view is pretty spectacular from the edge. J


Nonetheless, while I have been digitally silent for a while, silence does not equate with inactivity. Indeed, often when I’m hardest at work in life is when I’m the most inactive on-line. But I find myself with a breather, and I figured I was long overdue for another update. So what has been filling my days as a writer?

    Image result for 12 days at bleakly manor
  • The critiquing of other writers’ work. I have several friends for whom I read and critique their stories before they turn them in to their editors. The most significant of the projects has been the Christmas novella, The Old Lace Shop by Michelle Griep. A fun historical romance about a widow who inherits a lace factory run by an old flame, The Old Lace Shop releases next fall, just in time for the Christmas season. So make sure to check out this story along with Michelle’s previous two Christmas novellas, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and The Tale of Two Hearts.

  • Teaching a writing course. The American Christian Fiction Writers, a professional group to which I belong, does monthly online writing courses for their membership. I had the honor of teaching February’s course, which was on creative ways to handle difficult material in fiction.

  • Preparing for home school conferences. Yes, it is that time of year again! I am once again knee-deep in books—quite literally!—as I sort, inventory, and prepare for vending. There are three conferences I am scheduled to attend this year: MACHE April 12-13 in St. Paul, MN; SECHE (CHCSD) May 10-11 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and NICHE June 6-8 in West Des Moines, Iowa. If you or someone you know will be in attendance, please stop by Imagination Investigation and say hi!

  • Recording workshops. Unlike in the past, I will not be teaching workshops at the conferences this year. But I have been hard at work recording the past six I’ve presented, and I’m compiling those for sale.

  • And of course, writing! Even within this busyness, I continue to work and make progress on my fiction. My current project is the first of a science-fiction/supernatural suspense trilogy, tentatively entitled Virtually True. I’ve completed most of a first draft last fall. Now I’m working through the exercises found in the Break-Out Novel Workbook by Donald Maass in order to add complexity to both the characters and the plot.

So that’s a snapshot of where I’m at and what I’m up to. With such a busy start to the year, I have to wonder what God has in store for the next nine months!

Dreaming bigger, growing deeper,
Chawna Schroeder

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Christian Fiction January 2019

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

Amish Romance:

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston -- Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Courting Her Prodigal Heart by Mary Davis -- Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Contemporary Romance:

Her Hope Discovered by Cynthia Herron -- Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, Missouri, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery. Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course? Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined. A new place to call “home,” the possibility of what might be, and the answer to someone’s prayers unite this unlikely pair with the help of the town’s residents. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)


Cozy Mystery:

Murderous Heart by Lynne Waite Chapman -- Freelance writer, Lauren Halloren pens popular magazine articles extoling the comfort and security of small town America. And Evelynton, Indiana treasures its wholesome small town values. Ask anyone. Streets are safe to walk. People look out for one another. Marriage vows are treasured. Murders are solved. In this third volume of the Evelynton Murder series, Lauren, along with friends, Clair and Anita stumble over another body. The partially mummified remains turn out to be an Evelynton resident. But how, in this close knit community, could a woman be deceased for over six months without being missed? (Cozy Mystery from Winged Publications)


Historical Romance:

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham -- Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Homeward Journey by Misty M. Beller -- Finally free from her dead husband’s addicted lifestyle, Rachel Gray and her young son set out for a new life in the wilderness of the Canadian territories. She is reluctant to accept help from another man, but after a bear threatens her son’s life, she agrees to accompany two God-fearing brothers who are traveling to the same area. Slowly, she begins to trust the one named Seth. Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to Seth—until a secret from his past proves he had more in common with her husband than she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Stepping into the Light by Candee Fick -- With war looming and a madwoman in their midst, the only hope for a peaceful future may lie in a marriage alliance between a disfigured recluse of the Gunn clan and the overlooked second son of Clan Sinclair. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse -- Tayler Hale is ahead of her time as one of the first women naturalists. She has always loved adventure and the great outdoors, and her remote job location also helps keep her away from the clutches of the man to whom she once made a foolish promise. It seems she must keep running, however, and in secret, her boss from Yellowstone arranges for a new job . . . in Alaska. The popular Curry Hotel continues to thrive in 1929 as more visitors come to Alaska and venture into the massive national park surrounding Denali. Recent graduate Thomas Smith has returned to the hotel and the people he considers family. But when a woman naturalist comes to fill the open position and he must work with her, everything becomes complicated. The summer brings unexpected guests and trouble to Curry. With his reputation at stake, will Thomas be able to protect Tayler from the danger that follows? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Devotion by Olivia Rae -- Injured and unable to make his living by the sword, Sir Theo de Born needs to secure his keep by becoming an educated man. As he finds himself falling for his reluctant teacher, he learns of her plan to leave England before the winter sets in. How can he convince her to stay and fulfill her promise while protecting his heart? Denied her true love and sent away to a convent, Lady Rose de Payne has no choice but to accept to become Sir Theo’s teacher. However, she has a plan to escape the confines of her new prison and start fresh in a different country. As the chilly winds blow, her resolve begins to waver. Will she abandon Sir Theo to a miserable fate or will she give up her dreams to make his come true? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Some Christmas Reading


Christmas music and Christmas movies are a great way to get into the holiday mood, but nothing lets you immerse yourself in the season quite the same way as a good book. So here are seven fun tales with which to get your Christmas reading going this year:

  1. “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. A classic short to wet your appetite.
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Nothing says “Christmas” like a green curmudgeon, right?
  3. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep. A little mystery, a little romance, all set in 1850 England during the 12 days of Christmas—this is not your typical Christmas romance.
  4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. We all can use a little Christmas magic at this time of year.
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Because the book is always better, no matter how many different movie versions they make.
  6. Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep. ‘Tis the season for some scheming…
  7. The Prophet, the Shepherd, and the Star by Jenny L. Cote. Through the eyes of two cats, two dogs, a mouse and a lamb, rediscover the prophecies that foretold Christ’s first coming and then experience those prophecies coming true.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

December 2018 Writing Update



November saw a flurry of fiction writing as I decided to use NaNo WriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge to push myself. While I did not officially participate and I definitely didn’t shoot for the standard word goal, I did set a goal that I knew would force me to write much faster than my usual pace.

In the end I fell short of my goal by one chapter’s length, but I remain pleased with the progress made. I now have completed 25 chapters of a first draft, or what I estimate to be about two-thirds of a new book.

Of course, the draft is terribly messy. I already know of a couple of dozen things that will need to change and a dozen more scenes that will need to be added. But there are also many points which I loved, moments that have made me laugh or gasp or ache and which I suspect will end up in the final draft in some form. An overall structure to the story has also seemed to have emerged, strong and solid, on which I shall be able to build upon in coming months. Of course, only the coming months will be able to tell me if this is true or if this is only the euphoria of first draft speaking…

Due to this intense focus on my novel writing, I have made little progress on other areas of my writing. The one thing I can report is that I am officially registered as a vendor with MACHE (the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators). So you will be able to find my booth, Imagination Investigation, at the St. Paul RiverCentre during April 12-13, 2019. I hope I will see a few of you there!

Finally, since the Christmas season is here, my Facebook page (@ChawnaSchroederAuthor) will be taking a break from my normal posts to share twenty-five rarely sung Christmas carols. So come like my page and join the fun!