Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Series Spotlight: No Ordinary Fairy Tale


The series: No Ordinary Fairy Tale by R. J. Anderson (Knife, Rebel and Arrow)

What it is: Teen Magical Realism (fairies in the contemporary real world)

The story: Fairies looking to restore magic to their dying hollow end up igniting a magical war in modern England.

What I loved: The mixing of Tinkerbell-styled pixies with Tolkein-styled elves (Edmund Spenser fairies), seeing our world through other eyes, thought-provoking content

Learn more about No Ordinary Fairy Tale

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

7 Ways to Overcome a Reading Slump

For a bibliophile, a reading slump is the pits.

One day we’re reading merrily along our way, devouring the latest release from our favorite authors, working through our to-be-read list, eagerly awaiting the next book. Then—

WHAM!

It all comes to a halt. Suddenly, we find ourselves skimming the story, not really enjoying what we’re reading. Nothing appeals to the imagination. Nothing holds our attention. Everything tastes bland.

We’ve entered a reading slump.

And it’s not a fun place to be. All those books, just waiting to be read, and we’re stalled out, wasting precious time that could be better spent reading. All because we can’t seem to engage with those little black squiggles on the page.

What is a reader to do? Here are seven tricks I’ve found helpful to reignite my love of the written word when the story doldrums hit:

1. Mix it up. Sometimes a slump comes because I’ve been reading too much of the same thing. So branching out often helps. Try a new-to-you author. Sample a genre outside your norm. Or check out a different format, like an audio book. 

2. Revisit a childhood favorite. I have several childhood classics I loved as a kid, like A Little Princess, and take time to return to as an adult periodically. It helps me remember why I love reading and what makes story magical. So pick up an old favorite, for there’s something about returning to where the “magic” began.

3. Sample. Sometimes as bibliophiles, we think we need to finish every book we begin. But not every book is the perfect read for every mood or season, and the next thing you pick up might not appeal because that’s not where you are at now. So give yourself permission to sample books, reading one a chapter or even just a page until something clicks.

4. Read something mediocre. Sometimes I enter slumps because the last book I read was so amazingly perfect, nothing else can measure up. Yet because I tend to compare every book to last one I read, reading a quick, mediocre book sometimes “cleanses” my palate. Since I already know it is mediocre, I don’t expect it to compare to the amazing book I just read, and it lowers the bar for the next book I tackle.

5. Keep it short. After reading several long books, I can develop mental fatigue. Indulging in something shorter can refresh with the reward of a quickly-reached ending. Picture books or kid’s literature, short stories, novellas, and even some poetry can work for this.

6. Give yourself time off. As much as I loathe to admit it, not every season of life is conducive to reading, especially fiction. Add to this the book grief over the end of a favorite series or exhaustion from binge reading, and sometimes you just need to step away for awhile. And that is okay. The books will still be there when you return.

7. Pray. This might sound odd, but asking God to help select my next read is a practice I’ve found helpful. For I’ve discovered that sometimes I’m in a slump because it’s the wrong book at the wrong time. Rather, God has something different in mind for me, a book that contains something I need now, and the slump is His way of trying to get my attention. So asking for His direction can be exactly what is needed.

So next time you’re in a reading slump, don’t despair! This too shall pass, and with a few changes in reading habits, you’ll soon find yourself delighting in books once again.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

New Christian Fiction June 2024


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

Biblical:

Petra: An Unbroken Legacy by Lisa L. Dorsey -- Embark on a journey through time and faith. Witness as the survival of a family's faith intertwines with pivotal moments in history to build a spiritual legacy anchored in God's steadfast Love, timeless Word, and infinite Wisdom. (Biblical Adventure from hope*books)

 
Contemporary Romance:

The Triplets’ Summer Adventure by Laurel M. Blount -- Back home for the summer, adventure-seeking Nick Marshall thinks his park ranger gig will be easy—until the children’s camp he’s overseeing is left without a cook. Desperate to fill the position, he offers his high school nemesis, Cara Andrews, the job. As the two work together, Nick can’t help but fall for the single mom and her triplet sons. But convincing her to take a chance on him might be Nick’s toughest challenge yet… (Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Mary’s Calico Hope by Anne Blackburne -- Mary finds courage to face her fears about pursuing further treatment for serious injuries sustained as a child, and she and Reuben find a way to be together, with God's help. (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Love’s True Home by Lori DeJong -- Born and raised on the foreign mission field, all Allyson Kincaid wants is home and hearth on American soil. Too bad the first guy who’s made her pulse skip dreams of a life spent in foreign missions. Although she supports him in his calling, knows his choice means she’ll be laying more broken dreams, and a newly shattered heart, at the feet of Jesus. When Zane Carpenter relocates to Arlington, Texas, his seventh move in thirteen years, his only thought is to meet his obligation with Becker Ministries in a few months then take a foreign mission assignment. But working so closely with Ally in student ministry has him feeling things he’s never experienced. He’s ready for a future with her, until he accepts an opportunity to work on foreign soil and Ally stays behind. He knows God put him at the mission for a reason, although his heart still longs for the girl back home. (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

When the Ocean Roars by Charlsie Estess -- Weeks before the Ultimate Fighting World Championship, Keane “The Golden Lion” Temple lands in Japan for the battle of his professional life, primed to take the win. But when his path collides with an intriguing woman, he gives in to impulse and asks her to spend his day off from training with him. Ami Ono cannot pass on the invitation but also hides her full identity. As their extraordinary day bleeds into night, both realize one day won’t be enough. Then the excursion ends in disaster when Keane discovers who Ami is. They part ways, but compelling circumstances and an undeniable attraction draw them back together. As the forbidden romance threatens to take down his principles, he struggles to honor his beliefs. Will The Golden Lion surrender his heart? Will Ami defy the domineering men in her life and accept it? Do they stand a chance against nature? (Contemporary Romance from Iron Stream Media)

A Midsummer Romance by Alyssa Schwarz -- The meddling mothers of Wild Rose Ridge will do anything to match up friends Caleb Weaver and Jessica Daniels. Real life begins to mirror Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream a little too much when they are strategically cast as the main couple in the town’s summer play. Will the course of true love end in tragedy? With a touch of summer magic, anything can happen. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP]) 

  Cole and Laila Are Just Friends by Bethany Turner -- Cole and Laila have been inseparable since they could crawl. And they've never thought about each other that way. Except for when they have. Rarely. Once in a while, sure. But seriously . . . hardly ever. If When Harry Met Sally had a quippy literary love child with Gilmore Girls' Luke and Lorelai, you'd get Cole and Laila. Just . . . don't tell them that. (Contemporary Romance from Thomas Nelson Fiction [Harper Collins])

 

Western:

Toward the Dawn by Mary Connealy -- Two people marry for convenience then strike out to find happiness...and find danger instead. Together, they must confront the perils from their pasts to forge a future with hope and the promise of love. (Western from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

 
Historical Romance:

Rocky Mountain Journey by Misty M Beller -- To fulfill a dying wish, Faith Collins masquerades as a man to find the woman who once saved her father's life. On her journey through the Rockies, she teams up with a man in search of his brother, and together they must navigate the treacherous terrain while keeping Faith's identity a secret and their growing affection at bay. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

When Plans Go Awry by Denise M Colby Olivia Carmichael escapes her past to be the next schoolmarm in a small ranching community in California. Her plan? Live a quiet spinster life, alone, never to depend on anyone ever again. Luke Taylor selected a mail-order bride, a necessity to help raise his two younger sisters, and the only way he knew to protect his heart. His plans don’t include being responsible for the beautiful new schoolmarm, who threatens his resolve between his need to stay away and his need to be near to make sure she stays safe. Along the way, neither feel much in control of their circumstances. Olivia’s carefully laid-out plans are challenged at every turn. Luke’s mail-order bride is not what he expected. Will Luke and Olivia learn to trust God’s plan for their lives? (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press) 

  Dreams on the Horizon by Penny Zeller -- Mae Shepherdson’s dream of a school for the deaf has finally come to fruition. All is going well until she receives devastating news: the railroad wants to build a spur through the property where the Horizon School for the Deaf is located. Landon Bennick is accustomed to obeying his father’s orders and has assisted with the building of many railroad spurs, and the newest in Horizon should be no exception. However, things grow complicated when he falls in love with Mae, a soft-spoken teacher at the Horizon School for the Deaf—the same school blocking the railroad’s progress. When nefarious characters bent on seeing the railroad project succeed begin to threaten innocent lives, will Landon intervene and save the woman who has claimed his heart? (Historical Romance from Maplebrook Publishing)

 
Romantic Suspense:

Hidden in the Night by Elizabeth Goddard -- At the behest of her ailing mother, former FBI special agent Ivy Elliott arrives in Alaska to secure an unpublished Jack London manuscript kept secreted away for decades. But when she arrives, she learns the manuscript is gone--taken by the granddaughter of the woman who possessed it. Ivy sets off in pursuit, not just to save the manuscript but to save the vulnerable girl, who was previously trafficked and has no idea what she's getting herself into. Joining forces with Alaska State Trooper Nolan Long, Ivy must battle a blizzard, sabotage, and the worst of an Alaskan winter as the search goes on. But every answer they find only raises more questions--and the danger to their lives and to the missing girl may only be the tip of the iceberg. (Romantic Suspense from Revell)

Suspicious Homicide by Elizabeth Goddard -- When Finnley Wilbanks is run off a mountainside road, it confirms her worst fears—her father was murdered. With her life hanging in the balance, she turns to bodyguard and investigator Caine Honor for protection. As they work together to solve the mystery behind her father’s death, danger stalks their every move. And keeping Finnley alive long enough to find answers might be Caine’s hardest mission yet. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Celebrity Pastor by Creston Mapes -- Pastor Neil Gentry embarked on his ministry with genuine intentions, unwavering passion, and undeniable charisma. As his influence grew, so did his fame. Vine & Branches Church became one of the fastest growing in the world. Soon, Pastor Gentry and his wife Becky resembled royalty, enjoying fame and power—and basking in the adoration of their devoted followers. Beneath the glitz and glamor, however, whispers of misconduct began to surface. As the allure of popularity and power consume the Gentrys, they find themselves plummeting into the abyss of moral compromise. With the weight of their actions threatening to shatter everything they’ve built, one dire question remains: can anything or anyone break the spell before the unthinkable happens? (Suspense from Rooftop Press) 

Colorado Mountain Kidnapping by Cate Nolan -- A cryptic phone call sends Isabelle Weaver running from armed intruders—with her daughter and best friend’s baby under her care. Nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted…except former army ranger Adam Dalton. Together, they must uncover a kidnapper’s motives while protecting the children. But as danger tracks them through the mountains, can they outwit a criminal mastermind before they all lose their lives? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

Children’s Picture Books:

Would You Rather: Bible Water Adventures by Jerah Alvarado -- Would you rather cruise on Noah's Ark with stinky animals? Or would you rather be in a huge storm with Jesus asleep in your boat? Choose from fourteen different Bible water adventures the one you would rather experience! (Children’s Picture Books from Mt Zion Ridge Press)   

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Why I Love "A Little Princess"


If you haven’t already heard, my newest fantasy trilogy is loosely inspired by my favorite novel, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a book I’ve read almost annually since I was a preteen, with some years containing two or more readings. It is a story that never fails to enchant me no matter how often I read it, and it carries for me the same magic that Anne of Green Gables has for many other girls.

Yet unlike Anne, who endears herself to almost all who meet her, the young heroine of A Little Princess, Sara Crewe, is known to be a somewhat divisive character—the kind you either adore or hate the moment you meet her, much like the characters within the story itself. So what draws me back to this young protagonist again and again?

The reasons are many. I love her imagination, her intelligence, her ability for the perfect comeback, her courage in the face of horrifying circumstances, her uniqueness among her fellow-pupils, which is portrayed as a positive thing.

But I think one of the things that draws me most to her is her unshakeable character. Sara Crewe is a principled young lady, and no matter what is thrown at her, she holds onto those principles without wavering.

Often in literature, it seems like the good, principled characters, when they are faced with great difficulty, end up struggling with their principles, debating whether they are good or worthwhile. In some stories, those characters even outright reject those principles for a time.

While these are good and needed stories to tell, sometimes they are portrayed as the only accurate arcs for such characters—as if characters holding onto their principles and maintaining their integrity is somehow unrealistic. A charge originating, I suppose, from those too sweet, too perfect characters found in morality tales.

Yet while such characters of integrity and principle might be rare, Scripture shows us that hard times don’t have to shake one’s principles or undermine one’s integrity. Both Joseph in the book of Genesis and Daniel in the book bearing his name exemplify this kind of life. And we see this same principled integrity in Sara Crewe.

It is not that she is some perfectly sweet heroine. Sara has a temper, struggles with some uncharitable thoughts toward others, and even misjudges another character terribly. Nor does she fail to grow—the Sara at the end of the story is definitely a more mature, thoughtful, and understanding girl than the one who began the tale.

But the core essence of her character—her politeness, generosity, compassion, etc. as summarized by her wish to act like a princess—does not change in the story. The core characteristics that make Sara Crewe, Sara Crewe, are unshaken. They may grow and expand with the character, but these essential attributes characterize her throughout the entire story. Even in her darkest moments she holds fast to them.

That is both hopeful and encouraging. For we all will face hard and difficult times. A Little Princess doesn’t deny that reality. Rather, it says that those hard times don’t have to destroy us and that holding onto one’s integrity—one’s faith—is possible.

And that, for me, is what makes Sara Crewe and A Little Princess truly magical.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Book Spotlight: Waking Beauty


The book:
Waking Beauty by Sarah Morin

What it is: YA (young adult) fairytale retelling of Sleeping Beauty, picking up the story with prince charming awakening the princess.

The story: After awakening Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming must convince her he’s real and not just another dream.

What I loved: The first line of the book (“His princess was dusty.”), the humor, the exploration of separating reality from fantasy, the many aspects of love portrayed (not just romantic infatuation), the unique approach to a familiar fairytale.

Learn more about Waking Beauty

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

October 2023 New Christian Fiction

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

Children’s:
Road Trip Rescue by Becca Wierwille -- After spotting a photo of her lost dog, twelve-year-old Kimmy embarks on a wild road trip to bring him home with her pink-haired, adventure-hungry aunt who makes some unexpected detours. (Children’s/Middle Grade/Chapter Books from Beloved Chronicles LLC)

Contemporary Romance:
A Christmas Romance by Annette M. Irby -- A wannabe novelist with writer's block. A best-selling children’s book author with a knack for story. And the romance they brainstorm together. Can they deny their attraction, or will they live their own Christmas romance? (Romance Novella from Prism Effect Publishing) 

A Country Christmas by Lisa Carter -- The rancher and the city girl have nothing in common…except the wedding that brings them together (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

A Deeper Love by Heidi Gray McGill -- There’s no such thing as going “too deep” where spiritual things are concerned. But I’ll stay at the surface and snorkel rather than dive into the depths when it comes to relationships. (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing) 

A Horseman’s Mission by Sandra Ardoin -- A guilt-ridden horseman works to establish an equine therapy center for veterans with PTSD while attempting to ease the fears of an overprotective widow whose son suffers panic attacks. (Contemporary Romance from Corner Room Books) 

Fields of Glass by Alyssa Schwarz -- A rancher facing bankruptcy and a corporate sales rep who wants to buy his family land. Sparks fly when they are forced to work together toward a common goal, and discover what they're willing to sacrifice to save those they care for most. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published) 

Mama Dated Santa by Amy R. Anguish -- Trudy McNamara doesn’t do Christmas anymore. But Trudy finds herself tangled up with the toy store Santa and Christmas when she discovers her mom … dated Santa. Nick Russo, manager of Russos’ Toy Emporium, is at a loss as to how to save his family’s store. When Uncle Paul, the Santa and part-owner, hires Trudy to revamp their store, Nick’s life turns upside down. (Contemporary Romance from Scrivening’s Press)

Their Holiday Secret by Betsy St Amant -- Preston Green will do anything for a fake girlfriend—even bid on one at a charity auction. Sweet and quirky baker Lulu Boyd is the perfect choice to stop his mother’s constant matchmaking. And it’s just for one holiday family dinner—until his father’s failing health makes ending their ruse impossible. Soon it feels all too real…but another secret might make this their last Christmas together. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)


General Contemporary:
Secret Mercy by Lynn Waite Chapman -- Talk to Liberty Cassell and you will hear her extoll all the advantages of living in her hometown of Twin Fawn. Little traffic. Easy parking. However, in this little town, when Harley Ottenweller failed to show up for dinner one day, most residents failed to notice. Those who did take note seemed grateful not to meet up with him on the street. His wife Willow and son Johnnie went on with life. No questions. No search. Does the tiny woman with wispy white hair and wild imagination know more about her husband’s disappearance than she’s telling? (General Contemporary from Winged Publications)


General Historical:
Appalachian Song by Michelle Shocklee -- A young pregnant woman bonds with the midwives who take her into their Appalachian home. Decades later, a famous country singer heads to the Appalachian Mountains to search for the midwife who holds the truth about his past. (General Historical from Tyndale House) 

The Kidnapped Groom by Susan Page Davis -- Riding through the Flint Hills on his way to Dodge City, cowboy Sam Cayford finds himself the kidnapping victim of two children. When he meets their lovely mother, Maggie Piner—whom the kids insist he should marry—Sam starts to question God’s plans versus his own. (General Historical, Tea Tin Press)


Historical Romance:
Abounding Hope by Cindy Kay Stewart -- Poland’s looming defeat forces an American teacher to escape with children wanted by the Nazis. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Against the Wind by Amanda Cabot -- When a female doctor-in-training saves a handsome stranger’s life, little does she know that he’ll bring both love and danger into her life. (Historical Romance from Revell)

Angelina’s Resolve by Cindy Ervin Huff -- Architect Angelina DuBois isn't looking for love as she builds a town run by businesswomen. Carpenter and Civil War veteran Edward Pritchard’s dream of building homes for Chicago’s elite must be put on hold until he gains references. Serving as a contractor under Angelina’s well-known DuBois name provides that opportunity. But can Angelina trust her handsome new carpenter to respect her as his boss? Will the project take Edward one step closer to his goals, or will it make him a laughingstock? Can these two strong-willed people find love amid such an unconventional experiment? (Historical Romance from Iron Stream Media)

Chiseled on the Heart by Kelly Goshorn, Elaine Marie Cooper, Cynthia Roemer, and Candace West -- Four generations carve out a journey of faith. The Gift of a Lamb by Elaine Cooper; A Lasting Legacy by Cynthia Roemer; Healing within the Pieces by Candace West; The Christmas Carving by Kelly Goshorn (Historical Romance from Revell) 

The Case of the Missing Detective by Rebecca Hemlock -- A spin off series of The Granton House Mysteries. We follow sixteen-year-old Dorothy Corbin as the family secrets are passed to her. She's ready to discover her grandfather's past, but nothing could have prepared her for what she'd find there. (Historical Romance from Bluecap Publishing)


Military Suspense:
Havoc by Ronie Kendig -- Former Special Forces operator Sergeant Crew Gatlin is putting his life back together after a career-ending incident that separated him from the Army, half a leg, and his beloved working dog, Havoc K027. When he takes a job and is unexpectedly reunited with Havoc, it’s too good to be true. Their first assignment is to work as a K-9 team for a TV drama. Being a stunt double allows Vienna Foxcroft to fulfill her acting dream—with a side of MMA—and stay out of the limelight. Then in walks Mr. Mountain-of-Muscle and his tough-as-nails dog, and Vienna has a bad feeling her life is about to turn upside down as they head overseas for a location shoot in Turkey. When an attack sends the cast fleeing into the streets of Turkey, Vienna must face the demons of her past or be devoured by them. And Crew and Havoc are tested like never before. (Military Suspense from Sunrise Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:
Crime Scene Conspiracy by Jessica R. Patch -- A string of staged deaths forces Texas Ranger Emily O’Connell on a covert mission to investigate a governor’s connection to the deceased women. She doesn’t trust anyone—including crime scene cleaner Stone Spencer. But when Emily’s questioning makes her the serial killer’s next target, she must turn to ex-ranger Stone for help. With threats at every turn, outrunning a merciless villain could be the last thing they do. (Romantic Suspense from Loved Inspired Suspense/Harlequin) 

Christmas in the Crosshairs by Kate Angelo, Kelly Underwood, Sami A. Abrams -- Christmas is about to get dangerous! Get ready for three brand new Elite Guardians romantic suspense stories from Sunrise Publishing in this exciting anthology. (Romantic Suspense from Sunrise Publishing) 

Grave Secrets by Elle E. Kay -- In the historic city of Philadelphia, a mystery begins to unfold that will lead to the tranquil beauty of Ricketts Glen State Park and the dark secrets hidden just beyond the park's borders. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Holiday Menace by Jerusha Agen, Mary Alford, Lori Altebaumer, Danielle Grandinetti, Sarah Hamaker, Kendall Hoxsey, Karen Kirst, Pat O'Brien, Hope Welborn, and Terri Weldon -- Will Christmas be merry and bright? Lives are in danger when menacing pressures threaten to derail Christmas in this heart-pounding suspense—plus a little romance—collection of 10 brand-new novellas from some of the genre's most popular Christian romantic suspense authors! (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Running to You by Robin Patchen -- She dumped him, ghosted him for five years...and then showed up on his doorstep with bruises and a head injury she can't explain. She has no memory of the years since she left him--or their breakup. She also has no idea why men are chasing her. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published) 

Shadows at Dusk by Elizabeth Goddard -- A missing person. A murder victim. And two hurting people seeking justice, connected in ways they could never imagine. (Romantic Suspense from Revell)

Skye Fall by Paige Edwards -- The dirty cop who left her for dead now lies in wait to silence her once and for all. (Romantic Suspense from Covenant Communications)

Snowbound Escape by Dana Mentink -- After months tracking a colleague falsely accused of a double homicide, officer Tanner Ford and his K-9 partner finally locate crime tech Mara Gilmore—but the real murderer is closing in. Now they must run into a frozen wilderness to survive. Evading the killer is the only way for Mara to clear her name. But will the harsh winter conditions cover their tracks…or bury them forever? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired Suspense/Harlequin)


Western:
Another Christmas Story by Susan Page Davis -- Beryl’s father is badly injured, and the wagon train leaves her and her little brother behind and at the trading post. They are at the mercy of the trading post manager, his wife, and their adult son, James. Grieving after her father's death, Beryl sees that James loves her young brother. Soon she comes to care for James too. Come spring, Beryl will have to decide whether she and her brother will continue on to Oregon or go back East. (Western from Tea Tin Press)


Young Adult:
Royal & Ancient by Amanda Lauer -- When a lightning strike transports a high school senior from modern-day America to 1600s Scotland, she must learn the ways of the Scots before a battle between England and Scotland decimates the land her true love is destined to rule. (Young Adult from Chrism Press/WhiteFire Publishing)   

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

September 2023 New Fiction Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:
A Louisiana Christmas to Remember by Morgan Tapley Smith, Betsy St. Amant, Lenora Worth -- Three heartwarming, interconnected stories of faith, love, and restoration, brought to you by three Louisiana-native authors. Will a rare snowy Louisiana Christmas bring restoration and hope to the hometown and hearts of three women from the town’s founding family? In A Louisiana Snow by Morgan Tarpley Smith, meet Mattie: A passionate visionary who learns to forgive and finds love in unexpected places… In Restoring Christmas by Betsy St. Amant, meet Jolene: An artist and prodigal daughter who discovers love exists in the very place she once called home… In A Christmas Reunion by Lenora Worth, meet Adale: A beautiful widow who finally dares to love again… (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Redeeming the Cowboy by Lisa Jordan -- Five years ago, bull rider Bear Stone lost everything. His best friend. His fiancĂ©e. His career. And Piper Healy, his best friend’s wife, never forgave him for the rodeo accident that killed her husband. Now they’re working together to save his family’s ranch. But can this cowboy choose between his last chance at the rodeo…and the woman he’s falling for? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Where Love is Planted by Dawn Kinzer -- A beautiful horticultural therapist.A handsome social worker in a woman's prison. Will their loyalty to others cost them their own happiness? Or will something beautiful grow where love is planted? (Contemporary Romance from Morningview Publishing)


 
Historical Romance:
A Counterfeit Betrothal by Denise Weimer -- A frontier scout, a healing widow, and a desperate fight for peace. At the farthest Georgia outpost this side of hostile Creek Territory in 1813, Jared Lockridge serves his country as a scout to redeem his father’s botched heritage. If he can help secure peace against Indians allied to the British, he can bring his betrothed to the home he’s building and open his cabinetry shop. Then he comes across a burning cabin and a traumatized woman just widowed by a fatal shot. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)


Francine’s Foibles by Linda Shenton Matchett -- World War II is finally over, and America is extra grateful as the country approaches this year’s Thanksgiving. But for Francine life hasn’t changed. Despite working at Fort Meade processing the paperwork for the thousands of men who have returned home, she’s still lonely and very single. Is she destined for spinsterhood? Grateful that his parents anglicized the family surname after emigrating to the United States after the Great War, first-generation German-American Ray Fisher has done all he can to hide his heritage. He managed to make it through this second “war to end all wars,” but what American woman would want to marry into a German family? Must he leave the country to find wedded bliss?? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press) 

  The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky -- In 2012, art historian Gwen Morris travels to England's Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd's staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she's left searching for answers. In 1912, after her father's death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again. (Historical Romance from Bethany House) 

  Wooing Gertrude by Jodie Wolfe -- Enoch Valentine has given up finding peace for his past mistakes. He throws everything he has into being the new part-time deputy in Burrton Springs, Kansas while maintaining the foreman position at a local horse ranch. But when trouble stirs on the ranch, he questions whether he' s the right man for either job. Peace has been elusive for most of Gertrude Miller's life, especially under the oppressiveness of an overbearing mother. She takes matters into her own hands and sends for a potential husband, while also opening her own dress shop. Gertrude hopes to build a future where she' ll find peace and happiness. Will either of them ever be able to find peace? (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing)


Literary/Contemporary:
The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass by Katie Powner -- After years of drifting, fifty-year-old Pete Ryman has settled down with his potbellied pig, Pearl, in the small Montana town of Sleeping Grass--a place he never expected to see again. It's not the life he dreamed of, but there aren't many prospects for a high-school dropout like him. Elderly widow Wilma Jacobsen carries a burden of guilt over her part in events that led to Pete leaving Sleeping Grass decades ago. Now that he's back, she's been praying for the chance to make things right, but she never expected God's answer to leave her flat on her face--literally--and up to her ears in meddling. (Literary/Contemporary from Bethany House)


 
Split Time:
Fall Back and Find Me by Sarah Hanks -- Two resilient women separated by over 150 years are linked forever by their challenges, values, and determination. (Split Time from SonFlower Books)


Thriller/Suspense/Romantic:
Facing the Enemy by DiAnn Mills -- When the long-awaited reunion between Risa and her brother, Trenton, ends in tragedy, Risa is riddled with guilt, unable to cope with the responsibility she feels over his death. On leave from the FBI, Risa returns to her former career as an English teacher at a local college, only to see her past and present collide when one of her students, Carson Mercury, turns in an assignment that reads like an eyewitness account of her brother’s murder, with details never revealed publicly. Alarmed by Carson’s inside knowledge of Trenton’s death, Risa reaches out to her former partner at the FBI. Special Agent Gage Patterson has been working a string of baby kidnappings, but he agrees to help look into Carson’s background. Risa and Gage soon discover their cases might be connected as a string of high-value thefts have occurred at properties where security systems were installed by Carson’s stepfather and children have gone missing. There’s a far more sinister plot at play than they ever imagined, and innocent lives are in danger. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Tyndale House)


Seeking Justice by Sharee Stover An agent and her K-9 partner risk their lives in the ultimate mission. With her partner gravely injured in the line of duty, FBI agent Tiandra Daugherty has one shot to complete her mission. She’ll have to convince her partner’s twin brother, Officer Elijah Kenyon, to take his place undercover in a deadly drug ring. Together they must find justice for his brother and dismantle the gang. But the target is now on them, and the mission could prove fatal. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Young Adult:
The Text by Julane Fisher -- In 2048, 25 years after a pandemic killed one-third of the world’s population, America is flourishing under the department of Safety Threats and Reinforcement (STaR). STaR keeps citizens safe and healthy STaR’s social media app, Allicio, boasts two billion users. The a power outage shuts down STaR’s health monitors and disables millions of mobile phones. Sixteen-year-old Rami Carlton earned a starting spot on the varsity volleyball team. For fun, she races tech-genius Finley Drake to decipher the online identities of their techie friends. The game is harmless. So they thought. Rami receives a chilling text message that she’s being watched. That night, her mother disappears. Despite thousands of city-wide monitors, STaR’s Reinforcement Division cannot locate Rami’s mom. And Rami’s stalker threatens to kill her brother if she talks to Reinforcement Officers. When Finley hacks the nation’s cellular provider, Connect Mobile, he discovers STaR has a secret. STAR isn’t just watching. They’re manipulating Allicio. And Rami is their next target. (Young Adult from Infinite Teen)