Thursday, May 30, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome BD Lawrence!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome BD Lawrence!

Please welcome BD Lawrence and listen in as he talks about his fantastic One-Armed Detective series!

What was your inspiration for the story?

I think part of it stemmed from being a youth worker in a church youth ministry for eleven years. I’d heard about sex trafficking and had heard how the average age was decreasing. I had also written a short story some years back about a one-armed detective (inspired by a friend of mine who had one leg) where I used the Hollywood portrayal of a prostitute. I liked the character so came up with a book idea for the one-armed detective. In this I wanted to show what sex trafficking really is. I was also inspired to use those books to both spread awareness of sex trafficking and raise money for an organization that fights this scourge. I donate half of my earnings to a local organization that fights sex trafficking.

Tell us about your road to publication.

I started writing back in the mid-nineties. During that time, I wrote five novels. Two of which I was able to get published electronically. This was before Kindle and before the popularity of eBooks. Sales were abysmal. I also wrote a lot of short stories and had about twenty-five of them published in print and online magazines. I took a hiatus from writing for about ten years due to my full-time job. I had started An Angel and a One-Armed Man, then titled Save the Girls. When work settled down, I felt called to pick that story up again and finish it, thus starting my One-Armed Detective series.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?

I wanted to write under my real name, not B.D. Lawrence. However, I discovered that Brian Lawrence dotcom was taken by a wedding planner. Therefore, I needed to come up with something else. Several authors I read use letters, so I thought that might be a good approach. Hence, B.D. Lawrence. And was available.

Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series?

Once I had the first book done, I knew I wanted to write a series called The One-Armed Detective
series. Since getting back into writing, I’ve been trying to learn the business of publishing and marketing and most of the experts say a series is the way to go. We’ll see. I enjoy the characters and the situations, so plan to continue this series.

If you were to write a spin-off book about one of your secondary characters, which one would you choose and why?

I’ve thought a lot about this. I think there are two secondary characters that are fascinating and have an interesting back story. One is Chester Henderson, the right-hand man to Calvin Rockport. The other is Sara Hanley, a former trafficked woman who has stayed with Rockport helping other trafficked victims. Chester lost his daughter to sex-trafficking. He’s a Christian, but he’s African American, which gives me some pause. I think I could pull off a story about Sara, however, it would be difficult to write about her background and keep the novel clean. She was a manipulative foster child lost in the system that did some bad things before getting caught up in trafficking.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

I’ve always been a fan of superhero stories. My favorite superheroes are the ones who don’t have special powers, like Batman and the Punisher. The themes of justice, vengeance, and redemption appeal to me. Finally, I love putting ordinary people into situations that cause them to become heroes. These three things pointed me to crime fiction. Finally, I’ve always liked the private detective stories, especially the noir fiction detectives. I like to play around with the sub-genre and put my own twist on it.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

For my first novel, I wrote a wonderful ten-chapter outline. When the book ended up being around thirty chapters, I stopped doing full outlines before writing the book. I use a technique I call “scene ahead”, where I write out the next five to ten scenes, write the scenes, then repeat. This gives me the flexibility to make changes, add characters, etc. I develop characters as I go. I’ll write notes about the major characters, but many come to me as I’m writing. I may be an oddity in that my favorite part of the process is rewriting. I enjoy first draft writing, but I always look forward to going back to the story and revising it. I think part of that is due to the length of time it takes me to write a novel due to limited writing time. And part of it is how I write first drafts. They tend to be the action and the dialog. My second draft is where I layer in more detail.

What is your advice to fledgling writers?

I have two pieces of advice. The first may seem trite, but it’s so true. Write. Just write. There are many people who say they want to be a writer, but they never write anything. If you want to be a writer, then write. It doesn’t matter what it is. Could be journal entries, could be articles, short stories, just random thoughts. But to be a writer, you have to write. The second piece of advice is find a critique group. Don’t rely on friends or relatives to give you feedback. You need real feedback from other writers. I started in online writing groups and through those learned so much. I’ve done a few live writing groups as well, but more as short-term workshops. Either one will help you improve.

What is your next project?

I’m working on two things right now. I have a collection of novellas and short stories set in the fictional small town of Marble Hill, Iowa. What’s unique is that all the stories are fictionalized accounts of true crimes. I’m working on a new novella. Once I finish that, I will put them all together into a collection. I’m hoping to release this in the summer. The second project is a new series with a new private detective named Jake Sledge. This is my ode to the old-time private eyes, with some twists and variations on the common tropes. It’s also set in a fictional town called River City, Missouri. And yes, there’s always trouble in River City. Jake is a big man, ex-NFL player. He wears a fedora. His partner is even bigger. But unlike most PI novels, Bobo, his partner, is the gentle one and Jake is the one that tends to skirt the moral boundaries. The first novel is called Chilled to the Bone: A Jake Sledge Mystery. I’m aiming for this fall to complete.

One-Armed Detective series blurb:

Lefty Bruder is a former St. Louis County Police detective who loses his right arm in the line of duty. He has always had a soft spot for girls trapped in sex trafficking. His former lieutenant arranges a private investigation license for him after his accident and convinces Lefty he has a calling to help rescue trafficked girls. A Vigilante and the Two-Armed Man is the story of how Detective George Bruder becomes Lefty Bruder. This novella also includes a short story titled The Finger-Snatcher and a One-Armed Man. This is Lefty’s first case as a one-armed private investigator. His friend, Holly Day is murdered, and he is determined to find out who killed her and why.

An Angel and a One-Armed Man tells the story of Lefty’s rescue of a runaway teenager named Angel from Iowa. In this story, Lefty meets Eileen Seager, who becomes a partner and good friend of his.

Angel has a friend who is sent to Phoenix. In The Coyote and a One-Armed Man, Lefty goes to Phoenix to rescue an autistic girl sold into sex-trafficking as well as to Mexico to rescue a twelve-year old girl stolen by a highly placed cartel member.

Author B.D. Lawrence brings the cruel world of sex-trafficking to light with his One-Armed Detective series. He is currently working on book four where Lefty and Eileen help a family who lives in Navajo Nation try to find their daughter who Lefty suspects has been sold into sex-trafficking.

Media links:

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Traveling Tuesday: The Shetland Islands

Traveling Tuesday: The Shetland Islands

Pixabay/Aline Dassel
I became enamored by the Shetland Islands since stumbling on the BBC television show Shetland based on Ann Cleeves’ mysteries. One of the episodes referenced the Shetland Bus and I was even more intrigued. For those of you not familiar with the name, the Shetland Bus is the name of a special operations group that ferried refugees out of and weaponry into German-occupied Norway from 1941 through the German surrender on May 8, 1945 using Norwegian fishermen and fishing boats. My upcoming release Shetland Sunset is inspired by these men. Take a virtual visit with me to this beautiful and fascinating area.

Shetland is an archipelago (island chain) in Scotland that lies between Orkney, the Faroe Islands, and Norway, and separates the North Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. Interestingly, the islands are closer to Norway than they are to mainland Scotland. The largest island is known as Mainland and is approximately 373 square miles in size. It is one of the sixteen inhabited islands of Shetland.

The climate is referred to as oceanic temperate maritime which means short summers and long cool
Pixabay/Doris Pecka
winters with average daytime temperatures of low forties (Fahrenheit) and mid-fifties respectively. The year-round climate is moderate because of the surrounding seas. According to one source, the frost-free period may be as little as three months. Wind and clouds are common on most days as is rain, falling on more than 250 days each year. Snowfall does occur, but it typically disappears after a day. Fog is very common during the summer.

The coastline is rugged, and there are an estimated 275 sea stacks, a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast formed by wave erosion. The highest spot on the islands is Ronas Hill which rises to 1,480 feet above sea level. A Neolithic chambered cairn (burial monument) is located near the summit where much of Shetland can be seen on a sunny day. As an interesting aside, Shetland has very few trees (although there is an organization working to change that.)

History of the islands goes back to 2500 BC, and Picts are considered to have been the original inhabitants. The Vikings conquered the islands during an era of expansion and from the 10th through 15th centuries were part of the Kingdom of Norway (which included Denmark after 1388). As part of the dowry from Princess Margaret of Denmark, the islands were given to James III of Scotland when they married. He officially annexed the islands in 1472. To this day, the islands are a mixture of Norse and Scottish cultures.


The Mechanic & The MD

All’s fair in love and war. Or so they say.

High school and college were a nightmare for Doris Strealer and being an adult isn’t much better. Men won’t date a woman of her height, and they don’t understand her desire to repair car engines rather than work as a nurse or a teacher. When her father’s garage closes, and no one will hire a female mechanic, she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps, finally feeling at home. Until she comes face to face with her past in the form of Ronald McCann, the most popular boy in school.

On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Ron's plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again.

Will the hazards of war make or break a romance between this unlikely couple?

Purchase Link:

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: A Guest Post by Sherry Shindelar!

In Search of a Happier Ending
By Sherry Shindelar

The beginning of my new release, Texas Forsaken, is inspired by the life of a real person. More than twenty years ago, I read the story of Cynthia Anne Parker, the most famous captive in the Old West. I was heartbroken for her, not because of her capture by the Comanche but because of her forced removal years later from the people she’d adopted as her own. Her story haunted my heart for more than two decades. I knew I had to do something about it.

I developed a character inspired by Cynthia, started at the moment of crisis, and wrote a different trajectory. I couldn’t give Cynthia a happy resolution, but I could give my character Eyes-Like-Sky a muted happy-ever-after. Eyes-Like-Sky has a second chance at life and love.

Cynthia was taken captive by Comanche at age nine during an attack on her family’s fort in the Texas frontier in 1836. Her father and several other extended family members were killed, and her brother John, her cousin Rachel, and a couple other family members were captured along with her.

Her Aunt Elizabeth was rescued a few months after the attack. Her cousin Rachel, who had been badly
Public Domain
abused by the tribe, was returned a couple of years later and died within a year of her return. Cynthia’s brother acclimated to the Comanche way of life and lived with the tribe for years before eventually leaving the tribe to farm in Mexico. But Cynthia became Comanche and became an integral part of the tribe for over twenty-four years.

She married a powerful war chief, Peta Nocona, and they had three children, one of whom was Quanah Parker, one of the greatest Comanche chiefs of all time. On several occasions over the years, Indian agents and traders attempted to ransom her, but she refused to go, and the tribe refused to trade her.

In December 1860, Texas Rangers raided her village and captured her and her baby girl, Prairie Flower (Topsanah), killing everyone else in the village. (There has been much historical controversy about whether her husband was in the village at the time. Some believe he died fighting to protect her. My Comanche sources say he died a couple of years later from a war wound.) Eventually, one of Cynthia’s relatives claimed her and took her to live with his family, but she refused to accept this new life that was being forced upon her. Several times, she tried to escape to the Comancheria, desperate to find her husband and her sons. Her uncle reluctantly agreed to help her look for her people, but they’d have to wait until the Civil War ended. Prairie Flower died, news reached Cynthia that her son Pecos had passed away, as well, and the Civil War dragged on. Cynthia lost hope of ever being reunited with the two remaining members of her beloved family, Nocona and Quanah. Overcome by despair, she sank into a deep depression and died of a broken heart.

Cynthia Ann’s story, the story of a woman torn between cultures, has perplexed, intrigued, and haunted me since I read it. My heart aches for her loss, and questions flood my mind. Some stories are like that. They stay with you, and this one was all the more indelible because it was true and filled with unknowns.

Thus, the inspiration for the story of Eyes-Like-Sky and my story Texas Forsaken. Eyes-Like-Sky’s path is not a happy-ever-after with no thorns along the way. Texas Forsaken is a story of grief and guilt, forgiveness and redemption, and healing.

Purchase Link:

Monday, May 20, 2024

Movie Monday: To Have and Have Not

Movie Monday: To Have and Have Not

The 1944 film, To Have and Have Not, is often cited as being “loosely” based on Ernest Hemingway’s 1937 novel of the same name, however, the movie bears little resemblance to the book. According to one source,* “Legend has it that Hemingway and film director Howard Hawks went on a ten-day fishing trip on which Hawks continued his futile efforts to get Hemingway to write scripts for him. Finally, Hawks told him, “I can make a picture out of your worst story.” Reportedly, they decided To Have and Have Not met the criteria, but Hemingway continued to assert that Hawks couldn’t “make anything out of that.”

Jules Furthman wrote the first screenplay, and William Faulkner the second. The location was changed from Cuba to Martinique in the interest of good international relations. Met with mixed reviews by the critics, To Have and Have Not was (and still is) compared to Casablanca. Even the head of publicity at Warner Bros. is reported to have said, “not only a second Casablanca but two and a half times what Casablanca was.”
  • The film teams Humphrey Bogart with Howard Hawks again
  • The story is set against the war in an exotic French territory
  • Bogart’s character is trying to run a business but gets involved in local politics and a girl
  • Several scenes include a clever piano player in the café bar
Variety posited that the film was inferior to Casablanca and other melodramas, and Time called it a
“tinny romantic melodrama which millions of cinemaddicts have been waiting for ever since Casablanca." Another critic, James Agee commented that Going My Way was better because To Have and Have Not focused too much on “character and atmosphere” rather than plot.

Rather than the book’s character of ordinary-fisherman Harry who is pushed into the black market of running contraband between Cuba and Florida because of the Depression, the movie features sport-fishing boat captain Harry (who is called Steve) living under the occupation of pro-German Vichy France. The island is littered with sympathizers of Free France (including Bacall’s character Marie “Slim” Browning). Other changes (fortunately), are the omission of episodes of racism, misogyny, bullying, and spousal abuse.

To Have and Have No
t was 19-year-old Lauren Bacall’s first movie, and the on-screen romance turned into a real-life affair. The couple would marry the following year after Bogart divorced his third wife and appear in three more films together (The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo). Several sources indicate that because the film was Bacall’s debut, there were fewer scenes originally written for her character in case she didn’t do well. Instead, the chemistry between her and Bogart was so palpable, scenes between the two were added.

Budgeted at slightly more than $1.6 million, the movie earned $3.65M at the box office and $5.257 worldwide.


The Mechanic & The MD

All’s fair in love and war. Or so they say.

High school and college were a nightmare for Doris Strealer and being an adult isn’t much better. Men won’t date a woman of her height, and they don’t understand her desire to repair car engines rather than work as a nurse or a teacher. When her father’s garage closes, and no one will hire a female mechanic, she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps, finally feeling at home. Until she comes face to face with her past in the form of Ronald McCann, the most popular boy in school.

On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Ron's plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again.

Will the hazards of war make or break a romance between this unlikely couple?

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Beth Wiseman!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Beth Wiseman!

What was your inspiration for the story?

This book has been percolating in my mind for a couple of decades. When I was a newspaper reporter, I was one of the first people on the scene of a horrific accident with no survivors. In my book, I offer a “Note from the Author” that explains everything. But to avoid spoilers, let me just say that what occurred following that accident renewed my faith in miracles and the many ways God works in our lives. I based the real-life story on this incident, but I also added a romance because I believe in happy endings all around.

How do you develop your characters? (e.g. decide on their vocation, names, etc.)?

I have a list of Amish names that I often refer to when writing an Amish book. However, for my non-Amish characters, I look around on Facebook. So, if a reader finds his or her name in a book (especially if it’s an unusual name), I probably found it trolling on Facebook, lol. As for vocations, I tend to stick with what I know so I don’t have to do a tremendous amount of research for a career I might not know about. Having said that, I’m not a doctor, and I’ve consulted people in the medical field several times for protocol and diagnosis.

How has your book changed since your first draft?

My writing process involves a list of notes at the bottom of the manuscript. As the story ebbs and flows, I write down ideas that no one will ever see, not even my editors. Some are far-fetched story fluctuations that never reach fruition. Other plot structures develop from these ideas and notes that get incorporated into the book when I go through the next developmental round.

If you were to write a spin-off book about one of your secondary characters, which one would
Photo: Pixabay/Patou Ricard
you choose and why?

Again, I’d like to avoid spoilers, but I think I’d dip my toes in unchartered territory and write about the dog—Ollie. I feel like he had a lot of adventures, and even though I’ll never know his exact journey, I’d like to speculate about how he found his way to my protagonist.

What draws you to the time-period about which you write?

All my books are contemporary, both Amish and non-Amish. I’ve never been a history buff, and it exhausts me just thinking about all the research I would need to do to write a historical novel, lol. I admire those authors who take the time to research and ensure that their books are authentic.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

I’ve traveled to Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Indiana in search of ‘all things Amish’ and educated myself about the different practices that vary between states, and even districts. My readers continue to devour stories about a simpler way of life. Even though I step out of my genre from time to time (i.e. the bestseller, The Messenger), I always return to my literary Amish roots.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

Photo: Pixabay/Peter Olexa
My process revolves around my other commitments, the weather, and my overall attitude for the day. I don’t write unless I’m in a good mood, lol. Otherwise, my attitude will transmit to the pages, and that’s not what my readers are looking for. I NEVER outline. If I’m not surprised by a story, then my readers won’t be either. My favorite part of the process is when the characters pop onto the pages and introduce themselves, then slowly let me in on their motivations. It’s a journey for me and my characters. I never know where we’ll end up.

What is your next project?

The more I think about it, I’m considering writing about Ollie, the dog in An Amish Healing. I also have a file of potential books I’d like to write. I’ll see where God calls me. Ada Glick enjoys her role as the resident veterinarian in her small Amish community. Even though true love hasn’t found her yet, Ada occupies her time by caring for her neighbors’ fur-babies after receiving informal training from a veterinarian in town.

About An Amish Healing

When an injured dog shows up unexpectedly on her front porch, Ada tends to him with the care she’s always given to animals in need. During the time she cares for the dog, Ada becomes attached to her furry new friend. Ollie—as she names him—doesn’t have a collar and isn’t well enough to travel, however she knows she must take him to be checked for an identification chip. Is there an owner who is missing him?

Jeremiah Huyard has suffered a terrible loss. His family is grieving the deaths of two loved ones, a tragedy that has Jeremiah roiling in grief. When he sets eyes on the beautiful Ada at his relatives’ funerals, he is unexpectedly distracted, but he is also sure he will never see her again.

Can a misplaced dog and a miracle lead Ada and Jeremiah onto the path that God has laid out for them?

Pre-order link:

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Traveling Tuesday: London During the Blitz

Traveling Tuesday: 
London During the Blitz

Pixabay/Adam Derewicki
With a population of more than three million in 1860, London faced terrible overcrowding in buildings and on the streets resulting in the construction of the Underground (AKA the Tube), the first urban rail network. By1940, London population had reached more than 8.5 million people, and until September of that year, her citizens had been safe from the war. That month Germany changed is aerial strategy.

Hitler decided it was time to force England into surrender by creating fear in her inhabitants. Formerly focusing his strikes against airfields and radar stations to prepare for invasion, he turned his sights on civilians He did not count on the stalwart response from the British people who carried on despite death and destruction.

The Blitz, from the German term Blitzkrieg (lightning war), began on September 7, 1940, and thereafter the date became known as Black Saturday. Four hundred-thirty people died, and sixteen hundred were injured that night. (To protect planes from reprisal, Germany used night bombing). The city would be bombed for fifty-seven consecutive nights with periodic daytime attacks during that time. May 10 and 11, 1941 saw the city’s largest raid. More than 711 tons of high explosive bombs and 2,393 incendiary devices were dropped, killing 1,426 civilians.

In addition to 11,000 homes, the House of Commons, Westminster Abbey, and the British Museum
Public Domain
were severely damaged. Temple Church (AKA The Temple) was almost completely demolished. Buckingham Palace was also hit, prompting the Queen mother to say, “I can now look the East End in the face.” The Houses of Parliament, the Imperial War Museum, and the Tower of London also suffered bomb damage.

An estimated 40,000 civilians were killed during the seven-month-period of the Blitz, most of them in London. Other cities within England were also bombed: Coventry, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Manchester, but London was the hardest and most often hit. Rather than flee London, most of her inhabitants “hunkered down” and carried on with their daily lives. They learned to head for shelters at the first sound of a siren. Some used a tiny indoor Morrison shelter while others hid inside a communal Anderson shelter that could hold up to six people. To the British government’s dismay, thousands of people flocked to Tube stations.

Courtesy London Transport Museum
As one source put it, “The government was not keen on the Underground being put to such use.” A September 20, 1940 Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail article reported “little heed was paid last night to the appeal of the Ministries of Home Security and Transport asking the public to refrain from using the London Tube stations as shelters except in the case of urgent necessity.” Londoners continued to use the stations, and the government finally relented and converted the Aldwych Station into a permanent shelter. Other stations added bunks, better lighting, and washing and toilet facilities.

By May 1941, Germany had lost dozens of bombers, and Hitler realized his goal of terrifying the British into surrender was not to be. He turned his sights on an invasion of the Soviet Union called Operation Barbarossa, and the Blitz came to an end.


The Mechanic & The MD

All’s fair in love and war. Or so they say.

High school and college were a nightmare for Doris Strealer and being an adult isn’t much better. Men won’t date a woman of her height, and they don’t understand her desire to repair car engines rather than work as a nurse or a teacher. When her father’s garage closes, and no one will hire a female mechanic, she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps, finally feeling at home. Until she comes face to face with her past in the form of Ronald McCann, the most popular boy in school.

On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Ron's plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: An Interview with Rose Carrigan

Interview with Rose Carrigan 
from Rescuing Rose by Susan Pope Sloan

Can you tell me who you are and why you’ve come to Louisville, KY?

My name is Rose Carrigan, and I just arrived in Louisville, along with a few hundred other mill workers and their families, courtesy of the Union army. They burned down the cotton mill in Georgia where we worked—the army, that is. Burned it to the ground and arrested all the workers. Then they loaded us on wagons and took us to Marietta, where the Union had commandeered the town and the railroad.

As you can imagine, it took several trips in those wagons to get everyone to Marietta. The first arrivals were housed at the Georgia Military Institute, but it soon filled up. Fortunately, a kind officer found an abandoned house for my group. We were there for several days before they put us on a train going north. It was awful—dozens of women and children piled into a baggage car for two days before we reached Louisville.

What happened when you arrived?

Our situation in Louisville left a lot to be desired. The building had been designed as a hospital, and we
Photo: Pixabay/
had a dozen people in each room. There was no water inside the building and no heat—which wasn’t a concern in July, but it would pose a problem if we had to stay there through the winter. With small children and elderly folks among us, sickness was likely to be a serious concern.

That’s why I decided to look for employment. I mentioned it to the other women, and they all agreed to do the same. I figured my sister and I should be able to find something easily enough, since we have more education than the others. Most of our group can neither read nor write. I guess it depends on what kind of work is available and whether the employers are willing to hire Southern women.

What will you do when the war is over?

I don’t know. It’s unlikely we’ll be able to return to Georgia. Maybe some of the women will find a husband here.

Will you be one of those? You’re blushing, so I suspect you might.

I have started corresponding with that officer who helped us in Marietta. He’s asked to court me, so perhaps it will work out for us. One thing is sure: we’ll be do a heap of praying, now more than ever, that this war will soon come to an end.

About Rescuing Rose

His army destroyed her livelihood. She represents the people he scorns. How can they reconcile their differences when the whole country is at war?

When the Union Army marches into Roswell, Georgia, and burns down the cotton mill where Rose Carrigan worked, not only is her livelihood destroyed but she’s also taken prisoner and shipped northward with the other workers. Only the unlikely kindness of one of her guards makes the trip bearable.

Union Captain Noah Griffin hates the part of his job that requires him to destroy the lives of innocent civilians, but at least he’s able to protect these women he’s been ordered to transport to Louisville, Kentucky. Especially the one whose quick wit and kindness draw him.

While they’re forced to wait in Marietta, two fugitives arrive to complicate matters between Rose and Noah. As Rose heads north and Noah returns to the battlefront, they each face fears and prejudices. With survival so tenuous, only faith can help them find love in the midst of so much tragedy.

Purchase Link:

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Wartime Wednesday: Queen Elizabeth II's Wartime Service

Wartime Wednesday: 
Queen Elizabeth II’s Wartime Service

On September 8, 2022, after a reign of more than seventy years, England lost Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch, and the longest of any female monarch. Ascending the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, she’d been married for five years and was the mother of two young children. At the start of her reign, she was queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries as well as head of the Commonwealth. By the time she passed away, she’d been served by 170 prime ministers.

She would never have been queen if her uncle, Edward VIII, hadn’t abdicated to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Her father, George VI became monarch in 1936, and three years later would find himself at war with Germany. Princess Elizabeth was thirteen years old at the time, and her sister Princess Margaret was nine. Like millions of children in the city, the girls were evacuated to escape the bombing. The king and queen sent them to Windsor Castle located about twenty miles outside of London, but the royal couple remained at Buckingham Palace. The young princess saw her parents lead by example when they visited factories, hospitals, and military bases. Her uncle, the Duke of Kent, died in 1942 while serving as a staff officer with the Royal Air Force. Her aunt, Princess Mary, had served as a nurse during WWI and became chief controller of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) at the outbreak of WWII.

As a result, it’s unsurprising that the future queen insisted on being able to serve in some way during
Courtesy IWM
the war. While a teenager, she made radio broadcasts from Windsor and tended the castle’s victory gardens. At sixteen, she made her first inspection of the troops prior to a parade at Windsor, but it wasn’t enough, and when turned eighteen, Elizabeth joined the ATS, making her the first female royal to become a full-time member of the armed services. She was not given a special rank and entered the service as a second subaltern.

Her training began in February 1945 with a driving and vehicle maintenance course. Topics included mechanics theory, and map reading as well as how to service, maintain, and drive heavy army vehicles. The press was intrigued and dubbed her Princess Auto Mechanic. To pass her final test, Elizabeth made a solo journey in a heavy vehicle from Camberley in Surrey into London after which she was promoted to Junior Commander (the equivalent of Captain). By all reports, the future queen was treated no differently than other members of the ATS, with one exception: rather than sleep in the barracks with her colleagues, she spent each night at nearby Windsor Castle.

Courtesy SCS
When the war ended in May, the young princess donned her ATS uniform and took to the streets with the other revelers. In a 1985 BBC interview, she talked about that night: “I remember we were terrified of being recognized so I pulled my uniform cap well over might eyes.” She also shared about “unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, and all of us were swept along by tides of happiness and relief. It was one of the most memorable nights of my life.”

Pictured behind the wheel into her 90s, the queen is reported to have diagnosed and repaired faulty engines. At the time of her death, Queen Elizabeth II was the last surviving head of state who served during WWII.


The Mechanic & The MD

All’s fair in love and war. Or so they say.

High school and college were a nightmare for Doris Strealer and being an adult isn’t much better. Men won’t date a woman of her height, and they don’t understand her desire to repair car engines rather than work as a nurse or a teacher. When her father’s garage closes, and no one will hire a female mechanic, she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps, finally feeling at home. Until she comes face to face with her past in the form of Ronald McCann, the most popular boy in school.

On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Ron's plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Fiction Friday: May 2024 New Releases!

May 2024 New ReleasesMore in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Contemporary Romance:

A Cameo for a Cowgirl by Carolyn Miller -- Welcome to Three Creek Ranch, home of the James family for over a hundred years, complete with its own Western movie set. Franklin James might be a famous pro hockey player, but just because he's Cassie's older brother doesn't mean she wants to step into the limelight. She's too busy helping her dad run the ranch and managing the ranch's movie set, and negotiating with the giant egos of movie stars like Harrison Woods, who's supposed to be filming the new TV series of As The Heart Draws. And while his TV hero character might be hugely popular, Harrison's real character is anything but noble. Cassie is convinced he's hiding something, and she's determined to make sure it doesn't reflect badly on Three Creek Ranch. Can she remind him what being a true hero is all about? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

The Farmer Takes a Wife by Candice Sue Patterson -- Librarian Gemma Breckenridge hates the spotlight. She's content in her small town, living alone with books for company and caring for her once famous sister, Cammie, who's now suffering from a degenerative brain disease. But Cammie's care is expensive, and when the grant Gemma was counting on is denied, she's forced to take desperate measures and applies to be a contestant on a reality television show where a wealthy farmer is looking for a love connection. What better place to keep her sister's identity incognito than a thousand-acre farm in the middle of nowhere, South Dakota? Colby Graham will do anything to save his almost bankrupt farm, even if it means that all of primetime will think he's incapable of finding a wife on his own. The sponsorships alone should carry his business out of the red, and royalties from the producer will help to keep it there. But choosing a bride from among eight gorgeous strangers is tougher than Colby bargained for. Especially when the one woman he wants isn't a contestant. With a cast of vivid characters, join the crew in this witty romance filled with drama, heartache, elimination challenges, and fancy luggage full of secrets. Amid the beautiful setting of the Midwest, this tale unravels the tightly bound threads of sacrificial love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Her Son’s Faithful Companion by Jill Weatherholt -- Former barrel racer Caitlyn Calloway wants her son with epilepsy to have everything—even if it means selling her family home. Problem is, the place is in disrepair. Her former crush, service dog trainer Logan Beckett, offers to help. But letting Logan and his dogs into their lives makes the past almost impossible to leave behind…especially when it opens the door to love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love Overboard by Shannon Sue Dunlap -- A snort-laughing, cruise ship romance takes readers into topsy-turvy waters. When a group of four quirky friends retire on a never-ending round of cruises, their attire consists of more than floral shirts and gaudy skirts. Armed with walkie-talkies and battle plans, these relationship experts--who've dubbed themselves the "Shippers"--target hostess Lacey Anderson and director Jonathan King in their romantic schemes. But the young couple refuses to cooperate. They've been on the "love boat" together before, and it went down in flames. Boss matchmaker Emily Windsor has orchestrated multiple romantic successes, and these two upstarts certainly won't get the best of her. The chemistry between Lacey and Jonathan is obvious, but the couple rebuffs every outlandish plot and "coincidental" meeting, forcing the matchmakers to chart a new course to true love--all while inadvertently thwarting drug smugglers threatening to ruin their floating home on the ocean. This laugh-out-loud rom-com features loveable characters, over-the-top situations reminiscent of 1950s sitcoms, and a dash of mystery. The toe-curling romance will push the reader overboard and all in with Shannon Dunlap's new series. (Romance from Kregel Publications)

Muskoka Promise by Carolyn Miller -- All Anna Morely has wanted since she was a child is to feel loved. All Tom Woodmore has wanted is to uphold the law without fear or favor. When a traffic incident brings these two opposites together, sparks fly. But Anna's wealthy family has certain social expectations that a humble police officer doesn't exactly meet. And after the death of his fiancée, Tom has his own challenges in learning to risk his heart again. And then there is the matter of whether Anna will ever reconcile with her too-persistent friends... Join Anna and Tom as they discover the path to real love holds unexpected joys and trials, and that God's promises can always be relied on - including in beautiful Muskoka. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Romance in the Land Down Under by Narelle Atkins -- Three sweet and clean Christian contemporary romance novellas that will warm your heart and inspire you to explore the beauty of Australia. Perfect beach reads for lazy summer days. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh -- As a Black woman in a field with little diversity, Piper McKinney is determined to make her mark on the horse-racing world. Raised on a Thoroughbred farm in Kentucky, Piper's dream is for her horse to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. With the help of her best friend and trainer, Tucker Hale, she gains national attention but must grapple with the complications that arise when a journalist delves into her past as a transracial adoptee. In an effort to win Piper's heart, Tucker formulates a plan to train Piper's horse to victory, hoping to prove himself to her, her parents, and his own self-doubts. Then a shocking scandal hits the media, implicating both Piper and her parents, and she and Tucker will have to survive the onslaught to find their way to the winner's circle--and each other. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

General Contemporary and Women’s Fiction:

An Amish Healing by Beth Wiseman -- Ada Glick enjoys her role as resident veterinarian in her small Amish community. Even though true love hasn’t found her yet, Ada occupies her time by caring for her neighbors’ fur-babies after receiving informal training from a veterinarian in town. When an injured dog shows up unexpectedly on her front porch, Ada tends to him with the care she’s always given to animals in need. During the time she cares for the dog, Ada becomes attached to her furry new friend. Ollie—as she names him—doesn’t have a collar and isn’t well enough to travel, however she knows she must take him to be checked for an identification chip. Is there an owner who is missing him? Jeremiah Huyard has suffered a terrible loss. His family is grieving the deaths of two loved ones, a tragedy that has Jeremiah roiling in grief. When he sets eyes on the beautiful Ada at his relatives’ funerals, he is unexpectedly distracted, but he is also sure he will never see her again. (General Contemporary, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Just Another Home by Kimberly Banet -- Sixteen-year-old Sam Keller has lived in foster homes and group homes most of his life and has long ago given up on the dream of a stable, forever family. Adults have always let him down and so has God, and he has no use for either. John and Abbie Grayson are a respected, successful couple in their fifties with two grown children. They live in their dream home in Franklin, TN, an idyllic suburb of Nashville, where John is a successful college basketball coach, and Abbie works part-time at their local church. But Abbie feels something is missing from her life and convinces John they should become foster parents. Their worlds collide when Sam is placed in the Grayson home for a few days. Days turn into months, and Sam thrives with the Graysons and allows himself to dream of a forever family, while John and Abbie realize the teen has found his way into their hearts. As the Graysons begin to investigate the possibility of adopting Sam, an evil agenda emerges, and a secret past is revealed. Nothing short of a miracle can save Sam from a harrowing ordeal and keep the Grayson family together. (General Contemporary from Scrivenings Press)

Historical Romance:

Healing of the Heart by Heidi Gray McGill -- Step into the bustling streets of post-Civil War Philadelphia, where cultural injustice and class disparity run rampant. Amidst this chaos, Thomas, an aspiring doctor from the wilds of Missouri, struggles to find his place in a society to which he is unaccustomed. But when he meets debutante Emmaline Whitaker, she teaches him more than the social graces - she holds the key to his future. Only it is the independent, fun-loving Theodora Morse who holds his attention. As Thomas navigates the complexities of high society, he must also confront his inner turmoil. When devastating news comes from home, Thomas is forced to use his waning faith to determine the desire of his heart. Will Thomas stand by his convictions and fight against the malaise of those around him, or will he choose the safety and comfort of his new life? (Historical Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Heart of Integrity by Edwina Kiernan -- Ifor Morgan and his father have traveled far from their home in Wales to settle in the small mining town of Lone Pine, California—driven by a need to escape the shame and sorrow of his brother’s fatal scandal. Susan Kelly is starting over, too. Miles from her home in Ireland, she’s determined to build a life for herself in Lone Pine that doesn’t involve any of the deception she was caught up in back home. As Ifor and Susan forge a cautious connection, people from Susan’s past show up in town, entangling her in a fresh web of illegal activity. And when a devastating earthquake throws the town into a state of upheaval, secrets soon shake those least expecting to uncover them. (Historical Romance from Moliant Publishing)

Pressed Together by Kim Garee -- Falling for a detective post WW2 at a pier amusement park sounds romantic ... unless a childhood sweetheart's life is being threatened, and keeping him hidden from that detective might mean saving his life! (Historical Romance from Mt. Zion Press)

Sheltered by the Doctor by Danielle Grandinetti Mindy Zahn can’t understand why her parents deserted the family farm, leaving her mute younger sister in her care. Until her mother’s cryptic warning to keep her sister safe becomes a life-threatening task. Searching for that elusive something to ease his weary heart, Dr. Nick Matrone is drawn to the cheery Mindy. He would never presume to bring such a sweet woman into his beleaguered past, so friendship is all he can offer. Except, he doesn’t expect needing to save her life. As the danger grows, they both must battle through physical and emotional wounds to have a hope of their counterfeit relationship becoming true. (Historical Romance from Hearth Spot Press)

The Song of Sourwood Mountain by Ann H Gabhart -- Though the twentieth century dawned with such promise, it is just 1910 when Mira Dean’s hopes of being a wife and mother are dashed to pieces. Her fiancé is dead from tuberculosis and Mira must resign herself to being a spinster schoolteacher. But then Gordon Covington shows up and the doors that once seemed shut forever begin to open—even if only a crack. No longer the boy she knew from school, Gordon is now a preacher who is full of surprises. First, he asks Mira to come to Sourwood in eastern Kentucky to teach at his mission school. Second, he asks her to marry him. Just like that. Though the prospect of stepping onto a new path is scary, Mira takes a leap of faith and lands in a life she never imagined. In this place filled with its own special challenges, the people she serves just might end up becoming the family she always yearned for. (Historical Romance from Revell, a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Tangled Promises by Lynn U. Watson -- Clara Reinhold’s father publicly pledges her hand to Georg Wolff. His character and arrogance match the stench of his odious cigars, but his lineage offers a suitable alliance for the station of a baron’s daughter. A charades clue years earlier turned friendship into a promise of forbidden marriage between Clara and family carriage driver, Daniel Becker. If she refuses Georg and follows her heart, her father disowns her and she loses everything—her loving family, dear friends, and the only home she’s known. As a tangled web of scandal and deceit unwinds, hidden motives and illicit activities emerge among an unsuspecting ring of players changing everything but nobility’s rules. How will justice be served? How will Clara and Daniel overcome obstacles to claim a future beyond that of a charade?? (Historical Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)

Texas Forsaken by Sherry Shindelar -- Seven years ago, Maggie Logan (Eyes-Like-Sky) lost everything she knew when a raid on a wagon train tore her from her family. As the memories of her past faded to nothing more than vague shadows, Maggie adapted, marrying a Comanche warrior, having a baby, and rebuilding her life. But in one terrible battle, the U.S. Cavalry destroys that life and she is taken captive again, this time by those who call themselves her people. Forced into a world she wants nothing to do with, Eyes-Like-Sky’s only hope at protecting her child may be an engagement to the man who killed her husband. Enrolled in West Point to escape his overbearing father, Captain Garret Ramsey finds himself assigned to the Texas frontier, witnessing the brutal Indian War in which both sides commit atrocities. Plagued by guilt for his own role, Garret seeks redemption by taking responsibility for the woman he widowed and her baby. Though he is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them, is he willing to risk everything for a woman whose heart is buried in a grave? (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

To Catch a Coronet by Grace Hitchcock -- Muriel Beau, country baker turned heiress, can't stop instigating outrage. She discards two arranged engagements, then further antagonizes Kent society by publicly proposing to a baron at a ball. His rejection leaves her with no choice but to flee to the city and to secure a coronet so splendid that her peers will forget her debacles. The glitter of the London courts convinces Muriel that it's possible to find the future she dreams of, until she finds herself entangled in yet another escapade--one that may cost her more than her crumbling reputation. After years of serving as a privateer under an assumed name, Captain Erik Draycott, heir to Draycott Castle and soon to assume his uncle's title of Earl, returns to his London home to find it in disrepair thanks to his longtime nemesis. A staunch bachelor intent on returning to his ship, the captain is shocked when his mentor encourages him to take a wife. But while his alleged pauper status causes the potential London brides to turn their noses up at him, the ladies of Kent have no such qualms and are eager to fill his coffers with their fathers' wealth. Caught in a whirlwind of high society and high seas, Muriel and Erik navigate a risky undertaking that threatens their futures and creating stakes that soar above the masts of Erik's ship. Will Muriel's bold charm and Erik's daring bravery be enough to outsmart the scandal and secure a future as glittering as the crown Muriel seeks? (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications)

Treasure and Trouble by Betty Woods Eugenia Hampton wants to be loved for who she, not what she has. Her parents intend to see her married and cared for, but she's determined not to be a mere parlor decoration to show off some man's achievements. She wants a love match or no match. Paul Stuart is tired of clashing with people over his abolitionist views. Especially with his father, the overseer for Eugenia's father. He's saving money to move from Tennessee and buy a farm in Illinois where he can live in peace with people who accept his ideas. Paul rescues Eugenia after her horse throws her. They form a secret, forbidden friendship based on their common family problems. Neither expects their relationship to grow into love. When Eugenia's father selects a non-Christian man for her husband, she must choose between her known, comfortable life of luxury or a lifetime of love with Paul where little else will be certain. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)

When Hope Sank by Denise Weimer -- The Civil War has taken everything from Lily Livingston—her parents, her twin brother, her home. Now she works at her uncle’s inn and keeps her head down. Speaking up for her beliefs proved too costly in a part of Arkansas split by conflicting loyalties and overrun by spies and bushwhackers. Emaciated in body but resilient in spirit, Lieutenant Cade Palmer is crowded onto the Sultana with other paroled Andersonville and Cahaba POWs for the journey north. But a fiery explosion on April 27, 1886, rends the steamer and empties two thousand men into the frigid Mississippi River. Recovering from wounds that might end his career as a surgeon but clinging to his faith, Cade threatens both Lily’s defenses and her heart. How can she tell him she might’ve prevented the tragedy if only she’d reported a suspected saboteur’s claims? And when the man returns to town and encoded messages pass through the hotel, will Lily follow her convictions to prevent another tragedy? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

With Each Tomorrow by Kimberley Woodhouse and Tracie Peterson -- As the formation of Glacier National Park takes Eleanor Briggs and her conservationist father on a journey west to advocate for public lands, her heart carries the weight of a painful past. Since the death of her mother, she has spent her life traveling the country with her father and helping him with his work, but now he's considering settling down and writing a book--and she's not sure what that means for her future. Carter Brunswick faces trials of his own when the Great Northern Railway's departure threatens his family's livelihood and the entire town of Kalispell. In the visiting conservationist's daughter, Ellie, he finds a spirited woman who challenges his convictions in ways he never anticipated, and his own dreams for the future begin to change. When tensions over the railroad's departure boil over, Ellie and Carter are drawn together on a daring journey that tests the depths of their feelings and their faith in God. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Finding You by Robin Patchen -- When antiquities professor Bryan Wright is tasked with discovering why a band of terrorists might target a museum in Munich, he teams up with the museum’s attractive exhibit designer to study their ancient artifacts. Something in this collection holds special value to the terrorists, and Bryan must figure out which item and why—before enemies get their hands on it. An American living in Munich, Sophie Chapman wouldn’t have expected to be attracted to a musty old antiquities professor—but this guy is neither musty nor old. Even so, she’s not ready for a new boyfriend, considering she hasn’t figured out how to get rid of the old one. When her apartment is broken into, she has bigger worries than the ex who won’t leave her alone. The seemingly random break-in is anything but. Terrorists are closing in, and their plot will destroy more than the romance growing between Bryan and Sophie. It’ll destroy everything they hold dear. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Hunting Justice by Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason -- Ex-detective and current Elite Guardian Noelle Burton survived a horrifying attack by a serial killer as a child. Now, determined to put the scars of her past behind her, she’s intent on helping the Elite Guardians set up shop in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. More, she’s wondering if her friendship with Dr. Jonah Harris, an ex-ER doctor turned medical examiner, might be more. But he has his own demons to fight—namely guilt over the death of his wife. So, maybe not. Meanwhile, Jonah can't ignore the growing desire he feels for Noelle. If only he knew he wasn’t going to destroy their friendship… And then, tragedy strikes—the sudden death of a colleague rocks his world, and Jonah knows that there's more to the incident than meets the eye. In fact, he may have been the intended target. Now he needs Noelle…not just as a friend, but as a protector. Noelle will have to protect Jonah, while not letting their friendship spark into something more, and Jonah will have to unravel the threat that stalks him. When they stumble upon the chilling possibility of a serial killer lurking in the shadows, all Noelle’s nightmares come back to life. Noelle and Jonah race against time to expose the truth and capture the killer…and when their friendship becomes something deeper, it’s clear they have everything to lose. (Romantic Suspense from Sunrise Publishing)

Secondary Target by Angela Carlisle -- After the brutal murder of her mother and brother twelve years ago, Corina Roberts built a new life in Kentucky. But when strange things begin to happen, she is thrust into a perilous game of life and death. With nowhere else to turn, her best hope of survival depends on her ex-boyfriend, army veteran Bryce Jessup. Recently returned from service, Bryce has every intention of staying away from Corina, but when threats close in around her, he isn't willing to leave her safety to chance. As their search for answers uncovers lethal secrets her detective father kept hidden, Bryce and Corina must untangle the mystery of the merciless killer intent on terrorizing and eliminating Corina's family before it's too late. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

Shielding the Innocent Target by Terri Reed -- After witnessing her boss’s murder, Paige Walsh must trust Deputy US Marshal Lucas Cavendish to bring her to safety. But when a notorious assassin targets her and her son, Lucas’s short-term assignment turns into a dangerous cross-country mission. For Paige to identify her boss’s killer, Lucas must get the family into witness protection. Except the hit man knows their every move…and trusting the wrong person could get them killed. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Fiction:

Lady of Basilikas by Ronie Kendig -- Under attack from without and within, Jherako teeters on the brink. Vaanvorn Thundred, suddenly in possession of a throne he never expected to inherit, will do anything to pull his kingdom from the edge, even if it means striking a marriage bargain with the formidable Faa’Cris. But a skycrawler opens Vorn’s eyes to realities outside his world, and his limits are tested. Lady Valiriana has one goal when she is sent out from Deversoria: prove this Jherakan king, the one his people call the Errant, unworthy of an alliance with any Faa’Cris. When she exchanges her freedom for that of another, Valiriana finds herself under house arrest—in the king’s house. Determined to take advantage of her proximity, she delves into the depths of the king’s character. What she finds turns her mission on its head. Vorn must decide: break a planet-wide Accord, risking his throne and life, or leave his country—his planet—vulnerable to threats far bigger than he ever imagined. And Valiriana grapples with unpalatable truths as she discovers the king is anything but errant, while her heart, on the other hand, is a different story (Speculative Fiction from Enclave Publishing)

Historical Mystery:

Show Me Deceit by Ellen E Withers -- Take a walk back in time with Liesl, Nicole, and Detective Kurt Hunter to solve a contemporary death that may be related to the discovery of bones from the Civil War era. Can Liesl and Kurt work to solve these mysteries and set aside their hard feelings about their former romance? (Historical Mystery from Scrivening Press)

  Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

These Tangled Threads by Sarah Loudin Thomas -- Set in the shadow of Biltmore Estate, a poignant tale of friendship, restoration, and second chances. (Historical General)

The Heart Leads West by Joanna Deputy -- The Heart Leads West is a story of resilience and trust in the face of upheaval and danger. Unexpected provision and new relationships prove God's faithfulness even when tragedy threatens to destroy the new future Eliza has worked so hard to secure. (Historical General)

The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis -- In 1883, Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne, Wyoming to learn that the man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. Should she get on the next eastbound train, or has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair's life? (Historical Romance)

Caragin Farm by Renee Hodges -- With the Caragin family, we see true faith lived out in authentic – flawed and beautiful - characters as they respond to petulant teenagers, outrage culture, long-buried secrets, past sin, and unexpected life changes with the grace that only God can provide. (General Contemporary)

Ruthie by Sharon Srock -- Young love - separated by war in 1970. Separated by life after the war. Reunited 45-years-later. Can they take a chance that love will find them one more time? (Contemporary Romance)

The Rejected Mail Order Bride by Greta Picklesimer -- Rose Henderson is running from an ill-fated marriage up north. Can the southern gentleman and self-proclaimed bachelor, Harl Adams, help her find a fresh start without losing his heart to the enticing red-head? (Historical Romance)

Wrestle the Stars by Susan Lyttek -- The portal and dinosaur that call Ne-tel are not on land, but on the sea. How can he rescue them when he cannot wrestle the stars? (Speculative Fiction/High Fantasy)

Three Impossible Tasks by Susan Lyttek -- With the new ability to create portals, Subja's scientists unleash vicious and ravenous beasts on the population of Telba. Bern, Garth, Ne-tel are each given separate tasks to complete on their own. Bern must convince Telantia to emerge from the safety of the city and fight for the citizens of Telba. Garth must take technology from Subja's fortress.Ne-tel must travel to the Gold Coast to raise an army. All three must succeed if Telba is to have hope for a future, but even Prophet Nevv says these tasks are impossible. (Speculative Fiction/High Fantasy)

Sum of All Expectation by Susan Lyttek -- Garth, Bern, and Ne-tel are looking for a savior, the prophesied one who will come to free Telba from the grip of the evil one. But in the first world, Garth and Nellie are being tortured, while Ne-tel and Ally have been captured and forced to work as slaves. Bern's group of refugees battle evil and the elements. Is Telba doomed by the choices of its people? They will need aid that's greater than the sum of all expectation. (Speculative Fiction/High Fantasy)

Outside Space and Time by Susan Lyttek -- The Portal Watchers are separated... Trapped in first world, Garth is given a surprising aid which will assist him upon his return to Telba, while Bern and the Telantian army advance on Subja's city. And on the Gold Coast Ne-tel leads a meager regiment against the ravenous beasts that have decimated the region. (Speculative Fiction/High Fantasy)