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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spotlight on Christmas Mail-Order Brides

Rule of the spotlights here: answer the random question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


SUSAN PAGE DAVIS is the author of 30 published novels. She's a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers' Choice Contest and a winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award. She lives in Kentucky. Visit her website at:

VICKIE MCDONOUGH is an award-winning author of 20 books and novellas. Vickie’s books have won the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, Texas Gold, and the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a multi-year finalist in ACFW’s BOTY contest. The Anonymous Bride, book one in her debut trade fiction series the Texas Boardinghouse Brides, released in April, and the sequel, Second Chance Brides, released September 1st. Vickie's books promise An Adventure into Romance. Vickie and her husband live in Oklahoma. She is a wife of thirty-four years, mother of four grown sons and grandma to a feisty four-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books, visit her website:

THERESE STENZEL is obsessed with all things British. Her first book, A Bride By Christmas came out in 2008. Her next book, Christmas Mail Order Brides, comes out in September of 2010. She has also co-authored the book, God's Little Devotional Book for Grandparents. Her writing has appeared in Women's Day, Family Fun, and Time Magazines. In love with English history, English tea, and reading historical novels, she is also the founder of British Missives, an e-mail newsletter for those who love to read or write British novels. Sign up for it on her website. Currently, she is working on her fifth historical manuscript. She and her husband Neal keep busy raising their three kids. Her website is

CARRIE TURANSKY and her husband Scott live in central New Jersey where they enjoy picking peaches, blueberries and Jersey tomatoes each summer. In the winter you’ll find them sipping cocoa and reading a good book by the fire as they watch the snowflakes fall. Carrie is the author of several novellas published by Barbour and novels published by Steeple Hill Love Inspired. You can learn more about Carrie’s books at

by Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Therese Stenzel, and Carrie Turansky
Published by Barbour


Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?

Readers, buy your copy of Christmas Mail-Order Brides today!


1. This is a novella collection with 3 other authors. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Susan: The other authors were discussing having the heroines be mail order brides who joined a Matrimonial Society—and I knew I wanted to write about the woman who organized it.

Vickie: For a long while, I’ve wanted to do a shotgun wedding type of story, but the right door never opened—at least until this collection came along. I wanted to see what kind of situation would cause a man to be “willingly” forced into a marriage, and I think it worked out well in The Prodigal Groom, my novella in Christmas Mail-Order Brides.


Carrie: Vickie came up with the idea for the Christmas Mail-Order Bride collection, and I was excited when she invited me to be a co-author with her, Susan, and Therese.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Susan: None whatsoever, except that I like to help people and feel bad if my efforts go awry.

Vickie: Well. . .hmmm. I don’t have any experience with mail-order brides or shotgun weddings—other than to write about them. Guess I was born in the wrong century. :) I did do some rash things when I was younger, like Jolie, my heroine, does when she goes west to marry a man she’s never met. Maybe we have tenacity in common. Clay, my hero is estranged from his father because of something that happened several years ago. He wants to come home, but he’s stubborn and also feels what happened was his fault. When he becomes a Christian, he finally returns to his family’s ranch, with God’s help, to reconcile with his father. Clay is now a man of character, but he has a past history of being a troublemaker and a carouser that he will have to overcome before reconciliation can occur.


Carrie: My story begins with twin sisters saying goodbye to each other at the Chicago train station. My heroine decided to travel west on the new transcontinental as a mail-order bride so that her twin sister feels free to marry the man she loves. I have twin daughters who are very close, and I’ve often wondered how they will respond when the first one receives a marriage proposal. They are blondes just like the sisters in the story. I dedicated the novella to Megan and Elizabeth.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Susan: Lennox is no-nonsense coffee, and Amelia is cookies and cream.

Vickie: Cherries, Pecan and Cream – My hero is a bit sweet at times, can be a hard nut to crack at other times, and he’s smooth—calm and collected in tense situations.


Carrie: My heroine is from Sweden and has blond hair and blue eyes. I believe she’d be strawberry ice cream, very sweet and wholesome. The hero is a young rancher who is a little rough around the edges, but has a very kind heart. I think he’d be Mint chocolate chip.

4. Are there any themes in Christmas Mail-Order Brides that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Susan: Forgiveness and making things right.

Vickie: The overall theme is: trusting God with your future, even when it looks bleak. God has far greater plans for our lives than we could ever imagine. Family reconciliation became a bit more of a theme than I’d first planned. Clay’s father has a hard time believing he’s really changed and thinks he’s just there to mooch off of him. Clay can’t see past his father’s stubbornness and believes the man only sees what he wants to. Clay and his father have a hard time forgiving one another, even though they care about each other.


Carrie: I think all the novellas include the theme of God’s sovereignty and His loving plan for our lives. My novella, A Trusting Heart, also shows how God is faithful and trustworthy. He is at work on our behalf even when we don’t see him working, and that’s one more reason why we can trust Him.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Susan: The hardest part for me was the part about Lennox’s fruit packing business, because I didn’t know much about it. My favorite was his daughter’s blowup at the Christmas program.

Vickie: The fight scene in the barn was a bit hard to write. Lots of things are going on, and I wanted to keep the action level high, but I still needed to describe the scene clearly. My favorite? I love the scenes where Clay gives Jolie “wife lessons”. They are already married, btw. She grew up in an orphanage and had never been around a man before and knows nothing about the relationship between a man and a woman, so Clay graciously takes it upon himself to teach her. He can be such a nice guy at times.


Carrie: The most difficult parts to write for me are those that have to do with riding horses and ranch life. My grandparents did own a farm in Oregon, but they raised crops, not cattle ro horses. So I don’t have too much experience with that. I asked Vickie and some other author friends to help me out with those scenes. Hopefully, I got it right.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Susan: On November 1, The Blacksmith’s Bravery will release. It’s the third book in my Ladies’ Shooting Club series, set in 1880s Idaho. By age twelve, Vashti Edwards was orphaned and working her way west in different saloons. Life in Fergus, Idaho, has given Vashti new hope in Christian friends from The Ladies Shooting Club and an employer who turned her saloon into a restaurant. But money is tight, and Vashti tries to get the job she’s always dreamed of--a stagecoach driver. Griffin Bane, local blacksmith, is overseeing the stagecoach line and admits he needs more help. But can a woman—even one known to be a good markswoman—handle the challenges and dangers on the trail? As soon as Vashti starts, the line becomes target of a band of robbers. Was Griffin a fool to put a woman at the reins, and can he brave the beautiful distraction she makes as he takes to riding shotgun? And of course the question is raised: Will The Ladies Shooting Club catch the bandits and bring the stubborn couple together?

Vickie: Second Chance Brides, book two, in my Texas Boardinghouse Brides series just released. It’s the sequel to The Anonymous Bride and tells the story of two of the rejected mail-order brides from book one. Shannon and Leah are stuck in Lookout, Texas. In order to survive, they must find a job in the small town-not an easy task for a woman-or find another man to marry.


Carrie: My next book is Seeking His Love, an October Love Inspired novel. It’s a contemporary inspirational romance that tells the story of Rachel Clark, a young teacher who moves to Fairhaven, Washington, after being falsely accused of having an inappropriate relationship with one of her students. She takes a job as director of a youth theater program and must find a new location for her group. The Fairhaven Arts Center has the ideal space, but Cameron McKenna, who oversees the center, is not eager to include her or her kids. Cam lost his wife and young son in a tragic accident five years earlier, and being around children reminds him of the guilt he still carries. When a family crisis occurs, he must temporarily care for his fourteen-year-old niece, and he needs Rachel’s help and advice. She comes along side and not only teaches him how to relate to his niece, she also shows him how to overcome his past hurts and open his heart to love again.

* * * * *

Thank you, Susan, Vickie, and Carrie for being in the spotlight with us.

NOTE! Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Christmas Mail-Order Brides. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Bonus question. Answer either or both to be entered.

Question: Our Mail-Order Brides traveled west on the transcontinental railroad. Have you ever traveled by train, and if so, where did you go?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spotlight on Lorna Seilstad and Making Waves

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. Answer the random question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


LORNA SEILSTAD has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. "I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby's bottoms, and counter-tops every day. But at naptime, I wrote." Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor, and lives in Iowa with her husband and three children--ages 18, 16, and 11. Read more at

by Lorna Seilstad
Published by Revell


Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor. What more could a girl want?

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn't be more thrilled. It's the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's secrets threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means hurting the family she loves?

Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.

Readers, buy your copy of Making Waves today!


Wow! Brand new authors these days are putting out such amazing books, it's hard to believe they're debut releases. And Lorna is no different. Making Waves is a delightful story with a unique setting, a spunky heroine, and a cast of characters that will have you turning pages from start to finish. You'll laugh with Marguerite, Trip, and Mark, and you'll groan at Roger, as well as Marguerite's mother. But the heroine has a devotion to her family that is honorable and admirable.

I loved the setting on Lake Manawa, and especially enjoyed seeing how the upper class relaxed in the summer. The descriptions of the tents where they camped reminded me of the one showed in the 2nd movie of the Love Comes Softly series. All the comforts of home, with a tent that resembled actual living space inside a house. I first learned of this series on another blog, Writes of Passage, and knew I had to read it.

With a delightful lake setting and endearing characters, this is a book that will draw you in leave you wanting more. A stellar debut novel. Lorna is an author to watch if you're looking for a great historical.


1. This is your debut novel. Congratulations! What gave you the inspiration for this story?

My father grew up in the Lake Manawa area and told me stories about the resort that had once been there. In fact, when the Lake Manawa resort closed in 1927, my grandfather purchased one of the bath houses for $300 and moved it to a lot where the Midway had once stood. The long, narrow building was the house my dad spent his childhood in.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I’m really not like Marguerite. If anything is true, I’m more like Trip and my husband is more like Marguerite. She is a risk-taker and so is my husband. (He went to Thailand from North Dakota, not speaking the language to spend two years teaching agriculture.) Marguerite sees something she wants and nothing will stop her in getting it. However, Marguerite’s struggle with the truth is one I think we all deal with. I know I have. It’s so easy to justify our choices and not tell ourselves the truth about things.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

This one is easy because at one place in the book, Marguerite describes herself as a strawberry (sundae) girl. She doesn’t think she can survive in Roger’s boring vanilla world. She is vivacious and alive. There is nothing plain about Marguerite.

4. Are there any themes in Making Waves that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

What a great question! The main theme was how important truth is to God—especially us telling ourselves the truth. We try to justify so many of our choices. Some of the other themes that came out of Making Waves involved parental relationships and friendships between various social/economic classes of the day.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

It’s always hard for me just after the half way point because I get anxious to write the rest and pull all the thread together. It’s very hard to pick a favorite scene because I liked a lot of them for different reasons. I guess I’d have to say the strawberry sundae scene towards the end takes the cake for me.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

A Great Catch is set to release in May of 2011, and I can’t wait! Here’s the back cover copy I’ve submitted to Revell.

If a never-grow-up baseball player strikes out with a spunky suffragette, Independence Day may take on a whole new meaning.

When twenty-two year old Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the Lake Manawa resort guests, the spunky, slightly clumsy suffragette is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. Busy working in the suffrage movement, she has neither the time nor the need for a man in
her life. The “cause” God has called her to is much too important.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer at Lake Manawa before he is forced into the straight-laced, dawn-to-dusk business world of his stern father. He has no plans for romance until Emily crashes into his life at a roller skating rink.

When subterfuge and distrust interfere with their budding romance, will the pitcher strike out completely? Or will the suffragette find strength in her faith and cast her vote for a love that might costs her dreams?

* * * * *

Thank you, Lorna, for being in the spotlight with us.

ENTRY RULES: Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Making Waves. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 with one being “Stay Safe” and ten being a “Bring on the Risk,” where would you rate yourself as a risk taker? What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 ACFW Awards -- Winners Listing

For anyone who wasn't able to attend the awards ceremony last night in Indianapolis at the 9th Annual ACFW Conference, and for anyone who loves learning more about Christian fiction, here are the winners for all of the awards given out at the ceremony:

Sue Brower, Zondervan

Sandra Bishop, MacGregor Literary

Susan May Warren

Fay Lamb

Carol Johnson, editor who acquired Janette Oke and for whom the new Carol Award is named

GENESIS CONTEST (for unpublished writers)

Runner-up, Chris Kraft
Winner, Lynette P. Horner

Runner-up, Sarah Forgrave
Winner, Janice LaQuiere

Runner-up, Lori Benton
Winner, Brenda Jackson

Runner-up, Ruth Trippy
Winner, Pam Hillman

Runner-up, Barbara Early
Winner, Rich Bullock

Runner-up, Terri Weldon
Winner, Valerie Goree


Runner-up, Suzanne Krein
Winner, Andra Marquardt

Runner-up, Lisa Buffaloe
Winner, Jennifer Fromke

Runner-up, Kasey Heinly
Winner, Stefanie Morris

CAROL AWARDS (for published authors)

Susan May Warren for The Great Christmas Bowl

Janet Tronstad for Christmas Bells for Dry Creek

Mae Nunn for A Texas Ranger's Family

Jill Elizabeth Nelson for Evidence of Murder

Dan Walsh for The Unfinished Gift

Jenny B. Jones for I'm So Sure

Christina Berry for The Familiar Stranger

Jenny B. Jones for Just Between You and Me

A.K. Arenz for The Case of the Mystified M.D.

Terri Blackstock for Intervention

Allison Pittman for Stealing Home

Mary Connealy for Cowboy Christmas

Kirk Outerbridge for Eternity Falls (Marcher Lord Press, publisher!!)

Rene Gutteridge & Cheryl McKay for Never the Bride

Dan Walsh for The Unfinished Gift

Congratulations to all for your well-earned and well-deserved wins.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spotlight on A Door County Christmas

Rule of the spotlights here: answer the random question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


EILEEN KEY taught school for thirty years and survived! Now she's launched a new season in life, writing and editing. What an exciting ride. Her three grown children live nearby, as do those amazing grandchildren. Nana Eileen, yep, a great moniker, if she does say so herself.

BECKY MELBY has been married to Bill, her high school sweetheart, for 38 years. They have four married sons and eleven fabulous grandchildren. Becky has co-authored nine books for Heartsong Presents and two Barbour Publishing novellas. Becky is currently working on a contemporary fiction series with a historical thread for Barbour. To find out more about Becky or her books, visit her at or

RACHAEL PHILLIPS a church music director, began her unplanned writing career when the church secretary demanded newsletter articles at gunpoint. The pastors hated this task, but she loved writing humor based on Christian music and the Bible. Soon she began to write a column for her local newspaper and take writing classes in the adult program at Bethel College, Mishawaka, IN. There she made connections that resulted in her first biography in Barbour’s Heroes of the Faith series, Frederick Douglass. Since then, she has written three other Barbour biographies (Billy Sunday, Saint Augustine, and Well with My Soul (four hymn writers), as well as more than 400 articles, newspaper columns, devotions, and stories for newspapers, magazines such as Today’s Christian Woman, as well as Pearl Girls, Guideposts, and other collections. She also has co-authored a Barbour reference guide Women of the Bible with Carol Smith and Ellyn Sanna that will release in February 2011. Her awards include the Erma Bombeck Global Award and the Genesis award for Young Adult Fiction.

Ride with Me into Christmas, Rachael’s novella in A Door County Christmas collection, is her first published fiction. She and Steve, her high school sweetheart and husband of thirty-five years, did extensive research on their tandem bicycle for this story. They have not crashed—so far. They have three grown children and four-going-on-five perfect grandchildren. Rachael loves to visit with her reader friends on-line at,,, and

CYNTHIA RUCHTI writes and produces The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast and writes stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. Her debut novel--THEY ALMOST ALWAYS COME HOME--released May 1 from Abingdon Press. She currently serves as president of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes monthly columns for ACFW's Afictionado magazine, Wisconsin Christian News, and devotionals for The Christian Pulse. She lives in the northwoods of Wisconsin with her plot-tweaking husband, Bill, not far from their three kids and five huggable grandchildren. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or

by Eileen Key, Becky Melby, Rachael Phillips, and Cynthia Ruchti
Published by Barbour


A DOOR COUNTY CHRISTMAS (Barbour Publishing) is a novella collection of stories by Becky Melby, Eileen Key, Rachael Phillips, and Cynthia Ruchti. We collaborated in the best sense of the word to create stories that were unique but shared a handful of common characters and a deep appreciation for the string of villages that dot the western coast of the thumb of Wisconsin’s mitten.

Here’s a glimpse at each of the stories in A DOOR COUNTY CHRISTMAS:

The Heart’s Harbor by Cynthia Ruchti

Amanda Brooks retreats to picturesque Egg Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin, to escape an empty holiday season in her Chicago apartment. Peace on earth is what she needs but instead finds herself in charge of the legendary Christmas Tea at the Heart’s Harbor Victorian Inn. Dealing with its quirky guests, bare-bones budget, antisocial puppy, matchmaking owner, and her match-resistant son, Jordan, deepens her doubts that Christmas and love have anything in common.

Ride with Me into Christmas by Rachael Phillips

An offbeat innkeeper offers Joanna Flick a Christmas cactus, promising the flowerless plant–and hop–will bloom. A recent widow, Joanna can’t believe it. But new neighbor Paul Sorensen, a fifty-something flannel-shirt fanatic with a bad haircut, shares Joanna’s passion for bicycling through gorgeous landscapes and faith in the One who created them. Will love flower this bleak winter, or will their Grinch-y grown children nip romance in the bud?

My Heart Still Beats by Eileen Key

Hired by two octogenarians to escort them on their last visit to their bayside cottage in Ephraim, Wisconsin, Madison Tanner literally “runs into” Realtor Grant Sterling. Grant is intent on selling the cottage before Christmas, but every prospective buyer finds a new problem with the property, prompting Grant to suspect Madison is guilty of sabotage. Each new setback pushes Grant further from his goal and closer to the hazel-eyed chauffeur.

Christmas Crazy by Becky Melby

Jillian Galloway sacrifices her fall colors vacation in Sister Bay to help Uncle Buster, owner of Doorbuster’s Comedy Theater, salvage his business in time for the Christmas crowd. With a hole in the roof, no chef, and only two oddball actors, Jillian’s eternal optimism is put to the test. Enter Ricky Jimmy, a mysteriously handsome Brazilian with an offer to help. Should she listen to the rumors of Ricky’s suspicious clandestine behavior or trust those dark Latin eyes?

Readers, buy your copy of A Door County Christmas (Romancing America) today!


1. This is a novella collection with 3 other authors. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Eileen: Some of my story focuses on an older couple who've been happily married for over sixty years. I believe KNOWING some of those kinds of octogenarians spurred the idea.

Becky: Living in Wisconsin, I manage to get to Door County at least once a year. One of the things my family and I love is attending American Folklore Theater productions—live comedy theater under the stars in Peninsula State Park. That was the idea sparker for my main setting—Doorbuster’s Comedy Theater. To add conflict, I put the theater in crisis with no money, a leaking roof, a little betrayal, and threw in some suspicion for good measure. Onto the stage of this conflict steps the owner’s niece, Jillian. She wants to rescue Uncle Buster from bankruptcy, but she’s been told that Ricky Jimenez, the hunky Brazilian who offers to help, is not who he says he is. Once I had the conflict established in my mind, the rest was fun!

Rachael: Many romance novels often involve young love with parental opposition. I asked myself, what if I wrote about the blossoming of a new relationship between mature characters who had lost their beloved spouses? Instead of resistance from parents, they experience their grown children’s disapproval. Cute, inquisitive grandchildren add to the complications (my four definitely provided the inspiration for these scenes :)).

Cynthia: Door County is one of the most inspiring settings for any kind of story, but especially romance. It is the perfect mix of rustic, rugged Creation (with its rocky cliffs and shorelines, its expanse of Lake Michigan/Green Bay waters, cedar forests, apple and cherry orchards), refined beauty created by artists, potters, jewelers, and quaint gift shops. I've spent so many hours hiking the trails through the woods, sitting along the shore, and exploring the shops and backroads of Door County. My story in A DOOR COUNTY CHRISTMAS--The Heart's Harbor--was inspired by a "practice" unpublished novella I wrote years ago. I envisioned a young woman escaping to Door County to let her heart heal from a heart-wrenching betrayal. This new version dropped the melodrama, kept the drama, and capitalized on how a story can be both heart-tugging and fun.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Eileen: Independence. Maddy stepped out on her own and is an "unfamiliar" land. I've been out of the box more than once! Exhilarating experience when God is leading.

Becky: My love of Door County became Jillian’s, and I borrowed a few traits from family members to create her. One of my daughters-in-law has her Masters degree in advertising. The teamwork and creative process involved in developing ads fascinates me and it was a perfect fit for Jillian. My oldest son’s wife is truly “Christmas crazy.” By July, her gifts are bought and wrapped and she’s scouting out the perfect presents for the following year! Jillian is a take-charge woman…something I’m definitely not. At the very least, her glass is half-full while I struggle to keep looking on the bright side. I’m not nearly as put-together as Jillian, but we do share a love of wearing black and red. I guess in many ways she’s the me I’d love to be.

Rachael: Unlike Joanna and Paul in my story, I have never lost a spouse. But, like them, my husband Steve and I are avid bicyclists. My characters’ first attempt to ride a tandem, a bicycle built for two, resembles our initial efforts. (At least, Steve and I had 30 years of mostly happy marriage to keep us riding together, even if we almost took out our neighbors’ trash cans.)

Cynthia: In The Heart's Harbor, very little about the characters and their unique experiences mimics events or people from my own life. Imagination took over on this one. Or so I thought. But as I think about how the story turned out, it catches me by surprise that some of the lessons learned, some of the discomfort expressed, some of the quirkiness in the characters seems very familiar to me. Amanda exhibited more courage than she dreamed she had. Jordan endeared himself to me, so I hope he does to my readers, too. Lola and Harland threatened to move in with me!

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Eileen: Texas based BlueBell-Cake and ice cream: A creamy vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, chocolate-coated cake pieces and a swirl of luscious chocolate icing. Who says you can't have it all?!

Becky: Ricky would be Brazilian Passion Fruit—need I say more? Jillian would be my favorite Door County treat—a Door County Sundae from Not Licked Yet in Fish Creek—vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, warm Montmorency cherries, all smothered in whipped cream. She’s sweet, warm, fun, and the fudge and cherries come pretty close to her favorite color scheme.

Rachael: Oooh, that’s a question not only close to my stomach, but to Joanna’s! In Ride with Me into Christmas, she admits to an addiction to Door County Sundaes: “rich creamy [frozen] custard covered with gooey hot fudge and warm, luscious cherries, lost in clouds of whipped cream” (p.109). Paul would affirm that Joanna’s taste in ice cream reflects the fact she is a fascinating, delicious combination of coldness and warmth, tartness and sweetness, impossible to resist!

Cynthia: An ice cream flavor? Hmm. Oh, sorry. I lost my train of thought. Amanda and Jordan are a rich base of Montmorency Cherry frozen custard with threads of caramel and chunks of Dove chocolate. Sorry. Lost my train of thought again. :)

4. Are there any themes in A Door County Christmas that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Eileen: Forgiveness certainly developed. Maddy and her mother have had an angry exchange. It's Christmas and Maddy misses her mom, but must extend grace before she receives it. That wasn't my main focus...until Maddy said so.

Becky: My theme verse for Christmas Crazy was Romans 12:12—“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Jillian may come off as simply an eternal optimist, but her optimism bubbles out of her deep faith. I hope readers will grasp the truth that God works things out in his own time and that what looks hopeless is really just difficult. . .requiring patience, faith, and perseverance. As Ricky watches Jillian forge ahead in the face of ridiculous obstacles, he gains the courage to let God use him and leave the consequences in His hands. Jillian’s faith challenges Uncle Buster, and I hope readers as well.

Rachael: The primary theme is reflected in a Bible verse I included in my dedication: “Glory to Jesus Christ, who desires ‘to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.’” (Isaiah 61:2-3 NIV) We can go to God and exchange the worst in our lives for beauty, joy, and praise. A second theme, of course, is that love is ageless. Our culture does not support this concept; but where in the Bible does it say romance—or any other adventure—can’t happen after age thirty? As I wrote Ride with Me into Christmas, the interconnectedness of family relationships struck me more with every chapter. Who we are and what we do profoundly affects our loved ones—especially when it comes to our faith.

Cynthia: Redemption is an unavoidable theme in any story with faith at its heart. The Heart's Harbor celebrates the concept of finding a safe harbor in God and in the people He brings across our path. It explores the wonder of listening to Him on matters of the heart. And it touches on the joy-to-the-world of relationships built on serving side-by-side. As the chapters flew by, I discovered an unexpected theme in Jordan's story...but I have to let him tell you about that himself.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Eileen: Snow: I'm a Texan, what do I know about cold weather? I loved visiting Door County and learning how they deal with snow plows, closed churches/schools/shopping: just every day life when there's so much S N O W! Hardy folks, they are.

Becky: I thoroughly enjoy writing both humor and romance. Keeping the tender moments between Ricky and Jillian light, but not too light, was sometimes a challenge. Describing the beauty of fall and winter in Door County was like finger painting—involving all five senses. Of course, the warm-fuzzy-eye-contact-soul-connection moments between my two main characters were so fun to write.

Rachael: The most difficult part, of course, was when the inevitable conflicts arose. I hurt with Joanna—it’s always maddening when presumption and misunderstanding block the path to God’s joy. I also ached for Paul—so hard when the woman he loved and the daughter he adored declared war. On the fun side, the grandchildren in the story, like my own, gave me endless giggles. A preschooler’s view of romance is like no other’s!

Cynthia: This romantic comedy was written in the months between my father-in-law's sudden death and my mother's final inches of her long crawl toward heaven. Hardly the ideal time to focus on funny and young love. But the experience proved again that the Lord's a better writer than I am, when I let Him take over. And He's faithful to meet our every need. Limiting the number of enchanting Door County must-sees presented a challenge in that word count. The scenes with Lola were the most fun to write. She's my new best friend. Amanda's a third sister. I'm thinking about adopting Jordan.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Eileen: Forget-me-not from Avalon is a cozy mystery. I don't have a release date yet.

Becky: Pure Serendipity, a Heartsong Presents story, will be out this month. I co-authored a 3-in-1 collection, Minnesota Moonlight, released in July, and sometime next year, another 3-in-1, set in Illinois, will be released. I’m currently working on a contemporary series for Barbour Publishing. The first book, Tomorrow’s Sun, contains a historical thread about the Underground Railroad, and is scheduled to release in the fall of 2011.

Rachael: I’ve co-written a Barbour reference guide called Women in the Bible with Carol Smith and Ellyn Sanna. It releases February 2011. I’ve also just finished a women’s fiction called Kneady Women, in which a lonely fiftyish writer finds fun, food, and fellowship with an offbeat group of bread bakers called the Loafers. I’ll be pitching it at ACFW conference.

Cynthia: I have a little break now...of unknown length. My debut novel--THEY ALMOST ALWAYS COME HOME--released May 1st from Abingdon Press. To have a second book release just four months later is a rush. I'm eager to take off running on two or three other projects that tackle serious subjects but with that ever present Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark.

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Thank you, Eileen, Becky, Rachael, and Cynthia for being in the spotlight with us.

NOTE! Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of A Door County Christmas. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Bonus question. Answer either or both to be entered.

Question 1: How would you feel if you were drafted into running a Victorian inn. Would it rattle your knees or energize you?

Question 2: Can you tell us of one instance when you exchanged the worst thing in your life for the best?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Spotlight on Sandra D. Bricker and Always the Baker, Never the Bride

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. Answer the question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


SANDRA D. BRICKER has been publishing in both the Christian and general market for years with novels for women and teens, magazine articles and short stories. With 11 novels in print and 5 more slated for publication through 2012, Sandie has carved out a niche for herself as an award-winning author of laugh-out-loud comedy for the inspirational market. Sandie was an entertainment publicist in Hollywood for 15+ years for some of daytime television’s hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she left Los Angeles to provide care … and begin her writing career!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride
by Sandra D. Bricker
Published by Abingdon Press


They say you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. But who would want a cake they couldn’t eat?

Just ask Emma Rae Travis about that. A baker of confections who is diabetic and can’t enjoy them? When Emma meets Jackson Drake, the escapee from Corporate America who is starting a wedding destination hotel to fulfill a dream that belonged to someone else, this twosome and their crazy family ties bring new meaning to the term Family Circus. The Atlanta social scene will never be the same!

Readers, buy your copy of Always the Baker, Never the Bride today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

First and foremost, my love of all things cake! Like Emma Rae, I am also a diabetic, so me and cake together ... not so much. I've learned all kinds of ways to incorporate it into my life at safe intervals, but it can be quite a challenge. I can live without many things in life, but I'd almost rather have cake than anything else. But isn't that always the way? We desperately want the things we can't have, like cake. And George Clooney.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

There’s a whole lot of me in Emma Rae. Not just the diabetic part, but the certain characteristics she has, the way she approaches the idea of love, the importance of her relationships. And Emma has a deep-down dream that she’s pursuing, a lot like me and my writing. Also, the crazy family situations for both Emma and Jackson are inspired out of my wish that I had that. I come from a really large extended family (my mom was the youngest of eight), but we moved away from them when I was very young so there aren’t the solid connections that my characters have with their families.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Oh, no Rocky Road here. Emma and Jackson would both be a very upstanding flavor with a little nutty crunch to them. Maybe butter pecan or vanilla almond. Emma has a penchant for hazelnut, so maybe that would be good. Is there such a thing as hazelnut ice cream?

4. Are there any themes in Always the Baker, Never the Bride that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Well, the overall theme of the book, and one that is present in a lot of my work, is that thread of destiny. I’ve always been fascinated by the way our lives are road-mapped for us by God, and then He tosses in the road signs all along the way. We either follow them, or we detour off on our own, but we seem to always come full circle to His plan. There are certain situations and people that come into our lives out of a divine destiny; but there are also the ones that act as propellants to get us where we’re going. And then there are the speed bumps we encounter as well.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I can truthfully tell you that there was not a difficult thing about writing Baker! It was the most delightful writing experience I’ve ever had. I adored the characters, the storyline just cruised along, the words flowed … and, added bonus, there was cake! Not every book goes along like this one did, but Emma was a total joy to spend time with every day.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Just as this one comes out, I also have Love Finds You in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, coming up in a month or so. That one was fun because I got to incorporate another true love of mine into the story, my adoration for classic film. Then I have a devotional coming out in the spring that I’ve co-authored with Kristin Billerbeck, Debby Mayne, Trish Perry and Diann Hunt. It’s called Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Beyond that, I have two follow-up books to this year’s The Big 5-OH! that I’m working on now, The Big 4-OH! and The Big 3-OH! Since the characters from the first book come back, it’s like a great reunion where I get to spend time with old friends while weaving a whole new world for the other two.

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Thank you, Sandie, for being in the spotlight with us.

ENTRY RULES Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Always the Baker, Never the Bride. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: Emma’s passion is designing and creating wedding cakes. What’s your life’s passion?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

CFBA Blog Tour - Janice Hanna and Love Me Tender

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love Me Tender
Summerside Press (September 1, 2010)
by Janice Hanna Thompson


JANICE THOMPSON, an award-winning author who also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna, got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over fifty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children's books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice currently serves as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Her online course, "Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer" has been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.

by Janice Hanna
Published by Summerside Press


As "Love Me Tender" plays in the background, Debbie Carmichael determines to salvage her family's restaurant, Sweet Sal's Soda Shoppe, when her father's health fails. Teen heartthrob Bobby Conrad agrees to perform at a fundraiser concert. But just two weeks before the highly publicized event, Bobby backs out of the benefit. Enter Johnny Hartman, a young, unknown singer to take Conrad's place. Debbie soon realizes the twists and turns leading up to the concert are divinely orchestrated. And it isn't dreamy Bobby Conrad who has stolen her heart - but the tender love of Johnny Hartman.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Me Tender, go HERE.

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From the first words spoken, I was whisked away into a world of teeny-boppers, singing sensations, rock-n-roll, poodle skirts, and saddle oxfords. While I wasn't lucky enough to have lived during this truly delightful and fun time, my parents were, and they raised me listening to what is now termed "Golden Oldies." As if music like this could ever become "old"!

As soon as I heard of this new line from Summerside and saw Janice was one of its newest authors, I had to snag me a copy. And Janice doesn't disappoint. Every nuance, detail, and word is meticulously intertwined to provide you a story of fun and a reminder of why you should always "let the good times roll." And Sweet Sal's Soda Shoppe is a wonderful bonus! The simplicity and purity of the times is an appeal that Janice handles perfectly from beginning to satisfying end.

If you want to take a trip down memory lane and relive the rockin' good times of the 1950's, pick up a copy of Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna. I give it 5 out of 5 musical stars! And I loved how the story showed God using even Hollywood to broadcast His message across the AM radio airwaves.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington


The Second World War has stolen Rosalie's fiance from her. But rather than wallow, Rosalie throws herself into her work at the Boeing plant in Victory Heights, shooting rivets into the B-17 bombers that will destroy the enemy. A local reporter dubs her Seattle's Own Rosie the Riveter, and her story lends inspiration to women across the country. While Rosalie's strong arms can bear the weight of this new responsibility, her heart cannot handle the intense feelings that begin to surface for Kenny, the handsome reporter. Fear of a second heartbreak is a powerful opponent - but will it claim victory over love?


Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington was like a walk down memory lane!
I spent a lot of time in my younger years sitting at my grandfather's knee, listening to stories of the war, the home effort, and so much that happened during World War II. This book took me back to those days and made me feel like I was right there, living alongside those who gave of their time and their talents to help out the war right from their own back yards.
As an historical fiction author, I'm a stickler for historical details. It will yank me right out of a story if there are lapses or obvious details that don't jive. Not so with this book. The authors nailed everything on the head and blended the details into the story seamlessly.

The sweet romance of Kenny and Rosalie spoke to my heart on many levels, and the subtle message of faith only strengthened the romance. Readers who struggle with truly trusting God and finding their worth in Him will gain a lot from this book. And those who love war stories won't be disappointed in the least.

And just wait until you meet Miss Tilly. What a gal!

Great work, Tricia and Ocieanna. Another winner from your combined efforts.

You can buy the book by clicking on the picture or links to the left.

Check out this great contest on Tricia's new blog.

Tricia Goyer
is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more on Tricia visit

Ocieanna Fleiss: Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer’s historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. For more about Ocieanna visit her blog.
And go to this link for a list of other stops on the Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington blog tour. Litfuse Group Blog Tours

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Spotlight on Trish Perry and The Perfect Blend

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. Answer the question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


Award-winning author, TRISH PERRY is an award-winning novelist who has written The Perfect Blend (2010), Sunset Beach (2009), Beach Dreams (2008), Too Good to Be True (2007), and The Guy I’m Not Dating (2006), all for Harvest House Publishers. Her monthly column, “Real Life is Stranger,” appeared in Christian Fiction Online Magazine during its inaugural year. She was editor of Ink and the Spirit, the newsletter of Washington D.C.’s Capital Christian Writers organization (CCW), for seven years. Before her novels, Perry published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general market media. She will release several new books in 2011.

Perry holds a B.A. in Psychology, was a 1980s stockbroker, and held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission and in several Washington law firms. She serves on the Board of Directors of CCW and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

The Perfect Blend
by Trish Perry
Published by Harvest House


Steph Vandergrift left everything to elope with Middleburg attorney Rick Manfred, who then stood her up at the altar. Too embarrassed to return home, Steph hopes to earn enough to get by until she can decide what to do next. Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel hires her and appreciates the extra help at the tea shop.

Also appreciative of Steph is Kendall James, one of the kindest, most eligible bachelors in the area. But by the time Steph feels able to consider dating again, her run-away fiancé returns and tries to win her back. Steph is wary, but she and Rick always blended so well.

Christie Burnham, the frank-talking equestrian from whom Steph rents a room, and her frillier sister Liz become fast friends and confidantes to Steph. Between the two sisters, there isn't much any man is going to pull over on Middleburg's newest bachelorette and tea shop employee.

Readers, buy your copy of The Perfect Blend today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

The series idea was planted by my editor at Harvest House while she and I brainstormed a year or so ago. The first thing I thought of for the series was Milly Jewell, the tea shop owner. I based her a little on my British mum—a version of her at my current age. And then for The Perfect Blend I wanted to create a young heroine who would have a reason to work for Milly while taking the reader on a tour of the town and its inhabitants. So Steph’s predicament—being stranded in a new town, struggling with independence and the need to feel accepted—evolved from that.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I think all of us, at one time or another, experience self-doubt and the need for assurance from others that we’re valued. I’ve certainly experienced that at points in my life. We all thrive on knowing we contribute in some way. These are the issues I’ve shared with Steph. The way she stumbles along, the disoriented state through which she sometimes acts, are all her. But I can imagine getting to the point she gets in the story, where your heartbreak and insecurity guide your decisions. Those decisions might be awful in real life, but they make for fun (and funny) reading!

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Oh! I found the perfect flavor for Steph: Baskin-Robbins’ Acceptance Peach. It was a flavor back in 1976 during the Presidential election. It fits for Steph because she wants so much to feel accepted, and she really is such a peach. A total sweetheart, even though she’s a bit of a mess. I think I even described her creamy cheeks as being like ripe peaches when she smiles (which she does, more and more, as the story develops).

4. Are there any themes in The Perfect Blend that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I never really zero in on a major theme when I first get started. I do allow one to develop as I go, and then I tweak during my rewrites to hone that theme. I’ve mentioned the natural human need for acceptance several times above, and that was what developed through Steph’s experiences. And the verse that came to mind as I finished the book was 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” Regardless of how we interpret the attitudes of others, we can always embrace the fact that God accepted us so fully He sacrificed His most precious Child for us. You can’t be more accepted than that, can you?

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult parts involved the hero’s teenaged brother, Chip, who has a disability. The boy has a fantastic attitude, as did my late sister, Noreen, who lived with a similar disability. But Noreen’s situation was much more dire than this boy’s, so life was harder for her. I know Chip’s ability to thrive was possible, because Noreen managed to live to the fullest until her health deteriorated. I think I wrote Chip’s life the way I wish it had been for my sister.

My favorite parts to write were the romantic exchanges between Steph and the hero, Kendall. They were playful with each other almost immediately, thanks to his personality. I love that.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I have a few releases coming up, but I think the next book to release will be the second book in The Tea Shop Series, Tea for Two, which releases April 1, 2011. Here’s the blurb:

Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he's losing his grip on them in their teen years. They've both had scrapes with the local law.

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women's group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina's connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.

And when Tina's women's group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group's meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

* * * * *

Thank you, Trish, for being in the spotlight with us.

ENTRY RULES Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Perfect Blend. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: Do you struggle, or have you struggled, with feeling you aren’t accepted? How do you deal with that awful feeling?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

September New Releases in Christian Fiction

We have a whopping THIRTY-FOUR new releases this month. Amazing! This list includes six Christmas-themed novella collections. Lots of good reading, and it's never too early to start that Christmas shopping! There is something for everyone on this list.

1. Across the Cotton Fields; Mississippi Brides, book 1 by Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver-- Romance from Barbour. Alexandra Lewis must find a husband before a family scandal follows her to Mississippi, but where does God fit into her plans?

2. A Door County Christmas; The Heart's Harbor by Cynthia Ruchti, Ride With Me Into Christmas by Rachael Phillips, My Heart Still Beats by Eileen Key, and Christmas Crazy by Becky Melby, A collection of four Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. A Door County innkeeper guarantees four single women that her Christmas cactus gifts˜and love˜will bloom by Christmas. As December nears, will barren plants and romances blossom into holiday joy?

3. A Hope Undaunted; Winds of Change series, book 1 by Julie Lessman -- An Romance from Revell. While on a summer law internship, a sassy and modern woman of the Roaring 20s butts heads with her lawyer boss, a stubborn pest from her past.

4. A Memory Between Us; Wings of Glory, Book 2 by Sarah Sundin -- An historical from Revell. During World War II, B-17 pilot Maj. Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge - until he meets Lt. Ruth Doherty, a striking nurse with a shameful secret.

5. A Prairie Christmas Collection by Deborah Raney, Tracie Peterson, Tracey V. Bateman, and six others -- A collection of nine Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. An instant holiday treasure, this fiction collection is penned by nine multi-published authors. Each novella promises a sweet Christian romance on the historical American Great Plains.

6. A Riverwalk Christmas by Elizabeth Goddard, Martha Rogers, Lynette Sowell and Kathleen Y'Barbo-- A collection of Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. Four young women find love in the most unexpected places at Christmas.

7. A Very Private Grave; #1 The Monastery Murders by Donna Fletcher Crow -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Kregel. A new policeman must protect a young social worker from big-city gangs making their evil way down south. Felicity thinks she knows everything, until a brutal murder teaches her she doesn't know anything.

8. A Woodland Christmas by Janelle Mowery, Tamela Hancock Murray, Darlene Franklin and Ramona Cecil-- A collection of Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. Experience a nostalgic Christmas in the Piney Woods of East Texas where a traveling wood-carver dispenses wisdom that brings four couples to realize the gift of love.

9. Alpha Redemption by P.A. Baines -- A Science Fiction/Fantasy/Futuristic from Splashdown Books. In man's pursuit of knowledge, artificial intelligence was created. In the pursuit of love, artificial intelligence found God.

10. Baby Makes A Match; Love Inspired/Chatam House Series by Arlene James -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. A rodeo cowboy rescues a stranded pregnant girl and with the help of three matchmaking aunties….well what else do you need?

11. Christmas Mail Order Brides by Vickie McDonough, Susan Page Davis, Therese Stenzel and Carrie Turansky-- A collection of Christmas-themed romance novellas from Barbour. Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order-and just in time for Christmas.

12. Finding Becky; Book 3 Winds Across the Prairie by Martha Rogers -- An Historical from Realms/Strang. Rebecca comes home with a new attitude, but Rob wants to find the Becky he's loved since their youth.

13. Formula for Danger by Camy Tang -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Love Inspired Suspense. Dermatologist researcher Rachel Grant is pursued by an enemy trying to take her latest research and her life.

14. Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer -- A Romance from Bethany House. When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart isn't the only thing in danger.

15. High-Stakes Inheritance by Susan Sleeman -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. Claiming an inheritance turns deadly when Mia Blackburn returns to her hometown.

16. In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- An Historical from Bethany House. Claiming an inheritance turns deadly when Mia Blackburn returns to her hometown.Three best friends, three cherished dreams, three searching hearts...

17. Judgement Day by Wanda Dyson -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Random House/Waterbrook. One reporter's love of sensationalism leads to a horrifying story and someone willing to kill her to keep her quiet.

18. Lily and the Lawman; Idaho Brides, Book Two by Erica Vetsch -- An Historical from Barbour. A wary woman has no choice but to join forces with a local lawman to rescue her kidnapped niece.

19. Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe by Anita Higman and Irene Brand-- A Romance from Summerside Press. Two heartwarming stories of Christmas past and present.

20. Lydia's Charm by Wanda Brunstetter -- A Romance from Barbour. Will the anonymous gifts left for Lydia bring her hope for a new life, and when tragedy befalls her yet again, will the mysterious gift giver be there to support her?

21. Making Waves; CHAIM series, Book Four by Lorna Seilstad -- An Historical from Revell. After Mr. Boring presses for an engagement, a witting debutante meets an intriguing sailing instructor who is everything her hum drum suitor is not.

22. McKenzie; Montana Skies Series by Penny Zeller -- An Historical from Whitaker House. She wanted to change him and mold him into the man she was supposed to marry. Instead, she was the one whose heart was changed.

23. Medical Error; Prescription For Trouble (book two) by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Abingdon. Identity theft isn't normally fatal, but this time it was.

24. More Than Words; Daughters of Amana #2 by Judith Miller -- An Historical from Bethany House. Will Gretchen Kohler's one impulsive decision cause tragic consequences for the entire Amana Community and cost her everything, even the love of her life?

25. Second Chance Brides; Texas Boardinghouse Brides #2 by Vickie McDonough -- An Historical from Barbour. When the man they came to town to marry weds someone else, two mail order brides must find a way to survive in Texas--or find another man to marry.

26. Secret of the Shroud by Pamela Billings Ewen -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from B&H Publishers. A powerful Bishop reaches for revenge when he's suddenly confronted with the secret of the Shroud and a choice that can destroy him.

27. Tender Vow by Sharlene MacLaren -- A Romance from Whitaker House. When John Evans is killed in a skiing accident, his brother, Jake, reaches out to his widowed sister-in-law, but Rachel will have nothing to do with his charity, particularly since they have a "history" she'd rather forget--but God has other plans.

28. The Columns of Cottonwood; The Alabama River Heritage Series by Sandra Robbins -- A Romance from Barbour. When a handsome stranger purchases a woman's plantation for back taxes, she vows to recover her land, but they discover God has a greater solution--a compromise to benefit both.

29. The Doctor's Blessing; #2 in The Brides of Amish Country by Patricia Davids -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. A nurse-midwife to the Amish and the new doctor clash over her home deliveries.

30. The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson -- A Romance from Zondervan. The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale comes to life when Rose, the apprentice to the town healer, falls in love with Lord Hamlin, the betrothed son of a duke.

31. The Newcomer by Laurie Alice Eakes -- An Historical from Barbour. Marigold sacrifices things precious to her, for the sake of her young charges and isn't willing to let their uncle take over when danger follows in his wake.

32. The Perfect Blend; The Tea Shop Series by Trish Perry -- A Romance from Harvest House. A jilted bride encounters chaotic jobs, overbearing society matrons, and charming suitors in her quest for love, independence, and the occasional glimpse of God's will.

33. The Wolf of Tebron by C. S. Lakin -- An Science Fiction/Fantasy/Futuristic from AMG/Living Ink. A young blacksmith goes in search of his missing wife, journeying to the four ends of the world and solving riddles with a faithful wolf at his side.

34. Where Hearts Are Free; Darkness to Light Series, Book #3 by Golden Keyes Parsons -- An Historical from Thomas Nelson. In the freedom and promise of the New World, Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell fall in love, but nothing about their love seems possible, apart from God's intervention.