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Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby Stockton #2 Countdown - Week 30, 10 to Go!

Just 10 weeks left. That means next week, I'll be posting in the single digits. In some ways, it feels like it's taking forever. In others, it feels like it's gone so fast. And I know these final weeks are going to fly!

And now, as of week 30, here is the update:

The light is visible at the end of the tunnel! My over-sized self and amazing growing son have finally reached the single digits (in terms of weeks till birth)! The fine lanugo hair that has been growing all over Richard's little monkey-like body is going to start falling off this week in preparation for the big day. But I've been warned to not be shocked if he's hairier than I’d anticipated, as some babies keep their lanugo until after birth. Hmm...makes me wonder how much hair he's going to have on his head, not just his body. His sister didn't have much for the first year, but phew! It's sure made up for lost time! It's almost to the middle of her back when wet. But with all the curls she has, who can tell? :) I can still see some red highlights, so I'm holding out hope she might end up with my strawberry-blonde shades. I'd love to have a redheaded little girl. But guess that final decision is up to God. And He always knows best.

No surprises here: my little porker is getting even cuter with increasingly pudgy arms and legs this week thanks to the ever-growing layers of subcutaneous fat. In terms of numbers, this fella weighs in at around 3 pounds 10 ounces and he's about 16 inches long. That means he's running out of room and having to be quite squished. With his head down and pushing on my pelvis, I feel bad he has to be so cramped.

This past week, I had another ultrasound, and the technician was going to try to get a 3-D image for me. One problem. Richard had his feet up by his face. He had his hands up by his face. And he had the umbilical cord up in front of his face. It was almost as if he was saying, "You're not going to see me. You're not going to see my face. I'm hiding!" I did manage to get a good shot of his fist, and some head shots, along with another confirmation he's still a boy, and a picture of his big feet. :) But I haven't had a chance to scan them, so they'll be here next week.

As for me, the ongoing joys of being in your third trimester are still raging: my not-so-fun symptoms are intensifying this week, so I've been told it might not hurt to slow down a bit and focus on my. Not easy with a toddler around the house, but I'm doing the best I can. If I'm feeling extra fatigued, I've unfortunately joined the sleeping shouldn’t be this tough when I’m this tired club, especially since I'm experiencing a lot of S-I joint pain and general discomfort. I do have an appointment with a chiropractor on Thursday to see if he can help ease some of the pain. Just like when this pregnancy first started, I need to focus more on getting proper sleep. A pregnancy pillow won't work in our bed, since I married a 6'3" broad-shouldered man, and that kind of pillow takes up too much room, so a body pillow will have to do. I'm just glad I don't have to worry about the moodiness and mood swings. With everything else I'm doing, who has the time? :)

And now some words from the future field-goal kicker inside me:

All right, I can't be silent about this one. Mama has been squishing me a lot this week. Now, that might be because I'm growing bigger and there is less room. But I've had to kick and stretch and push against my confines a lot more. I've also been getting the hiccups more frequently. I hear Mama telling that guy with the deep voice about it. Then, she mentions something about gripe water, but I have a feeling that won't help me inside here. If it tastes as good as she says it does, though, I look forward to tasting it for the first time. I know my big sister loves it, and her hiccups go away almost instantly. Sure wish I could get these hiccups to go away that fast.

And speaking of that big sister, I've noticed the shrieking is getting less and less. Maybe Mama is finally getting through to her. That, or she's growing up and realizing she can't be yelling like that all the time. When I come out there, I'm not going to take too kindly to all that screeching. I might just have to do some yelling of my own to get it to stop. But that might hurt Mama's ears, so I hope I won't have to deal with it too much.

There was this patting and tapping too that happened a lot last week. Mama kept telling my big sister to stop hitting her baby brother, that Richard was going to kick her. Richard. I guess that's me. I hear that word a lot when Mama is talking about me. And there's Tori or Victoria who I suppose is my big sister. That word I hear even more often than Richard. It sounds pretty when I hear it. I just hope she's as nice as her name sounds when I finally get to meet her. Not sure, with all that noise and bumping against me. But something tells me I'm going to like having a big sister. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Now it's time for me again. The mama. :) That's it for now. Tune in each week for the latest. And if you want to receive an email each time I post an update, subscribe using the form over there at the top right.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me...some of you for the second time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Stockton #2 Countdown - Week 29, 11 to Go!

Just 11 weeks left. Actually, it's more like 10-1/2 since the marker changes every Friday. But I post on Mondays, and don't want to get ahead of the game, so I go with the most recent completed week.

And now, as of week 29, here is the update:

The sleeping discomfort is still here, as are the round ligament pains. But thankfully, the gas seems to have subsided quite a lot. Praise God! The newest thing is feeling little butterflies moving around in my belly, and that's my amazing little baby with a case of the hiccups: a fairly common occurrence at this point resulting from practicing breathing for their big birthday. Let's just hope this little guy doesn't get them as often as his Papa and sister do. Could mean a continued investment in a lot of gripe water! And if you have a little one but haven't heard of this, look it up. All-natural blend of ginger and fennel, and for us, it's cured hiccups instantly. Amazing stuff!

Now, in addition to getting a round of butterfly-like hiccups, my little swimmer has arduously managed to accumulate enough baby fat to account for nearly 3.5% of his overall body weight. Yeah, compared to us adults, it’s not a lot, but when they’re little like that—it’s a healthy accomplishment in his own way. We'll see on Thursday how much this tyke weighs, and that will tell me how much of him is body fat at this point.

Another fantastic accomplishment: my baby's spleen is now in charge of hematopoiesis—the 10 dollar name for the process involved in building up certain important blood components. And my little monkey has been peeing into his amniotic sac for several weeks now (which is why potty training takes a while, especially for boys) and if you didn’t know, actually swallows it along with the rest of the amniotic fluid. Yeah, I know. Gross! But although the concept is nasty, their urine is sterile and as part of the amniotic fluid base, is replaced several times throughout the day. So if you didn’t know before, now you can tell people, that yes, every one of you drank your own urine—you were still in the womb, but nonetheless, you’ve been there. :) Ok, so that likely won't become an ice breaker or frequent topic of conversation. But you never know where it might come in handy. Perhaps with blackmail on your children or to simply gross out some younger kids or teenagers.

Finally, while I don't feel like I'm all that big, considering I have about 10 weeks left until due date, I certainly notice it when I'm cooking dinner or doing the dishes. It's becoming a common occurrence for me to bump into counters, tabletops, doors, walls, and a variety of other things as I walk. Sometimes I plumb forget I've got this big belly sticking out in front of me--6-7 inches more than when I'm not pregnant. That can make a heap of difference in what you're able to do and how close you're able to get to something. With my short arms, cooking and doing dishes, or reaching for things just isn't as easy as it used to be. Sure glad I've got some nice padding, or my boy would be getting squished quite often. :)

This Thursday, I'll have a 3rd ultrasound, so I might have some new pictures next week. All depends on if my son decides to cooperates. Last time, the technician had to keep telling him to stop wiggling and kicking. Active fella, for sure!

And now some words from the future field-goal kicker inside me:

Ok, so this week was a bit less stressful than the most recent ones. I've been doing a lot of twisting and turning and rolling around. There hasn't been nearly as much screeching or loud voices. Just lots of laughter and some very nice singing. It's lulled me to sleep on numerous occasions. There were two times when I got jostled around quite a bit, but it was so much fun! I think I heard Mama say something to that big sister character about going over the "bumpies." If they're this much fun on the inside, I can only imagine how much better they'll be once I'm out.

The past few days were very relaxing. I could tell Mama was getting a lot of rest. She said something about it being the last chance for a long while. Sure hope that doesn't mean I'm going to tire her out or keep her from sleeping. If it does, I'm not doing it on purpose. She's given me this great place to grow and stay warm. The last thing I want to do is make her tired. Maybe that Daddy character will help out some.

And speaking of tired, I think I'm done. Mama said something about getting to see me again this week. If I can figure it out, maybe I'll try to wave to her. For now, I'm going to close my eyes and get some rest.

Now it's time for me again. The mama. :) That's it for now. Tune in each week for the latest. And if you want to receive an email each time I post an update, subscribe using the form over there at the top right.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me...some of you for the second time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Stockton #2 Countdown - Week 28, 12 to Go!

Just 12 weeks left. Inching ever closer to those single-digit weeks. And now, as of week 28, here is the update:

Fatigue is back in spades, and the little guy is pushing on anything and everything, shifting it all out of place. Amazing that everything still works...well for the most part. :) More frequent visits to the restroom, and it's nigh onto impossible to get a solid night's sleep. But I suppose I should get used to that again. Going to have a newborn waking a few times in the night until he settles into a routine. Praying he's like his sister in that regard and figures it out in 7 weeks or less. :)

I'm going to be calling a chiropractor this week to set up an appointment and see if he can help with the S-I joint pains or even make any adjustments that might help make sleeping or sitting more comfortable. The round ligament pains make standing and walking difficult, even after sitting just 5 minutes.

And you know, I’ve been feeling a bit like a barn with legs lately? Richard has shifted and pushed out more. He's moving a lot, and I know he's on his way toward making that spin to be head-down. One more prenatal appointment before I go to every 2 weeks. Then, in March, it will be every week. My last appointment went quite well. Blood pressure was 110/72 and Richard's heartbeat was 160, but that was because I'd just got done drinking some super sweet stuff for the glucose test. Praise God I passed and didn't have to do anything more. With Victoria, I had to go back and do a 3-hour test. Blech! That meant THREE of those bottles.

Anyway, for now, I’ve got myself a little boy in the business of collecting fat and lots of it! In spite of the dubious joys of being a human-barn, this baby fat business is very serious and I’ve got to put up with it because it’s going to keep my little porker warm and healthy after birth.

Other good stuff from inside: his eyes are doing lots of blinking this week because they’re now able to respond to light and dark. We'll probably do the flash light on my belly in the dark to see if he responds. His big sister did. She gave a good kick at the light. Also, my son's industrious little bone marrow is now a major construction site for developing red blood cells, while his super-cute adrenal glands are actually producing androgen and estrogen—which will stimulate my hormones to begin milk production. Can we say, “Moo?” :)

And now for some words from the little wiggle-worm inside me:

Well, I had a pretty exciting week this past week. I'm not sure if there was an earthquake or what, but I was rocking and being tossed all over the place. I can only guess it was somehow connected to that annoying big sister I'll be meeting soon. Sure hope she's as sweet on the outside as mommy and daddy say she is, because from what I can hear and feel, I'm not so sure.

But I guess I can't complain. For the most part, it's a nice and comfy spot I've got here. I often hear some nice singing, fun music, and laughter. So, life on the outside can't be all the bad. Still, all things considered, I think I'll stay in here just a little while longer and enjoy this peace and solitude. Something tells me I won't get much of it for a while once I'm out.

Now it's time for me again. The mama. :) That's it for now. Tune in each week for the latest. And if you want to receive an email each time I post an update, subscribe using the form over there at the top right.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me...some of you for the second time.

Blog Winners from November and December

I've had a few emails asking about the blog winners from the last 2 months of 2010. Since I've been restructuring things around here, I did the winners via private email. So, all winners from all outstanding blog spotlights have been selected.

Now, starting in February, I'm going to be changing how the authors and books are spotlighted here. Instead of an interview, we'll be having guest blog posts. It will be up to the author if they wish to do a book giveaway or not, and you'll still need to answer the author's question in order to be entered. But there might not be a giveaway with each spotlight.

We'll continue to do spotlights every Wednesday. Mondays, as you've seen, are reserved for baby updates as we countdown to my 2nd baby's arrival. I'll do my best to continue each Monday with life updates, but no guarantees with a toddler and infant at home. :)

Fridays will be posts on writing tidbits, facts, experiences, new contract celebrations, industry news, and anything related to writing I can find. We'll see how it all goes. I welcome your feedback and input, as always, and look forward to having you with me on this new direction.

Thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby Stockton #2 Countdown - Week 27, 13 to Go!

Just 13 weeks left. I no longer have to remind myself I'm pregnant. The pains and discomforts tell me every day. That and the lack of sleep, plus being tired most of the day, are all signs. Can't deny it now. And wouldn't want to, anyway.

And now, as of week 27, here is the update:

We get a nice little alien-looking creature there to the left to demonstrate the baby's development and appearance this week. But looks at those fingers and toes and the clarity in the face. Amazing! This is the trimester where a 3 or 4-D ultrasound would come out great!

My not-so-tiny-anymore brilliant baby (about 2 pounds and 14.5 inches long!) is slowly rotating in preparation to “head out.” Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight, but when I get that unfamiliar pressure on my cervix, it means I’ve got a fully flipped little boy locked and loaded for the countdown to his birthday!

Even now, at the beginning of the third trimester, his little lungs are already capable of breathing air while the pulmonary vascular system can provide sufficient gas exchange and the central nervous system can generally regulate rhythmic breathing as well as his basal body temperature. For what it’s worth, at this point in a healthy pregnancy a premature child (with intensive care) could easily win on the show: “Survivor: The Early Years.” :) That's a great comfort, just in case. But there have been no indications I'll have anything but a healthy and normal delivery.

Of course, this trimester means the return of the "delightful" fatigue I had in spades during the first trimester. But the second gave me some extra energy. Chasing a toddler zapped it from time to time, but overall, I was the least tired during the 2nd trimester. Now, with the increased baby size, the shortness of breath, the weight gain, and the lack of sleep, I get the welcome fatigue back. And I've also reached the infamous “live-on-the-toilet” stage. Annoyingly, nature opted to compress my bladder, which is now being completely squashed by my super-sized-baby... all day long. Better make sure I have comfy pants!

At least I don't have to baby-proof the house, or fret about getting a stroller, carseat, crib, changing area, etc. That's all done and ready for Richard to arrive. But when I'm not wiped out, my doctor says I need to try to rest, be active, eat well, and continue to exercise. Phew! I get tired just thinking about it.

Now, if only these round ligament pains and the S-I joint would stop causing me issues. It seems every time I sit down even for 5 minutes, when I stand, the pelvic pain makes it difficult to get moving again. And the joint issue in my hip makes for rather uncomfortable sleeping. I might get 1 hour at a time before I have to change positions. Body pillow, other pillows and even stretching beforehand don't help. Guess I just need a recliner, but we don't have one or the room for one. So, for now, I'm stuck enduring. Owwie.

And now for some words from the guilt-free, pain-causing, little wiggle-worm inside me:

All right, I can't keep silent any further. That shrieking being is not only releasing ear-piercing sounds, but she's banging on my mommy's tummy and once in a while, she tries to sit on mommy's tummy. Good thing mommy doesn't let her. I'm cramped as it is. I don't need a sister squishing me even more. The banging is bad enough. But at least when she does that, she's giggling or quiet.

So, I hear I'm only a few inches away from the length I'll be when I'm born. And I'll be gaining about 1/4 - 1/2 pound of weight from here until I decide to come out. That means I'll be somewhere around 7 or 8 lbs. when I'm born. Sure hope that's not too much. Don't want to hurt mama.

From what I've heard, she's hurting more with me than my big sister. Wish there was something I could do, but how am I to know what hurts and what doesn't? I'm just moving around in here. Sorry, Mama! I'll try to do better.

Now it's time for me again. The mama. :) No worries. The little guy isn't hurting me in any unbearable manner. Just fairly standard pains, from what I heart. But I didn't have them with my daughter. Guess this little boy is just itching to outdo his sister. :) That's it for now. Tune in each week for the latest. And if you want to receive an email each time I post an update, subscribe using the form over there at the top right.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me...some of you for the second time.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

CFBA Blog Tour - Julie Klassen and The Girl in the Gatehouse

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Bethany House (January 1, 2010)
by Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Girl in the Gatehouse
by Julie Klassen
Published by Bethany House


Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.

When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

If you would like to read the prologue of The Girl in the Gatehouse, go HERE.

* * * * *


As soon as this book arrived in my mailbox, I eagerly tore open the envelope and set the book on the nightstand, anticipating the start that evening at bedtime. With a toddler and a new baby on the way, plus my own writing deadlines, nighttime is the only "free" time I have...much to my chagrin. But, I knew any book by Julie Klassen was a MUST HAVE. Ever since we met at an ACFW Conference in Minneapolis and sat next to each other at lunch, I was excited about her books. And like her others before this one, I was not disappointed. Julie is a Christy-award winner and RITA award finalist. And with substantial reason.

It was almost a guilty pleasure turning the pages and reading each chapter. I wish I could have stayed up on all night, but alas, duty calls, and it took me about a week to finish. Since becoming an author myself, I confess to becoming much pickier in regard to which books I read and my opinions or reviews of them. Julie has yet to disappoint. And considering she works for Bethany House, I have a feeling she never will. She has her finger on the pulsepoint of what readers AND writers love. What an excellent example of top-notch storyline, characters, and plot, all rolled into one enticing package.

To top all this, the book was filled with quotes from books by Jane Austen. And what fan of historical fiction could NOT love that? The references lent an air of familiarity to the book and made me feel like I was holding a long-lost treasure in my hands, instead of a brand new book.

This book is a true delight, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to any fan of historical fiction, but more specifically to any fan of the Regency era. Julie has captured this era with such skill, you'd think she lived during those times. :) This read was quite a treat.

* * * * *

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Baby Stockton #2 Countdown - Week 26, 14 to Go!

Just 14 weeks left. Still feels surreal and some days I have to remind myself I'm pregnant. Then, I look at my growing belly and see it's true. :)

This past week, my sister-in-law finally had her little boy. She's been having contractions since the middle of November, but she wasn't due until December 19th. Unfortunately, the contractions weren't doing anything. After all that time, Michael Vaughn Stockton made his appearance, just 10 days late. He weighed 8lbs, 6oz, and he was 21 inches long. My little one is going to have a cousin just 3 months older. It's going to be great!

And now, as of week 26, here is the update:

For those who are just tuning in, we had our ultrasound on December 2nd, and.... drum roll...


That's right. We've got an all-American male growing inside me, and he is an active little bugger. Richard Vaughn Stockton. We'll be calling him Richie.

At long last, my little swimmer can see the womb! My miracle boy’s little eyelids have finally separated (they were fused closed previously) and he's probably having his first moments of sight as you read this. Can't imagine it's much to see, but I know some light gets in there for him throughout the day, especially when I'm outside in the bright sunshine.

In addition to seeing his little studio in my belly, he's recently acquired the ability to say “yes” and “no” in rudimentary sign language as he can now move his head back and forth. Sure hope he's practicing "yes" more than "no." :) This is also the time where this little super star’s head hair is starting to grow! Hmm...wonder what color it will be, and if it will be curls and waves like his sister or straight and fine. A cute little cowlick or two may be springing into position right now, getting ready for years of cute-but-stubborn bed-head.

His toenails have grown in and my little raisin continues to slowly pile up fat beneath his still-loose skin. Most importantly, brain tissue and neurons are all developing at a rapid pace, increasing his (genius-level?) brain activity and will continue to function at accelerated levels for the first seven to eight years of childhood! Amazing to think how fast and how much that little brain grows in those early years.

And now for some words from the wiggle-worm inside me:

That shrieking I mentioned last week continues, although I'm hearing more and more stern-sounding responses from Mommy when it happens. I sure hope that big sister doesn't make that loud noise when I'm outside this womb. My poor ears!

This past week, I picked up some other, very pleasant sounds. From what I can tell, it's singing, and it's so soothing. Of course, sometimes it's accompanied by some back and forth motion or other movement. I have to struggle between listening to the singing and being rocked to sleep. Sure hope that *does* continue when I'm on the outside. It sounds so nice.

A few days ago, a large warmth spread across my mommy's tummy. I think I heard her say it was my daddy. He must have really big hands to make that much area warm. Just to let him know I'm here, I gave him a few good kicks. He didn't seem to mind, though. In fact, he sounded really happy and he kept his hand there to feel some more. But I was tired, so I went to sleep. And I think that's what I'm going to do now. Bye for now.

Me again. The mama. :) That's it for now. Tune in each week for the latest. And if you want to receive an email each time I post an update, subscribe using the form over there at the top right.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me...some of you for the second time.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

January New Releases in Christian Fiction!

1. Alaska Weddings by Susan Page Davis -- A Romance from Barbour. In this three-novel collection, love has come looking for the Holland family of Alaska. But new challenges to their faith lie around every bend.

2. Banda Mission: Kidnapped in Ghana by Ruben Schwieger -- A Thriller from Warner Press. Coup leaders unexpectedly kidnap a missionary who, like the Apostle Paul, is able to share his faith with his jailors and others in unusual and dangerous situations.

3. Caroline's Choice; Haynes Famiiy Series, Book 3 by Martha Rogers -- A Historical from Realms (Strang Book Group). When God sends forgiveness to the hearts of His children, they learn the true meaning of love.

4. Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- A Historical from Bethany House. Edythe Amsel is ready for her first teaching assignment, but is Walnut Hill ready for her?

5. Digitalis; Discarded Heroes, Book 2 by Ronie Kendig -- A Thriller/Suspense from Barbour. Deep in heart of the Holy Land for a snatch-n-grab to save her father, Colton Neeley and Piper Blum must make the treacherous trek out of hostile territory before they’re caught.

6. Found in Translation by Roger Bruner & Kristi Rae Bruner -- A Young Adult from Barbour. God can do the humanly impossible through a thoughtless teen once she learns to be faithful, obedient, and forgiving.

7. Jewel of Persia by Roseanna White -- A Historical from White Fire Publishing. How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

8. Lily of the Field by Rose Zediker -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Marriage isn't on Caroline’s or Rodney’s minds...but their minds are not God's and He is busy taking care of the lilies of the field-and His children.

9. Missing by Lynette Eason -- A Suspense from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Her daughter is the most important person in Lacey Gibson's world. So when the girl disappears, Lacey will do anything to find her. Even track down a man she hasn't seen in sixteen years.

10. Night Prey by Sharon Dunn -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Romantic Suspense. Injured birds of prey, late night trespassers, and threatening note lead Jenna and her childhood friend Keith into more danger than could have imagined in the ranch country of Montana.

11. Rocky Mountain Hero by Audra Harders -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Can a single mother desperate to make ends meet find love with a rancher too busy to fall in love?

12. Sharp Shooters in Petticoasts by Mary Connealy -- A Romance from Barbour. You didn't think Sophie McClellen's daughter would grow up to be a quiet little thing, did you?

13. Softly and Tenderly; Songbird Series by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck -- A Romance from Thomas Nelson. Emily and David each come to terms with a past that follows them, testing their faith and resolve.

14. Tennessee Brides by Diane Ashley & Aaron McCarver -- A Romance from Barbour. Romance, adventures, and dangers--including the war with Britain, discrimination against the Cherokee, and organization of the Underground Railroad--lurk at the fringes of three Tennessee women's lives.

15. The Baby Promise by Carolyn Aarsen -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A soldier determined to fulfill a promise and a woman determined to forget.

16. The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy -- General Fiction from Kregel. Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.

17. Touched by Mercy by Tina Pinson -- A Historical from Desert Breeze. The west seems to hold all the answers to Samantha Northam's dreams, but is it far enough away to protect her from her nightmares?

18. Unexpected Love; Seasons of Redemption, Book 3 by Andrea Boeshaar -- A Historical from Realms (Strang Book Group). Nurse Lorenna Fields is drawn to a blind patient searching for his past. But as his memories return, will there be a place for her in his future?