Grace Filled Fiction Christmas Sweeps ~ 2019

 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…[KJV]

 

Five authors are promoting their novels/novellas … and they will give away a copy of their book to five winners from readers who leave comments. This is our authors’ Christmas gift to the winners. Click above, under the blog’s title, to leave a comment. Winners will be selected between December 26th and January 7. We will begin notifying winners after the second week in January.

ANNABELLE’S JOY by Betty Thomason Owens ~ When the rush of the holidays leaves us stressed, it’s nice to retreat to a happy place. Annabelle’s Joy is a respite from the hustle and bustle of present-day holiday prep. Take a ride back to small town 1957, a simpler time when folks spent their evenings sitting out on the porch, sipping sweet tea. Annabelle and her next-door neighbor, Tom Franklin, keep the town gossips busy trying to figure out whether they’re just good friends, or something a lot more interesting.   Website Purchase On Amazon

 

ACTS OF MALICE by Nike N. Chillemi ~ Lavender Raines and Mac ‘Mackey’ Mackenzie hardly know each other. They’re polar opposites. She’s ever the diplomat. He’s got a tough-guy guardian spirit. Each spends their holiday season filled with angst, a bit of humor, and bittersweet moments and memories. It won’t get better and it could get worse if greedy real estate moguls and the Deep State have their say. A classic Christmas murder mystery read with underlying national security themes. Website   Purchase On Amazon

 

 

COWBOYS, BILLIONAIRES, AND OTHER CHRISTMAS FANTASIES: A Christian Romance Collection by Suzanne D. Williams ~ Four exclusive Christmas romances to put you in the spirit of the season. Spend your daydreams with cowboy Mustang Holt, as he tries to find home again. Enjoy a sweet and funny trip to Mama’s with married couple, Karen and Carlton Mead, and their two teenagers. Spin a royal Christmas fantasy with coworkers, Laurie Gray and Skelley Black. But especially, don’t miss reclusive billionaire Cash McShane, and the double crossover story, Christmas Cash – only available in this set! Christmas is better with romance.   Website   Purchase On Amazon

 

CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS by Fay Lamb ~ How does an alligator fit into a Christmas romance? Well, Abercrombie is the mayor’s fiercest foe, the heroine’s best friend, and the hero … Abercrombie risks his life to save that man’s hide. It’s just Christmas in Mullet Harbor.   Website   Purchase On Amazon

 

Secret of Cliffs

THE SECRET IN THE CLIFFS by Kristin Tucker ~ The reason we celebrate Christmas is often lost in the commotion of gift buying, meal preparation and spending time with family.  Although these are all wonderful things, the hope is that  people will reflect on the fact that we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday.  The Secret in the Cliffs is an adventure/ mystery story that endeavors to prove that the Bible is not just a made-up story, but indeed based in historical fact.  Anyone who reads it will certainly be encouraged to find the proof for themselves, and for those who already believe, that it will strengthen their faith.

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Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight ~ on Authors’ Thanksgiving Thoughts

GFFS Thanksgiving

From all of us at Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight ~~ We love this time of year and want to wish you and yours a very happy and healthy and truly blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

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BETTY THOMASON OWENS

GFFS:  What are you thankful for? What would you like to remind yourself to be more thankful for?

Betty:  I’m most thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness, something I tend to take for granted, so that’s what I’d remind myself. I’m thankful for the gift of family.

GFFS:  Do you have a novel in which a character is the extremely thankful type, or one who struggles with thankfulness? Tell us a little about it and what is the title and character’s name.

Betty:  In my Kinsman Redeemer series, Annabelle Cross clings to faith, even through great loss. Having a thankful heart and nature sustained her and brought her back to a season of joy in the final book, ANNABELLE’S JOY.

GFFS:  What is your favorite food on Thanksgiving a) to cook for Thanksgiving dinner at home or to bring to family/friend’s table, b) to eat?

Betty:  It’s the turkey! I love watching as it roasts to a beautiful golden brown, filling the house with its aroma. Is anyone else hungry? My favorite food to bring is pumpkin pie, which is also my favorite to eat.

GFFS:  What do you think of Black Friday?

Betty:  I tend to avoid Black Friday. I’m allergic to crowds. I do occasionally venture out, but only if someone makes me.

Betty’s Website:                                             Betty’s Amazon Author Page

BS Moi Fall

Nike N. Chillemi

GFFS:  What are you thankful for? What would you like to remind yourself to be more thankful for?

Nike:  My spiritual relationship with God, my happy relocated life in northeastern Florida, and my writing. I should be more grateful for each of those. Sometimes I carp.

GFFS:  Do you have a novel in which a character is the extremely thankful type, or one who struggles with thankfulness? Tell us a little about it and what is the title and character’s name.

Nike:  In BLOOD SPEAKS, Bertha Dagney is spiritual mom to heroine PI Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels. Bertha walks the walk. Even when framed for murder she praises God.

GFFS:  What is your favorite food on Thanksgiving a) to cook for Thanksgiving dinner at home or to bring to family/friend’s table, b) to eat?

Nike: My fav food to cook is the Turkey. Years ago, I got a recipe in Cooking Light Magazine to baste the bird with a mixture of apple sauce and maple syrup. I got raves at the table. My fav to eat is slightly warm pecan pie with whipped cream.

GFFS:  What do you think of Black Friday?

Nike: I intensely dislike what is now called Black Friday. For me the entire Thanksgiving Day weekend should be spent with family and friends…or a good book.

Nike’s Blog                                                        Nike’s Amazon Author Page

Suzanne Split

Suzanne D. Williams

GFFS:  What are you thankful for? What would you like to remind yourself to be more thankful for?

Suzanne:  I am thankful every time I walk out the door and don’t fall apart. Not too long ago, fear crippled me, and I never left home. God has set me free. I cannot be thankful enough for life.

GFFS:  Do you have a novel in which a character is the extremely thankful type, or one who struggles with thankfulness? Tell us a little about it and what is the title and character’s name.

Suzanne:  I had to think on this. I have so many characters. The first character to come to mind was Grace in Book 3 of the Florida Irish series, FAITH & FORGIVENESS. Grace suffers from panic attacks like I did and searches in herself for the courage to be normal. Her thankfulness comes in seeing herself through Nick Sawyer’s eyes. It’s a precious story that has always meant a lot to me.

GFFS:  What is your favorite food on Thanksgiving a) to cook for Thanksgiving dinner at home or to bring to family/friend’s table, b) to eat?

Suzanne:  Definitely my grandmother’s dressing. She taught me how to make it and once told me it was just like hers. I miss her tons. Making it each year connects me to her and tons of good memories.

GFFS:  What do you think of Black Friday?

Suzanne:  It’s not my thing. I don’t like crowds. I’d much rather internet shop.

 Suzanne’s Website                                  Suzanne’s Amazon Author Page

Traci 2
Tracy Ruckman

GFFS:  What are you thankful for? What would you like to remind yourself to be more thankful for?

Tracy:  Most thankful for our road trip this year – 25,000 miles, 189 days of tent camping our way around the US. Nothing like I envisioned, ending sooner than expected, and more challenging than I ever imagined it could be, but we did it! At our ages, 56 and 72, that seems almost a miracle.

GFFS:  What is your favorite food on Thanksgiving a) to cook for Thanksgiving dinner at home or to bring to family/friend’s table, b) to eat?

Tracy:  I love my homemade cornbread dressing and homemade cranberry sauce. My older son usually hosts Thanksgiving, and for the past several years, my tradition is to bring some unique appetizer and/or dessert that we’ve never had before.

GFFS:  What do you think of Black Friday?

Tracy:  Normally we avoid the frenzy, but one year, we joined my grown kids at midnight to shop different stores, then we went to Waffle House for breakfast. A one-time event, but we had a blast.

GFFS: Tracy writes inspirational and devotional books, such as CHRISTMAS MIRACLES.

Tracy’s Blog                                                      Tracy’s Amazon Author Page
Kristin Split
Kristin Tucker

GFFS: What are you thankful for? What would you like to remind yourself to be more thankful for?

Kristin:  I am most thankful for God’s unfailing love and my family. I would like to remember more often to be grateful for all of the little blessings God has given me.

GFFS:  Do you have a novel in which a character is the extremely thankful type, or one who struggles with thankfulness? Tell us a little about it and what is the title and character’s name?

Kristin:  In my novel, “The Secret in the Cliffs”, the main character, Kyle has a best friend named Kaitlin that he is very grateful for.  She is the kind of friend that is there for him even in the most difficult situations.

GFFS:  What is your favorite food on Thanksgiving a) to cook for Thanksgiving dinner at home or to bring to family/friend’s table, b) to eat?

Kristin:  It is difficult for me to pick one favorite Thanksgiving dish. Without fail, every Thanksgiving I load my plate up with green bean casserole and stuffing and am happy as a clam!

GFFS:  What do you think of Black Friday?

Kristin:  I think that people who brave the crowds on Black Friday are very brave!!  I tried Black Friday shopping once but it wasn’t for me.  I find that I like to spread my shopping out throughout the year.

Kristin’s Webpage                                         Kristin’s Amazon Author Page

Thanksgiving Basket Veggies

Suzanne D. Williams ~ Grace Filled Fiction Author Spotlight, Fall 2019

Suzanne D. Williams

Author-Author: Romance, Westerns, Devotionals

 

Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight is thrilled to showcase one of our favorite authors who is a wonderful writer and a wonderful person…Suzanne D. Williams. We’d like to get to know a little more about her.

GFFS:  Grace is an important concept to Grace Filled Christian Fiction as a Christian writers organization and a theme that runs through everything we do. How has grace been important in your life and what does it mean to you?

Suzanne:  When I was at the bottom of life, too afraid to leave home, though I didn’t fully understand God’s grace, looking back, I was the least deserving of it and in no mental shape to earn my freedom. But then, that is the grace of God, that He loved me enough to show me the way out, one step at a time, one day at a time. And to give me the gift of writing to express myself and share what God wants to do for others, whether in fiction or nonfiction format. I write what God gives me, humbled that He uses me at all.

Cowboys, Billionaires, Xmas

GFFS: What is your latest release and what would you like us to know about  it?

Suzanne:  I have 2 books this fall and Christmas season. A compilation set, COWBOYS, BILLIONAIRES, and OTHER CHRISTMAS FANTASIES  and a book release on October 15th entitled, GRAVEROBBER (The Reserrectionists, Book 1). The first is a set of 4 exclusive Christmas-themed stories, which includes a double crossover to two of my billionaire series. This is a story I have wanted to write for quite sometime.

GFFS:  What will you be doing next, either in writing or in life?

Suzanne:  I am writing Book 2 of a western series and a top-secret novel to be released next year.

GFFS:  Looking back at books you’ve loved by other Christian authors, tell us about one.

Suzanne: LIGHT OF MY HEART (Silver Hills Trilogy Book #1) by Ginny Aiken  ~~  This is a beautiful book. The description and turn of phrase put me in mind of Jane Austin’s novels, although set in the Midwest. I could see Hartville and felt myself pulled back in time with each page. Dr. Morgan was a delightful spunky character with a great heart for others. Eric, the newspaperman, made for a stubborn, handsome contrast. I can’t recall a male character with a mustache that I enjoyed reading about quite so much. There was also a wonderful array of sub-characters, each one unique and perfectly painted, especially the Patterson children. There were a few instances of head-hopping and a couple times that I got lost in the action sequences, but in general, the plot flowed well and kept my interest, introducing enough new elements as it went along that I wanted to turn the page. The story was clean with a nice attraction in the romance. A couple should show some physical desire, or the book grows stale. That said, there’s no sexual content and no cursing. The Christian message was very clear and, in my opinion, needed in the church. Many would turn their noses up instead of helping those less fortunate. But Jesus consorted with sinners far more than saints. I did feel Eric did a bit too much self-impalement. Overall, a really beautiful book that I enjoyed. I recommend it to adults or teens who read Christian fiction. I’d love to read book two.

graverobber

Red Bow

Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight ~ Best of 2018

Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight badge, yr

This year the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight, formerly the Grace Awards, is embarking on an exciting new adventure. Our stellar crew of judges from Grace Awards days, and active  Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight Facebook group members will rotate as they choose Christian novels/novellas that they love as their picks for “best of.” This is not so much about competition as it is about LOVE, passionately loving wonderful Christian fiction.

Romance:

Loving Brock by Joan Deneve [Write Integrity Press]

Loving Brock

LOVING BROCK is like no other romance I’ve read. Several months have gone by since I’ve read it, and I still think about these characters. First, this story is, for the most part, set on a mission in Africa. That in itself stirs up a sense of adventure and expectation.

Second, I love that the author was brave enough to make her hero and heroine older, not the 20- or 30-something of so many romances. Not that I’m opposed to the younger set, but a life of mistakes brings about a deeper wisdom. Dr. Brock Whitfield exudes that wisdom, but his internal thoughts relay the regret and humility of his character. His nurse, Joy Stockman, doesn’t have the regret, but she possesses deep compassion and reflects her own name through all sorts of trials. Their work together builds into a deep affection that makes the perfect combination for a love story.

I won’t give spoilers, but unexpected family issues cause them to take a step back at the worst possible time! God said WAIT in obvious terms, but Brock didn’t expect Him to bring the perfect person into his life and then ask Brock to give her up.

This is a heartwarming story that sent me to tears many times over. That’s not always such a hard task when I’m reading, but I will say this story ranks in the top five of my all-time favorite romance books. Right up there with PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!

Reviewer: Margi Lane ~ Life-long Texan, Marji, writes what she loves to read – romance, mystery, suspense: Faith Driven Fiction. ~ She is a multi-published author and Grace Awards 2017 Finalist. MarjiLaine.com

Note: Marji Laine is the editor of this novel. We at Grace Filled didn’t realize that at the time this blog article went live, and Marji was so excited about this novel she didn’t stop to think that as the editor, it might be a conflict. So we want to inform you of this. We know Joan’s work and we know she’s a marvelous writer and stand by this review.

Action-Adventure/Romantic Suspense/Military:

Last Chance by V. B. Tenery [Amazon Digital Services LLC ]

Last Chance

I’m a lover of military, action-adventure, spy novels, or any story with a national security bent. In this vein, author V.B. Tenery is a master of military protocol and lingo. In an opening scene of LAST CHANCE, her description of a military aircraft made me feel as if I were aboard, flying over war torn Afghanistan.

Main Character Chance Crawford who works for the CIA, but is a former special ops, Marine Recon soldier, has been ordered back to the Hindu Kush Mountains to bring in a terrorist who wants to defect. This scenario alone ups the suspense ante. On the first night of the mission, Chance finds a little girl who is trying to stay alive and care for her toddler brother. Their Christian village has been wiped out by terrorist fighters. Chance makes the decision to save the children, jeopardizing the mission. I won’t give any spoilers telling how the mission unfolds. Needless to say, it’s hair raising.

Then the author author brings Chance and the children home and seamlessly slips into the romance part of the novel when Chance meets pregnant Serenity Campbell, a missionary whose husband was recently murdered. He hires her an a nanny for the children and the romance begins very slowly as two very different people from opposite backgrounds discover each other over time.

Reviewer: Nike N. Chillemi ~ Writing cozy thrillers and suspense with sass. ~ She is a multi-published author, Chair and Founder of Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight. https://nikechillemi.blog/

Historical Romance/Small Town and Rural:

Sons of Blackbird Mountain (A Blackbird Mountain Novel) by Joanne Bischof [Thomas Nelson]

 

Sons of Blackbird Mnt

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Joanne Bischof’s SONS OF BLACKBIRD MOUNTAIN, a story of a young Irish woman finding a new home with three Norwegian brothers in the wilds of Appalachia. It’s a perfectly plotted and beautifully written story. The hero may be the best ever, the love story the most tender, and the realism rich. The characters have back-story that unfolds so intricately, we are left feeling that we want to live there on the top of a mountain with these people. By the way, the new sequel, DAUGHTER OF NORTHERN SHORES, is just as satisfying. I keep wishing both books combined would be made into a movie.

Somehow, if you missed this wonderful read last year, or if it got buried in your TBR pile, get it out and read it now to salvage a long, cold winter.

Reviewer: Naomi Musch ~ Naomi’s newest novel, MIST O’er THE VOYAGEUR, an historical romance, is a current Selah Awards Finalist. ~ She is a multi-published author and is a Co-Chair of the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight.  NaomiMusch.com 

Western/Historical Romance

Stronger Than Mountains (Sangre de Cristo Book 2) by Lynn Dean [Wordsworth Publishing]

Stronger Than Mountains

Lynn Dean’s STRONGER THAN MOUNTAINS is a Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award winner for inspirational western fiction and a Touched by Love winner for historical romance. It’s a raw and honest story of a couple whose years of marriage and struggle to raise a passel of children in a hard but beautiful land has run them dry. Zeke and Millie are trying to make sense of their lives and the love that once bound them against an increasing mountain of hardships—from floods and food shortage to a desperate cattle drive, a daughter who is growing fast, and three restless boys who are each trying to make the sometimes-risky leap across the chasm to manhood. This story is full of depth and authenticity, and you won’t soon forget it.

If you missed this fabulous reads last year, or if it somehow got buried in your TBR pile, get it out and read it now to salvage a long, cold winter.

Reviewer: Naomi Musch ~ Naomi’s newest novel, Mist O’er the Voageur, an historical romance, is a current Selah Awards Finalist. ~ She is a multi-published author and is a Co-Chair of the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight.  NaomiMusch.com 

Romance/Contemporary Literature

LOVE AND ROSES by Sally Bayless [Kimberlin Belle Publishing]

Love and Roses

In 2018 I read a number of very good books but in the romance category, LOVE AND ROSES by Sally Bayless shines. Sally has a wonderful writing voice, drawing the reader into each character’s life and making you care about them. And not just the main characters – even the secondary ones.

In LOVE AND ROSES there are two romance threads. First is Abby Kincaid, a young widow raising her little girl alone yet with lots of loving family and friends to lean on. They all think it’s time she moves on, fall in love again.

Along comes Nate Redmond, formerly from  Manhattan. He’s escaping the past, hoping to make a better future. Right away he seems to fit into Abundance, his new hometown. Meeting Abby and her adorable daughter cements his desire to stay. Until the past rears its ugly head.

Meanwhile, Nate’s cousin Frankie has moved back to Abundance in an effort to get her life together. She’s also a single mom with a little girl. But things aren’t easy for Frankie, especially when her ex-husband’s old friend Cooper gets involved.

Abby, Nate, Frankie and Cooper are all entwined in the conflict over historic Rose Park. The town wants to sell the land and make a new park. Abby wants the park to stay because it’s part of her late-husband’s family legacy. Frankie likes the amenities the new park can offer her physically challenged daughter. Cooper needs the sale of the old park to prove his business savvy to his father. And Nate is caught in the middle, trying to help the town and make Abby happy.

So much conflict and seemingly insurmountable obstacles face all the characters. If they’ll each trust in the Lord rather than themselves it just might work out.

Reviewer: Tammy Doherty ~ Tammy Doherty writes Inspirational/Christian fiction with an Celtic/Western twist. She lives in central New England with her husband and two kids. ~ She is a multi-published author and is a Co-Chair of the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight. http://tammydoherty.com

Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight badge, yr

All winners of the “Best of” Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight will receive the above badge which they are entitled to use in publicizing their novels or in an editorial manner.

*****

 

Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight will host another ‘Best of Spotlight’ in the Fall of 2019. This one will feature “best fiction from your Back List.” ~ That novel you finally got to read from your TBR (to be read) list, or a novel you read in the last three years that knocked your socks off.

If you are an author, or are engaged in the world of Christian fiction in some other capacity and would like to write a review of a book that goes back no more than three (3) years, we’d love to have you. However, you must be a current active member of the Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight Facebook group, a Grace Filled Fiction Spotlight winner, or a former judge, winner, and/or finalist in the former Grace Awards. We will announce the need for reviewers for the fall Back List Spotlight in the Facebook group.

 

Grace Filled Summer Book Sweeps 2018

GA Summer Book Sweeps 4

29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. ~ Luke 21: 29-30 [KJV]

We are entering an exciting and happy time of year. Summer…a time for fun, relaxing, going barefoot, hanging out with family and friends around the grill.  It’s the perfect time for the Grace Filled Summer Sweeps 2018. And summer reading has never been this much fun with eight stellar authors and their exciting and insightful books. This is a sweepstakes. So, each author will give away a copy of her book according to the most interesting, clever comment.  In your comment, please let us know which book you’re dying to read, and also your second choice. This way we’ll be sure to give everyone a book that’s to their reading taste. Winners will be selected August 31st.

Heart Not Taken

HEART NOT TAKEN by Naomi Musch (Black Lyon Publishing) ~ How about a relaxing cabin on a river and a summer romance? HEART NOT TAKEN carries you there. High school English teacher Sean Heart has almost let his faith slip away. Haunted by a lapse in judgment as well as his mentor’s betrayal, doubt has set in. He wants nothing more than to bury the past and leave it there, especially when he meets Jordyn Delaney. A beautiful, talented landscaper, Jordyn has been hired by Sean’s mother to improve the property around the family vacation cabin where Sean lives. With no siblings of her own and her parents talking of divorce, Jordyn is intrigued by the dynamics of Sean’s large family almost as much as she’s charmed by the man himself. But when Sean’s past shows up with a spade, Jordyn discovers that a renovation of the heart and spirit might be the most complicated job of all. Purchase HEART NOT TAKEN on Amazon. Naomi Musch’s website.

Three Strand Cord

THREE STRAND CHORD by Tracy Krauss (Fictitious Ink Publishing) ~ Like the ladies on the cover of THREE STRAND CORD, why not relax on the beach this summer with a good book? THREE STRAND CORD is the first in a series about three friends: Tempest, Stella, and Cherise. Friends since childhood, their loyalty is tested to the limits as a simple ‘fib’ leads to a web of deceit that lands one of them in serious trouble. Drug rings, a love triangle, mistaken identity, and even murder are all part of the mix as they learn that a “three strand cord is not easily broken.” Purchase THREE STRAND CHORD on Amazon. Tracy Krauss/website

That Special One

THAT SPECIAL ONE by Nike N. Chillemi (Crime Fictionista Press) ~ Summer is the time when entering college freshmen think about what life will be like on campus in the fall. It’s such a terrific time for students who are mystery buffs to read a complexly textured New Adult-romantic suspense novel with scheming, a heinous betrayal, family drama, college dating, many twists and turns, and a touch of faith.  Purchase THAT SPECIAL ONE on AmazonNike N. Chillemi’s blog

One Step Back

ONE STEP BACK by Luana Ehrlich (Potter’s Word Publishing) ~ Can’t get away for an exotic vacation this summer? Zero funds for a summer vacation? Enjoy a fun summer read with an exotic location instead. In this espionage thriller, Titus goes on the run from the secret police after trying to recruit a nuclear scientist in Iran. CIA intelligence officer Titus Ray has been in Iran recruiting assets willing to feed him intel on the Iranian opposition. When he unexpectedly meets Amir Madani, one of Iran’s premier nuclear scientist, he can’t resist the opportunity to pursue him as a CIA asset. Although Chaman, a beautiful Iranian socialite, warns Titus to stay away from Madani, he ignores her advice and befriends the nuclear scientist. The consequences prove disastrous for Titus, and, as the secret police close in on him, he’s forced to find shelter with a group of Iranian Christians, who risk their own lives to save his.  Purchase ONE STEP BACK on AmazonLuana Ehrlich’s website

Patchwork

PATCHWORK by Sadie and Sophie Cuffe (   ) ~ A northern lake, a general store, a quaint community – nothing says summer like a back-to-nature vacation. But this summertime, the living ain’t easy. Heather’s love life unraveled. Now she’s holding on by a single thread – the memory of her great-uncle’s place by Crystal Lake. She returns, hoping the relatives who once mended the heart of a lonely five-year-old will open their arms to a desperate young woman. The only catch — this time she’s pregnant. Heather’s content to duck any decisions for the summer, but Kevin, the accident-prone pastor, has other ideas. Sparks fly and hearts break when the local tabloid, The Splinters, makes their private relationship public gossip. Will Heather leave to protect Kevin’s reputation? Will the young pastor turn his back on the woman he loves to keep his position? Who will patch up their tattered lives? A fun, fast read. Bring the lake to you this summer.  Purchase PATCHWORK on AmazonSadie and Sophie Cuffe’s Facebook Page

Julianne

JULIANNE by Rebekah Lyn (RL Publishing) ~ Looking for something in the contemporary fiction vein this summer, about romance and finding yourself?  Julianne graduated college confident a successful career awaited her. However, her resume is rejected over and over, forcing her to take a series of dead end jobs to pay rent. With her self-esteem at an all time low, she calls in sick to work and meets a stranger who could turn her world upside down. Will her battered spirit have the courage to the seize opportunity?  Purchase JULIANNE on Amazon.  Rebekah Lyn’s websitete

Toby's Troubles

TOBY’S TROUBLES by Carole Brown (Story and Logic Media Group) ~ Summer is almost here, and Toby Gibson is up to his ears in an abundance of trouble. Between his business, Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectables and junk, directing the local plays in Appleton and looking for the “ghost” haunting the shop—or is it an intruder? Toby’s not sure if he’ll even have time to enjoy the season. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy Sanderson is not only bidding for the property he’s wanted forever, but is in love with him. And he’s not interested. But she can be just as stubborn as the man who’s determined to ignore her love. In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he’ll stop at nothing. Purchase TOBY’S TROUBLES on AmazonCarole Browne’s blog

She's Mine

SHE’S MINE by Tammy Doherty (Tammy Doherty) ~ This summer is going to be explosive for Caitlin Harrington and Sean Taggart. Caitlin dreams of a quiet life teaching math at her hometown middle school. Except someone is leaving ominous notes on her door.  It could be her ex-boyfriend or someone else who doesn’t want her back in town. Sean Taggart thinks Caitlin is beautiful…and possibly crazy. When he finds out the truth, Sean wants to help. Can he save Caitlin before the stalker turns to murder? SHE’S MINE  is a wonderful Christian romance with mystery and suspense to make it more interesting. A perfect beach read or for anywhere you vacation this summer! Purchase SHE’S Mine on AmazonTammy Doherty’s website

Note: If you’d like to win a free copy of one of these novels make sure you write an interesting, cute, topical comment. Also, tell us which book you’d like to receive…and give a 2nd, choice. We’ll try our best to accommodate you. Winners will be selected August 31.

 

Grace Awards 2017 Winners ~ in Faith Based Fiction

GA Winner Badge 2017

The Grace Awards, a reader driven awards and the most democratic awards in Christian fiction, now in its eighth year, is very proud to announce its 2017 WINNERS. This year we had an array of widely diverse judges. They are multi-published authors, traditionally published ones, indie authors, and avid readers. Our judges commented on how exciting it was to select a winner from finalists selected by readers who are fans. Several judging teams ‘complained’ they had trouble picking a winner because all three stories nominated were so good. That’s what the Grace Awards is all about.

We’ve tried to use, if you will, a separation of powers in choosing our winners. Readers nominated (via email) the finalists in six categories. After the nominations were counted, finaling titles were given to our judging teams. From that point on there was no contact between the judging teams and the Chair of the Board, except for administrative issues. The teams independently picked winners. Each step in the process was removed and separated from the next step, to insure impartiality.

We are thrilled that our winners showcase self-published works as well as titles from  publishing houses, ebooks as well as paperbacks. Our aim is to be an egalitarian award, and we believe we’ve accomplished this.

The winners are…

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: serious women’s or men’s issues, can have humor and suspense element

The Austin Escape

THE AUSTEN ESCAPE by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson) ~ The title is apt. This novel is just that: an escape. Ms. Reay masterfully takes the reader into two different eras—no this is not a time travel novel—while at the same time treating you to tidbits about Jane Austen’s classics. Once you fall into the many layers of the life of Mary, you will not want to leave her world—or is it worlds—behind. Ms. Reay is clearly a scholar of Austen works, and Ms. Reay’s story merges the Austen style with this author’s magnificent talent for writing contemporary fiction.

 

Romance/Historical Romance: primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then

Magnolia Storms

MAGNOLIA STORMS by Janet Ferguson (Southern Sun Press) ~ This novel  drew us in to the deep south with its rich sense of place, culture, and family. We liked how the author wove elements of an approaching storm into the story. In the beginning, we were introduced to a blended family, held together by love and respect, rather than intermarriage. The characters are well written and interesting, the romance elements strong. Relationships are mostly well explored. Past and present combine and intermingle as a monster storm takes aim at the Mississippi coastal regions, stirring unwanted memories of Katrina. The well-told story combines elements of single-parenting, and families working together for a common goal. The spiritual content is organic and woven throughout, it never seemed contrived. The drama of the approaching storm, endangering lives and livelihoods, and the promise of a rekindled love kept us turning pages until the end.

 

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller: crime fiction, there’s probably a body

The House on Foster Hill

THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL by Jaime Jo Wright is a story told in two timelines, with parallels between the protagonists of each time. In the present, Kaine Prescott refuses to accept that her husband’s death is anything less than murder. Since his death, someone has been playing tricks on her, tricks the police dismiss as the distraught mind of a grieving widow. In desperation, Kaine buys a “fixer-upper” sight unseen, half a country away. When she arrives, the house is more than a fixer-upper – it needs loads of work. To make matters worse, it seems her tormentor has followed her. Kaine has two new friends to help her, both with the house and the mystery of who is tormenting her. A century earlier, Ivy  Thorpe has her own mystery to unravel involving a murdered unknown woman and her vanished baby. Both Kaine and Ivy discover that the house on Foster Hill plays an important part in the mysteries. This novel captivated the judges from the beginning. The parallel stories of Kaine and Ivy are well-paced in presentation, keeping the tension just taut enough to ensure the reader must keep turning the pages. The secondary characters are great support for each timeline. As the end draws closer so too the main characters seem to draw closer. The conclusion of each timeline’s mystery is handled perfectly. This novel delivered in spades!

 

Speculative Fiction: science fiction, horror, fantasy, etc.

The Revisionary

THE REVISIONARY by Kristen Hogrefe (Write Integrity Press) ~ This dystopian novel was engaging and well-paced, reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, with a more modern vibe similar to The Hunger Games. The author uses deep point of view in a first person present style, in keeping with current tastes in fiction. The story never stagnates but keeps moving and surprising all the way through. The plot follows young Portia Abernathy who has clung to the belief that if she excels enough to get drafted into an upper-level educational system, she can change the laws that keep her brother in prison. Her meager existence with her father in a world without electricity or most basic creature comforts is a struggle, but she has learned how to survive and hopes to beat the system at its own game. Portia is shocked when she learns the system is not only stacked against her, but that there are those targeting her for failure. In the midst of the chaos, she finds surprising friends and allies. This volume is the first in a post-apocalyptic series called The Rogues and deservedly takes first place.

 

Action Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction: exploits, quest, expansive

These Healing Hills

THESE HEALING HILLS by Ann H. Gabhart (Revell) ~ When settling into the post WWII story of Francine Howard’s journey to the Appalachian Mountains to learn midwifery and help “catch babies.” One is almost immediately reminded of the classic tale of Christy. The settings, period authenticity, and characterization are very similar. The heroine’s focused, kind, and professional care for all the mountain residents despite differences and sometimes superstitious notions, and her growing love for the mountain makes for a wonderful story. All the judges felt they learned something more about an aspect of history: the Frontier Nursing Service. Most of the characters were vivid and lovable. The male protagonist was multi-dimensional and easy to become charmed by. Ms. Gabhart captures the “mountain speak” of the period without being over the top with her characters, and she has some beautiful dialogue as well as lines of description that sang off the page. We liked that the sense of mountain community is revealed little by little in an engaging way that allows the reader to grow attached to the people, just as the protagonist Francine did. The spiritual aspect in the story of learning to trust God in all circumstances is a common Christian fiction theme, which Ms. Gabhart weaves nicely into the tale so that it isn’t awkward, while the romance aspect of the story was gradual and gentle, and did not overwhelm the other aspects of the story. We would also like to give our compliments on the seamless editing of the book.

 

Young Adult: includes YA, NA, and middle grade

A Trail of Crumbs

A TRAIL OF CRUMBS by Susie Finkbeiner (Kregel Publications) ~This is a well written, original novel. There are so many positives about this book! The story was realistic and touching. There was some sadness and some very serious moments, but those were balanced out with humorous moments that made the reader smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Pearl dreaming about Momma leaving her baby was a very powerful scene. The message of God and His love was expertly woven throughout the story and was a real part of Pearl’s life. It was not preachy and yet the label Christian wasn’t just tacked on. 

 

February Author Spotlight ~ Angela D. Meyer

“Mawwaige, it’s what brings us together…”

Who doesn’t laugh at all the wonderful lines from The Princess Bride? A grandfather who loves his grandson shares a story about a girl, a farm boy and true love told in the setting of corrupt governments, pirates, kidnapping, a revenge seeking Spaniard, brute squads, torture and sword fights.

Even more so, God loves us enough to share His story told in the setting of family dynasties, slavery, war, conquering warriors and kings, giants, jealousy inspired plots in the castle, virgin births, miracles, and the resurrected Messiah. He loves us enough to invite us into that story and then to ask us to share it with others.

Ultimately, as Christian authors, I believe that’s what we seek to do. We share His story one piece at a time. We weave small glimpses into the character and love of God into the fabric of the stories we tell through our books.  We invite people deeper into His love.

February, with the mood of love all around us, is a good time to remember that God’s love is greater than the love we can have for one another. Sharing this story of His love is the greatest reason we as Christian authors write. And it can be the greatest motivator to put ink onto paper.

The desire to share God’s love through story motivates me through the struggle to return to regular writing. In 2013, my debut novel WHERE HOPE STARTS, a Grace Awards finalist, released. In 2016, after the sequel, WHERE HEALING STARTS, released, I found myself in need of rest and my family in need of attention. I took a sabbatical which encompassed most of 2017.

I know there is more to tell of the Applewood Hill series. A story of family broken by the past in need of God’s healing through His love. Book 3 in the series, WHERE JOY STARTS is now close to half-way written. I write in between family, homeschool, church and friends, determined to weave more of God’s story into the fabric of life at Applewood Hill. And along the way, show readers how very much God loves each one of us.

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