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And The Grace Awards 2017 Finalists are…

Grace Awards

The Grace Awards 2017 is now into its eight year. This year, the number of reader nominations kept pouring in and we were eager to count them. We had a record number of novels nominated. Works from major publishers, small publisher, and independent author were nominated.

Grace Awards is a reader driven literary awards. We are “the little engine that could” of Christian fiction awards.

According to the rules, every novel had to have been accompanied by at least a 45+ word statement telling why the story was nominated…a sort of mini-review or critique. This year the reasons given were astute and outstanding. There is no doubt that today’s Christian reader is both intelligent and perceptive.

And now…the finalists in six categories are…

WOMEN’S FICTION/GENERAL FICTION: (serious women’s/men’s, societal issues, can have humor and suspense elements)

GRACE IN STRANGE DISGUISE by Christine Dillon (Amazon Digital Services) ~ Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her. But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when he doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small?

WHERE THE SKY MEETS THE SAND by Chris Loehmer Kincaid (Ambassador International) ~ The story of Jenny Neumeyer and Ole, a homeless boy she befriends while she and her husband are on vacation in Kenya. As she comes to terms with a secret in her past, two missionaries to Africa discover discover Ole and are determined to lead him home. Along the way, they realize that the boy is not the only one who is lost.

THE AUSTEN ESCAPE by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson) ~ Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life.  When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees. Then Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath.

ROMANCE/HISTORICAL ROMANCE: (primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then)

MAGNOLIA STORMS by Janet Ferguson (Southern Sun Press) ~ Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

HOLD THE LIGHT by April McGowan (WhiteFire Publishing) ~ Amber spent her life adapting—first to being abandoned by her birth mother as a toddler, and then to the death of her adoptive father in her teen years. Now she’s moved past all that, loving life as an independent woman: she has a job as an art instructor and the perfect apartment. But when a routine eye appointment reveals she’s losing her sight, life comes to a halt. Even after her blindness counselor, Ethan, befriends her and opens her eyes to new opportunities and the possibility of a deeper relationship.

FINDING JOY by Melanie D. Snitker (Dallionz Media) ~ A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. The beautiful new employee his mom hires is the last thing he needs and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers. Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. She may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than her handsome employer’s efforts at forcing her to leave. Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they might find joy beyond measure.

MYSTERY/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/THRILLER: (crime fiction, probably a body)

MIDSUMMER MADNESS by Barbara E. Brink (Barbara Ellen Brink) ~ When Blake and Shelby Gunner are hired to find a stolen fishing boat, they never expect it will turn into a murder investigation. But after Jack’s dog, Arthur, discovers a stranger’s body in the water not far from the bed & breakfast, the Gunners are pulled in to solve the case. Discovering the man’s identity and why he was in town leads to a murky past with connections to a number of upstanding Port Scuttlebutt citizens. Can Blake and Shelby stop a killer before someone else is pulled beneath the waves of madness?

ANDER’S REDEMPTION by Mary Vee (CreateSpace) ~ A young man with a brain injury but who can do amazing things with dessert is offered a job as a pastry chef in a prestigious restaurant in a village and it comes with an apartment.The longer he stays the more Brice begins to think something is going on. Can Brice figure out the village’s secret before Christmas?

THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL by Jaime Jo Wright (Bethany House Publishers) ~ Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. 

SPECULATIVE FICTION: (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.)

WINTER QUEEN by Erica Marie Hogan (Elk Lake Publishing) ~ She will bring a storm like none they’ve ever seen … and change the world forever. Five years ago, Roderick Kael murdered King Vihaan Sundragon, claiming the throne of Sunkai and all of Nfaros for himself. Five years ago, the Princesses Adlae, Mirae, and Brae were forced to give up everything they’ve ever known. Five years since the Creator of All allowed winter’s snow to fall. But now the wind stirs with a familiar chill. Winter is coming down from the Ice Mountains, brought by the only one who can wield the storm. The Winter Queen herself.

THE REVISIONARY by Kristen Hogrefe (Write Integrity Press) ~ Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy plans to earn a Dome seat and rewrite the Codex rules to rescue her exiled brother. Her journey demands answers from the past civilization, but uncovering the truth means breaking the rules she set out to rewrite. This dystopian story opens in Cube 1519, a ghetto where the only use for obsolete cell phones is to throw them like rocks at mongrels. Portia and her father survive like many other citizens, with no electricity or technology and no expectation for a better life.

WHITE WOLF AND THE ASH PRINCESS by Tammy Lash (Amazon Digital Services)  ~ Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Jonathan Gudwyne rescued her and took Izzy in, but who did she belong to before? Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall to a world that promises possible answers, but also great danger. A scorched castle in the woods and a mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World, where she will not only have to face her own terror but face the people responsible for her scars.

ACTION-ADVENTURE/WESTERN/EPIC FICTION: (exploits, quest, daring, expansive)

THE HEALING HILLS by Ann H. Gabhart (Revell) ~ Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the WWII soldier she planned to marry tells her he’s in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service. Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

THE RELIANT by Dr. Patrick Johnston (Ambassador International) ~ When the dollar collapses, widespread rioting and looting threaten the peace of a family in Zanesville, Ohio. Eight children tragically lose their parents in the chaos. The oldest, 19-year-old lovesick Sophie, is forced to care for her defenseless and hungry siblings in a stretch of woods surrounded by lawless anarchy. Their father has been killed, and their mother and Adam, Sophie’s fiancé, have gone missing. Running out of food and facing threats from encroaching marauders, they are tempted to doubt God’s love. 

AGAINST THE ODDS by V.B. Tenery and David Arp (CBC Publishing) ~ It was the mother of all bad days.The date, September 11,  2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya. While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. Caught between terrorist and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or tAhe cavalry arrives. Never assume things can’t get worse.

YOUNG ADULT: (including Middle Grade and New Adult)

KNEE-HIGH LIES by Dawn Ford (Splickety Publishing Group) ~ What happens when the lies you tell grow so high you can’t see the truth? To the outside world Avery Denton’s life looks happy, normal even. But it isn’t. Not even close. She believes nothing can make it worse. When her mother skips town with their banker, the small-town gossips focus on her. Jaxson Stewart, Avery’s neighbor and friend, has had a crush on her for years. She makes his heart race, which is dangerous for a boy with a heart condition. Unlike their community, he refuses to hold her mother’s actions against her.

A TRAIL OF CRUMBS by Susie Finkbeiner (Kregel Publications) ~ Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. Then a devastating tragedy throws the whole family into a tailspin–and signals the beginning of the end of her secure life. Now the Spences are fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland for an unknown life in Depression-era Michigan. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Will any trail of crumbs be powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

MISSION OF A LIFETIME by Priscilla J. Krahn (Ambassador International) ~ A missing airplane . . . Hostile tribes . . . Mysterious kidnappings . . .Responsibility falls upon twenty-one-year-old William Rodriguez when his missionary parents disappear in the hostile jungles of Columbia. Willie knows that he has to go find them, but what will it cost him? When Willie finds himself in the midst of a drug smuggling ring, difficult decisions are thrust upon him. Can he escape his captors before his family is killed? Can he find forgiveness in his heart for the very people who ruined his life or will it only bring back more painful memories? Will he be able to survive the mission of a lifetime?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And…the Grace Awards 2014 Finalists are…

Grace AwardsThe Grace Awards 2014, now into its fifth year, had and avalanche of reader nominations to determine our finalists. The number of reader votes were up significantly from last year, as was the number of novels nominated in each category.

According to the rules, every novel had to have been accompanied by at least a 40+ word statement telling why the story was nominated…a sort of mini-review or “notice”. This year the reasons given were astute and outstanding. There is no doubt that today’s Christian reader is both intelligent and perceptive.

And now…the finalists in six categories are…

 

WOMEN’S FICTION/GENERAL FICTION (serious women’s/men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements) :

ATONEMENT FOR EMILY ADAMS by Susan Lawrence (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) ~ When Emily Adams hits and kills ten-year-old Isaiah Nelson with her car, she is overwhelmed with remorse. Knowing she cannot undo this tragedy, Emily hopes to atone for Isaiah’s death by good deeds and community service. However, the more she does, the more her life falls apart. With her job on the line, her volunteer efforts fruitless, and her marriage in jeopardy, the final blow comes when Isaiah’s grieving parents file a wrongful death suit. For them, this will be justice and closure, but for Emily this is final proof she will never be forgiven. Not by Isaiah’s parents—not by God. Where do you turn when “I’m sorry” isn’t enough?

DWF: Divorced White Female by Carol McClain (Desert Breeze Publishing) ~ Sassy, unsaved and desperate, Cheryl Chandler realizes one thing will redeem her from her ex-husband’s betrayal. A man. Any man—so long as he’s hot. Finding love in rural New York proves a daunting challenge. Should she find her man, he must meet her quirky teens whose eccentricities range from New Age ideology, to OCD, to religious fanaticism. And a toddler—her husband’s parting gift. What man would love her and accept them? Her kids have the solution—online dating. Here she meets two men. Religious fanatic, Tarrant, charms her, but is too pious. And mysterious Carleton who’s everything her desperation desires. However, nothing is as it seems. Can she sacrifice her family for love?

THE FRAGRANCE OF GERANIUMS by Alicia G. Ruggieri (Create Space) ~ A  story of three women in Rhode Island, 1934. Grace Picoletti has nothing going for her – but she’s determined to succeed in life. Born to severe destitution, she claws her way up from the pit of family shame and secrets. Despite her own agonizing emotional pain, childless Emmeline Kinner reaches out to a young woman so far beneath her. She could never have known whom else God would set in her path through her friendship with Grace. Long ago, Sarah Picoletti resigned herself to a loveless, abusive life – and she believes that her daughter Grace must inherit the same fate. Yet Sarah’s own soul cries out for the blessed peace and hope of which the radio minister speaks.

 

ROMANCE/HISTORICAL ROMANCE (primary element is love/courtship/marriage, be it set now or then)

IN THE FIELD OF GRACE by Tessa Afshar (River North) ~ Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi’s, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi’s chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from
harm, but his heart knows better. Based on the biblical account of Ruth.

KEPT by Sally Bradley (Salena House Publishers) ~ Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her. Miska runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman. Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again. When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

SHAKEN by Kariss Lynch (Realms) ~ Idealistic and sheltered with a passion to change the world, Kaylan Richards leaves her comfortable life in Alabama to serve in poverty-stricken Haiti. Despite her inexperience and the opposition of a voodoo priest, Kaylan develops a love for the country and the Haitian people. But something deadly is about to strike. It is the worst earthquake the country has ever seen, and in its aftermath bodies, buildings, and broken lives litter the streets. People she cares about are dead, and Kaylan is caught in the middle of the destruction, questioning a God who said He was good. Navy SEAL Nick Carmichael never planned to find a girl he loved more than his country. Now she is a world away, trapped in a deadly situation nothing could have prepared her for. Can Nick’s love help Kaylan heal and show her the God who never abandoned her, or will tragedy shake even the most rooted faith?

 

MYSTERY/THRILLER/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/HISTORIC SUSPENSE: (crime fiction, probably a body)

BETWEEN THE LIES by Joy DeKok (Infusion Publishing) ~ Olivia Morgan was fine. Until the dead guy in the elevator, her married lover’s disdain, the loss of her dream job, and an FBI agent who is looking into the past she’s worked so hard to hide. All she wanted was the perfect life; the love of a wealthy man, a beautiful place to live, and to be an art teacher. She didn’t mind doing what it took to get those things, and for ten years, she had it all – almost. Plus, someone is watching her – someone who knows things and how to get to her without being seen. To prove she’s innocent of at least one of the murders she may have committed, Olivia uses her ability to notice what others often miss, and her art to remember and reveal what she knows. Will her sketches save or convict her?

HARMFUL INTENT by Nike Chillemi (Crime Fictionista Press) ~ Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect. Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted. Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

SHE’S MINE by Tammy Doherty (Amazon Digital Services) ~ Caitlin Harrington has a new job and a new life away from her menacing ex-boyfriend, Adam. Issues with her parents, losing her previous job and the death of her beloved grandmother leave her wondering if God has abandoned her. Two things she is sure of: she’s a lousy judge of character and men just can’t be trusted. Now a volunteer firefighter who has come to her rescue more than once is dangerously close to breaking through her defenses. And not everyone in sleepy Naultag, Massachusetts is welcoming. Someone is leaving ominous notes on her door. Sean Taggart likes being a rescuer. But a failed engagement has taught him to be cautious with his heart and Caitlin is a threat. Women just can’t be trusted. Still, he’d like to save Caitlin from whatever demons have her so spooked. If only she’d let him.

 

SPECULATIVE FICTION (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.)

CHRONICLES OF STEELE: RAVEN by Pauline Creeden (AltWit Press) ~ Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

RISE AND SHINE by Sandra D. Bricker (River North) ~ Shannon Malone thought she’d found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she’s thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon’s tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone’s life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!

SHENANDOAH DREAMS by Lisa Belcastro (Oak Tara) ~ “It’s just a dream,” Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though he’d stepped out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she’d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They are sailing the waters around the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. Melissa knows he cannot possibly be real. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she’s still in 1770.  What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn’t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way home . . . to the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay?

 

ACTION-ADVENTURE/WESTERN/EPIC FICTION: (exploits, quest, daring, expansive)

CHASING THE LION by Nancy Kimball (Nancy Kimball) ~ For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him. His half brother wants him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight—and die—for their greed. Rome’s most famous prostitute wants his love. And the gentle slave girl who tends the wounds on his body and the hidden ones on his soul longs for him to return to his faith. What Jonathan wants is simple. Freedom. But God wants something from Jonathan too—something more than anyone would ever imagine. The young warrior’s journey will push him to the limits of human endurance and teach him that true freedom is found within. The greatest battle Jonathan must ever fight will not come in the arena, but deep within himself as he is forced to choose between vengeance and mercy—with the fate of an empire and the life of the woman he loves hanging in the balance.

HOPE REBORN by Caryl McAdoo (Caryl McAdoo) ~ New York dime novelist May Meriwether decides a heroic Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new heroine. Bored to tears and loving adventure, she sets out to the Lone Star State with her constant companion and confidant Chester in tow. Dreams for a husband and children are relegated to the recesses of her heart, the self-confessed old maid deems it too late. But the near-perfect widower resurrects a smidgen of hope. Only his impenetrable, superstitious religious beliefs stand in the path to her falling head over heels, those and his love for his dead wife. Would there ever be room for her in his heart? And would he give up his fanaticism for God? An unexpected romance surprises both. Hope is reborn in God’s unfailing love and grace. Can a life built on lies find the Way to confession, forgiveness, and true joy? In a day when the church offers the only stability on the 1850 Texas prairie, these unlikely players find one another and fall in love. But will it be enough?

ONE NIGHT IN TEHRAN by Luane Ehrlich (Amazon Digital Services) ~ In Tehran, while hiding out from the Iranian secret police, CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians. Compelled by their unwavering faith, the battle-hardened, covert agent becomes a believer shortly before they smuggle him out of Iran to freedom in Turkey. Back in the States and forced to go on medical leave, he discovers a Hezbollah hit man has targeted him for assassination. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Oklahoma has ties to the man who’s trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a beautiful local detective, can be trusted with his secrets.

 

YOUNG ADULT (appeals to ages 14 – 21ish)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS by Pauline Creeden (AltWit Press) ~ Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she’s wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?

JESSIE by Rebekah Lyn (Real Life Books & Media) ~ The four Cole boys suffer abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, while largely being left to their own devices by a heartbroken and overworked mother. Their adventures on their island home have become a welcome escape, and one of the only things in life the boys can truly rely on. Jessie, the youngest and a dreamer, becomes enamored with US plans for manned space flight and its race to the moon, stirring his own dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. In a strange twist of fate, it is the space program and the momentum it gains that abruptly brings their beloved island life to an end. The family is forced to move to the city and start anew. Life in town creates new challenges,financial pressures, news of the Vietnam War and the impending threat of the military draft for Max, the eldest of the Cole brothers.

THE QUIET SKY by Joanne Bischofs (Mason Jar Books) ~ Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.

And…the Grace Awards 2012 Finalists Are…

Grace Awards Logo

The Grace Awards 2012 is now into its third year. What a ride it’s been. Thrills, chills, joy, and many blessings. Two new board members. Wonderful judges who can’t wait to read the novels readers have nominated.

 This year we had and avalanche of reader nominations to determine our finalists. The number of reader votes has grown over the years.

All nominations for any novel must be accompanied by at least a 35 word statement telling why the novel was nominated…a sort of mini-review or ”notice”. This year the reasons given were astute and outstanding. There is no doubt that the Christian reader is both intelligent and perceptive.

And now…the finalists in five categories are…

WOMENS FICTION:

Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afsar (River North) ~~ Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn’t failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.

Hidden In The Heart by Catherine West (Oak Tara) ~~ After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found.

The Unraveling of Reverend G by RJ Thesman (Cross River Media Group) ~~ When Reverend G hears the devastating diagnosis — dementia with the possibility of early-onset Alzheimer’s, she struggles with the pain of forgetting those she loves and the fear of losing her connection with God. She discovers that while the question she wants to ask is, ‘Why,’ the answer really is, ‘Who.’

ROMANCE/HISTORICAL ROMANCE:

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof (Multnomah Books) ~~ Lonnie Sawyer is used to fading into the background. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss her father forces her into a hasty marriage. Equally frustrated and confused, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

The Lightkeeper’s Daughter by Jean Thompson Kinsey (Desert Breeze Publishing) ~~ A broken heart and trouble with the law washes away Belle’s dreams of a beautiful life with wealthy Lawrence Rinehart. She seeks refuge holed up in a secluded lighthouse to avoid jail. Fred Logan, a determined ship captain penetrates her bitter wall of defense and persuades Belle to come out of isolation.

Veil of Pearls by Mary Lou Tyndall (Barbour Books) ~~ Charleston of 1811. , Adalia is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. She settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both.

MYSTERY/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/THRILLER:

A Heartbeat Away by Harry Kraus (David C. Cook) ~~ When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed….and soon she’s involved in an investigation. Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.

The Map Quilt by Lisa J. Lickel (Five Loaves and Two Small Fish) ~~ Hart and Judy Wingate are happily married and expecting their first child when Hart’s confrontational supervisor is found dead in the burned wreckage of a barn…but what has a 200-year-old quilt got to do with it?

Wind Over Marshdale by Tracy Krauss (Astraea Press) ~~ The story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. New teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. There is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own.

SPECULATIVE FICTION:

Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse (Marcher Lord Press) ~~ What if with one touch you could see inside the soul? Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch.

Daystar by Kathy Tyers (Marcher Lord Press) ~~ Persecution sent the telepathic, genetically altered Sentinels fleeing to a sanctuary world, but a shipboard disaster brings medical student Meris Cariole as an unwelcome outsider to their sanctuary. On another world, wrongfully imprisoned Sentinel Jorah Caldwell receives a supernatural visitor.

Descended by Dana Pratola (Dana Pratola) ~~ When a reclusive businessman with unusual talents takes an interest in Haven’s artwork, she knows it’s an answer to prayer. But Jett Cestone is an enigma. He’s by far the most unusual man she’s ever met. Haven is the most interesting woman to ever cross Jett’s path. But she’s too naïve and pure to learn what goes on in his home.

ACTION-ADVENTURE/WESTERN/EPIC FICTION:

The Legacy of Deer Run by Elaine Marie Cooper (Sword of the Spirit Publishing) ~~ The year was 1800. A young man makes weapons for the defense of America. He also protects his heart from the allure of a young woman so far above his station in life he cannot win her. Despite her finery and airs, she is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming.

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House) ~~ In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father, but she can’t understand how he ignores the rampant crime in the town.

Walks Alone by Sandi Rog (Whitefire Publishing) ~~ A Cheyenne warrior bent on vengeance. A pioneer woman bent on fulfilling a dream. Until their paths collide. After fleeing her abusive uncle, Anna is determined to reach the city of her dreams. But White Eagle and his fierce warriors take her prisoner.

YOUNG ADULT:

Chosen, The Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy Volume 1 by Barbara Ellen Brink (Create Space) ~~ With tongue firmly in cheek and genuine Amish-made stakes at hand, The Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy sets off like a bat in the belfry. Jael the vampire slayer is ready to kick some serious bloodsucker butt. Seriously. Move over Buffy.

Crossing The Deep by Kelly Martin (Astraea Press)  ~~  Sixteen year old Rachel Harker expects the church sponsored hiking trip in the Smoky Mountains to be short and painless. Four days later, injured and scared, Rachel prays to just make it home alive.

Seventh Dimension – The Door by Lorilyn Roberts (Create Space) ~~  Meet Shale Snyder. She is an emotionally and psychologically injured girl – after many years of torment at school and abandonment at home, she is left empty and hollow inside. She feels misunderstood. She has an internal longing, but for what she doesn’t know! One day, she is transported to a happy, peaceful garden…or is it?

Books, Reading 4

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