Author Archives: Janet Sketchley

About Janet Sketchley

Janet Sketchley is an Atlantic Canadian writer whose Redemption’s Edge Christian suspense novels have each been finalists in The Word Awards. She's also the author of the devotional collection, A Year of Tenacity. Janet blogs about faith and books. She loves Jesus and her family, and enjoys reading, worship music, and tea. Fans of Christian suspense are invited to join her writing journey through her monthly newsletter: bit.ly/JanetSketchleyNews.

Review: A Tiding of Magpies, by Steve Burrows

Greyscale book cover featuring two black and white birds in flight.

A Tiding of Magpies, by Steve Burrows (Dundurn Press, 2018)

This time, DCI Dominic Jejeune (a Canadian working in England) and his team work to solve a local murder while he’s involved in an investigative review of the high profile case that launched his career. Jejeune is not the only one with regrets about that case… or with a suspicion all might not have been as it seemed.

I’m really enjoying the Birder Murder Mystery series. Each book has a strong sense of place, engaging characters with depth, clever turns of phrase, and complex crimes. The characters and plots keep me thinking about them when I’m not reading.

I’m not a birder (although I do like birds) but it’s interesting to see how they keep finding their way into the books. Also interesting are the environmental and social threads that appear.

A Tiding of Magpies is Book 5 in a series I’d heartily recommend you start from the beginning (A Siege of Bitterns). Or you could dive into this one and then go back to the start.

It’s rare for me to find a longer series that I feel committed to finishing, but this is one of them. Clean and not gory, brutal, or creepy. No risk of nightmares or vicarious trauma. Just good reads mostly set in the British countryside. I’m trying to ration them so I don’t finish too quickly. Thank you, Steve Burrows!

For more about the author and his work, visit steveburrows.org.

[Review copy from the public library.]

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Review: Renaissance, by Susan Fish

book cover: huge tree, stone wall, golden grass, blue sky

Renaissance, by Susan Fish (Raven, 2023)

First things first: this cover, on the paperback held in my hand, is absolutely gorgeous. The golden light (especially on the grass), the huge tree, the stone wall and clouds. It speaks rest to me, and warmth.

The story also brings rest. Evocative prose draws us into Liz’s struggles and into the beautiful Italian setting. If you haven’t (yet) experienced any mid-life reshapings of your identity, you’ve likely felt the hurt of being left out, misunderstood, or betrayed.

This is literary women’s fiction with an almost languid feel to it… never boring, just slowly and gently inviting readers in.

It’s a story of self-discovery, family, and forgiveness, with a thread of faith—wrapped up in a virtual tour of Florence, Italy. My only caution is there are a few pages of profanity near the end, catching both Liz and the reader off-guard. I understand why Liz surprises herself by lashing out in this way, and how she finds it entirely appropriate to the situation, but it jarred my peace and could be a deal-breaker for some.

Favourite line:

His words fell into a deep place in me, like olive oil finding every hole in a piece of bread, saturating it.

[page 57; context: Italian gardener was talking about pruning olive trees, while Liz sees a meaning for her own life from his words.]

For more about Canadian author and editor Susan Fish and her other books, visit her website. You can also see my reviews of two of her other books: Seeker of Stars and Ithaca.

[Review copy from the public library.]

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New Releases in Christian Fiction (April 2024)

April 2024 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Contemporary Romance:

Love in Tandem by Becca Kinzer — She’s perfectly content leading a quiet life in her small hometown. He’s an adventurer with unquenchable wanderlust. The two couldn’t be any more opposite if they tried. But a tandem bicycle and a 500-mile road trip just might change all that. (Contemporary Romance from Tyndale House)

Playing For Keeps by Deborah Raney — The love story of Art and Maddie continues in Playing for Keeps. But their fledgling marriage faces challenges when expectations collide. When Maddie is offered a chance to take a research trip to Paris, it appears a short separation might help them both figure out what happily-ever-after looks like for them. Yet even the beautiful City of Lights is lonely without the man she loves with all her heart. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Safe Haven Ranch by Louise M Gouge — It should be easy for widow Olivia Ortiz to despise Will Mattson, the man keeping her from buying the ranchland she needs for herself and her daughter, Emily. But when Emily becomes instant friends with Will’s nephew, Jemmy, Olivia and Will find themselves growing closer as well. And as Olivia’s feelings for the handsome cowboy shift, competing for the property could be the start of something more… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

General Contemporary and Women’s Fiction:

Cookies & Eggnog from Welcombe Bay by Kate Darroch — The prequel to the first novel in the Sweets By the Sea series, “Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay.” In this Christmas novella we learn that Lily met her former husband Gary on her 18th birthday, and we see how Gary establishes his ascendancy over her. We watch God’s love operating in her life through the actions of her grandparents and her vicar’s wife, and learn why that ultimately leads Lily to a moment of truth when she must seek to reclaim her wavering faith. (General Contemporary, Independently Published [Ad Astra Press, Inc.])

Always Think of Me by Lori Keesey — Tyrus Cal, TC for short, had no plans to leave his party boy life, but when he met Ginny at an outdoor music festival, he fell. Hard. When their budding relationship ends abruptly, TC moves on, assuming he won’t get a second chance with the captivating Ginny. But then he does. Just not in the way he expected. (General Contemporary, Mascot Books)

Why the Mountains Stand by Ashlyn McKayla Ohm — When skating coach Addisyn Miles becomes responsible for Kenzie, a turbulent new student, she’s blindsided by the girl’s troubling link to her own past. But when Kenzie rediscovers a local legend, more is at stake than either of them realized. Now, Addisyn must choose between allowing the secrets to destroy them both…or finally finding the purpose behind their shared pain. (Contemporary, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])


General Historical:

Secrets of the Wildflowers by Sarah Talbert — After a tragic event involving the sacrifice of her brother, Miu escapes the stifling gods and patriarchal norms of ancient Ur, embarking on a transformative quest for freedom, like wildflowers in bloom; she grapples with control issues and learns to trust in Abraham’s personal god, Yahweh, finding a community where she can live as she was created to be. (General Historical, Eternal Threads Publishing)


Historical Romance:

Earning the Mountain Man’s Trust by Misty M Beller — Naomi Wyatt has finally given up on the man who once promised to love her for the rest of his life—then disappeared with no way to contact him. She’s now a single mother with a beautiful baby girl to provide for. When Jonah Coulter asks for her hand in marriage, she knows she would be hard-pressed to find a better husband and father. But when her first love rides onto the ranch property saying he’d been searching for her for months, her heart is shredded once again. Before she has time to catch her breath though, a new threat appears on the horizon. This time she has far more at stake than her heart, and only a Divine hand can turn this disaster for their good. (Historical Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep — As co-owner of The Blackfriars Lane Enquiry Agency, Kit Forge fearlessly takes on a missing child case, only to find herself and her husband, Chief Inspector Jackson Forge, risking everything to save their own baby from the dangerous criminals involved. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Spring at The Greenbrier by Sandra Merville Hart — Marilla has resigned herself to spinsterhood in order to help care for her sister but more than that obstacle stands in the way of courting the wealthy brother of her sister’s best friend. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Dreams for Courage by Shanna Hatfield — When a private investigator’s trail leads her to an aloof rancher, will love give them the courage they need to face his past and dream of a future together? (Historical Romance from Wholesome Hearts Publishing)

Even in Death by Rebecca Hemlock — Private Detective Trix Fredson wants her husband’s murder solved, and the couple responsible live in her old home. Her husband’s best friend, Ted Mcallister pulled some strings to get Trix the job at the detective agency. He promised to help her solve Ron’s murder, which would be difficult. But how can he do that and keep himself from revealing his true feelings for her? That was going to be even harder. (Historical Romance from Bluecap Publishing)

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:

The Garden Girls by Jessica R Patch — On a remote Outer Banks island, a serial killer collects his prized specimens. And to stop him, an FBI agent must confront his own twisted past. (Contemporary Psychological Suspense Thriller from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Romantic Suspense:

Lethal Danger by Jerusha Agen — This K-9 team is trained to eliminate threats. This threat could eliminate them. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

 

One Good Time by Luana Ehrlich — CIA covert operative Titus Ray is asked to do the unthinkable and allow a terrorist to enter the country illegally in order to stop an attack on the U. S., but as he tracks the terrorist to his destination, he suffers a devastating loss that threatens to derail the mission. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Grave Consequences by Elle E. Kay — Cate Garrison is working as a wildlife biologist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and crosses paths with a mysterious park ranger whose dangerous past has caught up with him. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

 

Yukon Wilderness Evidence by Darlene L. Turner — When skeletal remains are uncovered in the Yukon forest, forensic botanist Keeley Ash is called to the crime scene—and ends up abducted. She never expects her ex, paramedic Brett Ryerson, to come to her rescue, or her gathered evidence to be linked to a cold case. And when their son—who Brett never knew existed—is kidnapped, they’ll stop at nothing to save him and outrun the hunters determined to silence Keeley. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Fiction:

Never Forget the Truth by F.D. Adkins — When the forces of darkness masquerade in the light, is your sword sharpened in TRUTH and wielded to fight? (Speculative Fiction, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

 

Split-Time:

Braving Strange Waters by Sarah Hanks — Stella Lindy is supposed to be soaking up the sunshine with her bridesmaids on a bachelorette cruise to Hawaii. But when she hits the wrong button on the elevator, the glamorous luxury of the modern ship is replaced with the Missouri River steamboat Arabia filled with strangers—and a mysterious doctor informs her it is 1856. Communicating through an antique mailbox, her friends on the cruise try to guide her back home before the steamboat sinks, but Stella finds herself caught in a tangled web between pro-slavery Border Ruffians and anti-slavery Jayhawkers. Standing up for what’s right in the face of peril and uncertainty might mean never making it home. (General/Split-Time, Independently Published [SonFlower Books])

Young Adult:

Protector by Megan Schaulis — Nanotech, royal romance, and biblical themes combine in this YA dystopian retelling of Esther—perfect for fans of The Selection or The Hunger Games. (Young Adult from WhiteCrown Publishing)

 

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

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy — When an aimless wanderer and fearless female determined to find a city of gold are forced to work together and set out to find the treasure, trouble is hot on their trail. (Historical (Western) Romance)

His Unexpected Grandchild by Myra Johnson — This toddler will steal his heart…Just in time to open it… (Contemporary Romance)

An Unlikely Arrangement by Cindy Patterson — Abigail stands to lose all if Garrett Barringer sees past her physical beauty and uncovers the ugliness of her imperfect past. Will Abigail continue on the condemned path she’s fashioned for herself, or trust that God wants a future for her she never believed possible? (Historical Romance)

Phooey Kerflooey by Kristen Joy Wilks — Through a raucous tornado of personal growth, the boys and Phooey work together to save the day. But when the dust (and squirrel poo) settles, can they convince Dad and Mom to let them keep their puppy princess? (Middle-grade Chapter book)

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Stepping Back (Guest Post)

Pink blossoms on a tree, in front of a white house.
Photo credit: Steph Beth Nickel

Stepping Back

by Steph Beth Nickel

Good Friday … the perfect day to step back from the everyday.

Not simply a day off work, but a day to focus once again on what the Lord did for us approximately 2,000 years ago.

As Christians, this reality is the basis for all we believe. For all we do. At least it should be.

While attending a Good Friday service and fellowshipping at a church potluck may be on our agenda, more importantly, this is the perfect day to practice some less common Christian disciplines. Not that potlucks are a Christian discipline, but you know what I mean.

It’s a perfect day to explore silence.

Excuse me for a few moments while I “preach” to myself.

Between my To-Do lists, social media, audiobooks, podcasts, TV shows, etc., etc., etc., I rarely experience silence / stillness of any kind. And most of that is my own doing.

Today, I may do one or more of the following. Perhaps you’d like to do the same.

1. Set aside my To-Do lists. Those everyday tasks can wait.

2. Go for a walk on my own and listen to the sounds of creation. No earbuds allowed.

3. Take my camera along on my walk and snap pics of the beauty all around me, evidence of God’s creativity and so many other aspects of His character.

4. Ramble until I stumble upon truth in my journal. I haven’t done this in a very long time.

5. Meditate on God’s Word by leaning back, opening the One-Minute Pause app, closing my eyes, and drinking in the recorded truths.

6. Read a chapter in Emily P. Freeman’s How to Walk into a Room and listen to one or more corresponding blessings available on the Quiet Collection app.

7. Memorize one of more Bible verses that pertain to this pivotal weekend.

8. Fill our home with praise and worship music. Thank you, Prime Music.

Which of these inspire you to step back from your everyday?

Which ideas would you add to the list?


Photo credit: Jaime Mellor Photography

Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance editor and writer and an author. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at stephbethnickelediting@gmail.com.

You’re invited to visit her website: http://stephbethnickeleditor.com/.

You can join her Editing Tips Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418423519384351.

Review: The Elisha Code and the Coming Revival, by David Kitz and Dr. Ed Hird

Book cover with lightning striking a burning bush.

The Elisha Code and the Coming Revival, by David Kitz and Dr. Ed Hird (Word Alive Press, 2023)

If John the Baptist fulfilled the role of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, was there a corresponding prophet Elisha to follow him with a double blessing of power? The authors of The Elisha Code and the Coming Revival point to Jesus as a type of second Elisha—not in the sense of denying His deity, but as continuing and building on John’s call to repentance and allegiance to a new Kingdom.

They are very clear in affirming that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. Their call is for readers to be “Rediscovering Jesus’ Blueprint for Renewal” and to follow in His way.

The opening chapters of the book trace a number of parallel miracles between Elisha and Jesus (those of Jesus being greater). I’m familiar with comparisons between Jesus and Moses, and Jesus and Joshua, but this connection with Elisha was new to me.

The book also delves into past spiritual awakenings, outpourings, and renewals. For Christians praying for revival, it echoes that longing and points us to inspect our own hearts: are there aspects needing repentance and to come (back?) under the Kingdom authority of Christ?

Despite possible first impressions of the title and cover, this is no trendy, hype-driven “new” revelation. The truth it contains may well be a catalyst, but as the natural result of considering Jesus and His work.

In fact, the introduction explains, “To fulfill its divine mission, the church of the twenty-first century does not need to discover new and different truths for this current age. It needs to return to and rediscover lived truths taught by Jesus and the apostles of the first century church, and put into practice by leading men and women of God down through the ages” [Introduction, page 3 Kobo version].

The book’s premise is that the key to revival is the “return to a Holy Spirit-powered church growth” [chapter 18, page 4 Kobo version]. As readers accept the challenge to seek God and be found by Him, and to prepare their own hearts for what He may be about to do, may we see results in keeping with the truth of the Gospel.

David Kitz is an award-winning author and Bible dramatist. Dr. Ed Hird is a writer and speaker and former pastor. Each is an ordained minister in his respective denomination. This is their first book collaboration.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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3 Fun Mysteries Set in Nova Scotia

Out of the many mysteries set in Nova Scotia, here are three I’d suggest you try (in alphabetical order):

Book cover with crafting supplies, dressmaker's form, and a large dog.

Crafting for Murder, by Barbara Emodi

Secrets and schemes and small-town murder. Read my review.


Book cover with small yacht and crime scene tape.

Murder in Hum Harbour, by Jayne E. Self

Mystery and romance in a small coastal town. Read my review.


Book cover with ocean waves, trees, locket.

Oak Island Revenge, by Cynthia d’Entremont

Coming of age in the 1950s. Small-town secrets–with rumours of treasure. Read my review.


Hmm… sensing a “small coastal town” theme here… and that’s what I write in my Green Dory Inn mysteries too. I’d better go on record as stating that Nova Scotia is more than just a string of villages along the Atlantic coast! We have a city, Halifax (current population 423,000), as well as a number of large towns and inland agriculture.

Come see what we’re all about at the Nova Scotia tourism site, then maybe plan a visit! Or at least you’ll be better able to picture the settings when you read our fiction.

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New Releases in Christian Fiction (March 2024)

March 2024 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Contemporary Romance:

For Better or For Granted by Amy R. Anguish — Divorce was never in the plans for Genevieve Stewart. Only four years into marriage, and everything has gone wrong. If only she could find her way back to the way things were before Scott’s job took all his time and energy, leaving nothing for her. Scott Stewart achieved his goal of becoming a high school principal younger than most in the state. Everything in life seems to be going exactly as planned until Genevieve threatens to leave. Suddenly, his dreams aren’t as clear as they once were. He desperately wants to stay married, but he can’t let down his school, either. The way back to love isn’t easy when you’ve grown used to taking each other for granted. (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

A Slice of Paradise by Nancy Lavo — Single mother and baker Eden Lambert arrives in quaint Village Green looking for a home for herself and her 18-month-old son, Jake. Her warm welcome by her elderly hostess is offset by the cold disdain of Mary Jo’s self-appointed protector, Joe Wolfe. At first, the long-legged blonde and her kid look like trouble to Joe. Mary Jo saved the builder’s life years ago, and he will do no less for the woman he considers a surrogate mother. But as he keeps an eye on the unwanted guests, Joe’s suspicions soon become replaced by admiration and respect for Eden’s resolve and dedication to her son. With his background of abuse and abandonment, Joe is aware of the dangers facing the vulnerable and wants better for Eden and Jake. He offers her a business arrangement–he’ll build her a bakery, and she can run it. As they join forces to start the bakery, can they overcome the scars of the past to find a recipe for love? (Contemporary Romance from Iron Stream Media)

Tangled Up in Love by Carolyn Miller — When Ellie Reilly returns from a dream overseas trip, a too-long hug from her best friend Jasper Cohen clues her in that his feelings might be more than what she suspected. He’s unsure about pushing their friendship further, and doubly uncertain when her European friend, Sebastian, seeks her out in Trinity Lakes. Uncertainty is something Ellie knows all too well. Since returning from her vacation, Ellie feels like she doesn’t fit at her family’s ranch or in small town life. When she is asked to take on responsibility for reopening Trinity Lakes’ historical museum – a dream she’s always wanted – she can’t help but wonder if settling for life in the familiar is all that God has for her, or can she dare trust Him for more? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Prestige of Hearts by R.F. Whong — When Chicagoan Grace Feng, a recent college graduate and a devout Christian, delivers her late mother’s letter to a billionaire, Mr. Lam, in Hong Kong, she expects a quick exchange. Upon their meeting, he offers her a job and luxurious accommodations. She reluctantly stays and befriends Kevin Cheung, the butler’s atheist son, and a jobless unpublished author. Haunted by a tragic past, Kevin finds solace in Grace’s company, but a mystery troubles him: Grace resembles several movie stars who date Mr. Lam, the town’s most eligible bachelor. Can Kevin unravel the enigma? Meanwhile, Mr. Lam’s college-aged son and a fugitive who fled China after the Tiananmen Square Massacre also vie for Grace’s affections. Caught amid a love quadrangle, will she retain her Christian values and guide them toward true grace? (Contemporary Romance from Vidaysm Publishing)

General Contemporary and Women’s Fiction:

Between You and Us by Kendra Broekhuis — When Leona Warlon heads across the city to meet her husband, David, for a rare dinner out, she hopes they can share a moment of relief after their year of loss. But Leona quickly realizes this is no ordinary date night. She hasn’t just stepped into an upscale ristorante; she’s stepped into a different version of her life. One in which her marriage is no longer tender, in which her days are pressured by her powerful in-laws, and in which her precious baby girl lived. Now Leona must weigh the bitter and sweet of both trajectories, facing an unimaginable choice: Stay in a world where tragedy hasn’t struck but where the meaningful life she built with David is gone? Or return to a reality that’s filled with struggle and sorrow but also deep and enduring love? (Contemporary from Waterbrook/Multnomah)

Chokecherry Valley Faith by Jean Rezab — Alex Richmond is being released from prison after a two-year term for embezzlement. His former boss’s cancer has returned, and the town blames Alex.
His wife, Courtney, looks forward to his return but worries about how the community will react.
Can Alex and Courtney work as a team after having been apart for two years and face the trials that will come with his return home? (Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Independently Published)

Cozy Mystery:

Saguaro, Snowflakes, and Murder by Jenna Hendricks — Maisy Bransky’s life takes an unexpected turn when she inherits a quirky bookshop from her beloved great-aunt Jo. The giant saguaro cactus out front named Siggy, shelves filled with rare books, and the possibility of a small coffee shop inside seem like the perfect recipe for a peaceful life. However, tranquility is shattered when Jo’s archnemesis, the notorious local troublemaker Homer Kimball, is found dead near her bookshop. As the gossip mill starts churning, Maisy becomes the prime suspect. Determined to clear her name, Maisy embarks on a journey to unravel the mysteries hidden within the dusty shelves of Aunt Jo’s bookshop. With the help of a rescued Frenchie named Ollie, a mysterious old cowboy, and unexpected allies like a quirky cactus enthusiast, Maisy discovers cryptic messages, hidden compartments, and a secret diary that hints at Aunt Jo’s enigmatic past. As Maisy delves deeper, she uncovers a forged will, a lost treasure map, and a series of red herrings that lead her to suspect everyone from Aunt Jo’s best friends, The Fearsome Foursome, to the local pirate. Can Maisy solve the mystery, unearth the secrets of the past, and prove her innocence? (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

The Luck of the Irish by Kate Darroch, Kathleen Marple Kalb, C.A. Phipps, Amy Grundy, Jessica Brimer, Jessica Thomson, J.L. Lancaster, Jaclyn Weist, K. Rose, W. Jenkins– Ten Tantalizing Cozy Mysteries and the authors’ favorite Saint Patrick’s Day Recipes – sure to make you chuckle, and to keep you guessing! (Cozy Mystery from Ad Astra Press Inc)


Historical Romance:

Streams of Courage by Sandra Merville Hart — In a world turned upside down by war and betrayal…will his role as a spy bring them closer…or tear their future apart? The war that Julia Dodd prayed to avoid is now reality, and with it, her world has been turned on its head. Her fellow citizens, who stood with her in their support of the union, have crossed firmly to the side of the south. And her mother, lost in her grief over the loss of her husband and children, can think of nothing but protecting Julia’s brother’s inheritance. She insists that her daughter seek a wealthier husband than Ashburn Mitchell. Ash knows what his fellow citizens think of him when he refuses to fight for the confederacy. Shouldering the accusation of being a coward and refusing to hide behind his limp, Ash remains in Vicksburg to support his family as a saddler while his two best friends join the fight. Struggling to increase his business so he can marry the woman he loves, Ash becomes a spy in support of the Union. He can’t fight for the South but won’t raise a musket against them. As tragedy instigates Ash to risk greater danger to speed the end of the war, Julia can only pray it won’t cost them everything. She’s already lost her father and two siblings. Must she lose the man she loves too? (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

To Speak His Name by Tara Johnson — Avalina is a woman trapped in silence. Stolen from her home in Ireland and sold as a slave to a Barbados plantation owner, the trauma of her past has left her mute, wrapped in a prison of loneliness and isolation amid an island of beauty. Though she longs to be free from the cruelty of her overseer, her heart yearns for a greater freedom…something just beyond her grasp. Josiah Holland has been born into a South Carolina slave-holding family but all it takes is one trip to the island of Barbados to open his eyes to the ugly cruelty that abounds beyond the confines of his plantation. With the aid of fiery abolitionist Benjamin McGee, Josiah forges a new future, fighting the very ideals he was once a part of. When Avalina and Josiah’s lives entwine, will their spark engulf them in destruction, or ignite a revolution? (Historical Romance from Story Architect)

Uncharted Peace by Keely Brooke Keith — Lena’s stay at The Inn at Falls Creek leaves her torn between loyalty to her family and marrying Philip for love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Seashells in My Pocket by Terri Wangard — German-Brazilian Isabel Neumann delights in creating seashell art, but it’s her mathematical ability that lands her a job at the American air base in Natal, northern Brazil during World War II. She doesn’t need a calculator to determine the correct weights and balances for the Air Transport Command’s cargo planes. Daniel Lambert, an American transport pilot based at Natal, endures the taunts of combat pilots that he is “allergic to combat.” His flying skills win him respect, however, and his friendship with Isabel deepens, even as a new source of trouble looms. Isabel is caught in the crosshairs of a German saboteur who is obsessed with her. He insists that she belongs with him and demands that she help him sabotage the Allied base. Her growing relationship with Daniel angers the Nazi, who will do anything to get of rid him. What will happen to Isabel if the madman captures her? (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)

Set in Stone by Kimberley Woodhouse — From the time she was little, Martha Jankowski has been digging in the dirt, much to the dismay of her mother. Now, she dreams of being a paleontologist and is determined to make her parents proud by uncovering the next big discovery. When Martha finds what she hopes to be a fully intact dinosaur skeleton–one that that could win her an acclaimed exhibit–she learns another team is competing against her and could steal her chance at being recognized for this momentous discovery. Paleontology student Jacob Duncan has fulfilled his dream of digging for dinosaur bones at last. In a race against time, he and his team are bent on unearthing a complete skeleton to claim a museum exhibit with their names on it. But when Jacob meets their charming competitor Martha and uncovers foul play within his team, love and danger grow hand in hand until a menacing ruse threatens to destroy it all. (Historical Romance from Bethany House)

Levi’s Vow by Peny Zeller — Wrongfully imprisoned for a crime and disowned by his family, Levi Callahan endeavors to put the past behind him. When he travels to the Idaho Territory and secures a job on a small farm, he has no idea he’ll once again be defending the vulnerable. Norah Hammett knows what it means to suffer loss. After her husband leaves her and their children for a “better” life and her hired hand steals from her, she is left to run the farm alone. When ruthless men attempt to steal Norah’s Idaho farm, can Levi help her save it? Or will he prove to be disloyal like the rest of the men in her life? Will God use desperate circumstances to bring two hurting hearts together? (Historical Romance from Maplebrook Publishing)

Love’s Promise by Penny Zeller — Can one man’s love win a fragile woman’s heart? After Amaya Alvarado lost her fiancé to a senseless tragedy, she vows never to love again. Two years later, at her grandmother’s request, she travels to Poplar Springs to assist with the mercantile and help care for her ailing grandfather. During a stagecoach accident and a confrontation with nefarious outlaws, she crosses paths with a man named Silas McFadden who rescues her and the other passengers. Silas is not the man he once was. After a stint on the wrong side of the law, he’s now a respectable rancher in Poplar Springs, Wyoming. Amaya’s and Silas’s friendship soon grows, and she begins to trust him with everything but her heart. Can she push her growing feelings for him aside? When the past comes back to haunt him and revenge is sought, can Silas protect the woman he has come to love? (Historical Romance from Maplebrook Publishing)

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:

Open Water by Betty Thomason Owens — As much as Lisa Oliver wanted to believe that she could be safe in the small mountain community of Benning, Kentucky, she knew that wouldn’t be the case when Agent Farrow’s car pulled next to the school where she had been working. They’d found her again? Who was stalking her and why? Jake Bradley uses his widely popular “Jake on the Road” articles to help him continue to follow leads into Lisa’s past, but he didn’t expect the people whom he spoke with to be attacked and killed. How could he possibly protect this woman who had become so important to him when he so miserably failed at learning about her past and why someone had killed her parents? Lisa and Jake learn more about her past, and about each other, in this dramatic suspense. (Contemporary Mystery/Suspense from Write Integrity Press)

Romantic Suspense:

Never Fall Again by Lynn H Blackburn — Landry Hutton has spent three years rebuilding her life behind the secure gates of The Haven, an exclusive resort on the outskirts of Gossamer Falls, North Carolina. As the artist-in-residence, and with her pottery prized by The Haven’s guests, she’s finally ready to settle in permanently. She wants to give her daughter, Eliza, a safe home to grow up in and hires former Marine Callum Shaw to handle the construction. Cal grew up in Gossamer Falls and always knew he would someday join his family’s business. He longs for a family of his own but has almost given up on that ever happening. Landry is funny, gifted, and everything Cal could ever want in a partner, but he vows to keep his distance. Landry has a daughter and a past. Cal has been down that road before and barely survived when the woman he loved left, taking her two sons with her. He can’t bear to lose like that again. Before construction on the house can begin, Landry’s pottery is destroyed in a suspicious fire. It soon becomes clear that Landry and Eliza are in grave danger—but from whom? Despite his best efforts to remain unattached and uninvolved, Cal knows that Landry needs him— and he fears he needs her just as much. (Romantic Suspense from Revell)

Even in Death by Rebecca Hemlock — After receiving a note that her ninety-three-year-old great aunt is very sick, Emily Fredrickson assumes the worst. She’s always known that she’d someday lose the only blood relative she has, but when she’s met with a ghost story and a mysterious family keepsake, she must dive into the past to figure out how to get rid of the ghosts in Fredrickson Mansion and bring peace to her troubled aunt. (Romantic Suspense from Bluecap Publishing)

Cold Case Target by Jessica R Patch — Caught in a serial killer’s deadly game with nowhere to turn… Interrupting an attempted murder—and leaving with incriminating evidence—makes Sissy Spencer a serial killer’s next target. With a flash drive in her possession containing disturbing proof of multiple murders, Sissy has no choice but to trust her ex-boyfriend, private investigator Beau Brighton, to keep her safe. But can they unravel the clues and track down a killer…before he catches them first? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sweet Deceit by Sally Jo Pitts — Someone will stop at nothing to keep the secrets of Sweet County hidden. Public Relations Consultant ANNIE MCAFEE hopes to spend a quiet summer in Sugarville waitressing, housesitting and job hunting. But her plans are upended after she’s run off the road and narrowly escapes with her life. Rookie state investigator WILL BRICE is looking forward to a bright future with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement until the governor removes the Sweet County Sheriff and appoints Will to take his place. Propelled into the middle of Sweet County’s dark secrets, Will and Annie find that deceit hides beneath its sugar-coated façade and the townspeople prefer to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing. Confronted with a web of mysterious threats, life threatening crises, and the death of a teenager, the two must work together with the help of an unusual sidekick to expose the corruption. Can this unlikely crime fighting trio crack the town’s sweet cover? (Romantic Mystery from Elk Lake Publishing)

Caught in the Crosshairs by Melanie D. Snitker — For single mom Erica Keyes, a normal day swiftly changes to one of terror when someone intentionally runs her off the road, endangering her and her son’s life. Already unsettled by the encounter, strange things begin happening at the B&B she owns, leaving her watchful and on edge. Unable to find a connection between the events, Erica is grateful for a handsome guest who insists on helping. In town to scout a new location for his private security employer, Cole Shepherd rents a room at the Tranquil Bed & Breakfast. When he realizes someone is harassing the lovely owner and her son, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Erica and Peter safe. As the danger escalates and the suspects grow increasingly desperate, it’s clear that Cole and Erica are missing a key piece of information. Can they stay one step ahead long enough to figure out who is behind it all and thwart their evil plans? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Young Adult:

Salvaged by Shanna M Heath — Hadley, forced to relocate with her estranged father at age seventeen, searches for belonging. A cancer diagnosis threatens to take her beloved Nonny, and a looming senior project might just break her. Has God forgotten Hadley Edwards? (Young Adult, Independently Published)

 

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

Trust and Trickery-Hivites by Christine Dillon — But what can a mere baker do to save his family, his city, and his people? (General Historical)

Dawn’s Hidden Threat by Elizabeth Goddard — An unexpected search and rescue uncovers a hidden threat. Angie Harris doesn’t know whom to trust, except for the man who rescued her from a cold, dark cave and a grizzly bear. *Previously published in the Heroes in the Crossfire collection. (Romantic Suspense)

Guardian by Cathy McCrumb — In order to save her allies, the Recorder must activate a drone, but her success might destroy any hope for freedom, a future, and a name. (Speculative Fiction)

Dysfunction Junction by Robin W Pearson — At the junction of healed and hurting, broken and whole, and past and present, three women wrestle with their inability to forgive and forget in this riveting Southern family drama about sisterhood. (Contemporary Literary Fiction)

The Medici Quest by Jeff Raymond — Highlighted by accurate locations and blending in factual historical characters and events, The Medici Quest touches on the real-life topics of faith, grace, and redemption. (Thriller/Suspense)

Who Brought the Dog to Church? by Tracy L Smoak — God works in mysterious ways—and through ordinary people. The town of Prosper is about to experience some drama—and it all starts with a dog who comes to church. (Contemporary General)

Caleb’s Cross by Urcelia Teixeira — A suspenseful true crime murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. (Crime/Mystery)

Former Things Forgotten by Thomas Michael Trezise — This intriguing and unforgettable story of love at the intersection of heaven and earth, where relationships are eternal and hard choices determine destinies, examines the questions, answers, and consequences of life lived for self or for God. (Contemporary Literary)

Rocky Road by Becky Wade — Escape to Maine for this swoon-worthy “fake romance”! Banter, humor, perfume, and a mystery from the past intertwine in this sweet Sons of Scandal love story. (Contemporary Romance)

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Review: The Divine Proverb of Streusel, by Sara Brunsvold

The Divine Proverb of Streusel, by Sara Brunsvold (Revell, 2024)

Sometimes when life hurts, you run away. Even from the people you love.

Nikki has so much going for her: a solid faith, a loving mom and sister, a good friend at the school where she teaches, and a caring guy who’s been talking about rings. But second-hand news of her unfaithful father’s remarriage—so soon after the divorce that bankrupted her mother—leaves her unable to face any of them.

She flees to the one untouched memory of safety: her paternal grandparents’ home in rural Missouri, now owned by her bachelor uncle, Wes.

Wes is an army veteran drawn home to the peace of the farm. He doesn’t agree with his brother’s behaviour but understands the wounds that made the man who he is. Coached long-distance by his feisty Aunt Emma (Nikki’s Grandma Ann’s sister) and with a regular rhythm of prayer, Wes will do all he can to help Nikki heal.

Nikki stays for the summer to help fix up the old farmhouse, finding some measure of peace in her mother’s example of “just do the next thing.” One of the “next things” involves cooking her way through a handwritten book of old German recipes, each of which opens with a farm wife’s words of hard-earned wisdom and proverbs for making the best of life.

This is a heartwarming, gently-told tale of hurt and healing, family heritage, and comfort food. Be warned, you may find yourself heading for the kitchen (or a restaurant). Or prayerfully making yet another attempt to show love to someone you’d rather avoid.

A few of my favourite lines:

Home should be where peace comes to roost. But peace is never an uninvited guest. As the keeper of the home, you must invite it daily. Bring it in, give it the place of honor, sit with it until you are filled with its tenderness. Turn away the indignation that will invariably come to your door too… [chapter 12, page 4 in chapter]

People prefer to hang on to their own view of things far longer than they should, particularly about their own family. [Chapter 13, page 6 in chapter]

Stories are the universal heart language. They bring together what is scattered. [Chapter 24, page 13 in chapter]

The world gives enough reasons to fret. Be not one of them. Be the help. [Chapter 29, page 5 in chapter]

Recommended for anyone who enjoys intergenerational Christian women’s fiction with heart. Readers who also enjoy nonfiction in the Christian living genre and who like to read cookbooks will totally love this book.

Sara Brunsvold is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip. Her website says her “chief aim is to create stories that speak hope, truth and life.” For more about the author and her work, visit sarabrunsvold.com.

[Review copy from the public library via the Hoopla Digital app.]

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You Learn Something New Every Day (Guest Post)

Image by WOKANDAPIX from Pixabay

You Learn Something New Every Day

By Steph Beth Nickel

When you stumble across information you didn’t know previously, do you find yourself saying, “You learn something new every day”?

We cannot, however, hope to stumble across the facts and insights we need simply by chance. It’s important to develop a reliable system to expand our knowledge base.

Here are nine of my favourite ways to learn new things:

  • Read both fiction and nonfiction (audiobooks, ebooks, physical books).

Many people think there is little to nothing to be learned from fiction. Years ago, the Lord held up a mirror in the form of the female protagonist in a series I was reading, and I saw myself. And let’s just say the traits I related to were not particularly admirable. This reinforced my desire to mature and become less selfish and more like our Saviour—and that is a very good thing to learn.

  • Listen to podcasts.

There are podcasts about pretty much any topic you can imagine. It’s easy to learn something new every day by listening to those that interest you.

  • Participate in social media communities.

In most cases, we get the most out of the social media communities we belong to by actively participating and getting to know our fellow group members. We can learn from the group’s host and from one another.

  • Host FB groups.

You may start a Facebook group on a topic that interests you with the objective of sharing your insights with others. And while you’re doing so, you’re likely to learn from those who join your group as well.

  • Prepare and post short videos online.

Creating even short videos has taught me so much: how to create an event in my FB group, how to be comfortable online, how to be more succinct (trust me, I can ramble even when “talking to myself”), how to set aside perfectionism (as long as we’re providing educational and/or entertaining videos, most people don’t care if we’ve put on make up and have a picture perfect background or if we stumble over the occasional word)… The more videos I post, the more I enjoy doing so.

  • Teach children and youth.

Most of us likely realize the best way to get a firm grasp on lessons we’ve learned in the past is to prepare to teach them to others. I regularly teach the 2s and 3s at church, and even revisiting extremely familiar stories is a great way to marvel at them once again. And teaching the youth this month has been a real joy.  

  • Journal my thoughts, something I call “rambling until I stumble across truth.”

No one ever has to read our journals, making them a safe place to work through the tangle of thoughts racing around in our head. Sometimes (often) I surprise myself with my own words.

  • Spend time in person and online with insightful people.

While we do learn things in unexpected ways from unexpected sources, we must be deliberate when it comes to discovering the specific information we need. While we must be careful whose advice we follow, there are numerous ways to ascertain if what worked for others will work for us. And when we find reliable sources of helpful info, we’re going to want to keep learning from these individuals.

  • Grab a coffee with a friend.

Even when we get together with a friend or family member simply to catch up, we often gain new insights and come away encouraged. Hopefully, others feel the same after they spend time with us as well.

What’s one of your favourite ways to learn something new?


Photo credit: Jaime Mellor Photography

Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance editor and writer and an author. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at stephbethnickelediting@gmail.com.

You’re invited to visit her website: http://stephbethnickeleditor.com/.

You can join her Editing Tips Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418423519384351.

New Releases in Christian Fiction (February 2024)

February 2024 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Contemporary Romance:


Finally Forever by Karin Beery — Former competitive dancer Caroline Novak dreams of leaving the corporate world to work with special needs women at the Pathways nonprofit, but the organization can’t afford a fulltime director. All-American defensive end Ben Allen was on his way to the NFL when a knee injury sent him home and into the same office as Caroline, his best friend’s older sister. When Pathways participates in a Dancing with the Stars-inspired fundraiser, Caroline quickly volunteers, and Ben joins her as the local “star.” It doesn’t take long for Ben to realize it’s more than a dance competition, and Caroline is more than his best friend’s sister, but after two failed engagements, she’s hesitant to trust her heart with another man. When the NFL calls Ben, it looks like his dream might finally come true—but it could cost them the championship and Caroline her heart. (Contemporary Romance from Elk Lake Publishing)

Taylor’s Trek to Love by Elsie Davis — Escape to the Great Smoky Mountains…where fresh mountain air and love await! This is the fourth heartwarming Christian Inspirational Women’s Fiction Romance that will take you to the Great Smoky Mountains for a vacation getaway that will change the lives of Taylor and Andrew in ways they would have never expected! (Contemporary Romance from Sweet Romance Publishing)

Much Ado about Romance by Susan Page Davis, Shannon Sue Dunlap, Linda Fulkerson — A collection of novellas inspired by Shakespearen romantic comedies. (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

A Mommy for Easter by Linda Goodnight — Back in his hometown after a decade, Jake Colter and his adorable toddler are a reminder of everything Rachel Hamby lost. And working on the same Easter committee with her ex-husband makes avoidance impossible. Throw in a small town’s matchmaking scheme and Jake’s sweet dog, and soon Rachel’s falling for the little girl…and her father. But will Rachel risk a second chance with the painful secret she’s keeping? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:

 

Birds Alive! by Jennifer Dodrill — Widow, mom blogger, and empty nester Peg forms the Empty Nesters Birding Group. On their first outing, a birder dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts from birdseed that should be peanut-free. Later, she finds another of her new birder friends wounded and dying. Peg recruits a fellow birder and her mother-in-law to help solve the crime. She teams up with the detective investigating the case, whose dimples draw her in a way she hasn’t experienced in years. (Cozy Mystery from Scrivenings Press)

Mardi Gras and Mayhem by Jann Franklin— Just a fun girls’ weekend in New Orleans during Mardi Gras…except for the murders. Chantilly Romero held an important place as a mover and a shaker within the New Orleans business world. But she had her secrets. Did she run an illegal high-stakes poker game out of her whiskey distillery? Had her bodyguard committed a few dastardly deeds, so Chantilly could profit? Did Chantilly’s husband die by his own hand, or did she help him along to the pearly gates? Regardless, the police never found proof of any wrong doing. Did someone take matters into their own hands? (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published from Rougarou Press)


Historical Romance:

A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin — Kit Barnes’ drinking ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. The most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past and the person he hurt the most. A pariah among her peers, Joanna is all too eager to sell her property and flee the rumors that she sent her late husband to an early grave. But she will let the gossips talk and the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she’ll allow Kit back into her life. When a blackmailer threatens to reveal her long-held secret, she must choose between trusting Kit or seeing her best friend trapped in an abusive marriage. (Historical Romance from Corner Room Books)

Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure by Misty M. Beller — Jude Coulter is far more comfortable in his family’s sapphire mine tucked in the Montana mountains than on the bustling streets of New York City, where he’s been sent to deliver a shipment of gems. His relief at boarding the train for the first leg of his journey home is short-lived when an accident renders him unconscious. Angela Larkin worked hard to earn this assignment for the Treasury—an undercover mission to determine the source of the sapphires brought each year for auction in the city. When an accident causes her target to lose his recent memory, Angela jumps at the opportunity to create the ideal ruse. Jude seems surprised to learn the two of them had married and were returning from a glorious wedding trip, but his severe head injury keeps him from protesting…for now. But the accident is far from the worst threat they face. When enemies close in, Angela and Jude must depend on each other to survive the treacherous journey home. (Historical Romance, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

An Uncertain Road by Abbey Downey — When young widow Flora Montfort returns to America, she’s determined to use her training in auto racing to support herself and her French mother-in-law—even if female drivers are rare in 1905. When the owner of a successful sporting goods store hires her to drive in a ten-day race through New England, she jumps at the opportunity. Jensen Gable is not convinced that joining the team as the ride-along mechanic is worth the risk. After losing his best friend in a tragic racing accident, Jensen has vowed never to participate in the sport again. But a promise to protect his friend’s younger brother, also on the tour, outweighs his fear of the dangers. As they race through New England, Flora and Jensen find common ground that ignites their interest in each other, but doubts and old enemies come between them. As the race of a lifetime heats up, one question rises above all others…can their love find the road that leads to forever? (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Relying on the Enemy by Danielle Grandinetti — All widowed mother Marian Ward wants is to provide for her girls. However, she faces the dead of winter with no income and dwindling resources. Then she overhears a nefarious conversation, putting her life and that of her children in immediate danger. Aiming to make amends to the Wards, Gilbert steps in when the threat to Marian escalates. It costs him dearly. Either lose his career or marry her and be tied to his past until death do them part. He leaves the decision to Marian, who will do anything to protect her girls, even marry the son of the man who ruined her family. How will their fledgling trust prove strong enough to fulfill their vows as winter tightens its grip and desperation stalks at the door? (Historical Romance from Hearth Spot Press)

To Marry an English Lord by Robin Lee Hatcher — Sebastian Whitcombe, Viscount Willowthorpe, comes to America to experience the great Wild West for himself before it disappears for good. The adventure comes with a convenient bonus—it postpones his father’s edict that he take a wife from the British aristocracy. Sebastian isn’t so much against marriage as he is an arranged marriage to the wrong woman. Jocelyn Overstreet hasn’t returned to her family’s eastern Idaho cattle ranch in six years. She’s far too busy managing the New York City offices of Overstreet Shipping. But when her older brother has a serious run-in with a bison, she returns to the ranch only to find the Overstreet home invaded by visitors from England, one of them a disturbingly handsome viscount who disarms her defenses at every turn. Sebastian’s future lies in England. New York City holds Jocelyn’s future. Amidst the clash of their worlds, Sebastian and Jocelyn find that the risk of love, against all odds, might just be a risk worth taking. (Historical Romance, Independently Published from RobinSong, Inc.)

Embers in the London Sky by Sarah Sundin — After fleeing the German invasion of the Netherlands, Aleida Martens searches for her missing child in London—which sets her on a collision course with BBC radio correspondent Hugh Collingwood. During the London Blitz, they will risk their lives to discover the truth—and find a connection closer than they imagined. (Historical Romance from Revell – A division of Baker Publishing Group)

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:

A Day Ago by Luana Ehrlich — As he prepares to defend his client of murder charges, not only does Attorney Mylas Grey receive unexpected news about his future, he discovers he has feelings for a former female acquaintance and uncovers evidence that points to the real killer, someone who’s determined to put an end to Mylas’s future. However, Mylas has other plans. (Crime/Mystery, Independently Published)

8 Down by Kimberley Woodhouse — Investigator Carrie Kintz is new blood with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage. But with a serial killer on the loose, there’s no easing into the job. The only clues to stop this madman are the taunts he drops into crossword puzzles across the country–always in the same 8 DOWN position. Calling in security specialist Scott Patteson for his expertise seems like the right move–until Carrie realizes that he may be a dangerous distraction for her heart. With her faith fading in the face of horror and uncertainty and her career in danger of ending, this is no time for flirtation. But with a killer who is determined to prove that he’s smarter than everyone else, it may be impossible to fight both the madman and their feelings for each other . . . (Contemporary Thriller/Suspense from Kregel Publications)

Romantic Suspense:

Hidden Chance by Shawna Coleing — Hannah spent her childhood on the mission field in Burma, but witnessing the tragic murder of her father propelled her into a life dedicated to making a difference. A specialized military team is carrying out a mission in Burma to stop a militant group that has been wreaking havoc on local villages. After breaking into a school that has been the militia’s base of operations, they uncover an elaborate plan to exploit those most vulnerable. Robby, the specialized military team leader, determined to expose the truth, discovers a company based in America may be behind the chilling acts of savagery. Robby and Hannah must find common ground to save the lives of countless children and bring an end to the threat at their front door. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published [ACFW QIP])

Rebuilding Joy by Regina Rudd Merrick — Single mom Darcy Emerson Sloan has enough to do raising twins and running a restaurant. She’s doing fine on her own and doesn’t need the complications of a man in her life. But when her café turns into a crime scene, putting her and her children in danger, she begins to take interest in the handsome young FBI agent that comes on the scene. Contractor Del Reno is as even-keeled as they come, but even he has his limits. And Darcy Sloan has pushed him too far. Every time he tries to help, it backfires. But now that Darcy and her kids are in trouble, he has no choice but to come to her aid and to protect her. She’s just going to have to deal with it. Secret tunnels, organized crime, adorable children, and a wedding. (Romantic Suspense from Scrivenings Press)

Western Romance:

Chasing the Horizon by Mary Connealy — Uncovering her tyrannical father’s malevolent plot to commit her to an asylum, Beth Rutledge fabricates a plan of her own. She will rescue her mother, who had already been sent to the asylum, and escape together on a wagon train heading west. Posing as sisters, Beth and her mother travel with the pioneers in hopes of making it to Idaho before the others start asking too many questions. Wagon-train scout Jake Holt senses the mysterious women in his caravan are running from something. When rumors begin to spread of Pinkerton agents searching relentlessly for wanted criminals who match the description of those on his wagon train, including Beth, she begins to open up to him, and he learns something more sinister is at hand. Can they risk trusting each other with their lives–and their hearts–when danger threatens their every step? (Western Romance from Bethany House)

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

Marrying the Mountain Man’s Best Friend by Misty M. Beller — A marriage of convenience, desperate escape from danger, and the Christmas miracle of love that heals wounded hearts. (Historical Romance)

Silencing the Witness by Laura Conaway — Can he keep both of them alive long enough for her to testify. (Romantic Suspense)

Meet Me Where the Windrush Flows by Valerie Massey Goree — Will the threat to her life and accusations of malpractice against him aid their romance or keep them apart? (Romantic Suspense)

Love or Lies by Craig Hastings — Overcoming the lies of the past: A journey of self-discovery, faith, and love. (Contemporary Romance)

Testimony: The Fourteenth Codex by Christopher J. Mooney — Can a Coptic nun complete the quest and find relics of the founders of the church? (General Historical)

The Rare Jewel of Everleigh Wheaton by Susan L. Tuttle — In her search for a rare gem, will she end up uncovering the true treasure of her heart? (Contemporary Romance)

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