The Gathering Table by Kathryn Springer — Winsome Lake, Wisconsin, is postcard pretty, but for personal chef Jessica Keaton it’s also a last resort. Fired from her dream job, Jess is starting over as a live-in cook and housekeeper. When she arrives, she finds her new employer is in rehab after having a stroke, and Jess expects she’ll be all alone in Elaine Haviland’s quaint house. A chef with no one to cook for. Instead, she encounters a constant stream of colorful visitors who draw her back into the world. (Contemporary/Women’s Fiction from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston — When Brianna Porter’s father unexpectedly dies, Brianna is steeped in grief and guilt—then left alone to clean up the mess. To make matters worse, a constant stream of real estate brokers begins marching through her property, offering to buy the family land. In particular, she keeps running into handsome real estate mogul Scott Gibson. As Brianna struggles to keep it all together, Scott finds his way into her heart. And as the two fight against their feelings, they just might find themselves forging a surprising and exciting new love at Splendid Lake. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))
A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano — All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most–and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))
Brides of the Old West by Amanda Cabot — Four unlikely couples. Four unexpected chances at happiness. Four unforgettable stories of love and faith in the Old West. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Daria’s Duke by Linda Shenton Matchett — After the death of her father, Daria Burke is thrust into the role of a servant by her stepmother. Locked in her room one night, Daria watches as the woman and her daughters sashay from the house wearing her mother’s gowns and jewelry. Realizing she’ll never be accepted as family, she flees the house and applies to be a mail-order bride. Then the sheriff arrives on the eve of her wedding with an arrest warrant. Can she prove her innocence or will she go to jail and lose her one chance at happiness? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Hers to Love by Sherrinda Ketchersid — Fiona McGowan, a beautiful Scottish widow without hope for a family of her own, travels to St. Mary’s Convent to become a nun. In route she is kidnapped by handsome Highlander Adam MacIntosh in a case of mistaken identity. Adam, laird of the MacIntosh clan, is attempting to free his brother held captive by the rival Fergus clan. The failure of his plan leaves him reeling with betrayal, death, and a wee babe in sore need of a healer. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Notorious Noel Caper by Sally Carpenter — A former teen idol investigates murders at a Christmas theme park while he tries to figure out his relationship with his girlfriend. (Mystery/Cozy from Cozy Cat Press)
The Secret of Emerald Cottage by Julie Lessman — Twenty-five-year-old Molly Stewart—ex-Navy nurse and former evidence technician for the Charleston Police Department—has been burned by love. So when her friend, Pastor Chase Griffin, begs her to move to scenic Lake Loon to be a nurse and companion for Miss Lilly, his elderly landlady, she jumps at the chance. The secluded and cozy cottage on a clear mountain lake seems the perfect place to heal from her fiancé’s betrayal as well as indulge in one of her greatest passions—cozy romance. First with reading them by the bookcase and then hopefully, if dreams come true, writing and solving them one day as an author and detective. But when Miss Lilly’s estranged great nephew shows up, it’s no mystery as to why he and Molly butt heads. Because it only takes one stolen kiss—while she’s sleeping, no less—to discover he’s an even bigger player than the ex-fiancé who broke her heart. (Romance/Mystery, Independently Published)
Home Run by Cathe Swanson — Phoebe Schenstrom’s always been a bit bossy. After all, she’s the oldest of ten children, has worked as a nanny and run the children’s ministry at the Unity Plenkiss Community Center for three years. But when a clash – or two – with clients leads to her suspension, she needs to prove that she’s more than a babysitter. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Personal Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but when Sally’s young daughter, Emma, becomes the target of child traffickers, and the little girl’s biological father wants Sally dead, the Christmas season takes a dark turn. Police officer, Dillon Brady, responds to a call for help at the home of his friend and Protection Inc. bodyguard, Sally Wilson. When their relationship tips beyond friendship, Dillon is determined no one will hurt Sally or her daughter again. Will his resolve be enough? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
The Next Fithian: An Ordinary Teen on a Strange, New World by Rick Barry — Was this a new life – or a death sentence? When Rankin Johnson boards a flight to Israel, he expects an adventure in archeology. But the airplane comes under attack and explodes in midair. Rankin shouts, “God, I’m yours!” Instantly, he’s in some other place. An angel informs Rankin the Lord is pleased to accept his offer. He dubs Rankin “the next Fithian” – a messenger from God, not to Earth, but to planet Zemna in the alternate dimension. What happened to the previous Fithian? “He was killed,” the angel says before vanishing. (Speculative Fiction/Soft Science Fiction, Independently Published)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
A Summer in Shady Springs by Sarah Anne Crouch, How can Madeleine help A.J. discover a passion for the career he’s always wanted? And how can A.J. convince Madeleine to give God and Shady Springs a second chance? (Contemporary Romance)
Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Find humor, family relationships, and romance blossoming at the 1889 Michigan State Fair in Lansing when a quilter finds herself literally falling for a balloonist! (Historical Romance)
When the private plane transporting two dangerous prisoners to trial goes down, US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn must recapture the surviving prisoner before he kills again.
The chase takes them through some remote (and beautiful) country as well as city streets and back alleys as their quarry stays one step ahead.
Madison and Jonas have met before—Jonas trained her when she first joined law enforcement—but this is their first time working together and they know nothing about one another on a personal level. Neither wants a romantic relationship, but this mission plants the seeds of a romance that will develop over the course of the series.
It’s a fast-paced, high-stakes story that doesn’t let up until the very end and definitely sets up interest to read the sequel.
The Escape is book 1 in Lisa Harris’s US Marshals series. Book 2, The Chase, is now available. For more about the author and her work, visit lisaharriswrites.com.
As conditions grow increasingly more dangerous for Russian Mennonites (and everyone else who’s a common citizen in South Russia during the revolution following the Great War), Katrina and Johann Sudermann and their friends and loved ones struggle to stay alive. Emigration seems their only hope, but the government officials block them at every turn.
It’s a difficult book to read because of the suffering the characters endure, yet it can give readers hope and encouragement that we, too, can continue on and not be crushed by our personal hard times. And it reminds us that things can always be worse.
The characters in the Storm series are the kind who stick with readers after the reading is finished. Some have faith, others have none, but they’re all honest in asking the hard questions of “why” and “how”. Some aspects of the answers they find may help us with our own questions.
Mrs. Franz carried the news like a pelican carries rotting fish in her sagging bill. She had caught it and needed to get rid of it. [Kindle edition, page 24]
Thus far we have been spared, and now I look around me, and in spite of all the fighting and terrors, the Lord still takes time to coax the buds out on the trees and to paint the grass green. [Kindle edition, page 56]
That second quote reminds me to look for even small good things no matter how difficult the circumstances. They don’t change the pain, but they do bring a measure of peace and a reminder that God is present in the darkness.
Readers who’ve followed the series from the beginning (Calm Before the Storm) will be satisfied with the way it wraps up, despite the grief along the way. I appreciated the author’s sensitive touch with the most painful moments. There are enough details for readers to understand without being traumatized themselves. This was a terrible time to live and I’m so grateful not to have been there.
Out of the Storm is book 3 in Janice L. Dick’s Storm series, originally published by Herald Press and now re-releasing as part of The Mosaic Collection’s historical line. For more about the author, visit janicedick.com. For more about The Mosaic Collection, visit mosaiccollectionbooks.com.
The Cowboy’s Amish Haven by Pamela Desmond Wright — Her home and her heart are on the line… On the same day Gail Schroder’s faced with losing her Amish family ranch, her old crush Levi Wyse shows up on her doorstep. He doesn’t know that when he left ten years ago he’d taken Gail’s heart with him. Now Levi’s her only hope of keeping a roof over her head. But can this cowboy teach Gail the ropes in time to save her home? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
An Amish Schoolroom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, and Shelley Shepard Gray — From three bestselling authors of Amish fiction come three charming stories of new school years and new romance. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))
To Bring You Back by Emily Conrad — He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget. When Adeline Green’s now-famous high school crush descends on her quiet life, a public spotlight threatens to expose her deepest regret. After eight years of trying to bury her mistakes under a life of service, she’s broke financially and spiritually. The last thing she can afford is feelings for the man who took center stage in her past—even if he does claim to know the secret to her redemption. But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Cornerstone by Nancy J. Farrier — She’s been hurt one time too many—can his patience and love may heal her empty places. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson — When Meg Whitaker’s father decides to sell the family’s lobster-fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should inherit it instead. Though she’s never had any interest in running the small fleet–or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness–she can’t stand to see Oliver Ross take over. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago. (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Cottage on Seagull Lane by Patti Jo Moore — Mindi Kirkland hopes her move to the quaint town of Ocean Mist, Florida, will help her move forward in her life. The widowed introvert is happy to live closer to her grown daughter, and has no interest in romance after enduring a painful marriage to an alcoholic. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)
A Mother’s Strength by Allie Pleiter — Will finding her son a friend lead to forever love? Single mom Molly Kane will do anything to help her son overcome his anxieties—including enlisting former police officer Sawyer Bradshaw to give him golf lessons. Sawyer’s a loner, yet he quickly forms a bond with little Zack. And with Molly. But protecting Zack means Molly must keep her heart off-limits from Sawyer, even as her little boy draws them together… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
A Warrior’s Heart by Misty M. Beller — Brielle Durand is a key defender and hunter for her people’s peace-loving French settlement in the Canadian mountains. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. She won’t allow another massacre like the one that killed her mother a dozen years before. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way? (Historical Romance from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)
The Debutante’s Secret by Mary Davis — Will Geneviève open her heart to a love she never imagined? Geneviève Marseille, a French socialite, has only one purpose in coming to Kamola—stopping her brother from digging up the past. She has reluctantly journeyed alone to the quaint college town in central Washington State. Kamola is so different from her beloved Paris that she is tempted to abort her mission, but the kindness of a handsome deputy tempers her desire to flee. (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)
Beyond These War-Torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer — The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart? While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)
Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd — War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son. Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created? (General Historical from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Into the Unknow by Daphne Self, Daniel Peyton, Lauren Smyth, Eric Landfried, Allen Steadham, P.S. Patton, and Jake Tyson — Humanity has spread and colonized regions of the galaxies. As their reach expanded, countries, colonies, and planets joined to form the Federated Nations, providing a centralized government among the stars. Along with the Science Conglomerate—who explores and researches the unknown regions—and the Judicial Clerical Court—purveyors of truth, history, and justice—humanity discovers new beings, wondrous worlds, old temptations, and strength in horrendous trials. (Speculative from Ambassador International)
One Hundred Proof Murder by Mary Ellis — Travel writer Jill Curtis is in Louisville, Kentucky, on the next stop of her bourbon tour assignment, and is keen to explore the local distilleries with her videographer, Michael Erickson – especially since her new beau, Lieutenant Nick Harris, lives in the city. But the night before Jill’s first tour at Parker’s Distillery, she is shocked to learn that the master distiller, William Scott, has died suddenly of a heart attack – and even more shocked when she discovers William’s daughter, Alexis, suspects foul play. Is there more to William’s death than meets the eye? Jill is soon drawn into a deadly blend of rivalry, jealously, and cold-blooded murder as she attempts to uncover the truth behind William’s unexpected demise. (Cozy Mystery from Severn House)
Exile by Brian Shotton — Gone for three years, Scott returns home to find Aurora in decay. A curse has descended on the small Kentucky town. Someone is convincing the young to take their own lives, and with each suicide the death-cycle grows stronger, entangling all it touches. Scott and Father Stan must find the source of the evil if they hope to heal and restore community. Meanwhile, Dee and Tim find their own trouble at the Order of the Third Sister. A demon has infiltrated the Sisters, hellbent on discovering the truth behind the prophecy of the Scion and secretly ushering in the destruction of the enclave. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical, Independently Published)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
The Fire Within Us by Greg N. Ford, About to turn thirty, Tom Barton’s life as a fireman/farmer is turned upside down when he meets a beautiful, intriguing woman and someone starts attacking him. (Action/Adventure/Contemporary)
Justice at Dawn by Valerie Massey Goree, When a training exercise turns deadly, can Agent Callahan save the rookie, the abducted family, and himself? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
Betrayal of Genius by Robin Patchen, Join Jacqui and Reid as they navigate this pulse-pounding, faith-filled adventure into the high-stakes world of medical research, innovation, and greed. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
Mendicant by Brian Shotton, In the shadows of New Orleans, evil hunts children. And Dee, a one-time Voodoo princess, has discovered why. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical)
Sweet Summer by Christina Sinisi, Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the risk? (Contemporary Romance)
Rocky Mountain Restoration by Lisa J. Flickinger — Josephine Thorebourne doesn’t deserve happiness. Not after the mess she’s made. Mid-voyage, on the steamship Jameson, she learns of the tragic loss of her family’s money. Money she stole with the hopes of turning a profit. What should be a delightful voyage up the Canadian coast turns into a journey of regret. Josephine seeks the solace of the man she loves, only to find out he’s an imposter. Left with no other choice, she must return to her home town of Stony Creek and face the anger of those she’s betrayed. Owen Kelly was given the opportunity of a lifetime to steward on the SS Jameson. The work meant he could escape his difficult upbringing along the wharves of Chicago. When his heart falls for the woman in cabin eight, Owen must decide if he will continue his work on the ship or follow the love of his life to her Rocky Mountain home. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)
Rescuing Her Heart by Cindy Ervin Huff — On visitation rounds as a lay preacher, the last thing rancher Jed Holt expects is to be shot at from the barn next to a burned-down homestead. But the soot-covered woman hiding inside needs protecting, and Jed is the man to do it whether she likes it or not. Delilah James’s nightmares began when she came to Kansas as a mail-order bride. Her husband was nothing like his letters. Now that he is dead, she can’t shake his abuse from her heart. Trusting men tops her never-again list, and taking a job on the Holt ranch as a housekeeper is a means to save money and bring her parents west. But her attraction to the compassionate former chaplain both angers and confuses her. Jed has his own nightmares from a POW camp and understands Delilah better than she knows. Can two broken people form a forever bond? (Historical Romance from Iron Stream Media)
Gold Rush Bride Caroline by Linda Shenton Matchett — Scarred in a childhood accident, Caroline Vogel has yet to find a man willing to marry her, so she heads to the Pike’s Peak goldfields to pan enough ore to become a woman of means. When she and the handsome assistant trail boss hit it off, she begins to hope her future may not be spent alone. Then she catches wind of dark secrets from the man’s past, and she’s not sure what or who to believe. Orphaned as a teenager, Oliver Llewellyn stole to survive, then used his skills for the army during the war. Nowadays, he applies his knowledge to catch dangerous thieves for the Pinkerton Agency, so guarding a young woman during a wagon train journey should be easy. But he didn’t count on the fact she’d angered a man bent on revenge. He also didn’t count on losing his heart. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Hollywood is Not Home by Annmarie M. Roberts — Would you trade fame for privacy? Movie star Maggie Malone has a glamorous lifestyle with everything money can buy―except privacy. Hounded by the paparazzi and ridiculed for her faith, Maggie secretly struggles with severe anxiety and loneliness. All she desires is to be herself–southern girl by birth, ranch lover by heart. When an anonymous benefactor invites Maggie to participate in a secret project, will her hopelessness find a new direction? Or will she become another celebrity travesty? What if she discovers Hollywood is not Home? Her faith, family, love, and future hang in the balance . (General Romance from Ambassador International)
The Scarlet Pen by Jennifer Uhlarik — Enjoy a tale of true but forgotten history of an 19th Century serial killer whose silver-tongued ways almost trap a young woman into a nightmarish marriage. In 1876, Emma Draycott is charmed into a quick engagement with childhood friend Stephen Dee Richards after reconnecting with him at a church event in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. But within the week, Stephen leaves to “make his fame and fortune.” The heartbroken Emma gives him a special pen to write to her, and he does with tales of grand adventures. Secret Service agent Clay Timmons arrives in Mount Pleasant to track purchases made with fake currency. Every trail leads back to Stephen—and therefore, Emma. Can he convince the naïve woman she is engaged to a charlatan who is being linked a string of deaths in Nebraska? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
If it Rains by Jennifer L. Wright — It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey. Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband―and her new social class―expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading. (General Historical from Tyndale House)
Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher — In 1895, Cora Anderson jumps on a cross-country train to escape New York society and her domineering father. She leaves with only some spare clothing, jewelry that once belonged to her grandmother, her cherished violin, and hopes for an uncertain future. The tiny town of Chickadee Creek is idyllic and welcoming, but it’s only a matter of time before Cora’s new friends discover the secrets of her past. More than a hundred years later, Chelsea Spencer is fleeing a dangerous situation of her own when her great aunt’s antique shop in Chickadee Creek becomes the perfect haven. At the same time, up-and-coming Hollywood star Liam Chandler has returned to the town of his ancestors to grieve some painful family losses and ponder the direction of his career. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))
A Future to Fight For by Mindy Obenhaus — Widow Paisley Wainwright’s so close to taking her Texas event-planning business to the next level by turning Renwick Castle into a wedding venue. Only one thing stands in the way: her longtime rival, Crockett Devereaux, who wants the building to become a museum. When the building’s owners insist they collaborate to implement both plans, can Paisley and Crockett put their differences aside…and fight for their dreams together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe — Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position’s already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss—and turning into something more—might he finally convince Kate to put down roots? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
The Yes Dare by Kathleen Y’Barbo — After spending most of her adult life as a football wife and mother to twin sons, fashionista Coco Sutton is learning how to be single and fabulous. Emphasis on Fabulous. The sports trophies, memorabilia, and heavy masculine wood furniture in the home she used to share with Ryan have been banished to the attic, and her home is now a cozy haven of plush candle-scented comfort. She’s got big plans that include owning a boutique or maybe an art gallery, but she never planned to take on the biggest challenge of her life: staying single. Then her best friend gives her a copy of a book called The Yes Dare, and all her plans are turned upside down. (Contemporary Romance from White Glove Publishing)
Her Sanctuary, His Heart by Michelle Dykman — Five years ago, Braelyn Kane’s daughter died. Her marriage imploded, and Forest Hill became Braelyn’s sanctuary. She’s praying for her new life to start, but she doesn’t know where to find it. (Romantic Suspense/Thriller from Ambassador International)
Lethal Cover-Up by Darlene L. Turner — Some secrets are dangerous…But uncovering the truth could be deadly. Border patrol officer Madison Steele knows her sister Leah’s fatal car crash was no accident. Someone’s willing to kill to cover up a pharmaceutical company’s deadly crime of distributing tainted drugs. Now they are after Madison to tie off loose ends. But with her high school sweetheart, Canadian police constable Tucker Reed, at her side, can Madison expose the company’s deadly plan before she becomes the next victim? (Romantic Suspense/Thriller from Love Inspired (Harlequin))
Journey to ChiYah by Kimberly Russell — JADE PEPPERDINE HAS A PROBLEM: Her life is crumbling beneath the weight of the past, events of the present, and fears for her future. Things need to change, but she doesn’t know where to start. Answers come in the form of an unexpected opportunity when Jade finds herself stuck in a mythical land. She meets Mayor Dudley, who insinuates she is emotionally broken and in need of repair … a fact she’d just as soon ignore. He offers to help her get home if she is willing to face her issues through a process of restoration. Frightened and skeptical yet out of options, Jade grudgingly agrees. And soon figures out that change is a journey, not a destination. (Speculative Fiction/Fantasy, Independently Published)
A Man with a Past by Mary Connealy — Falcon Hunt awakens without a past, or at least not one he can recall. He’s got brothers he can’t remember, and he’s interested in the prettiest woman in the area, Cheyenne. Only trouble is, a few flashes of memory make Falcon wonder if he’s already married. He can’t imagine abandoning a wife. But his pa did just that–twice. When Falcon claims his inheritance in the West, Cheyenne is cut out of the ranch she was raised on, leaving her bitter and angry. And then Falcon kisses her, adding confusion and attraction to the mix. Soon it’s clear someone is gunning for the Hunt brothers. When one of his brothers is shot, Falcon and Cheyenne set out to find who attacked him. They encounter rustled cattle, traitorous cowhands, a missing woman, and outlaws that take all their savvy to overcome. Ajs love grows between these two independent people, Falcon must piece together his past if they’re to have any chance at a future. (Western from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)
You, Me and the Stars by Michelle Dykman — He thinks she’s shallow, she thinks he’s a nerd. What happens when they are forced to work together? (Young Adult from Ambassador International)
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
The Father He Deserves by Lisa Jordan, A determined dad. A wary mother. Making amends is never easy… Injured in a kayaking accident, champion Evan Holland returns home to train rescue dogs. But his unexpected partner is the woman he left behind, Natalie Bishop. And she has a secret: a son Evan never knew he had. Now Evan must prove he can be a real father. But earning Natalie’s trust back will take hope, forgiveness—and risking everything on forever… (Contemporary Romance)
It’s Mystery…Birds by Janetta Fudge Messmer, Follow the Early Birds, plus one, on an RV journey where snooping around leads them to more than clues. It may even include a little matchmaking amid criminal activity. (Mystery)
Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon by Mark Wainwright, When angry siblings find themselves trapped and terrified in a runaway hot air balloon, their situation spirals out of control, forcing them to confront their fears in order to survive the crash landing. (Young Adult)
Tess O’Rourke has a single goal: to rise through the Long Beach police ranks to captain in honour of her father, a cop killed in the line of duty. But when she shoots an unarmed young offender to protect another officer, a police-hating blogger turns public sentiment against her to the point that her presence on the force endangers her fellow officers.
Tess takes the one job she can find, chief of a small station in Oregon. As she struggles to gain the locals’ trust and build connections with her subordinates, she’s faced with the disappearance of one of the few friends she’s made in this new town.
Crisis Shot has satisfying characters and conflicts, a complicated plot, and twists I didn’t see coming. I thought we could have done with less back story (the first eight chapters, “Part 1,” which show what happened in Long Beach and her struggle to stay, could have been referred to off-page as back story and provided separately to fans wanting more).
What I liked most was the spiritual tension between Tess and the local pastor. Oliver and his wife, Anna, have faced personal and congregational pain over the years. He trusts God, even when he doesn’t understand. Tess gave up on God years ago because she can’t understand why He would allow her father to be killed. Yet when Oliver faces heartbreak, Tess has words of hope from her own life. As this series progresses, it’ll be interesting to see how these two grow in friendship.
“The tension there was thicker than a hard copy of the California penal code.” [Kindle edition, page 40]
In a time when the news is filled with situations where certain police officers have conducted themselves with prejudice, brutality, and corruption, this book is a vital reminder that most law enforcement officers are dedicated men and women of integrity who regularly put their lives in harm’s way to protect the vulnerable.
Crisis Shot is book 1 in The Line of Duty series, followed by book 2, Lethal Target. Author Janice Cantore has a background in law enforcement, giving a depth of authenticity to her fictional officers’ interactions and issues. For more about the author and her work, visit janicecantore.com.
What would it be like to be a young girl growing to womanhood in ancient Israel during the wilderness years? With the excitement of the Exodus behind you and the Promised Land not as immediate as everyone had hoped?
Under the Cloud is Zamri’s story. Instead of dreaming of marriage, Zamri longs to become a leader like Moses’ sister, Miriam. She is, however, a daughter in a time when parents are to be obeyed—even when they arrange their daughter’s marriage.
Follow Zamri from girlhood to middle age, and see how she discovers herself able to lead in a very different way than she’d hoped as a child.
I confess when I think of the biblical account Israel’s liberation from Egypt and trek to the Promised Land I don’t have much sympathy—or patience—with their continued doubt. After all, they had the visible Presence of God with them, by day and by night. They saw the Red Sea part, after witnessing all the plagues in Egypt. Yet they grumbled, they disobeyed, and an entire generation ended up dying in the wilderness because of it.
Reading this novel helped me understand some of the fears and influences that make it believable that this rescued people would behave as they did. The faithful knew it wasn’t right, but there would have been many who were still sorting out what it meant to belong exclusively to this One True God.
Under the Cloud is the sequel to Destiny’s Hands, which told the story of Bezalel, a gifted craftsman commissioned by God to craft the holy Tent of Meeting. Zamri is his younger sister. The ending of book two leaves room for a third instalment.
As well as writing biblical fiction, Violet Nesdoly is a poet, artist, and book reviewer. For more about the author and her work, visit violetnesdoly.com.
Poison Bay, by Belinda Pollard (Small Blue Dog Publishing, 2014)
Ten years after their high school graduation—and the public suicide of one of their number—a group of friends reunite for a gruelling hike through the wilds of New Zealand. But at least one of them has an ulterior motive.
It may be that none of them will survive.
Magnificent setting, complex characters, plot twists: this is a book that’s hard to put down. The landscape is fantastic—and deadly.
While Callie and Jack try to figure out what’s really happening and to get their friends to safety, readers also see one of the parents and the local police chief as they try to mount a search and rescue campaign.
“Lightning sheeted overhead every few seconds, its flash freeze-framing the water in yet another brutal contortion.” [Kindle edition, page 36]
“The white-capped peak loomed far overhead on the right, a stream of snow flicking off its top like a flyaway fringe.” [Kindle edition, page 252]
This is Christian fiction with a very subtle faith thread. Jack is the only character with a personal faith, and he’s very honest about the struggle he has with wrong attitudes toward some of the others. [I want to leave that vague to avoid spoilers.]
Poison Bay is book 1 in the Wild Crimes series, to be followed by Venom Reef. For more about author-editor-speaker Belinda Pollard, visit belindapollard.com.
Christine Dillon’s Grace series began with Esther, a young Australian woman who received a cancer diagnosis that devastated her faith, her family, and her future. Through the course of that novel, Grace in Strange Disguise, Esther discovered a deeper faith that sustained her through her cancer journey.
Dr. Paul Webster was her cancer specialist, and despite her repeated challenges to consider faith he kept aloof. I had a secret hope that one day we’d be able to read his story, and now it’s available.
Meet the cancer surgeon who lost his wife and family in the climb to success, who never knew his father, and who allowed a patient named Esther to get under his guard and into his heart despite his strict rules to the contrary.
Watch him start a “sceptics club” to read the Gospel of Luke so he can say he’s honoured Esther’s request. Watch him try to navigate the world of parenting his teens. Enjoy a bit of breathtaking Australian scenery along the way, including the Snowy Mountains and Great Barrier Reef.
Fans of the Grace series know it’s not a spoiler to expect Paul to find his way to faith. That’s what these books are about for the main character. What I appreciated in this one was being able to follow him in his stumbling attempts to learn to pray. They encouraged my own prayers and suggested a few new approaches I may incorporate.
Grace Beneath the Frost is book 5 in the Grace series, but it takes place chronologically between books 2 and 3. From the ending of this book, I take hope that there may be a Grace 6 in the works.
If you’re new to the series you can easily start here with book 5, although it does have spoilers for books 1 and 2. Each novel is available independently, and there is also an ebook box set collection of books 1-3. Discussion guides for each book are available on the author’s website.