Tag Archives: clean reads

99-cent Ebook Sale: Unknown Enemy

Come to the Green Dory Inn for the mysteries, stay for the characters.

Book 1, Unknown Enemy, is 99 cents for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple, and Google Play until July 5. Great time to discover a new-to-you Christian fiction series set in beautiful Nova Scotia!

Buy your copy here: https://www.books2read.com/unknownenemy

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Review: Crossed by Death, by A.C.F. Bookens

Crossed by Death, by ACF Bookens, Stitches in Crime series book 1

Crossed by Death, by A.C.F. Bookens (Andilit, 2021)

Paisley Sutton’s historical writing career went out the window when she became a single mom of a toddler too active to allow the necessary research time. Now she provides for herself and two-year-old Sawyer by salvaging vintage items from abandoned buildings and reselling them online.

Exploring a long-closed rural gas station was not supposed to end with her finding a dead body. Nor was meeting the town sheriff supposed to unfold into a potential for romance.

I enjoyed following Paisley’s research as she tries to untangle generational secrets that might explain not only the present-day murder but the long-ago one that closed the gas station.

Cozy mystery fans will find a few familiar staples: a well-stocked yarn store is a key setting (although Paisley herself prefers cross-stitch), there’s an interesting pet (a Maine Coon cat) and plenty of food references, along with the law enforcement romantic hero. Her salvage career is interesting, and the mystery is an engaging puzzle to follow.

I like Paisley’s accepting way with people and her desire to contribute to their lives. Her mama-bear determination to provide for and protect her son create a strong reader connection. The book does a great job of showing white characters (including Paisley) interacting with Black characters with no prejudice but also with no sense of “hey, look at us being non-racist.” It’s just natural, as it should be, with a few regretful references to past segregation.

Crossed by Death is book 1 in the Stitches in Crime mystery series. A.C.F. Bookens has a few other cozy mystery series as well, one of which is a free download on her site: acfbookens.com. Fans of Karin Kaufman’s Juniper Grove series will want to give this author a try, and vice versa.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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Review: Gossip and Grace, by Janice L. Dick

Gossip and Grace, The Happenstance Chronicles Book 3, by Janice L. Dick

Gossip and Grace, by Janice L. Dick (Tansy & Thistle Press, 2022)

When you mess up in a small town, everybody knows it. Which is why 19-year-old Sol Wuppertal does not want to return to Happenstance when he gets out of prison. No matter his claims of innocence—all the townsfolk will remember is that he hung around with bad characters and has done time.

Readers of the Happenstance Chronicles series will recognize Sol’s large, energetic family: his dad owns the general store. Other fan favourites are back as well: Matt and the Misses Grayce and Emmaline, Bear, the crotchety Morris Craddock, and more. If you’re new to the series, you’ll fit right in and quickly develop a fondness for these folks.

In this book, Sol is lured home by his sister Rachel who’s running the new bistro and needs a helper. Sol needs a job but doesn’t want to work in the family store—his father hasn’t forgiven him for shaming the family name. But working at the bistro puts Sol in regular contact with Mr. Craddock. Words will fly and tempers will flare.

As if conflict with his father, the local gossip columnist, Mr. Craddock, and his parole officer isn’t enough, Sol also finds himself in the middle of a mystery. Someone’s been stealing rare books from the library attached to the bistro.

Gossip and Grace is a blend of contemporary fiction and cozy mystery, with a dash of whimsy. The mystery is clearly secondary to the challenges and changes in the characters’ lives.

Sol has a lot of negative mental baggage and as he tries to learn to reframe his perspective I appreciate the realistic ups and downs in the process. Too many books make it look easy or like a one time choice. Negative self-talk and false beliefs about others are things that affect so many of us in the real world, and I think Sol’s journey can point to real-life change. Not that it’s preachy in any way—his growth is an organic result of his struggle.

Gossip and Grace is the newest feel-good mystery in the Happenstance Chronicles, with delightful characters, amusing banter, and a whimsical small town you’ll wish was real. As well as this contemporary series, Janice L. Dick has also written historical fiction. For more about the author and her books, visit janicedick.com.

[Review copy provided by the author. I wasn’t required to write a review, and my opinions are my own.]

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New Releases in Christian Fiction (June 2022)

June 2022 New Releases from Members of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW):

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


Contemporary Romance:

 

A Time for Singing by Carol James — Charlee Bennett is running from her past. Once deserted by her musician ex-fiancé, she’s vowed to avoid anything that reminds her of the pain of his betrayal. Chance Jackson is starting over. Hoping to redeem the mistakes of his earlier life, he wants to become the music and worship pastor of the largest church in Crescent Bluff. Charlee tries to convince herself she should not be attracted to Chance. But then she discovers an old letter hidden in the secret drawer of an antique desk. The pain expressed by its author resonates deep within her. Can the words of long ago soften Charlee’s heart and help her to discover that there is a time for singing? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican))

An Unlikely Alliance by Toni Shiloh — To save her animal shelter, she’ll have to work with her biggest foe. With her emotional support dog at her side, Jalissa Tucker will do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of the local animal rescue—even ally herself with her nemesis, firefighter Jeremy Rider. As working together dredges up old hurts, putting the past aside could be the key to their future joy. But can Jalissa resist falling for the man she’s always considered the enemy. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

Destination: Romance by Amy R. Anguish — It’s not every day you bring a boyfriend back as a souvenir. Katie Wilhite is ready to settle into her new job as a librarian now that college is through, but friends Bree and Skye want one more girls’ trip, and when Bree insists this is her bachelorette fling, Katie agrees. What she didn’t agree to was allowing fun and flighty Skye to dictate the itinerary or for her anxiety to kick in harder than ever … right in front of a cute guy. Camden Malone had no idea when he agreed to be the voice of reason on his cousin Ryan’s vacation that the trip wouldn’t stay in New Orleans as planned. But when Ryan plots with Skye so that the guys can tag along with the girls all week, he isn’t nearly as upset as he should be. Not with Katie’s fiery temper and flashing eyes intriguing him more by the minute. (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

Finding her Amish Home by Pamela Desmond Wright — What she wants more than anything could also be the most dangerous. After her twin sister’s death, Maddie Baum flees to Wisconsin Amish country with her nephew in tow in the hopes of protecting him from his criminal father. Befriending Amish shopkeeper Abram Mueller gives her a glimpse of the happiness she’s been yearning for all along. Can she find a fresh start with Abram—or will old sins tear them apart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

Rebuilding Hearts by Carolyn Miller — Who knew a bank robbery could show a girl that good guys still exist? Tim Franklin. Quiet, shy, almost incapable of speaking to a girl, and a budding horticulturist. Oh, and he survived a bank robbery five years ago, not to mention its resulting trauma. Bookworm Bella Dwyer just wants to feel safe, and Tim’s actions during the robbery made her believe there might be guys who live up to her fictional heroes. Trouble is, a chance with Tim seems as remote as this year’s celebrity heartthrob. Instead, she settled for a relationship with a guy who’s commitment-phobic. (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

The Help of a Cowboy by Elsie Davis — Once a cowboy…always a cowboy. But when life delivers Chad a chance to hang up his boots and spurs, he’s all in. He’s newly single, bored, and ready to move to the city to shake things up. She’s recently divorced, tired of the fast pace, and looking to settle in the country. When their paths cross, the two must work together if they have any hope of following their dreams. The ranch is an albatross around Chad’s neck. Hard work and little time for fun. When his sister gets married and moves into town, the timing is perfect to sell the ranch and move on with his life. Diana is on the road to nowhere, looking to escape her past and find a special place to call home for her and her daughter. When she spots a ranch for sale just outside of Crossroads Creek, she knows in her heart it’s perfect. There’s only one problem…she doesn’t know the first thing about ranching. (Contemporary Romance from Sweet Romance Publishing)

When the Ice Melts by Ashlyn McKayla Ohm — After her dearest dreams are shattered, competitive figure skater Addisyn Miles embarks on a quest to discover who she really is. But the answers seem to lead to a mysterious man, a Canadian mountain town, and the sister she left behind three years ago. (Contemporary, Independently Published)

Winning Julia’s Heart by Narelle Atkins — Can a former bad boy be redeemed? Sean Mitchell has left his past behind, but his new boss, Julia Radcliffe, isn’t so sure. A year ago, Sean walked out on his brother’s wedding and her. Now the bad boy with the surfer good looks is back and determined to make a new life with Julia. She wonders whether she can truly trust that he’s a changed man. It took time and faith, but Sean is finally on the right path. And his feelings for Julia have only grown stronger. But when Sean’s past threatens to jeopardize their future, can he convince Julia they both want the same thing; a love that can overcome every mistake? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

 


General Historical:

 

Hope Beyond the Waves by Heidi Chiavaroli — Massachusetts, 1993: After making a grievous mistake that will change her life forever, Emily Robertson is sent away to live with her grandmother on Cape Cod. When Emily finds a timeworn photograph buried in a drawer, she realizes her grandmother has concealed a secret even bigger than her own. Will convincing Gram to reveal their family history help Emily make the most important decision of her life or will it prove her parents right—that family scandal is better off buried and forgotten? Massachusetts, 1916: Atta Schaeffer plans to marry the man of her dreams and whisk her little sister away from their abusive father. But when she is diagnosed with a dreaded malady, Atta is forced into a life of exile, leaving her sister in harm’s way. On Penikese Island, Atta’s best hope lies with Harry Mayhew, a doctor who seeks a cure for his patients at any cost. But when experiments fail, Atta runs from Harry—and from God. Can she return to her sister before it’s too late? Or will her illness consume both her body and soul? (General Historical, Independently Published)

 


Historical Romance:

 

Coming Home to Truth by Michelle De Bruin — Lacy Jones, a graduate of her small high school, knows her whole world is about to change. She dreams of freedom from the struggles with her health, and of the independence that comes with a steady job. When her friend invites her to share the journey to visit the teacher from their country school days, Lacy finally gets the chance to chase her dreams. But when the girls get separated along the way, Lacy is left to make the trip alone. Arriving in a strange town, Lacy is reunited with old friends who introduce her to a new life, new relationships, and a new way of seeing herself. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)

For a Noble Purpose by Kelsey Gietl — Anxious to be free from a family legacy he would rather not claim and a slave-built society he doesn’t support, Tobias Lark believes the only way to find his perfect town is to create it himself. Joined by his three brothers, he sets out for the Washington Territory with a collection of carefully curated supporters, all determined to build a new life in the West. When a young plantation widow unexpectedly joins their party, he fears the curse she carries will crack the solid foundation upon which all his plans are built. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Season of My Enemy by Naomi Musch — The realities of WWII come to a Wisconsin farm bringing hope and danger. Only last year Fannie O’Brien’s future shone bright, despite the war pounding Europe. Since her father’s sudden death and her brothers fighting overseas, Fannie must now do the work of three men on their 200-acre farm–until eight German prisoners arrive as laborers and, just as Fannie feared, trouble comes too. Captain Wolfgang Klonginger is relieved that his boys are off the warfront, keeping busy working the O’Brien farm until they can go home again and he can return to his teaching position in Germany. Crops take precedence, even as “accidents” happen around the farm. Could a saboteur be among them? Fannie is especially leery of the handsome German captain who seems intent on cracking her defenses. Can she manage the farm and hold her family together through these turbulent times, all while keeping the prisoners—and her heart—in line? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Burning Sands by Carole Lehr Johnson — After a year, Olivia Griffin still drowns in grief from losing her beloved husband in a tragic accident. To cope with his death, she loses herself in her art and genealogy research that follows her grandmother’s lineage to Trerose, a small fishing village on the Cornish coast of England. In a bid to start fresh, she travels to Cornwall to discover more about her grandmother’s past, where she is captivated by an old tavern and the story of a young woman who lived there in the seventeenth century. In the autumn of 1671, Grace Atwood and her brother still mourn the loss of their childhood friend while they struggle to protect their mother and siblings from their abusive father, who operates The Burning Sands Tavern. Grace’s life sinks further into turmoil after her father arranges her marriage to a local merchant with secrets of his own. When two strangers arrive in the harbor and the village is set alight with rumors, Grace finds herself caught between her family’s secrets and a romantic interest in Rig, a mysterious young man who is determined to help save her family. (Historical Romance from Ink Map Press)

 


Mystery/Cozy:

 

Boughs of Folly by Sandra Orchard — After spending two decades of Christmas seasons in California, Jillian Green celebrates returning to her family’s antebellum mansion in Georgia by joyfully decking the halls for the upcoming Moss Hollow Merry Mansions Tour. However, Jillian’s holiday cheer takes a nosedive when she discovers her great aunt’s new friend Herbert dead at the base of a tree while he’s helping them string lights. Although his death appears to be a tragic accident, her great aunt insistently blames foul play, and handsome local coroner Hunter Greyson confirms her suspicions. Needled into action by her aunt, Jillian quickly realizes this case is more tangled than a strand of twinkle lights, and lead after lead winds up in a dead end. (Mystery Cozy from Annie’s Fiction)

 


Thriller/Suspense/Romance:

 

Among the Innocent by Mary Alford — When Leah Miller’s entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family’s deaths. As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can’t help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah–and Dalton–when the full truth comes to light? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Cold Case Killer Profile by Jessica R. Patch — The desert can hide many secrets…including murder. Searching for the perfect morning landscape to paint leads forensic artist Brigitte Linsey straight to a dead body—and a narrow escape from the Sunrise Serial Killer still on the scene. Now she’s become unfinished business and new prey. Working with FBI special agent Duke Jericho could mean putting the murderer away for good. However, it’s just a matter of time before this diabolically clever predator turns his hunters into the hunted… (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

Fatal Forensic Investigation by Darlene L. Turner — Remembering a serial killer’s face…could be deadly. While interviewing the Coastline Strangler’s only surviving victim, forensic artist Scarlet Wells is attacked and left with amnesia. Now she’s his next mark and has no choice but to work with constable Jace Allen to unlock the criminal’s true identity trapped in her mind. Will they be able to recover the hidden memory and hunt down the killer before he strikes again? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

Vanished Without a Trace by Sarah Hamaker — After nine years searching for his missing sister, attorney Henderson Parker uncovers a clue that leads him to Twin Oaks, Virginia—and podcaster Elle Updike investigating the case. Partnering with the journalist is the last thing Henderson wants, until mysterious thugs make multiple attacks on both their lives. Now they’ll have to trust each other…before the suspected kidnappers make them disappear for good. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

 


Young Adult:

 

Collapse: The Death of Honor by Angela D. Shelton — Caleb already lost his dreams when the variant ended life as he knew it, but when blackmailers threaten to destroy his life permanently, he must learn to trust others to forgive or lose the only family he has. (Young Adult Fiction from Two Oaks Publishing, LLC)

 

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

A Mother for His Son by Betty Woods, A little boy’s love changes everything. (Contemporary Romance)
 
Boulevard of Confusion by Sandra Merville Hart, In times of war, is anything as it seems? (Historical Romance)
 
Midnight’s Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller, Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue? (General Historical)
 
Peyton’s Promise by Susan G. Mathis, Can she ignore the prejudices and persevere or lose her job, forfeit his love, and forever become the talk of local gossips. (Historical Romance)
 
Secret Guilt by Lynne Waite Chapman, Some secrets are meant to be kept. Buried. Unfortunately, if you dig too hard, they resurface. (Mystery: Cozy)
 
The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker, Can Violet and Henry uncover the secrets of the past before one of them ends up as The Wolf’s next victim? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
 
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Review: Cold Drip, by Heather Day Gilbert (Barks & Beans 6)

Cold Drip, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2022)

A tour of the local caverns with her visiting boyfriend plunges Macy Hatfield into another mystery when a young woman falls over a cliff during a suspicious power outage.

I’m always happy to return to the West Virginia-set Barks and Beans Café for a vicarious dose of tasty treats and canine company. And as the series continues, I appreciate how some of the secondary characters are included in aspects of the mysteries. It lets readers get to know them along with brother-and-sister sleuthing duo Bo and Macy—and Coal, my favourite fictional Great Dane.

Fans of Heather Day Gilbert’s other books will be happy to recognize a new character in Cold Drip who was introduced in False Pretense, the recent finale to her Murder in the Mountains series. Cold Drip also includes some hints that may shape future mysteries in the series.

The Barks and Beans books are light-toned cozy mysteries with characters who’ll keep you coming back for more. There’s an overall arc of developing friendships and romance, yet a reader could start with any book.

Author Heather Day Gilbert writes contemporary mysteries (some faith-based and some clean mainstream) and Viking historicals. To quote her bio on the Goodreads site, “She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love.”  For more about the author and her work, visit heatherdaygilbert.com.

[Advance review copy provided by the author. I was not required to write a review, and my opinions are my own.]

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Book Review: The Defenders of Practavia, by J. A. Menzies

The Defenders of Practavia, by J. A. Menzies (That’s Life! Communications, second edition 2021)

Two twelve-year-old friends—and a Talking Camel—may be the only hope for a kingdom in danger in this middle-grade epic fantasy novel from author J. A. Menzies.

We have a princess who’s so strong-willed even her mother calls her Princess Persnickety. And we have her unlikely friend, Stefan the stable boy. Soon, they’re joined by Creed the Talking Camel (in a kingdom where Talking Animals are the stuff of fairytales) and the adventure begins.

This book would be ideal for a child who’s an avid reader and isn’t afraid of adult-level words like “persnickety,” or for adults who enjoy reading to children. The narrative has a definite read-aloud feel, with perhaps more description than I expect most kids to want to tackle. Having said that, I heartily encourage them to tackle it—it won’t take long for the story to hook them.

There’s plenty to appeal to kids—and kid-like adults—with the children taking front stage in the action despite the adults’ attempts to keep them out of danger. There are satisfying moments of bad guys being conked by frying pans or running into just-shut doors. There are the previously mentioned Talking Animals, along with a secret history of the kingdom.

For the map-lovers among us, there’s also a map. And for the series-lovers, book 2 is in the works. This story finishes with this book, but there’s definitely scope for more. There’s still a potential threat to the realm, and Stefan, an adopted son of loving parents, finishes book 1 with a growing desire to discover his family history.

J. A. Menzies is the alter-ego of author N. J. Lindquist. Between the two names, this Canadian author has produced mysteries for adults, contemporary coming-of-age stories for young adults, nonfiction material, and now a middle-grade epic fantasy. For more about the author and her books, visit jamenzies.com and njlindquist.com.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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Behind the Scenes of Bitter Truth


Mystery and suspense writers joke about law enforcement flagging our internet searches. For the murder in the opening pages of Bitter Truth, I spent hours looking up ways the killer could dispatch the victim from a distance or with a time delay. 

Truth told, it’s a little creepy looking at weapons sites on the internet. There are some disturbing subcultures. If you want to know what a “TEOTWAWKI kit” is, first try to guess. Then I’ll tell you at the end of this post.

On the upside, I discovered you can buy “Batman Batarang Throwing Knives.” I’m not a weapons person (although I love a good kitchen knife) but these are, well, if you’ll pardon the pun, they’re very “sharp looking”! 

Back to the research… So many options for a fictional murderer! I decided it would be dramatic to have the killer use a poisoned dart. So I studied various types of poisons. And blowguns, because he could fold it up and not look suspicious. How long would he need to practice with something like that? And how close would he have to be?

It could work. I wanted it to work. 

Then I thought about the character of the killer, his goals and his style. 

All he needed was a sniper rifle. 

There went all my fancy plans! But you never know, a poison dart may show up in a later book. Nothing’s ever wasted. 

And the answer to the mystery question is…
“TEOTWAWKI” = “The End Of The World As We Know It” 

Yikes! It’s good to be prepared for emergencies, as Green Dory Inn character Nigel Foley would attest.

Still, in these days following Easter I’d rather focus on the One who laid down His life on the Cross to save us and took it up again in triumph three days later. His purposes are best, His promises are true, and His love never fails. As the Bible says, our times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15).

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What are readers saying about Bitter Truth?

“A nice assorted cast of possible suspects, and lots of twists in the plot that will keep you guessing.” ★★★★★
Jeffrey C. Reynolds, blogger and reviewer

“Recommended reading for all who love a good puzzley story.” ★★★★★
Violet Nesdoly, author, blogger, and reviewer

“I definitely recommend this book!” ★★★★★
Amy C. Blake, author and Goodreads reviewer

“Lots of twists and turns. A must read!” ★★★★★
Charlene, Goodreads reviewer

“A fun and thought-provoking read” ★★★★
Miranda S., Goodreads reviewer

“I did NOT see the ending!!” ★★★★
Trudy C., Goodreads reviewer

"Janet Sketchley’s tight writing is full of homey details—nicely appointed rooms in a seaside inn on the shores of beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, cups of coffee, tea, and fragrant baking—disarming us for the plot’s next whiplash development." ★★★★★
Violet Nesdoly, author, blogger, and reviewer

If you like clean Christian mystery and suspense, read Bitter Truth today! This link has international options for major ebook retailers and Amazon for print: books2read.com/bitter-truth.

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New Releases in Christian Fiction (April 2022)

April 2022 New Releases from Members of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW):

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


Contemporary:

 

A Heart to Cherish by Judith McNees — Everyone leaves…including God. That’s how Julia Price feels after years of being passed over in foster homes. All she has ever wanted is a family, but when she finds herself pregnant and homeless, her dreams seem further away than ever. Strait-laced good guy Alex Morgan has waited his entire life for the woman God has prepared for him. When he makes it his mission to help Julia, he wonders whether she could be that woman. But why would God lead him to a pregnant non-believer? As Julia struggles with issues of self-worth and trust, can she open her heart to both God and Alex? And can Alex trust their relationship to the One who holds Julia in His hand? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Every Day Filled with Hope by Shelia W. Stovall — Nineteen years ago, a powerful and influential man assaulted former runway model Casey Bledsoe, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. Casey’s biggest regret is allowing fear to influence her to give up her baby for adoption. (General Contemporary from Elk Lake Publishing)

If You Light My Way by Jerusha Agen — Can she light up his life when hers goes dark? Oriana Sanders shouldn’t be drawn to Nicanor Pessoa. The handsome, brooding tango dancer couldn’t ever be interested in an elementary school teacher. He reminds her of her inner-city students—troubled but full of potential, if only she can point him to the joy of the Lord. Nicanor has known many beautiful women, but none with the vibrant zest for life that emanates from Oriana. She attracts him like a moth to a flame, making him want to forget the secrets and guilt that have burdened him for years. But how can he forget, when the worst secret of all is the one Oriana won’t be able to forgive? Their growing feelings for each other seem unstoppable until they face a darkness that threatens to tear them apart. Can God help them forgive the unforgivable and bring them through the shadows into the light? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Heart of a Cowboy by Elsie Davis — Rusty’s career as a bronc rider is over. Figuring out his next steps in life is more challenging than riding a bull for eight seconds. Surely there were better people more deserving of the new heart he received, people who had more to give back to society than a washed-up rodeo cowboy. Courtney is already struggling with the death of her husband, and the “temporarily relieved of duty” decree from her assistant chef position is too much to handle on her own. The decision to move home is not an easy one, but she doesn’t have much choice. At least not until the insurance company quits balking at paying out on the life insurance policy. When her truck breaks down just outside of Crossroads Creek, it’s Rusty to the rescue. Fate has brought them together, but the truth may not be something either one can handle. Will they rely on faith and trust their own hearts for the answers, or will they run from the past and destroy any chance at a future of happiness together? (Contemporary Romance from Sweet Romance Publishing)

The Bookseller’s Promise by Beth Wiseman — Yvonne Wilson makes the trek from Texas to Indiana with just one goal in mind: to convince Amishman Jake Lantz to sell her client a rare book from his collection. But Jake is as strong-willed as Yvonne. On the eve of his grandfather’s death, Jake vowed never to sell the book, and he intends to keep that promise. But he can’t say more than that, having never read it and not knowing why it was so dear to his grossdaadi. (General Contemporary from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))

 


General Historical:

 

Claiming Her Legacy by Linda Goodnight — Frontier women don’t ride off alone to track an outlaw—not even women as capable as tomboy spinster Willa Malone. But Willa desperately needs the bounty money offered for her father’s killer if she’s to keep their homestead and take care of her sisters. That means she needs an expert tracker’s help. Gideon Hartley has the skill, but the handsome trail guide also has a troubling secret…Gideon has spent years trying to numb his pain with whiskey. Little by little, their quest—and Willa’s belief in him—is restoring the sense of purpose he thought he’d lost. Journeying into the heart of danger, they’ll have to face down the past together if they hope to protect their future… (Historical/Women’s Fiction from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

 


Historical Romance:

 

A Strike to the Heart by Danielle Grandinetti — Wisconsin, 1933―When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe. Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Marquis’s Pursuit by Lorri Dudley — She’s desperate to keep her secret hidden, but he’s a determined Marquis. As the son of a duke, Maxwell Oliver Weld, Marquis of Daventry, is allowed entry into the finest of London’s ballrooms, access to political figures, and advice from the best physicians. Yet, his wealth and contacts won’t heal his friend, Charlie, who’s dying from consumption. Hopeful for a miracle, Max persuades Charlie to sail across the Atlantic to stay in the Artesian Hotel on the island of Nevis and bathe in its famous healing springs. Max’s optimism is washed in doubt as the truth unravels about the hotel, its hot springs, and the beautiful caretaker. The blaze of Evelyn Mairi Sheraton’s fiery side has long since been snuffed out. Hunted by a vengeful man from her past, only fortitude and the island’s sanctuary have kept Evelyn alive. She will do whatever it takes to keep her precious secret safe, even work for the demeaning Artesian Hotel owner, Edward Rousseau. However, when a jaunty marquis and his ailing friend arrive, sparks ignite, but Evelyn fears the revealing of her secrets will burn her to ash. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

 


Mystery:

 

Persian Blue Puzzle by Susan Page Davis — Someone’s broken into Miss Louanne’s house. Campbell McBride and her father Bill have moved their home and detective business into an old Victorian house. Their new neighbors bring in unexpected cases for True Blue Investigations to unravel. While helping Miss Louanne look for her missing cat, Campbell learns of other suspicious activities in Murray. Another neighbor tells the detectives about a stranger in town who’s peddling an investment plan. They aren’t sure any crimes have been committed, but they’re intrigued enough for Campbell to visit a psychic along with police detective Keith Fuller’s mom and to start checking up on the financier. Things heat up when a customer threatens the psychic and then she vanishes. (Mystery from Scrivenings Press)

The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright — To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil. Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses’ cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth. In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger’s ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter’s Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava’s secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined. (Mystery from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)

 


Speculative Fiction/Fantasy:

 

The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes by Dawn Ford — Eighteen-year-old servant girl Tambrynn is haunted by more than her unusual silver hair and the star-shaped pupils in her eyes. Her uncontrollable ability to call objects leads the wolves who savagely murdered her mother right to her door. When she’s fired and outcast during a snowstorm, her carriage wrecks and she’s forced to find refuge in an abandoned cottage. There, her life is upended when the magpie who’s stalked her for ten years transforms into a man, Lucas. He’s her Watcher and they’re from a different kingdom. His job is to keep her safe from her father, an evil mage, who wants to steal her abilities, turn her into one of his undead beasts, and become immortal himself. Can they make it to the magical passageway and get to their home kingdom in time for Tambrynn to thwart her father’s malicious plans? Or will Tambrynn’s unique magic doom them all? (Speculative Fiction/Fantasy from Scrivenings Press)

 


Thriller/Suspense/Romance:

 

Inheritance of Secrets by Robin Patchen — “I didn’t do right by your mother. Or by you. Find her and do what I never had the courage to do.” Spoken between wheezing breaths, the deathbed words of Aspen Kincaid’s father shook her to the core. He’d led her to believe that the mystery of her mother’s disappearance was unsolvable. Apparently, her father had known more than he’d ever let on. He’s been lying to her all her life. When Aspen inherits a house in New Hampshire—a house she hadn’t known Dad owned—she travels thousands of miles, desperate to do as her father asked—find her mother. But some of the residents of Coventry seem less than thrilled to learn Jane Kincaid’s daughter is back and digging into things that should remain buried forever. Garrett’s renovations of the secluded old house on the mountain should be the next step in his contracting career, but Aspen’s arrival in town stirs up old animosities he hadn’t known existed. All he wants is to complete the job, hoping it’ll open up new opportunities. But some people expect Garrett’s help to keep an eye on Aspen’s activities. How can he honor his beautiful, vulnerable client and remain loyal to the people who need his help? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance, independently published)

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

By the Sweet Gum by Ane Mulligan, She’s bound by duty. He’s tethered to a dream. (Historical Romance)
 
The Do-Over by Bethany Turner, Sometimes dreams come true. Other times, the best outcome begins with an epic fail. (Contemporary Romance)
 
Pilgrim by Brian Shotton, A door dividing life from death draws Scott into a deadly trap. Can he save his friends before fate forces him through? (Thriller/Suspense Supernatural)
 
Love’s Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels, The son of a funeral home owner and his friend, a sea captain, transport the women they love, two enslaved women from Virginia plantations, North. (Historical Romance)
 
Home Run Hunter by Cindy M. Amos, Full of positive enthusiasm, Lena Hart works for the promo team at the ballpark and encourages trouble-shooting intern Gage Landers to find contentment in the day, not chase some far-off dream. (Contemporary Romance)
 
Wounded Soul by Sheridan Lee, Life often derails well-laid plans. Can she achieve her dreams after everything crumbles? (General Contemporary)
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It’s Release Day!

Happy “book birthday” to the newest Green Dory Inn Mystery, Bitter Truth! The paperback version sneaked onto the scene early, and now the ebooks are live too.

What readers are saying about Bitter Truth.
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