Tuesday Book Chat – Australasian Christian Writers | 16th July 2019

What's one thing you'd like to see less of in Christian fiction? Why?

Today I’m hosting the Tuesday Book Chat on the Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) blog. Each Tuesday we discuss a bookish question of the week.

Our question for this week – What’s one thing you’d like to see less of in Christian fiction? Why?

Stop by the ACW blog to join in the conversation.

https://australasianchristianwriters.com/tuesday-book-chat-20/

First Line Friday | The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson

Today I’m joining in the fun by sharing a book for First Line Friday. The deal is we pick up the nearest book (or in my case, the nearest device with an ebook in it) and quote the first line.

I’m sharing the first line from The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson. I’ve included the first paragraph below that introduces us to Rivers Sullivan and provides context for the intriguing opening line.

Love, like art, took on different forms with each creator. Rivers Sullivan quickened her pace to a skip, her ruffled skirt bouncing in the muggy Memphis breeze. People rushed down the city sidewalks, and cars raced by, but her thoughts rolled with wonder over the joy in her life. Her eyes captured the way the sun lowered on the western horizon, creating long shadows, the way wispy clouds layered below the indigo sky. She couldn’t seem to stop herself from mixing colors and feelings in her mind, making pictures from all she saw.

#FirstLineFriday – The Art of Rivers by @JanetwFerguson #Romance #NewRelease – via @NarelleAtkins Click To Tweet

The Art of Rivers is a June 2019 new release. Here’s the book description:

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

Chat with Janet today on Facebook when she takes over the Christian Romance Reader Gathering from 7pm-9pm Friday – USA Eastern Time.

Click the image below for the Hoarding Books Blog to check out the opening lines posted today by the #FirstLineFriday bloggers. Share the opening line from a book in the comments. Happy Reading!

Book Recommendation ~ My Beastly Billionaire by Jackie Castle

A modern day fairy tale romance retelling combined with an inspiring faith message.

Book Description:

His withdrawal from society and her need to prove her worth come to a head in this modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling.

When Elisa Lucken’s interior design company is hired to decorate the huge but neglected Grimwood Manor for an impromptu holiday gala, Elisa is put in charge of managing the indoor crew. The only catch is–do not disturb the reclusive Duncan Grimwood.

Thrilled and excited about her chance to finally prove herself, Elisa is so absorbed in her work she doesn’t hear the blizzard warning that sends the rest of her crew home.

Jewelry Artisan Duncan Grimwood had a reputation of being a playboy until the motorcycle accident that left him damaged inside and out. After a year of recuperating, Duncan has withdrawn from his lavish lifestyle and now lives like a hermit ignoring his family and the terms of his inheritance trust.

Worried that Duncan will lose his portion of the Grimwood estate, his personal assistant urges him to re-enter the real world by hosting a holiday gala at the manor to display his latest works. He agrees on the condition that nobody disturbs him while he works to finish his last few pieces.

Snowed in for the weekend with his unexpected guest, Duncan is forced out of his cave. Will the beautiful decorator he’s stuck with help him find a new respect for life before he loses everything?

My Beastly Billionaire is the first in the Grimwood Legacy Series.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I recently came across an online discussion that questioned the validity of Christian billionaire contemporary romance stories. One line of thought put forward in the discussion was a concern that it was unhelpful for Christian women to read romances featuring billionaire heroes.

This discussion piqued my curiosity and I decided to read Inspy Romance author Jackie Castle’s billionaire romance, My Beastly Billionaire, Book 1 in the Grimwood Legacy series.

My Beastly Billionaire is a modern day retelling of The Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Our heroine, Elisa, makes a few unwise decisions that leave her stranded for the Thanksgiving holiday at the country mansion where she’s working as an interior decorator. Our billionaire hero, Duncan, is a reclusive former playboy who is struggling in his recovery from a serious motorcycle accident. He knows the accident was all his fault and that he has to live with the devastating consequences.

Duncan is grumpy and beastly in his manner toward Elisa when he discovers she didn’t follow his orders and leave the country mansion with her colleagues before the blizzard. Elisa knows she messed up, and she has a genuine desire to make amends.

A charming romance develops as Elisa gets to know the real Duncan underneath his gruff exterior. Duncan is entranced by Elisa’s beauty and her sweet nature. Her faith is strong, and Duncan is challenged by Elisa to consider how his own faith impacts his life decisions.

My Beastly Billionaire is a fun and lighthearted romance set on a remote country estate. Duncan is rich, but his inherited wealth comes with certain responsibilities. He also values a person’s character over the size of their bank balance. I recommend this book to readers who like modern day fairy tale romance stories combined with an inspiring faith message.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.

First Line Friday | Risking Love by Toni Shiloh

Today I’m joining in the fun by sharing a book for First Line Friday. The deal is we pick up the nearest book (or in my case, the nearest device with an ebook in it) and quote the first line.

I’m sharing the first line from Risking Love by Toni Shiloh. I’ve included the first paragraph below – an intriguing opening!

“Welcome to The Maple…Pit.” Nikki Gordon forgot the rest of her speech because Gregory “Shorty” Smalls had just walked into The Pit with another woman.

#FirstLineFriday – Risking Love by @tonishilohwrite #Romance #NewRelease – via @NarelleAtkins Click To Tweet

Risking Love is a June 2019 new release. Here’s the book description:

Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even the sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? Read Risking Love today and see what happens when you risk your heart to the care of a good man.

Click the image below for the Hoarding Books Blog to check out the opening lines posted today by the #FirstLineFriday bloggers. Share the opening line from a book in the comments. Happy Reading!

ACFW New Releases: July 2019

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

Contemporary Romance:

Hometown Hope by Laurel Blount — In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge — Since her teens, pastor’s daughter Sharonda Peterson devoted her life to church service and solitude after the one night she gave Carl Ray Everhart everything. Sobered by a near-death experience, prodigal Carl returns home from an acting and singing career to serve as the worship leader at Sheronda’s church, and she finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Harambee Press [Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas])

Starting Anew by Melanie D. Snitker — He’s afraid to trust. She has a secret that could change everything between them. Will they let go of their fear, or allow it to rob them of their chance at happiness? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Historical:

Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller — Can shy, sweet Cecilia overcome her family’s prejudice to see a future with the recently returned prodigal son from next door? (Historical from Kregel Publications)

Benaiah: Might Man of God by PH Thompson — A novel of Biblical, historical fiction about Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men, examining the premise: What happens when the king’s most obedient soldier is issued a wicked command? (Historical/Biblical from Word Alive Press)


Historical Romance:

Waltz with Destiny by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield — When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. All they knew was that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world. (Historical Romance from CrossRiver Media Group)

Thimbles and Threads by Mary DavisGrace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist, and Liz Tolsma — Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When Tilly, a schoolteacher; Alice, a bridal shop owner; Sarah, a seamstress; and Melissa, a rag doll designer, put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to the surprising gift of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Refiner’s Fire by J.M. Hochstetler —
Will the promise their hearts cling to finally find joyful fulfillment, or will war’s refining fire separate them forever? (Historical Romance from Sheaf House Publishers)

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson — To escape an arranged marriage, Cassie Kendrick enlists in the Union army as a man, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer. Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase past guilt, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships along the way, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding. Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Express Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse — Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Legacy Rejected by Robin Patchen — She’s not giving up her home, no matter what threats come against her. Realtor Ginny Lamont’s family has abandoned her, leaving her with nothing but a warning that she’s in danger. But Ginny’s built a home in New Hampshire. After a childhood of nomadic living, she’s not running again, certainly not because of some nameless, baseless threat. Real estate developer Kade Powers is thrilled to go out with Nutfield’s beautiful new real estate agent. But the prowler they surprise after their first date offers a glimpse into Ginny’s past and the legacy of lies her parents left her with. She brings a mystery, one he’s determined to help her solve. With Kade’s help, Ginny searches for the truth of her parents’ criminal activity while her enemies close in. When mobsters show up in her quaint New England town, will she find a way to bring them down, or will she lose the home—and the man—she’s come to love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Suspense:

Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig — Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets–and dangers–never before seen on earth. Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them. Iskra “Viorica” Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most–freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of their past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])


Speculative:

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin — Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret–Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone–least of all herself. The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

First Line Friday | The Cowboy’s Convenient Marriage by Valerie Comer

Today I’m joining in the fun by sharing a book for First Line Friday. The deal is we pick up the nearest book (or in my case, the nearest device with an ebook in it) and quote the first line.

I’m sharing the first line from The Cowboy’s Convenient Marriage by Valerie Comer. I’ve included the first paragraph below – an intriguing opening!

Spencer Haviland had prided himself on planning his life to the tiniest detail. Until two days ago.

#FirstLineFriday – The Cowboy's Convenient Marriage by @valeriecomer #Romance #NewRelease – via @NarelleAtkins Click To Tweet

The Cowboy’s Convenient Marriage is a June 2019 new release. Here’s the book description:

Rivals form a marriage of convenience in this contemporary cowboy romance, but plan not to fall in love!

When Spencer Haviland receives registered mail from his great-uncle’s attorney, he figures he’ll sell his upcoming inheritance after the old man dies. After all, he’s anything but a cowboy. But when Spencer’s life suddenly unravels, he retreats to the rundown Montana ranch only to discover his cousin’s widow and child firmly entrenched.

The Rocking H is the most secure home Carmen Haviland has ever known until Spencer arrives, claiming to be Great-Uncle Howard’s heir. But with the attorney’s revelation that his client is considering bestowing the ranch to charity instead, Carmen reluctantly agrees to Spencer’s rash plan for the sake of her daughter.

Will a marriage of convenience offer them both what they seek, or will their vows become anything but convenient?

Click the image below to check out the opening lines posted today by the #FirstLineFriday bloggers. Share the opening line from a book in the comments. Happy Reading!

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books
 

Tuesday Book Chat – Australasian Christian Writers | 25th June 2019

Today I’m hosting the Tuesday Book Chat on the Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) blog. Each Tuesday we discuss a bookish question of the week.

Our question for this week – Flashbacks in fiction: Do you love them or loathe them?

Stop by the ACW blog to join in the conversation.

https://australasianchristianwriters.com/tuesday-book-chat-18/

First Line Friday | Caverns of the Deep by Jeanette O’Hagan

Today I’m joining in the fun by sharing a book for First Line Friday. The deal is we pick up the nearest book (or in my case, the nearest device with an ebook in it) and quote the first line.

I’m sharing the first line from Caverns of the Deep by my Aussie author friend Jeanette O’Hagan:

Zara walked towards the tall ebony gate, the first of seven leading outside.

#FirstLineFriday – Caverns of the Deep by @JeanetteOHagan #YAFantasy #NewRelease – via @NarelleAtkins Click To Tweet

Caverns of the Deep is a June 2019 new release. Here’s the book description:

Gates, locked and warded, stand between life and starvation.

As belts are tightened notch by notch, Watcher Retza and Lady Zara seek to find the seal and open the Gate.

Meanwhile, Delvina, shapeshifter Zadeki and Danel race to return to the Caverns in time to help their friends.

Danger and betrayal stalk the tunnels and shadows grow darker in the deep caverns beneath the mountain. Will Zadeki, Zara and the twins (Retza and Delvina) find a way to save the Glittering Realms and secure a better future?

Set in the world of Nardva, Caverns of the Deep is the fifth and final book in the Under the Mountain series.

Jeanette also has a book giveaway at the International Christian Fiction Writers blog.

Click the image below to check out the opening lines posted today by the #FirstLineFriday bloggers. Share the opening line from a book in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday Book Chat – Australasian Christian Writers | 18th June 2019

Today I’m hosting the Tuesday Book Chat on the Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) blog. Each Tuesday we discuss a bookish question of the week.

Our question for this week: What makes you click the buy button?

Stop by the ACW blog to join in the conversation.

https://australasianchristianwriters.com/tuesday-book-chat-17/

ACFW New Releases: June 2019

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


Contemporary Romance:

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson — Can a woman whose life has been damaged by addiction trust her heart to a man in recovery? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — Horse rescue farmer Ashley helps Ben start an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm. When they consider a relationship together, her bitter experience with her opioid addict brother reins in any hope for a future with Ben, who is five years in recovery from alcoholism. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Risking Love by Toni Shiloh — Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)


General:

Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith — When Bailey sets out to rescue her lost friend in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain, she discovers more about the Land—and herself—than she bargained for. (General from Edenbrooke Press)

Six Houses Down by Kari Rimbey — Two days after Sharon Webster’s distant husband returns for a surprise visit, their autistic son slips out of the house and is lost in historic Washington D. C. As they search for their boy, Sharon is forced to rely on the husband she believes no longer loves her. An elderly black couple down the street seems to understand her unspoken hurts. Has God sent them to help her find trust again? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Historical:

In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger — Beset by doubts and jealousy about prophecies spoken over her brother Yeshua, Hannah struggles to see the truth before her eyes until it is too late…or is it? (Historical from Carpenter’s Son Publishing)


Historical Romance:

This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller — An adventure-seeking wilderness girl and an ex-cavalryman looking to settle down fall in love while caring for a wounded Indian child that shows up in his barn. Will their differences keep them apart or become their greatest strengths? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Cameo Courtships by Susanne DietzeDebra E. MarvinJennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. Adventure indeed follows two competing journalists, one of whom carries the cameo while looking to expose a smuggler, a trouser-wearing frontierswoman and a reverend who are on a mission to ransom the cameo from a manipulative brothel owner, two Pinkertons who are charged with the care of the cameo but must rely on one another when the cameo is once again stolen, and a young woman who doubts the cameo can help her when a handsome Scottish library administrator ruins her dream of overseeing the new Carnegie Library children’s department and keeps a social chasm between himself and her father. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier — Carly Blair from Baltimore buys a train ticket to Kansas where she will become the wife of a man she’s never met. She must leave Baltimore to escape the evil plans her ex-fiance has for using her artistic talents for a counterfeit operation. Rand Stafford, Kansas cattle rancher is looking after his two orphaned nieces, but knows they need a mother. He’s not interested in love since being left at the altar so he advertises for a mail-order bride, willing to do whatever it takes to give Mary Jo and Jenna a proper home and upbringing. Can Carly and Rand find love where they least expect it, or will the shadows of the past dash their hopes for the future? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky — Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])


Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Truth by Robin Caroll — Adelaide Fountaine, general manager, is enthusiastically renovating parts of the Darkwater Inn. Her intentions come to a screeching halt when a skeleton is found behind a makeshift wall—an axe beside it. As Adelaide works alongside owner Dimitri Pampalon and Detective Beau Savoie, the two men who have been pursuing her heart, she learns the eerie death has tentacles that reach deep into the seedy past of both the Darkwater Inn and the evil underground of New Orleans. The past and the present collide as the stakes are upped—not only for Adelaide’s heart, but for her very life and her father’s life as well. The threats are deadly, the coils of evil are tightening around everyone involved, and they are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin — Gabriela’s brother is missing, he’s a suspect in a murder, and she’s in the cross hairs of a criminal organization. The only person who can help her is the one man she can’t trust. Will Gabby & Eli find her brother before it’s too late? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills — As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission. American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel Alier, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void noticed both by Paul and by Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

The Last Chaplain by Carl M. White — At the request of Pastor John Grant, the last chaplain of the United States Senate, Lisa Smithy embarks on the adventure of a lifetime: find a former Senate staff member and convince him to reveal to a DC reporter the plot that led to Dr. Grant’s removal and the discrediting of his best friend, a United States Senator. From the South, to the West, to the Midwest, evil men are desperate to stop her, and romance surprisingly finds her. Can she bring together the former Senate staffer who knows all and the Washington reporter who can tell all, while eluding the men who would end it all? (Romantic Suspense from Austin Brothers Publishers)