Especially for Writers

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A Fool and His Monet, by Sandra Orchard

I love mystery novels. Cozy mystery, mystery suspense, mystery romance, police procedurals of any investigative branch. Sandra Orchard’s character is an investigator in a branch I haven’t thought of since one of my favorite TV shows was taken off the air: White Collar, featuring the FBI’s Art Crime division.

In the wonderfully titled A Fool and His Monet, we’re introduced to Serena Jones and her parents, partner, boss, apartment supervisor—a whole crew of folks who come to life in wonderful ways. Even her cat has a great personality. But my favorite is her aunt, a sleuth wannabe with questionable friends in unusual places.

Even Sandra’s bad guys are well developed to the point that one is amazingly sympathetic and the other takes you totally by surprise. The motive for the crimes, a theft of two paintings and the murders that may be tied to them, is both curious and unique. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that lust and greed aren’t always the reasons behind crime. Sometimes it’s simply I told you so.

Sandra presents a trans-series quest, the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather, and a fun twist to the mystery/romance. In this first in the series, we the readers get a vote on who Serena’s love interest will be: Nate, the boy-next-door type who is her apartment supervisor, or Tanner, the tough-guy-swagger type who is her partner.

The novel is chock full of wit, quirky family interactions, and suspense. Sandra Orchard wrote a prize winner. I highly recommend it.

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Especially for Writers

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November 2017 Christian Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Rooted in Love by Valerie Comer — A divorcé with a set of rambunctious twins falls for the boys’ daycare administrator, but does he deserve another chance at love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Prescription for Romance by June Foster — Though history teacher Scott Townsend made a commitment to the Lord as a teen, he can’t relinquish his bitterness toward his younger brother after he squanders their parents’ money. When a beautiful, young pharmacist seeks affirmation in a way that challenges Scott’s values, he must uphold his Christian upbringing. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romance [Winged Publication])

Believing in Tomorrow by Kimberly Rae Jordan — Sammi struggles to accept the consequences for her actions and to live with her new reality—unwed mother instead of wife and then mother. Though it eats at her soul, she feels that the judgment she faces is her lot to bear. Can Levi get Sammi to see that their child deserves better? Or will she lose everything she’s dreamed of for her tomorrow because she can’t accept that forgiveness is hers for the taking? (Contemporary Romance, ACFW QIP)

Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner — Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Historical:

The Legacy by Carol Ashby — A father’s martyrdom makes his son and daughter hunger for revenge on their brother who betrayed him and the people who led him to faith until God answers their father’s final prayer in unexpected ways. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)



Jerusalem Rising by Barbara M. Britton — When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit,God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David. Nehemiah challenges the people of God to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Will her father, who rules a half-district of Jerusalem, be forgotten forever? Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same stones they hope to construct? (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical Mystery:

Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering — Amateur sleuth Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline travel to Scotland for the 1935 British Open, but instead of a relaxing holiday, they find murder, mystery, and international intrigue. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Waiting for His Return by Carrie Turansky — The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover the battles near Union occupied Nashville. (Historical Mystery from Flowing Stream Books)

Historical Romance:
The Virtuous Viscount by Susan M. Baganz — Lord Remington falls for a woman he rescues and recovers in his home, but can Miss Storm trust his virtue when he risks his reputation to unbeknownst to her, saves her life. (Historical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])


Lord Phillip’s Folly by Susan M. Baganz — Lord Westcombe finds himself falling in love with his unexpected wife and having to rescue her from the devices of the Black Diamond with the help of his friends and newfound faith. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Regency Brides Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch — Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England…Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love…. Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago. Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism. Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans. Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret. Esther is empowered to choose between two men. Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash. Jamie and William face a daunting London season together. Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas — Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. Larkin Heyward’s life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more–maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company. Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Legal Thriller:

Guilty Blood by Rick Acker — A desperate mother tries to prove her son’s innocence, but shadowy forces want to keep him in jail–and kill him there. (Legal Thriller from Waterfall Press)

Romantic Suspense:

An Unexpected Legacy by Amy R. Anguish — When Chad Manning introduces himself to Jessica Garcia at her favorite smoothie shop, it’s like he stepped out of one of her romance novels. But as she tentatively walks into a relationship with this man of her dreams, secrets from their past threaten to shatter their already fragile bond. Chad and Jessica must struggle to figure out if their relationship has a chance or if there is nothing between them but a love of smoothies. (Romantic Suspense from Tulpen Publishing)

Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey — Undercover Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn’s convinced Danielle Segovia is really a wanted criminal—until she’s nearly kidnapped right in front of him. Now Colter must keep her out of the clutches of the notorious drug cartel leader whose traitor sister is a dead ringer for Danielle. The drug czar wants the drugs he thinks the pretty shop owner stole from him. And with the younger brother Danielle is raising dragged into the crosshairs, Colt has to find a way to protect them both. But a showdown at Christmas—with Danielle as bait—may be the only way to make sure they all survive the holidays. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright — Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Speculative:

Awakened by Morgan L. Busse — The monster has awakened. After her escape from the Tower and from her father’s experiments, Kat Bloodmayne wakes up to discover the dark power inside of her has grown stronger. Now more than ever she needs to find the doctor who holds the key to healing her, but the only one who can help her find him is Stephen Grey, the very man who betrayed her. Stephen Grey cannot change the past or what he did to Kat, but he will do everything he can to help her now. But will Kat let him? Or will his transgression be too much to overcome? Time races against them as they travel with sky pirates through harrowing storms and across the war-torn country of Austrium in search of the doctor who can cure Kat. But can he cure what is broken inside of her? Or will the monster inside of Kat consume her soul? (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

And for those on your Christmas list~~~

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Especially for Writers: 2017 NaNo Edition

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Special! Interview with Author Lynnette Bonner

Lynnette Bonner is a lovely person and an amazing cover designer. She designed the covers for my Circle Bar Ranch series, and people are always commenting on how attractive they are.

But she’s also a prolific author. She has a new one coming out later this month On Eagle’s Wings. I’m excited to share her interview. Be sure to catch the offer at the end!

What genre(s) do you write and why?

All the stories I write are stories that share Truths from God’s Word. For me, it is important to use the gifts He gave me to return what measure of glory I can to Him. So under the main banner of “Christian,” I’m published in historical romance and contemporary romance. I also have a fantasy story that I’ve been working on for years, but no published fantasies yet.

What started your writing career?

I grew up overseas without electricity or TV, so I was a reader from my very early years. I loved to immerse myself in story and sometimes wouldn’t reemerge until hours later. Eventually my love of story turned the bend to me beginning to pen my own stories. Or I would read a book and think “it could have been so much better if they’d done it this way.” I started several books, but never finished one until I was doing some research about the town I lived in at the time and found some tidbits from history that I knew had to be told. That research turned into my first published novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis.

You were born and raised in Africa?! Did that have any kind of influence on you as a writer?

For sure! I often tell my kids that I wish anyone who interacted in politics in our country would be required to first live for 2 years in an African village in the middle of nowhere. But we aren’t here to talk about politics (thank goodness!)

When you’ve seen people living in truly abject poverty and watched them live overcoming joy-filled lives despite their circumstances, you can’t help but be changed. When your best friends growing up lived in a mud and brick home and slept each night on a grass mat on a hard cement floor, yet were more than happy to share their meal of corn porridge and vegetables, it can’t help but change you.

I hope I am a more giving person because of my upbringing. I hope I am less judgmental of poverty. I hope I am a writer who shows that no matter your circumstances in life, there is One who can give you joy beyond measure.

One story I wrote, that I likely wouldn’t have written were it not for my upbringing is the Sonnets of the Spice Isle serialization. The research for that book was heartbreaking, even though some of it I knew to expect.

I’m very thankful for my rich heritage.

What is it about historical fiction that appeals to you as an author?

I love writing about a simpler time, and yet showing that people of those times struggled with many of the same sins and issues that we face today. I’ve sometimes gotten negative reviews because readers say a sin I presented in the story would have never happened “back in those days.” I don’t believe that. I believe sin has tripped people up since Eve ate the fruit, since Cain killed Abel, since David—a man after God’s own heart—stole another man’s wife and had that man murdered to try and cover it up.

What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of research?

Ha! Well…one of my stories required my heroine to be tied up, hand and foot, and gagged. I needed to accurately be able to write what that felt like and how she might escape from that, so I had my husband tie me up. 🙂 The look on my son’s face when he walked in to find me tied up on the floor with his father standing over me while we both laughed like ninnies…that was priceless.

What do you find the most challenging part of being a writer?

I always want to include a message of Truth in my stories. Nailing down exactly which one truth I want to bring out in each story can be a struggle. There is often more I would like to share, but the more you try to pack in the more it gets watered down, so picking just one message is important. I think that’s often my hardest task.

Me: Yep. I agree that’s the hardest task. So many to choose from, so much need in the world to hear His word!

So now, the special offer:

One commenter will receive a free eBook copy of On Eagles’ Wings when it becomes available.

You can preorder On Eagles’ Wings here: http://www.lynnettebonner.com/OEW

Take the next stagecoach to Wyldhaven,
where the coffee’s perked hot,
the sheriff likes his apple pie fresh from the oven,
and adventure invariably waits just around the next river bend.

Boardinghouse owner Dixie Pottinger has done her best to avoid the attractive Dr. Griffin. But now that her mother-in-law is sick and he’s going to be coming around more to care for her, Dixie knows she must inform him about her past. She works up her courage and feels great relief when she finally tells Dr. Griffin that she’s a married woman…maybe…if her husband, Steven Pottinger, survived the bullet put into him before she fled.

Dr. Flynn Griffin can’t believe he’s been having feelings for a married woman! His honor requires that he immediately put those feelings to rest. As for the man who had abused Dixie so badly that she retreated into hiding… If he was still alive, he better never show up in Wyldhaven, because Flynn had plenty of ideas on how to teach the man lessons in gentlemanly conduct.

Little does Flynn know that Steven Pottinger is about to become his patient. Gravely injured by an accidental gunshot, Steven lies on the brink of eternity. Never in all his life has Flynn been tempted to break his Hippocratic Oath.

Until now.

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Interview and Giveaway

If you’re looking for me today, you can find me on Lena Nelson Dooley’s award winning blog, A Christian Writer’s World. Come join Lena and me for a terrific interview and a giveaway drawing!

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Contest over!

Winner will be announced soon!

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Last Day

You remember that big ol’ Ryan Zee giveaway I wrote about—the one I probably shouldn’t have joined? Well, I paid for my ad, so I probably ought to promote the giveaway a little. After the initial reaction from several of my readers, I’ve been hesitant to mention it again. This isn’t to say I won’t do another RZ giveaway. I’ll just be far more cautious which one I choose to join in.

Anyway, here’s the scoop: Today’s the last day. So if you want a huge collection of sports-themed romances, featuring heroes that range from sweet guys to muscle-ripplers, better click on the pic below. Clock’s ticking . . .

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Especially for Writers

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