Honoring Dads

Hi Friends, This Sunday we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day with a cookout and some fun family time, and I’ll be remembering some very special men in my life. I was blessed to grow up in a home where my dad, Bob Swain, showed me a lot of love. And when I married, I added another dad in my life, my father-in-law, John Turansky. Both of these men have had a profound impact on me, and I have been blessed to be their daughter.

Carrie and her dad Bob Swain at the lake

Carrie and her dad Bob Swain at the lake

Bob Swain was just about the sweetest guy you could ever meet. He was soft-spoken and kind, yet also strong and determined, and best of all, he was a man of his word. Born in 1920, Bob grew up durring the depression and had his first job, selling apples from a wagon, when he was eight. As a teenager he ran track, did the pole vault, and became interested in airplanes and skiing. When he was 21 Pearl Harbor was attacked, and he joined the Army Air Corp. He fought in the Pacific during WW2, and he told some very chilling stories of dangerous situation and close calls.

After the war her returned to Portland, Oregon, where he married my mother, Dorothy Brown, and started his life as a husband and father. He worked for the Union Pacific Railway and volunteered as an officer in Civil Air Patrol, teaching teens about aviation and search and rescue. He also enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing, and often took the family along on these adventures.

My dad never let a holiday pass without buying a card or small gift to show he cared. Ever watchful, he kept a good eye on me and my brother Mark and made sure we were safe and protected. Dad was an honorable man from the greatest generation. He went on to heaven in 1986, and I still miss him. I am looking forward to a great reunion with him and my mom one day.

Dad

John Turansky, Carrie’s Father-in-law

When I married Scott, I was blessed to add another dad to my life, my father-in-law, John Turansky. John was an energetic pastor who planted several churches and discipled believers for almost 50 years. He memorized hundreds of verses of Scripture and preached countless sermons. But even more than all those things, I remember the fun family times we shared with him. He loved to play games, especially backgammon and card games. He also enjoyed traveling and liked to take his kids and grand kids on adventures. He is wise and thrifty, often saying things like:  “Do your homework before you spend any money.” And, “Turn off the lights.” He also loved to share practical advice with young people: “You don’t fall in love – you fall down stairs. You plan your love life.” And, “You’ve got to marry someone who is going places.” His most famous saying was added to all his sermons, encouraging us to apply what we’d heard: “So what— How does this apply to me?”

John was always a great encouragement and support to us as we raised our children. His impact on our children’s lives cannot be measured. He invested love, time, and attention on each one, often making cards and booklets by cutting out photos from magazines to create funny stories or to illustrate Bible verses or topics. Even though he lived in Hawaii for many years, he would make the long journey to New Jersey to see his grandkids on a regular basis. 

John went home to be with the Lord after a stroke slowed him down for quite a few years. When I remember John, I think of faithfulness, devotion to God and family, humor and creativity. We still miss him very much.

Scott with three of our grandchildren, Hanalei, Everett, and Hayden

My husband, Scott, is a great dad and husband. He has a heart to help other dads and spends a great deal of his time counseling, writing, and encouraging dads and moms to love their children and raise them to love and serve the Lord. Even though our children are grown, he communicates with them all regularly and invests time with them and our grandkids. I admire his commitment to family and his devotion to God and His word. That has given him the ability to offer practical advice that blesses me, our family, and many others!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who love, protect, and provide for their families. May God bless you all and give you His grace for your role as husband, father, and grandfather.

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

June Giveaway

Hi Friends, 

I hope you’re getting ready to enjoy a great summer! Do you have vacation plans? I did some traveling earlier this month, and now I need to settle in and finish writing my current work in progress, Finding Her Way Home. Researching and writing about British Home Children has been quite a heart-tugging journey, especially as I’ve grown to love my characters. I’m looking forward to sharing this new story with you next year.

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy reading some new novels. Each month I’m hosting a special giveaway for my newsletter subscribers. My email newsletter goes out every other month with book news, giveaways, recipes, and encouraging articles. I hope you’ll subscribe at he box on the upper right, and then leave a comment below this post to enter this month’s giveaway. If you already subscribe to my newsletter, just mention that in your comment, and I will put your name in the drawing!  I will announce the winner the first week of July and announce the next giveaway here on my blog, so check back often!

 

June giveaway books:  I have two wonderful historical novels for you — A Rebel Heart by Beth White and Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson.

Here’s what I wrote about A Rebel Heart in my endorsement: “With great skill, Beth White combines intriguing history with inspiring romance, and then adds a good measure of mystery and suspense to her newest novel, A Rebel Heart. From the first page to the last, readers will be wrapped up in Selah’s quest to restore her family’s stately Mississippi home and charmed by the touching romance. Levi’s investigation to solve a series of robberies and find out who is behind the mysterious incidents that threaten Selah and her family will keep reader guessing and turning pages until the very end.”

“Intricate and lyrical, Catching the Wind tells interwining stories of lost souls and faithful hearts. Once again, Melanie Dobson pens a novel full of fascinating histroical details and characters as real as your best friends–and worst enemies. Engrossing, beautiful, and thoughtful, this is a novel to be savored.” — Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of When Tides Turn.

For more information about these books and authors, just click on the covers above. 

I have some fun news to share–Shine Like the Dawn won the HOLT Medallion Award last weekend for best Long Inspirational Novel! The HOLT Medallion is sponsored by the Virginia Romance Writers of America and judged by readers. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you’ll purchase a copy and enjoy it this summer. Click on the cover for links to your favorite retailer.

Thank you for connecting with me and helping me spread the word about my books! I appreciate you!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

Among the Poppies

Hi Friends,

Today I want to introduce author friend, J’nell Ciesielsk, and her new release, Among the Poppies. It’s great to see another author writing historical romance set during World War One in Europe. I love that era! I’ve heard very good things about this story, and look forward to reading it soon!

Among the Poppies:

The ideal lady wears lace, speaks quietly, and never under any circumstances fixes her own automobiles. But Gwyn Ruthers has never cared two snaps for the ideal lady. With the war to end all wars exploding across the Channel, she leaves behind her restrictive life as a chauffer’s daughter to serve in an all-female ambulance unit in France. Rambling over bomb blasted roads is far from the exotic travel she had in mind, but not even a handsome captain can distract her from the purpose at hand. Most of the time.

Slogging through mud and a despair that no man should have to witness, Captain William Crawford stumbles over a woman—quite literally—who has the ridiculous notion to enter a man’s fight along the Front. Why can she not sit patiently at home like all the other complacent women?

Bound together by circumstances beyond their control, Gwyn and William must fight to survive the battle raging all around them. Can their love endure, or will it become another casualty of war?  Click on the cover above to order your copy! 

Author Bio:

Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days writing heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle.

You can connect with J’nell and find out more about her book at her website and through social media. Preorder your book: https://tinyurl.com/ybg76f66

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jnellciesielski

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JnellCiesielski

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jnellciesielski

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jnellciesielski/

 Until next time, Happy Reading!

Carrie

New Releases for June 2018

Hi Friends, are you looking for some new books to read this summer? Here are the latest releases from ACFW authors. 

 Contemporary Romance:

The Sleuth’s Miscalculation by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Librarian Nancy Daley loves a good mystery and enjoys moonlighting as a consultant for the sheriff’s department. When license plates go missing in Tipton County, she’s on the case. But she’s been partnered with the new deputy, Carter Malone, and he’s not interested in her help. When the minor case they are working morphs into something more, things quickly go from harmless to scary. Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late, and more importantly, what will they do about their growing attraction? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe — Hiring Amanda “AJ” McAlester as his assistant at the Big Heart Ranch isn’t foreman Travis Maxwell’s first choice—but his sisters insist she’s perfect for the job. And AJ’s determined to prove she’s just as qualified as any man. But with money on the line, AJ and her innovative ideas could put him at risk of losing everything…including his heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh — Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah Campbell has her wondering if she’s changed at all. Can love really conquer all or will Belle’s past be too much for Micah to handle? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)


General Contemporary:

A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer — Out of options, Maribel takes a safe enough seeming job, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder, a search for a missing girl, and a race to find a lost treasure. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Kuwaiti Seeker by Jim Carroll — A young Kuwaiti Muslim searches for truth in Islam, but God finds him anyway. (General Contemporary, Crosslink Publishing)


General Historical:

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett — Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end. (General Historical from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])


Historical Romance:

Orphan Train Sweetheart by Mollie Campbell — Spring Hill is the orphan train’s last stop—a final chance for Simon McKay to find homes for his young charges. When his fellow placing agent quits, Simon enlists help from the frontier town’s pretty schoolteacher. Cecilia Holbrook is as intriguing as she is independent, yet Simon’s devotion to his mission will soon call him back to New York. Long overshadowed by her flirtatious sister, Cecilia is done with waiting for a man to choose her. She’s already fighting the school board to keep her position. Now she’s struggling not to lose her heart to Simon. Could their shared concern for the children show them how to follow a new dream, together? (Historical Romance Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn — She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of-until a promise from his past threatened their future. (Historical Romance from Pelican Book Group)

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman — In 1792, Quinn O’Shea leaves Ireland for Natchez, Mississippi, ready to force his oldest brother to reclaim the role of family guardian so Quinn can be free to pursue his own adventures. While aboard ship, a run-in with tenacious yet kind Kiera Young and her two Irish sisters lands him in the role of reluctant savior. Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera realizes her intended groom never existed and a far more sinister deal has been negotiated for her and her sisters. Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter — When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. Graham, intent on finding his friend’s missing sister, is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling. After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different, but long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. As much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer — Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. She’s made a safe haven with Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. Seeking justice against the gambler who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Instead, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


Romantic Suspense:

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley — It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators–one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken–she’s forced to reevaluate. When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four? (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter — After losing his closest friends and now his girlfriend to the ravages of war, Caden Wallis arrives on the Outer Banks for one final mission–to thank the woman who sent him a quilt while he was recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital. McKenna Dockery knows about loss. She juggles the family business, her ailing father, and an aging grandmother. Much to Caden’s surprise, she–not some elderly lady–is the quilter. The quilt was something she’d begun for her future husband but shipped to the military hospital after the tragic death of her fiancé. When a man is found snared in a net and murdered on McKenna’s property, she and Caden must work together to bring the killer to justice. (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)

Ransom of the Heart by Susan Page Davis — Police Captain Harvey Larson’s exhausting day takes a big detour when a teenaged girl approaches him at the diner, announcing that she is his daughter. When Harvey is on his way home from work a few hours later, his sister-in-law Abby calls him. She went to meet her husband for a dinner date and found a dead man on the floor at his place of business, and Peter has vanished. Harvey calls in his detectives and turns his car around. It’s going to be a long night, too. Once again, Harvey depends on his wits, his faith, and his squad, the Priority Unit, to solve a tough case and carry out Maine Justice. (Romantic Suspense from Tea Tin Press)


Speculative:

Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams — Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged. Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie’s aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair’s sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran’s schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army—singers who can shake the earth and master the sea—and monsters rampage across the land. As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

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

Until next time, happy reading to all!

Carrie