Launch Day for Across the Blue!

Hi Friends, It’s time to celebrate the release of Across the Blue!  And I can’t wait to share this new story with you! It takes me about a year to research, write, and revise, a novel . . . so I’m sure you can understand how exciting it is to send a new book out to all my reading friends! We have some fun events planned this week to connect with you and share more about Across the Blue!

Today Across the Blue is featured on several blogs. Take a look at these posts and read what reviewers are saying about the story. And don’t forget to order your copy.

Anita Ojeda – Book Talk Tuesday, 

Joy of Reading, 

It’s Story Time With Van Daniker

Lis Loves Reading

Reflections From My Bookshelf

Wednesday: I’ll be on the radio this morning at 9:00 AM EST, talking to Greg on WMPC. Catch the interview live or listen later at this link

Thursday: Join me for the Facebook Live Video Party at 8:00 PM EST, 7:00 CST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST on my Facebook Author Page. I’ll be giving you a behind the scenes look at the characters, setting, and events in Across the Blue. You can take part in the games and enter the giveaway! If you miss the live video, no worries. You can listen in later that night or Friday. The giveaway will be open for 24 hours. 

Friday: Local friends, I hope you stop by Barnes & Noble in the Hamilton Marketplace between 7:00 – 9:00 PM. I’m one of the featured authors on their local author night along with my husband, Scott. We’d love to meet you! I’ll be signing Across the Blue and he’ll be signing Motivate Your Child. More info at this link.

Saturday: Take part in the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and enter the giveaway!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about Across the Blue. You can connect with me through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

Women in Journalism in the Edwardian Era

Hi Friends, Did you know in the late 1800s and early 1900s very few women worked as journalists, and the few that did were usually assigned to write women’s columns about fashion, cooking, homemaking, and childcare, or if they were fortunate, they might be asked to cover weddings and social events.

There were a few daring reporters in that era like Elizabeth Cochrane, better known to her readers in America as stunt reporter Nellie Bly. She began her career in journalism in 1885 when she was 18, after she sent a letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, protesting an article, entitled “What Girls Are Good For.” The article argued that women should confine themselves to domestic chores and childcare. The editor replied to Elizabeth Cochrane by asking what articles she would write if she were a journalist, and her response was that newspapers should be carrying more stories about ordinary people. And that earned her a job!

Elizabeth Cochrane became a campaigning journalist, who did undercover work, exposing injustice and changing policy on healthcare, housing and child labor. For one of her most famous stories, she pretended to be mentally ill and was admitted to a New York insane asylum for 10 days. After her release, she wrote about the harsh conditions, abusive staff, and the fact that many inmates were sane but had been falsely incarcerated by relatives who wanted them out of the way.

She is also known for writing Around the World in Seventy-two Days, which chronicles her amazing race around the globe when she was trying to best Jules Veren’s chararcters in his novel Around the World in Eighty Days.

In my latest novel Across the Blue the heroine, Bella Grayson, dreams of following her father’s footsteps and becoming a journalist. From the time she was a young girl her father read the newspaper to her, and they discussed world events. Bella is bright and inquisitive, and she longs to please her father and feel closer to him. Writing for one of his London newspapers seems like the right path to follow. But Bella learns there is a cost to following her dreams. When her secret role as a journalist conflicts with her growing relationship with aviator, James Drake, she must decide what’s truly the most important to her.

It was interesting to look back at women’s roles and see how much they have changed in the last 100 years! 

Across the Blue releases February 20th and is available as an eBook or paperback. Check you local bookstore or order online from your favorite retailer.

I hope you’ll join me for the Across the Blue Facebook Live Release Party Feb. 22 at 8:00 PM EST! Follow this link and click going, and I will send you a reminder that day. See you there!

Happy Reading,

Carrie

Aviation Flops and Triumphs

Hi Friends, Only one week until the release of Across the Blue on February 20th! I’m very excited to share this new English historical romance with you!

We’ve all heard of the Wright Brothers and their amazing first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, but they were not the only aviation pioneers trying to achieve powered flight. Several men in Europe and the US were working on their own designs, conducting experiments, and attempting test flights. They had some wild ideas and creative designs as you can see when you click on the video below.

When I was writing Across the Blue, I wanted to feature a hero who combined the creativity, dedication, and bravery of these early aviation pioneers. So I created James Drake, a young Englishman with a shadowed past, who was raised by Professor Thaddeus Steed. Their goal is to design a powered flying machine, but it only seems like a dream until they watch Wilbur Wright’s flight demonstration at LeMans, France, in 1908. They take what they observed back to their workshop to modify their design and improve their flying machine. Soon James is taking off and flying across Kent.

Bella Grayson, heroine of Across the Blue, has her heart set on becoming a journalist who reports on the exciting events of the day, including the advancement of aviation. But her parents have a different plan for her future. They want her to marry well and help them move up in society. Bella goes to great lengths to pursue her dream, and she learns some very important lessons along the way as her faith and relationship with James grow.

Bella’s father is a wealthy newspaper owner and aviation enthusiast. He offers a prize of one thousand pounds to the first pilot who will make a successful flight across the English Channel. James and Professor Steed are determined to win that prize and establish themselves as respected airplane designers. But the twenty-two mile flight path between England and France requires James to fly over choppy sea with turbulent wind currents. He’ll need every ounce of skill and courage to make a successful flight.

I loved stepping back in time to Edwardian England and the first days of aviation. It was inspiring to read about the dedication of these early pilots and airplane designers. Even if you don’t know much about aviation, I think you’ll enjoy James and Bella’s story and the romance and inspiration they find as they pursue their dreams!

Across the Blue will hit the bookshelves very soon! I hope you’ll pre-order your copy and enter the pre-order giveaway at this link. I also hope you’ll plan to join me for the Facebook Live Launch Party on February 22, 8:00pm EST on my Facebook author page. I’ll give you a behind the scene look at the characters, events, and setting. We’ll play some fun games, and there will be some great giveaways! Visit the Facebook event page and click going, and you’ll receive a reminder that day.

If you’re a local friend, I hope you’ll join me for a special Book Signing and meet and greet at the Hamilton, New Jersey, Barnes and Noble, in the Hamilton Marketplace. I’d love to meet you and sign your copy of Across the Blue! For more information just click on the image below. 

Until Next Time – Happy Reading!

Carrie

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Hi Friend,

This month I’m hosting a giveaway for my email newsletter subscribers. To enter the giveaway, sign up for my email newsletter in the box at the top right, then leave a comment on this blog post. If you already subscribe to my email newsletter, just mention that in your comment below, and your name will be included in the drawing. Don’t be confused, I have a blog and an email newsletter. The email newsletter goes out every other month to subscribers with book news and author updates. I post blogs 3 – 4 times a month with articles related to research, travel, movies, and all kinds of fun posts like this giveaway, so come back to this blog page and visit me often.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m giving away three romantic stories, The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White, Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli, and The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd. I enjoyed them and recommend them to you! For more info about these books click on the covers below. I’ll be drawing the name of three winners on Valentine’s Day and let you know by email.

I’m working hard on my next novel, Finding Her Way Home (working title, which I’m sure will change). It’s set in Edwardian England with romance, family drama, adventure, and inspiration. You can check my progress on my website in the column on the right to see how I’m doing.

My new English historical novel, Across the Blue, releases in less than three weeks! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? Visit the Across the Blue Book Page for more info and easy order links. We have a Pre-Order Giveaway going on now . . . and a Facebook Live Book Launch Party on February 22! Visit the party page and click going, and I’ll send you a reminder. Check back here often so you don’t miss out on any of these fun events! Thank you for being a faithful reading Friend!

**Update: Congratulations to Dawn Hogue who is the winner of the Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

New Releases February 2018

Hi Friends, Are you looking for some new books to read this month? These are the February releases from American Christian Fiction Writer member authors. 

Biblical:

A Passionate Hope, Hannah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith — Hannah has spent her life trusting God, loving her husband, putting up with abuse from a second wife and still she has no child–until one day she discovers the secret to her own heart’s longings and rejoices in what will soon become God’s promised hope. (Biblical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Contemporary Romance:

Focus On Love by Candee Fick — In the standalone sequel to Dance Over Me, photographer-turned-actress Liz meets a freelancer who has put his career on hold, but when Ryan shows her what true love is all about, her life may never be the same. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Love by the Numbers by Laura V. Hilton — When false allegations by the bishop back home catch up with Lydia and threaten to ruin her reputation, can she clear her name and find lasting happiness? Or will her sunny disposition fade away into heartbreak? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)


Historical Romance:

This Treacherous Journey by Misty M. Beller — Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing arrest. Innocent of her husband’s crimes, she and her brother hope to make it through the Rockies to Canada for a clean start. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on Simeon Grant’s doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects memories he’s worked hard to forget. Widowed and childless because of his own bad choices, can he overcome the past that haunts him to give her the safety she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all? (Historical Romance, ACFW Qualified Independently Published)

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron — Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman speaks of a secret past and castle ruins. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . . But her grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley to unearth its secrets before time silences them forever. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

The English Lieutenant’s Lady by Evelyn M. Hill — I’m not your enemy.” He held her gaze, willing her to believe the lie. It’s 1845. Britain and America both claim the Oregon Territory, and neither side is willing to back down. To survive, British Lieutenant Geoffrey Montgomery and American Lia Griggs both are pretending to be someone they’re not. The last thing either of them wants is to fall in love. And as the threat of war grows stronger, choosing to stay together could cost them everything they have. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Widow of Rose Hill by Michelle Shocklee — Widowed during the war, Southern slave owner Natalie Ellis strikes a bargain with a Union Colonel to save her plantation and her son’s inheritance: in exchange for use of her family’s property, the army will provide workers to bring in her cotton crop. Natalie Ellis is everything Colonel Levi Maish loathes: a Southern slave owner. But the plight of the beautiful Widow Ellis stirs to life his compassion and the heart he’d thought hardened by war.  (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin — As D-day approaches, an American naval officer and a British Wren work together on invasion plans. But if he succeeds, will he destroy what she loves most? (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

 

 

 

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky — A determined young aviator who strives to be the first to fly across the English Channel also longs to win the heart of an aspiring journalist who is secretly covering the race across the Channel. (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

The Mail-Order Brides Collection by Megan Besing, Noelle Marchand, Donna Schlachter, Sherri Shackelford, Michelle Shocklee, Ann Shorey, Liz Tolsma, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Nine advertisements for brides lead to inconvenient complications in romance. Traveling west alone on a promise of marriage, each woman has her reasons to accept a husband sight unseen. Some are fleeing poverty or abuse while others simply seek hope for a brighter future. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

High Treason by DiAnn Mills — CIA Operative Monica Alden and FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson face the challenge of their careers when a Saudi Prince’s life is threatened on American soil. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

 

 

 

Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman
As the ballistics and weapon’s expert for the FBI’s special task force nicknamed the White Knights, Rick Cannon has known the Department of Defense was developing self-steering bullets and feared their effects in the hands of the wrong people. Now his fear is coming true. The ammunition been stolen, and the Knights are called in to find the thief and stop the killings. When therapist Olivia Dobbs discovers one of her military clients moments after he is murdered, she becomes both the FBI’s prime witness, and suspect. But with a sniper now training his rifle on her, Rick must recall all the skills he learned as a Marine sniper to make sure the next bullet fired isn’t a kill shot that takes Olivia out. (Romantic Suspense from Faith Words [Hachette])


Supernatural Thriller:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart — In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul. (Supernatural Thriller from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


Western:

Cheyenne Sunrise by Janalyn Voigt — Can a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her? (Western by Mountain Brook Ink)

 Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

Carrie

Downton Abbey Exhibition

Hi Friends,

Last Saturday I took the train into New York City and met my daughter, Melissa. We had tickets to see the Downton Abbey Exhibition, and we were looking forward to learning more about the history, fashion, and setting of this world-famous TV series.

The exhibition website promised, “You’ll be transported to post-Edwardian England where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six season run. You’ll see Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen and the servant’s hall, Mr. Carson’s butler’s pantry, Lady Mary’s bedroom and much more.

The exhibition is laid out on three floors. The first floor included sets and information about the staff. It was fun to be greeted by Mr. Carson (via multimedia) and see Mrs. Hughes step into a doorway and greet us. The second floor has sets and multimedia displays about the Crawley family and their life “upstairs.” The third floor focuses on the beautiful costumes, hats, and jewelry worn by the cast. I enjoyed seeing Mary’s wedding dress and Edith’s two wedding dresses, plus the outfits worn by Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes on their wedding day. Each outfit was beautiful and many had beading or some special decoration that made it unique.

The designers of the exhibition did an amazing job recreating Downton Abbey. Walking through the sets made you feel like you were at Highclere Castle where Downton was filmed. Scott and I visited Highclere in 2014, so it was a treat to compare the sets to the actual rooms.

If you plan to see the exhibition, I’d suggest going on a weekday, rather than a Saturday, when it might be less crowded. The tickets are timed, but we had to wait in line outside about 20 minutes because they only allow groups of 30 people to go in every few minutes. You can learn more and purchase tickets online at: DowntonExhibition.com. 

 

 

The wonderful displays made me miss Downton Abbey all the more and wish they would make a Downton Abbey movie. If you live nearby or are traveling to New York City I hope you’ll plan to see the exhibition. It was a wonderful experience and well worth the trip and price of the tickets! 

 

If you live too far away, you might enjoy reading my English historical novels that are set in the same time period as Downton Abbey and include upstairs and downstairs characters, family drama, romance, and inspiration! Just click on the image to learn more and order your copy.

Until next time  . . . happy reading!

Carrie

 

Across the Blue Pre-Order Giveaway!

Hi Friends, I’m excited to tell you about a special giveaway we have planned during this month leading up to the release of Across the Blue! First, let me tell you about the story and how you can have it in your hands on Release Day, February 20th!

Across the Blue is an English historical romance with the charm of Downton Abbey and the adventurous spirit of the Wright Brothers. Set in Kent, England, in 1909, the heroine, Isabella Grayson, dreams of becoming a journalist in an age when few women could accomplish that dream. Isabella secretly writes a series of articles, profiling the aviators who are training for the first flight across the English Channel, but rather than fulfilling her dream those articles get her into more trouble than she ever expected!

One of the aviators she features is James Drake, a daring young man who is determined to be the first to make the harrowing flight across the Channel. When James crashes his flying machine on Isabella’s family estate, the two meet, and their friendship eventually leads to romance. Will they follow the dictates of society, or will they follow their hearts and accomplish their dreams?

Pre-order Across the Blue at this link. Then visit the WaterBrook website and enter the giveaway!

You could win these lovely tea cups, tea, and a  loose tea leaf filter, a fun History of Aviation Playing Cards Set, and the Spring Fiction Collection from WaterBrook Multnomah including:  Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews, Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Sawyer, No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert, and Across the Blue!

This giveaway is for US residents only and runs from 1/20/18 – 2/19/18. You’ll find all the details at this website: https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/across-the-blue-pre-order/

Thank you for your support and encouragement! I hope you’ll enjoy reading Across the Blue! 

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

Across the Blue Cover Design

Hi Friends, Only about one month until the February 20th release of Across the Blue! I’m very excited to share this new story with you, and I thought you might enjoy seeing what was involved in creating the beautiful cover.

In December 2016 I filled out an author questionnaire and sent cover ideas to the team at WaterBrook. At that time I’d only written about 1/3 of the book! I created a Pinterest board for my book and saved images of the setting, characters, and clothing. These images helped me picture the story as I was writing, and they were a great resource for the cover design team. 

In April  2017 Kristopher Orr, the designer at WaterBrook who has created all my lovely covers, started corresponding with me via email. We wanted the cover to truly reflect the time period and the story, and that takes time and research as well as great design skills. They planned to rent a costume for the photo shoot, so they showed me these three outfits and asked me which one I thought would look the best. I chose the ivory suit in the middle. The story takes place in the spring and summer, so the light color and Edwardian style looked like something Bella Grayson would wear.

We needed a different hat than the one pictured, so we contacted our friend Darna as East Angel Harbor Hats. She has designed special hats for my last three book cover shoots. And once again, she rose to the challenge in record time and sent us this lovely hat.

Sophia Alessi, from the Donna Baldwin Agency, was chosen as the model for the photo shoot, and she did a great job portraying Bella!

 

 

A few more months passed, and I eagerly waited to see the final cover design. They sent me these four mock ups and asked for my input. I liked them all, but I felt the fourth design was the strongest. The color, the type, and the photos all worked together to create a stunning design. The team at WaterBrook agreed, and they moved ahead to finalize the cover for Across the Blue.

 

Adding the back cover copy and the spine is the final step in the cover design process. Here’s a peek at those elements.

So, what do you think? Did you realize all that went into designing a cover? I’m grateful to Kristopher and the team at Waterbrook for “dressing” Across the Blue so beautifully!

I hope you’ll pre-order your copy of Across the Blue so you can have it in your hands the day it releases!

Happy Reading,

Carrie

Until We Find Home Giveaway

Hi Friends, today I am excited to tell you about Cathy Gohlke’s latest novel, Until We Find Home!  This moving WW2 story will capture your attention from the first page and keep you up until the wee hours to see what will happen to her characters. Cathy and I traveled together to England’s Lake District on a research trip, including a visit to Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm, which is featured in Until We Find Home. I know you’ll enjoy reading her thoughtful answers to the questions below. For more info and for links to purchase your copy, visit Cathy’s website or click on the cover.

Welcome Cathy! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about Until We Find Home with us!

1. What inspired you to write Until We Find Home?

Cathy: Alarmed by the plight of young refugees fleeing gangs in Mexico to cross United States borders, and heart heavy for victims and refugees worldwide who’ve suffered and continue to suffer under oppressive regimes, I looked for a moment in history to tell their tale as I wish it could play out. I didn’t have to look far.

The Kindertransport of 1938-1940, brought 10,000 predominantly Jewish children to Great Britain for refuge from Nazi oppression. Accounts abound of men and women who rescued children through resistance, often at great cost to themselves—even life itself. But what happened next? What happened when those children entered countries of refuge? I wondered about the average person and what role they might have played once the children were out of immediate danger. . . and what role we might play in the world’s need today.

World News reported that in 2015, 51% of the world’s refugees were children. Scripture tells us to care for widows and orphans. How do we do that from where we live, and as Christians, how do we reconcile this directive with the world’s reality and our need for safe borders?

Characters’ personalities were in inspired, in part, by people I know (the youngest character, Aimee, was inspired by my young granddaughter). Some of the children’s antics (embarrassed to say), and some of the older characters’ struggles were inspired by my own life stories—including Miranda’s journey with cancer. Bluebell Wood’s secret garden and many of the books and poems Claire loves in the story are based on books and poems I grew up knowing and loving—thanks especially to my dear grandmother, who read to me.

This novel embodies a great many things important to me. It is, in some ways, my victory book through battling cancer.

Carrie: I loved the personal touches you added to the book, especially your love for classic children’s stories, C. S. Lewis, and Beatrix Potter!

Cathy at Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm.

2. Can you tell us about the historical research that went into writing this novel? Did you learn anything new that surprised you?

Cathy: Knowing I would set this story during WWII in England’s Lake District, in 2014 Carrie and I traveled to England and Scotland where we both did research for our book projects.

For me, we travelled to Windermere and the Lake District to research Beatrix Potter and her renown Hill Top Farm, the poetry and world of Wordsworth, and to learn just what happened to refugees and evacuees in the District during WWII.

As a result I learned more about the Sunderland Flying Boat Factory and its village of Calgarth, camps for German prisoners of war, including Grizedale Hall, wartime homes for British evacuees and foreign refugees, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the famous spy pencil, the after-war arrival of the Boys of Windermere (children deeply in need of rehabilitation who’d survived Europe’s concentration camps), and so much more.

I ran my fingers over the desk where Wordsworth had carved his name as a boy, visited his burial ground, and fell in love with that poet’s fields of golden daffodils, the heady perfume of lilacs, the glory of woodlands spread in sapphire carpets of bluebells, and newborn lambs tottering across the fells, butting tiny heads against their mother’s sides in search of lunch. We ferried across Lake Windermere, ate Grassmere’s famous gingerbread, and took tea with jam and bread. Nowhere is the grass greener or the air purer than in the Lake District in springtime.

Beatrix Potter Heelis’s Hill Top Farm, with its rooms and their contents reminiscent of her books was a real treat. During WWII, Hill Top Farm housed British evacuees.

Our research trip culminated when we joined a ten-day tour of Scotland’s “Highlands, Islands and Gardens,” guided by Liz Curtis Higgs. Forty ladies followed in Liz’s wake as she inspired us through Bible study each morning, then guided us through magnificent Scotland by day. As a result of that trip, I could not help but include in my story a good Scottish doctor, as well as memories of the terrible feud between the MacDonalds and Campbells. In regard to that feud, we visited Glencoe and the site of that terrible massacre.

That was the travel portion of my research. Internet investigations and the reading of books, old and new, continued for months. Included in those books were wartime diaries, especially those compiled from Britain’s Mass Observation Project, day by day histories of the war waged against Britain, journals and letters from Beatrix Potter Heelis, journals, letters and biographies of C. S. Lewis, the books and notes of C. S. Lewis, the history of Glencoe, biographies and history of Sylvia Beach and details of Shakespeare and Company, the American bookstore in Paris, studies of Europe’s child refugees housed in Britain, and so much more. Perhaps the most fun was found in rereading childhood classics.

Carrie: That was such a wonderful trip to England! What a treat to travel together and share those experiences! 

Cathy and Carrie at Tyntesfield.

3. A number of classic authors are mentioned in Until We Find Home, Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, particularly. How have these authors and others inspired you in your life and writing?

Cathy: Beatrix Potter, her stories and illustrations, have been dearly loved since childhood. To me, it was as if she spoke the language of children and animals. I seemed to me that if she could learn their language, I could learn the language of my characters, too, and tell their stories in ways readers would understand. I loved learning that the stories and illustrations of Beatrix Potter influenced C. S. Lewis and his brother as children and inspired them to write the story of and illustrate an entire kingdom. It felt as if they—and I—rode the current of a continuing stream, a stream that brought readers and writers together.

C. S. Lewis is a voice of reason. He came to faith not through Scripture or through an appreciation of divine design in nature. He was not born with an innate faith. In fact, he was an atheist that struggled against faith. But he came to belief in God—to Theism—through reason. Coming to belief in Jesus as Lord and Redeemer was a separate journey. I’ve known many people who seemed to have been born without faith. It is something I observe, but don’t fully understand. I wanted to highlight Lewis’s writings in the hope that those who believe will be encouraged, and in the hope that those who do not believe will be encouraged to consider his reasoning. Lewis’s book, Mere Christianity, describes some of his journey through reason, and was taken from his WWII radio broadcasts that began at the time Until We Find Home takes place. I was able to include some from his earlier book, The Problem of Pain, in this story, and those things help in Claire’s journey, as they did in mine.

It’s important to me to highlight the writings of classic Christian writers for a new generation, to share with others the blessing those books have been in my own life.

Carrie: Introducing a new generation to these believers and their writing is such an important aspect of all your books. I love that so much! 

Cathy and Carrie in a field of bluebells in Scotland.

Thank you, Cathy! What a treat it is for me to share in the creative journey of this novel. I’m sure readers will be delighted with the story and it will give them much to consider. It’s the kind of book to savor and enjoy in a cozy spot this winter. 

You can connect with Cathy through her beautiful website where you’ll find links to purchase her books, photos from her travels, and interesting information about her writing journey. It’s well worth your time, so pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy a visit! You’ll also find Cathy on Facebook where she shares interesting and encouraging posts.

Leave a comment and answers one or more of the following questions and your name will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Until We Find Home. (US mailing addresses only.) Which of Cathy’s books have you read and enjoyed? If you could travel to England what would you like to see? What’s your favorite classic children’s story? Giveaway runs 1/16 – 1/19. I’ll email the winner.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Carrie

New Releases January 2018

Hi Friends, I hope you had a great New Year celebration. Today I’m sharing the new releases from American Christian Fiction Writers authors. You’re sure to find your next great read here!

Contemporary Romance:

Her Handyman Hero by Lorraine Beatty — Reid Blackthorn arrives in Dover on a personal mission—to make sure his terminally ill brother gets a chance to meet his daughter. Deceiving little Lily’s guardian isn’t his intention. Yet once Tori Montgomery mistakes Reid for her new handyman, he knows it’s the only way to be close to his niece. Tori is honoring her friend’s last wish by keeping Lily away from her father’s family. And once she learns who Reid truly is, she realizes there’s too much at stake—including custody of Lily—for her to fall for the former DEA agent. But in keeping a promise, is she losing out on her chance for a happily-ever-after? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin — It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward. Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Ain’t Misbehaving by Marji Laine — True, Annalee’s crime amounted to very little, but not in terms of community service hours. Her probation officer encouraged her with a promise of an easy job in an air-conditioned downtown environment. She didn’t expect her role to be little better than a janitor at an after-school daycare in the worst area of town. Carlton Whelen hides behind the nickname of CJ so people won’t treat him like the wealthy son of the Whelen Foundation director. Working at the foundation’s after-school program delights him and annoys his business-oriented father. When a gorgeous prima donna is assigned to his team, he not only cringes at her mistakes but also has to avoid the attraction that builds from the first time he sees her. (Contemporary Romance from Write Integrity Press)

Finding Grace by Melanie D. Snitker — Single dad Tyler Martin can’t be more grateful to the woman who finds his missing daughter. Even though he feels a spark between them, falling in love is a risk he shouldn’t take. Too bad chance encounters and his stubborn heart keep trying to convince him otherwise. After escaping a nightmarish relationship, Beth Davenport is content with her safe and blessedly normal life. Yet something about Tyler and his adorable daughter makes her wish for more. With the walls around her heart finally starting to crumble, she’s afraid of a future she can’t predict. Can they let go of their fear and trust God to lead them to the love they desperately need? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Marrying Mandy by Melanie D. Snitker — Mandy Hudson swore she’d never marry. Abandoned by her parents and raised by her grandparents, she has a hard time trusting that real love will last. When her grandmother dies, Mandy’s shocked to discover a stipulation in the will. Considering marriage to her best friend may be the only way to keep her family’s beloved bed-and-breakfast. The loss of his job threatens Preston Yarrow’s shaky financial stability. Besides, he can’t watch his best friend give up the only real home she’s ever known. Frustrated by Mandy’s stubborn refusal to let him help, he’s certain they are stronger together than they are apart. A marriage of convenience might be crazy… or an answer to both their prayers. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Historical:

Son of Promise by Caryl McAdoo — Can a wife find the grace to forgive when her husband’s withheld the truth? Travis Buckmeyer has a secret son, and the morning’s come to tell his sweet wife. He hates breaking Emma Lee’s heart. She promised him one ten years ago, but hasn’t been blessed to carry a baby to term. Every miscarriage made the telling harder, but now his clock’s run out. He’s going for his son, praying he won’t lose her.
Cody knows who his mother claims his father is, but he’s only interested in getting sprung from reform school then boosting enough from the do-gooder to bust out on his own.
Can Travis find redemption, Emma Lee forgiveness, or Cody the love he’s been longing for? (Historical, Independently Published)

Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke — For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing—spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends—has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms. (Historical, Tyndale House Publishers)


Historical Romance:

Hearts Entwined by Mary Connealy, Melissa Jagears, Regina Jennings, and Karen Witemeyer — Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])



A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Mary Davis, Kathleen E. Kovach, Paula Moldenhauer, Suzanne Norquist, Donita Kathleen Paul, Donna Schlachter, and Pegg Thomas — For seven bachelors, this bouquet of brides means a happily ever after. Meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them. Can love help them grow to their full potential? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)



A Mother For His Family by Susanne Dietze
Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.
All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



His Forgotten Fiancee by Evelyn M. Hill — Liza Fitzpatrick is stunned when her fiancé finally arrives in Oregon City — with amnesia. Matthew Dean refuses to honor a marriage proposal he doesn’t recall making, but Liza needs his help now to bring in the harvest, and maybe she can help him remember… Matthew is attracted to the spirited Liza, and as she tries to help him regain his old memories, the new ones they’re creating together start to make him feel whole. Even as he falls for her again, though, someone’s determined to keep them apart. Will his memory return in time to save their future? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White — Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a critical task at the outset of World War I–to secure a crucial cypher key from a famous violinist currently in Wales. Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won–until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only distraction he finds from his worry is in meeting the intriguing and talented Willa Forsythe. But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t–that she must betray him and find that key, or her own family could pay the same price his surely has. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


Mystery:

Surgeon’s Choice by Richard L. Mabry, MD — Dr. Ben Merrick thought his biggest problem was getting his fiancé’s divorced parents into the same room for the wedding–and then, people started dying. (Mystery, Independently Published through White Glove)


Romantic Suspense:

Innocent Lies by Robin Patchen — Desperate to be safe from the man who held her captive and ruined her life, Kelsey must ensure her child is protected before she can take her enemy on. But a string of bad luck gets her arrested and lands her face-to-face with the only man she’s ever loved—the only man who can destroy all her plans. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Cold Truth by Susan Sleeman — When research chemist Kiera Underwood receives the cryptic phone call about her twin brother, she tries to contact him to no avail. Her twin sense tingles, warning her that something is wrong. Kiera’s not prepared when an attempt is made on her life and Blackwell Tactical operative Cooper Ashcroft delivers her second shock of the day. Someone killed the supervisor at the research lab where her brother works and stole a deadly biotoxin. The main suspect? Her brother, and Blackwell Tactical has been hired to bring him in. If that wasn’t shocking enough, she’s suspected of colluding with him. Setting out to prove herself and her brother is innocent, she is almost abducted before Ashcroft rescues her. He’s faced with the reality that she’s telling the truth and someone has likely abducted her brother—perhaps killed him—and now Kiera’s very life is in danger, too. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

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

Until Next Time — Happy Reading!

Carrie