Hope to See You in Texas

Hi Friends,

I want to tell you about a wonderful event for readers of Christian fiction that’s coming to Southlake, Texas, on September 20th. CRAVE HIM! (which is an acronym for: Christian Readers and Authors Visitation Event – He Inspires Me!) will be a fun and exciting day, and I want to invite you to join me there! 

Twenty-nine other authors will be attending to praise, pray, and play games with our reading friends. You’ll hear some great speakers, we’ll enjoy lunch together, and there will be giveaways, galore! Plus, you can purchase books and have the authors sign and personalize them!

For more information visit the Crave Him website. Use my first name as code at registration, and you can bring a friend for half price! Have your friend register, too, using my name again as code to receive the discount. I’d really love to meet you in person and spend the day with you! You may register online at the Crave Him website.

And if you’d love to come, but need some help, you may apply for a scholarship at this link.

I hope to see you there!

Carrie

New Releases ~ September 2017

Hi Friends, September is a great time to get back on schedule and make time for reading! These novels are the new releases from American Christian Fiction Writer members. I hope you’ll find some to enjoy. Happy Reading!

Contemporary Romance:

Planting Hope by Brenda S. Anderson — Jess Beaumont is trying to get her separated parents together again by restoring the family cabin gardens that helped them fall in love. Luke Harrison inherited his Gran’s candy store, but would rather have a Vice President position in his family’s land development business—a sure sign of his father’s approval. To get the promotion, he must acquire the land on both sides of his store within five months, including the Beaumont cabin. As Luke gets to know Jess, he realizes buying the Beaumont cabin and land will nip their blossoming romance in the bud. Even worse, it could end her parents’ marriage. But if he doesn’t succeed, he could be trading his corner office for the candy store counter…for good. Is their romance doomed? Or could the classic combination of chocolate and flowers solve everything? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

An Amish Christmas Love by Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Ruth Reid, and Beth Wiseman — Fall in love this Christmas to the gentle pace of Amish courtship. In Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman, six lonely hearts find healing in the Stoltzfus homestead basement while waiting out a Christmas Eve storm. In The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston, a group of young people and a forbidden house cat bring reminders of love and hope to a grieving widow at Christmas. In Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin, A young woman’s prayer for a Christmas proposal is delayed by the appearance of her potential groom’s first love, whom me met on his rumspringa. In Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid, an Englisch woman thinks she’s breaking into the house her aenti left to her, only to discover she’s trespassing upon an Amish widower and his young daughter, whose quiet way of life tempts her to stay. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson –Maggie Marovich lost her father to Hurricane Katrina, so she’s dedicated her life to meteorology and plans never to return to the Mississippi Coast or the ship pilot she once loved—until a family crisis sends her running headlong into a storm. (Contemporary, Independently Published)

The Christmas Admirer by Laura V. Hilton — Susanna’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

 

Finding Love in Friday Harbor, Washington by Annette Irby — Professor Mikaela Rhoades has a plan: she’ll encourage her students’ marine biology research through an exclusive program while helping an old family friend’s whale touring business stay afloat. The challenge is the tour captain is her first love and ex-fiancé. Mikaela longs to help his family in the wake of his father’s death, but she’s keeping secrets. Captain Hunter Cahill has taken over the family touring business after his father’s death. Unfortunately, he’s drowning in grief and accumulated debt. To make matters more difficult, he’d promised his father to pursue Mikaela if she ever returned to the island single. But what will it cost him to spend the summer romancing Mikaela? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Returning Home by Toni Shiloh — Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings. Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker. Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from? (Contemporary, Independently Published)

All This Time by Melissa Tagg — Ten years ago, Bear McKinley gave up everything—his freedom and his reputation—for his mess of a family. But after years of distance and too many attempts at starting over, he finally has a new life doing noble work in Brazil . . . until his past catches up to him. Raegan Walker is happy working a slew of part-time jobs, still living in her childhood bedroom and rarely venturing from her hometown. At least, that’s what she tells everyone . . . and herself. But she can’t help wondering what might’ve happened if she hadn’t abandoned her art so many years ago—and if Bear McKinley had never left. When Bear returns and she’s commissioned for a painting that just might revive her artistic ambition all in one week, it’s time to finally reach for more. But doing so means facing the fears that have held her back all this time, including admitting the secret she’s kept from Bear and her family. With her dream and her heart on the line, how much will Raegan have to risk to finally chase her happy ending? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Home All Along by Beth Wiseman — Charlotte has made a home for herself in Amish Country with Daniel. But unforeseen events rock their fragile world and may move them even further away from the life they long for. Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and community help them become strong enough to build a life together? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


General Contemporary:


Mercy Triumphs by Jana Kelley — Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God’s mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don’t deserve it. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. (General from New Hope Publishers)

Life in Chapel Springs by Ane Mulligan — Is it a midlife pregnancy or … cancer? Claire will keep her secret until she’s sure but it isn’t easy. Neither is trying to buy a home pregnancy test without anyone finding out. Between her twins double wedding, the caterer cancelling, a looming nationwide art tour and her health, Claire s life is upside down. Meanwhile, shy Lacey Dawson faces the emotional effects of traumatic injuries requiring facial reconstruction, and rumors of gold in Chapel Springs have greedy investors clamoring to buy all the homes in town and mine the gold. Will life in Chapel Springs ever be the same? (General from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)


Historical:

A Conspiracy of Breath by Latayne C. Scott — What would it have been like to be a woman, a Gentile, and someone onto whom the Holy Breath moved – to produce what became the mysterious Epistle to the Hebrews in the Bible? (Historical from TSU Press [Trinity Southwest University])

Queen of Sheba by Jill Eileen Smith — King Solomon meets his equal in the Queen of Sheba and does his best to give her everything she seeks to find, but will he be able to give her the deepest longing of her heart? (Historical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

Historical Romance:

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart — When life takes an unexpected turn, Francine Howard finds work in the mountains as a midwife where healing and love await her. (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep — Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation and is promised a sum of five hundred pounds if she will remain a guest at Bleakly Manor for the duration of a twelve-day Christmas celebration. Then she learns Benjamin Lane, who left her at the altar, is also in attendance. Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whomever stole his honor. Torn between money, revenge, and love, will Clara and Ben last the full twelve days at Bleakly Manor and learn what matters most at Christmas? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Mystery:

When the Bishop Needs and Alibi by Vannetta Chapman — Amish bishop Henry Lapp eagerly awaits the annual arrival of 20,000 sandhill cranes to the San Luis Valley of Colorado. But his visit to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge reveals more than just a miracle of God’s creation. Hidden among the bulrushes and cattails is the deceased body of a young woman. As the local authorities attempt to unravel the mystery, Henry feels God’s calling to use his extraordinary talent to aid in the investigation. His ability to draw from memory in photographic detail could help solve this puzzling case. Henry’s closest friend, Emma Fisher, has always urged him to embrace his gift. As their relationship deepens, Henry realizes his involvement could put him and those he loves in the direct path of a killer, one who is willing to do anything to cover up a brutal crime, including framing the bishop. (Mystery from Harvest House)

The House Next Door by Susan Page Davis — As Jennifer’s due date approaches, Harvey decides to invest in real estate, unaware of the terror this will cause his family. A hidden cupboard isn’t so bad—in fact, it’s almost fun to try to solve the little mystery inside it. But will any of their loved ones want to live next door after they learn what’s in the basement? (Mystery, Independently Published)

Solve by Christmas by Amber Schamel — Detective Jasper Hollock thought he wanted nothing more than a real case. But when the man who raised him stands on the brink of suicide and mysterious incidents sabotage the factory, Jasper has 24 days to unravel the malicious plot and convince his employer that life is worth living. (Mystery, Independently Published)


Romantic Suspense:

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley — A security specialist is accused of murder and must clear her name or her career is over, but her investigation draws her into the path of a killer, and she finds herself fighting for her life. When a man from her past is called in to investigate, she may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty — An innocent bike ride leads to a hostage situation, jeopardizing an undercover mission and two stubborn hearts. (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan — A female attorney hires a former Army Ranger turned private investigator to help research an alleged pharmaceutical cover-up. As the case deepens, both hearts and lives become endangered. It appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Uncharted Hope by Keely Brooke Keith
Sophia Ashton must prove herself in her new job while researching the gray leaf medicine and dealing with her toxic family. (Romantic Suspense from Edenbrooke Press)


Thriller/Suspense:

Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig — Perhaps the only person as skilled as Cole “Tox” Russell is Alec King, a rogue Special Forces operator who vanished months ago. Now he’s back, and he’s out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier. Afraid his old friend could be right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team are forced into another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is harnessing the power of a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Witness Protection by Carol Kinsey — After four years in witness protection, Ty Westgate’s identity has been exposed – with the help of a struggling nurse, the ex-lawyer with a new faith must work to unravel the truth behind his adversaries before he’s silenced permanently. (Thriller/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

 

 

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New Releases ~ August 2017

Here are the latest releases from American Christian Fiction Writers member authors. 

Action/Adventure:

Imperfect Lies by Elizabeth Noyes — When another woman emerges from the past to claim Mallory Cameron’s happily ever after, she cuts her losses and sets out to find a headline-worthy story to launch her journalism career. She embarks on a whirlwind journey that takes her across the United States, to the blue-green waters of the Caribbean, on to sunny Mexico, and deep into the dangerous parts of Africa where terror reigns. James Evers turned his back on a life of power and privilege to carve a place in the world for himself. Now that he’s finally discovered his niche as a small-town sheriff and found the woman he wants in his future, a past indiscretion struts in on high heels and sends his newfound love fleeing headlong into peril. His mission: neutralize old enemies, defuse new threats, resolve past mistakes, settle family disputes, and—most importantly—find and rescue his woman from terrorists before the unthinkable happens. (Action/Adventure from Write Integrity Press)


Contemporary Romance:

The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family by Lisa Carter — Young widow Kristina Montgomery moves to Kiptohanock, Virginia, hoping it will give her and her teenage son, Gray, a fresh start. She longs for the peace and quiet only a small town can provide. But her plans are thwarted by her new neighbor, Canyon Collier, a former Coast Guard pilot and a crop duster. Gray is instantly drawn to the pilot and his teenage niece, Jade—and Kristina’s not far behind. She and Canyon are soon bonding over parenting their charges and their spark becomes undeniable. Could it be that the spirited pilot is just what Kristina needs to teach her heart to soar again? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Gift of the Magpie by Zoe M. McCarthy — Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia, has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, Amanda’s heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high-school Valentine’s Day date. Camden may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller –It’s been ten years since Leah Fisher’s mother died in a buggy accident. But when Leah’s father shows interest in Naomi Yoder, Leah isn’t ready for a new mother. Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time? (Contemporary from S & G Publishing)


General Contemporary:

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli — An antique ring reunites a Boston Marathon bombing survivor with the man who saved her. Together they unearth the two-hundred-year- old history of a woman who suffered tremendous loss in the Boston Massacre, a woman torn between the love of two men – one a patriot, one a Redcoat. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

 

Fresh Faith by Elise Phillips — Joy Abbott had been trying to start her life over for years — and failing. Then a letter summoned her to Texas and everything changed. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)


Historical:

Enchanted Isle by Melanie Dobson — In the spring of 1958, Jenny Winter embarks on a two-month adventure to a quaint village in England’s magical Lake District. With a new camera and an eye for capturing the beauty others miss, she can’t wait to explore the heathery fells and mystical waters. Adrian Kemp, a handsome and enigmatic local, makes the sightseeing even more beguiling. When Adrian shows Jenny his late father’s abandoned dream, a deserted island amusement park, she glimpses a kindred spirit in this reckless, haunted young man. Yet as she opens her heart to Adrian, the two stumble into a mystery leading back a generation to an unforgettable romance and an unsolved murder. As long-held secrets come to light, it’s left to Jenny and Adrian to put the past to rest and restore a lost dream. (Historical from Waterfall Press)

Titus: The Aristocrat by Katheryn Maddox Haddad — Titus intends to become a famous lawyer in the Roman Empire. Instead, he is sent by Paul to arbitrate between arch enemies in wild Corinth, wilder Crete, and wildest Dalmatia. In each place he suffers. But, long before that, he suffers from guilt over the death of his mother when he was eleven years old. How does Titus survive it all? (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)

Historical Romance:

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander — With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams – provided the truth doesn’t tear them apart first. (Historical Romance from Zondervan)


The Second Chance Brides Collection by Lauralee Bliss, Angela Breidenbach, Ramona K. Cecil, Pamela Griffin, Grace Hitchcock, Pam Hillman, Laura V. Hilton, Tiffany Amber Stockton, and Liz Tolsma — Meet nine women who each believe their chance for lifelong love has passed them by. From the girls who lost their beaus to war, to the wallflowers overshadowed by others, and the widows deeply hurt by their loss, the desire to love and be loved spans American history from 1777 to 1944. Experience the sweet pull of romance on each life and the blossom of faith that leads them to brighter futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman — Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady. The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage. Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe? (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)


Romantic Suspense:

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason — When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan’s life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone. In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker])

Plain Retribution by Dana R. Lynn — Ten years ago while on rumspringa, Rebecca Miller and her friends were kidnapped and held captive…and now, living in the English world, she’s nearly abducted again. One by one her friends who once helped send their abductor to jail are targeted, and she is next…unless police officer Miles Olsen can stop a killer. Deaf since birth, the only person on the force that Rebecca can communicate with is Miles, and he needs this case to redeem himself of past mistakes. When the relentless killer tracks them deep into the heart of Amish country, protecting Rebecca must be Miles’s sole focus. Because a mistake this time will cost something worth more to him than his job—the woman he’s falling for. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cold Blooded by Anne Patrick — Detective Gwen Jamison has the highest closure rate in her division, but a string of armed robberies is about to take over her life. Not only will her job be on the line, but the troubling case also wreaks havoc on her personal life. Lieutenant Ian McKean knew he would have his hands full when he took over leadership of the detectives unit. He wasn’t prepared for the headstrong Detective Jamison, though, who quickly becomes a thorn in his side. If they can stop butting heads long enough they might realize they are more alike than either imagined. (Romantic Suspense from Anne Patrick)

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

Until Next Time . . . Happy Reading,

Carrie

Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Hi Friends, 

I’m excited to show you the cover of my next English historical novel, Across the Blue and tell you about a special giveaway . . . but before I do, let me tell you a little about the story and characters.

The Heroine – Isabella Grayson, is the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate. She longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year.

The Hero – James Drake, is an aspiring aviator, and when he crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

Ready to see the beautiful cover? 

I’m thrilled with the design! It perfectly captures Kent, England, and the white Cliffs of Dover, which play a huge part in this story. Bella’s hat is divine and just right for the 1909 time period. And when you see how fragile James’s airplane really is, it makes you appreciate his courage in attempting to be the first to fly across the English Channel!

I can’t wait to share Across the Blue with you! It releases February 20, 2018, and you can preorder a copy from your favorite retailer by following this link.

If you’re on GoodReads I hope you’ll click this link and add it to your “To Read” list!

And now I have a Giveaway for you! Help me spread the word, and you can enter in a drawing for a set of my four English historical novels: The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, A Refuge at Highland Hall, and Shine Like the Dawn! To enter just share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media sight and then leave a comment below, telling me where you shared it. I’ll draw one winner on Thursday, July 13th. If a US winner is chosen he or she will receive paperback copies, and if an international winner is chosen he or she will receive eBooks. Thanks for helping me spread the word about Across the Blue!

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading!

Carrie

Happy Fourth of July ~ Free Book

Hi Friends,

I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing Fourth of July weekend! Just a quick note to let you know my novel, Surrendered Hearts, is FREE on Kindle July 1 – 5! This is the perfect summer story to enjoy this weekend. 

Here’s a summary: Jennifer Evan’s life changes forever when a gas pipeline explodes and causes a fire at her apartment. Losing her home and beloved dog are terrible blows, but the ugly scars that cover her arm, neck and shoulder steal her confidence and cause her fiancé to desert her. With her funds depleted and her job on hold, she heads for Vermont where she hopes to reconnect with her brother and find a way to rebuild her shattered life.

Bill Morgan, her brother’s roommate and the head naturalist at the Wild River Nature Center, is a strong, quiet man whose faith runs deep. His efforts to share his faith with Jenn seem to push her farther away. But caring actions sometimes speak louder than words, and Jenn’s heart is drawn to Bill in spite of the spiritual gulf that separates them. Will she hold on to the pain of her past, or will she surrender her heart and find the faith and love she seeks?

Surrendered Hearts has more than 180 great reviews on Amazon including this one: “The author has created a powerful, moving story with Surrendered Hearts. I loved this novel. Loved Bill Morgan. He’s the hero every girl dreams of, and Jennifer Evans was a likable character as well. . . The book is heartwarming and touching, and I loved the ending. This story is a five all the way in my book. This was the first time I’ve read this author, but it won’t be the last. In fact, I just purchased another book by her and can’t wait to read it. This is a well-woven story.”

Download your copy at Amazon and enjoy it today!

Blessings and Happy Fourth of July,

Carrie

Home From Italy

Hi Friends,

We just returned from a 12-day trip to Rome and Tuscany, and I wanted to bring back some stories and share the adventure with you!

Carrie and Scott at the Duomo in Florence

We took an overnight flight from New Jersey to Italy and spent the first four days in Rome. Highlights were visiting the Vatican, Saint Peter’s Cathedral, and the Sistine Chapel with the beautiful ceiling painted by Michael Angelo. We also toured the Roman colosseum and Forum with ruins from ancient Rome. One of my favorite experiences was walking through the open markets and past several beautiful fountains. We stopped to see the Spanish Steps where Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) ate gelato with Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) in Roman Holiday. That was fun!

I did pretty well sticking to my gluten-free, dairy-free food plan (for health reasons) but I did enjoy one cup of vanilla-cherry gelato. Delicious!

The second part of our trip we drove up to Tuscany and stayed at a rustic rented villa about twenty minutes south of Siena. We were way out in the country surrounded by olive groves, farms, and vineyards, and it was very peaceful and beautiful spot! 

The Duomo (Cathedral) in Siena

We visited Florence, Siena, and a few of the lovely small hilltop towns with markets, sidewalk cafes, narrow streets, and history that goes way back to Roman times with lots of artwork and buildings from the Renaissance. So beautiful and inspiring! 

We enjoyed the family of cats at the villa, the mom and dad and four kittens. The kittens played out in the courtyard every day and were so cute. 

 

 

Overall, it was a wonderful trip, and we were very grateful for the chance to get away, enjoy an adventure, and be refreshed.

Scott and Carrie on the bridge over the Arno River in Florence.

I turned in my latest novel near the end of April, Across the Blue, and I’m dreaming of my next story . . . Maybe it should be set in a rustic villa in Italy!

Until next time, happy reading!

Carrie

New Releases for June 2017

 

Hi Friends, What are you reading this month? Here’s a list of novels releasing in June from American Christian Fiction Writer authors. I’m really enjoying Higher than the Heavens by Kate Breslin. Take a look. I think you’ll find several that will make great summer reading!
Contemporary Romance:

Engaged by Julie Arduini — Trish Maxwell returns to Speculator Falls with egg on her face and apologies to make as she tries to determine what’s next, especially when around paramedic Wayne Peterson. (Contemporary Romance from Surrendered Scribe Media)


Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter — When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down. But when Josephine drives out to Noah’s North Georgia cottage to deliver the corrected papers, they are trapped there during a snowstorm. Things couldn’t get worse…until they are forced out into the storm and must rely on one another to survive. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Zondervan])

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac — Would you give up everything for a life you hate with the person you love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


An Encore for Estelle by Kimberly Rose Johnson — A former A-list actress seeks to redeem herself in the most unlikely of places—a children’s theater. The writer/director didn’t anticipate a famous actress would ever show interest in his musical much less him. Will their pasts pull them apart or join them together? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Cowboy’s Baby Blessing by Deb Kastner — When Ex-soldier Seth Howell suddenly becomes guardian of a two-year-old, he needs Rachel Perez’s help. Though she is gun-shy about relationships, this handsome cowboy and his adorable son break through. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Finding Love by Toni Shiloh — Delaney Jones is putting her life back together after widowhood when in walks Army soldier, Luke Robinson. Luke had a part in the death of Delaney’s husband–will his secrets widen the gulf in their relationship or will he finally find absolution? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)


Cozy Mystery:

The Copper Box by Suzanne Bratcher — When antiques expert Marty Greenlaw comes to Jerome, Arizona to search for a copper box she believes will unlock the secrets of her past, deadly accidents begin to happen: someone else wants the copper box, someone willing to kill for it. (Cozy Mystery from Mantle Rock Publishing)


General Contemporary:

Coming Home – A Tiny House Collection by Yvonne Anderson, Michael Ehret, Kimberli S. McKay, Pamela S. Meyers, Ane Mulligan, Chandra Lynn Smith, Linda W. Yezak — Tiny houses are all the rage these days, but what can you do with something so small? Here are seven stories about people chasing their dreams, making fresh starts, finding love, stumbling upon forgiveness, and embarking upon new adventures in tiny houses. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Katie’s Quest by Lee Carver — Katie Dennis hopes for fulfillment as a single missionary nurse after the death of her fiancé. She trusts God for a new direction, but she’ll never fall for a pilot again. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

 


A Sweetwater River Romance by Misty M. Beller — Rocky Ridge Stage Stop Manager Ezra Reid is put in a difficult situation when two ladies show up on his remote doorstep seeking refuge, one of them being Tori Boyd, the mysterious correspondence partner writing him letters for over a year now. Tori refuses the most proper solution to their circumstance—marriage. But when danger follows, it will take a lot more than luck to ensure Ezra’s heart is the sole casualty. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin — In German-occupied Brussels, a WWI nurse struggles to keep two life-threatening secrets. She’s in league with the British Secret Service, and she’s harboring a wounded British pilot. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])


Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection by Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Gina Welborn — Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere — When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson — Set in WWII, an Irish woman must choose between her heart and her freedom when she finds a downed combatant pilot. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press)

Mail Order Sweetheart by Christine Johnson — Singer Fiona O’Keefe must make a wealthy match to support her orphaned niece. Musically talented Sawyer Evans is a self-made, but not wealthy, sawmill-manager. Unwilling to live off his father’s railroad fortune, can Sawyer prove to Fiona he’s the man she needs when she’s already determined to mail-order a rich husband? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Freedom’s Price by Christine Johnson — On a quest to find her mother’s family in Louisiana, Englishwoman Catherine Haynes enlists a dashing Key West man seeking revenge for his own family. When an incredible secret comes to light, she and Tom will face a choice. Can they relinquish their dreams to step forward in faith? (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

Sutter’s Landing by Betty Thomason Owens — Still reeling from tragic losses, Connie and Annabelle Cross face life with their signature humor and grace, until fresh hope arrives on their doorstep. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)


Romantic Suspense:

Hidden Legacy by Lynn Huggins Blackburn — When someone threatens the baby she’s adopting, Caroline Harrison must rely on Detective Jason Drake, the man who once broke her heart, to figure out why. If Jason wants a chance at a future with with Caroline and her son, he’ll first have to help them outrun a hit man. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll — Pitted against each other to recover a map to the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, two recovery specialists follow the trail to Arizona. But someone doesn’t want them to find the map. . .or the mine. They must work together despite their mistrust and growing attraction, to save themselves. (Romantic Suspense from Barbour Publishing)


Speculative:

The Revisionary by Kristen Hogrefe — Revisionary or Rogue? To rescue her brother, Portia might have to break every rule in the book she set out to rewrite. (Speculative from Write Integrity Press)


Women’s Contemporary:

Redemption’s Whisper by Kathleen Friesen — Desperate to escape her past, a suicidal young woman flies from Toronto to a Saskatoon pastor’s home, the only people who may be able to help her. If only someone could love her, in spite of all she’s done. On the flight, she meets a young man torn between seeking affirmation in the big city and helping his parents in Saskatoon. Can these two troubled souls gain the peace they need—and in the process, find love? (Women’s Contemporary from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])


Young Adult:

All Things Now Living by Rondi Bauer Olson — Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him. (Young Adult from Written World Communications)

 

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

2017 British Blooms and Books

Hi Friends,

Welcome to the second annual British Blooms and Books Giveaway! This week, we’re celebrating the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show and some lovely historical novels set in England. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ blogs (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction and leave a comment on each blog. You’ll be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US winners only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by!

Touring the Gardens at Cragside ~ Morningside Manor

Cragside House and Gardens are the inspiration for the setting of Shine Like the Dawn, my latest English historical romance. When I first researched the story I was fascinated by the photos I saw of the beautiful gardens surrounding Cragside House. And when I read the story behind them, I was even more eager to include those amazing gardens in my story.

 

Cragside house was built on a rocky moor area with few trees, but William Armstrong, the original developer and owner of Cragside decided to create a lush woodland garden around his home with three lakes, miles of carriage drives, bridges, and beautiful rock gardens. 

Rhododendrons and azaleas flourish there and make a sunning display each spring. I hope you enjoy these photos and video tour. Viewing them will add to your enjoyment when you read Shine Like the Dawn!

To enter the giveaway, Please sign up for my newsletter in the box on the upper right hand column of my blog post (if you’re already signed up, just let me know in the comments). Then, comment below and tell me one of your favorite flowers, and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win the grand prize! Thanks to broadoak2006 for this beautiful video tour of Cragside!   

Devine Delights Tea Hats Treats

Giveaway Rules: One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ blogs and agrees to the one boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of each of the books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Name will be drawn via random.org

Please visit these other fabulous authors of historical novels set in England to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.

Links to the other authors:

Melanie Dickerson’s Post link: http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2017/05/second-annual-british-blooms-books.html

Melanie Dobson’s Post link: http://melaniedobson.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-books-giveaway/

Julie Klassen’s Post link: http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-books-giveaway/

Roseanna White’s Post link: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2017/05/2nd-annual-british-blooms-and-books.html

Sanda Byrd’s Post link: http://www.sandrabyrd.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Until Next Time . . . Happy Reading!

Carrie

 

A Season to Dance

 

Hi Friends,

Today I’d like to introduce you to Patricia Beal and her debut novel, A Season to Dance.  Patricia and I met at an American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference, and it’s been exciting to watch the Lord open the way for her to see her first novel published.

Thank you, Carrie, for having me here today! My debut novel came out yesterday, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Excited and expectant. What’s God going to do next in the life of this book?

I wasn’t a Christian when I started working on A Season to Dance in January of 2011. But the whole time, God had me writing my own salvation story. My husband, my mom, and my children ended up coming to faith in Christ because of the writing of this book, and I can’t wait to see how it will touch other people’s lives.

Here’s how it all happened. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but for most of my life I believed there had to be some kind of god out there and that being a good person was important.

But in the summer of 2012, when an early version of the novel was rejected in three different continents on the same week, I had a major break down. I was tired and lonely, and I decided the notion of a loving god was absurd. There was no loving god, if there was a god at all.

Self-gratification became my sole purpose in life, and I looked behind every door for happiness and satisfaction. I didn’t find anything worth keeping though, and at the end of every new pursuit, I was still tired and lonely. And this time there was a darkness and an emptiness that was brand new and very scary.

Then Jesus passed by. I was born again in January of 2013, and soon after that, I realized the novel wasn’t complete. I cancelled a trip to a secular writers’ conference and started a fourteen-month rewrite.

I hired a proofreader to go over the whole thing before taking it to conference in 2014, and she later told me she’d been bitter over a disability and loss of work. God used the manuscript to touch her heart, and she ended up rededicating her life to Him. As of this day, I don’t know what part of the novel touched her so, but I’m sure glad it happened.

Later that year, I went to my first American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference and met agent Les Stobbe, who two weeks later, offered to represent me. The Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas publishing contract came a year later.

And now here it is. Published. What’s God going to do next? I pray that others will take the journey with me and with ballerina Ana Brassfield, beyond expectations and suffering and to the very heart of Christ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo1ndSOLUXk

I’ve had a colorful life and have many stories to share, but there will never be a better one than this, I don’t think. The story of how God suffered me to write my own salvation story. How does He do it?

Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She is represented by Les Stobbe of the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency, and A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Bling! Romance / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Patricia writes from El Paso, Texas, where she lives with her husband and two children. To order your copy of A Season to Dance just click on the book cover above or visit her at www.patriciabeal.com.

Honoring Mom

Hi Friends, 

****Update: the winner is Bethany Brewer!

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Do you have plans to celebrate and honor the special women in your life this weekend? I’ll be enjoying Mother’s Day morning with my Calvary Chapel Living Hope family, and then in the afternoon I’ll get together with family and a few friends for a picnic lunch, hopefully outside on the patio. It’s a beautiful time of the year in New Jersey, and I often plant annual flowers in my yard on Mothers Day weekend. Geraniums, marigolds, and snapdragons are some of my favorites. Here’s one of my patio pots.

My mom, Dorothy Swain, with me at my cousin’s wedding.

I’ll also be remembering my mom, Dorothy Swain, and thanking the Lord for her influence in my life and the gifts she’s given me. One gift is the love for art and creativity. She was an accomplished painter, commercial artist, and quilter. She also used her artistic skills to remodel and decorate our home. She encouraged me to try painting at an early age and made sure I had art supplies to continue exploring and developing my artistic abilities. I also love decorating my home and bringing beauty there for my family to enjoy.

This painting by my mom features a historic home in Astoria, Oregon, and hangs in my living room.

Another gift my mom gave me was a love for family and especially a desire to collect family stories and pass them on to the next generations. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories she collected and viewing the drawings she made to go with them. My mom was a writer as well as an artist and some of her articles were published in our local newspaper. 

Mom’s love for stories sparked my creativity, and I think she’d be very happy to see me writing historical novels that often feature families and beautiful settings. 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m giving away an audio book copy of Shine Like the Dawn. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog post and tell me one interest or quality you share with your mom. I’ll announce the winner on Monday 15th. You can order a paperback or audio copy of Shine Like the Dawn by visiting my website

Happy Reading until next time,

Carrie