New Fiction for April 2018

Hi Friends, Here are the latest releases from American Christian Fiction Writer authors. I hope you’ll enjoy some great reading this month!

Contemporary Romance:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon — After inheriting a crumbling lighthouse, ex-Army doctor Ben Garrison wants to sell it. But Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber is determined to save the town landmark. Can these two romance-wary souls finds a meeting of the minds…and hearts? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

 

 

 

An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Beth Wiseman — From bestselling Amish authors come four novellas about the meaning and tradition found behind every family heirloom. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


Historical Romance:
This Wilderness Journey by Misty Beller — He’s been sent to retrieve the new missionary… But she’s not at all who he expects to find. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

 

 

 

 

 

The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy — Deborah and her sister and two little children survive a wagon train massacre. Trace finds them and takes them home. He finds himself their accidental guardian. He must protect them all and gain justice. When he does, all these friendly visitors–especially Deborah–will leave him forever. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

 

First Love Forever Romance Collection by Susanne Dietze, Marcia Gruver, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancette Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, Erica Vetsch, and Jennifer Uhlarik — Coming face to face with a lost love can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.” In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

All Things Beautiful by Keely Brooke Keith — It’s 1868 in the settlement of Good Springs, and Hannah Vestal is passionate about writing fiction and keeping her stories to herself. When her father asks to read her work, she decides to have it printed secretly for his 50th birthday. Hannah tries to arrange the printing with the settlement’s pressman, but the witty and dapper Henry Roberts has better things to do with his ink. In order to secure settlement support for his printing press, the elder council says Henry must print an error-free copy of the New Testament before the settlement’s 8th anniversary celebration. He is determined to meet their challenge, but when the enigmatic Hannah proves to be a beguiling distraction, Henry longs for something more than a life at the letterpress. (Historical Romance from Edenbrooke Press)

Adoration by Olivia Rae — Sir Darrin de Longue is desperate to get his lands back from Lady Faith de Sainte-Marie, the woman who betrayed him and may have had a hand in his father’s murder. But King Richard discloses on his deathbed that Lady Faith is the king’s daughter and then issues an ultimatum Darrin must obey. In order to reclaim his lands, he must marry Lady Faith and get her with child in a year’s time. Lady Faith has loved the rowdy and bold Sir Darrin since childhood, but cannot be a true wife to the bitter, angry man whom she has wed. In order to gain his trust and love, she vows to find the truth about his father’s murder. But when she stumbles upon deadly secrets, will she be able to prove her innocence–and his–to erase the past and win Darrin’s heart? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

Under Prairie Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Illinois prairie, 1855. Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths are destined to cross again. Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo — The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


General Contemporary:

Shadows of Hope by Georgiana Daniels — Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around. But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope. (General Contemporary from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Secret Past by Sharee Stover — With gunmen at her doorstep, Katie Tribani learns her true identity. She’s been in witness protection since childhood, and now her crime-lord father has found her. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Young Adult:

Chase by Glenn Haggerty — Tyler, a middle school newbie, shadows drug runners to rat out the methamphetamine dealer before his friend turns into a brain-dead druggie. (Young Adult, Independently Published)
 Until Next Time – Happy Reading,

Carrie

April Giveaway!

Hi Friends,

This month I’m busy working on my next English historical novel, Finding Her Way Home. The story focuses on the McAllister Family and what happens when the three youngest children are sent to Canada as British Home Children without the knowledge or permission of their mother. From 1869 – 1939 more than 100,000 poor and orphaned children were emigrated to Canada. A few were adopted, but most became indentured household servants and farm workers. We’re talking about children, many who were much too young to be expected to do that kind of work. The research has been intense and heartrending, but it’s a story that needs to be told. These children should never be forgotten. If you’d like a peek at the characters and setting, visit my Pinterest board. 

Each month I’m hosting a special giveaway for newsletter subscribers. My email newsletter goes out every other month with book news, giveaways, recipes, and encouraging articles. I hope you’ll visit my website and subscribe, 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 May and announce the next giveaway here on my blog.

This month I’m giving away The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep and A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green. If you enjoy historical romance, then you’ll love these two books! Visit Michelle’s website for more info about her and her books. And visit Jocelyn’s website for info about her and her books.

Until next time, Happy Reading,
Carrie

Where Two Hearts Meet on Sale!

Hi Friends,

Where Two Hearts Meet is on sale for .99 cents for a limited time! This double novella collection features two sister who own the Sweet Something Teashop. The stories are set in Princeton, near where I live, so it was fun to include local sights and events! It’s available as an eBook or paperback. Purchase your copy at this link. 

Tea for Two – Allison Bennett, co-owner of a financially strapped teashop in Princeton, New Jersey, receives a large anonymous check that saves her business. But she has no idea who sent it. Could it be from Peter Hillinger, the wealthy businessman who owns the shop next door and wants to win Allison’s heart? Or is it from Tyler Lawrence, Allison’s old boyfriend, who returns to town claiming a renewed faith and a changed life? Allison doesn’t know whom to trust. Should she follow her head or heart, or is there Someone else who can guide her toward the best path for her future?

Wherever Love Takes Us – After twenty-five years of marriage, Matt and Tessa Malone are struggling to recover financially and rebuild trust following a business failure. When Matt inherits property in Oregon, he wants to move the family there to make a fresh start. But Tessa can’t imagine giving up the cozy teashop she co-owns with her sister, or leaving her friends and family in Princeton. Whose dream will they follow, and how much will it cost their family? Can they resolve their differences and rebuild a love that seems lost?

Would you like to see the characters and setting for Where Two Hearts Meet? Take a look at the Pinterest Board. I hope you’ll take advantage of this great sale price and enjoy reading Where Two Hearts Meet!

Until Next Time – Happy Reading,

Carrie

Dressing My Characters Edwardian Style

Edwardian hat #1Hi Friends,

One of the most interesting aspects of my research for my English historical novels has been learning about Edwardian fashions. I fell in love with the beautiful gowns and elaborate hats worn by the women during that era!

Pinterest is a great sources for Edwardian fashion photos. And I enjoyed creating boards for Edwardian clothing, hats, and jewelry for my own reference and to share with readers. Those photos are very helpful when I want to describe what my characters are wearing. I just clicked over to Pinterest and looked through the images until I find the right outfit. Here are some of the fashion trends during the Edwardian Era.

Edwardian Hat #21900-1909: Women’s fashions had the same long elegant lines as those of the 1890s. Tall, stiff collars were popular, as were women’s broad hats and full ‘Gibson Girl’ hairstyles. A new, columnar silhouette was introduced by the designers of Paris late in the decade, and this signaled women would soon abandon the use of corsets, which had been an indispensable undergarment worn by women for many years.

1910-1919: During the early years of the 1910s the fashion silhouette became more fluid and soft than in the previous decade. Designs by Parisian designers came in a variety of shapes, but the most popular silhouette throughout the decade was the tunic over a long underskirt. Early in the period, waistlines were high, just below the bust, echoing the styles of the early 19th century. Full, hip length tunics were worn over narrow, draped skirts. When the Russian Ballet performed Scheherazade in Paris in 1910, exotic, Oriental designs with bold colors became the fashion rage.

Hobble SkirtBy 1914, just prior to WW1, skirts were widest at the hips and very narrow at the ankle. These hobble skirts made long strides impossible. Waistlines were loose and softly defined. They gradually dropped to near the natural waist by mid-decade, and they remained that way through the war years. Tunics became longer and underskirts fuller and shorter. By 1916 women were wearing a calf-length dress over an ankle-length underskirt. Styles became simpler during the war years.

Large hats with feathers, flowers, and wide brims; and broad hats with face-shadowing brims were popular in the early years of the decade, gradually shrinking to smaller hats with flat brims. Bobbed or short hair was introduced in Paris fashions in 1909 and spread to England during the war.

Edwardian gownIn my first English historical novel, The Governess of Highland Hall, the heroine, Julia Foster, has just returned from India where she was a missionary. She must support her parents and has limited funds, so most of Julia’s clothing is simple and a bit outdated. But as the story progresses there are times she dresses up for dinner, and I enjoyed choosing her outfit and jewelry. Julia’s two teenage charges are wealthy and dress in very fashionable clothing throughout the story, so describing those outfits was fun.

My study of Edwardian fashions was also helpful when it was time to give input on the cover design. I was able to describe what the heroine might be wearing and how she would wear her hat and hair. The photographer and designer did a great job giving the cover the Edwardian look I had hoped for.

Edwardian red shoesLearning about the fashions of the era helped me understand my characters and feel as though I was stepping into their world. I hope it will help you do the same when you read my books!

Would you like to see more Edwardian Fashions? Come on over to my Pinterest boards and take a look.

Do you think you’d like to dress as they did in Edwardian England? Why or why not?

Until next time – Happy Reading,

Carrie

Celebrating a New Contract!

Hi Friends,

I’m excited to share that I recently signed a new contract with WaterBrook Multnomah for two more English historical novels! The research for these stories has really gripped my heart, and I’m working hard to weave what I’ve been learning about British Home Children into an engaging and inspiring plot. Here’s a bit of background about British Home Children.

From the 1860s – 1930s more than 100,000 poor and orphaned British children were taken from their homes and families and sent to Canada. A few of the younger ones were adopted, but most became indentured household servants and farm laborers. Some were well treated, but many suffered because of prejudice, neglect, isolation, and abuse. These two books will tell the story of the McAlister Family and their struggle to be reunited after the three youngest siblings are separated from their mother and sent to Canada as British Home Children. The oldest sister, Laura, is determined to find her siblings and reunite her family, but she can’t do it alone. Laura teams up with Andrew Frasier, a wealthy young lawyer, who is investigating child emigration to Canada on behalf of the British government. Together they search for her siblings and seek to bring about changes to help British Home Children and their families.

The working title for the first book is An Ocean Between Us, but that may change. It’s due to release Fall 2019. Would you like to see the Characters and setting? Click on over to my An Ocean Between Us Pinterest board and take a look.

That’s all for now. I’m off to write the next chapter!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

New Releases for March

Hi Friends, are you looking for some new novels to enjoy this month? Here are the new releases from American Christian Fiction Writer authors.


Contemporary Romance:

Finally a Bride by Renee Andrews — Her dreams of love haven’t worked out, but veterinarian Haley Calhoun intends to grant an orphaned boy’s wish. She’ll heal Eli’s injured puppy—while resisting his charming counselor, Gavin Thomason, at the children’s home. Still mourning the loss of his wife and baby, Gavin believes he can’t commit again. But in losing their hearts to Eli, will Haley and Gavin discover they’ve found the family they need? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love and Roses by Sally Bayless — Looking for a fresh start, former Manhattan lawyer Nate Redmond agrees to arrange the sale of the outdated Rose Park in small-town Missouri, not realizing it has deep sentimental value to his new neighbor, Abby Kincaid—a beautiful widow he’d like to impress. When their plans for the park clash, he learns he’s competing against the memory of her husband, a decorated war hero. With plenty of past mistakes hiding in the in the hedges, can Abby and Nate learn forgiveness and courage in time for love to grow? (Contemporary Romance from Kimberlin Belle Publishing)

Courting Her Amish Heart by Mary Davis — In this first book of the Prodigal Daughters series, Kathleen Yoder comes home after fourteen years in the Englisher world. Practicing medicine means sacrifice—no Amish man will want a doctor for a wife. Widowed Noah Lambright offers a cottage as her new clinic, seeing how much Kathleen’s skills can help their community. But as their friendship deepens, could love and family become more than a forbidden dream? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart by Jan Drexler — As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp is finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farm worker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own. Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community – even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes – and hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Reluctant Groom by Kimberly Rose Johnson — When Ray O’Brien’s world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind Ray can’t dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing—they aren’t in love. Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Anna’s Forgotten Fiance by Carrie Lighte — An accident leaves Anna Weaver with no memory of her Amish hometown’s newest arrival—her fiancé! After a whirlwind courtship, their wedding’s in six weeks…but how can she marry a man she can’t remember? Carpenter Fletcher Chupp takes her on a walk down memory lane, but there’s one thing he wants to keep hidden: a secret that might just lose him the woman he loves. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh — Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?
Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise. Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


General & Women’s Fiction:

Justice by Emily Conrad — Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. (General from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel — When her heart donor’s parents give Megan Jacobs their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Sweet Meets by Deborah Raney — From short stories to novellas, from contemporary to historical, all of award-winning author Deborah Raney’s short works have been gathered into one great collection for one low price.
Includes the following novellas and short stories: Going Once, Special Delivery, Haiti’s Song, Prairie Lessons, Finally Home, Circle of Blessings. (Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)


Historical Romance:

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Ranchers Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears — In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain serves on the schoolboard, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job. Aaron has returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He sets out to prove to Mercy he now has the best interests of the children at heart. Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo — In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper, used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason — A young man suddenly thrust into nobility is torn between the servant girl he hopes to marry and the father he’s always longed for. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

 

 

 

Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyers — Wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, is about to wed a man she loathes. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, postponing the wedding. After escaping to Wisconsin with her family she realizes she loves Irish immigrant, Rory Quinn, and prepares to break the wedding plans, which are still on. Then she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Husband by Arrangement by Angel Moore — Abandoned by her secret fiancé, the mayor’s pregnant daughter marries the sheriff. Can she overcome her past and help him save the town from corruption? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

 

 

Beneath A Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer — Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence, but when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the grooms-to-be. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Romantic Suspense:

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn — After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. Leigh reaches out for help from her high school friend and volunteer underwater investigator, Ryan Parker. But when Ryan finds the body of a wealthy businessman in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh and deadly implications for them all. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

Secret Service Setup by Jessica R. Patch — Secret Service agent Evan Novak becomes the target of multiple hit men when someone puts a two-million-dollar bounty on his head. Is it the gunrunner he’s tracking…or a traitorous agent? Framed and wanted, Evan reluctantly accepts protection from bodyguard Jody Gallagher, his former love who lost her Agency career because of him. But then the bounty is raised to include Jody… (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Fugitive Spy by Jordyn Redwood — A spy with amnesia—and a mission he can’t remember. When Casper English lands in her ER with amnesia, Dr. Ashley Drager learns he has a picture of her…and the same tattoo as her long-missing father. With a dangerous man after Casper, and his memories possibly holding the key to finding Ashley’s father, she secretly whisks him away from the hospital. But can she keep him alive long enough to help him regain his memories? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

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

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

Carrie

 

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #5

Hi Friends, Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt be sure to start at Stop #1 and collect all the clues through the 30 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on 3/1 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
  • Hunt through all the stops in a loop using Chrome or Firefox as your Internet browser, not Explorer.
  • There is no rush to complete the hunt! You have all weekend, until Sunday 3/4 at Midnight EST. So take your time and enjoy the unique posts along the way. Our hope is that you’ll discover new authors and books that you’ll enjoy!
  • Submit your entry for the grand prize by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #30. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way. Be sure to look for those!

I’m very happy to introduce award-winning author, Angela Hunt. I’ve read and loved many of Angela’s books, and I’ve enjoyed listening to her speak at writers’ conferences. She is a creative woman with many talents, including writing and photography.

Here is a brief summary of her newest release, Judah’s Daughter:  Leah, the daughter of an abusive father, is relieved when she marries Judah, a gentle giant. But when Judah’s father draws the family into war, Leah finds herself married to a warrior, and she’s not sure she can handle the change . . .

WHY I LOVE KOSHER JELLY DOUGHNUTS 

By Angela Hunt

My dental hygienist, Cheryl, is Jewish. When I was beginning to research the book that would become Judah’s Wife, I happily told Cheryl that I had learned all kinds of things about the Jews in the second century before Christ.

“Hanukkah?” She asked. “You’re learning about Hanukkah?”

I frowned. “Um . . . I haven’t gotten to that yet.”

But weeks later, I did. I learned that the Seleucids, an empire of Greek-influenced Syrians, had taken over Judea and required the Jews to abandon their acts of faith. No circumcising baby boys, no observing the Sabbath, no abstaining from pork and shellfish. Any Jewish person found practicing the Law of Moses would be tortured and put to death.

Antiochus Epiphanes, the Seleucid king who came to Jerusalem, was so intent on creating a homogeneous Empire that he visited the Holy Temple and desecrated the altar by sacrificing a pig–to Zeus, mind you. He declared that the Temple would be a place to worship Zeus, then he went back to Antioch and left his henchmen to enforce his laws in Judea.

When Judah Maccabaeus and his brothers led the ragtag army of Judea against these invaders, God granted them a mighty victory. The word Hanukkah means dedication in Hebrew, and after Judah and his men cleansed and rededicated the Temple, Judah declared that the people should celebrate for seven days. That was the first Hanukkah, and Jews have been celebrating it ever since.

When I went back to the dentist, I told Cheryl that I now understood Hanukkah. “Oh, so you heard about the oil,” she said. “The uncontaminated vial they found that burned for seven days.”
Again, I shook my head. “I’m sorry,” I told her. “But there is absolutely no mention of a vial of oil or a miraculous burning lamp in any of the original documents.”

“I’ll ask my brother the rabbi about it,” she said.

“And I’ll do more research,” I promised.

When I went back to see her six months later, with a copy of Judah’s Wife in hand, I said, “I’m sorry, but I learned that there is absolutely no mention of the miracle of the oil until hundreds of years later. Experts think rabbis created the story for the sake of young children—because it seemed unseemly to celebrate a bloody war for seven days.”

“My brother said you’re right,” she said, a little mournfully. “It’s probably just a story.”

I felt bad—who wants to burst someone’s bubble? “Well,” I said, “if it helps, we Christians have our traditions, too. People think the wise kings came to see baby Jesus on the night He was born, but they weren’t kings and they probably arrived months later. People talk about the angels singing to the shepherds, but the Bible never says they sang. People think Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, but if there was a donkey, it was probably carrying water jugs and food for the journey. In fact, Jesus was probably born in springtime, not in winter.”

“Still,” she said. “When you grow up believing something—”

“Hanukkah is still a miracle,” I said. “That an unskilled group of farmers and Torah scholars could overcome one of the world’s leading armies—that’s a miracle. That they could face battle elephants and horses and rolling towers and catapults—that’s a miracle. That they could turn a battered, burned, starving city into a place of refuge and restoration—that’s the real miracle of Hanukkah.”

Hanukkah offers encouragement for Christians today. The Jews of Judah’s day were being pressured—to the point of death—to conform to the world, yet the devout remained true to their God. Christians in our day are being pressured to conform to the world, but will we remain true? The Maccabees set a glorious and challenging example.

At Hanukkah, Jews in Israel eat these wonderful jelly doughnuts, called Sufganiot. They are wonderful any time, and you can find the recipe here: https://www.thespruce.com/hanukkah-doughnuts-sufganiot-2121658

Traditional Jewish food for Chanukkah holyday. Luxurious looking sufganiyot. Photo (c) gburshtein-fotolia

Why not make some for your family at Easter? What better way to say we are dedicated to Christ?

Angela Hunt is the author of more than 140 books for children and adults. Read more about her work at www.angelahuntbooks.com.

Here’s the Stop #5 Skinny:

You can order Angela’s book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, or at your local bookstore.

Clue to write down: FOUND

Link to Stop #6, Angela Hunt’s own site!

***** But wait, before you go, I’m offering my own giveaway! Two books to two winners! You may choose Shine Like the Dawn or Across the Blue. This giveaway is open to US winners only. To enter, just sign up to receive my email newsletter in the box at the top right on this page, and then leave a comment below, telling me if you are new subscriber, or if you already receive my newsletters. Winners will be announced on 3/5 and contacted by email. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie

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,

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