In Perfect Time

August 15th, 2014

In Perfect Time

9780800720834

By Sarah Sundin

Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

ISLAND BREEZES

We finally hear Kay’s story. She’s the one who dates six guys at a time, and who knows what all she does with them. At least, that’s what everyone thinks, but is that all there is to flight nurse Jobson?

Kay finally runs across a man who isn’t interested in her or her flirtations. Pilot Roger Cooper prefers to avoid her and all other possible female entanglements. He can’t avoid her completely though as she works on some of the evac flights he flies.

Maybe there’s something there drawing them closer. You’ll be surprised when you find out what. Still their goals in life might well divide them forever.

Be prepared with that box of tissues. Sometimes it’s hard to read with tears blurring everything.

This is a good stand alone read, but reading reading With Every Letter and On Distant Shores will introduce you to Kay and give you some background on the the other Nightingales.

I really hope this is not the last book in the Wings of the Nightingales series. I’ve grown to love these people and the historical detail Ms Sundin brings to her books. Whatever you have for us next, Ms Sundin, I’ll be looking forward to reading it. I’ve never met a Sarah Sundin book I didn’t love.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

Second Chance Cafe

August 11th, 2014

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

 

Brandy Bruce

 

and the book:

 

Second Chance Cafe
Heartsong Presents/Love Inspired (July 2014)
***Special thanks to the author for sending me a review copy.***

bookcover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Visit the author’s website.

Brandy Bruce was scribbling stories in spiral notebooks by the age of 12. Her love for books never left her. She graduated from Liberty University, married the one person she could never get enough of, then started working as a book editor for a publishing house. Brandy and her husband, Jeff, live in Colorado with their two children. She can be reached through her blog at http://www.brandybruce.blogspot.com.BrandyBruce

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
ISABELLA ROMANO HAS GIVEN UP ON LOVE

Between her demanding work as a nurse and her father’s poor health, Isabella has no time for distractions. So when a handsome firefighter practically falls at her feet, she keeps him at arm’s length. But Ethan Carter is determined to win her over.Orphaned at a young age, Ethan longs for a family of his own—and he’s sure Isabella is his match. But when he opens a café near his firehouse, Isabella is less than thrilled. She knows firsthand the strain of being a restaurant owner, and she wants no part of that life. Can Ethan convince the busy nurse they can overcome any obstacle and have their happily ever after together?

Product Details:

List Price: $4.99

Publisher: Heartsong Presents/ Love Inspired

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-0-373-48719-6

ISLAND BREEZES

More of that delightful Romano family. Isabella comes into her own in this book.

She’s quite happy with her work as a nursing professional’ and doesn’t really have time to get involved with a firefighter who doesn’t really know how to take no for an answer. Even if he is rather yummy.

While being at odds while recuperating from an injury, Ethan ends up with a diner next door to the fire station. That’s another strike against him. Isabella knows the toll owning restaurants has taken on family members plus she’s also worked in the family business.

She wants no part of restaurants. Does Ethan even have half a chance of winning over Isabella now that he’s gone and bought a restaurant? It certainly doesn’t look like it.

Thank you, Brandy Bruce. I’m hoping you have more books with the Romano family lined up.

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chapter One
“Okay, people. We’ve got a firefighter with possible fractures and trauma to the spine. ETA is five minutes.”
Nurse Isabella Romano’s ears perked up and her pulse quickened. The mood in the emergency room shifted to one of controlled urgency. Isabella slipped on gloves and followed the attending physician, Dr. Nichols, to the Denver Health Medical Center’s ER entrance. Sirens rang out in the distance, and within minutes, the familiar sight of flashing lights sped toward them.
The back doors of the ambulance flew open and the paramedics jumped out. “Male, late twenties, fell from second-story landing to first floor and landed on his back. Multiple burns on his arms and a laceration on his right thigh. Hypotensive. Tachycardic. We administered one liter of saline through an 18 gauge IV in his left AC. Patient has maintained a pulse ox of 96 percent on 10L of oxygen via facemask.”
Isabella grabbed the left side of the stretcher, helping push the gurney to trauma room 1. At the sound of a low moan, she looked down at the firefighter strapped to the backboard. A neck collar kept him immobile and an oxygen mask covered his mouth.
“What’s his name?” Isabella called out to the EMT across from her.
“Ethan Carter. Company 51. Those guys will be filling up the waiting room as soon as they clear the scene.”
“Ethan, I’m Isabella. Can you hear me?”
His gaze met hers and Isabella could see his intense pain.
“Ethan, you’re going to be okay. We’re going to take good care of you.”
“Okay, everyone, on three,” Dr. Nichols ordered.
Everyone stopped what they were doing at Dr. Nichols’s instruction and lifted the backboard with Ethan on it, transferring him and the backboard to the hospital bed. He moaned. “We’re going to need 50 mcg of fentanyl,” Dr. Nichols called out. Maggie, one of Isabella’s colleagues, began cutting off Ethan’s burned clothing.
“Let’s get some X-rays, Isa,” Dr. Nichols stated. “I want a CT scan. His thigh obviously needs stitches.”
“I’m on it,” Maggie said as she inspected the burns on Ethan’s arms. Isabella moved to order the X-rays but Ethan reached out for her. She stepped back toward him, preparing to explain to him that she’d be back and he was going to be all right. But the look in his blue eyes stopped her. He tried to reach for his oxygen mask, but Isabella shook her head.
“No, don’t move,” she said; then pulled away his mask for a moment.
“Don’t leave me,” he said, his voice dry and raspy. Isabella was pretty sure that even covered in dust and blood, with a brace around his neck, he was the most attractive man she’d ever seen. Her heart tugged. In that moment, he just seemed so alone.
She replaced his oxygen. “I have to go for a minute, Ethan, but I’ll be coming right back. And we’ll get through this together. I know you’re scared and I know you’re hurting. But it’s going to be okay.”
He just stared at her, his eyes pleading for her to stay. Isabella couldn’t help it; she reached down and brushed his brown hair from his forehead.
“I promise I’ll be back,” she told him.Ethan Carter’s eyes fluttered open and then shut again quickly.
Who in the world turned on that blinding light?
He could hear a voice, someone saying his name. He turned his head to the side.
What happened?
He heard that voice again, saying his name. Then it came back to him, playing through his mind like a movie reel. The house fire. The roaring sound of the blaze. The sensation that he was falling. The impact of the ground floor. The rush into the ER.
“Ethan?”
He opened his eyes and blinked, trying to focus on the woman’s face in front of him.
“Hi there,” she said. “It’s nice to see you again.”
He blinked again. “Nurse . . .”
“Isabella. We met under rather tragic circumstances, I know.”
She was teasing. He could hear it in her voice. Now that he could focus on her clearly, he remembered seeing her in the ER.
“Isabella,” he repeated. Dressed in blue scrubs, she stood next to the bed, her brown hair tied back in a knot. She smiled down at him and Ethan felt better at the sight of her smile. She checked the monitors, her eyes darting toward the door of the hospital room.
“Did they get the family out of the house?” Ethan asked. Isabella nodded.
“Yes. One of the other firefighters—I think his name was Blake—told me to let you know that everyone made it out safely.”
“Except me, I guess,” Ethan said grimly. But Isabella’s smile didn’t fade.
“C’mon, tough guy. You’ve got this.”
Ethan studied her warm smile and playful tone. “You’re right,” he conceded. “God was watching over me in that burning house. He won’t abandon me now.”
She blinked in surprise at his statement. “I suppose He was,” she agreed.
“When can I go home?” Ethan asked.
“I’m not sure,” Isabella answered. “Dr. Nichols will be here any minute to talk to you,” she said.
“Can you stay?” Ethan asked immediately. Her face softened.
“Sure, if you want me to. Is there anyone you want me to call for you? The guys from the firehouse were here all night, off and on, in the waiting room. There are a few guys out there now. They can come in as soon as Dr. Nichols speaks to you.”
Ethan nodded. “Thanks. But there’s no one else for you to call.”
Isabella frowned. “Your family?”
Ethan just shook his head, turning his attention to the gauze covering his forearms. “There’s no one. Just the guys.” He hoped she’d drop the topic. He hated the pitiful looks he got whenever he explained to people that other than a few distant relatives out in California, he had no one. It was part of why he’d joined Company 51. A whole firehouse with the brothers he’d never had. He wondered if the chief was in the waiting room.
The door slid open and a doctor wearing black rimmed glasses and holding a clipboard walked in. He looked to be in his mid-forties.
“Good morning, Ethan. How are we feeling today?”
We? I have a feeling you’re doing a lot better than I am, doc.
“I’m hurting, but I’m guessing that medication is dulling the real pain.”
Dr. Nichols nodded. “You had a bad fall, Ethan. You know that. There were second degree burns on your arms, and a gash on your thigh that took about twenty stitches. You lost some blood, but we’ve given you IV fluids and you’re vitals have stabilized. You’re pretty banged up and bruised all over, but unfortunately, your back took the impact of the fall.”
Ethan’s chest constricted with fear.
“How bad is it?”
Isabella stepped closer to his bedside.
“It could have been worse. You have a lumbar—lower back—spinal fracture. The X-ray showed an L4 compression fracture. The positive aspect of this is that you still have good movement and feeling. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any neurological damage.”
“Do I need surgery?” Ethan asked.
“I don’t think so. The X-rays indicate a clean fracture. I’m going to recommend we move forward with outpatient treatment. But you’ve got a long, arduous healing journey ahead of you.”
“How long until I can be back on active duty?”
Dr. Nichol’s eyebrows furrowed. “The spine is a tricky thing, Ethan. And everyone heals at a different pace. You’re going to need rest, pain medication, lots of therapy, a back brace—”
“How long?” Ethan insisted.
“We’re talking months, Ethan. And that’s assuming that everything heals as it should. While in a few weeks you’ll be able to continue with most day-to-day activities, I don’t see you going back to active duty for probably six months. It could be less; it could be more. Perhaps they can transfer you to a desk job until you’re ready. After a few weeks of therapy we could reevaluate and consider light duty. But as of right now, your life is going to look different. You need to understand and accept that. Your priority needs to be healing properly.”
Months? Desk job? Light duty? Ethan tried to swallow the boulder in his throat.
“But, eventually, I’ll be back to normal. I’ll be able to be on active duty, right?” Ethan pressed. Dr. Nichols folded his arms across his clipboard.
“If all goes as it should, I think you’ll make a full recovery. But as I said, this is going to be a one-day-at-a-time healing process. We’ll start with rest. I want you on complete bed rest for the next few days. No strenuous activity. We’ll fit you for a back brace, which I want you to wear for six to eight weeks. We’ll do an X-ray after six weeks and see if the bone has healed. Then, once the bone has healed, you’ll need to begin physical therapy.”
Ethan took a deep breath. He felt a soft hand squeeze his arm and he looked up at Isabella.
“Hey, it’s going to be okay,” she said, her voice encouraging. “You’re here, you’re alive, you can walk—those are all good things.” He stared at her, trying to hold on to the sense of calm emanating from her.
She’s right, Father, he prayed. But what am I going to do for months if I’m not fighting fires? And what if ‘the healing process’ doesn’t go as it should and I can’t go back? Company 51 is all I have.
That last thought was too much. Ethan felt tears welling up in his eyes. He blinked fast to keep them at bay, mortified that he might cry in front of this nurse who not only was kind and smart and had a great sense of humor, but also looked stunning in blue scrubs.
I will never leave you.
The words were just a whisper in his heart, but they were enough. He clung to them. It had only been six months since one of his brothers at the firehouse, Caleb, had lead Ethan to Christ. Six months of a changed life. He still struggled to accept that God loved him like a father. That he could turn to God at any time. But it got easier. Accepting Christ as his Savior had filled Ethan with something he’d known was missing since childhood. Now he treasured that faith more than anything else.
Ethan closed his eyes.
I have You, Father. Whatever comes, I have you. Help me through this.Isabella watched as Ethan closed his eyes. His lips moved silently, and she knew without a doubt that he was praying. She looked over at Dr. Nichols who stood waiting without a word. Prayers were common things in the hospital. Sometimes people cried out loudly for help. Sometimes it was a desperate whisper. And sometimes, like now, it was a silent request. She’d seen people blame God. She’d seen them beg for His comfort. She’d even seen them try to barter for what they wanted.
Isabella wondered which one Ethan was doing now.
She also considered the fact that without all the dust and blood, Ethan Carter was even more attractive than she’d found him to be in the ER.
He had no family to call. That’s odd. The firefighters have filled up the waiting room, of course. But no one else. No relatives. No girlfriend. No one.
Isabella stared at the handsome firefighter’s brown hair and dark brown eyebrows. His sturdy jaw and those lips. She watched him pray. She wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to think so or not—but the fact that he was praying made him even more attractive.
I was wrong. He’s not completely alone. He has faith.
Ethan drew a breath and opened his eyes. He looked at Isabella before turning his attention to Dr. Nichols.
“Okay, what’s my next step, doc?”
.

When I Fall in Love

August 9th, 2014

When I Fall in Love

WhenIFallInLove

By Susan May Warren

Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.

Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.

Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.

ISLAND BREEZES

It feels good to be back with the Christiansen family. Grace loves her home and never wants to leave, but the family pushes her into a trip to Hawaii. Who wouldn’t want a Hawaiian vacation? Grace, that’s who.

Max loves Hawaii, and spends three weeks there every year. But this year is different. This year he’s more or less coerced into babysitting the sister of his hockey buddy’s fiancee’ – even though she doesn’t want anything to do with being watched over by anyone. She is an adult, after all.

They end up being paired for a cooking competition, and they seem to have more that food heating up. That is until the day of the big event.

Max has demons to work through, and Grace has to deal with a broken heart while helping her sister prepare for her wedding. It appears that there’s no way out of this heartache.

Thank you, Ms Warren, for giving us this family. I’m looking forward to Evergreen.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

SWarren-98

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors.

Debt-Proof Living

August 8th, 2014

Debt-Proof Living

9780800721459

By Mary Hunt

Mortgages, credit card balances, student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans have become a way of life. All that debt is putting not only our present at risk as we live paycheck to paycheck but our futures in jeopardy, as shockingly few of us have enough put away for retirement. But personal financial expert Mary Hunt wants you to know a radical but simple truth–you really can get out of debt and stay out of debt–for the rest of your life.

If you have been struggling to pay the bills, if you feel like you just can’t make your finances work, if you feel like your money situation is getting out of control, you need this book. It can change your life, just as it’s changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of others already.

ISLAND BREEZES

This book has been as exciting to me as any novel. I couldn’t put it down. I’ll need to give you a little background so you’ll understand why.

I had at one point become debt free and was building up a nice emergency fund. Then the emergencies started happening. We used over $3,000 for Consumer Man’s car emergency. I thought, “That’s okay. I’ll just build it back up.”

Nice thought. Then while stopped at a traffic light, a kid rammed into the back of my car. This resulted in a low back injury. I thought, “That’s okay. I’ll just do everything the doctor tells me, get back to 100% and back to work.” Wrong. The doctor told me I would be permently disabled and never be able to work an eight hour nursing shift. Excuse me, I do twelve hour shifts.

Then another car emergency. Mine this time. The kid’s insurance paid for all the visible damage, but all of a sudden the battery pack had to be replaced in my hybrid. The dealership thought it was probably related to the accident but couldn’t prove it. So out comes the credit card – the one which was only used if I bought something on line and paid it off within the grace period. Over $3,200 went on that puppy.

Then Consumer Man had more car problems. Now there’s over $5,000 on that card, and I’m struggling.

That’s when this book came along and I now have hope as I’ve begun implementing Mary Hunt’s guidelines. It feels so good to have someone who understands “hold your hand,” and shows you how to conquer that load of debt. Thank you, Ms Hunt, for your crusade against debt.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

Hunt_Mary

Mary Hunt is an award-winning and bestselling author and the founder and publisher of Debt-Proof Living. Her books have sold more than a million copies, and her daily newspaper column, Everyday Cheapskate, is nationally syndicated and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of readers. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as NBC’s TODAY and Dr. Phil. She and her husband live in Colorado. Learn more at www.debtproofliving.com.

Penny Wise

July 22nd, 2014

Penny Wise

338

By Neta & Dave Jackson

Penny Wise introduces us to yet another family in “the neighborhood”—the Jaspers, busy with demanding jobs, busy with church, busy volunteering, parents of three active teenagers, juggling sometimes crazy schedules. All good things. Until all those “good things” feed into a series of crises that affects the whole family. Something’s gotta change!

The third in the Windy City Neighbors series, Penny Wise is a contemporary peek at an urban family wrestling with the spiritual and practical challenges of real life. The series employs the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels,” each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters’ lives become intertwined with their neighbors and affect one another. Welcome to Beecham Street—a typical, isolated American neighborhood that is beginning to come out of its shell . . . for better or worse.

ISLAND BREEZES

It took me awhile to really get into this book – like about twenty chapters. Even though I got off to a slow start, I really got caught up in it.

I think I was so into the Souled Out Sisters series that I just needed time to change gears. I was glad to see the Bentleys again.

Now I can hardly wait for Pound Foolish, the next book in the Windy City Neighbors series. I’m going to have to go back and read the first two books in this series. I’m liking these neighbors. Thank you Neta and Dave for so many good books.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Death Takes a Ride

July 22nd, 2014

Death Takes a Ride

9780800721602

By Lorena McCourtney

It’s official. This case is above her pay grade–and Cate’s in over her head.

Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there–this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense.

Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.

ISLAND BREEZES

I love assistant PI Cate Kinkaid and the way she falls into mysteries and dead bodies. You just never know what’s going to happen when Cate gets involved.

And, of course, you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen between Cate and her boyfriend Mitch. Or what’s going to happen between Clancy, the dog Mitch gets stuck babysitting, and Octavia, the cat that owns Cate. Fur does fly.

Cate’s current caper both starts and ends with murder and mayhem with a lot of interesting stuff in between. It also looks as if the boyfriend is going to dump her. Cate just wonders when and how it’s going to happen.

This is a great stand alone read, but you’ll be doing yourself a big favor if you read Dying to Read and Dolled Up to Die first.

I’m really looking forward to the next book in The Cate Kinkaid Files. I hope you have many more planned, Ms McCourtney. Thank you for this series.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Lorena McCourtney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Invisible (which won a Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), Dying to Read, and Dolled Up to Die. She resides in Oregon. Learn more at www.lorenamccourtney.com.

Heart of Mercy

July 18th, 2014

Heart of Mercy

By Sharlene MacLaren

Mercy Evans has known a great deal of heartache and hardship in her 26 years. She lost her mother at a young age and was only 16 when her father was killed in a brawl sparked by a feud with the Connors family that spans several generations. When a house fire claims the lives of her two best friends, Mercy is devastated, but finds comfort in caring for their two sons, who survived thanks to a heroic rescue by Sam Connors, blacksmith in the small town of Paris, Tennessee. Yet the judge is determined to grant custody only if Mercy is married. Mercy loves the boys as her own, and she’ll go to any lengths to keep them—but what if that means marrying the son of the man who killed her father? Set in the 1880’s, Heart of Mercy is the first book in MacLaren’s new Tennessee Dreams series.

ISLAND BREEZES

It started as a pleasant evening and ended in heartbreak. Mercy takes in the young orphaned sons of her best friends, but has to fight to keep them since the judge has decided they need to have a married couple as their guardians.

Sam is a man still living with his mother, who is constantly whining and trying to manipulate him. He has to escape, but isn’t sure how to go about it.

The judge finally agrees to give Mercy thirty days to find a husband if she wants to keep the boys. She’s desperate enough to advertise for a husband. Sam is desperate enough to answer that ad.

It sounds like a good thing all around except for the feud between their families. It’s a real Hatfield and McCoy type feud. The problem is no one quite knows why it’s still going on after all these years.

Are these two willing to go through all the grief that will be heaped on them from both sides? It will take some real determination to put themselves in that position.

Thank you, Ms MacLaren. I’m looking forward to more Tennessee Dreams.

***A special thank you to Cathy Hickling for providing a review copy.***

Award winning romance author, Sharlene MacLaren has released 13 novels since embarking on a writing career in 2007. After a career teaching second grade “Shar” says she asked God for a new mission “that would bring her as great a sense of purpose” as she’d felt teaching and raising her children. She tried her hand at inspirational romance, releasing Through Every Storm to critical and popular acclaim in 2007, and the rest, as they say, is history. She quickly became the top selling fiction author for Whitaker House, has accumulated multiple awards, and endeared herself to readers who can’t get enough of her long, luscious and often quirky tales – both historical and contemporary. Her novels include the contemporary romances Long Journey Home, and Tender Vow; and three historical series including Little Hickman Creek series (Loving Liza Jane; Sarah, My Beloved; and Courting Emma); The Daughters of Jacob Kane (Hannah Grace, Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann) and River of Hope (Livvie’s Song, Ellie’s Haven, and Sofia’s Secret).

Now a peak at the first chapter.

1890
Paris, Tennessee
“Fire!”
The single word had the power to force a body to drop
his knees and call out to his Maker for leniency. But most took time for
neither, instead racing to the scene of terror with the bucket they kept stored
close to the door, and joining the contingent of citizens determined to battle
the flames of death and destruction. Such was the case tonight when, washing
the dinner dishes in the kitchen sink, Mercy Evans heard the dreaded screams
coming from all directions, even began to smell the sickening fumes of blazing
timber seeping through her open windows. She ran through her house and burst
through the screen door onto the front porch.
“Where’s the fire?” she shouted at the people running
up Wood Street carrying buckets of water.
Without so much as a glance at her, one man hollered
on the run, “Looks to be the Watson place over on Caldwell.”
Her heart thudded to a shattering halt. God, no! “Surely, you don’t mean Herb
and Millie Watson!”
Mercy Evans and Millie Watson, formerly Gifford, had
been fast friends at school and had stuck together like glue in the dimmest of
circumstances, as well as the sweetest. Millie had walked with Mercy through
the loss of both her parents, and Mercy had watched Millie fall wildly in love
with Herb Watson in the twelfth grade. She’d been the maid of honor in their
wedding the following summer.
But her voice was lost to the footsteps thundering
past. Whirling on her heel, she ran back inside, hurried to extinguish all but
one kerosene lamp, snatched her wrap from its hook by the door, and darted back
outside and up the rutted street toward her best friends’ home, dodging horses
and a stampede of citizens. “Lord, please don’t let it be,” she pleaded aloud.
“Oh, God, keep them safe. Jesus, Jesus….” But her cries vanished in the
scramble of bodies crowding her off the street as several made the turn onto
Caldwell in their quest to reach the flaming house, which already looked beyond
saving.
Tongues of fire shot like dragons’ breath out windows
and up through a hole in the roof. Like hungry serpents, flames lapped up the
sides of the house, eating walls and shattering panes, while men heaved their
pathetic little buckets of water at the volcanic monster.
“Back off, everybody. Step back!” ordered Sheriff
Phil Marshall. He and a couple of deputies on horseback spread their arms wide
at the crowd, trying to push them to safety.
Ignoring his orders, Mercy pressed through the
gathering mob until the heat so overwhelmed her that she had no choice but to
stop. Besides, a giant arm reached out and stopped her progress. She shook it
off. “Where are they?” she gasped, breathless. “Where’s the family?”
The sheriff moved his bald head from side to side,
his sad, defeated eyes telling the story. “Don’t know, Miss Evans. No one’s
seen ’em yet. We been scourin’ the crowd”—he gave another shake of the
head—“and it don’t appear anybody got out of that inferno.”
“That can’t be.” A sob caught at the back of her
throat and choked her next words. “They were at my place earlier. I made
supper.”
“Sorry, miss.”
“Someone’s comin’ out!” A man’s ear-splitting shout
rose above the crowd.
Dense smoke enveloped a large figure
emerging—staggering rather like a drunkard—from the open door and onto the
porch, his arms full with two wriggling bundles wrapped in blankets and
screaming in terror. Mercy sucked in a cavernous breath and held it till
weakness overtook her and she forced herself to let it out. Could it be? Had
little John Roy and Joseph survived the fire thanks to this man?
“Who is it?” someone asked.
All stood in rapt silence as he passed through the
cloud of smoke. “Looks to be Sam Connors, the blacksmith,” said the sheriff,
scratching his head and stepping forward.
“Sure ’nough is,” someone confirmed.
Mercy stared in wonder as the man, looking dazed and
almost ethereal, strode down the steps, then wavered and stumbled before
falling flat on his face in a heap of dust and bringing the howling bundles
with him.
Excited chatter erupted as Mercy and several others
ran to their aid. Mercy yanked the blankets off the boys and heaved a sigh of
relief to find them both alert and apparently unharmed, albeit still screeching
louder than a couple of banshees. Through their avalanche of tears, they
recognized her, and they hurled themselves into her arms, knocking her
backward, so that she wound up on her back perpendicular to Mr. Connors, with
both of the boys lying prone across her body. In all the chaos, she felt a hand
grasp her arm and help her up to a sitting position.
“Come on, Miz. You bes’ git yo’self an’ them
chillin’s out of the way o’ them flames fo’ you all gets burned.” She had the
presence of mind to look up at Solomon Turner, a former slave now in the employ
of Mrs. Iris Brockwell, a prominent Paris citizen who’d donated a good deal of
money to the hospital fund.
Mercy took the man’s callused hand and allowed him to
help her to a standing state. By the lines etched in his face from years of
hard work in the sweltering sun, Mercy figured he had to be in his seventies,
yet he lifted her with no apparent effort. “Thank you, Mr. Turner.”
Five-year-old John Roy stretched his arms upward,
pleading with wet eyes to be held, while Joseph, six, took a fistful of her
skirt and clung with all his might. “Come,” she said, hoisting John Roy up into
her arms. “We best do as Mr. Turner says, honey. Follow me.”
“But…Mama and Papa….” Joseph turned and gave his
perishing house a long perusal, tears still spilling down his face. John Roy
buried his wrenching sobs in Mercy’s shoulder, and it was all she could do to
keep from bolting into the house herself to search for Herb and Millie, even
though she knew she’d never come out alive. If the fire and smoke didn’t kill
her, the heat would. Besides, before her eyes, the flames had devoured the very
sides of the house, leaving a skeletal frame with a staircase only somewhat
intact and a freestanding brick fireplace looking like a graveyard monument.
Her heart throbbed in her chest and thundered in her ears, and she wanted to
scream, but the ever-thickening smoke and acrid fumes burned to the bottom of
her lungs.
With her free hand, she hugged Joseph close to her.
“I know, sweetheart, and I’m so, so sorry.” Her words drowned in her own sobs as
the truth slammed against her. Millie and Herb, her most loyal friends. Gone.
Sheriff Marshall and his deputies ordered the crowd
to move away from the blazing house, so she forced herself to obey, dragging a
reluctant Joseph with her. At the same time, she observed three men carrying a
yet unconscious Sam Connors across the street to a grassy patch of ground.
Several others gathered around, trying to decide what sort of care he needed.
Of course, he required medical attention, but Mercy felt too weak and dizzy to
tend to him. Best to let the men put him on a cart and drive him over to Doc
Trumble’s. Besides, she highly doubted he’d welcome her help. He was a Connors,
after all, and she an Evans—two families who had been fighting since as far
back as anyone could remember.
She’d heard only bits and pieces of how the feud had
started, with a dispute between Cornelius Evans, Mercy’s grandfather, and
Eustace Connors over property lines and livestock grazing in the early 1830s.
There had been numerous thefts of horses and cattle, and incidents of barn
burnings, committed by both families, until a judge had stepped in and defined
the property lines—in favor of Eustace Connors. Mercy’s grandfather had gotten
so agitated over the matter that his heart had given out. Mercy’s grandmother,
Margaret, had blamed the Connors family, fueling the feud by passing her hatred
for the entire clan on to her own children, and so the next generation had
carried the grudge, mostly forgetting its origins but not the bad blood. The animosity
had reached a peak six years ago, when Ernest Connors had killed Oscar
Evans—Mercy’s father.
“That man’s a angel,” Joseph mumbled into her skirts.
“What, honey?”
“John Roy was wailin’ real loud, ’cause he saw
somethin’ orange comin’ from upstairs, so he got in bed with me, and after a
while that angel man comed in and took us out of ar’ bed.”
She set John Roy on the ground, then got down on her
knees to meet Joseph’s eyes straight on. His were still red, his cheeks
blotchy. She thought very carefully about her next words. “Where were your
parents?”
Joseph sniffed. “They tucked us in and went upstairs
to their bedroom. John Roy an’ me talked a long time about scary monsters an’
stuff, but then, after a while, he went to sleep, but I couldn’t, so I got up
t’ get a drink o’ water, and that’s when I heard a noise upstairs. I looked
around the corner, and I seed a big round ball o’ orange up there, and smoke
comin’ out of it, and I thought it was a dragon come to eat us up. I runned
back and jumped in bed with Joseph and tol’ him a mean monster was comin’ t’
get us, and I started cryin’ real loud.”
John Roy picked up the story from there. “And so we
waited and waited for the monster to come after us, but instead the angel saved
us. I think Mama and Papa is prolly still sleepin’. Do you think they waked up
yet?”
Mercy’s throat burned as powerfully as if she’d
swallowed a tablespoonful of acid. Her own eyes begged to cut loose a river of
tears, but she warded them off with a shake of her head while gathering both
boys tightly to her. “No, darlings, I don’t believe they woke up in bed. I
believe with all my heart they awoke in heaven and are right now asking Jesus
to keep you safe.”
“And so Jesus tol’ that angel to come in the house
and get us?” Joseph pointed a shaky finger at Sam Connors. The big fellow lay
motionless on his back, with several men bent over him, calling his name and
fanning his face.
Mercy smiled. “He’s not an angel, my sweet, but
that’s not to say that God didn’t have something to do with sending him in to
rescue you.”
“Is he gonna die, like Mama and Papa?” John Roy asked
between frantic sobs.
“Oh, honey, I don’t know.”
She overheard Lyle Phelps suggest they take him over
to Doc Trumble’s house, but then Harold Crew said he’d spotted the doctor about
an hour ago, driving out to the DeLass farm to deliver baby number seven.
A few sets of eyes glanced around until they landed
on Mercy. She knew what folks were thinking. She worked for Doc Trumble, she
had more medical training and experience than the average person, and her house
was closest to the scene. But their gazes also indicated they understood the
awkwardness of the situation, considering the ongoing feud between the two
families. Although the idea of caring for him didn’t appeal, she’d taken an
oath to always do her best to preserve life. Besides, the Lord commanded her to
love her neighbor as herself, making it a sin to walk away from someone in
need, regardless of his family name.
She dropped her shoulders, even as the boys snuggled
close. “Put him on a cart and take him to my place,” she stated.
As if relieved that his care would fall to someone
other than themselves, several men hurried to pick him up and carried him to
Harold Crew’s nearby buggy.
“What about us?” Joseph asked.
The sheriff stepped forward and made a quick study of
each boy. “You can stay out at my sister’s farm. She won’t mind adding a couple
o’ more young’uns to her brood.”
Joseph burst into loud howls upon the sheriff’s
announcement. Mercy hugged him and John Roy possessively. “Their parents were
my closest friends, Sheriff Marshall. I’d like to assume their care.”
He frowned and scratched the back of his head. “Don’t
know as that’s the best solution, you bein’ unwed an’ all.”
“That should have no bearing whatever on where they
go. Their parents were my closest friends. They’re coming home with me.” She
took both boys by the hands, turned, and led them back down Caldwell Street,
away from the still-smoldering house and the sheriff’s disapproving gaze.
Overhead, black smoke filled the skies, obliterating any hope of the night’s
first stars or the crescent moon making an appearance.

 

Love Comes Home

July 15th, 2014

Love Comes Home

9780800721855

By Ann H. Gabhart

When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.

World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.

Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.

Award-winning and bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Rosey Corner for a heartfelt story that closes the distance between the things that were and things that can yet be.

ISLAND BREEZES

WWII kept their men away much too long. Now the sisters are waiting for the men to come home. Rosey Corner will be seeing both sorrow and joy.

The war changes people and places. Those who were fortunate enough to come home still have to deal with nightmares and lots of adjustments. So, too, the wives have to adjust to leaving the workplace and settling in as wives and mothers.

Then there are widows and fatherless children who face being alone.

How I’ve enjoyed going back to Rosey Corner and see life continuing on there. I will miss these sisters, Fern, Aunt Hattie, Graham and the gang.

This was a bittersweet book. I enjoyed it, but am sad that it’s the last Rosey Corner book. It’s a great stand alone read, but you’ll get much more out of it if you read Angel Sister and Small Town Girl first.

You’re going to need that box of tissues – maybe even the entire box before you’re through reading.

Thank you, Ms Gabhart, for your enjoyable books that take me traveling. I’ve fallen in love with all of Hollyhill, and now Rosey Corner. Where are you taking me next?

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Jackal

July 10th, 2014

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Jackal

100;150;8dc007765b12c0b091789bddb38daef77f9167c7

By Heather Gray

Hiding in the shadows just got harder.

When tragedy strikes, Juliana and her family must flee their home. Can they persuade a virtual stranger to help them? Juliana isn’t so sure, especially after their chaperone threatens to cane him. Even as Juliana struggles to trust him, she finds herself drawn to this mysterious man. Surely all she wants from him is refuge…

Rupert is a man whose life depends on his ability to remain unnoticed. What, then, is he supposed to do with this family he’s inherited? His life is overrun with an ancient chaperone who would terrify a lesser man, two spirited girls, and the secretive Juliana – someone he comes to think of as his own precious jewel.

With this new responsibility thrust upon him, Rupert will have to make sacrifices – but will God ask him to sacrifice everything?

ISLAND BREEZES

Did the spy come in from the cold? He certainly tried, but determined relatives found him. By doing so, they put both Mr. Rupert and themselves in danger.

This book has it all and you won’t want to put it down. There’s mystery, death defying chases, lots of cloak and dagger. And, yes, there’s romance, even though Mr. Rupert wanted nothing to do with the girls when they first showed up on his employer’s doorstep.

Thank you, Ms Gray, for another great book. I’ll be looking forward to your next one.

***A special thank you to Heather Gray for providing a review copy.***

You can read the first chapter here.

Prologue

1810

A duke had been cut down in the prime of his life. According to the War Department, The Hunter was to blame.

Jackal had been put onto The Hunter’s scent and told to ferret him out at all cost. It was his job, his duty to the crown, and he treated it with the seriousness it demanded. Evil could not be allowed to go unpunished, and people who took pleasure in destroying the lives of others would not walk away with impunity, not on his watch.

Jackal met with his contacts in the Austrian government and found no gratification in revealing they had a traitor in their midst. It had been a necessary move, and now the problem would be dealt with. The Austrians would put The Hunter down, and England’s hands would remain clean of the mess, exactly as the minister wanted.

Grim foreboding furrowed his brow as he left the meeting with the Austrians. His lack of evidence mocked him. He’d done as ordered, and they’d believed him, but had it been his choice, he’d have gathered more proof first.

Jackal climbed into his carriage and slapped his hand against the roof, signaling the driver with his readiness to depart. A lengthy ride awaited him. He would leave the carriage and his current identity behind in Munich once he arrived there. New papers and fresh horses were waiting for him. The same would happen again when he crossed over into Stuttgart, and then again in Brussels. His task was clear: remain alive long enough to claim each of the new identities and return safely to his homeland.

Sitting back on the roughly cushioned seat, he accepted what he’d begun to suspect. This would be his last assignment for the crown. He was getting too old for the job. The time to retire was upon him. The younger bucks were willing – if not entirely ready – to take their place among the ranks of the unseen, unknown, and unnamed heroes of war. Jackal shook his head. Not too long ago, he’d been one of those young bucks. Ready for retirement at age thirty-two? The thought would be laughable in any other career. In his line of work, though, only those who retired young lived to be old and grey.

Lost in melancholy, Jackal barely noted the change from the raucous noise of a bustling merchant district to the quiet pastoral sounds that would accompany him on most of this journey. Europe was a large land with rich cities interspersed with vast emptiness dotted with small hamlets. Traveling by carriage would take weeks, but as long as he could report back that he’d done as ordered, it would be worth the time.

He settled into his seat. They were still days from their first sanctioned stop. As always, the best defense was to keep moving.

****

A change in the carriage’s soothing methodical movement woke Jackal from his doze and alerted him that something was amiss. Awareness coursed through his veins, pushing away the remnant of sleep. A quick glance at the curtained window told him it was late morning. They’d ridden through the night to put as much distance as possible between them and Vienna – the current hub of Austrian government.

The carriage was moving with a wildness he’d felt only one other time in his life. Dread snaked through his middle as he accepted the truth. There was no longer a driver in control of his conveyance. Jackal crouched low on the floor for balance as he prepared to throw open the door and jump. Perhaps he should have sought retirement one assignment sooner.

Before his hand could touch the door, a jarring force threw Jackal against the seat to his left, shooting pain up his arm. They’d been boarded, then, and his driver – an agent he’d worked with for years – had likely not been alive to sound the alarm. Emotion would come later. For now, Jackal needed to focus on one thing: Survival.

The carriage gained speed under the skillful hand of whoever now sat in the driver’s seat. I should have jumped when I had the chance. Jackal shook his head as he calculated the odds of survival should he jump now, at the carriage’s current speed.

Palming his gun, he pounded on the roof of the carriage, commanding the driver to stop. Surprise flared to life as his conveyance did indeed come to a standstill. Rather than slow to a gentle stop, the carriage halted its forward momentum in a skidding bone-shaking fashion. It was the kind of stop that guaranteed no beast would be able to walk away from it afterward.

Jackal jumped before the dust could settle. His best chance would be to go on the offence and catch the driver off-guard. Though he’d assumed the driver had a partner, nothing could have prepared him for the vicious attack awaiting him on the other side of the door.

Jackal no sooner touched the ground than he was trampled under the anxious feet of a high-stepping horse. He’d not even had a chance to gain his footing. As he lay on the ground, Jackal both heard and felt the breaking of bone in his left leg. A couple of his ribs surrendered to the heavy hooves as well. Rolling onto his side, he took aim at the perpetrator. The sun blinded him, and he could distinguish no features on the man whose gun dared him to move. In the split second it took for him to reassure himself he was not aiming at an innocent bystander – for they were indeed in one of the numerous modest hamlets that dotted the continent’s countryside – the rider pulled the trigger, and pain seared through Jackal’s already throbbing leg. It felt as if the lead had burrowed its way into his very bone.

He pulled the trigger of his flintlock pistol, and the man on the horse recoiled. Even as Jackal reached for the gun concealed at the ankle of his wounded leg, he knew it was futile. The rider had a second gun in-hand before his own fingers even brushed against the grip of his hidden weapon. Pain tore through his shoulder, immobilizing his shooting arm. Another ball of lead ripped into his middle. He felt his blood seeping out onto the street.

Accepting his fate, he asked only one thing. “At whose hand am I to die this day?”

Laughter vile enough to sour port met his question. “Today the Jackal shall meet his end at the hands of The Hunter.”

The Hunter? The Austrians were supposed to have him by now.

“Your plan failed, and I am free. Prepare to die.”

Blackness closing in around him, Jackal released the last thought held captive in his mind.

Why God?

Cold claimed his body as he slipped into darkness. He neither heard nor felt the next shot.

Chapter One

December 27, 1816
Neither you nor your secrets are safe. You must go into hiding.

Rupert rubbed his eyes and stared at the numbers in the ledger. It had been years, but the words still haunted him, sneaking up into his subconscious and demanding his attention at the most inconvenient times.

He had no desire to return to his previous career, but the staid life of a steward at a mostly abandoned estate did get dull after a while. No craving for life-and-death situations burned through his veins as it once had, but nonetheless, he did sometimes yearn for a bit more excitement than his current situation offered. Somewhere along the way, the highlight of his week had become lunch with the vicar.

Closing the ledger, Rupert rubbed his eyes again. Perhaps a walk was in order. Some brisk Northumberland air ought to be just the thing to clear the cobwebs away and brighten his outlook. Picking up his cane, Rupert headed for the study’s door.

As he stepped out into the foyer, he glanced around. There was no evergreen or holly adorning the banister. No ivy to mark the doorways, and no mistletoe placed with the greatest of stratagem. With only himself and a small staff in residence, there had again been no reason to decorate for Christmas. That day, and Boxing Day too, had passed with little fanfare at Castle Felton.

Straightening his shoulders, he took a step toward the door. Mrs. Pembroke’s voice, however, stalled him. “Mr. Rupert, Mr. Rupert! A carriage approaches. Were the duke and duchess due for a visit? Wouldn’t they have sent word?”

Mrs. Pembroke tended to be the excitable sort, but she’d never before invented guests or fabricated carriages. Rupert moved further into the front hall and prepared to open the door for their visitors. He spied the horse-drawn transport through a window, and dread dropped into his stomach like a white-hot stone.

He recognized the crest on its door, and it in no way belonged to the duke.

Opening Castle Felton’s front door, Rupert observed the scene before him. A woman spilled out of the carriage. No, not a woman. A girl. She couldn’t be more than fourteen or fifteen. Then another girl, this one with a four-inch height advantage. An even taller girl joined the first two. Rather than gawk at the castle the way the first two were, this one pivoted back and held out a hand. With her assistance, another person materialized. This one was most definitely not a girl. She was so old Rupert stared with momentary wonder. Was it possible for an individual to survive mummification? Could skin be that dry and sunken on a living thing?

After the old woman was steady on her feet, the girl who had helped her circled around as though to confront the castle. She walked toward the steps, glanced up, and her eyes met Rupert’s. Recognition flickered at the edge of his thoughts, followed by the realization that he was grossly mistaken to have classified her as a girl when she’d emerged from the carriage. He never forgot a face, but this one… this face had looked vastly different when he’d last seen it. It had been at a funeral, and she’d been much younger, not to mention in shock. While he remembered her, he didn’t expect the same in return.

“Hello, kind sir.” Her voice was melodic and genteel. “We are seeking a man by the name of Rupert. Perchance, could you assist us? We were told he lives here.”

“What do you want with him?” He knew he sounded pompous, but the quicker these ladies climbed back into the carriage and went on their merry way, the better it would be for all of them.

“We seek refuge. We have been traveling for several days.”

“This is not a cathedral. You will find no refuge here. It’s time you moved on.”

Plunking her fisted hands onto her hips, the spirited beauty demanded, “You’re him, aren’t you? You’re Rupert. You can’t turn us away, you know.”

“I am under no obligation to house visitors at Castle Felton.” Her eyes burned in response, and he could almost hear his flesh sizzling from the heated onslaught of her gaze.

“This is our home. We live here now. With you.” Turning to the other women in her party, she said, “Go ahead. Everyone go in and find your rooms.” Then she spun to the driver, either completely in charge or putting on a show of bravado for Rupert’s sake. “Get a footman to help you with the trunks.” The entire entourage snapped to attention and began scurrying to do as they’d been commanded.

“Enough!” Rupert’s bark froze everyone where they stood. One sister was partway up the stairs. Another had one foot on the bottom step and one still on the ground. The mummified woman had begun the laborious process of moving her skeletal being with the aid of a rosewood cane.

The oldest of the non-mummified women stared at him. “You can’t turn us away. You’re our guardian now, and we have nowhere else to go.”

Glancing from her to the younger girls, he felt his resolve weakening. Hadn’t he moments ago been melancholy about how uneventful his life had become? He gave a brisk nod. “You may stay the night so you can explain to me whatever plight has brought you here.”

He saw triumph flare to life in her eyes.

“But you must leave on the morrow.”

Her triumph faded, and the bleak barren landscape of hopelessness took up residence in its place. It pained him to be the one to snuff out the joy that had momentarily softened her features. There was no help for it, though.

They had to leave Castle Felton, and the sooner the better.

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Heather Gray is the author of the Ladies of Larkspur inspirational western romance series, including Mail Order Man, Just Dessert, and Redemption. She also writes the Regency Refuge series with titles His Saving Grace, Jackal, and the soon-to-be-released Queen. But that’s not all! Interested in contemporary Christian romance? Take a look at Ten Million Reasons and Nowhere for Christmas.

Heather loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable and flawed characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. And, yeah, her books almost always have someone who’s a coffee addict. Some things just can’t be helped.

You can find Heather online at heathergraywriting.com.

The Revealing

July 8th, 2014

The Revealing

9780800720957

By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Love does extraordinary things to people . . .

In a single, impulsive act, Naomi King chooses to follow her heart into unfamiliar territory, jeopardizing all that she holds dear. If anyone finds out what she’s up to, she’s in for trouble. But when it comes to Tobe Schrock, Naomi believes it’s worth it.

But it all comes crashing down when a young woman arrives at the Inn at Eagle Hill with an unexpected delivery for Tobe. Add a guest at the inn with a curious talent and a genealogist who is more interested in modern-day Schrocks than in old family trees, and evidence starts to mount that points to something sinister at work. Or someone.

In this riveting conclusion to The Inn at Eagle Hill series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher pulls out all the stops with a fast-paced tale of deception, revelation, and romance.

ISLAND BREEZES

Quiet, sweet Naomi King has secrets. If her brother every finds out, she’s not sure what he would do. And speaking of her brother Galen. Is he or is he not going to get up the nerve to ask their neighbor, Rose, to marry him.

Then there’s Brooke who comes to the Inn at Eagle Hill. She’s an art restorer who went beyond her professional duties. Now she’s here to hide out and find a new life path.

But Brooke isn’t the only stranger in town. The sisters have a mysterious distant relative staying with them. Bethany goes to the sister’s house several times a week to try to dig them out of their clutter, but is unable to clean the visitor’s room as it’s always locked and he’s always gone.

Unfortunately for Brooke, she gets mixed up with this stranger. Unfortunately for Mim, Brooke discovers she’s Mrs. Miracle. Everyone’s secrets are unraveling, but will it be for the good?

This is a good stand alone read, but you will appreciate it more if you read the first two books in this series before you read this one.

Thank you, Ms Woods Fisher. I’ve really enjoyed the stories about the Inn. I’m going to miss the visitors there.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

Fisher_SuzanneWoods

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace, and an Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.