February 2017 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Capturing Beauty by Brenda S. Anderson — Photographer Haven Carlysle is a changed man. He returns to Duluth to capture the North Shore’s beauty … and to recapture the love of his son. But that means making amends with his ex-girlfriend too. Enter Callie Beaumont. All her life, Callie has longed to work outdoors soaking up God-breathed beauty, and the opportunity is finally on the horizon. But being the liaison between the handsome photographer and his son has thrown her dreams, and her heart, into chaos. Can Haven capture her heart when she won’t let him capture her image? And will his poor choices cost Callie her dream job and him the love of his son? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
The Lawman’s Secret Son by Lorraine Beatty — Suddenly a Father Police officer Seth Montgomery knows all about order—but his world is thrown into chaos when he learns he has a five-year-old son. With little Jack suddenly in his care, Seth turns to neighbor Carrie Fletcher for help. Given her checkered past, Carrie prefers to keep to herself, but there’s no denying she cares for the boy—and her feelings for charming Seth are rapidly developing, too. When someone from Carrie’s past shows up threatening to jeopardize the life she’s worked so hard to build, Carrie will have to fight for her future with the new family she’s found…or risk losing everything. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert — Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive ER nurse, Sloane Ferrell. Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past. Can hope spring from crisis? (Contemporary Romance from Tyndale House)
A Second Chance by Alexis Goring — Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with her “best friend,” Traci resigned herself to being a bachelorette for life. Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. But his widowed sister Gina Braxton appreciates his compassion and kindness, since she’s raising her two kids alone. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, Traci and Marc find hope for their broken hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romances)
The Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton — After her daed, the bishop, is admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community, Bethany Weiss is ready to get away from Jamesport, MO—and away from God. Silas Beiler, dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, is hitchhiking toward Pennsylvania in hopes of stability. He sleeps in barns where he can and works for food when possible. When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago, full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Can their old love overcome both this new pain and the hurt and rejection of their past? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)
Avalanche by Gayla K. Hiss — Set in the North Cascades National Park of Washington State, Avalanche is the inspirational story of one man set on revenge and the woman who risks everything to help him find the fugitive who killed his partner. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)
The Doctor’s Texas Baby by Deb Kastner — When Carolina Mason shows up in Haven, Texas, after a three-year absence, no one is more surprised than town veterinarian Wyatt Harrow. Especially when he sees Carolina’s two-year-old son, Matty. Their son. How could she have kept his child a secret? Carolina doesn’t deny the boy is his. She thought she was doing what was best for everyone when she left, but she realizes she was wrong. Though Wyatt is eager to make up for lost time with Matty, Carolina’s not so sure that extends to her. Can these former sweethearts navigate their complicated past to make a family for their son? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Spring Raine by Delia Latham — A last-minute decision sends a young woman to a seaside community and lodging at Paradise Pines…where life takes a whole new path. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Finding Joy by Melanie D. Snitker — A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. He returns to his family’s ranch, the scars on his face a daily reminder of all he’s lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers. Only deep desperation could force Chelsea Blake to work on a cattle ranch. But if she’s going to avoid her parents’ judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker’s efforts at forcing her to leave. Surprisingly alike, will the two set aside their disapproval to find immeasurable joy? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Home at Last by Deborah Raney — All her life, Shayla Michaels, owner of the Coffee’s On bakery, has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts? Everything changes one icy morning when Portia runs into the street and Link Whitman nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with Shayla. Can they overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? (General Fiction from Abingdon Press)
Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson — When Ben Taylor, widower and single dad, gets caught up in a dangerous insurance fraud network, he has to learn to take a stand for right – and make a leap of faith: can he trust his nanny – who isn’t quite what she appears to be – and his newly-discovered biological father to hide and protect his four young children? (General Fiction, Independently Published)
The Viscount’s Proposal by Melanie Dickerson — Leorah Langdon has no patience for Regency society’s shallow hypocrisy and unnecessary rules, especially for women. She’s determined to defy convention by marrying for grand passion instead of settling for a loveless union like her parents–or wedding a stuffy, pompous gentleman like Edward, the Viscount Withinghall. But when a chance meeting in the countryside leads to Leorah and Withinghall being discovered in his overturned carriage–alone and after dark–the ensuing gossip may force them together.Withinghall has his reasons for clinging to propriety and he certainly has no time for a reckless hoyden like Miss Langdon. But soon the two discover that Withinghall’s coach “accident” was no such thing: the vehicle was sabotaged. Strong-willed Leorah and duty-driven Withinghall will have to work together if they have any hope of saving her reputation, his political career–and his life. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press)
The Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze — When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she’s rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her… Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he’d be. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Shine like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky — In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. An even which…might not have been an accident. When Nathaniel Harcourt returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor, he also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend. Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook Multnomah)
The Bounty Hunter’s Baby by Erica Vetsch — Bounty hunter Thomas Beaufort has no problem handling outlaws, but when he’s left with a criminal’s baby to care for, he’s in over his head. And the only person he can think of to ask for help is Esther Jensen, the woman whose heart he broke when he left town. But can he convince her to put aside the past until he tracks down the baby’s outlaw father? Esther is ready to run Thomas off her Texas ranch–until she spies the abandoned newborn in his arms. Soon, working together to care for the precious babe stirs old hopes of a family. With trouble heading to their door, they could overcome it together–if she’ll entrust her wary heart to this sweet, second-chance family… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Tags: A Christmas Chance. Julie Arduini, A Second Chance, ACFW, Alexis Goring, authors, Avalanche, Baggage Claim, Barbara M. Britton, Brenda S. Anderson, Building Benjamin, Candace Calvert, Capturing Beauty, Carrie Turansky, Cathe Swanson, Danele J. Rotharmel, Deb Kastner, Deborah Raney, Delia Latham, Erica Vetsch, fiction, Fiction Finder, Finding Joy, Gayla K. Hiss, Grace and the Rancher, Home at Last, Jill Eileen Smith, Laura V. Hilton, Long Time Gone, Lorraine Beatty, Marie Wells Coutu, Mary Alford, Mary Connealy, Maybe It's You, Melanie Dickerson, Melanie Snitker, Raging Storm, Redeeming Grace, Shine Like the Dawn, Spring Raine, Susanne Dietze, The Amish Wanderer, The Bounty Hunter's Baby, The Doctor's Texas Baby, The Lawman's Secret Son, The Matchmaker Brides Collection, The Reluctant Guardian, The Secret Heart, The Viscount's Proposal, Time Search, Vanetta Chapman
MICHEL: THE FOURTH WISE MAN
That star! You know—the one over Bethlehem. We are so easily influences by what other people tell us, or sing to us. What do they tell us? The wise men (magi) were really kings, there were three of them, and they followed the star all the way from the orient.
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
Not! Centuries ago, someone came up with three names, one of which was similar to the king of northeast India at the time, King Gondophores. So, that’s how they decided the magi were really kings. In reality, Magi was the name of a Babylonian tribe of priestly wise men. They were not kings.
Three? Have no idea where that came from except people seem to think that each gift was brought by one man. What if each gift was brought by ten magi? Or five? How come it had to be just three men involved?
And the star. They did not follow it all the way from the orient. It appeared when Jesus was born. The Bible says that, after the wise men left Herod and were on their way to Bethlehem (which was where he told them to go), they saw the star again. It reappeared just for them.
Did you ever see a manger scene with the shepherds and wise men and goats and pigs and cows and Jesus and Mary and Joseph all crowded into the barn or cave or where ever they were? That did not happen either. The wise men were now “beamed up” to Bethlehem from the Orient the night Jesus was born.
Herod had all boy babies age two and under killed. It apparently took the wise men a year to figure out the meaning of the star, and several more months traveling to Bethlehem. If they started out in Babylon (in today’s southern Iraq), the would have travelled the common route going north to the edge of Turkey, then down along the Mediterranean coast to get there.
How did they figure out the meaning of the star? They probably searched through the writings of their gods, but could not find the answer. In the royal archives where Daniel had served centuries earlier were probably the writings of Daniel, often the second in command to the emperor. Later, Queen Esther would have made sure they stayed safe in the archives.
In the book of Daniel is an account of the exact year the Messiah would begin his ministry. Since Jews were considered fully mature at age thirty, if you take 30 from the exact year given in Daniel, you will see it is the exact year Jesus was born. The wise men surely saw that. And elsewhere in Daniel, he mentions wise men leading to a great light. Of course, there are other prophecies they probably read.
In my book—MICHEL: THE FOURTH WISEMAN—accompanies a total of eight wise men as they tour famous sacred libraries that existed in the world at that time. They travel to northern Indian, then across the Indian Ocean to Ethiopia and up the Nile to Edfu and Alexandria, both famous libraries at the time, to read the writings of their gods. Then they go up to Athens and Rome to check the sacred writings of their gods. Next, they go to a famous library in Pergamum in Today’s Turkey, then over to Antioch in Syria. Finally, Michel convinces them to read the Jewish sacred writings in Ecbatana, Persia, and they finally find the meaning of the star.
There is an intriguing sub-plot in my book about the Garden of Eden which at that time was under the flooding waters of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. But I’m not going to spill the beans and tell you what it is. I challenge you to read the book. And put new meaning in your understanding of Christmas.
Katheryn Haddad was born in the cold north, but now lives in Arizona where she does not have to shovel sunshine. She enjoys hot weather, palm trees and cacti in her yard, and a computer with the letters worn off.
With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.
Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.
Currently she teaches English over the internet every morning, using the Bible as a text book. Most of her students are Muslims. She has taught some 6000 thus far, and has former students, now Christians, in hiding in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, and Palestine. “They are my heroes” she declares.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers of the West, and is also an energetic public speaker who can touch the heart of audiences.
To purchase MICHEL THE FOURTH WISEMAN, click here.
This year I’ve been blessed to not only participate in book reviews, but movie and music reviews, too. Today I’m able to share with you Michael W. Smith’s video Sky Spills Over.
Here’s what he had to say: “I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER. It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night. My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project. But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video. This video was a lot of fun to make. I hope people enjoy it!”
He has a new album out, Sovereign. Want a copy? Leave a comment with your favorite Michael W. Smith song and I’ll draw a winner TOMORROW, Saturday, May 29.
Great video, right? The only shocking thing?That Michael W. Smith is a grandpa!
Remember, leave a comment with your favorite Michael W. Smith song for a chance to win a copy of Sovereign.
There are times I think my life looks just like this.
Rain day after day after day after day.
Does it ever end?
He lost everything to the point that his wife begged him to curse God.
His entire view was a swamp. As in all of Earth.
But one day the dove was able to land.
On those days where nothing goes right, all hope seems lost, remember it has purpose. It’s a growing season.
And soon, like my yard, you’ll be in bloom.
There are a few authors that when I hear from them and they ask if I’d be willing to do a review, it’s a no brainer. Author and poet Connie Arnold is one of them.
Connie’s new release, Olive and The Great Flood, is a children’s book about Noah’s Ark.
A Note from Connie:
Also, I will be giving away two prizes randomly chosen from those commenting during the tour – a copy of my first children’s book, Animal Sound Mix-up, and a gold dove wind chime.
Olive is a gentle, friendly dove who wants to help her friends Noah, his family and the other animals with her on the ark. She tries to soothe them during the rain and has an important assignment, to discover when it’s safe to venture from the ark after the flood. Suggested age range for readers: 4-8
This was such a fun read and a fresh way of telling a classic Bible story. Olive is a dove who helps Noah and the other animals with the ark experience. She comforts them when the rains start, and then learns she’s needed for an important job once the rains stop.
This is age appropriate reading with clever rhyming and a wonderful, Biblical message. The illustrations are top-notch. Whether your child is well-versed in the Bible or curious, I recommend Olive and the Great Flood to all.
I received Olive and the Great Flood in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase Olive and the Great Flood here.
I’m Thankful For My Country
“Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of ‘public thanksgiving and prayer’ devoted to ‘the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.’” (Heritage.org)
Of all the countries I could’ve been born in, God chose America as my birthplace. I’m thankful for this. Even while Christian values are under attack in this country, we don’t face the persecution others do around the world. We enjoy religious liberty along with many other freedoms. Our forefathers ensured this when they drew up The Constitution.
George Washington’s proclamation of a public day of prayer is still celebrated two centuries later. As we bow our heads on Thursday to give thanks, pause for a moment to consider just how much we have to be thankful for as Americans: clean water, regular meals, roofs over our heads, clothes on our backs, and freedom of choice when it comes to careers, spouses, and pretty much everything. Many folks in the world don’t have these luxuries. And yes, many would consider what we take for granted to be luxuries.
I’m not discounting the problems and social ills of our country. Millions are homeless or barely getting by, and laws have increasingly eroded traditional values in the last half-century. In a time when American bashing is popular, the irony is that much of it comes from within.
Yet, we must remember God chose the exact time and place for each of us to be born. If you’re an American, that was your destiny. Just like your own family may be dysfunctional, (and Thanksgiving often shines a light on this in family gatherings), the strength of the American spirit is to pull together to accomplish worthwhile things.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b
As we give thanks to the Creator and Sustainer of life, the Author of our days, and the One who predestined us for good in His service, the thought to remember is—if we want America to return to the message of hope—hope for salvation through Christ Jesus—we must determine to be about God’s Kingdom in the days ahead.
We would be well served to encourage those working to bring revival to our land, rescue our country from the naysayers and evil forces that permeate our ranks, and restore the honor our forefathers envisioned for Americans. That is the one way to truly show our gratitude for the blessings of being born in this land of plenty—blessings that come from God alone. While we’re giving thanks for these blessings, join me in also praying for our nation.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Laura Hodges Poole is a freelance writer with dozens of articles, devotions, and short stories in publication. She is a 2014 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist and a 2012 RWA Emily finalist in Christian fiction. Laura is also a non-fiction ghostwriter/collaborator. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk through her blog, “A Word of Encouragement.” She may be contacted at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ Laura_Poole and like her Facebook page. Her Christmas novella, “A Christmas Chance,” is available on Amazon. Her upcoming devotional, “While I’m Waiting,” will release in January 2015.
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