Archive | Author, Author! RSS feed for this section

Book Review And Author Interview — In The Shadow of Your Wings

18 Oct

Please welcome JP Robinson, author of the WWI-era trilogy, Northshire Heritage. JP shares a little about his writing journey, process, and the books in this series. I read book 1, In The Shadow of Your Wings, and my thoughts on that book are below.

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

There’s a lot of truth to this. I began writing in high school for our school paper then went on to become a freelance journalist for a newspaper in New York. That was my first experience with professional writing and I LOVED it. Meeting people and capturing their stories and emotions was something that I loved doing. So it set the stage for internships while I earned my degree in English and French, ultimately leading me to where I am now.

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Absolutely. I remember my English teacher, Mrs. Gravino, standing outside her classroom and telling me to write to change the world. I think it was so meaningful because I was the minority in many ways. I was one of probably three Black students, I was new, I’d been homeless for several years, and I was a firm Christian in a very secular New York high school.

While all this was going on my mom was battling cancer while my dad tried to find a way to get us all together again. So this one teacher was kind of the anchor point in a very turbulent part of my life. Her encouragement really gave me the clarity I needed.

Why did you choose the historical fiction genre?

Historical fiction has been something I’ve loved to read all my life. I’m an amateur historian of European civilization and have taught western civilization as part of my curriculum. So, when I started writing fiction, I naturally gravitated toward bygone times of heroes, empires, and the ordinary people who quietly shaped history.

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication? 5. What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

This is a great, and in-depth, question.On average I spend more than 100 hours of research per book. Research for me involves poring of digital copies of newspaper clippings, books, of course the internet, drawing from experts in the field and on-site visits when possible. If I can’t get there physically, Google maps and images from the time period I’m writing about often help me develop an accurate picture.

For example, I currently working on a project centering around a Black family in Nazi Germany. I was recently in Cologne, Germany and used the data from that trip to build a realistic–and accurate–setting. But my protagonist was walking from one location to another and I used Google maps to determine if that would be possible while keeping in mind that the story is set in the 1930s and some of the streets now weren’t around then.

So it’s a lot of data correlation laced with some imagination.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Great question. Pre-COVID our kids were in school and I had a lot more time to do my day-job (I’m a former teacher) and still get in a few hours writing. We’ve made the transition to homeschooling our kids and I confess that the shift has slowed down my productivity. Still, I’m able to clock 1-2 hours per day in the evenings. 🙂

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

I’d be glad to. The Northshire Heritage trilogy was inspired by a sermon called The Fundamental Foundation for Faith preached in the 1950s, I think, by a minister named William Branham. He’s passed on now but in one of his recorded sermons, he was talking about the Fall and redemption. That sparked a thought in my mind, a comparison between the Father in Genesis 3 and the father presented in Jesus Christ’s parable of the prodigal son.

I know, it might sound strange because the novel centers around espionage, politics, and a brutal war, but tightly woven throughout are references to these two pivotal moments in which God expresses different parts of His divine nature and plan.

After writing all three books, I truly felt like I had a deeper appreciation of what God went through to save the world. As a father of three myself, the content also resonated with me.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

There are a lot of themes packed into Northshire: forgiveness, redemption, enduring love in marriage when things don’t go as you’d like… But I think I’d spotlight the theme of the overcoming power of faith.

One of the characters loses her child (spoiler alert) and her response is a tribute to my sister and her husband, whose baby died on Father’s Day a few years back. I saw their faith bring them through a crisis, made worse by the date Elisha died and by the fact that they’d been testifying, as Christians, that God would bring their baby through.

Well, he died in my sister’s arms, and still their faith held them in that moment of tragedy. Northshire captures that theme, reminding readers that no matter how bad things may be in our world or in our life, faith in God is its own source of strength.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Right now I’m neck-deep in a totally different style project that focuses on minority characters. I’m Black but so far I’ve enjoyed challenging myself to write books that center around ethnicities and cultures that are different than my own. And, to a certain extent, I’m doing that again here as the European Black experience is a bit different (in some ways) than the Black experience of the Caribbean which is where I’m from.

This is a slice of history that very few people know about and I’m SO excited to be meeting with experts in Europe, collaborating with museum directors etc, to create an authentic and compelling piece.

Like most of my books this one includes spies, romance, political games set in the Rhineland against the backdrop of Hitler’s rise, and a Black family that is at the center of it all.

All that to say, I have to have the first draft done in forty-five days (yikes!) and,if all goes well, I hope to see it on the shelves in 2023.

Thanks JP for sharing with my readers!

She’s a spy in love with the enemy. 
Leila Durand, an elite German spy charged with infiltrating the home of British icon Thomas Steele, hopes to use the war to move beyond the pain of her shattered past. But everything changes when she falls in love with Thomas’s son, Malcolm. Is there a way to reconcile her love for Germany and her love for the enemy? 

He’s a son who wants to break free. 
Malcolm, wealthy heir to Northshire Estate, wants nothing more than to be free of his father’s rules. When Thomas becomes too judgmental, Malcolm makes a choice that threatens to bring the Allied world to its knees.

In the Shadow of Your Wings presents inescapable truth that resonates across the past century. Then as now, the struggle for faith is real. Then as now, there is a refuge for all who come beneath the shadow of God’s wings.

My Impressions:

In The Shadow of Your Wings is an historical novel set in England, France, and Germany during WWI. An intense read with very realistic details of the ugly stuff of war — zeppelin attacks, trench warfare, and the effects of Germany’s poisonous gas weapons — this book also deals with the ugliness and beauty of the human soul. The contrast between the many characters, both historic figures and fictional, is stark. Spies determined to devastate their enemy’s defenses, scientists with personal glory as their goals, and those who depend only on self populate the pages of this book. But there are also those who rely on God, even in the most unimaginable circumstances. I’m not sure enjoyment would be a good word for my reading experience, but I will say the fight between good and evil as detailed in the book was intriguing and got me thinking. The complex structure of the book involves multiple story lines — the list of characters and their relationships at the beginning of the book is very helpful. It’s worth the time to review it. The ending of the book leaves a number of threads left dangling, so be prepared to plunge into book 2, In The Midst of Flames. All three titles in the series are available, so you may want to schedule a little binge-reading time.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the ebook version from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

JP Robinson began writing as a teen for a local newspaper. He holds degrees in both English and French and is a state-certified teacher. JP is known for weaving contemporary issues into vivid plots with the goal of connecting readers to God. When he’s not writing or teaching, JP loves spending time with his wife and children. 

Connect with the author, watch videos and more at JPRobinsonbooks.com.

Friend JP at Facebook.com/JPRobinsonbooks

Follow him on Twitter: @JPRobinsonBooks

Spotlight And Author Interview — Finding Common Ground

17 Aug

About The Book

Book: Finding Common Ground: One Octogenarian’s Quest to Help Our Nation Heal

Author: Robynne Elizabeth Miller & Marilyn Siden

Genre: Narrative Nonfiction/Memoir

Release date: April 2, 2021

Because she’d had enough. Enough anger. Enough hatred. Enough division.

Marilyn Siden has lived through much: the aftermath of World War II, Korea, and the horror of Vietnam. She’s navigated good political administrations and struggling ones, a thriving economy and want. Her eight decades of experience living in the US have shown her the best America has to offer and, unfortunately, the worst. But she never thought America would become a place of vitriol and despair.

So, she decided to do something about it.

Through a series of epic journeys across America, Marilyn discovered what she was after: practical advice on how to help our nation heal.

But she found something she wasn’t expecting . . . something far more powerful.

Marilyn found our common ground.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Authors

Robynne Elizabeth Miller is wife to an amazing Brit and mother to a glorious brood of adopted and biological kids. Her adventures have led her to over twenty-five countries, from Malta to Russia, and she’s lived about a quarter of her life in the English countryside. She currently makes her home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, spending much of her time telling locals they don’t need to apologize for the rain.

With dozens of articles, essays, and blog posts to her credit, as well as eight books and collaborations on several more, she’s put her B.A. from Westmont College and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction & Fiction from Ashland University to good use She’s an experienced speaker, editor, and writing coach, and teaches regularly at conferences and writer’s workshops. She currently serves as President and Director of Leadership of Inspire Christian Writers and hosts The Art of Semi-Fiction podcast, where she explores every corner of the written word.

On quieter days, Robynne can be found meandering back roads with her family, cooking up some grand adventure with her friends, singing at the top of her lungs, or making bacon from scratch.

Marilyn Siden is blessed with a wonderful family— four grown children, twelve beautiful, talented, Godly grandchildren, and an amazing husband.

**************************

More from Robynne and Marilyn

Hello Dear Readers!

Feeling a little discouraged about the state of our nation today? Convinced you have no hope of being part of the solution?

Good news!

Not only are you ABLE to be a part of helping to heal our nation, but you are both called AND equipped to do so, right where you are. No matter your skillset or resources, you can start being a light for Jesus right now. And that light, however small you perceive it to be, WILL shine in these dark times.

Taking this journey at nearly 80 and crossing the country in search of practical solutions to start reversing the hatred and hurt blanketing our nation was challenging.

But it was worth it, too.

Not only is the book filled with stories of hope and encouragement, it’s filled with practical steps we can all take to start healing hurts, restoring our communities, building a safer future for our children, and bringing light back to our nation.

Are you ready?

We are standing on common ground!

Q & A With Robynne

Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this?

I learned to read extremely early. From the moment I realized that behind the collections of letters scrawled across a page were adventures and experiences beyond my own four walls, I was hooked. By the time I entered kindergarten, I had decided I would one day be a writer. It took slightly longer than intended, but after ten books, with more on the way, I have finally fulfilled that little girl’s dream.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book?

My dear friend, Marilyn Siden, was the inspiration for this project. It was her own desire to be part of the solution to our nation’s current state that propelled her to take a remarkable journey over the course of a year. And as we both have a heart to see healing, it did not take me long to be both enthralled with and entrenched in the project. I believe we are all to be part of the solution, and this book shows us all the ways that is possible. 

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing Finding Common Ground

That we all can be, and should be, part of the solutions that are so desperately needed. And it starts with simply listening to each other. From there, the smallest of efforts can, and will, make the largest of differences. There is great hope.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I do have books of my own in the works, the next of which will be another in the Little House realm, as many of my books are. But also in the near future is another collaboration with Marilyn Siden. 

Please include any personal information you would like to share (family, hobbies, etc.)

I have a decided love for contributing to the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder via biographies and essays on the real characters she wrote about. I’ve also lived in the UK for over ten years, have a beautiful blend of adopted and biological kids, and am married to the most wonderful of Brits. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 16

By The Book, August 17 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, August 18

Inklings and notions, August 19

For Him and My Family, August 20

Blossoms and Blessings, August 21 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 21

deb’s Book Review, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 27

Splashes of Joy, August 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 29

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Marilyn and Robynne are giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/112e3/finding-common-ground-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — The Barrister And The Letter of Marque

11 Aug
  • Title: The Barrister and the Letter of Marque: A Novel 
  • Author: Todd M. Johnson
  • Genre: Historical Mystery, Suspense, Inspirational Fiction 
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (August 3, 2021)
  • Length: (416) pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0764239137
  • Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0764212369
  • eBook ASIN: B08LG91Y95
  • Audiobook ASIN: B0983VZ6XZ

BOOK DESCRIPTION

As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he’s a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king’s regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter—-the sole proof his actions were legal—has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady’s distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he’d imagined.

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLEBOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP 

| GOODREADS

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Johnson debuts with a tense story of powerful interests teaming up to thwart a legal challenge in Georgian-era England…Johnson steeps his story in legal maneuvering, layers of intrigue, midnight chases, and even a hint of romance. While faith elements are subtle, this enthralling novel will appeal to fans of both legal thrillers and historical inspirationals.”— Publishers Weekly

“… a mystery worthy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This richly historical and lively paced story has all the makings of a modern classic.”— Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Shadows of the White City 

“At once atmospheric and gripping, Johnson’s latest is a luminous and refreshing new offering in inspirational historical fiction.”— Rachel McMillan, bestselling author of The London Restoration, and The Mozart Code

“A fascinating glimpse into a Regency London readers seldom see.”— Roseanna M. White, bestselling author of Edwardian fiction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd M. Johnson is the author ofthree legal thrillers: The Deposit Slip (2012), Critical Reaction (2013), and Fatal Trust (2017), and The Barrister and the Letter of Marque (2021), his first foray into historical mystery. He has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

Q & A WITH TODD M. JOHNSON

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Always been a writer? Could I convince you that I can still recall smuggling a pen and paper into my play pen and musing late into naptime on plot points drawn from my long road of experience?

Seriously, storytelling has been a long journey for me. From imaginary childhood friends to stories told to schoolmates, I started pretty early. I first began scribing when a good friend and I got together to write short stories in fifth grade or so, reading our finished works to one another over Cokes and cookies. (I wish I still had those stories, his and mine!) As I grew older, I continued writing fiction whenever I could convince a schoolteacher that a “short story” was an appropriate response to an assignment – like the rewrite I did of a chapter in A Separate Peace by John Knowles from ‘Finny’s’ perspective. In eighth grade, a teacher intern was excited enough about my writing that she volunteered to be my “agent”, setting me up in a classroom after school to write stories under her supervision. I’m sure she went on to be a marvelous teacher. Unfortunately, I hadn’t the patience to stick with it at that young age. 

I got away from writing after college, focusing on the more practical career path of law—only to return to the typewriter (now transformed into a keyboard) about twelve years ago when I realized the dream I’d always nurtured of being a novelist was getting away from me. That led to my fortunate intersection with Bethany House and my four novels (and more in the pipeline).   

Can you tell us a little about what inspired The Barrister and the Letter of Marque?

When I first landed with Bethany House, it was wisely suggested that I “write about what I knew”. As a longtime trial attorney, I dove first into writing contemporary legal mysteries, particularly in the courtroom (The Deposit Slip, Critical Reaction and Fatal Trust).  Each of those first three books were very exciting and rewarding to write. Except …

The fact is that I am nearly as passionate about history as I am about writing. Not only was history an emphasis in college, but historic non-fiction and fiction alike have been my “go to” reads ever since. My poor wife and children have long experienced my obsession as I careen off the road on car trips to catch the latest roadside historical marker (now “hysterical markers” in my family, a term suggested by an equally obsessive friend and history buff). 

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque was inspired by a desire to combine my passion for history with my abiding love of writing. That, along with my great love of Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and their writings about life in nineteenth century England. 

What does Marque mean? What other Regency lingo can you explain for us?

“Marque” was originally French for “Mars, God of War”.  The phrase “Letter of Marque” has, for centuries, described the device by which a sovereign granted power to a privateer captain (or merchant captain) to take ships of other nations as though the holder of the letter was part of the sovereign’s navy. In practice, it empowered those privateers to take foreign ships without the risk of being deemed a “pirate” – which would subject them to prosecution and hanging for their actions.  

The authority to grant such power continues to this day: it is, in fact, enshrined in the American Constitution, although an American Letter of Marque must be granted by the government. The Letter of Marque which appears in the opening pages of The Barrister and the Letter of Marque was drafted by me from an actual letter issued by the British Crown in the eighteenth century. 

A smattering of other examples of Regency lingo include:

Gaol:  The nineteenth century English spelling for “jail”.

Mulled wine: A favored drink in nineteenth century England (and much earlier), made by combining warmed red wine with sweeteners (sugar, oranges, maple syrup or honey) and adding cinnamon, cloves and/or anise.

Brag: A betting card game played in the Regency period England in which the players each receive three cards instead of the five cards typical of modern poker.

Hosteler: A person who took care of horses at an inn – not to be confused with an “hosteller”, originally a monk who cared for guests, but now a hotel manager.

 Can you share your thoughts on your hero and his challenges in the story?

The principal hero of The Barrister and the Letter of Marque is William Snopes, a barrister in his late thirties practicing in Regency Period London. Barrister Snopes came from money, power and privilege: his father was wealthy and a member of the House of Lords. 

But sadly, his father was also unprincipled, as revealed in the opening pages of the book – so much so that William was driven from home after his mother’s death, turning his back on the money and station he would otherwise have enjoyed. He channeled the resulting anger and revulsion into representing debtors and the lower classes who could not afford representation.

The challenges William faces in The Barrister are personal, professional and spiritual. William is asked to represent the imprisoned captain of a privateer who claims to have operated under a Letter of Marque from Regent Prince George, a letter which has disappeared. The captain and his cousin, Lady Madeleine Jameson, now in dire financial straits, are members of the very class from which barrister Snopes had retreated. Nonetheless, he is drawn to the case by the inequities in power between his potential clients and the forces arrayed against them – and the injustices they are suffering. As he goes deeper into the case, he is forced to examine his own methods in court which, while effective, edge a line of morality, ethics and propriety. How far will he go to save the captain and his cousin? What lines will he be willing to cross? 

I created William Snopes to be his “own man”, but the character is influenced by Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the modern television barrister “Rumpole of the Bailey”. Like barrister Snopes, both characters were very creative and insightful, but also flawed and (like us all) hobbled in judging their own shortcomings.  

Why did you choose to write a historical mystery?

As I mentioned elsewhere, history is a great passion for me. Drawing from my own

courtroom experience, I thought it would be fascinating to follow a nineteenth century barrister as he not only fights to solve a mystery but struggles to prove a man’s innocence in the roughhewn courtrooms of the Regency Period – burdened by the knowledge that a man’s life, and the estate of a woman he admires, is at stake.   

What type of research did you pursue of Regency London and detectives during this era?

l read many books and more articles to prepare The Barrister, some of which I’ve

identified in a video I posted a few weeks ago.  There was much about the Regency Period (1811-1820) I wanted to master: social mores, cultural norms and expectations, the court and prison systems, the selection and training of barristers, clothing of the period, eating and entertaining, the Far East tea trade, the economy of post-Napoleonic War England, and more. I also needed to understand the geography of London two hundred years ago. To that end, I bought several map books about the roads, buildings and neighborhoods of Regency London. Finally, I researched some of the great personalities of the period who appear in the book, including Beau Brummell, Princess Charlotte, Regent Prince George, Admiral Nelson and many others. I even used contemporaneous documents and doctoral dissertations to calculate the likely cost of a merchant brig at the time, as well as the likely tonnage of tea that could be stored in its hold.     

One of my favorite resources was an autobiography of an early Victorian period barrister (a decade and a half after the Regency period). That barrister’s description of his early years living and practicing in London was absolute gold.  

As for detectives of the period, there were none with one notable exception: the Bow Street Runners. This was a group of crime fighters organized in the mid-eighteenth century to capture thieves and other criminals for a reward from the government and the victim. Operating until the 1830s, it was very successful – and featured in The Barrister.  

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing it.

My hope is that readers will be entertained and find William Snopes and his compatriots of the period to be complex, witty, interesting – and worthy of following in future adventures in Regency England. I also hope they will recognize the inspirational underpinning of the story and characters, as they grapple with and strive to overcome the discouragement of corruption and the imperfection of any system of justice.  

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I do. I am just finishing edits of an historic novel about Ernest Hemingway in

Cuba in the early 1960s, as he and a young girl he’s befriended are pursued by Cuban intelligence due to knowledge they’ve acquired of secret Russian missiles aimed at America. 

I have also commenced a sequel to The Barrister and the Letter of Marque featuring William Snopes and Lady Madeleine Jameson, with a working title The Barrister and the Mad Duchess.  

****************************

Join the virtual book tour of THE BARRISTER AND THE LETTER OF MARQUE, Todd M. Johnson’s highly acclaimed historical mystery, August 2-15, 2021. Over twenty-five popular on-line influencers specializing in historical mystery, suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with an interview, spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set in London, England. 

TOUR SCHEDULE

Aug 02 The Readathon(Review)

Aug 02 From Pemberley to Milton(Excerpt)

Aug 02 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog(Review) 

Aug 03 Life of Literature(Review)

Aug 03 Captivated Reading(Spotlight)

Aug 04 Laura’s Reviews(Review)

Aug 04 The Green Mockingbird(Review) 

Aug 05 My Jane Austen Book Club(Spotlight)

Aug 05 Reading is My Superpower(Review) 

Aug 06 Among the Reads(Excerpt) 

Aug 06 The Blue Stocking (Review) 

Aug 07 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) 

Aug 07 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Aug 08 Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight)

Aug 08 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Aug 09 Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 09 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Aug 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Spotlight)

Aug 10 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Aug 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Aug 11 By the Book (Interview)

Aug 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 12 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Review)

Aug 12 A Darn Good Read (Review) 

Aug 13 Fire & Ice (Review) 

Aug 14 The Lit Bitch (Spotlight)

Aug 14 The Book Diva Reads(Spotlight)

Aug 15 Vesper’s Place (Review) 

Spotlight And Author Interview — The Dollmaker’s Daughter

8 Aug

The Dollmaker's Daughter

About The Book

Book:  The Dollmaker’s Daughter

Author: Izzy James

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 16, 2021

9781522303473

Forgetful scientist Simon Morgan lost his chance with Amity Archer ten years ago. He knows there is no hope…until a sea captain trades a meal for an ancient stone reputed to have the power to give him his heart’s desire. Immediately after pocketing the stone, Simon runs into Amity. Did the ancient artifact cause this chance encounter or was it mere coincidence?

Like her favorite travel writer Mrs. Peabody, Amity Archer yearns for adventure, but she’s horrified when her father asks Simon Morgan to escort her on her first real adventure.

With Amity’s Aunt Clementine as a buffer between them, will Simon be able to prove that his love for Amity is real? Can Amity show Simon that her love for him has nothing to do with a so-called magical rock?

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

IzzyJames

Izzy James lives in coastal Virginia with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

More from Izzy

I am a Geographer by degree. So maps and the shapes of the earth fascinate me. It keeps me looking at the ground. Where I live in Virginia we still travel the imprint of colonial roads. Former villages have been swallowed by large urban areas, but the land is still there. Amity Archer travels these roads on the adventure to love in The Dollmaker’s Daughter.

It makes The Dollmaker’s Daughter special to me. I have traveled the roads Amity and Simon cover many, many times. The research for this book kept me up nights reading true accounts of traveler and taverns in colonial times.

Q&A with Izzy James

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I have always been enthralled with stories. In elementary school I adapted some lesser known, at least at the time, fairy tales into plays for a couple of school productions. To my astonishment they were well received. It was then that I started writing my own stories using other writer’s characters from my favorite television shows and books. By Junior High School a couple of friends and I swapped reading each other’s stories. Since then there have been tales coming to life in my mind. 

Why did you choose the romance genre?

I did not start reading romance until I was in my thirties. The reason I love them is two-fold. Firstly, they are hopeful. A happy ending is a requirement in the genre and I like that. There are enough real-time, real-life rocky roads. I don’t need or want to experience them in my entertainment. Secondly, I believe in marriage and families. These values are on display and reinforced in Christian Romance. 

So while Romance often gets poo-pooed in more literary circles, I find they share my values. I often find more literary things, while thought provoking and sometimes interesting, don’t share my optimism.

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Sure. Success at anything is not a guaranteed thing. I think the biggest obstacle I faced was my own fear of not being worthy. I got some positive feedback from a contest I entered twenty years ago. It absolutely freaked me out and I didn’t write anything else for a few years! 

The key for me was of course, is to keep my eyes on God, for He has not given us a spirit of fear. I did not then and do not now want to sit in my chair at age 85 and wish that I’d been more faithful, or more bold, or more of anything really. I mean God can’t bless a book if I don’t write it. Right?

So after about ten years, I sat down at my keyboard and wrote a novella. I entered it in a contest and it won. And my journey started.  

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc. 

Each of my books is different and requires the answers to different questions therefore, I use whatever resources are available. The Dollmaker’s Daughter takes place in areas that live in. I constantly traverse the same roads that Amity and Simon encounter, so I didn’t have to travel far, but I did research in person at libraries and online at the National Archives. The Library of Virginia’s research team has always been helpful for anything I need. 

For last year’s Christmas novella, Garrett: A Yorktown Christmas Time Travel Novella, I interviewed and was helped by the Yorktown GIS office to interpret maps from Colonial times. 

For the book I’m currently working on, I’m going to the Wilderness Road. 

So basically, I’ll do whatever I need to get the history right, travel, interviews, and I read all the time. 

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I want them to know that God is real. That He loves them and that He is still working in the lives of men and women now. Miracles are not a thing that only happens in the Bible. The God of the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cares about your bad hair day and your great hair day! 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

By The Book, August 8 (Author Interview)

Connect in Fiction, August 8

Inklings and notions, August 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 10

Abba’s Prayer Princess, August 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 12

Beauty in the Binding, August 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 14

Texas Book-aholic, August 15

Connie’s History Classroom, August 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 18

deb’s Book Review, August 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Izzy is giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of The Dollmaker’s Daughter and a tea cup!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Rocky Mountain Restoration Blog Tour + Author Interview

24 Jul

About The Book

Book:  Rocky Mountain Restoration

Author: Lisa J. Flickinger

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

Josephine Thorebourne doesn’t deserve happiness. Not after the mess she’s made. 

Mid-voyage, on the steamship Jameson, she learns of the tragic loss of her family’s money. Money she stole with the hopes of turning a profit. What should be a delightful voyage up the Canadian coast turns into a journey of regret. Josephine seeks the solace of the man she loves, only to find out he’s an imposter. Left with no other choice, she must return to her home town of Stony Creek and face the anger of those she’s betrayed.

Owen Kelly was given the opportunity of a lifetime to steward on the SS Jameson. The work meant he could escape his difficult upbringing along the wharves of Chicago. When his heart falls for the woman in cabin eight, Owen must decide if he will continue his work on the ship or follow the love of his life to her Rocky Mountain home.

As Josephine faces the repercussions of her decisions, the future becomes uncertain. Owen is the one person who knows everything and yet still sees the good in her. Will their love survive the challenges the Rocky Mountain town throws in their path?

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Lisa J. Flickinger lives and writes from the cliff of a river along the majestic Rocky Mountains. When not writing or reading, you will find her scouring antique shops or sipping a maple latte with friends and family. To learn more about her other books, visit www.lisajflickinger.com.

************

More from Lisa

Have you ever smelled a whale’s breath? I have. The experience sparked the idea of taking the characters in Rocky Mountain Restoration on a pleasure cruise up the Canadian coast.

My husband and I vacationed in Ucluelet one summer, a quaint fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island. While there, we boarded a cabin cruiser with other adventure seekers to go whale watching.

Not long after leaving the rocky shore, our experienced captain spotted the flick of a tale in the rolling waves, and guided the boat to a position hundreds of yards away.  Within moments, to our delight and awe, a massive humpback breached mere feet from the boat. Its knobbed head rose before us, mouth wide open, hundreds of baleen plates dripping a murky red. The smell was one of the worst in my memory, a vulgar mixture of rotten fish, old road kill, and something indescribable. But what a privilege to encounter one of God’s magnificent creatures up close!

A logging camp, high in the Rockies, is a long way from the pacific coast. That’s the very reason our nefarious antagonists from book one of the Rocky Mountain Revival Series, Josephine and Snoop, have chosen to board the SS Jameson under assumed names

While I can’t promise you whale’s breath in the novel, I can promise you gorgeous scenery and other wildlife encounters as a backdrop for betrayal, thievery, and—of course—romance. Hop aboard!

Q&A with Lisa Flickinger

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

I’ve always loved to write, and my teachers were kind enough to encourage my efforts. In an English course I took in my thirties, I caught one of the secretaries reading my latest assignment. She blushed and told me every week she looked forward to reading my work. Her enthusiasm helped give me the confidence to finally finish the novel languishing in my closet.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

When I buckle down to write, I use a structured schedule. If I didn’t, I would never complete my novels. Typically, I will write or do research from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. five days a week. After a delicious latte, I usually work on editing or handle communications.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

I’m a painfully slow writer. I usually plan on three thousand words a week and about twenty weeks to finish a novel. It usually ends up being thirty-five weeks to completion and another six or so weeks to finish editing.  It takes me around nine months to finish a book, much like having a baby.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

I needed the nefarious couple from the first novel in the series to make a getaway, by water seemed the most expedient. The stories of early steam ship travel I read were fascinating and inspired the escapades in Rocky Mountain Restoration

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I hope my readers will have escaped from the chaos of everyday life and enjoyed a clean story laced with encouragement from God’s word.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, July 20

Artistic Nobody, July 21 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 21

For Him and My Family, July 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 23

By The Book, July 24 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 24

deb’s Book Review, July 25

Connie’s History Classroom, July 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 30 (Author Interview)

Blossoms and Blessings, July 31

Life of Literature, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Hosea’s Heart

30 Mar

About The Book

Book:  Hosea’s Heart

Author: Linda Wood Rondeau

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: 2018

How much should a wronged husband forgive?

Aubrey Beaumont has spent the last fifteen years in search of his runaway, drug-addicted wife. Now a respected Silver Spring pastor and chaplain, ready to give up and move on, his life takes unexpected turns when she suddenly contacts him. Terminally ill and having found faith, she begs Aubrey’s forgiveness. How can he overlook her past prostitution and liaison with one of Washington’s most vicious drug lords?

Grateful for a chance at reconciliation, Joanna Beaumont prays that her seemingly wasted life might serve some purpose in her final days. Perhaps her testimony against her former lover’s cartel will bring her the peace she craves.

Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will crisscross the Capital District’s underworld where they discover how God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau has earned critical acclaim for her heart-warming stories of deliverance and forgiveness. The author now resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband of forty years. Active in her local church, she enjoys playing the occasional round of golf, a common feature in many of her books. Readers may contact the author through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram or visit her website: www.lindarondeau.com.

More from Linda

Folks ask me why I kept searching for Joanna.

I don’t really see myself as a martyr, self-sacrificing, or even like the prophet Hosea as some have compared me to.

Perhaps I searched so long because Joanna was the only woman I ever truly loved. We met at the Top Notch Lounge when I had stopped in to buy a getaway package for my parents’ twenty-fifth anniversary.

I turned to my friend, Gregg, a private detective, and said, “See that girl over there? I’m going to marry her.

Gregg shook his head “You’re crazy. That broad is nothing but trouble.”

“And you know this, how?”

“Instinct, buddy.”

I left Gregg standing at the reservation desk and walked confidently toward a future that I could only guess. She smiled at me as I approached her table and glanced at her beverage. “Cinnamon tea?” I asked.

I sniffed the scent. Then, it was like an aphrodisiac. Now the aroma makes me nauseous. If I had known then what I know now? Moot question because life rarely offers a mulligan.

Gregg gave me a sign that he’d wait for me at the restaurant.

I sat down next to her. “Aubrey Beaumont.”

“Joanna Curtis.”

We talked, though not about anything of importance. I knew no more about her after an hour than her name and that she’d been deserted by her boyfriend. Yet, I knew I loved her.

“Have you had dinner yet?”

“No. Actually, I haven’t eaten all day. I should keep up my strength. I’m eating for two.”

I suppose most men would be scared away at that point. But something tugged at me. I sensed she didn’t need me—but I needed her, as intoxicating as any drug.

“Why not join me and my friend at the restaurant downstairs.”

Despite Gregg’s loud protests, Joanna and I married two days later. I adopted her unborn daughter, though not of my flesh, a child of my heart. I didn’t know about Joanna’s addiction until the first time she left us. Though she had been to rehab numerous times, she relapsed again and again. The last time she left, I held her note in my hand, my heart sliced by the knowledge she’d not be back.

The intelligent thing would be to let her disappear … what she wanted. I always led with my heart, not common sense. Perhaps why God called me into the ministry after Joanna’s first relapse.

My fruitless search took me into the Capital District where I pastored a church in Silver Spring.  Hope waned … and I even thought I might find love again with a woman named Cynthia. Until Joanna found me and called me to her side.

Fifteen years have passed since she left me the last time. Now, here I stand … face-to-face with reality. Cancer will  take Joanna away forever. What does God require of me now? I can forgive her addiction. But sometimes a wife’s betrayal goes beyond the forgivable –her liaison with Joey Juarez, the worst drug czar in the Washington, D.C. area.

I have every right, scripturally and logically, to divorce her and move on. Yet, that same voice that called me to her so many years ago calls to me now. “Till death part us.”

READER: What would you do if you were Aubrey? How would you advise him?

Q & A with Linda Wood Rondeau

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I’ve always been a hobbyist throughout my childhood and most of my adult life. I won school awards for writing, and enjoyed being a storyteller to the kids I babysat. I even entertained my friends on the school bus by mimicking and storytelling. So, yes. I’ve known I wanted to be a writer all my life. So what stopped me?

My first instinct was to take creative writing in college. Unfortunately, I listened to well-meaning adults who counseled me to prepare for a career that would be more financially beneficial. I had little encouragement from my family, although a high school teacher encouraged me to be a writer as did one of my college professors. Life got in the way of my dreams. Instead of writing, I worked in human services for many years. Perhaps God’s way of preparing me for the type of books he wanted me to write. At age 54, God stepped in. “The time is now.” The road to publication has been hard and bruising. But I never once doubted this is what I’m supposed to be doing at this stage of my life. 

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Many times I heard seasoned writers say, “God’s timing.” Easy enough to say but very hard to trust. I secured an agent early on, but she was unable to land a contract for me until eleven years (to the day) I committed my life to writing. (The Other Side of Darkness/Pelican). I did publish short stories and articles along the way. During that time, I kept writing and had a number of completed manuscripts. Soon after, another publisher wanted to contract several works from me. A few months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I did suffer from chemo brain, a side affect of chemotherapy. God knew I’d need those completed manuscripts to fulfill my contracts. Yes … God’s timing is always perfect. There have been many obstacles. I’ve yet to release a book without stumbling blocks. Satan’s way of trying to convince me God didn’t want me to write. Truth is God is more interested in my spiritual condition than book contracts … yet, he has been my faithful companion in this journey, and the book contracts keep coming. Through this process, I have learned that I’m not called to write … this is a career he’s given me in my quest to spread the good news. I am called to be his child. 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Seriously? A schedule? I’ve never been able to make one and keep it. By the nature of my life, I cannot assume tomorrow will resemble today in any way shape or form. I do set goals, however, and hope-to-complete tasks. I’m grateful God has given me a flexible personality and a creative mind to “adapt” to surprises. Marketing requires a portion of my brain that doesn’t exist. God makes up for this deficiency in numerous ways. While it’s important to trust, I know I have to put effort and feet into the work. 

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Hosea’s Heart is not my most recent novel. Before I started writing professionally, I worked in the human services field: family services, adult protective services, child protective services, medical services, senior services, and nursing home social services,  as well as hospital social services and as an in-school case manager. All these roles gave me many insights into the spiral of addiction and the profound impact addiction has on those who love the victim of substance abuse. Those who don’t understand are quick to judge and slow to develop compassion … much like my character Gregg Fischer, who hated drug addicts because of his personal loss. I wanted to write a book to show addicts are as much in need of love as anyone and how true love can only be extended through the power of the Holy Spirit. I hoped to show how God’s healing power transcends our failures.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I am pleased to report I have four novels under contract at this time. Actual release dates at this time are uncertain. 

First up is Wolf Mountain Legacy, an Adirondack Romantic Suspense.

A widowed high school history teacher, on leave for mental health problems, is hired as a research assistant by her former lover and college professor, on sabbatical to write a history of Adirondack Railroads. The research begins to unravel the 150-year-old mystery of the death of a railroad tycoon who died as a result of a suspicious fire that destroyed his Wolf Mountain estate. Marci is convinced she and Blake are being followed. But no one sees these people but her.

Second is The Ghosts of Trumball Mansion, a paranormal 

Set between Manhattan and New Haven, Connecticut

A romance writer and her estranged publisher husband spend a summer together in their historic  Connecticut estate. The closer the couple come toward a reconciliation, the more virulent the unexplained “ghosts” become, as if the house is determined to prevent their reunification. 

Third is G.L.I.C.K (a middle-grade science fiction)

Three earth children befriend a stranded alien, a sort of cosmic librarian sent to study Earth’s culture. His name is an acronym for Gatherer of Lore and Intergalactic Cultural Knowledge.

Fourth is Jolly Angel, a contemporary novelette expected to release in October, 2021.

A young women flees her abusive New York City home in hopes of starting a new life in Northern New York only to find her problems are compounded by an unwanted pregnancy.  

Thank you for hosting me today.  

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 17

Susan K. Beatty, Author, March 18 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 24 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

For Him and My Family, March 26

Inklings and notions, March 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 28

deb’s Book Review, March 29

By The Book, March 30 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a book from her Amazon Author page!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Spotlight, Author Interview, and Giveaway! — Dream Again

1 Mar

Dream Again

About The Book

Book:  Dream Again

Author: Ann Marie Bryan

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: August 20, 2020

Ann Marie Bryan - Dream Again - Front CoverOne random day. One burst of laughter. One perfect moment. That’s all it takes for Gianna Barrett to capture Carter McIntosh’s attention—and his heart. His whole life has been a series of miracles, so this falls right in line. If only it were that simple. The object of his desire refuses to give him the time of day. Not deterred, Carter is sure he’s ready to put his heart on the line for love. Big mistake. He isn’t quite prepared and finds himself wrestling a soul-deep hurt into submission.

“There has been an accident….”

That devastating revelation shattered Gianna’s life, and in that one chaotic moment, everything she had was taken away. She has spent years carefully crafting her new normal, so there is no way Carter can just insert himself into her life. The fight is on but not for long. Their attraction is instant, and before she knows it, all her cynicism goes out the door.

When Gianna learns more about Carter’s life, she gets a better understanding of her beginning. As she starts her journey to healing, she uncovers Carter’s startling secret. In the days that follow, she struggles with feelings of regret, fueling her natural tendency to retreat. But the flames of desire burn hot and it’s not easy to break their unexpected connection. As the past reaches for them, they soon realize that to move forward, they must look back. Will they allow God to be the anchor they so desperately need — before it’s too late? For all they ever wanted was to be loved.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About The Author

Ann Marie Bryan - Author PhotoAnn Marie Bryan is a dedicated multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO and Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire, and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, blend faith and romance that test the resilience of love.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

 

More from Ann Marie

I am super excited that you are a part of this amazing Dream Again tour. I use the words — emotional, inspirational, compelling, and romantic—to describe my writing style. I love to put readers in the heart of the story to give them a chance to think how they would react in similar situations.

It was therapeutic for me to write Dream Again. Last year, my mom passed, so it was a year of grieving and adjusting for me. While I was going through, I decided to write a story about someone who suffered the loss of a parent. I wrapped that experience into a beautiful love story, Dream Again, which gives hope while showing the awesome power of God in the lives of two hurting people.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dream Again as much as I have enjoyed writing it. In this novel, you will witness the incredible transformative power of love in the lives of Carter McIntosh and Gianna Barrett as they lift their faith and develop the courage and tenacity to leave the past behind. Dream Again is laced with love, faith, friendship, and a sense of community, while demonstrating God’s desire to free people from life-altering events. I pray that you will catch a glimpse of God moving through time to secure the future of those He loves.

Thank you for touring with me and for taking the time to read Dream Again. Stay victorious!

 

Q & A with Ann Marie Bryan

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I’m an author but writing a book was nowhere on my list of things to do. Becoming an author never crossed my mind. However, after I got married, several of my friends and relatives (some living miles away) wanted to know how I met my husband. They knew that I had been single for some time. So, I had to share my love story, repeatedly. Of course, no one wanted to hear the short version of the story.

Six months later, I was stretched out on the sofa at home on a Sunday afternoon, still recounting my love story. After hanging up from my call, it hit me – write a book!

A long deafening pause ensued.

A book! A book!

Every reason not to write this book came to mind. But I knew that I had a story to tell. I also knew that if God called me to write this book, He would equip me and surround me with wonderful Godly helpers. So, like any well-thinking Christian woman, I took the matter to the Lord and felt the peace to proceed with this mission. 

It took me two years to write and publish my first novel, Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along.

Why did you choose Christian Fiction genre?

Currently, I write Christian Fiction Romance. It is a natural fit for me because I’m a Christian and I enjoy reading romantic stories. Above all, I get the wonderful opportunity to show the awesome power of God in the lives of my characters.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

Last year, my mom passed, so it was a year of grieving and adjusting. For me, writing tends to be therapeutic, so I wanted to write a story about someone who suffered the loss of a parent. I wrapped that experience in a beautiful love story, Dream Again, which gives hope while showing the awesome power of God in the lives of two hurting people.

In this novel, readers will witness the incredible transformative power of love in the lives of Carter McIntosh and Gianna Barrett as they lift their faith and develop the courage and tenacity to leave the past behind. Will love bloom? Let the adventure begin.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Dream Again is laced with faith, friendship, and a sense of community, while demonstrating God’s desire to free people from life-altering events. So, I hope readers will be inspired to trust God’s heart.

Importantly, I hope readers will be reminded that love is a beautiful emotion, and it is okay to love passionately, very passionately. However, loving someone is never as easy as we would like it to be. Keep in mind that, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NKJV)

Above all, I pray that readers will recognize that having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ makes a great difference. I’m hoping that this story will encourage readers, not to put God in a box.  God will come through in due season. Sometimes, God takes us out of our comfort zone to stretch us and show us that we can accomplish far more than we think.   

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

On August 20, 2020, I released Dream Again, Book 1 in the McIntosh Brothers series. I’m now writing Book 2 – Love Again. In Love Again, readers will meet Rylan (Ry) McIntosh and Savannah McKenzie, his love interest who disappeared years ago for no good reason. Well, none that Ry could think of. The two reconnected in a bizarre situation that could only have been divinely orchestrated. In a season that would bring many changes, they long for peace… and yearn for love. Will they trust God to overcome the past and find the strength to take a chance at life and love with each other? Stay tuned, Love Again will be available in 2021.

 

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Inklings and notions, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 25

deb’s Book Review, February 26

Artistic Nobody, February 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

By The Book, March 1 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 2

Pause for Tales, March 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ann Marie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Dream Again!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10868/dream-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Spotlight And Author Interview — A Worthy Heart

14 Feb

About The Book

Book:  A Worthy Heart

Author: Sara Beth Williams

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: January 9, 2019

Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular houseguest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life.

With only a part-time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close–not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man,

Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt. When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About The Author

Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Bookbub and AllAuthor.

 

More from Sara Beth

Can I tell you a secret? When writing a new manuscript, book titles for me either come immediately, or they take years – literally – to develop into something catchy and strong. A Worthy Heart came to me almost immediately. I had no hesitation, because I knew what I wanted the story’s message to be.

Whereas the titles for my first and third book took over a year of going back and forth, with much indecision, A Worthy Heart resonated perfection.

What do you think makes a strong, unique title? I love titles with double meanings. I felt like A Worthy Heart truly captured both the romantic feel of the storyline, and the spiritual message of the storyline simultaneously. And I absolutely love when that happens!

I truly hope you enjoy Joel and Serena’s story, and I hope you can decipher both meanings in the title. More than that, I hope you take those three words to heart, because those three words are exactly what God believes about every single one of you.

Happy reading,

Sara Beth Williams

 

Q & A with Sara Beth Williams

 

BTB — Why did you choose the contemporary Christian romance genre?

Sara Beth Williams — I fell in love with the genre of Christian romance the moment I began reading it in 2012. I had a rough story idea at the time (that is now When Hearts Collide) that straddled the line between YA and adult, which is now called New Adult. The more Christian romance novels I devoured, the more I wanted to write what I was reading. 

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Sara Beth — I had four written rejection letters, and a handful of other publishers who didn’t reply back at all. I spent about 9 months querying before I finally entered a twitter pitch contest called #faithpitch, and that’s where I landed a full manuscript request. 

The year my book was undergoing edits on its way to publication was a very difficult year personally for me. A lot of family tragedy occurred, resulting in my release date being pushed back several times. By the time it finally came, I just wanted it to be done so that I could finally say I had birthed a book baby into the world. And here I am now, at last, ready to publish the third in my series! 

BTB — How long does it usually take to craft your books?

Sara Beth — It depends on the manuscript, honestly. Some manuscripts have taken me years to produce. My first manuscript (When Hearts Collide) was written in four months — but typically I go through 12 or more drafts, yep, not including professional edits by the publishing company. I have beenkeeping track though because it interests me to see which of my stories take longer. So far, my 4th book, which I am pitching to agents at the moment, has taken me the longest in terms of # of drafts. 

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

The third book in my contemporary Christian romance series releases in March 2021! It should be up for pre-order. You can follow me anywhere on social media to find out more. You can visit me on Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sara-beth-williams and on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/author/sarabethwilliams to find out the latest.

 

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, February 4 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7

For Him and My Family, February 8

deb’s Book Review, February 9

Inklings and notions, February 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 11

Artistic Nobody, February 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 13

By The Book, February 14 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 15

Happily Managing a House of Boys, February 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of A Worthy Heart!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1071f/a-worthy-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Spotlight and Author Interview — Succession

8 Dec

About The Book

Book: Succession

Author: Brett Armstrong

Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Son of the Northern Realm’s Defender, raised among dwarfs of Ordumair, Meredoch was anticipated to succeed his father. Some whispered he would bring the longed-for peace between Ordumair and their ancient foe, Ecthelowall. All of that changes when Ordumair’s Thane is killed and Meredoch and his family are exiled. From prestige to poverty, the young boy must chart a new course.

As the years pass and the idol that was his father’s legacy tarnishes, Meredoch’s past resurfaces. An artifact of immeasurable worth to Ordumair is found. If recovered by the wrong hands, disaster would befall those Meredoch serves and cares about. Battling creatures believed only myths and racing against evil toward the prize, Meredoch must face the truth of his place in the world and claim his right of succession.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About The Author

From an early age, Brett Armstrong had a love for literature and history. At age nine, he combined the two for his first time in a short story set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. After that, writing’s role in his life waxed and waned periodically, always a dream on the horizon, till he reached college. At West Virginia University, he entered the Computer Engineering program and spent two years pursuing that degree before an opportunity to take a creative writing class, for fun, came along. It was so enjoyable, he took another and in that course he discovered two things. The first was the plot for a short story called Destitutio Quod Remissio, which the others students really seemed to love. The second, he realized he absolutely loved writing. For him, it was like the proverbial light bulb coming on. In the years since, describing that epiphany has been difficult for him, but he found the words of 1924 Olympian Eric Liddell are the most eloquent expression for it: “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” God gave Brett a passion for writing, and so feels His pleasure when writing.

Brett lives in Saint Albans, West Virginia, with his beautiful wife, Shelly. In the summer the pair gardens together, and each day Brett continues writing his next novel.

 

More from Brett

The Lowlands are on the edge of dramatic changes. In every era, warriors for the High King must rise to keep the light burning and hold back the beasts of the darkness that most believe only myth. But those creatures of lore wait for the nightfall that will allow them to roam free and relish that complacency.

None of the protagonists in the Quest of Fire saga — Anargen, Jason, and, in Succession, Meredoch — realize how great a change is coming. Anargen is from a quiet, little town that has stood unchanged and insular for centuries. Jason has been running from a darkness in his past so long he only looks to his next step, never what’s coming ahead. Meredoch grew up with high hopes for his future, proud of his family’s legacy. In the course of the saga, each faces a moment when what they’d clung to and trusted in fails them. For Anargen it’s his quaint life, Jason self-absorption, and Meredoch his family pride. In losing those things, however, each gains something. The chance to join the ancient Quest of Fire on behalf of the High King of All Realms. There’s a passage in The Gathering Dark that sums it up nicely. “Life is filled with losses full of greater gains.”

What excites me to write and share the Quest of Fire saga is showing through sweeping epic fantasy the way these characters stand firm. Though not the only spiritual theme woven into the stories, both The Gathering Dark and Succession invite readers to journey with these characters to the brink, risking their lives, and find there the greatest gain.

 

 But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. — Acts 20:24

 

Q&A with Brett Armstrong

By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Brett Armstrong — I’m not sure when I first started writing. I do remember very well the first time I wrote a short story that I could call original. I was nine and I had been reading about the Aztec Empire. I don’t know why I thought I should but I started writing a story about a slave from a conquered tribe who escaped being offered as a sacrifice. He wanted revenge and slipped into and rose through the ranks of Aztec society till at last he was poised to strike Emperor himself. I remember making cover art and putting a publishing house name I made up on it, so it would be like a real book. So, I guess that moment where I took what I had read and wrote something new was when I became a writer. It’s a long way from when I decided I would pursue writing seriously instead of just as a personal hobby, but that’s the inflection point I best remember.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Brett — There have been many. My mom got me hooked on reading and was my first editor, beta reader, and cheerleader. I had several teachers compliment my writing, but one high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Brock, seemed the most earnest about it. I will say one person who had a huge impact is my wife. There was a period of time in college where I had given up writing, because I thought I needed to be “serious” and “realistic” about my future goals. I was also kind of miserable. My wife, who was then my girlfriend, encouraged me to take some creative writing classes for fun and when I did the difference in how I felt was such a stark contrast that I realized writing, to whatever degree of skill or quality, was something I was made to do. I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t encouraged me to take those classes.

BTB — Why did you choose fantasy genre?

Brett  — This might sound like high art nonsense, but I feel like a story chooses its genre for you. The characters, setting, and events of the story all have to complement one another. Certain characters should only realistically exist in a certain world and were shaped by certain events. The events of the story further shape the characters and the characters the events, with the setting constraining what can and can’t happen. 

By the time I have one scene really fleshed out in my head, I usually have a strong sense of what genre the story will be in because of the way the story is unfolding. For Quest of Fire, high/epic fantasy just seemed right for the way history and storytelling itself had to participate in the way events unfolded. Fantasy is an ancient genre in some ways so a story that needed to feel like it spanned centuries and united such different protagonists (Anargen and Jason), felt like it had to be something that has been with and inspired and excited people for ages.

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Brett — Myself mostly. My naiveté, arrogance, self-doubt, ignorance, and over-eagerness for publishing really almost wrecked me. The Lord has really kind of had to take the reins from me a few times to show me that the way I had planned things and do still sometimes isn’t what he had in mind and that I need to develop more patience and discipline and to not have a thin skin about this. I’ve learned a lot through my mistakes but the early ones really hurt and I’m sometimes stubborn about learning my lessons.

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

All of the above, though not necessarily all for every book. I tend to write about things I already have a pretty solid background in, because those are the things I read and think about and get inspiration from and around. That’s a big help and then I read more books, online articles, and look over a lot of images. For fantasy stories it’s about finding something real to ground the fantastical around. If it feels real, even if the circumstances are crazy then the story world comes to life. I’ve been asked about my visits to places I’ve never been physically and a lot of that has to do with finding something that will anchor the story to reality and then building the backdrop around it.

 BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Brett — I’m not very structured at all. Abysmally distant from it in fact. Part of it is I’m a procrastinator and the other part is I work full time as the infectious disease data manager for my state to support my family and I try not to take away from the family time I have in evenings. Finding a steady writing rhythm is tricky, especially with the increase in hours and stress COVID has brought to my work. So, during break times and late nights I’ll jot down notes as they hit me and flesh them out and over time work them together.

BTB — How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

Brett — It depends on a few factors so there’s a pretty wide range. The biggest thing is how long the story takes to reach a place where the story feels ready. The Gathering Dark took more than a decade and Succession took about a year. My other books fall somewhere in between those extremes. Part of it is circumstantial. At different times of year and over the years I’ve had more or less time to focus on getting a particular story finished and a lot of the time is waiting till I’ve found the right publisher and the publisher feels like it’s the right time to release. Like I said before, patience is something I have to work on so I’m usually not a huge fan of those long waits, but they’re invariably worth it. If I had to give a discrete average figure, I would say three years.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Brett — Succession started as an outlet for the growing lore of the Lowlands in the Quest of Fire saga. There were so many things about Ord culture and history that had to be cut from The Gathering Dark. Some of the Ord histories were really compelling to me and gave significance to both elements throughout the books in the series. At the same time, I wanted to explore one character in particular from The Gathering Dark. For those who have read that book, Meredoch, of course, goes by a different name for most its events.

I’ve known parts of Meredoch’s backstory for years as I worked on book 1, but one scene really made me pause. In Chapter 15 of The Gathering Dark, Meredoch is riding through the woods singing a sorrowful song. At the time of writing that scene, the song was meant to give depth to another character’s suffering, but as I started to piece together what brought that song to Meredoch’s mind in that moment, Succession suddenly became much more than a character exercise or outlet for world-building and lore.

Forgiveness is at the core of Succession. It’s the fulcrum on which the pressures Meredoch endures will cause his rise or fall. I didn’t realize until I was getting caught up in its writing how hard Meredoch’s life had been and thus how hard that choice to forgive would be. Choosing it would mean letting go of bitterness that was mutually held. Those he hated wouldn’t stop hating him. Choosing to forgive in that way is really a reflection of Christ’s forgiveness and love. Once I saw that the story started to weave together for me.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Brett — I would feel really satisfied if at the end of each book readers felt moved. I hope my stories resonate deeply and for followers of Christ encourage them and renew the wonder and awe they have for the awesome God we belong to and serve. Life has a way of dulling our perception of Him. We see everything in a mirror darkly, as the Apostle Paul said, and I feel like Western culture does a good job of distracting us from the mirror altogether. My sincere prayer is that after reading the adventures of Quest of Fire, readers would catch the fiery and wondrous vision afresh and be encouraged to stand firmly in the faith. Entertaining and exciting readers is definitely a priority, but what I want most is to share a compelling story that readers can see themselves in and carry with them long after the last page.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Brett — Thank you for asking. I always appreciate the chance to share what’s ahead because that’s what I’m usually most excited about! Right now, I’m finishing the latest draft of a historical fiction novella set in 4th Century AD Rome about three men — a coward, a traitor, and a spy — caught up in a web of political intrigue that threatens to destroy the church in Rome during a time of persecution. It’s a story I’ve picked up and put down multiple times over the years and is really close to done.

I’m also working slowly but surely to have the next Quest of Fire novel, Shadows at Nightfall, ready for its release date in September of 2021. Some elements of the story have been with me for a long time and some are fresh so I’m super excited for sharing this one soon. Jason and Anargen are going to have to face darkness that is within them and literal manifestations of the darkness without particularly from a society of arcane assassins called the Sombra who can merge in and out of shadows at will. For those who enjoy The Gathering Dark and Succession it’s going to be tragic and sweeping and intense ride.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 3

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 4 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 7

By The Book, December 8 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 8

Texas Book-aholic, December 9

Artistic Nobody, December 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Stories By Gina, December 11

deb’s Book Review, December 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 12

Guild Master, December 13

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 14

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, bookmarks, and a magnet themed around Brett’s books!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10452/succession-celebration-tour-giveaway

Author, Author! — Linda Thompson

3 Dec

I was introduced to Linda Thompson‘s writing last year when I read The Plum Blooms in Winter. Wow, was I blown away by this excellent WWII-era novel that has two protagonists — a US airman and a Japanese young woman. Set in China and Japan during and after the war, the novel was moving and insightful. It is definitely a must-read. Linda’s sequel The Mulberry Leaf Whispers releases this month, and I cannot wait to read it! Linda joins us today to take us on her writing journey. Thanks, Linda!

By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Linda — I have always been a reader, and as a marketing professional in technology, I wrote a great deal — of technical literature. But my fiction writing journey has been a bit backwards as compared with many other authors I know. I didn’t decide to write, then go looking for the story. The story found me and begged me to write it! 

My husband, an avid military history buff, handed me a history book one day. He had it open to the true story that ultimately inspired my debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter. 

There needs to be a book about that. I knew that instantly. But there was a lot of time and prayer involved before I concluded the Lord was calling me to write that book. And honestly, I had no idea what would be involved! If I’d known, I’m not sure I would have ventured it.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Linda — My parents taught me to love reading, and to appreciate the magic and the beauty in the right words. My husband is a big reader and has been a wonderful supporter of my author journey. My kids are proud of me and have cheerfully put up with a certain degree of healthy neglect! But I’m sure I would have foundered if I hadn’t found a wonderful online fiction writing course, which led me to an awesome coach / mentor and a strong critique group. Writers really need each other! 

BTB — Why did you choose the historical fiction genre?

Linda — Easy enough — it’s what I’ve loved to read as long as I can remember. I’ve always relished a book that picked me up and carried me off to a world I couldn’t visit on my own. So my reading has always leaned toward either historical novels or fantasy. And when I started writing, I was more confident that I could research a compelling world than that I could invent one, so . . . historical won out over fantasy.

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Linda — I have the same story every published author does of stacks of rejections. You have to put your thick skin on for this journey. What pulled me through was believing that the Lord had called me on this path, and that the story He’d given me was worth telling. No matter how many rewrites it took to tell it well!

My biggest challenge right now is that I’m not a fast writer. I tend to really auger into the research because I want to get the details right, and I want to look at the issues from multiple perspectives to examine some of the real-world complexities of the history. I spent seven years writing my first novel, and three years writing my second. The expectation that authors will bring out a new novel each year, while simultaneously serving as their own marketing departments, graphic artists, and website admins has just about pulled me under!

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

Linda — Yes, lots of books. I often find myself ordering used books that are out of print, because the topics I need to explore can be pretty far off the beaten path! I have done some site visits and interviews as well. Those were very impactful.

I sure wish a research trip to Japan fit in my budget! I spent some time there in my corporate life but I haven’t visited the specific regions I write about. I would love to visit Kyushu, the island where a big portion of The Mulberry Leaf Whispers is set. It looks fascinating!

I’m sure Google is every historical author’s bread and butter today. You can find an incredible wealth of resources if you’re a determined “Google-ista.” For Mulberry, one of the most rewarding research experiences I had was when I worked on a scene set in 1948 Havana. With Google maps, you can virtually walk the streets of a place. And since, sadly, Havana hasn’t changed much since Castro, I was really able to use Google maps to put myself in the scene! Another place I’d love to visit! Now there’s an occupational hazard. 😊 

 BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Linda — I’ve always been an early riser, but my precise schedule varies based on the season. I’m a devoted afficionado of dawn and dusk, so I usually take some time for Bible study and prayer during the hour before sunrise. This time of year, I’m typically at my desk well before 5:30 a.m., with a break at dawn. 

I am a firm believer in the power of a nap!

My author-ing days are pretty long. Honestly, I worked hard in the corporate world, but I find I working even harder as an underpaid author!

BTB — How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

Linda — LOL. I haven’t arrived at a “usually” yet. At least I hope not — I hope three years isn’t going to be “my usual.”

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Linda — There is a key character in The Plum Blooms in Winter who goes dark for a number of years. So his “lost years” were crying to be explored, weren’t they? Also, I confess I was itching to try a “time slip” novel. The challenge of writing two stories, each compelling in their own right, that ultimately knit together in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts was something I felt eager to try my hand at. 

I’ve learned to expect God to show up when I’m writing. When I started The Mulberry Leaf Whispers, I didn’t know what would weave the two stories together. Three hundred years is a huge abyss of time to bridge! But just at the point where I was starting to despair as to whether my story concept would work, the Lord gave me the answer. That is the amazing aspect of writing for Him!

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

You may have noticed that I don’t write about light topics! Although I hope my books are entertaining, entertainment is not my ultimate goal. My goal is to portray a BIG God, at work in a BIG way, seeking and saving and redeeming even through the darkest circumstances imaginable. I want my readers to come away heartened that no matter how dark the times, evil doesn’t win.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

At this point, I’m not sure. My first two novels were set in the 1940s in Asia. I love the time period and I’m contemplating a new series set in the 1940s in Israel. But now that I have an understanding of how big an investment a novel is, I’m really waiting on the Lord to speak to me. The author’s life is definitely not a retirement!

 

Thanks, Linda, for sharing with my readers!

 

Linda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves — stories of unstoppable faith. Her debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, is an A.C.F.W. Genesis contest winner and a finalist for FOUR 2019 awards: a Carol Award, the Independent Book Award in two categories, and a Cascade Award. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, a third-generation airline pilot who doubles as her Chief Military Research Officer, two mostly-grown-up kids, and a small platoon of housecats. When Linda isn’t writing, you’ll find her rollerblading — yes, that does make her a throwback — taking in a majestic desert moonrise, or dreaming of an upcoming trip. She and her husband recently returned from tours of Israel, Jordan, and Wales.

 

The Plum Blooms in Winter

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge

In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission

Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal.

In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness. Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him — even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends — only to confront a decision that will change everything.

 

The Mulberry Leaf Whispers

1587. Bartered off in a peace agreement to the ancient enemies of her illustrious house, is Sono a war prize, a hostage, or a bride? One hope sustains her. If she can provide an heir to the dashing husband she just met, she’ll ensure decades of peace for the beloved family she was forced to leave behind. But when a dark secret threatens her desperate bid to purchase their security, she must rise to a battle she never dreamed she’d fight.

1942. Akira Matsuura’s naval vessel explodes under enemy fire. Everything he has lived for disappears in flames with it. His command, his crew, his future — all lost. Worse, his honor is eternally decimated. A prisoner’s life is of value to no one. Least of all to himself. But a stunning twist reveals his family’s secret shame. Can a long-buried truth provide the vital spark that reignites his will to live?

Thrill to two poignant journeys of courage, duty, and sacrifice, deftly woven through the centuries to inspire with dynamic faith that conquers despair.