Congratulations, Carol Award Finalists!

Carol AwardCongratulations to all the Carol Award Finalists! For those of you unfamiliar with this award, it’s given by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in recognition of the best Christian fiction published during the previous calendar year. As a Christian fiction author, this is one of the most highly coveted awards out there.

I’m especially excited for friends Erica Vetsch (who swept the Novella category with three finals!) and Elizabeth Goddard who’s a finalist in the Romantic Suspense category.

Another author to note is Robin Patchen, a finalist in the mystery/suspense/thriller category with Finding Amanda. What makes her stand out is that she’s a Qualified Independent Author (QIP). In other words, her novel in independently published. To see Finding Amanda make the final’s list is definitely a boost for all indie-published authors in Christian fiction. This book has now moved to the top of my must-read list.

The winners will be announced on August 27 at the ACFW Awards Gala in Nashville, TN.

Congratulations to all the 2016 Carol Award Finalists!

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editors David Long, Charlene Patterson
The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert, Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House), editors Shannon Marchese, Lissa Halls-Johnson
As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti, Abingdon Press, editors Ramona Richards, Jamie Chavez

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editors Beth Adams, Jenny Baumgartner
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke, Tyndale House, editors Stephanie Broene, Sarah Riche
Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund, Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House), editor Shannon Marchese

Historical Romance:
Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Vicki Crumpton
A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House (Baker ) Publishing, editors Dave Long, Charlene Patterson

The Aleppo Code by Terry Brennan, Kregel Publications, editors Dawn Anderson, Jannelle Tromp
Blessings in Disguise by Nancy Mehl, Guideposts Publications, editors Susan Downs, JoAnne Simmons
Finding Amanda by Robin Patchen, ACFW QIP (Independently Published), editor Holly Lorincz

A Bride for Bear from The Convenient Bride Collection by Erica Vetsch, Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany
A Palace on the Plains from The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection by Erica Vetsch, Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany
The Archaeologist’s Find from The Homestead Brides Collection by Erica Vetsch, Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany

The Beekeeper’s Son by Kelly Irvin, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds
Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor David Long
Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt, Howard (Simon & Schuster), editors Jessica Wong, Beth Adams

Romantic Suspense:
No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering
Submerged by Elizabeth Goddard, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Elizabeth Mazer
Miracle Drug by Richard L. Mabry, M.D., Abingdon Press, editor Ramona Richards

Short Novel:
Covert Justice by Lynn Huggins Blackburn, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Elizabeth Mazer
The Christmas Family by Linda Goodnight, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Allison Lyons
The Doctor’s Second Chance by Missy Tippens, Love Inspired (Harlequin), editor Emily Rodmell

Vinnie’s Diner by Jennifer AlLee, Abingdon Press, editors Ramona Richards, Katherine Johnson
Heir of Hope by Morgan L. Busse, Enclave Publishing, editor Karen Ball
The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Amanda Bostic, Erin Healy

Young Adult:
Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan, Vinspire Publishing, editor Jessica Damien
The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Becky Monds
Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, editor Karen Schurrer

The Thornbearer by Pepper Basham, Vinspire Publishing, editor Jessica Damien
The Calling of Ella McFarland by Linda Brooks Davis, Mountainview Books LLC, editor Carol Kurtz Darlington
The First Principle by Marissa Shrock, Kregel Publications, editor Dawn Anderson


Help Wanted – Book Boosters

Support Your Favorite AuthorWith my next book, Risking Love – a Where the Heart Is romance, set to release in October, and the pre-order to go live the first part of July, I’m looking for a few readers who’d love to join my Book Boosters. What are Book Boosters you ask? They’re a team of people who help spread the word and create buzz about my books. See below to learn what being on this team would entail.

Book Booster Benefits

  • Receive a mobi (Kindle) or epub (Nook) file of the book prior to release
  • You’ll receive free bookmarks and/or promotional items to share with friends… church…library…coffeeshops…wherever you can think of spreading the word
  • Contests among members only, to win paperback books and other prizes
  • You’re the first to know of upcoming plans and to see book covers

Book Booster Requirements

  • Subscribe to my blog: click >here<
  • Sign up for my e-newsletter >here<.
  • Leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads within two weeks of the release date of the novel. Reviews are also welcome at Barnes and Noble and/or your blog or other reader venues.
  • Like Brenda S Anderson Author on Facebook:
  • Talk about the book! Tell your Facebook and Twitter followers. Talk it up to your best friends and neighbors and fellow churchgoers and co-workers and the person you pass on the street and … well, you get the idea!

Other Street Team Suggestions

Ready to Join?

After you’ve signed up for my e-newsletter and subscribed to my blog, e-mail me at Brenda (at) BrendaAndersonBooks (dot) com. In your e-mail, let me know why you’d like to join my Book Boosters and what else you will do (or have done) to spread the word, and I will consider you. Also, I’d love to know how you heard of me! You’ll receive a response within 24 hours.

You will also be added to a private Facebook Book Booster page where I will share updates, promotional ideas, and contests.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Summer Bucket List

Bucket ListFive activities on my summer bucket list, in no particular order:

  1. See a movie at a drive-in theater
  2. Take in a few Minnesota Twins baseball games (in spite of how absolutely awful they’re playing this year!)
  3. Go to Orchestra Hall with my daughter to hear Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana sing Broadway tunes (
  4. Minnehaha FallsHike around Minnehaha Park, home of Minnehaha Falls.
  5. Relax by Lake Superior, my favorite place!

What activities are on your summer bucket list?



Chain of Mercy Updates + Sale + Giveaway!

100 ReviewsChain of Mercy, my debut release, is closing in on 100 Amazon reviews. As of this posting, it has 91 reviews, and all but a couple are very positive. Yes, I’m pleased that so many like this book, and I’m relieved that it’s not a stinker in the eyes of most readers.

With 100 reviews on my radar, I’ve decided that once I reach that level, I’ll celebrate with a giveaway. Not just a single book giveaway, but a Kindle-with-all-my-books-plus-a-few-others giveaway. So stay tuned. If you haven’t already reviewed Chain of Mercy or any of my other books, I’d be very grateful if you did.

Chain of Mercy Sale

If you haven’t yet read Chain of Mercy, I’m having a $1 off sale for the Kindle version (click >here<. The ebook usually sells for $3.99, but right now you can download it for only $2.99. This price is temporary, so get the book while you can, and please tell others!

And finally, I’m taking part in a Kindle Fire Giveaway (or $50 cash) at Spirit Filled eBooks (Spirit Filled eBooks giveaway post). Enter to win below:

7″ Kindle Fire or $50 Cash Giveaway

Getting to Know Nicole Petrino-Salter + Giveaway!

Congratulations to Gayle,
Winner of Sweet Release!

*** Book Giveaway ***
See Contest Rules Below

Nicole Petrino-SalterI had the pleasure of *meeting* Nicole Petrino-Salter a handful of years ago via her blog, Into the Fire. I was immediately drawn to her honesty and openness when talking about the state of Christian fiction, and quite often, we share the same opinion. Since then she’s become a sounding board and a prayer warrior and best of all, a very dear friend.

Nicole has just released a new romance, Sweet Release, so I’m thrilled to welcome Nicole back to tell us a little about herself and the new story.

Sweet ReleaseFirst, here’s the back cover blurb for Sweet Release (and isn’t that cover just gorgeous!):

Love is just a four letter word until its true revelation hits hard in the hearts of six people who have yet to experience it in its purest form. The journey these individuals make to realize the origin and reality of genuine love is both gut-wrenching and rapturous, searching to find the sweet release to love freely. A film critic, an architectural designer, a rape victim, a computer wizard, a lonely divorcée, and a longtime bachelor pastor discover love is far more powerful than anything they’ve experienced in their pasts.

Nicole, thank you for stopping by today! And congratulations on your fantastic new release! So excited for you!!! What do you hope your readers take away from the story?

In the Foreword for Sweet Release I give a warning to readers stating this particular story is definitely Christian Fiction and heavy on romance. I’m not pulling any punches with this one. If a reader doesn’t like stories about the journey to and in faith, this is probably not the book for them. Six characters in this book have either had bad experiences with love, have never known love, and/or wonder if they will ever experience it the way it was “meant to be” if such an ideal even exists. One of my hopes for readers of this story is that they will be able to feel what one – or all of – these individuals experience physically, emotionally, and spiritually as they seek the road to romance and love.   

What are you working on right now?

At this time I have three novels in various stages of progress, but they’ve been this way for a long time. I trust the Lord will redirect me to them anytime, and I’m praying He will restore me to their completion. He once said to me during the long endeavor to write my first novel, a huge tome that took years to finish, “If you pick up the pen, I’ll give you the words.” I put it on my business card, and I’ve never forgotten it. At the time, I wrote that 700+ page novel in longhand, thus “the pen”. Now I need to do my part to get back to the keyboard and allow Him to fulfill His words to me.  

What keeps you writing during the difficult times?

I wish I could give you a genuine answer/solution to this question. I’m not the most disciplined writer at any time, let alone during difficult times. I’m exceptionally emotional and difficult times tend to crush me where creativity is required. Honestly, it’s like a I lose all confidence and am stunted until they pass. I do find that afterward the restoration taps into a deep expressive part of me, and I can usually translate that into writing again.

About Nicole ~

Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. After spending over 30 years in Thoroughbred horse racing, she wrote her first novel Hope of Glory about racing and life on the track. Since then she has written several books. Nicole lives just south of Seattle, Washington, and is devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, her family, friends, pets, and writing novels for His glory. You can find her most days at

Nicole writes Love Stories and Romance.

Get in touch with Nicole ~

Website | Twitter

Purchase Sweet Release ~


Other books by Nicole Petrino-Salter ~


Sweet Release*** Book Giveaway ***
Nicole has graciously offered to give away one ebook copy of Sweet Release to one commenter who answers this question:

Why do you read romance novels that don’t adhere to the “squeaky clean” mantra of most Christian romance?

This contest ends Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 11:59 pm CST. I will post the winner on Monday, May 30, 2016. Winner will be chosen via

New Book Release Schedule!

ScheduleBack on March 8, 2016 I posted a tentative book release schedule. A mere two months later, that schedule has changed drastically, so here’s the new *tentative* schedule:

October 4, 2016 – Risking Love (Where the Heart Is book #1) – As I will likely–hopefully–soon be recognized as a Qualified Independent Publisher, I’m moving Risking Love‘s release up by four months. Releasing this novel in 2016 means I’ll be able to enter it in some of the big Christian fiction literary contests in 2017. Look for the cover reveal the first part of July (I’ve seen it already, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! George at Think Cap Design Studio created another masterpiece!)

February 6, 2017 – Capturing Beauty (Where the Heart Is book #2) – I’ve got to have one book come out in time for Valentine’s Day, right?

May 2017 – Planting Hope (Where the Heart Is book #3) – This is a very tentative date as I’ve got most of the book to write yet, but it’s my goal.

As for the Coming Home Series novella’s, they’re still a work-in-progress and will release as they are completed.

Just Breathe …

Just Breathe

“Be still and know that I am God…”
Psalm 46:10

Here’s a song most of us can identify with in our chaotic lives, in this crazy-busy society. Take time to rest at Jesus’ feet and just breathe.

Breathe by Jonny Diaz

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be DoneOne of the biggest questions people ask God is “Why?” Why am I going through this? If you’re such a good God, why am hurting? Confused? Broken?

Much or most of the time, the answer isn’t ours to know, rather we’re to trust and give, whatever the situation is, over to Him and surrender. His will be done, not mine. The song below says much better than I can.

Thy Will” by Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

Spring 2016 – Novel Anticipation

I can’t think of much better than sitting outside in the spring sunshine with a book in hand, can you? (Assuming spring gets here!) Here are a few titles that would be perfect for that anticipated sunshiny day.

Her One and OnlyHER ONE AND ONLY
(Porter Family Series)
by Becky Wade

Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he’s indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?

But Dru’s a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She’s also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray’s stalker. And she’s just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts–and their lives–to one another?


Silence in the DarkSILENCE IN THE DARK
(Logan Point Series #4)
by Patricia Bradley

Two years ago, Bailey Adams broke off her engagement to Danny Maxwell and fled Logan Point for the mission field in Chihuahua, Mexico. Now she’s about to return home to the States, but there’s just one problem. After Bailey meets with the uncle of one of the mission children in the city, she barely escapes a sudden danger. Now she’s on the run–she just doesn’t know from whom. To make matters worse, people who help her along the way find themselves in danger too–including Danny. Who is after her? Will they ever let up? And in the midst of the chaos, can Bailey keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?

Song of SilenceSONG OF SILENCE
by Cynthia Ruchti

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

Close to YouCLOSE TO YOU
by Kara Isaac

A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

by Jennifer Slattery

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife Alice Goddard appears to have it all. But when her credit and debit cards are denied, she begins an investigation into the family’s finances—and discovers her husband trapped in a downward spiral of lies. Can they break free from his deception in time to save their marriage?