Debut Series Observations

2014 Debut Christian Fiction

Before I share some of my observations from the 2014 Debut Christian Fiction series, I realized there’s one important novel I neglected to mention: my own!

Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. AndersonCHAIN OF MERCY released in April and has received very generous reviews so far. Readers have described it as “gripping” “a must read” “gritty” “awesome” “authentic” “not like other books” “mesmerizing” just to throw out a few adjectives. If you’ve read CHAIN OF MERCY, I’d be very grateful to you if you would put up a line or more on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites.

If you haven’t read it, then click right on over to Amazon | B&N | BAM | iTunes to order your copy!

CHAIN OF MERCY Description:

Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women, and he proudly lived that prodigal lifestyle, until one disastrous evening, when that world came crashing down.

Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves.

But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she’s after, but she soon discovers that he’s hiding more than the designer clothes in his closet.

Now for my observations:

Over this ten-post series I featured 45 debut novels. This is not an all-inclusive list of debut novelists in 2014. These are the authors / books I found surfing the net and via a shout out through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I’m certain there are many more.

Only 6 of the debut authors are male! That, to me, is one of the most telling statistics. Of those six, only one is published by a large press, two are with a small press, and three are published independently. As someone who really enjoys the male voice, this saddens me.

Covers – Just scrolling through all the covers, it’s often difficult to tell which books are published by royalty presses or which are published independently. Some of my favorite covers are on indie books.

Publisher Breakdown

  • 12 books were published by larger presses
  • 20 were published by small presses
  • 13 were published independently

Genre Breakdown – With the rise of small presses and indie publishing, we’re seeing greater diversity in the types of novels offered (yeah!), but it’s no surprise that romance categories far outweigh the others. What’s interesting is that there was only (1) Amish debut. Could it be that the Amish infatuation is finally ending?

  • 9 – Historical Romance
  • 7 – Contemporary Romance
  • 6 – Romantic Suspense
  • 5 – Speculative
  • 4 – Women’s Fiction
  • 3 – Suspense / Mystery
  • 3 – YA
  • 2 – Adventure / Thriller
  • 1 – Southern contemporary
  • 1 – Split time period
  • 1 – Biblical Fiction
  • 1 – Amish
  • 1 – Christmas novella
  • 1 – Non-Fiction (I’m certain there were more, but my focus was on fiction. This book managed to sneak onto my list.)

Large Press Genre Breakdown – looks like historical romance is still winning out

  • 3 – Historical Romance
  • 2 – Suspense
  • 1 – Romantic Suspense
  • 1 – Contemporary Romance
  • 1 – Southern contemporary
  • 1 – Split time period (1/2 historical, 1/2 contemporary)
  • 1 – Speculative
  • 1 – Amish
  • 1 – non-fiction

Have you observed anything else during this series? Which books have you added to your to-read list?

Due to the popularity of this series, coming in 2015, I will feature debut novels once per month. So if your debut work releases in 2015, I’d love to hear about it!

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Hashtag – #DebChristFic
Vote for your favorite 2014 Debut Christian Fiction at: Goodreads Debut Author List
2014 Debut Christian Fiction Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7Part 8 | Part 9

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 9

2014 Debut Christian FictionWhen I dreamed up this series several weeks ago, I never imagined I would need nine posts to complete. As it is, I could easily have stretched it out, but I think it’s time to move on. Now that I know what to expect from debut authors, I’ve decided to make this a once per month post, starting in January. Also, please come back next Tuesday, the 30th, as I’ll wrap up this series with a few statistics and observations.

Now, on to part 9. A number of these books have yet to come out, so I don’t have purchase links for them (but I will update once the links go live).

Also, I’ve got to admit I’m a bit biased toward a couple of the authors in this post as they’re good friends (Stephanie Prichard and Joseph Courtemanche). I’ve had the privilege of reading their unedited manuscripts and HIGHLY recommend their novels. Coming in November, I’ll have interviews with both authors–I know you’ll want to stop back!

StrandedSTRANDED
by Don and Stephanie Prichard
(Available November 2014)

All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants to give his dying wife is a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways. His search for food, water, and shelter proves more dangerous than he expected. But worse is one of the survivors, who badgers him to get them home at any cost.

Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake’s survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she’s responsible for his wife’s death.

ASSAULT ON SAINT AGNES
(Amazing cover coming soon!)
by Joseph Courtemanche
(Available November 2014)

When terrorists assault Saint Agnes Church, they expect to find a congregation of lambs: they get Bobby Kurtz instead. An unrepentant Cold Warrior, Kurtz put the terrorists down like the animals they are.

Against his will, Kurtz is pulled back into the life he left behind decades before. Bobby Kurtz reluctantly picks up the burden of hunting the terrorists in our midst, risking his life and his marriage in a single-minded pursuit of victory over evil.

Working with a shadowy government agency, Kurtz uses his experience, and guidance from God, to reveal the terrorists plan to plunge the Twin Cities back into the Stone Age. The final battle rages across the plains during a Christmas Eve blizzard in a story that will leave the reader pleading for more of Kurtz and his team of experts.

The Yuletide AngelTHE YULETIDE ANGEL
by Sandra Ardoin
Heritage Beacon / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
(Available October 2014)

It’s Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor.

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others.

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh’s estranged brother shows up in town … and in Violet’s company.

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

KeptKEPT
by Sally Bradley
Salena House Publishers

Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.

Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.

When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

Calculated RiskCALCULATED RISK
by Zoe McCarthy
(Available November 2014)

What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Whoever said opposites attract was right, of course…but no one ever said what they attract.

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

The Day She DiedTHE DAY SHE DIED
by Bill Garrison
Castle Gate Press
(Coming October 2014)

In this clean time-travel whodunit, a middle-aged coffee-shop owner always wondered what his life would have been like if he’d stayed in town the day his college fiancee disappeared, the victim of an unsolved crime.

One morning he wakes up 20 years earlier and finds himself a student at OU in Norman again on the day she died. In a journey that takes months, he stumbles over people connected to Kim’s disappearance and puzzles over connecting the dots. He plays on a baseball team, something he’d dropped out of the first time, and discovers what it’s like to be a Christian pastor.

Can he find some answers about Kim and about his own life? Or prevent Kim’s death? And if he succeeds in changing history, what happens to his beloved wife and kids?

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Tweet – #DebChristFic
Vote for your favorite 2014 Debut Christian Fiction at: Goodreads Debut Author List
2014 Debut Christian Fiction Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 8

2014 Debut Christian Fiction

Faith, Hope, Love, and Chocolate

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, AND CHOCOLATE
by Cari Schaeffer

Run, run, run…

Run away. That’s what Faith Strauss has done for twenty years. She was destroyed by one tragic event. An event so horrific, she didn’t share it with anyone, not even her husband. She buried it deep inside, where it can’t hurt anyone.

If God is good, then where was He? Why didn’t He stop it? How can she trust Him ever again?

Run, run, run…

She’s not good enough. Never has been. Never will be. She could lose it all again, if she’s not careful. She married, had children, and carved out a life for herself. But Fear is her ever-present companion, always reminding her never to reach too far, or too high.

Run, run, run…

God has another plan. A plan that she never saw, even though she has walked it her entire life. Will the unexpected exposure of her secret and the truth behind it restore her or destroy her all over again?

It’s time to stop running.

The Preacher's PromiseTHE PREACHER’S PROMISE
(Home to Milford College #1)
by Piper Huguley
Liliaceae Publishers

1866 – Oberlin, Ohio
Devastated by her father’s death days after her triumphant graduation from Oberlin College, Amanda Stewart is all alone in the world. Her father’s unscrupulous business partner offers her an indecent proposal to earn a living. Instead, to fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school to educate and uplift their race. Sorting through her father’s papers, she discovers he had carried on a mysterious correspondence with a plantation in Milford, Georgia. She determines to start her teaching work with the formerly enslaved. However, when she arrives, the mayor tells her to leave. There’s no where for her to go.

Virgil Smithson, Milford’s mayor, blacksmith and sometimes preacher man with a gift for fiery oratory, doesn’t want anything to do with a snobby schoolteacher from up North. On top of everything else, the schoolteacher lady has a will hard enough to match the iron he forges. He must organize his fellow formerly enslaved citizens into a new town and raise his young daughter alone. Still, his troubled past haunts him. He cannot forget the promise he made to his daughter’s mother as she died—that their child would learn to read and write. If only he didn’t have secrets that the new schoolteacher seems determined to uncover.

To keep THE PREACHER’S PROMISE, Amanda and Virgil must put aside their enmity, unite for the sake of a newly-created community in a troubling age, and do things they never imagined. In the aftermath of the flood that was the Civil War, God set his bow upon the earth to show love and understanding for humankind. To reflect God’s promise, these combatants must put aside their differences and come together–somehow.

Falling for the FarmerFALLING FOR THE FARMER
by Narelle Atkins
Love Inspired Heartsong Presents

And she’s incredibly grateful when Jack Bradley offers her a job on his apple farm. Working side by side in the orchards with her best friend’s brother seems like the perfect way to get over her disastrous engagement. Until Kate finds herself falling hard for the handsome farmer.

Jack Bradley knows city-girl Kate isn’t here to stay. Yet suddenly he’s imagining a life with her in the country. When Kate considers going back to the city, can Jack find a way to show her that her real home is here on the farm, by his side?

Betrayed HeartsBETRAYED HEARTS
(Rainbow Falls Trilogy #1)
by Susan Anne Mason
Pelican Ventures Book Group-White Rose Publishing

Lily Draper comes to Rainbow Falls in search of her biological sister, the only blood relative she has left. Emotionally scarred by her preacher father, Lily avoids religion at all cost. Her new landlord, an aspiring minister, soon has her questioning her views. Can she learn to trust Nick’s heart or will her sordid past destroy their love?

Nick Logan hopes to take over for the retiring minister who has groomed Nick for the job. But Reverend Ted seems to feel the position requires Nick to marry an upstanding woman, namely Ted’s niece. When Nick finds himself falling in love with Lily Draper, the woman least likely to become a minister’s wife, his problems escalate. And when Reverend Ted gives him an ultimatum, Nick faces an impossible choice.

Can he accept God’s will and still find a place for Lily in his life?

The Lady and the Mountain ManTHE LADY AND THE MOUNTAIN MAN
by Misty M. Beller

Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky younger sister.

When Gideon Bryant finds a city girl standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.

But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?

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Tweet – #DebChristFic
Vote for your favorite 2014 Debut Christian Fiction at: Goodreads Debut Author List
2014 Debut Christian Fiction Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 7

2014 Debut Christian FictionWhew. Six parts done, and three (counting today) yet to come!

What’s been especially fun during the past couple of weeks is meeting the new authors, seeing their excitement, and encouraging them on this new journey.

Thank you, readers, for joining and sticking with us through this series. I hope you continue to stop by, and please support the debut authors!

A Cry from the DustA CRY FROM THE DUST
(A Gwen Marcey Novel #1)
by Carrie Stuart Parks
Thomas Nelson

In the shadow of the Mormon church, a 19th-century conspiracy is about to be shattered by a 21st-century forensic artist.

In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women, and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day—but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims.

When renowned forensic artist Gwen Marcey is recruited to reconstruct the faces of recently unearthed victims at Mountain Meadows, she isn’t expecting more than an interesting gig . . . and a break from her own hectic life.

But when Gwen stumbles on the ritualized murder of a young college student, her work on the massacre takes on a terrifying new aspect, and research quickly becomes a race against modern-day fundamentalist terror.

As evidence of a cover-up mounts—a cover-up spanning the entire history of the Mormon church—Gwen finds herself in the crosshairs of a secret society bent on fulfilling prophecy and revenging old wrongs.

Can a forensic artist reconstruct two centuries of suppressed history . . . before it repeats itself?

The Land UnchartedTHE LAND UNCHARTED
by Keely Brooke Keith
Edenbrooke Press

Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land. Day and night, she rushes by horseback to treat the ill and injured, establishing a heroic reputation as the village’s new doctor.

Naval Aviator Connor Bradshaw is flying over the South Atlantic Ocean on a mission to secure any remaining sources of fresh water in a 2025 world torn apart by war. A malfunction activates his aircraft’s ejection system, parachuting his unconscious body to the shore of a hidden land.

Lydia risks her safety to help the injured outsider despite the shock of his mysterious arrival and the disastrous implications his presence could have for her peaceful society, which has gone undetected for seven generations.

Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, but his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland. And while Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated, it also pushes an unwanted admirer to stage a dangerous attempt to win her affection.

As Connor tries to keep the Land off the radar, he learns the biggest threat to Lydia lurks in her village. But when Lydia’s greatest passion and darkest fear collide, will she look to the past or the future to find the strength to survive?

Swept AwaySWEPT AWAY
(Quilts of Love series)
by Cindy Loven (Cindy’s debut)
& Laura V. Hilton
Abingdon Press

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

The Lady FugitiveTHE LADY FUGITIVE
by Ada Brownell
Elk Lake Publishing

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?

Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her.

Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.

Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

Worth the WaitWORTH THE WAIT
(Waltham Academy #1)
by Laura Jackson
Hope Springs Books

Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn’t get it. She always does the right thing – doesn’t God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.

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Tweet – #DebChristFic
Vote for your favorite 2014 Debut Christian Fiction at: Goodreads Debut Author List
2014 Debut Christian Fiction Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 | Part 6

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 6

2014 Debut Christian FictionMy list of debut fiction just seems to keep growing. Initial plans had been to run a short series with three, maybe four books per day. Then that series grew into a month, and the number of books featured rose to five. Now I’ve discovered another new author, so today’s post will spotlight six books. And I know I’ve missed authors / books too.

I encourage you to stop by every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of September, and please support these new authors!

Seeking SophieSEEKING SOPHIE
by Melody Balthaser
CrossRiver Media

In 1858 New England, orphaned, indentured servant Sophie Stalz stabs her master to protect herself from rape. Now she must rely on her brother and his friends to protect her. Escaping through the Underground Railroad, Sophie finds herself stranded on an island in the hands of a stranger.

Surrounded by the sea and occupied with the duties of a lighthouse keeper, Jackson Scott just wants to be left alone with his memories. His fortress is about to crumble when his friend deposits Sophie on his doorstep. An old debt needs to be paid and the cost is dear.

As her master is Seeking Sophie, will Sophie and Jackson find a life together free from their past?

Beyond I DoBEYOND I DO
by Jennifer Slattery
New Hope Publishers

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

A Most Precious GiftA MOST PRECIOUS GIFT
by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock
Mantle Rock Publishing

Dinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on the Natchez town estate of Riverwood. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields as was her mother before her. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free man of color to whom she’s attracted, her fear of the fields becomes secondary.

A gifted cabinetmaker, Jonathan Mayfield’s heart is set on finally becoming a respected businessman by outfitting a bedroom at the palatial Riverwood—until a beautiful new slave destroys his proof of freedom and his fragile confidence along with it.

When the mistress of Riverwood orders Dinah to work alongside the sullen Mr. Mayfield, sparks fly setting the two on a collision course. Is their mutual love for God strong enough to overcome deep-seated insecurities and set the couple on a path toward self-acceptance and love for each other?

Works of DarknessWORKS OF DARKNESS
by V.B. Tenery
CBC Press

Some secrets just won’t stay buried.

A construction site provides a horrific discovery when a worker uncovers the skeleton of a small child wrapped in a sleeping bag. Police Chief Matt Foley soon links the murder to another cold case, the hit-and-run death of Attorney Josh Bradford.

The long suppressed memory of the young victim’s childhood friend, Sara Bradford, may hold the key to both crimes. But Matt has mixed emotions about Sara—his prime suspect in her husband’s murder.

Matt soon discovers the twenty-five year old mystery has the power to stretch across decades to kill again.

The SourceTHE SOURCE
by T.E. George
Heritage Press Publications

An FBI agent’s obsession with his late father’s secret sets him on a collision course with a past he has carefully avoided, shadowy enemies he never suspected, and a most unlikely friendship with an autistic man who sees reality in ways no one else can. Will Jackson Barrett’s determination to unlock secrets his father took to the grave save or ultimately destroy one he only knows as — The Source?

Seek and HideSEEK AND HIDE
by Amanda G. Stevens
David C. Cook

Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment—including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent.

Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she’s targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she’d never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help.

When Aubrey and Marcus’s lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus’s life in a way he’d never expect, turning a loner into a leader.

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Goodreads Debut Author List
2014 Debut Christian Fiction Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Novel Anticipation – September 2014

September brings a treasure chest full of new books to read! With four of my favorite authors releasing new books, I might just have to cozy up in my recliner and hang a Do Not Disturb sign around my neck for the next week.

What books are you looking forward to reading?

Love's FortuneLOVE’S FORTUNE
(The Ballantyne Legacy #3)
by Laura Frantz
Revell

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas’s vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world–filled with family members she’s never met, dances she’s never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes’ shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a QueenTHE LEGEND OF SHEBA: RISE OF A QUEEN
by Tosca Lee
Howard Books

In the tenth century BCE, on the eve of her father’s death, the new Queen of Sheba, Makeda, has inherited the throne and all his riches. Makeda’s realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But growing tension with Egypt threatens her trade routes by way of the Red Sea. The queen has heard tales of Solomon for some time. Concerned about alliance with Egypt, Makeda decides to travel north to cement her own alliance with Israel’s king. As she and Solomon spend days testing one another, Solomon becomes tortured by his love for her. He submits to love her and is willing to give her anything she asks of him-as a king or as a man.

A Life InterceptedA LIFE INTERCEPTED
by Charles Martin
Center Street

Twelve years ago Matthew “the Rocket” Rising had it all. Married to his high school sweetheart and one of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of college football, he was the number one NFL draft pick. But on the night of the draft, he plummeted from the pinnacle of esteem. Falsely accused of a heinous crime with irrefutable evidence, it seemed in an instant all was lost–his reputation, his career, his freedom, and most devastatingly, the love of his life.

Having served his sentence and never played a down of professional football, Matthew leaves prison with one goal–to find his wife, Audrey, whom no one has seen since the trial. He returns to an unwelcoming reception from his Gardi, Georgia, hometown to learn that Audrey has taken shelter from the media with the nuns at a Catholic school. There she has discovered a young man with the talent to achieve the football career Matthew should have had. All he needs is the right coach. Although helping the boy means Matthew violates the conditions of his release and–if discovered–reincarceration for life, he’ll take the chance with hope of winning back Audrey’s love.

Driftwood TidesDRIFTWOOD TIDES
by Gina Holmes
Tyndale House

When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father, the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 5

2014 Debut Christian FictionWelcome to the 3rd week of spotlighting debut Christian fiction. I hope you’ve added new stories and new favorite authors to your must read lists, and below you’ll discover five more books you’ll want to pick up.

On Thursday the 11th, I’m taking a brief break from the debut novel series as I’ll focus on new releases by four veteran authors, all of whom are in my Top 10 of favorite novelists. But next Tuesday the 16th, I’ll be spotlighting debut authors once again.

Chapel Springs RevivalCHAPEL SPRINGS REVIVAL
by Ane Mulligan
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It’s impossible not to, what with Claire’s zany antics and Patsy’s self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.

With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

Red GoldRED GOLD
by Sandy Nadeau
Harborlight Books / Pelican Ventures Book Group

Mandy Phillips loves life with her husband running an adventure ranch in the Colorado mountains, but when Mr. Shonee, their crotchety old neighbor, tries to stop them from building a kid-size old west town their dreams of expansion are crushed.

Is Shonee just being a difficult neighbor, or is something more sinister going on? A discovery on the property of Colorado’s state mineral leads to more mysteries for the ranch, and then a teenage guest finds herself thrust head first into danger.

Mandy will have to rescue her, but who will rescue Mandy? Her faith in God is her only source to keep the guests safe, solve the mysteries surrounding her ranch, save her neighbor from himself, and discover the secrets of the Red Gold.

Bird FaceBIRD FACE
by Cynthia T. Toney
SharksFinn Books

Almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy doesn’t care one bit about being popular like her classmates Tookie and the Sticks. That is, until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend, Jennifer, is hiding something and pulling away. But the Spring Program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer after eighth grade, will Jennifer still be around to support her at the start of high school in the fall?

Sovereign GroundSOVEREIGN GROUND
(Breaking Bonds #1)
by Hilarey Johnson

A teenage stripper, hunted by a copy, discovers the only escape is the one who cursed her.

It isn’t like I dreamed I’d take off my clothes for money when I grew up, but life doesn’t always happen the way you want.

I was desperate when I walked into the Wild Lily. When I left, it was more than just a hundred dollars I’d gained. I had hope.

But every time I think I’m in control—I’m not. Every time I think I have a friend—I don’t. And now, the footsteps behind me are getting louder.

BaitBAIT
(A Denver FBI novel #1)
by Lisa Phillips

Special Agent Liam Conners is the only witness to his neighbor’s abduction: the Chloroform Killer has struck again. But when his neighbor, Andrea James, returns from a business trip, they realize the killer’s mistake—her sister has been abducted in her place. Now the killer is coming for Andrea, and Liam and his partner are the only ones standing in the way. Can they catch the killer and protect the target? BAIT FBI Special Agent Caisey Lyons is going undercover. To get abducted. But when the killer evades capture, an injured Caisey takes some much needed time off. In the small town of Buckshot, CO, she runs straight into a homicidal sheriff…and an old flame. Gabe Carlen has been hiding from his uncle for seventeen years. Caisey might be the one woman he’s never forgotten, but she’s also brought his uncle right to his doorstep—and revenge is sure to follow. While the Chloroform Killer’s obsession for Caisey grows, she must repair the rift in her family and figure out if a future with Gabe is possible. Only by trusting God with their safety can she let go long enough to save herself.

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Tweet – #DebChristFic

Debuts Part 1 – >here<

Debuts Part 2 – >here<

Debuts Part 3 – >here<

Debuts Part 4 – >here<

Goodreads Debut CF List >here<

 

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 4

2014 Debut Christian FictionWelcome back! I hope you’ve taken a few moments to check out the debut novels from parts 1 – 3. There are a lot of unique stories told with fresh voices. Please give them a try.

Now today, I’m veering off my formula just a tad as I’m welcoming a debut author, but her debut is non-fiction told in story form, so I made an exception.

Also, due to the tremendous response I’ve received, I’ll be spotlighting up to 5 books per day instead of 4.

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Shifting GearsSHIFTING GEARS
by Sarah Kohnle
Astraea Fiction

A cross-country bicycle trip is the last thing on Meg Albertson’s mind as she struggles to get through the first Christmas after her husband’s death. But Robert, her husband, attempts to control her even from the grave. On DVD, he dictates a plan to liberate his ashes and reunite Meg and her estranged son Josh. If they do accept the extraordinary challenge, can Meg and Josh survive a summer of togetherness without killing each other?

Rocky Mountain DreamsROCKY MOUNTAIN DREAMS
by Danica Favorite
Love Inspired Historical

His Surprise Sister

The last thing Joseph Stone expects to discover upon arriving in Leadville, Colorado, is a newfound little sister. Hoping to find his late father’s silver mine and hopefully keep his siblings back home out of an orphanage, Joseph needs an ally. The preacher’s lovely daughter agrees to care for the little girl. She’s just not as willing to trust the prospector….

Annabelle Lassiter has seen what men do in pursuit of riches. Yet for all the hardship he’s known, Joseph still shows tenderness and warmth. Annabelle’s plan has long been to leave Leadville far behind. But Joseph’s quest for silver could cost them a more precious dream—one of family, love and new beginnings….

The Last PagesTHE LAST PAGES
(Chapters in Time #1)
by Lara Whatley
Winslet Press

When Kale meets Leon, who insists that she must join him for her safety or die, she embarks on a journey that changes her life forever.

Kale led a simple life with her mother in a small 18th century town. That changed when a runaway, Leon, forced her into joining him. Soldiers want Leon for treason. Now they want Kale too. She thinks it’s because she is with Leon, but he knows better.

Leon and Kale journey across untamed lands in the quest to prove he is innocent. There they find out the truth about their pasts; a truth that should not have seen the light. It is truth, which may send the nearby kingdoms into war. They must try to keep each other alive, stop war from ravaging the land, and undo the mistakes they have made before it is too late.

A Stranger on My LandA STRANGER ON MY LAND
(Civil War Romance #1)
by Sandra Merville Hart
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find a wounded soldier on their land after a battle which later became known as “The Battle Above the Clouds.” Adam, a Union soldier, has been shot twice in the arm. Though Carrie is reluctant to take Adam to their cave where her family hides their livestock from both armies, she cannot turn her back on him.

But her Aunt Lavinia, bitter over what Yankees have done to their land, urges Carrie to allow Adam to die. Carrie refuses, but cannot remove the bullets. Adam’s friendship with Jay softens her heart toward him. It’s not long until his gratitude and teasing manner spark a friendship between the young couple. Even though Carrie’s father fights for the Confederacy in far-off Virginia, her feelings for the handsome young soldier begin to blossom into love.

When Adam’s condition worsens, Carrie knows a Union surgeon is needed to save his life. How can she accomplish this and keep her family’s hiding place a secret?

And the one non-fiction title

Surviving HenrySURVIVING HENRY
by Erin Taylor Young
Revell

You don’t always know what you’re getting into when you bring home a puppy. Enter Henry, a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did that God would send this dog to derail her life.

Through his laugh-out-loud antics and escapades, Henry will steal readers’ hearts. Anyone who has ever owned a dog, especially a canine catastrophe like Henry, will enjoy this lighthearted book about a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.

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Tweet – #DebChristFic

Debuts Part 1 – >here<

Debuts Part 2 – >here<

Debuts Part 3 – >here<

Goodreads Debut CF List >here<

 

2014 Debut Christian Fiction, Part 3

2014 Debut Christian Fiction

Four more diverse debuts!

To Die OnceTO DIE ONCE
(Child of Grace #1)
by Miranda A. Uyeh

Two men, one woman, a rosebush!

Jennifer, a woman unexpectedly trapped in a path of love and passion against everything she believes. Rodrigo, a man set to get what he wants at the cost of what matters most. Stefano, a man with a past, a story to tell and passion to offer. Chidi, a friend in need, a friend indeed. Or not?

From a culture where good girls follow the norm and live as they’ve been told, Jennifer is no different from any other girl until by happenstance, she meets and falls in love with Rodrigo, a man who’s handsome, rich and foreign. Different. She has no idea who he is or what he does, and is swept into a world of romance and passion. It is not long before she discovers a shocking truth that shakes both her world and his. Then he is gone.

Stefano shows up at a time when Jennifer has made up her mind about the rules of life. He thinks she’s beautiful and is in love with her. In a bid to convince her to give him a chance in her life, old memories once buried are brought to life. And the events that follow don’t leave anyone unaffected by the truth of the past that was left unsettled.

Meanwhile, Jennifer with her friend Chidi, find themselves on a self-discovery journey that has one of them raising questions. Some just have to ask …

Where is God in all this?

Chasing the LionCHASING THE LION
by Nancy Kimball

From the blood-soaked sand of the Roman arena, a divine destiny will rise

For as long as Jonathan Tarquinius can remember, everyone has wanted something from him.

His half brother wants him dead. His master’s wife wants his innocence. The gladiator dealers want him to fight—and die—for their greed. Rome’s most famous prostitute wants his love. And the gentle slave girl who tends the wounds on his body and the hidden ones on his soul longs for him to return to his faith.

What Jonathan wants is simple. Freedom.

But God wants something from Jonathan too—something more than anyone would ever imagine. The young warrior’s journey will push him to the limits of human endurance and teach him that true freedom is found within. The greatest battle Jonathan must ever fight will not come in the arena, but deep within himself as he is forced to choose between vengeance and mercy—with the fate of an empire and the life of the woman he loves hanging in the balance.

The Resurrection of Rey PescadorTHE RESURRECTION OF REY PESCADOR
by Alfred Cedeno
Winslet Press

You are invited to a world where everyone has a mechanical heart.

That is, everyone except Rey Pescador. You want to know him. You can’t help it. And it’s not just his beating heart that lures you into his story, it¹s the depths and heights of his journey that draw you into the tales of this legendary figure. He’s incredible. He’s Rey Pescador. He’s boxed heavyweights. He’s freestyled in front of stadiums. He’s fought robots, but, for years, Rey Pescador’s greatest adventure remained a mystery.

Until now.

In this genre shattering novel, David Rosario—reluctant priest and cousin of Rey—finally confronts his absurd past. Follow his journey as he unravels the life of Rey Pescador while plunging into his own fears, dreams, and insecurities.

David’s one-sided feud with Rey humorously catapults this adventure across continents and worlds as David slowly reveals his deep love for the mysterious Rebecca in a series of tall tales and love letters that will leave you laughing, pondering the state of your own heart, and considering the profound meaning of a life well-lived.

Crooked LinesCROOKED LINES
by Holly Michael

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace.

Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.

Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed.

Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth.

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Tweet – #DebChristFic

Debuts Part 1 – >here<

Debuts Part 2 – >here<

Goodreads Debut CF List >here<