Saturday, March 27, 2010

ACFW April New Releases Rock!

April has brought an exciting list of new releases by ACFW authors. Take a look. There's something for everyone's taste from romance, to sci fi, to historicals to mystery thrillers. Woo Hoo! Each month it seems to get better and better!

1. A Promise Forged, Heartsong Presents Historical Ohio Series by Cara C. Putman An historical from Heartsong Presents. A player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League finds challenges and love as she travels with her team.

2. Abbie Ann; Daughters of Jacob Kane, 3rd & final installment. by Sharlene MacLaren An historical romance from Whitaker House. Abbie Ann, president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1907, butts heads with a handsome divorcee, blindsided when she realizes her utter attraction to him.

3. Blood Ransom; Mission Hope Series, Book 1 by Lisa Harris A suspense/mystery/thriller from from Zondervan. A thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.

4. Calculated Revenge by Jill Elizabeth Nelson A suspense/mystery/thriller from Steeple Hill. When a teacher finds on the playground a backpack belonging to her long-ago abducted sister, she turns to the principal, an ex-private detective, to stop a child-killer from targeting her daughter.

5. Chesapeake Weddings by Cecelia Dowdy A romance from Barbour. Life sends three African American women into a tailspin; Can these women let God rebuild their tattered hopes when new romances unexpectedly enter their lives?

6. Code Blue by Richard L. Mabry M.D. A suspense/mystery/thriller from Abingdon. A doctor finds that returning to her home town has put her in the midst of conflict and possibly marked her for death

7. Crossroads Bay by Kathleen Kovach A romance from Heartsong Presents. A beautiful charter boat captain searches for lost treasure while her real prize is the caterer trying to keep up with her.

8. Damages by Deborah Kinnard A romance from Desert Breeze. A story of second chances, found in an unexpected place.

9. In Plain Sight by Michelle Sutton A suspense/mystery/thriller from Desert Breeze. Abused by her gypsy ex-boyfriend and left for dead, Jovana moves to America seeking a new life; two handsome men desire her heart, but she must choose the right one or end up in a situation much worse than before.

10. Lorenzo and the Pirate by Rick and Lila Guzman An historical from Blooming Tree Press. Will Lorenzo Bannister, marooned on a deserted island with two pirates, ever get home to New Orleans?

11. Love Lessons by Margaret Daley A romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Alexa Michaels brings a breath of fresh air into Ian Ferguson's and his daughter's life, but is it enough to make Ian trust in love again?

12. Lucky Baby by Meredith Efken A women's fiction from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Will adopting an orphan from China bring Meg and Lewis the happiness they long for?

13. Mountain Peril by Sandra Robbins A suspense/mystery/thriller from Steeple Hill, Love Inspired Suspense. A woman discovers violence has once again entered her life when a grisly website sets the stage for murder and terror on a peaceful college campus.

14. Queen of Hearts by K. Dawn Byrd A suspense/mystery/thriller from Desert Breeze. Daphne Dean never knew that serving her country as a spy during WWII would send her into hiding in an abandoned mental institution with secrets of its own.

15. Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson A suspense/mystery/thriller from Kregal. As Camden Bristow works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored on Crescent Hill, she discovers a deep family secret hidden within the mansion's walls that could change her life˜and the entire town˜forever.

16. Rodeo Sweetheart by Betsy St.Amant A romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. She grew up with a cowboy hat and a pony; he grew up with designer duds and a silver spoon. Will this mismatched couple ever be able to lasso their differences?

17. Rooms by Jim Rubart A suspense/mystery/thriller from B&H Fiction. A young Seattle software tycoon inherits a home on the Oregon coast that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.

18. Scenarios for Girls, Book 3 by Nicole O'Dell General fiction from Barbour. Molly Jacobs isn't sure what she should do: Should she follow through with stealing some clothes for her friends from Magna the trendy girls clothing store where she works? Or should she do what she knows is right, even if it means losing her newfound popularity? Scenarios for Girls are interactive books that allow the reader to choose between alternate endings to make important, moral decisions for the main characters.

19. Scenarios for Girls, Book 4 by Nicole O'Dell General fiction from Barbour. Kate Walker joins the swim team and becomes obsessed with practice and making it through the championships with flying colors. What will Kate do when she's faced with pressure from her teammates to take an illegal substance that will help her swim multiple events in their championship meet? Scenarios for Girls are interactive books that allow the reader to choose between alternate endings to make important, moral decisions for the main characters.

20. Seasons in the Mist; Seasons of Destiny Book 1 by Deborah Kinnard A romance from Sheaf House. An eager historian, a time portal, and intrigue in King Edward III's court.

21. She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell An historical from Bethany House. As Clara Carter makes her debut, she realizes it's not just her heart at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

22. Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson An historical from Bethany House. Sixteen Civil War widows join the Ladies Emigration Society and head west to claim homesteads, only to find their organization has other plans. . . involving the word "brides.

23. Sworn to Protect by Diann Mills A suspense/mystery/thriller from Tyndale. Border Patrol Agent Danika Morales is caught up in a conspiracy and her life is at stake.

24. The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough A romance from Barbour. Three mail-order brides arrive expecting to marry the town marshal. But he didn't order a bride. A contest to discover which bride would make the best wife turns into mayhem when there is a fourth anonymous entry.

25. The Cowboy's Baby by Linda Ford A romance from Love Inspired Historical. The prodigal returns but is he too late for a second chance?

26. The Word Unleashed, Book 2 of Face in the Deep by Steve Rzasa A sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic from Marcher Lord Press. Baden Haczyk's adventure continues as he tries to keep the last Bible safe from the religious secret police.

27. Too Close to Home, Book 1 of the Women of Justice Series by Lynette Eason A suspense/mystery/thriller from Revell. An FBI agent and a detective must track down a killer of teenage girls before his next victim hits Too Close to Home.

28. Wildflower Hearts, Book 1 in Series Set in North Dakota by Vickie McDonough A romance from Barbour. Three siblings who live on a ranch face problems and romance in the North Dakota Badlands

29. Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer An historical from Abingdon Press. In Denmark's darkest days, is it duty, faith...or love?

Amazing Grace

Yesterday I attended the funeral of an amazing lady named Grace. From the first I knew her many years ago when I started attending my church, I knew she was special because she radiated God's presence in her life to those around her.

I didn't know her well, never visited her in her home, or spent time away with her apart from our church, yet I counted myself privileged to know her.

In fact, when I sat down to plot my first novel, I patterned a family matriarch after her. That book still resides in a file somewhere on my computer. The writing isn't what it takes to be published, but when I first wrote it, I had dreams of giving Grace a copy of the book and telling her about her counterpart in my character.

Except for our faith in Christ, Grace and I are as opposite as any two people could be. She was raised in a family that knew Christ and became a Christian at a young age. I was not and didn't come to my faith until in my 30s. She was one of many children and I am an only child. She married and had six children, 20 grands and 27 greats when she passed at age 93. I've never married and have no children. She and her family spent several years in Japan as missionaries and I have only been to Canada as a tourist.

Yesterday from the tributes given by her family members, it became very apparent that Grace was a Bible student and a prayer warrior. She loved the Bible and read it daily, going through the Word in its entirety every year. And, I'm sure as she was inspired by the Holy Spirit, prayed back those words to God. She also prayed constantly for her family. Where once she had her six children to pray for, as they married and had their own children, she had in-laws and grands to pray for as well. In the end 20 grands, and 27 greats with three more on the way! And, according to her son-in-law, she remembered each and every one of them right up to her last days. My own grandmother sometimes had trouble keeping her six grands straight, often calling us by the wrong name. I don't hold that against her, it's just that Grace was truly amazing.

Her example has challenged me!

I don't have children or grands of my own to pray for, but I do have spiritual children. Those I've led to the Lord over the years or have shepherded as their Bible study leader. And some I've only known as very good friends who are dear to me. Although I always pray for them, I admit to not praying enough. A very dear friend of mine who passed away a while ago was also a prayer warrior and I know she prayed for me regularly on her knees!

We lead such busy lives today that oft times prayer is neglected or we give it a lick and a promise, as a former roommate used to say about cleaning the house. Yet God is always there for us 24/7. He never slumbers or sleeps as Psalm 121 says. We can pray not only on our knees, but while we're doing other things. Brother Lawrence used to make the best of the drudgery of dish washing by praising God as he scrubbed away.

From this day forward, I am determined to pray more often and more deeply for those I hold dear and to let them know they are prayed for. How about you?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Picture of Two of My Favorite Ladies

Tyndale House Publishers just shared this picture on Twitter and I had to post it here because it is of two of my most favorite women.

Francine Rivers, author of so many fiction stories that minister God's love and grace through story, and Beth Moore, creator of dozens of Bible study books and videos that have opened the eyes of my heart to God's Word in ways I couldn't have imagined.

I've been privileged to have met Francine when she keynoted the ACFW conference a number of years ago. Never have I met such a humble lady. Last fall I was able to attend a Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore in Springfield, IL. Didn't get a chance to meet her personally as she was heavily protected in such a large group of people, but to sit under her teaching in person was truly a blessing.

A great Beth Moore & Francine Rivers moment. Photo by Karen W... on Twitpic

If you haven't yet familiarized yourself with either of these women and their work, run don't walk to the nearest bookstore and avail yourself. You won't be disappointed!