Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ACFW July New Releases - Check Them Out!

Check out these 26 new releases by ACFW authors over the month of July. Some great beach reads are here, but even if you never set foot on sand this summer and prefer sitting in the a/c, you have some great reading in store!

1. A Shore Thing; Otter Bay, Book 2 by Julie Carobini-- A Romance from B&H. A fiery, eco-friendly young woman leads the fight against a large development in her beachfront hometown while falling for the architect assigned to the job.

2. Back on Murder; A Roland March Mystery, Book 1 by J. Mark Bertrand -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Bethany House. Homicide cop Roland March attempts a comeback as corruption and a high profile case threaten to sink him.

3. Beautiful Bandit; The Lone Star Legends Series by Loree Lough -- An Historical from Whitaker House. When rancher Josh Neville rescues a terrified woman who calls herself Dinah, she unwittingly leads notorious killers to his door, putting him and everyone at the Lazy N in jeopardy.

4. Beyond Summer; Blue Sky Hills Series, Book 3 by Lisa Wingate -- Women's Fiction from Peguin Group/NAL. Tam Williams discovers the blessings of community when her father is jailed, and the family moves to downscale Blue Sky Hill where her new friend, Shasta might lose her home to her father's shady mortgage company.

5. Bride in Training; Man's Best Friend Series by Gail Gaymer Martin -- A Romance from Love Inspired. Troubled lives lead to loneliness, Emily and Martin learn, until the Lord teaches them he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

6. Cattleman's Courtship by Carolyn Aarsen -- A Romance from Love Inspired. Cara Morrison has to fix the past before she can face the future.

7. Doctor in Petticoats; Sophie's Daughters Series, Book #1 by Mary Connealy -- A Romance from Barbour. A burned out doctor is called in because he's a man, while the town's lady doctor does all the work and keeps the doctor from cracking up.

8. Driftwood Lane; 3rd in Series of Stand Alones by Denise Hunter -- A Romance from Thomas Nelson. A love story set on Nantucket Island.

9. Firestorm by Kelly Ann Riley -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. A firefighter falls in love while trying to find her father's killer.

10. Flash Point; Emerald Coast 911 by Stephanie Newtonr -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Love Inspired Suspense. Courage Under Fire.

11. Heart of a Cowboy; 2nd book in the Helping Hands Homeschooling by Margaret Daley -- A Romance from Love Inspired. Zachary Rutgers is perfectly happy with being a loner until he discovers he has a son and must deal with buried feelings concerning Jordan Masterson.

12. Love Finds You in Calico, California by Elizabeth Ludwig -- An Historical from Summerside Press. A young seamstress struggling to survive in a booming mining town is pressed into a marriage of convenience with the local livery owner.

13. Minnesota Moonlight 3-in-1 Collection by Becky Melby & Cathy Wienke -- Romance from Barbour. An ex-con, a storm chaser, and a footloose musician˜three unlikely heroes for three women learning to trust God...and the men He's brought into their lives.

14. Nightshade; Book #1 of the Discarded Heroes series by Ronie Kendig -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Barbour. This Former Navy SEAL is fighting a new battle--the home front!

15. Prodigal Patriot; Vermont #1 by Darlene Franklin -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong. How can Sally and Josiah battle through the barriers separating Tory and Patriot to find love and forgiveness?

16. Ransome's Crossing; The Ransome Trilogy, Book 2 by Kaye Dacus -- A Romance from Harvest House. Disguising herself as a midshipman to get to her secret fiance, Charlotte Ransome faces danger--and love--crossing the Atlantic.

17. Rodeo Redemption; The Rodeo Royalty Series, Book 1 by Teri Wilson -- A Romance from White Rose Publishing. Josie Turner would rather forget she was ever crowned Rodeo Queen. Can former rodeo cowboy Luke Anderson mend Josie's heart and can one rodeo weekend help them both find redemption?

18. Seeds of Summer; Seasons of the Tallgrass - Book #2 by Deborah Vogts -- A Romance from Zondervan. When a former Miss Rodeo Kansas queen returns home after her father's death to care for the family ranch and her two younger siblings, what follows is a summer full of change, life-lessons and an unexpected romance with the new minister in Diamond Falls.

19. So Over It; Book 3 in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series by Stephanie Morrill -- General Fiction from Revell. Senior year is over and Skylar Hoyt is ready to forgive and forget. Or at least forget.

20. Song of Solomon by Kendra Norman Bellamy -- A Romance from Urban Books. How can he convince her that she's his God-given mate when she's already wearing a wedding ring?

21. Stars in the Night by Cara Putman -- An Historical from Summerside Press. Step back to 1942 Hollywood as Audra Schaeffer tries to find her sister and a killer before it is too late.

22. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis -- An Historical from Summerside Press. When Emma's father is murdered, she's hired to do the job he could have had--helping track them down by breaking their ciphers.

23. The Engineered Engagement; Book Three in the Kennebrae Brides Series by Erica Vetsch -- An Historical from Barbour Heartsong. Sparks fly when a shipbuilder finds himself engaged to the wrong girl.

24. The Seeker; The Shaker Series # 3 by Ann H. Gabhart -- An Historical from Revell. The story brings alive the strikingly different worlds of the Southern gentry, the simple Shakers and the ravages of war in 1860s Kentucky.

25. The Way to a Man's Heart; The Miller Family Series, Book 3 by Mary Ellis -- A Romance from Harvest House. When all the men beat a path to Leah's diner, her parents don't breathe a sigh of relief until she narrows her suitors from half a dozen down to one.

26. Where the Dogwoods Bloom by Myra Johnson -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong. Jilly Gardner left Blossom Hills ten years ago, determined never to return, but when Cam Lane calls to ask for her help, she finds she can't say no.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ACFW Conference Has Something for Everyone

Brandilyn Collins, Lena Nelson Dooley, and Collen Coble
This week registration opened for this year's ACFW National Conference to be held in Indianapolis September 17-20. I think I was one of the first to register that wasn't a board member or faculty.

Our awesome dessert at the awards banquet.

This year I am very excited because I'll be rooming with my very good friend, Kim, whom I have been mentoring since the first of the year. This will be Kim's first conference of any sort, and I can't wait to show her the ropes and help her have a very excellent adventure at ACFW. She'll take advantage of our newbie on-line mentoring program that Brandilyn Collins and Cara Putman run each year, and will attend their meeting on the first day, but my mentoring is starting next week as we go over pitching, one-sheets, and all that good stuff.

Yes, the conference does provide for the newbie, but it also provides for the veteran and multi-published author as well. We always have certain workshops that require multiple published works before you can attend. This isn't to make it an exclusive "club," but to allow the presenter to be able to speak to a certain level of author without always having to cover more elementary things that a newly published or prepublished author wouldn't know about.

This year there will also be a special opportunity for media training that we've never provided before. This is also geared to the published author. Marketing is a bigger deal than ever in the world of publishing, and the more we can learn about expanding our platforms, the more salable we become to a publisher's marketing department.
Me & Ane Mulligan at one of the meals

I am literally counting the days until several of us pile into a van and zip down I-65 to Indy. Check out the widget to the right. That's exactly how long before THE day.

The pictures are from last year's conference in Denver. Just a hint of the good times of connecting with other authors, worshiping our Lord, awesome teaching, and meeting with industry professionals.

You don't have to be a member to come to an ACFW conference, but you will pay more money. To my way of thinking, if you are Christian and a writer of fiction, why aren't you a member of ACFW? It's the best fifty bucks you'll spend this year. So come to the website and sign up and then go to the conference page and register. You won't regret it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seeds of Summer Cultivates Hours of Good Reading!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Seeds of Summer
Zondervan (May 25, 2010)


Deborah Vogts

Can a pastor find love and a life's partner with a rodeo queen? Pick up Seeds of Summer and find out for yourself!

From the moment I first heard the description of Deborah Vogts' novel, Seeds of Summer, I knew I wanted to read it. As a child I grew up loving horse stories and cowboys, and about five years ago a very good friend, who used to rodeo by bucking bulls, took me to my very first rodeo and I fell in love with it. Since then we have attended several rodeos each summer.

Vogts' story is the kind that makes you want to curl up on a porch swing with a pitcher of sweet tea on a hot summer's day and read the day away. By the time you finish the tale, you feel as though you are a member of heroine Natalie Adams' family and want to pitch in counting cattle or doing repairs on the south forty.

You will love Natalie and Jared's story. The book is out and you can pick it up at Amazon


A word from Deborah:

If you haven't guessed by now, the books I write are set in the country. I believe my most dedicated readers will be those who live in the country, those who have moved from the country and still hold it in their hearts, or those who have never lived there but long for the simple life it offers. Because of this, I've chosen Country at Heart as my writing brand, which is also the title of my Blog.

On Writing:

I began my first book when I was in high school. In college I studied English literature and journalism. Then came marriage, kids . . . life. During that time, I piddled with my writing but didn't take it seriously until 2002 when I joined a local writer's group and American Christian Fiction Writers. I also joined a critique group, took online writing workshops, read writing book how-to's and attended writer's conferences. Now I have an agent, Rachelle Gardner, at WordServe Literary and have been contracted with Zondervan for a three-book contemporary romance series.

The Seasons of the Tallgrass series captures the spirit and dreams of ordinary people living in the Flint Hills of Kansas--one of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world.

The first book, Snow Melts in Spring, is available in stores now. Seeds of Summer released May 2010.


When opposites attract, sparks fly--like an electrical malfunction. That's what happens when former rodeo queen, Natalie Adams meets the new pastor in Diamond Falls.

Upon the death of her father, Natalie returns to the Flint Hills to raise her two half-siblings and run the family ranch, giving up her dreams for the future. She soon realizes her time in college and as Miss Rodeo Kansas is not enough to break the bonds that held her as a girl.

Jared Logan, a new pastor in Diamond Falls, is set on making a good impression to his first congregation, but finds that change doesn't come easy for some people. In fact, most in his congregation are set against it. Natalie and her troubled family provide an outlet for his energy and soon become his personal mission project.

Having raised her stepbrother and sister from an early youth, Natalie's self-sufficient nature isn't inclined to accept help, especially from a city-boy do-gooder like Jared Logen. Though attracted to him, there's no way she'd ever consider being a pastor's wife. Bible studies and bake sales just aren't her thing.

Jared repeatedly comes to Natalie's rescue, forcing her to see him with new eyes. At the same time, Jared's plan to plant Christ's word in Natalie's heart backfires when he loses his own heart to this wayward family. When problems arise in his congregation, he must face his greatest fears---of letting down God, his congregation, or those he loves. His time with Natalie has shown him the importance of standing by those you love, a lesson he chose to ignore in order to please his father years ago.

This is put to the test when Natalie faces a battle of custody of her half-siblings against the mother who abandoned them twelve years ago. Natalie's fight for the children turns into a fight for custody of her heart as she learns the true meaning of unconditional love. In turn, Jared must decide which dreams are his own---and whether Natalie is part of those dreams.

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Seeds of Summer, go


Thursday, June 03, 2010

New Brandilyn Collins Release - Deceit

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Zondervan (June 18, 2010)


Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins has been writing Seatbelt Suspense (her tag line) for a long time and she never fails to keep me sitting on the edge of my seat when I'm reading one of her books. And I always learn something new. In Deceit she taught me about the job of skip tracing.

Protag, Joanne Collins, is a skip tracer. Someone who with the help of technology rarely has to leave home to track down fugitives, scam artists, or whatever when they try to disappear. In Deceived, Joanne nearly comes to the end of her rope when her skip tracing skills lead her out of her home and into the suspenseful world of Brandilyn Collins.

Once I started reading this book, I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. Collins takes the reader on a journey wrought with twists and turns that keeps him or her guessing until the very end. 

You can get it at Amazon!


Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.

In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.


Skip Tracer Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed his second wife---and Joanne's best friend---seven years ago. But Jackson, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man.

The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but Joanne is determined to bring Jackson down. Using her skip tracing skills, she sets out to locate Melissa Harkoff, now twenty-two, who lived in the Jackson home at the time of Linda Jackson's disappearance.

As Joanne drives home on a rainy winter night, a hooded figure darts in front of her car. In her headlight beams she glimpses the half-concealed face of a man, a rivulet of blood jagging down his cheek. She squeals to a stop but clips him with her right fender. Shaking, she gets out of her car in the pouring rain. The man will not let her see his face. Before he limps off into the night he warns her not to talk to police.

As Joanne tries to find Melissa, someone seems to be after her. Who was the man she hit on the road. Is Baxter Jackson out to silence her? Or is some other skip she's traced in the past now out for revenge?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Deceit, go HERE

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

ACFW June New Releases! Check them out!

Check out the exciting new June releases written by ACFW authors. Great summer reading is ahead!

1. A Hopeful Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- An Historical from Bethany House. Can she turn her second-best chance into a golden opportunity?

2. A Love of Her Own; Heart of the West series by Maggie Brendan -- A Romance from Revell. April McBride has everything her heart desires . . .except the one thing money can't buy.

3. A Matter of Character; The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs, #3 by Robin Lee Hatcher -- A Romance from Zondervan. In 1918, writing dime novels simply isn't done by an heiress, so when Joshua looks for the author who's sullied his grandfather's name, he never suspects Daphne's the guilty party.

4. A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer -- An Historical from Bethany House. Sparks fly when a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity.

5. Almost Forever; Book 1, Hanover Falls Novels series by Deborah Raney -- Women's Fiction from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Survivors of five fallen firefighters band together to try to make sense of the tragedy that took their loved ones.

6. Anna Finch and the Hired Gun; Women of the West series, Book 2 by Kathleen Y'Barbo -- A Romance from Waterbrook. When an aspiring reporter and a Pinkerton detective get tangled in Doc Holliday's story ˜and each other˜sparks can't help but fly.

7. Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart -- Women's Fiction from FaithWords/Hachette. A coming-of-age story set in Texas in the 1950s as a young girl struggles with her own identity in light of her mother's mental illness.

8. End Game; Big Sky Secrets, book #3 by Roxanne Rustand -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Big Sky Secrets--a five-book Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense series set in the Rockies of Montana

9. Her Abundant Joy by Lyn Cote -- An Historical from Avon Inspired. Can a beautiful young widow find peace in the arms of a Texas Ranger?

10. Maid of Murder; India Hayes Mysteries, Book One by Amanda Flower -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Five Star Mystery. College librarian and reluctant bridesmaid, India Hayes, sets out to prove her brother's innocence when the bride is murdered.

11. Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist -- An Historical from Bethany House. Two servants at Biltmore House at the turn of the century find that God can take your life in a very different direction than you had planned.

12. Manor of the Ghost by Tina Pinson -- Women's Fiction from Desert Breeze. Kaitlin didn't believe in Ghosts, until she saw them in Devlin's eyes and heard them in the deafening silence of her son, Derrick.

13. My Son, John by Kathi Macias -- Women's Fiction from Sheaf House. Can God bring healing to a family torn apart by a brutal crime?.

14. Ruby Red; Ruby Red and The Colors of Home Series by Robin Shope -- A Multicultural from Sparklesoup. Eleven-year-old Ruby Red sneaks on board the Orphan Train, meant only for white children, with her pet cockroach in her pocket.

15. Sabotage by Kit Wilkinson -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Steeple Hill. Equine veterinary student Derrick Randall tries to help Olympic hopeful Emilie Gill find faith and a way to her Olympic dreams.

16. Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky -- A Romance from Waterbrook. When Marnie becomes the guardian of her Down syndrome nephew, will she run again?

17. Steadfast Soldier; Wings of Refuge #7 by Cheryl Wyatt -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. These soldiers of the skies are fearless, faithful...and falling in love.

18. The Heart's Song by Winnie Griggs -- A Romance from Love Inspired. Two lonely people work together to help others and ultimately find love.

19. The Homecoming; Sequel to The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh -- An Historical from Revell. Shawn Collins returns home from the dangers of WW2 to face the loss of his first love, but discovers God has set in motion a plan to heal his broken heart.