Love Blossoms ~ Official Release Day

Happy Release Day! Love Blossoms: 7 Spring-Fresh Christian Romances is now available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. I love working with my indie author friends on box set anthology projects, and we’re excited to share our latest release with you.

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 Seven contemporary Christian romances for your springtime reading pleasure from your favorite authors: Kimberly Rae Jordan, Narelle Atkins, Autumn Macarthur, Lynette Sowell, Jan Thompson, Marion Ueckermann, and Susette Williams.

A Handful of Flowers (The Callaghans & McFaddens Book 1) by Kimberly Rae Jordan
They had a deal. She’d watch his kids, and he’d do the repairs on her aging home. Neither wanted anything more, but sometimes God has a different plan.

The Bridesmaid’s Hero (A Snowgum Creek Novella) by Narelle Atkins
Serena Blaxland’s job at her parents’ B&B in Snowgum Creek, Australia, is only temporary. Sparks fly when hire car driver Harry Westmore saves the beautiful pastry chef from disrupting her sister’s wedding day, but the opportunity of a lifetime threatens to push them apart. Can Harry and Serena’s love and faith overcome the obstacles in their path?

A Lesson in Love (The Macleans Book 3) by Autumn MacArthur
Love can make life complicated! Sports teachers Fraser Maclean and Sarah Browne have worked together all year, but when a garden project for their church brings them together outside of school, everything changes. Can they learn God’s lessons in love, or will secrets and fear keep them apart?

Spring at the Barncastle by Lynette Sowell
After a career disaster, Sadie Barncastle finds herself in rural Vermont, starting over and opening up a shop at the family inn. She meets up with an old friend from childhood, Peter Appleman, a widower next door with a precocious daughter. But Sadie’s not sure if life in the Green Mountains is for her and feels the call of Boston drawing her. Peter, however, is drawn to Sadie but isn’t quite sure if he’s ready to move on yet. As Easter approaches, a time of forgiveness, restoration, and joy, the two realize that it’s also a time for new beginnings, but does that include with each other?

Walk You There (Savannah Sweethearts Book 5) by Jan Thompson
She wants to save history.

He wants to raze it all.

A local tour guide who makes a living off Savannah history goes to battle against an award-winning developer who wants to demolish the old city block she lives in.

A Match for Magnolia (Seven Suitors for Seven Sisters Book 1) by Marion Ueckermann
Magnolia Blume’s life is perfect, except for one thing—Davis Rathbone is everything she’s not looking for in a man.

Spring Break (Seasons of the Heart Novella Series) by Susette Williams
Kelly Sanders volunteers at an orphanage and loves working with children—even if they can be a bit mischievous at times.

Marc Stevenson is used to fighting fires, not rescuing damsels in distress out of trees. He thinks Kelly would be perfect for him, except for that one flaw. How does a man, with visions of children, fill a nest that’s sure to be empty if he spends it with the woman he loves? 
Will some munchkins playing matchmaker be able to bring Kelly and Marc together? Or will love’s ember never have the chance to be ignited?

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.

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New Book Release ~ The Bridesmaid’s Hero

Happy Australia Day! Today I’m celebrating our national holiday and the release of my eighth book. The Bridesmaid’s Hero is a contemporary Christian romance novella in my Snowgum Creek series. The story is set in a fictional town in the Snowy Mountains region of Australia.

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Pastry chef Serena Blaxland isn’t staying in the small Australian town of Snowgum Creek. She’s there for her sister’s wedding, and to help out at the family B&B until her mother’s arm heals. Sparks fly when the handsome driver of their bridal car saves Serena from disrupting her sister’s perfect wedding day.

Harry Westmore’s dream of becoming an equine vet was put on hold when his father passed away. He’s working several jobs in his home town to pay his bills and prepare for his future career. He can’t stay away from the beautiful chef when he visits the B&B each day to look after her mother’s horses.

Serena’s home is in Canberra, where she has built a successful career. When Harry’s offered an opportunity too good to refuse, they must decide if their love and faith can overcome all obstacles.

The Bridesmaid’s Hero is a standalone novella and Book 1.5 in the Snowgum Creek series.  It’s available in Kindle Unlimited and for 99 cents from Amazon Kindle.

Here’s a short excerpt from Chapter One:

Serena Blaxland leaned back into the soft leather rear seat of the white BMW hire car, her bare shoulders tense. Wedding planning had transformed Debbie, her easygoing older sister, into Bridezilla in her quest for a perfect day. She’d never forgive them if they kept her waiting.

The front door of their parents’ Snowgum Creek home remained open. Serena’s younger sister was inside the farm house. Why was it taking Gina so long to find a missing tube of lipstick? She’d been in there ten minutes already.

Serena fidgeted with the hem of her knee-length pale pink bridesmaid dress, her immaculate French manicure catching the early afternoon sunlight. Her nails had never looked this good, but the manicure failed to hold her interest.

The handsome driver of their hire car had captured her full attention.

He paced the length of the front veranda, his elegant suit accentuating his tall, muscular physique. Harry Westmore. The name suited him.

Harry returned to the car and crouched beside her open window, his fair hair ruffled and eyebrows drawn together. “The rest of the bridal party left fifteen minutes ago. Should I find out what’s holding up your sister?”

She shook her head, meeting his concerned gaze. “I’ll give her a few more minutes before I go inside and yell. Unlike Debbie, Gina has no concept of punctuality.”

“The bride was determined to leave on time.”

“That’s Debbie for you.”

His eyes, the color of the cloudless sky overhead, hinted at his impatience.

An idyllic September spring day, and they had a long drive ahead. The bride had left with her parents in a matching BMW. The chief bridesmaid had snubbed Serena and Gina by catching a ride to Sunny Ridge with her boyfriend in his luxury sports coupe. Debbie hadn’t been impressed by Crystal’s last-minute change of plans.

Gina flounced onto the veranda, slamming the front door behind her. Two inch heels didn’t slow her progress across the lawn. “I found it, finally.” She held the lipstick in the air as if it was a precious gem.

Serena let out a deep breath. If Harry drove the speed limit, they should make it on time to Sunny Ridge Community Church in the large town west of Snowgum Creek. Pre-wedding photos were scheduled in the adjoining park.

He opened the car door for Gina and she slid into her seat behind the driver, her skirt a tangled mess around her thighs.

Gina bit her lip. “I hate this skirt.”

“Be thankful it’s not floor length.”

“True, but I wish Debbie had asked what we thought before she chose our dresses.”

“It’s her wedding.”

“And don’t we know it.”

She let Gina’s comment slide. Her younger sister’s relationship with Debbie was fraught with issues, and Harry didn’t need to hear their complaints. He’d already witnessed Crystal’s emotional outburst. Debbie’s best friend had refused to travel to Sunny Ridge in the bridesmaids’ car.

Harry started the car, a quiet purr compared to the cough and splutter of Serena’s aging hatchback. “Ladies, are we ready?”

“Let’s go.” Gina buckled her seat belt. “I hope we won’t be late.”

Serena suppressed a groan. “Me too, because Debbie doesn’t need the extra stress. Harry, I’m ready.”

“Okay.” He maneuvered the luxury car over the cattle guard at the front entrance next to the prominent Blaxland B&B sign, onto a short dirt track leading to the main road. “We have enough time.”

“Oh, good.” Gina stashed her lipstick in her purse. “I’m already in Debbie’s bad books.”

Serena tightened her grip on the door handle. “What did you do this time?”

Read more in the sample at Amazon.com.

The novella is part of the Love Blossoms box set, available for pre-order for US2.99 on Amazon Kindle. It’s releasing on January 28, 2016, and will be available in Kindle Unlimited.

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Book Recommendation: Ehvah After by Rose Dee

Ehvah After

Book Description:

Ehvah Rowe’s life is in freefall. Her teen queen status is long forgotten, and with a childhood of tragic loss, no family save a diabolical aunt, and no career prospects, her L.A. celebrity world holds no future. It will take a murder, an escape to the Australian tropics, and the friendship of an Aussie bodyguard, for her to discover healing, faith, and a way forward.

David Blake knows how to be a soldier. His army training equipped him to fight and protect. But when it comes to helping a fear-filled celebrity navigate the same post-traumatic stress symptoms he has suffered, David discovers the challenge in forsaking his own strength for God’s plan.

Rose Dee weaves a story of mystery, drama and romance, in her trademark tropical North Queensland Australian style.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading Ehvah After and it’s now my favourite Rose Dee book. The story opens with Ehvah living in her L.A. mansion with her aunt and uncle. She’s an orphan of famous parents who lives off her trust fund and feels jaded with her shallow party lifestyle. Ehvah is frustrated by her bad press in the tabloids, her so-called friends who use her, and her inability to resurrect her Hollywood career. When she witnesses the late night murder of her uncle in her home, she flees to Australia with her aunt who is shooting a film in far north Queensland.

Ehvah has a complex relationship with her aunt that’s revealed during the story. The murder investigation is underway when Ehvah arrives in Australia. David, an Aussie ex-military soldier, is assigned the day shift as Ehvah’s bodyguard, and an unlikely romance unfolds. I like bodyguard romances, and I love how David and Ehvah’s unique and painful past experiences become the common ground in their developing relationship that draws them closer. Her life is in danger, and David takes on the role of her protector and hero.

The murder of Ehvah’s uncle provides a compelling mystery sub-plot that intertwines with the main romantic plot to add an exciting suspense element to the story. The serious issue of post traumatic stress is realistically addressed and handled with sensitivity. Rose’s books tend to be edgy, although Ehvah After is less edgy than her Resolution series. Ehvah’s lifestyle and experiences shape her thoughts and actions in the story, and she doesn’t start out holding Christian morals and values. We see her character growth and faith journey during the story.

The story has a strong faith element, and the gospel message is an integral part of the story. The exotic tropical North Queensland setting is gorgeous and the minor characters add to the Aussie flavour in the story. I highly recommend Ehvah After to readers who are looking for a fun and exciting Aussie contemporary Christian romance with drama and mystery story elements.

I received a complimentary copy from the author.


Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

ACFW New Releases: January 2016

Source: ACFW New Releases: January 2016

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander — Sparks fly when a woman purchases her abandoned family home from the infuriating man who let it fall into ruin. (Contemporary Romance from Revell [Baker Publishing])

Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher — Penny Cartwright blames Trevor Reynolds, a Nashville fame-chaser, for her brother’s death. Can she let go of resentment and open her heart to love? After an accident kills his young drummer, Trevor goes to Kings Meadow to keep a promise—and perhaps to discover what truly matters in this life. Thrown together by circumstances, Penny and Trevor must learn to give and receive forgiveness. And if they do, perhaps something beautiful can rise from the ashes of heartbreak. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Historical Romance:

A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin — When a blackmailer threatens to reveal Joanna’s long-held secret, will she risk losing everything she owns to Kit … including her heart? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection by Angela Bell, Angela Breidenbach, Lisa Carter, Mary Connealy, Rebecca Jepson, Amy Lillard, Gina Welborn, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Rose Ross Zediker — Come along on a romantic journey jam-packed with all the angst of marriages founded upon practical choices as well as coercion. Meet nine couples who barely know each other before they find themselves suddenly married to please family, to stem the tide of gossip, to save the land and joined for life. But can love grow when duty comes before romance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley — Someone is killing off the Harvey Girls and undercover Pinkerton detective Katie Madison hopes to find the killer before the killer finds her-or before she burns down the restaurant trying. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

With This Ring? by Mary Connealy, Melissa Jagears, Regina Jennings, and Karen Witemeyer — Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Husband Maneuver,” Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers “Her Dearly Unintended,” where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives. Mary Connealy’s “Runaway Bride” finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears’ “Engaging the Competition” finds a young woman forced to assist the man she’s often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

The Bounty Hunter’s Redemption by Janet Dean — Recently widowed Carly Richards is shocked when a bounty hunter declares her seamstress shop belongs to his sister. But Nate Sergeant has proof-the deed her lawless husband gambled away without her knowledge. Now Carly must fight for her home and her son’s future. Nate’s faced the meanest outlaws in the land—but this petite, strong-willed seamstress may be his greatest challenge. He’s determined his sister will have the property that’s legally hers. But as Nate and Carly battle for ownership, Nate realizes there’s something he’s overlooked—the hope of building a family with Carly and her adorable son. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Austen in Austin, Volume 1 by Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Debra E. Marvin, and Gina Welborn — Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love–Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes: If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protégé falls for the wrong suitor. Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility A misguided academy graduate spends the summer falling in love . . . twice. One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career. Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey A timid gothic dime-novel enthusiast tries to solve the mystery of a haunted cemetery and, even more shocking, why two equally charming suitors compete for her attentions. (Historical Romance from Whitefire Publishing)

All That Glitters by Lisa J. Flickinger — When the world listens only to the call of gold, redemption and love become scarce treasures. Leaving behind her family and a dying father, Ginny Connor follows the cunning Logan Harris up North to strike it rich. Her sister Vivian follows to “rescue” her, and they are both led into the chaos of the Klondike Gold Rush. Meanwhile, Ben McCormack leaves his farm to retrieve his intended bride from a rowdy tent town on the Alaskan coastline. Ben’s path inadvertently entwines with Vivian’s and he finds his heart tugging him in a different direction. Danger and disappointment plague all their journeys to the far North. (Historical Romance from Ambassador International)

A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason — Irish lass Maggie Montgomery visits her brother in America secretly hoping to find her fortune and love. While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man whom she thinks is a stable hand. Her brother demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary, who he says was recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her heart listen. Adam plans to make amends and earn back his family’s trust. Falling in love with Maggie Montgomery, however, was never in his plans. Despite everyone’s effort to keep them apart, the two develop a bond nothing can break–but has Adam truly changed, or will the sins of his past prove too much for Maggie to overcome? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Compromised Identity by Jodie Bailey — Staff sergeant Jessica Dylan catches a female soldier stealing her laptop—and almost pays with her life. But a blue-eyed mystery man rushes to her aid just in time, and Jessica learns the handsome army staff sergeant has been investigating her. Sean Turner believes a ring of cyberterrorists who’ve been attacking military bases are now specifically targeting Jessica. And he’s determined to figure out why. When an attempt is made on Jessica’s life, Sean vows to stop the hackers. Yet the heart-scarred solider is set on keeping an emotional distance…especially when they discover what the terrorists are really after. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Lethal Action by Rachel Dylan — New York attorney Hope Finch is used to high-stakes litigation, but when she’s sent to what she thought was a small, sleepy town in Georgia, she is unprepared for threats on her life and career. FBI Special Agent Gabe Marino is assigned to protect the big city lawyer visiting his hometown of Maxwell, Georgia. As Gabe investigates the illegal activity linked to Hope’s client, he tries to caution her, but she ignores his warnings-until it’s her life that’s in jeopardy. Hope and Gabe race against the clock to uncover the true threat, but time is running out on them both. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon — After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again–until an envelope addressed in her sister’s handwriting arrives in the mail. And the note inside claims she is still alive. FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case . . . but he’s coming up with more questions than answers. Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game—or the target of a sinister plot? As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker Publishing])

Book Recommendation ~ My Emily by Matt Patterson

Book Description:

This book tells the story of a hurting family, an amazing little girl and a mysteriously faithful God. Emily wasn’t born perfect – so one might think. She was born with Down Syndrome and many would jump to the conclusion that she would have very little hope for a life with any significance. Two years later came the diagnosis of leukemia. What little hope remaining turned to no hope whatsoever – or so one might think.

The life of this little girl, with all its perceived imperfections, had great meaning. Her loving nature and courage touched the hearts of everyone she met. She also taught them how to value their own lives – even with their many “imperfections.”

Note: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will help families with special needs children, those who are battling pediatric cancers, as well as parents grieving the loss of a little one.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

One evening I started reading this true story on my Kindle, intent on reading only a couple of pages because my alarm was set for 5.30am. Instead, I read My Emily in one sitting, transfixed by the narrative story of Emily’s short life brought to us from her father’s perspective.

We walk in Matt’s shoes as he faces Emily’s Down Syndrome diagnosis when she’s a newborn and her leukemia diagnosis only a few short years later. This beautiful little girl suffered so much. We experience the gamut of her father’s emotions as he tries to make sense of what is happening to his precious Emily. He questions why God allowed this to happen to his daughter. We gain an understanding of the anguish and grief mixed in with love and blessings as a  brave little girl touches the lives of many people.

This story provided me with an insight into the grief and heartache experienced by parents who lose a child. My mother’s younger sister passed away at a similar age to Emily from a sudden illness. After reading My Emily, I have a greater understanding of how this devastating loss impacted the lives of my grandparents and the whole family.

I highly recommend this book, especially to those looking to support a grieving friend or loved one.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com