After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt’s apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.
She’s also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn’t sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs–dead and buried.
So it’s kind of funny. When I first started this book I didn’t think I was going to connect with it. I just wasn’t feeling it. But I kept going. And guess what? I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book.
This story has so much going on, so many layers to unwrap. By half way through I didn’t want to put it down because I had to see what would happen next.
I love stories with small towns that try to take care of things on their own. I don’t agree with this, of course, but it sure makes for an interesting read. Now I can’t wait to read more by Lisa.
To save a life, would you betray everyone you love?
Hungary in 1944 is a dark place. The Nazis have invaded and turned the country upside down, their evil making its way into every life.
Clarinetist Eva Bognar is engaged to conductor and composer Patrik Kedves, happily planning her wedding. At first she doesn’t think the war will affect her directly; everyone around her can be trusted to do the right thing. Then her Jewish best friend and sister-in-law Zofia goes missing–and instead of the Gestapo being to blame, a friend says it was Patrik who led Zofia away. Has he betrayed Eva and everything the family stands for?
When the rest of the family’s lives are directly threatened, Patrik’s secrets must come to light. The Bognars flee for the border in hopes of getting out of the country to the safety of Palestine. Eva must put her life and the lives of everyone she loves in the hands of the very man who betrayed her–and they may not all make it out of the war alive . . .
Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.
More from Liz
This is the third book in a series all set around music. The first heroine, Anna in The Melody of the Soul, was a violinist. The second heroine, Natia in When the Heart Sings, sang beautifully. So what did I choose for this heroine?
When I was in fifth grade, the band teacher from the middle school came to our class and encouraged us to join. She brought instruments with her for us to try. I really wanted to play the flute. I thought it was very feminine. But all the girls wanted to play that, and I would have to be really good to get a good chair. So I decided on the clarinet. I played all through middle school and high school, making first chair a couple of times. I participated in marching band and in solo and ensemble contests, earning a couple of first places in state competitions. Even after my “career” ended, I continued to play from time to time. I still play in church. I love the rich, full sound of the instrument. When played well, the clarinet is beautiful. It can be playful and happy or dark and sad. It can skip and it can cry. I’m very glad now that I chose the clarinet instead of the flute.
That’s why the heroine of The Refrain Within plays the clarinet. In fact, she comes from a family of clarinet makers, and her family stamp on the barrel of a clarinet means a great deal to her. As God would have it, my editor, Janyre Tromp, is also a clarinet player. Between the two of us, we worked hard bring out the unique aspects of playing clarinet, like the callous that forms on the inside of your bottom lip.
Eva is a special character to me because we share this passion for the clarinet. There have been many times throughout my life that my clarinet has skipped with me and plenty of times when it has cried with me. Music is God’s beautiful gift to us, and I thank Him for the opportunity to share some of that with you in The Refrain Within.
I always love a good WWII story and Liz knows how to write them. This book will have you on the edge of your seat wondering will the Germans discover the secret that Zofia is hiding and if they do can she escape?
Then there is the relationship between Patrik and and Eva and the secret he has that is being misconstrued.
And I wasn’t trusting Rebek. Was she really the friend she was showing or was there something else going one with her?
To find the answers you will have to read this book.
Genre: Sweet and Clean Historical Romance (regency)
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Miss Frances Fanshawe’s past is shrouded in mystery. Raised genteelly by her mother in the knowledge she is heir to a fortune, she is forced to question everything after her mother dies and leaves her with only a single clue to the money. Unless she can locate her father or otherwise prove her heritage, not only the fortune but her very respectability is at stake.
In line for a baronetcy, Sebastian Arundell has no time for sorting out questionable tangles for young women with dubious histories. No matter if they are young, appealing, and have ridiculously large chocolate eyes to melt a man’s heart. But when it becomes apparent that other people are after Frannie’s supposed fortune, he is drawn to investigate. As the search deepens, Frannie falls in love with handsome, proper Sebastian. But ifit only proves what he suspects—that she’s an illegitimate pauper—will all hope to win his heart be lost?
Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes YA contemporary suspense and contemporary romance. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.
More from Linore Rose Burkard
Today we have a multi-published author with us, Linore Rose Burkard. She writes “Romance to warm the Heart, Fiction to Stir the Soul.” Linore’s first novel, an Inspirational Regency Romance, was actually the first of its kind and opened the genre for the CBA. Linore, welcome. Please tell us more about yourself as a writer. I understand you feel very purpose-driven in you vocation.
Linore: I do. Newer writers usually say their purpose is to write whatever specific book they’re working on. But I believe our purpose goes deeper than that, deeper than any single book. My purpose—which some may consider a humble calling—is to write smart, well-researched romance infused with humor that literally warms the heart. My readers close my romance novels with a smile and the feeling—at least for a few minutes—that all is right with the world.
When did you realize that was your purpose?
A writer needs to be humble enough to accept what their giftings are. I had to accept that I wasn’t going to write the next ‘great American novel.’ I wasn’t going to be a Hemingway. Having been schooled in the classics, both British and American, writing inspirational romance seems lightweight. Georgette Heyer, a writer I greatly admire, once said she ought to be shot for what she writes! Because there’s this perception among the literati that romance literature is less than respectable. But I’ve learned that heartwarming romance is worthy in itself, whether it is overtly evangelistic or not, and whether English professors would agree or not. Readers have written to me with such gratitude that it showed me that what I write is no less valuable –to those who will be blessed by it—than the classics.
How did you get started?
I’ve been an avid reader all my life and was always was drawn to write, even as a child. But I saw a need for something specific that wasn’t out there—Regency Romance that included a Christian worldview. I wanted to read that book, but it didn’t exist. So that’s what I started out writing. My first three novels with Harvest House were Inspirational Regencies. The genre since then has grown by leaps and bounds, which I think is great.
Would you like to give a tip for writers?
It’s important to write the book on your heart, not the one you think you should write because it will make money, or because it’s what people want. A lot of gurus are out there saying you should research the audience before putting pen to paper to make sure your book will be marketable. Well, there is some truth in that—if you write a book about some obscure dog breed that only 200 people own, you’re not gonna have a bestseller. But there’s a big danger in that method, too. The book on your heart, the story that won’t go away, is most likely the one that will help point you to your purpose in writing; and it will be the one that resonates with readers.
Another great book by Linore. Frannie’s story is very engagaing. Although, pretty early on I had an “inkling” (you’ll get that when you read the book) who her father probably was, but I bounced back forth with possibilities.
This is definitely a stand alone novel, even though it is part of a series, so no worries if you haven’t read the previous book (but that was good as well).
If you enjoy historical romance I am sure you will enjoy this book. One thing to keep in mind, if you are used to close third person POV, is that this one bounces around between different POVs within a scene and even paragraph to paragraph. But once you get use that you can roll with it.
Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…
Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.
Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect – a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.
Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.
About the Authors:
Kathryn Cushman graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Samford University. After hanging up her lab coat, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her previous works have received multiple nominations for both the Carol Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. The Plans We Made is her tenth published novel.
Lauren Beccue graduated from Holy Cross with a BA in English and now lives with her family in Santa Barbara. She writes about faith and family, with an emphasis on agricultural passages of the Bible. This is her first novel.
MAKE YOUR PLANS IN PENCIL! Now, go buy your copy of The Plans We Made online or at a local bookstore, then be sure to head to Lauren’s website to claim your bonus freebie! THREE CUSTOM PENCILS:Make Your Plans in PencilThe Plans We MadeProverbs 19:21Just contact Lauren with your name, address, and where you purchased the book, and she’ll send you a set. That’s it! (US only and get ’em while they last.)
I love when I start reading a book and it’s like meeting a long lost friend. Such was the case with this book. This book is a very easy and interesting read.
I was really wondering what the secret was and was a bit surprised when I found out. Everything seemed kind of worked about, or at least out in the open about halfway through the book but I knew something else was going to happen and change things, I just had to keep reading to see what that would be.
I highly recommend this read, it is very engaging and will tug on your heart strings.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.
A forgotten letter. A secret love. A vast estate. Can one determined woman put the pieces together?
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.
Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.
Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.
I felt like this book was very different from Joanna’s previous ones I have read. It was still good, just not what I expected based on her other books. It seemed more romance driven then mystery driven even though there is definitely a mystery in there that is driving the plot.
The letter getting passed around almost became comical.
The Gresham’s are an interesting family to say the least. And I so wanted to Willa to open her heart to Gabe but then a twist happens and I begin to question who will she end up with?
I adored Golda. She was grumpy, yet loveable. You knew deep down she really did love her family.
After her mother’s untimely death, Emma Monroe’s dreams to become a teacher are dashed. She takes a job as maid and cook at the local Stratton Ranch, where she endures humiliation and hardship in order to provide for her ailing father and younger brother. Only Riley Stratton, her childhood friend and heir to the Stratton fortune, sees her heart. When she’s asked to care for Skye, the young half-Indian girl most family members refuse to claim, Emma finally finds the purpose she craves.
Riley Stratton has it all, or so it seems. Growing up as the youngest son of the rich and powerful John Stratton, Riley stands to inherit a legacy of greatness in the Stratton Ranch. On the surface, his family looks like they have it all, but manipulation, deceit, and an ever-present quest for power leave him desperate for change. Yet his father has made it clear: do things the Stratton way, or face alienation and disinheritance. As Riley and Emma choose between honor, dreams, and expectations—not to mention the love they can no longer deny—their first steps prove how quickly the situation can spin into danger. When their best efforts threaten the lives and hopes of those closest to them, it becomes clear the decisions they make will change the course of their lives forever.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA Bestselling Author, award-winning humor columnist, and wannabe superhero. She lives in Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, four nearly-perfect children and one nearly-perfect son-in-law, and far too many animals. When she’s not writing, Renae teaches online classes and tries to be rugged without chipping her nail polish.
More from Renae
I’ve been writing this book for more than a decade!
In 2008, my dear friend and writing mentor, Chip Ricks, shared a book idea with me. Loosely based on her own family history, she wanted to write a story about two brothers—one who chose to live for Christ, the other who didn’t. She wanted to follow that family through the generations, to show the impact of that one choice, on the people who came behind.
She just had one problem. Chip was a brilliant writer, but she wasn’t a fiction writer. “Will you help me write this book?”
Now, Chip was in her 80s at the time. She was a mother, a grandmother, to me in the faith. If she’d asked me to paint the moon pink, I’d have given it my best shot. For several years, Chip and I worked together on several versions of the book. We only ever got through the first few chapters, and we’d change our minds about the characters or the situations. Finally, one day she smiled at me. She said, “You know, Renae. This is your book. I know I whispered the idea to you, but I always wanted you to be the one to write it. I’m getting too old to work on this . . . please take it. It’s your story.”
Soon after, she moved across the country to live with her daughter. We stayed connected via phone calls and Facebook, until eventually, she stopped responding. We lost touch. I continued to write the book—Chip’s book. Now my book. I’d work on it a while, then put it away for several months, even a few years at one point. In 2017, I finished what would become the first final draft. I fiddled with it more, here and there, but I hung onto it until I met Misty Beller, my publisher at Wild Heart.
I submitted the book to her, and she accepted it, right away! Then the editor got hold of it. God bless Erin Taylor Young! She was brutal, in the best possible way. I spent weeks (months?) making the suggested changes, and each one made the book so much better. The day I turned in those final edits to my publisher, I opened up Facebook. There, on Chip’s FB page, was a note to all her friends.
From one of her children.
She’d gone to see her Heavenly Father.
I sat there, frozen, looking at my screen, big fat tears tracking my cheeks. How was it possible that on the day the book was complete, I learned of her death? She was so instrumental in my walk of faith, and in my path as a writer. It was almost like the Holy Spirit wanted me to know . . . this particular journey was now complete.
I hope you enjoy this book, book one in a trilogy, for it is very close to my heart. And I hope you learn from the actions of two brothers, so many years ago, that our choices have an impact on our own lives, and on the lives of those who follow us.
The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so that she’s created her own version of the famous Parisian love-lock wall at the bakery where she works in Story, Kansas. She never expects a video involving the wall to go viral–or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He’s definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for an epic love story like the one her parents had–and that certainly will not include the love-scorning Gerard.
Just when it seems the Pastry Puff is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just the bakery but the pedestal she’s kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri’s recipe just needs to be tweaked.
(Insert me sighing) This is a very good book.
First, just look at that cover. I love it. It’s so pretty and romantic looking.
Second, there is a very good faith element in this book. At first I thought it was going to be weak in that area but it’s there and powerful.
Third, the romance is sizzling. The almost kisses had me wanting to throw the book and read more all at the same time.
Fourth, there were some lol moments. Mabel and Agnes had me cracking up.
This book delivers a powerful message about love. It can be messy and that’s okay. We should base our lives or our identity on what or who we think someone else was or is.
In volume 2 of the Short Studies in Systematic Theology series, Scott R. Swain examines the Trinity, presenting its biblical foundations, systematic–theological structure, and practical relevance for the church today.
So this book is great, but for me it is very text book like and I had a lot of trouble wading through it. But the content is good and maybe someone who likes reading more textbook type things would really eat this up, but it just wasn’t for me.
You can find a copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.
More from Barbara
Meeting of the Minds
A Wilkester Mysteries Introduction
Detective Todd Mason knew Katrina was the one the first time he met her. The woman had witnessed a murder—if not with her eyes, at least with her ears. She’d seen the man dying and called for help, afraid all the while that the killer would return for her. So much he’d been told before he went into the interrogation room.
“How’s she handling it?” he asked the officer who had arrived first at the scene and escorted her to the police station.
“Not too badly,” said Gary. “She’s in shock, of course, but she’s trying to hold it together. Katrina Peters. She’s in Room 2.”
He’d gone in then and gotten his first look at her. Late thirties or early forties. Brown hair that fell to her shoulders in loose waves. Brown eyes that were red-rimmed from crying. Hands clutching a tissue. She managed a faint smile when he walked in.
“Hello, Ms. Peters. I’m Detective Todd Mason. I need to ask you some questions, if that’s all right.”
“Miss,” she said, almost as a reflex.
“I beg your pardon?” Todd wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly.
“It’s Miss Peters.” She said it firmly, repudiating the term Ms. even at such a stressful moment. Something made her blush then, and he saw her glance at his left hand. “Never mind,” she murmured.
She’s afraid I’ll think she’s trying to advertize her availability. It amused Todd to see the blush—if only she knew how refreshing it was to see a woman who would even be conscious of such a thing. Old fashioned, he thought. In a good way.
She answered his questions as calmly as she could, and even apologized for the tears that insisted on coming out now and then. When she alluded to Daniel in the lion’s den, he knew she really was out of the ordinary, and it took all his self-control not to offer to drive her home himself.
To join the investigation, read your copy of Brought to Book today.
I really enjoy a cozy mystery and this one has a strong faith element, which I love. I can’t wait to read more in this series. The author has done a great job of lining up a cast of interesting characters and Katrina has a lot going on.
I will be curious to see how things develop with her budding relationship and the bookstore.
I appreciated how the author has a family that fosters children and gives the reader a glimpse into that life.
Overall, a very enjoyable read.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
hiding on a lawman’s family ranch is her last hope.
After her mother is killed, Melissa Morgan’s shocked to learn she’s spent her life in witness protection. Now it’s US marshal Miles Avery’s job to keep her and her little boy safe. And with a mole in his agency, the only way to evade the killer is to hide Melissa on Miles’s family ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.
Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.
More from Virginia
What if one day you discovered you were in the Witness Protection Program and didn’t know it?
This is the premise for my October book, TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT, which releases this month. My heroine, Melissa Morgan, learns she and her mother entered the program when Melissa was a child. Her mother never told her and, when Melissa witnesses her mother being murdered, she becomes the assassin’s next target. US Marshal Miles Avery steps in to protect the single mom and her son from a killer, but a leak in WITSEC leaves him with little options except to take his witnesses to his family’s ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.
So, in celebration of TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT releasing this month, here are 10 things about the Witness Protection Security Program (or WITSEC) I learned during my research for this book.
The program is voluntary. No one can be forced to enter.
You can leave the program at any time—although it is not recommended.
No person in the program, who follows the rules, has ever been killed.
People entering WITSEC sometimes keep their same first name and/or initials so that if they mess up and start to sign their name, they have time to correct.
Since WITSEC is a federal program, many states have their own programs to protect witnesses of gang or street-level crimes.
If you get married while in WITSEC, you must lie to your new spouse to protect your true identity in the event the relationship doesn’t last.
Protected witnesses are mostly criminals. Only about 5% are innocents despite the popular trope in movies and fiction.
Local law enforcement may or may not be notified when a protected witness is relocated to their jurisdiction.
Divorced, non-custodial parents have had their children hidden from them and now must agree to allow their children to enter the program.
WITSEC protected witnesses are expected to eventually become self-sufficient. They do not get to live off the government for the rest of their lives.
Did any of these facts about WITSEC surprise you? I’d love to hear which ones. I had a lot of fun researching WITSEC for TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT. I hope you enjoy Miles and Melissa’s story! Look out for the next book in the series—middle brother Navy SEAL Paul Avery’s story—coming in TEXAS TARGET STANDOFF in March of 2021.
I always enjoy a good Love Inspired Suspense book. Although, this wasn’t my favorite I did like it. It was an interesting premise. I can’t imagine living your live and not knowing until you were an adult that you were in the WITSEC program.
I could sympathize with Melissa’s momma heart for her son. Her one desire was to protect him and give him a normal life.
Miles tried to fight his feelings for Melissa but he finds it very difficult.
I also love the Avery family and how they pull together to protect each other.