Monday, February 29, 2016

With THIS Ring? Reviewed



About the Book:

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 sparred with for so long after an accident leaves him helpless. 

Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers. You can buy this collection at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Christian Book.


My review:

The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer
I couldn’t get past the first page…without laughing out loud. This novella reminded me why I’ve read every single piece of writing Karen has available for purchase, and reread some to boot. Marietta and Daniel’s story had been nipping at the edge of my curiosity since A Worthy Pursuit. Bless Marietta’s heart, she just can’t wait a couple weeks and risk losing the man she loves, which of course, gets her AND Daniel into way more trouble than they bargained for. Daniel Barrett is the name I had picked out for a sea captain in one of my early-early attempts at writing some 10-odd years ago. Someday maybe I'll rewrite his story, but my Daniel Barrett and Karen's Daniel Barrett both share the same name and red hair, which makes me feel smart for having something in common with her. :)
Full of laughs and swoon-worthy moments, this novella (like all Karen’s work) makes me wish Witemeyer Heroes were real-life fellas. That wouldn’t do at all, considering all the fainting that would ensue. Seriously, though… “Witemeyer’s Heroes” would make a spectacular dating service, don’t you think? I can see it now. Livery owners, cowboys, blacksmiths, sheep ranchers, inventive shipping magnates, reformed bounty hunters, and railroad explosive specialists. :D
I finished this novella in one sitting. Every page was a joy. Just before the lovely “I’m all yours” and classy kiss-and-fade-to-black conclusion comes one of my favorite parts of the whole novella—when the ending of the dime novel gets tweaked. My HEA-loving heart stood up and cheered. Daniel Barrett became my hero x10 in that moment.


Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings
Ms. Jennings has a style that draws me in and keeps me reading up in the night. The homeyness is there, as well as fresh, unexpected characters. I never fail to be surprised by someone she’s written—after my mind stereotypes them, they end up the opposite. One thing I noted is Josiah and Katie Ellen are quite young in this novella—or maybe I’m just getting old, haha! I admit, I normally like a more seasoned hero, but Josiah’s bravado, energy and vulnerability were endearing and balanced Katie Ellen’s obsessive compulsiveness quite well. Plus, Josiah has the protective hero thing going on like nobody's business. If Josiah were standing here right now, I'd totally give him a fist bump for that. Can I just say…the rocks! “What if they’re lonely and want to be near each other?” Adorable! Wearing his mother’s dress? *snort* Every Regina Jennings book I've read has a down-in-the-country feel, a dirt road grittiness, with plenty of sunshine and fluffy clouds to brighten the view. Bringing along its share of danger, sighs and giggles, this novel was no exception to that delightful rule.


Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy
As usual, this Connealy book grabs you on the first page, plunks you in the saddle, and takes you for a ride that doesn’t stop twisting, turning, and bucking (maybe even exploding) until the very end. Big John Conroy and Carrie are a very cutesy old-fashioned couple, and I love that about them. The threat of death throws them together, but John and Carrie are NOT going to be talked into anything they haven’t thoroughly thought through, especially something like marriage (who said anything about marriage?), except maybe they’ve already thought on it a little bit, and they’ve found they rather like one another, but they wouldn’t dare let on to anyone else, especially the all-fired-know-it-all Vince, who really does know a lot of stuff and is only trying to help by suggesting they marry. After fighting their own attraction, friends’ teasing, a band of mighty evil outlaws, and pure common sense, they may or may not submit to domestication and happily ever after, which is surely doomed if the main baddy shows up. I won’t tell you the ending, but suffice it to say there’s a lot of shooting and big family involvement from folks who we didn’t even know were related, but they’re claiming it anyhow, ‘cuz in the west, if you don’t hate each other, you gotta love each other...it’s the only way to survive.


Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears
I loved Harrison in this novella, because he reminds me of a nerdish fella I grew up with, one all the girls had a crush on (yes, all), despite (and probably halfway because of) his glasses. It also helps that Harrison quotes poetry and is extremely intelligent and skilled when it comes to literature and most everything except the loved-her-since-grade-school, rough and tumble heroine Charlotte Andrews. He’s a little hung up on a shooting competition where she sort of humiliated him in front of all the guys, but I guess guys are pretty competitive and deeply desire respect, so that makes sense. His sharply intelligent, no-nonsense persona is softened by the fact that he’s adorably vulnerable without his glasses, the helplessness of which he hates in a very manly fashion--except when it puts him within kissing proximity of Charlotte. (^_^) The subplot with Charlotte’s mother is heartfelt, thoughtful, and grounding, lending this otherwise fun-loving adventure some roots that go deeper than one may perceive at first-glance.

I recommend this novella collection to all my fellow Christian historical romance fans. Quite possibly one of the best novella collections I’ve read. Well done ladies!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. (Which I'm most happy and delighted to share despite all that legal babble. :P ) 



Tweetable:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Spine Poetry from My Bookshelf

I first learned of Spine Poetry thanks to awesome Sweet South Blog reader Amada. Of course, then I had to try my hand at it, hehe.

Okay, I admit I stole borrowed a few books from my other family members for a couple of these "poems." And you may have seen a couple of these poems in a tasty preview last year.

One Tuesday morning, Anna Finch and the hired gun vanished into deep, deep trouble.

White Christmas brides suddenly married Texas Christmas grooms as American as apple pie.

Masked by moonlight, a groom by arrangement suddenly married a bride most begrudging to win her heart.

When the clouds roll by, the lady and the officer get lost finding Beth, the lightkeeper's daughter, under the Big Sky.

Little women masquerade hidden affections when love calls an unlikely suitor once upon a summer. (Looking back, I'd have placed the bottom book on top.)

An echo in the darkness just above a whisper, "No way out."

Painless research projects: Mr. Knightly's diary. :)

Mr. Knightly's diary vanished. Emma? Deep trouble.
A voice in the wind whispers of moonlight, "Though my heart is torn, winter is not forever."

Now here are a few especially for my friend Julie Lessman:

Masked by moonlight, Scarlet(t) suddenly married more than a cowboy. 

Yes, Rhett is more than a cowboy, but what is the deal with masked marriage? Hmmm... Maybe a little fan fiction going on here.

Scarlet(t's) rebellious heart, (was) made to crave great kisses safe in the fireman's arms where she belongs.
I had to add imaginary words to the above one, but I tried. :D Who knew Scarlett was in love with a fireman all along?


Scarlett! Behave yourself!

P.S. Julie, notice that Scarlett and Rhett are on the COVER of the "Great Kisses...And Famous Lines Right Out of the Movies" book by Timothy Knight. They're like the poster-children for great kisses, er, poster-adults? Whatevs. :)


Which spine poem was your favorite?
Can you think of any book titles you can string together into sentences?

Monday, February 15, 2016

A SPY'S DEVOTION ~ Character Interview with Melanie Dickerson

It's my pleasure and privilege to bring you Melanie Dickerson, YA, Medieval, and Regency Romance author extraordinaire.  She has brought along two lovely characters from her new novel A Spy's Devotion, book 1 of the Regency Spies of London series, and has been kind enough to share them with us! Enjoy!


In England's Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life--but behind closed doors, treason and intrigue thrive...

Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray.


Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?



Dear Miss Grey and Mr. Langdon, 

What is your first reaction when you meet a fetching lady/handsome gentleman? Blush? Stutter? Run? Flirt? Engage them in intelligent or witty conversation? Start an argument to see them flustered? Offer a helping hand? Ask a friend about them?

Julia Grey: Of course, I would never speak to a gentleman to whom I had not been properly introduced. I would never want to make anyone ill at ease, so I would do my best to engage him in conversation on an appropriate topic.

Nicholas Langdon: Whenever I meet a young lady, I always ask her to dance. I enjoy dancing, as it is an acceptable way to make a lady’s acquaintance and to speak with her, without the risk of dying of boredom if the lady should prove to be less than enjoyable to converse with.

Are there any children or pets in your life? What do you love about them?

Julia: There is a precious little boy that I sometimes encounter in Cheapside when I visit my former music master. His name is Henry Lee, and he is the dearest boy and takes care of his sickly mother and younger sister, even though he is only eight years old himself. He knows I will always give him a few shillings, so he greets me every Tuesday on the street. But he has made me quite suspicious that he is acquainted with Mr. Langdon as well, though I cannot think how the two could know each other.

Nicholas: It is a little-known fact that I visit with my old school chum John Wilson every Tuesday at his Children’s Aid Mission, a place where children may go for a safe place to play and get a meal. I know several of the regulars, including Henry Lee, who nearly gave me away to Miss Grey when the three of us happened to meet in Bishopsgate Street.

What are your hobbies?

Julia: I enjoy playing the pianoforte and composing my own musical compositions. I also enjoy reading and daily walks to Hyde Park.

Nicholas:
I enjoy riding, dancing, shooting, reading, and other country life pursuits.

Any current romantic interests?

Julia: There is someone, Daniel Dinklage, whom Mr. Langdon often teases me about. But I do not believe Mr. Dinklage’s mother will ever approve the match, for I am poor and not the sort of attachment she is hoping for. She expects her eldest son to marry well.

Nicholas: Not at the moment. I am a second son and cannot expect a large inheritance of my own. My father hopes that I shall make my fortune in the army, and I have already been thrown over by my first fiancée for a wealthier—and much older—man. So marriage is not on my horizon at present.

What is your worst fear?

Julia: One of my worst fears is angering my uncle, who is also my guardian, as I do not wish him to ever think I am not extremely grateful for all that he has done for me in taking me in as part of his family. And I have seen his temper, and it is not something I wish to see again. Another fear is that I shall have to make my own way as a governess, since a governess is quite alone in the world, having no one with whom she might form an equal friendship, and very little chance of ever getting married and having a family of her own.

Nicholas: After having experienced war and severe battle injuries, I do not think there is much else to fear, besides losing one’s heart to a woman who would later prove herself unworthy and unfaithful, and I have already experienced that as well.


 Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.


You can purchase A SPY'S DEVOTION at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and add it to Goodreads.



Natalie here, thank you so much for coming by, Melanie, and for bringing along your characters! I'm so happy readers get a chance to meet Julia and Nicholas here on the Sweet South Blog.


Tweetable:
Propriety meets political intrigue in A SPY'S DEVOTION. (Click to Tweet)


Comment fodder:
Ladies -- How would you react if you learned your husband/boyfriend/gentleman you admired was involved in a political intrigue trying to save your country from sabotage?


Winners of the 20 Book Valentine's Day Giveaway are Bonnie Roof, Julianna Rowe, Annie JC, and Kim (kamundson44). CONGRATS!!! I'll be getting in touch with you shortly!

Monday, February 8, 2016

MULE DAZED ~ Character Interview with Lisa Carter


About the Book

Hattie Brimfield’s had it with her high-handed, overprotective brothers. So she runs away from the family ranch and straight into trouble due to a series of unfortunate miscommunications involving the Mule Days celebration of 1885 in Hitching Post, Montana.
Sheriff Braxton Cashel isn't about to let this newcomer get away with making a mockery of the proud, if slightly quirky, nuptial festivities involving mules, brides, and the town whose only claim to fame is its name, Hitching Post. And he’s absolutely not about to allow this feisty, winsome gal to get under his skin much less in his heart—until a late spring blizzard traps them overnight in the town jail and Hattie’s brothers show up the next day to demand a shotgun wedding to protect the honor of their beloved baby sister.

Please welcome Lisa Carter's character, Hattie Brimfield:


Ms. Brimfield, has anything significant happened in your life in the past two weeks?

On the witness stand in the Hitching Post, Montana court-room, twenty-year-old Hattie Brimfield fidgets. “Let me just state for the record—I didn’t intend to cause a riot during the Mule Days celebration.”

She frowns. “Nor get arrested, either.”


Your most embarrassing moment?

Hattie sighs and adjusts her bonnet. “Probably during the auction when it appeared Braxton wasn’t going to even place a bid on my boxed lunch. I was mortified.”



What is your first reaction when you meet a fetching lady/handsome gentleman? Blush? Stutter? Run? Flirt? Engage them in intelligent or witty conversation? Start an argument to see them flustered? Offer a helping hand? Ask a friend about them?

“You’re talking about Braxton, aren’t you? Sheriff Braxton Cashel.” Hattie fans herself. “He wasn’t always a sheriff, of course. I’ve known him most of his life. We lost touch when we were children and then years later, I turn around after setting a few mules free to find him pointing a gun at me.”

A smile curves her lips. “I don’t know who was the most surprised—him or me.” She bats her eyelashes. “There never was a handsomer boy than Brax Cashel. As for Brax Cashel all grown up?” Hattie blushes. “After what happened during Mule Days, I guess most people know how I feel about that subject.”



Are there any children or pets in your life? What do you love about them?

“I love kittens—I got Brax to dive into a creek once to rescue a sack of kittens. Brax likes to pretend it’s all me—this inordinate fondness for animals. Case in point he’ll tell you about what happened during Mule Days. But no way an itty-bitty little girl like me could’ve ever gotten a big, brawny boy like him to do anything he didn’t already want to do.”

She rolls her tongue inside her cheek. “And what happened last week during Mule Days proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.”


What are your hobbies?

“I cook. I like to write. I like to sing—Bringing in the Sheaves is my all-time favorite.” A small smile. “Brax’s, too.” Hattie taps her finger on her chin, thinking. “I sew—I made the prettiest blue ruffled curtain for the jail. You know, just to brighten that dreary place and make it seem more homey. Which Brax informed me, was so not the point of a jailhouse.”


Siblings? How many? Do you get along?

“My pa was a chaplain during the war. As a man of the Word, he named my brothers—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. After Ma and Pa passed, I took over the cooking at the Bronco B. It was their efforts to marry me to some railroad toad that made me up and leave Wyoming in the first place.” Hattie tilts her head. “I guess when you look at it that way though, I actually owe everything to them. Since I wound up in Hitching Post and met up with Brax again.”

She smiled. “They’re good boys. Just high-spirited and protective. As Brax found out.”


What is your dearest dream?


“My fondest dream is to live the rest of my days in Hitching Post, Montana with the love of my life, Braxton Cashel. And raise a batch of curly, crazy-haired little girls and a passel of earnest, serious-minded young boys. Oh, and write that definitive guide about mules, too.”


What is your worst fear?


“That Braxton wouldn’t love me.”


When’s the last time you had a really good meal? Courtesy of whom?


Hattie rolls her eyes. “Ms. Monk, I assure you that any good meal I’ve had, I’ve had to cook myself. Why do you think my brothers are such big men?”


Are there any hardheaded people in your life right now? What’s the issue?

“A great question, Ms. Monk. Woman to woman, I leave it for you to judge. In the end, which one of us proved to be the most mule dazed?” Hattie gives the courtroom a coy look. “Me?” She smiles. “Or Braxton? You decide.”



Bio
Lisa Carter and her family make their home in North Carolina. In addition to "Mule Dazed" in the Lassoed by Romance Collection, she is the author of seven romantic suspense novels and a contemporary Coast Guard romantic series. When she isn't writing, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales, teaching writing workshops, and researching her next exotic adventure. She has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. She loves to hear from readers and you can connect with Lisa at www.lisacarterauthor.com.







Tweetable: 
Hattie Brimfield shares her most embarrassing moment from LASSOED BY MARRIAGE. (Click to tweet)


Comment fodder:
What do you think? Will Hattie or Braxton be the most mule-headed in this story?

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 2016 New Fiction Releases #ACFW

Happy February, folks! The new February Sweet South Blog calendar is up. Check it out HERE or at the blog tab above. You'll see some fun changes in the works.

And back by popular demand, here is a list of new fiction releases from my fellow members of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Enjoy!


February 2016 New Releases

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

Amish Romance:

Joshua's Mission by Vannetta Chapman -- Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. He brings his brother with him, hoping to keep Alton from another brush with the law. Joshua is pleasantly surprised when he hears that Becca Troyer, the bishop's granddaughter, plans on joining their team. What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A lack of electricity, certainly, which poses little problem for the Amish volunteers as they help restore order from destruction. But a budding romance? A call from God? And a possible healing of his relationship with Alton? (Amish Romance from Harvest House Publishers)

An Amish Market: Four Novellas by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Vannetta Chapman -- All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors. Love Birds by Amy Clipston: Ellie Lapp takes a liking to Lloyd's beautifully carved wooden birds, not to mention the young man himself, when she convinces this friend of her deceased brother's to sell his creations in the gift shop where she works. But will his family's plans for him come between their budding relationship? A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller: Every week, confirmed bachelor Ezra buys Hannah Lynne's home-churned butter at the local market, barely glancing her way, despite her hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can't stop wondering if Ezra is finally in the market for love. Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin: Shattering a jar of pickled beets in Bee County's Combination Store was embarrassing enough without Isabella's receiving a frosty reaction from the handsome store manager, Will Glick. But she soon learns Will's heart is in pieces. Now, Isabella finds herself longing to be the one to repair it and renew his faith in love. Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman: Stella Schrock and new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower, have to work together to solve the mystery of strange events happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they may find God has more in store than they imagined. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])


Biblical:

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith -- Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she'll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai--and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan's armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God's calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped?
(Biblical from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Children's:

Samantha Sanderson Without a Trace by Robin Caroll -- Sam Sanderson dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, so she's always looking for articles to publish in her middle-school paper, where she secretly hopes to become chief editor. With a police officer for a father, Sam is never short on writing material. When Sam's friend Tam Lee goes missing, all clues seem to point to something sinister in Sam's opinion. Sam must decide whether to trust law enforcement's opinion that Tam's a run-away or follow her heart and poke around for more clues? (Children's from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Hope Girl by Wendy Dunham -- With the discovery of her birth father, 12-year-old River has to decide if she should continue living with Gram, who has been her family for the past ten years, or with her father, who she's over-the-moon to have just met but knows little about. And when River is diagnosed with a condition that could impact her future, she feels overwhelmed and bewildered. That's when River asks God for help and decides to trust him with her dreams. (Children's from Harvest House Publishers)


Contemporary Romance:

Island Hope by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- Metal sculptor Hope Michaels gave up on art when her creativity was zapped by another and buries herself in an electrical contracting job on Wildflower Island. She never imagines her best friend and employer, Piper, would turn matchmaker. When a lonely widower is promoted to manager of the Wildflower Resort, his new responsibilities complicate his relationship with his teenage daughter. Seeking advice from a feisty-but-sweet newcomer, he never expects things to only get more complicated. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)


General:

Renovating the Richardsons by Virginia Smith -- In the small town of Goose Creek, Kentucky, Millie Richardson is renovating a drafty Victorian house into a B&B while her husband, Al, busily writes checks for the renovations. Also, the new vet, Susan, has finally found acceptance from the town--not to mention a hunky new boyfriend, Justin. But things never stay quiet for long in Goose Creek. The inner-county softball game is coming up, and Millie volunteers Al as team manager. But the softball team is a disaster. If they're not going to embarrass themselves in front of the whole of Franklin County, Al needs Justin to play. But Justin lives just outside the city limits, and the rules say that players must live in town. As if that weren't enough to keep the town gossips busy, a massage therapist opens up shop in town. Imagine--a massage parlor!--in Goose Creek! No decent Creeker will stand for it. It's up to Al and Millie--again--to save the day. (General from Harvest House Publishers)


Historical Romance:

The Love Is Patient Romance Collection by Janet Lee Barton, Frances Devine, Lena Nelson Dooley, Vickie McDonough, Darlene Franklin, Jill Stengl, Connie Stevens, and Erica Vetsch -- Enjoy the slow dance through the courtship of nine historical couples in the American west, including the territories of Arizona and Wyoming. Just at a time in life when they have nearly given up on finding love, romance enters their lives. But will it be true love, and will it be worth the wait? Find out in this delightful collection written by eight bestselling authors of inspirational romances. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan -- Rachel Matthews isn't one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money--even if she's forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel's brother sends a friend--the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre--to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother's return, Rachel isn't sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre's home--especially once she discovers that he's the one who holds the deed to her family's ranch. (Historical Romance from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson -- After suffering a battlefield injury, wealthy, well-connected British officer Nicholas Langdon returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier's last wish by delivering his coded diary. At a ball hosted by the powerful Whilhelm family, Langdon meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Honoring propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia's guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation's undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England-and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press, an imprint of Amazon Publishing)

The Express Rider's Lady by Stacy Henrie -- Delsie Radford's father may have kept her and her sister apart, but Delsie refuses to miss her sister's wedding-even with only eighteen days to get there. And she's found the perfect escort in Pony Express rider Myles Patton. Myles can't believe it when a pretty socialite hires him to take her cross-country through dangerous territory. He's sure she'll give up soon, but the longer they ride together, the more Myles notices the toughness and kindness beneath Delsie's refined exterior. And though they may be worlds apart…they might just be perfect for each other. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Texan's Engagement Agreement by Noelle Marchand -- It's been five years since Adelaide Harper broke Chris Johansen's heart-and their long-distance engagement. But when she steps off a train in Peppin, Texas, and strolls back into Chris's life, he can't help but panic. To avoid his parents' plan to arrange a marriage for him, he's let his family believe he and Adelaide are still engaged. Adelaide is facing her own troubles with a matchmaking mama and a parade of aggravating suitors. So pretending to let Chris court her could help them both. Surely after five years, there's no need to worry their time together could reignite a long-buried love…is there? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Northern Light by Annette O'Hare -- The Yankees took her fiancés life, but when a wounded Union soldier washes ashore, needing her help, will she learn to love again or will hate cost him his life? (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican))


Romantic Suspense:

Rocky Mountain Pursuit by Mary Alford -- Everyone believes agent Jase Bradford is dead-everyone but Reyna Peterson. Only he can protect her now that someone wants the information her CIA husband died to secure. As the one member of their spy team not killed, Jase must remain in the shadows. Yet when Reyna leads the enemy right to his mountain refuge and blows his cover, Jase risks his life for hers. As his best friend's beautiful widow scales the walls around his heart, whether out of loyalty or love, he makes it his duty to secure her safety. But when their pursuers trap them in the snowy Colorado mountains, will it become his final mission? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired (Harlequin))

Always Watching by Lynette Eason -- The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have more than just skill and prowess in common--they're also all women. When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians in order to protect his son. But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him. Olivia has the feeling that she's next on the list. And to complicate things even further, she realizes that her heart may be in as much danger as her client. (Romantic Suspense from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Navy SEAL Security by Liz Johnson -- Wounded navy SEAL Luke Dunham's only goal is returning to active duty…until he rescues his physical therapist from a lethal attack. Now he'll risk everything-even his recovery-—to keep Mandy Berg's attacker at bay. Mandy's been burned before when she trusted the wrong man. And she knows better than to develop feelings for one of her patients. Yet how can she help falling for a man who does not hesitate to put his strength, his skill and his very life in harm's way to keep her safe? Relying on anyone feels dangerous…but turning away Luke's protection could be deadly. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Pandora's Deed by Monica Mynk -- Savannah Barrett fled her Dreyfus home to escape childhood bullies, and planned to stay away for good. Body image struggles have led her to give up so much of herself to empty relationships, she believes no one could desire her for more. Geoff Spencer, her former tormentor, is the man who could love her anyway. He cleaned up his life, stopped bullying, and found Christ. When she inherits his farm, she returns to claim the property and face her dreadful past, never expecting to claim his heart. But the property transfer unearths a mystery that some would prefer to stay buried and plants Savannah in the path of a psychopath who'd rather dispose of her rather than expose the past. (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey -- In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. But one of them vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled. Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When of Griffin's former friends, FBI agent Declan Gray, takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)


Speculative:

The Last Apostle by Dennis Brooke -- What if John, the last living apostle of Jesus Christ, was still alive and well… and living in Seattle? In A.D. 100, John is restored to the body of his youth and sent on a mission with a warning: to never reveal his true identity. Fast-forward to modern day Seattle, where both friends and foes are on the verge of discovering who he truly is-an event that will trigger the end times. (Speculative from Made for Grace)

Far and Near by Amanda G. Stevens -- Marcus, Lee, Austin, and Violet are starting over. Texas is supposed to be their sanctuary. But the Constabulary isn't ready to relinquish their worst offenders, legal jurisdiction or not. They've sent agents in undercover, and Marcus is the assigned target of one who has personal reasons to bring him back dead or alive. Marcus and Lee are ready to be whole again, to secure a home here--together. But wholeness and home might not mean what they thought. Stopping the Constabulary hunters will require more than Marcus knows how to give, and God is about to use him again in a way he doesn't expect. (Speculative from David C. Cook)


Thriller/Suspense:

Voice in the Wilderness by H. L. Wegley -- As catastrophes drive the US into martial law, all eyes are on America, waiting to see what emerges. KC Banning, network specialist, discovers President Hannan's tyrannical plans and is branded a terrorist, sending her fleeing the Beltway to find her childhood soulmate and protector, Brock Daniels. Brock, a writer and man of faith, gives CPR to a dying nation through his blog, which is read by military members still loyal to the Constitution. But starting a grassroots insurgency while reconciling KC's and Brock's broken relationship proves difficult. When Hannan sends Special Forces to kill Brock and KC, starting a war in the Central Oregon desert, reconciliation, like staying alive, might be impossible. (Thriller/Suspense, Independently Published using Trinity Press International)