New Historical Fiction for February

It’s the first week of February, so let’s take a look at some of the historical fiction titles that will be hitting the shelves sometime this month.

From authors who are part of American Christian Fiction Writers:

ProphetessThe 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)

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)

Sweet MisfortuneA 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)

Spy DevotionA Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson — Langdon returns home to heal from a battlefield injury — 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 18 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])

Northern LightThe 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 fiancé’s 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])

 

Moonlit GardenA few from authors in the general market:

Rush-Oh by Shirley Barrett (Virago) – When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby (Pan) – Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson take on a case rejected by Sherlock Holmes.

The Ironsmith by Nicholas Guild (Forge) – The behind-the-scenes political plots to kill Jesus of Nazareth, and one man’s attempt to save his life.

The Farmer’s Daughter by Mary Nichols (Allison & Busby) – A WWII Suffolk girl managing her sick father’s farm enlists the help of a German POW and they fall in love, to local disapproval.

The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann – A widowed antique shop worker digs into history to learn the story and secrets of a violin brought to her. As she unravels the mystery of the previous owner’s story, she comes to see her own life in a new light.

Your turn: What sounds good to you? I know several will be added to my to-read list! Share what you think about these or if you’ve heard of another new release that the rest of us might enjoy.

Happy reading!
Leigh

New Stories for the Historical Fiction Lover in You

New Year’s Day 2016 was wonderful.

Partly because I got to sleep later, partly because I spent the whole day at home with my family, partly because my husband made the cornbread so I didn’t even have to cook. 🙂

And partly because I spent a large chunk of the day in my jammies curled up with a book — guilt free!

Those days don’t happen very often for me, so when they do they’re a special treat. And although I read a lot of different things, I always find myself leaning back toward historical fiction. Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved history and think so many things about days-gone-by are fascinating. Maybe it’s because there’s usually some romance — and what girl doesn’t love some romance? (My daughter certainly does, especially now that she’s discovered Hallmark movies — but that’s a story for another day!)

lassoed by marriageIf you’re like me and love a good historical novel, here are some releasing this month that you might want to check out. Titles in this first section are from authors affiliated with American Christian Fiction Writers:

  • 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? (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? (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. (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 of stories with love, romance, and a twist of humor: “The Husband Maneuver,” “Her Dearly Unintended,” “Runaway Bride” and “Engaging the Competition.” (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)
  • 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” based on Emma, “Romantic Refinements” based on Sense and Sensibility, “One Word from You” based on Pride and Prejudice, and “Alarmingly Charming” based on Northanger Abbey. (Whitefire Publishing)
  • All That Glitters by Lisa J. Flickinger — 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. (Ambassador International)
  • A Worthy HeartA 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. (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

 

The Forgotten RoomIf you’re looking for mainstream historicals, you might want to learn more about these or other titles highlighted by the Historical Novel Society:

  • A Taste for Nightshade by Martine Bailey – Suspense, cooking, and revenge in early 19th-century England (St. Martin’s)
  • Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett – One woman’s fight for survival and love in revolutionary Russia (St. Martin’s)
  • Fallen Land by Taylor Brown – A couple flees pursuers during Sherman’s march through Georgia (St. Martin’s)
  • Exposure by Helen Dunmore – Cold War London, 1960: Lily suspects that her husband’s arrest for passing information to the Soviets is part of a cover-up, unaware that he may be guilty of a worse crime (Hutchinson)
  • Gunner Girls and Fighter Boys by Mary Gibson – East End girls become ATS ack-ack gunners and find love and freedom during the London Blitz in WWII (Head of Zeus)
  • Murder Most Malicious by Alyssa Maxwell – A lady’s maid and her 18-year-old mistress cross class lines to solve murders in 1918 England (Kensington)
  • The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig – A multi-period mystery about three generations of women (NAL)

Your turn: So … do any of these sound interesting to you? I’d love to know which one(s) you might let steal you away to another time for a while!

Book Review: New Titles for February

If you’re looking for some good books to read, one of your best resources is the American Christian Fiction Writers group. I’ve been a member for about 4 years now and have been tremendously blessed through learning to be a better writer, connecting with other authors and would-be authors, and being privy to the encouragement and instruction of hundreds of other Christian writers. It still blows my mind to realize that some of my favorite authors — the ones whose books I go straight to in the bookstore, the ones whose blogs I read because I admire their perspectives and enjoy getting to ‘know’ them — are right in the middle of things, asking questions and opinions or offering advice to others.

Being part of ACFW has really opened my eyes to the ever-growing world of Christian fiction. We invite members to announce their newly releasing books to the group each month and then many members help spread the word. I’ve found some authors and books through ACFW that I might not have discovered otherwise, and I’m forever grateful for that gift.

With that in mind, I’m going to join the ranks of some of my fellow fiction lovers and post each month’s new releases. Here’s the latest list, with titles releasing in February. Some are already available and others will be in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for them and enjoy!

1. Abigail: A Novel, The Wives of King David, Book 2, by Jill Eileen Smith from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Turmoil marks her life – what price will she pay for love?

2. A Valentine Wish, by Betsy St. Amant from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Lori, chocolate-lover extraordinaire, is unemployed, single, and out of brownie mix. But when a secret admirer pops up at her new job running a chocolate boutique, she might have the ingredients for a special Valentine’s after all!

3. Deliver Us From Evil, by Robin Caroll from B&H Publishing. When a female helicopter pilot rescues a US Marshal escorting a heart, they must race against time to uncover the largest child trafficking ring in history.

4. Hometown Promise; First in the Kellerville Series, by Merrillee Whren from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Kellerville: Finding family, community and love in one small town

5. Love’s Winding Path, by Lauralee Bliss from Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. A prodigal’s life is never out of God’s reach and His love as two lonely adventurers are about to discover.

6. The Marriage Masquerade, by Erica Vetsch from Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. Sometimes running away brings you right back where you started.

7. Meander Scar, by Lisa Lickel from Black Lyon. When Ann is ready to jump back into life with a new love, she discovers the devastating truth behind her husband’s disappearance.

8. My Deadly Valentine, by Lynette Eason and Valerie Hansen from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Two suspense-filled stories about stalkers and the men determined to protect the women they love.

9. On Wings of Love, by Kim Watters from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A dedicated nurse devotes her life helping others, only to discover the man who steals her heart doesn’t want her help..

10. The Pastor’s Wife, by Jennifer AlLee from Abingdon Press. A woman must face the husband – and the congregation – she ran from six years earlier.

11. Walking on Broken Glass, by Christa Allen from Abingdon Press. Leah Thornton stops numbing her pain with alcohol, but discovers the road to redemption might still be under construction.

I’m reading Abigail now and am absolutely loving it! Once I finish I’ll post a review so you can decide whether to check it out yourself.

Resource: Conference CDs

If I had unlimited vacation time, a bottomless bank account, and no family obligations, I could easily become a writers’ conference junkie. I’m involved with a conference my local writers group hosts each summer and try to attend one other conference during the year. But there are so many to choose from and it can be so hard to decide which one is best! Since I can’t go to nearly as many as I’d like, I’ve found the next best thing — CDs or MP3 downloads of the conference sessions.

No, it’s not the same as being there, but most are really high quality and it’s nice to be able to listen to them again in case I missed something the first time (and I always miss something the first time!). They’re also pretty inexpensive and most speakers are happy to email you copies of the handouts if you can track down their email address. Just think — if you were a speaker, wouldn’t you love to get an email months after your talk saying, “I bought the CD from your class at ____ conference and am really enjoying it. Is there any way you could send me the handouts you used?”? Personally, a note like that would make my day! So even if I don’t need handouts sometimes I’ll send a quick note to the speaker just to let her know I learned something.

So far, I’ve bought CDs or have downloaded MP3s from sessions at 4 conferences. Here are some links for you to check out the next time you’re looking for a conference-on-the-go or need a quick fix before your next one:

I’m sure there are other conference that have class CDs available. If you know of any, send me a note and I’ll add it to the list. Happy learning!