My Favorite Novels of the Year
Today, I’m excited to share my favorite novels of the year. As an author, I read dozens of novels every year–some for business, and some for pleasure. I can certainly say that this year especially, it’s been an amazing year in fiction. I’ve been introduced to many great new authors and I’ve jumped headfirst into reading a new genre–fantasy/sci-fi. Many of these authors write with a young adult audience in mind. But let me tell you, these books had me on the edge of my seat and reading into the night. So good! If you’re looking for a new story to fall into or maybe some great gifts for those special people on your “nice” list, these are the books for you!
My Favorite Novels of the Year
The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin
Selling stories is a deadly business
Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories–she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.
During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down…and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers…and they’re after her too.
The Way It Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson
Zara Mahoney was enjoying newlywed bliss until her life is upended by her estranged sister, Eve, and Zara must take custody of her children. Eve’s struggles lead her to Tiff Bradley, who’s determined to help despite the past hurts the relationship triggers. Can these women find the hope they-and those they love-desperately need?
This book moved me. Christina did a fantastic job! I completely related to Zara’s struggles. (Hello, the situation with DHS was completely right-on.) I also loved Tiff, an older woman trying to help those on the street, just as she hoped someone had helped her daughter who fought addiction. Again, I nodded along with Tiff’s story as she vacillated between wanting to help and worrying if she wasn’t helping at all.
The Rembrandt Stone series by (David James Warren: ie Susan May Warren, David Warren, and James Rubart)
One case haunts him. One chance to fix the past. One mistake could cost him everything.
Ex-Minneapolis Police Detective Rembrandt Stone walked away from a career he loved—just the price of being sure he can come home to the wife and daughter he cherishes. But he can’t shake the deep regret over a case left behind.
When his mentor, the former Chief of Homicide dies and leaves Rembrandt with a box of cold cases and a mysterious watch, he finds himself thrust into a world he recognizes—a world from twenty years ago—the same world he’s woken from in a cold sweat a hundred times. But is it a dream, or some kind of twisted reality?
If he solves the case that plagues him, and justice is finally served, will it destroy the life he loves?
“Cast the First Stone is a mind-bender of the first order. Fast-paced, strong characters, great twists and Rembrandt Stone is a hero I predict will be grabbing readers around the throat for a long time. This is one to pick up because you won’t want to put it down.” Ted Dekker – New York Times bestselling author
Dust and Shadow by Kara Swanson
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.
Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.
Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.
The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.
Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.
Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.
Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.
Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.
Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.
The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.
From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War and As Bright as Heaven comes a gripping novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity.
Buy The Nature of Fragile Things | Susan Meissner
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
The author of A Bridge Across the Ocean and The Last Year of the War journeys from the present day to World War II England, as two sisters are separated by the chaos of wartime…
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden—one that will test her convictions and her heart.
1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…
Buy Secrets of a Charmed Life | Susan Meissner
If you love to hear the “story behind the story,” I know you’ll enjoy this podcast episode with Susan Messiner!
Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee
Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.
As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?
Dust by Eva Marie Everson
Can an ordinary life leave an extraordinary legacy?
In 1977, when nineteen-year-old Allison Middleton receives a proposal of marriage from Westley Houser, she eagerly accepts, having no idea the secret Westley carries—a secret that will change Allison’s life forever. But Allison rises to the challenge of raising Westley’s toddling daughter as though she were her own.
Over the course of their lifetime together, Allison, Westley, and Michelle form the strong bond of family. As Allison struggles with infertility and finding her way during a time of great change for women, others—some she knows and others whom she never meets—brush and weave against the fabric of her life, leaving her with more questions than answers.
From teen bride to grandmother, Allison’s life chronicles the ups and downs of an ordinary woman’s life to examine the value of what we all leave behind.
This Fine Life by Eva Maria Everson
It is the summer of 1959 and Mariette Puttnam has just graduated from boarding school. When she returns to her privileged life at home, she isn’t sure where life will take her. More schooling? A job? Marriage? Nothing feels right. How could she know that the answer is waiting for her within the narrow stairwell of her father’s apparel factory, exactly between the third and fourth floors?
In this unique and tender story of an unlikely romance, popular author Eva Marie Everson takes readers on a journey through the heart of a young woman bound for the unknown. Readers will experience the joys of new love, the perseverance of true friendship, and the gift of forgiveness that comes from a truly fine life.
Secrets in the Mist by Morgan L Busse
What’s lurking in the Mist is the least of their worries…
In a world where humanity lives in the sky to escape a deadly mist below, Cass’s only goal is survival. That is, until she finds a job on the airship Daedalus as a diver. Now she explores ruined cities, looking for treasure and people’s lost heirlooms until a young man hires her to find the impossible: a way to eradicate the Mist.
Theodore Winchester is a member of one of the Five Families that rule the skies. Following in his father’s footsteps, he searches for the source of the Mist and hopes to stop the purges used to control overpopulation. But what he finds are horrifying secrets and lethal ambition. If he continues his quest, it could mean his own death.
The Mist is rising and soon the world will be enveloped in its deadly embrace, turning what’s left of humanity into the undead.
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
Definitely yes! With a pastor husband and four teens, I need a routine, or I would never write! Here’s my typical day. . .
My TOP THREE Favorite Novels of the Year
I hope you get a chance to check out these wonderful authors’ work and please let me know what you think.
What are your favorite novels from this year? Share them with me in the comments or just hit reply and give me your reccomendations!
I love to read. If you do too, here’s 7 amazing Christian books you won’t want to miss. From the Roman Empire to a Civil War plantation to modern-day Prince Edward Island–and everywhere in between–these books will weave their words into your heart.
1. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
I have enjoyed Lisa Wingate’s books for many years, but Before We Were Yours has risen to the top of my all-time favorite novels. Wingate introduced me to a little-know event in Southern history, sharing the stories of twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings who were caught up in the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage. This novel was especially powerful to me as a mom who’s adopted seven children myself. I’ve recommended this novel time and time again to friends.
2. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
I read this novel over twenty years ago, and I go back to it again and again. A Voice in the Wind is a story of true love discovered in a world of pain. I’ve always been fascinated by the Roman Empire, but Rivers made me feel as if I was living it with the characters. I love this book and the others in the series.
3. An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers
4. As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers
5. To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexandar
To Mend a Dream took me back to a time when ordinary people were caught up in the aftermath of the Civil War. A Belle Meade Plantation novella, there was enough story within the pages to read like a novel. I fell in love with the characters and it made me search for more of Alexander’s books to read!
6. The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson
Ever since I read Anne of Green Gables I’ve been fascinated by Prince Edward Island. Johnson helps us to see the island–and the lovely people–through the eyes of characters in pain. The Red Door Inn becomes a place of hope and promise of the future. It’s a sweet and heartfelt romance.
7. The Number of Love by Rosanna M. White
The Number of Love is a unique look at intelligence work in the Great War. I know far more about World War II and The Spanish Civil War, so learning about this time in history was delightful. The characters were unique and interesting, and I found myself cheering them on.
These 7 Amazing Christian Novels will keep you reading well into the night. I hope you find some new authors and characters you love!
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How to Balance a Busy Writing Schedule and a Busy Life is something I’ve had to master. And, believe me, that isn’t always easy. But I have implemented practices that make it easier to maintain the schedule I need to be a writer, wife, mom, caregiver, and all the other hats I wear on a daily basis. Let me share what has worked for me. I hope it can give you some ideas for streamlining your life for productivity.
How to Balance a Busy Writing Schedule and a Busy Life
I’m a wife, homeschooling mom to ten kids (yes 10!), and best-selling author. I’ve had almost 80 books published, and I lead a Teen Mom support group in inner-city Little Rock. The number one thing I’m asked by others is, “How do you do it all?”
If you were to see the piles on my desk and the piles of laundry you’d realize I don’t DO it all. Everything does get done, but not on the same day.
Those seventy-something books have happened over almost thirty years, and I didn’t birth all of our ten kids. I totally cheated and adopted some as teens. (Not that it makes parenting any easier!)
But there is some mindfulness to the madness. Over the years I’ve had to make choices. I don’t watch TV, miss most movies, and (up until very recently) I haven’t had any hobbies except reading. Cutting back on my speaking schedule has allowed me to be home more. I’ve also developed some habits to make my life work better. Here are some things that have worked for me, and maybe some things you might want to try.
How to Balance a Busy Writing Schedule and a Busy Life
- I’ve created a rhythm to our day: Daily rhythms are a biggie for me. I have quiet time and write before anyone wakes up. We start homeschool around the same time every day. We have dinner around the table together and nightly bedtime routines. Schedules give our children a sense of order. We all know what to expect in the day, and I make the most of the quiet moments I have in front of my computer, knowing that time is all I’ll probably get.
- I pick two to three important things to get done in each day. There are days I need to write 2,000 words. There are days I need to get caught up on laundry. These two things cannot happen on the same day. When I choose what things to focus on, I’m also choosing other things to ignore. This is important. There will never be enough time to do it all in one day. Ever. Making choices relieves stress. I’m able to push nagging thoughts out of my mind, knowing I’ll get to those things all in time.
- I set aside times for fun and play. I give attention to my little ones when they first wake up. Then, I try to do the same in the afternoons with their big sisters. Sometimes I color with my kids, and I play a board or card game with them nearly every day. When my kids know they’ll have dedicated time, they don’t have to fight for time (or act up to try to get it) throughout the day.
- I seek help. I’ve managed my workload and budget so I can have a woman come in four hours a week to clean. I have an assistant who helps with my blogs and other online help. I have a babysitter/nanny who takes kids to therapy appointments or watches kids a few hours in the afternoon so I can write.
Ten years ago, I was not at this place, but I’ve worked to find people who I can help financially and who can help me.
While you may not be at the place to hire someone, ask yourself if there is someone you can trade with. For years I traded homeschool days with another mom so I’d have a free day. Also, when you see someone who is seemingly “doing it all,” know that person probably has help, too. No one can do it all and balance everything well. No one.
How to Balance a Busy Writing Schedule and a Busy Life
- I say NO. My kids aren’t in many activities outside the home. I pick a few things, like the teen mom support group, to volunteer in and I leave it at that. When I think about adding something I then consider what I have to give up. I used to be the worst at overcommitting, but I’ve learned to only say YES to the things I really want to do and that I have time and space for.
- I turn to God. God has the answers for my day. His Spirit guides me to what’s most important and how to balance it. God has good plans for me and my family. I’ve learned to take my eyes off the schedule and put them on Him. One way I stay close to God is by reading through the Bible every year. I’ve created a journal and a Facebook group to help you do this too!
There are times I’ve pushed aside writing for a kid who needs one-on-one attention. There are other times when all the kids have played together happily and I’ve been able to sit and work. When I feel a nudge in my spirit, I pause to listen to what God is speaking to me. Even on days when I push writing to the side, God shows me that He can redeem those moments.
Balancing a busy writing schedule and a large family isn’t easy, but it is possible. As I walk out this writing life in front of my kids I’m also displaying what it means to work hard to serve God and people. My kids know I take my work and my service seriously. They also see how God shows up. Life in our era will always be busy … but the good news is we get to choose what to be busy about.
How to balance is a process and a journey, one that I’ve yet to perfect. But what I’ve learned through trial and error, I share in my book Balanced – Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom.
(This article first appeared on The Steve Laube Agency https://stevelaube.com/balance-busy-writing-schedule-busy-life/)
My crowded (I prefer the term “cozy”) writing area, where with a simple twist of my chair I can move from desk to computer. I use a laptop attached to a monitor and keyboard, so if I have to leave home I can simply unhook, drop the laptop in a carrier bag, and work while I get the car serviced or whatever else comes up. (Jim Bell calls this “snatching time to write.”)
A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas. Find out more about Richard at his website.
About Critical Condition and a Giveaway
It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier’s colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.
Her “almost-fiancé” Dr. Mark Gilbert’s support only adds to Shannon’s feelings of guilt, since she can’t bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he’s just been diagnosed with leukemia.
Shannon thought it couldn’t get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, “What did he say before he died?”
With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.
Richard is celebrating the release of Critical Condition with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway! Enter the Kindle giveaway here, then enter to win a copy of Critical Condition below! Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.
I love surrounding myself with all the stuff I’ve collected in my travels around the world, researching my novels. Giraffes are a special fondness, and you can spot at least two in this picture of my desk. One of my monitors is crazy-high, but that’s because I sometimes stand when I work. And there’s always a supply of coffee on hand!
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including “Garden of Madness” and “So Shines the Night.” Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at tracyhigley.com. Find out more about Tracy at her website.
About The Queen’s Handmaid and a Giveaway
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.
Tracy is celebrating the release of The Queen’s Handmaid with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway! Enter the Kindle giveaway here, then enter to win a copy of The Queen’s Handmaid below! Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.
I have two desks in my office. One is for the day-to-day finances, emailing, music, and all the rest.
The other one is my writing desk. I planned it with the idea of getting away from distractions. It’s on the opposite wall from my other desk, so I turn the speakers off on that one. That way I won’t be distracted by email beeps, and all the rest. And yes, I turn off the music too. I find I need as much silence as possible. Probably indicates I’m easily distracted!
So I took a picture of my writing desk, the one with no distractions. As I looked at the picture I wondered what I’d been thinking! No distractions? I had to be kidding myself.
However, if you’re one of my readers (and I hope you are!), I’m presenting the picture for you here. Feel free to get a little view into my head and the things that interest me—the stuff I’m interested in.
I’ve got a 1949 Packard Deluxe Eight sedan. I bought it in 2006, rusted, gutted, and not running. I worked on it pretty hard for a few summers, and now it’s a fun car to drive.
I use Scrivener for my writing. It’s a wonderful software product, and you can take that from a guy that writes software for a living (me).
I love Bluetooth stuff, so I use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Also a headset, but that’s not in the picture.
The Mossberg 300 is a great shotgun for home defense. There’s a box of 12-gauge shells for it.
The fake security camera is looking for opportunities. It doesn’t take pictures, but it does follow you around with a blinking red light and runs on two AA batteries.
I built an airplane from a kit, which I flew happily for six years. Loved flying that thing. I finally sold it to a brain surgeon (yes, I really did) because fuel got so expensive. Maybe someday I’ll build another one.
My day job never goes away, so I have a dedicated laptop for that under the Toshiba I use for writing.
My kids (their ages range from sixteen to forty-four) and my wife are what keep me going. I’ve got stuff all over from them.
And lastly, you can see real work taking place. That is, when I’m not distracted.
John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter. Learn more about him here.
About Friend Me and a Giveaway
Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. As Rachel desperately tries to re-create a friendship with a friend who has passed, Scott becomes unfaithful and is torn between the love for his wife and the perfection of his cyber-girlfriend. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming…
Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant—and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the virtual friend software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.
As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.
In today’s digital age, the Internet presents all kinds of opportunities to test our personal boundaries, and this exciting and suspenseful story raises important questions about the ethics of virtual relationships. Friend Me will open your eyes to a new—and terrifying—moral dimensions and how they play out in the real world.
Enter to win a copy of Friend Me below! Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.
Oddly enough, I like a messy desk. I am tempted to write this off as pure laziness, but I’d rather lie and profess clutter to be the seed of creativity. It sounds better that way.
Though there is admittedly a lot of “stuff” atop and around my desk, some things are more important than others. To me, the most important thing in this picture is the blank wall. I’ve tried many things on that wall over the years. It was once a place to hang my children’s artwork. It was a place to brainstorm after that. I had so many pictures, notecards, and colored string on that wall that my wife began referring to my office as “the conspiracy room.” Now, it’s just blank. No distractions. Unless, of course, my eyes wander to the window.
The desk itself is the stand-up variety, bought not so much out of a desire to be physically fit as out of a belief that I think better while on my feet. I bought the editor’s desk on top years ago, and it remains one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. I don’t know what it is about writing on a slanted surface. I’m sure there’s some scientific article somewhere that explains how and why it lends itself to productivity. You’ll just have to take my word. Try it. You’ll thank me.
Neither of those desks are important, though. Nor the notebook, nor the computer (though the program running on that computer is Scrivener, which is very nearly important because I think it’s the greatest writing software ever), nor the stack of to-be-read books or the bust of da Vinci. The cup of coffee? Yes. A must. But not even that so much as the pen and paper.
I’m a big believer in writing longhand. It forces you to slow down and let go at the same time, and there’s a connection between you and the story (and therefore you and the reader) that I can’t seem to duplicate with a keyboard. For me, it’s a Waterman fountain pen and a yellow legal pad. Don’t skimp on the pen, but feel free to hoard cheap paper. Cheap paper allows you the freedom to get sloppy, to take risks, to make mistakes. That’s the key to a good first draft. Longhand, then a first edit as I type it into the computer, then a second edit in longhand again. That’s my process.
One more important thing. The stone on the ledge beside the printed-out papers is a tomahawk head, dug up in a cornfield just down the road. There’s no telling how old it is. A professor told me its age could well be measured in millennia. I keep it handy and often hold it when I get stuck in a particular scene or with a certain character, running my fingers over the edges, wondering whose it was and what that person was like and what happened to him or her. It’s a reminder that none of us are as separated from one another as we might think. No matter who we are or when we were, we all ask the same questions and wonder the same things. We’re all seeking something more
Billy Coffey’s critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Find out more about Billy at his website.
About The Devil Walks in Mattingly and a Giveaway
It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.
Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.
Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies. Purchase a copy and learn more at Billy’s website!
To celebrate the release of The Devil Walks in Mattingly, Billy is holding a giveaway where you can enter to win a Kindle Fire! Details and entry forms are here.
PLUS you can enter to win a copy of The Devil Walks in Mattingly below! Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.
I’m a messy. My sweet hubby likes order—but he loves me. When chronic illness and daily migraines moved me from busy speaker to full-time writer, I wrote my first novel at this cluttered computer armoire—in the entryway of our home. My husband had been a pastor before becoming a professor, so I was used to life on a highway, but really? Writing the story of Job while my family watched football and welcomed front-door guests over my shoulder? We made it work.
My husband took pity and celebrated my second book release by turning our never-used formal living room into a beautiful office space—complete with a bay-window view of Mt. Hood. My writing buddy, Bouzer, enjoys the early morning sunshine.
But guess what? I’m still a messy. Most often, I write while sitting in my recliner with books and notebooks stacked around me. I clean up when hubby breaks out in a cold sweat from the clutter. But we’re empty-nesters now, so we need only please each other—and King Bouzer, the Rotti-pitbull, of course.
Mesu Andrews was a life-long Hoosier before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2007. She and her husband, Roy, have two married daughters and a growing tribe of grandkids. She loves movies, waterfalls, and travel. Her deep love for God’s Word translates into well-researched biblical novels. Her first, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell, 2011), won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year in the Debut Author Category. Love’s Sacred Song (Song of Solomon) and Love in a Broken Vessel (Hosea and Gomer) received 4 1/2 star ratings from RT Reviews. And In the Shadow of Jezebel released this month!
Learn more about Mesu at her website.
About In the Shadow of Jezebel and a Giveaway
Princess Jehosheba wants nothing more than to please the harsh and demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of the notorious Queen Jezebel. Her work as a priestess in the temple of Baal seems to do the trick. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments. To further Athaliah and Jezebel’s strategies, she is forced to marry Yahweh’s high priest and enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh’s temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family–and the nation–she loves?
With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings Old Testament passages to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love. Purchase a copy here.
To celebrate the release of In the Shadow of Jezebel, Mesu is giving a lucky reader a copy of the book! Enter using the widget below. Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.
I don’t always write at my desk—I often write in a recliner, in my car, in other rooms—but this desk is my landing place. I deliberately didn’t clean it off before taking this picture, because I wanted you to see it messy. On the left, you’ll see a gigantic stack of papers. Those are manuscript pages, because I still print things out and mark all over the hard copies after each draft. They pile up for each book until I either box them up or shred them. (I hate the thought of people reading early drafts, so I’m fine with destroying them.)
I write on my laptop, but I hook it up to my big monitor when I’m at my desk, so I can see it on the big screen. I have a wireless keyboard and trackpad that feel like my laptop, so the transition is easy. Under glass, I have pictures of my characters, with important stats about them, such as their ages, so I can refer to them often.
At this writing, I’m working on promotional things for my new book Distortion, Book 2 in my Moonlighters Series. (Book 1 was Truth Stained Lies, which released last year.)
Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of “Intervention,” “Vicious Cycle,” and “Downfall,” as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, Restoration, and Moonlighters. Find out more about Terri at her website.
About Distortion and a Giveaway
Distortion features Juliet Cole, the oldest sister who’s had an idyllic life as a stay-at-home mom and wife of a doctor. When her husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.
Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal? Purchase a copy here.
To celebrate the release of Distortion, Terri is holding a giveaway where you can enter to win a Kindle, and she’s holding a Facebook party tonight! Details and entry forms are here.
PLUS you can enter to win a copy of Distortion below! Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.
This is the office where I write. In the interests of keeping it real, I only cleaned up the slew of coffee and tea mugs before I took the photo. After the kids head off to school, I open all the window blinds so I can look out on the snow (or tulips and green grass during the three months that aren’t winter). It is very sunny, so it’s the place my three cats tend to visit. By late morning, they are all lying in the sun, snoring while I write. There is also a lovely couch where I do some of my best “thinking.”
Stephanie Landsem loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page. Find out more about Stephanie at her website.
About The Thief and a Giveaway
Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure. Desperate to escape the accursed Judean province, he accepts a wager. If he can catch the thieves harassing the marketplace before Passover, he’ll earn a transfer away from the troublemaking Jews.
Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Only with the help of Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, can she keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and a roof over their heads.
When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Longinus longs to learn more about the mysterious healer. Instead, his journey leads him to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.
Unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus, they wonder who this teacher is who heals others but does nothing to save himself. Is the mercy he offers in his teachings real, or just another false promise? Can Nissa and Longinus overcome their pasts to find a future free of their shackles?
The Thief is an evocative story of two people trapped in their circumstances and the life-changing power of forgiveness and love. Find out more and purchase a copy here.
To celebrate the release of The Thief, Stephanie is holding a giveaway where you can enter to win a Kindle Fire and copies of The Thief! Details and entry forms are here. Stephanie is also giving away a copy of her book The Well and a copy of The Thief to one lucky U.S. entrant on my blog! Enter using the widget below. Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.