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Monday, July 31, 2023

Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner-Colson Whitehead

 


Colson Whitehead is the author of eight novels and two works on non-fiction, including The Underground Railroad, which received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal, the Heartland Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Hurston-Wright Award, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. The novel is being adapted by Barry Jenkins into a TV series for Amazon. Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys received the Pulitzer Prize, The Kirkus Prize, and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

A recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, he lives in New York City.





It’s 1971. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is careening towards bankruptcy, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Amidst this collective nervous breakdown furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney tries to keep his head down and his business thriving. His days moving stolen goods around the city are over. It’s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him — until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up his old police contact Munson, fixer extraordinaire. But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated – and deadly.

1973. The counter-culture has created a new generation, the old ways are being overthrown, but there is one constant, Pepper, Carney’s endearingly violent partner in crime. It’s getting harder to put together a reliable crew for hijackings, heists, and assorted felonies, so Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem. He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, and celebrity drug dealers, in addition to the usual cast of hustlers, mobsters, and hit men. These adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook – to their regret.

1976. Harlem is burning, block by block, while the whole country is gearing up for Bicentennial celebrations. Carney is trying to come up with a July 4th ad he can live with. ("Two Hundred Years of Getting Away with It!"), while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A and rising politician Alexander Oakes. When a fire severely injures one of Carney’s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it. Our crooked duo have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.

Reviews:


One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Summer by The New York Times • The Washington Post • TIME Magazine • NPR • The Los Angeles Times • USA Today • Vulture • Essence • The Philadelphia Inquirer • Lit Hub • Kirkus Reviews • CrimeReads

Here are just a few:

“Dazzling … a glorious and intricate anatomy of the heist, the con and the slow game … [Whitehead] uses the crime novel as a lens to investigate the mechanics of a singular neighborhood at a particular tipping point in time. He has it right: the music, the energy, the painful calculus of loss. Structured into three time periods — 1971, 1973 and finally the year of America’s bicentennial celebration, 1976 — “Crook Manifesto” gleefully detonates its satire upon this world while getting to the heart of the place and its people.”
—Walter Mosley, New York Times Book Review (cover)

“Whitehead’s New York of the ‘70s is a fully realized universe down to the most meticulous details (Parts of “Crook Manifesto” would pair nicely with Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker”) … Crook Manifesto” and “Harlem Shuffle” also form a joint reminder, as if we still needed one, that crime fiction can be great literature. These books are as resonant and finely observed as anything Whitehead has written. They have the pulpy verve of Harlem’s crime fiction godfather, Chester Himes, combined with the literary heft of Whitehead’s more garlanded novels.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Remarkable…For all its slapstick fun, this project also contains the same gravitas as August Wilson’s seminal 10-play Century Cycle about Black life in Pittsburgh … When Carney is reflecting, attempting to better understand how Black Harlemites and Black Americans have survived before and will survive again, Whitehead is at his best. It makes this story feel important, not just entertaining, not just suspenseful, not just another surefire bestseller from a beloved author. These are crime novels, yes; funny and fast-paced. They are also the first two installments of a grand historical epic. Novel writing at its best. Bigger and better, together, than anything Whitehead has written before.” —The Washington Post

Friday, July 28, 2023

Hospice Caregivers Wisdom ~ Saying Goodbye



New York Times–bestselling artist Wendy MacNaughton shares wisdom from hospice caregivers: how to be, when to help, what to say-with full-color drawings throughout.

As artist-in-residence at the Zen Hospice Project Guest House in San Francisco, Wendy MacNaughton witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to know what to do when we're sharing final moments with a loved one. In this tenderly illustrated guide to saying goodbye, MacNaughton shows how to make sure those moments are meaningful. Using a framework of “the five things” taught to her by a professional caregiver, How to Say Goodbye provides a model for having conversations of love, respect, and closure: with the words “I forgive you,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” “I love you,” and “Goodbye,” each oriented toward finding mutual peace and understanding when it matters most.

With a foreword by renowned physician and author BJ Miller, and practical resources, How to Say Goodbye features MacNaughton's drawn-from-life artwork from both the Zen Hospice Project Guest House and her own aunt's bedside as she died, paired with gentle advice from hospice caregivers on creating a positive sensory experience, acknowledging what you can't control, and sharing memories and gratitude. A poignant guide to embracing the present and deepening relationships during great vulnerability, How to Say Goodbye shows that just as there is no one right way to live a good life, there is no one right way to say goodbye. Whether we're confused, scared, or uncertain, this book is a starting point.

“A poem to mortality and the beauty of how we can cope with it.”-Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal


Wendy MacNaughton is a New York Times bestselling illustrator and graphic journalist whose books include Meanwhile in San Francisco (Chronicle) Knives & Ink (Bloomsbury). The Gutsy Girl (Bloomsbury), and Lost Cat (Bloomsbury). Her work appears in publications like The New York Times, Lucky Peach, Bon App├ętit, AFAR Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the back page columnist for The California Sunday Magazine, and the co-founder of Women Who Draw.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Thinking of Moving to a Beach Town?

 


Save What's Left  

Save What’s Left can best be described as the “un-beach read.” It pulls back the curtain on life in a beach town, revealing the true cost of a pretty view. Told from the candid and irreverent perspective of a newcomer turned local, this is a story of forgiveness, fortitude, and second chances.


When Kathleen Deane’s husband, Tom, tells her he's no longer happy with his life and their marriage, Kathleen is confused. They live in Kansas. They’ve been married thirty years. Who said anything about being happy? But with Tom off finding himself, Kathleen starts to think about what she wants. And her thoughts lead her to a small beach community on the east coast, a town called Whitbey that has always looked lovely in the Christmas letters her childhood friend Josie sends every year.

It turns out, though, that life in Whitbey is nothing like Josie’s letters. Kathleen’s new neighbor, Rosemary, is cantankerous, and the town’s supervisor won't return Kathleen’s emails, but worst of all is the Sugar Cube, the monstrosity masquerading as a holiday home that Kathleen’s absentee neighbors are building next door to her quaint (read: tiny) cottage. As Kathleen gets more and more involved in the fight against the Sugar Cube and town politics overall, she realizes that Whitbey may not be a fairytale, but it just might be exactly what she needed.


Reviews:

GMA BOOK CLUB PICK • ONE OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE'S BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER • An outrageously funny debut novel about a woman who moves to a small beach town looking for peace, only to find herself in an all-out war with her neighbors.

“Irreverent and unexpectedly tender, this story takes neighborhood feuding to new heights and finds beauty and reinvention in unlikely places." ––Oprah Daily

"Brings a tongue-in-cheek tone to the beach read genre."—TIME





ELIZABETH CASTELLANO
grew up in a beach town. She lives in New York. Save What’s Left is her debut novel.

www.elizabethcastellano.com

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

What Did You Leave Behind?

 

Things We Left Behind, (Knockemout Series, 3)

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lucy Score returns to spicy-sweet Knockemout, Virginia with Lucian and Sloane's story.

There was only one woman who could set me free. But I would rather set myself on fire than ask Sloane Walton for anything.

Lucian Rollins is a lean, mean vengeance-seeking mogul. On a quest to erase his abusive father's mark on the family name, he spends every waking minute pulling strings and building his empire. The more money and power he gains, the safer he feels.

Except when it comes to one feisty small-town librarian…

Bonded by an old, dark secret from the past and their current mutual disdain, Sloane Walton trusts Lucian about as far as she can throw his designer-suited body.

When bickering accidentally turns to foreplay, the flames are fanned, and it's impossible to put them out again. But with Sloane more than ready to start a family and Lucian refusing to even consider the idea of marriage and kids, these enemies-to-lovers are stuck at an impasse.

Until Lucian learns the hard way that leaving Sloane is impossible―the very least he can do is to keep her safe.



Lucy Score is an instant #1 New York Times bestselling author. She grew up in a literary family who insisted that the dinner table was for reading and earned a degree in journalism.

She writes full-time from the Pennsylvania home she and Mr. Lucy share with their obnoxious cat, Cleo. When not spending hours crafting heartbreaker heroes and kick-ass heroines, Lucy can be found on the couch, in the kitchen, or at the gym.

She hopes to someday write from a sailboat, oceanfront condo, or tropical island with reliable Wi-Fi.

Sign up for her never annoying newsletter at https://www.lucyscore.net/subscribe-lucys-newsletter-website/.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

New Insights Into Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis




From New York Times bestselling author of Jackie, Janet & Lee comes a fresh and often startling look at the life of the legendary former first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.




Based on hundreds of interviews with friends, family, and lovers over a thirty-year period―as well as previously unreleased material from the JFK Library―Kennedy historian J. Randy Taraborrelli paints an unforgettable new portrait of a woman whose flaws and contradictions only serve to make her even more iconic. “I have three lives,” Jackie told a former lover, “public, private and secret.” In this revealing biography, readers will become intimately familiar with all three.

New insights from the book include:
· Jackie’s cold feet before her wedding to Jack Kennedy and her secret plan to avoid moving into the White House with him.
· Jackie's plan to meet with the woman with whom her husband, Aristotle Onassis, was again having an affair, Maria Callas…and why, in the end, she decided against it.
· The truth about the nude photos of Jackie which scandalized her in the 1970s…and which family member had betrayed her by selling them.
· Her unusual relationship with Maurice Templesman, which was never what outsiders believed it to be.
· The never-before-reported, last-ditch efforts to save Jackie’s life with experimental cancer treatments, and the doctor who wouldn’t risk jail time in order to treat her.

Twenty-nine years after her death and sixty years after the assassination of President Kennedy, Jackie delivers the last word on one of the most famous women in the world.



Photo by Bradford Rogne

. RANDY TARABORRELLI is the author of more than 20 biographies, including his latest, "Jackie - Public, Private, Secret," which presents Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in a brand new and exciting light. The book was featured on the cover of "People" magazine (July 2023) in an exclusive coverage of its publication.

Sixteen of Taraborrelli's books have gone on to become New York Times' best sellers, including the recent "Janet, Jackie & Lee - The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss and her daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill." Some of his other best sellers are: "Call Her Miss Ross," "Sinatra - Behind the Legend," "Madonna - An Intimate Biography," "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot," "Elizabeth,"(a biography of Elizabeth Taylor); "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" and "After Camelot - A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present."

Taraborrelli's best seller, "After Camelot," was produced as a successful miniseries for the ReelzChannel, starring Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Matthew Perry as Ted Kennedy. Taraborrelli was one of the Executive Producers, as were Holmes and Perry. It is available here on Amazon. A previous book about the Kennedys - "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot" was a highly-rated miniseries for NBC, starring Jill Hennesey as Jackie and Lauren Holly as Ethel. That show, too, is available on Amazon.

J. Randy's national best seller, "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" was also the basis of a miniseries of the same name for Lifetime, starring Susan Sarandon, Kelli Garner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Emily Watson. It aired to critical acclaim in 2015 and garnered 17 award nominations and, of course, is available on Amazon.

For many years, J. Randy Taraborrelli has been seen promoting his books on national television shows such as "Good Morning America," "Today," "CBS This Morning," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Inside Edition" as well as many programs for CNN, Fox and MSNBC. He has also been a correspondent for many international publications such as "The Daily Mail," "Telegraph," "Hello!" and "Paris Match." In addition, Taraborrelli is a CBS News consultant and, in that capacity, covered the Michael Jackson trial in Santa Maria for the network. He also anchored Jackson's funeral for CBS with Katie Couric.

More recently, J. Randy has expanded his talent into television writing. He's currently adapting several of his books as exciting TV series, including "The Hiltons," "Once Upon a Time," and his latest, "Jackie - Public, Private, Secret."

J. Randy's website can be found at: JRandyTaraborrelli.com

Monday, July 24, 2023

The Star Spangled Banner~Why It Matters


 The fascinating story of America’s national anthem and an examination of its powerful meaning today. 

O Say Can You Hear: A Cultural Biography of "The Star-Spangled Banner"

..."In O Say Can You Hear? Mark Clague...tells the stories of the song and the nation it represents. Examining the origins of both text and music, alternate lyrics and translations, and the song’s use in sports, at times of war, and for political protest, he argues that the anthem’s meaning reflects—and is reflected by—the nation’s quest to become a more perfect union. From victory song to hymn of sacrifice and vehicle for protest, the story of Key’s song is the story of America itself."

Great article at Nortons: https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393651386

Reviews:

"[an] immensely interesting and readable history."
― Peter Sagal, New York Times

"[O Say Can You Hear] matches rigorous scholarship with clear, engaging writing on a wide range of anthem-related questions."
― Colin Woodard, Washington Post

"A fascinating history of America's national anthem that examines the origin of the song and the many ways it has been used."
― Glenn A. Altschuler, Star Tribune

"A thoughtful and elegant history of America's national anthem."
― The Economist

"A fascinating, illuminating contribution to our understanding of the history of the ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ from its storied birth during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 to its place today as a cornerstone of twenty-first century culture wars centering on Americans’ emotional attachment to the Stars and Stripes. Highly recommended."
― Marc Leepson, author of What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life

"In O Say Can You Hear? Mark Clague shows that the genesis and evolution of our cherished national anthem was always a lightning rod for argument. It is a necessary, timely, and inspiring read."
― Thomas Hampson, Grammy Award-winning baritone and member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters



Mark Clague is professor of musicology and American culture at the University of Michigan, associate dean at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and codirector of the American Music Institute. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Experience The Bible Come To Life


Experience the Bible come to life before your eyes as New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin uses his storyteller's imagination to present the life of Jesus in a way that will engage your faith in new ways. This collection of more than twenty short stories, compiled from Martin's books What If It's True? and They Turned the World Upside Down, draws you into a deeper understanding and love for the Savior.

Son of Man presents key moments from the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and explores the lives of His followers in descriptive, novelistic words. This unique collection:Fosters a stronger appreciation, love, and respect for Jesus
Covers themes including rejection, service, unconditional love, and forgiveness
Uses the lives of the disciples as inspiration to be the light in a dark world
Shows how the disciples' same world-changing faith is still around today

Son of Man is perfect for someone who loves Christian fiction. Known for his beloved lyrical style, in this paperback edition Martin illuminates key moments from Scripture with stories such as "Where the Father's Love Found Him," "Betrayed," and "The Borrowed Tomb." Martin's writing offers a way to see how Jesus' life and the lives of His disciples revealed an unwavering confidence in the power and presence of God.



CHARLES MARTIN is a New York Times bestselling author of 16 previous novels, including his most recent, 'The Record Keeper.' His work is available in 35+ languages. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife and their three sons.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Felt Betrayed . . .Now They Need Her!

 


The FBI betrayed her. Now they need her.

Private Investigator Kenna Banbury lost everything two years ago at the hands of a serial killer. From the ashes of that encounter, she’s built a life she believes in, searching for the lost and forgotten all over the western US.

Bringing her own brand of justice.

When a series of murders drags her into an FBI investigation, Kenna finds herself back in the place where it all went wrong. Struggling to make sense of the case, Kenna’s past and present collide in a deadly plot that risks another betrayal and threatens to shatter everything she’s built.

Kenna faces the darkest part of her past in this first book of a brand-new series from Lisa Phillips.





Lisa Phillips is a USA Today and top ten Publishers Weekly bestselling author of over 60 books that span Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line, independently published series romantic suspense, and thriller novels. She’s discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

Lisa is a British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London and attended Calvary Chapel Bible College, where she met her husband. He’s from California, but nobody’s perfect. It wasn’t until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). Lisa is a worship leader, tea aficionado, and dog lover of two crazy Airedales.



Find out more at www.authorlisaphillips.com

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Is There Always An Escape?

 

Tim Bishop



There’s always an escape. Sometimes you need to search long and hard for the right one.

After losing all he once cherished, Doug Zimmer follows his wife’s parting bread crumbs and rides up the Pacific coast—on a bicycle. Armed with a revolver and only a vague plan to get through the months ahead, he aims to end his depression one way or the other.

As spiritual forces wrangle for his soul, he pedals eastward across America. He meets Lauren Baumgartner—a younger adventurer with a vibrant spirit—and a band of zealots who confront his aversion to religion. Accompanying Doug are not only sunny days and the beauty of nature but also the perils of the road, fellow travelers with their own stories, and the hollow silence of solitary campsites playing host to unseen creatures of the night.

A jarring episode on a climb through a treacherous pass brings Doug face-to-face with life and death. Will Doug’s adventure deliver him from loneliness and lament . . . or hurtle him to an abrupt end?







After a thirty-year career in business, Tim Bishop left his corporate treasurer position, married his dream girl, and embarked with her to parts unknown—on bicycles. Ten thousand miles later, the first-time newlyweds have written four books about their cycling adventures. Their devotional Wheels of Wisdom won four first-place book awards. Publishers Weekly dubbed it “a road map for life.”

Tim volunteers as a coach for a ministry that reaches people who are dealing with challenging life issues. In addition to writing inspirational content, he has also penned the business book Hedging Demystified. A graduate of the University of Maine, a CPA, and a three-time Maine chess champion, Tim and his wife, Debbie, live in Middle Tennessee. Connect with him at TimBishopWrites.com.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Mysteries of The Shroud of Turin




Delve into the ancient mystery of the Shroud of Turin with The Only Witness: A History on the Shroud of Turin. This captivating Christian fiction novel takes you on a thrilling journey through time, where secrets, controversies, and faith intertwine in a thought-provoking narrative.

This work of Christian fiction, The Only Witness, seamlessly blends historical events with a gripping plot, offering a thrilling and introspective reading experience. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a fan of ancient mysteries, or a seeker of spiritual enlightenment, this novel will captivate your imagination and leave you pondering the mysteries that lie at the heart of the Shroud of Turin. It will make you think:

“Is the Shroud of Turin real, or is it a 13th-century fake?” Scientists, theologians, and even Christians can’t agree. Whichever side of the controversy you’re on, you’ll love this story of a possible – yet plausible – history of the Shroud of Turin in The Only Witness. If you’re Christian or Jewish, you know Jesus was crucified and buried. If you’re a Christian, you know there was. But what happened to the burial cloth? Was there a cloth that witnessed the moment of resurrection?

If it was a witness, was it simply thrown away, or was it revered as the most important relic in human existence? Guy R. Powell, in his book, The Only Witness, has taken facts and hypotheses to write a compelling history of how the burial cloth of Jesus Christ travels from Golgotha in Jerusalem, through the Roman Empire, through Byzantium, through Europe and how it lands in Turin, Italy. This Shroud of Turin has survived fires, wars, plagues, and floods to become the most valuable Christian relic or is the most worthless fake.

What do you believe?

Uncover the truth, question your beliefs, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the ages with The Only Witness: A History on the Shroud of Turin. Immerse yourself in this captivating Christian fiction novel, available now for your Kindle. Grab your copy and prepare to be swept away by the allure of this ancient religious mystery.




Guy R. Powell is a marketer, part-time historian, Christian and author of the new historical Christian fiction, The Only Witness: An History on the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin is the most valuable yet controversial relic with theories and science proving and disproving its validity as the true burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Powell builds a compelling history of the burial cloth beginning with its witness to the most significant event in human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Powell’s history describes how the Shroud travels from Golgotha in Jerusalem to Edessa, Constantinople, France and finally Turin, Italy. If you are interested in a Christian fiction story intertwined with a possible history of the Shroud then this story, The Only Witness will be of special interest to you.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Who Could Gain Millions From the Hunter's Death?

 

Robert Whitlow


Matt and Elena Thompson present the picture of perfection. But their enviable life isn’t all it seems. Their marriage is on the rocks, and financial disaster looms. Then Matt is killed in a hunting accident, and the questions and accusations begin to mount.

Attorney Liz Acosta, newly arrived in the mountains of north Georgia after graduating from law school, plans to get some job experience on her resume before returning home to seek a position with a big-time firm. Intellectual pastor Connor Grantham isn’t sure that shepherding a rural congregation is what he ultimately wants to do with his life. Drawn to philosophy, theology, and nature, he’s beginning to feel more at home in north Georgia—especially after he meets the brilliant and energetic Liz.

While Liz and Connor spend more time with each other and discover just how compatible two people from wildly different backgrounds can be, they’re also being drawn into the shadowy world of Matt and Elena Thompson. As the couple’s marriage counselor, Connor finds himself in the middle of their explosive arguments. As Elena’s attorney, Liz is caught in the tailspin created by Matt’s death.

Together, Connor and Liz attempt to solve the mystery of what really happened to Matt. If his death is ruled an accident, then the double indemnity clause in his life insurance would go into effect, essentially doubling the payout. But as Liz sorts through the legal paperwork of who stands to gain an immense sum of money from Matt’s death, Connor is accused of the unthinkable with much more at stake than millions of dollars.Contemporary Christian legal drama
Perfect for fans of John Grisham
Includes discussion questions for book clubs



Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and nine grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenarios.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Ever Had A Fake Boyfriend?





Preston Green will do anything for a fake girlfriend—even bid on one at a charity auction. Sweet and quirky baker Lulu Boyd is the perfect choice to stop his mother’s constant matchmaking. And it’s just for one holiday family dinner—until his father’s failing health makes ending their ruse impossible. Soon it feels all too real…but another secret might make this their last Christmas together.

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.




Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of over twenty romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hubby, two daughters, an impressive stash of coffee mugs, and one furry Schnauzer-toddler. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored to truth. When she’s not composing her next book or baby-talking her dog, Betsy can be found somewhere in the vicinity of an iced coffee. She writes frequently for iBelieve, a devotional site for women, and offers author coaching and editing services through Storyside LLC.

Visit: https://betsystamant.com/

Thursday, July 13, 2023

A Love That Goes Off Script

 


Reviews:

"This fake-relationship story is a must-read for fans of contemporary romance!"--BETSY ST. AMANT, author of Tacos for Two

"Shiloh offers a sweet romance with a strong dose of spiritual truth."--PEPPER BASHAM, award-winning author of Authentically, Izzy

A Hollywood hair stylist.

Nevaeh Richards loves making those in the spotlight shine but prefers the anonymity of staying behind her stylist chair, where no one notices her. But when a photo of Nevaeh and Hollywood A-lister Lamont Booker goes viral for all the wrong reasons, her quiet life becomes the number-one trending topic.

The silver screen's latest heartthrob.

Lamont Booker's bold faith has gained him a platform, and the authenticity of his faith is well known . . . until the tabloids cause the world to question everything he claims to be. With his reputation on the line, he finds himself hearing out his agent's push for a fake relationship--something he never thought he'd consider in a million years.

A love that goes off script.

With their careers at risk, Nevaeh and Lamont have to convince the world that their scripted romance is more than just an act. But when fake seems to turn into something real, can Nevaeh trust her heart in a world where nothing is ever as it seems?





Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, In Search of a Prince, won the first ever, Christy Amplify award. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Love a 2020 Selah Award finalist, The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist, and The Price of Dreams a 2021 Maggie Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIONS

Cathy Gohlke


Two stories in Ladies of the Lake were inspired by true events that captured my imagination from the moment I heard them—one for ill, and one for good. Both, like so much of this book, illustrate the consequences of our actions. 

The first came from a family story, an event that I wish with all my heart had never occurred.

            In Ladies of the Lake, Cal Salley, a nearly grown man with a child’s mind, is teased, terrified, and bullied by young teen girls handing out white feathers to men not in uniform. Relentless, the girls convince Cal that he will be drafted and sent to the front lines of the Great War, that he will be forced to face German artillery.

            This story was inspired by that of my Grandaunt May, who birthed two sons. Her younger son, Marshall, was a teen during WWII and was considered simple-minded. Over time, other teens ridiculed, bullied, and teased him into believing he would be drafted and sent to war as his older brother had been, that he would be forced to face German gunfire—become machine-gun fodder—igniting terrible fear in his childlike mind. His mother, my grandaunt May, came home from work one day to find her son hanging in their basement.

            Terrified like my grandaunt’s son, Cal Salley in my story hangs himself.

Ridicule, bullying, and angry, hurtful words all have consequences, sometimes consequences beyond our imagination, as the girls handing out white feathers learned, as even Addie, Dot, Ruth, and Susannah, the Ladies of the Lake, learn when they play what they consider a return prank on Mildred, an older girl who has long tormented them. 

Sadly, bullying and vehemence have become unwelcome invaders of our current culture. Political, ideological, and religious divides have spawned anger and unfiltered speech through social media and other outlets—all in the name of individual freedom, freedom of speech, and sometimes even righteousness. Hurtful words and condemnations that previously would have been thought unimaginable are spoken and written for public consumption. It is as if the words of Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves have been forgotten, or as if the speakers and writers don’t realize hurtful words have real consequences.

On the other hand, there can be good consequences of our actions. One of the gems of my research for Ladies of the Lake revealed the great outpouring of help and support from

across Nova Scotia, the rest of Canada, the United States, and Great Britain as men and women rushed to aid Halifax after the horrific Halifax Explosion—that very day and for a long time to come.

So immediate and generous was the medical aid and donation of supplies from Boston that to this day—more than 100 years later—the people of Nova Scotia annually have their Department of Natural Resources annually scout the province to find the most beautiful evergreen tree and truck it 660 miles to the people of Boston. With ceremony and celebration, Bostonians proudly accept and display the tree in the Boston Common, where it remains lit throughout the Christmas season. Actions on the part of both countries have created a shared bond.

Adversity often seems to bring out the best in people. That was certainly true after the Halifax Explosion. Reading of the outpouring of compassion and generosity at that time reminded me of the generosity, great human kindness, and camaraderie I saw and experienced between Americans and from sympathetic leaders and citizens of other countries to the US after the attacks on 9/11. With all my heart I wish that we could again experience that kind of immediate compassion, friendship and understanding—without waiting for a devastating event to unite us.

Each time we speak or write or post on social media, or even walk out the door, we choose words and actions that will either ignite hurt and destruction or bring help and healing. Our every action bears a consequence. Will we be part of the world’s problem or part of the world’s solution? It’s up to us.

 





Bestselling, Christy Hall of Fame, and Carol and INSPY Award–winning author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she and her husband, Dan, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.





 

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Even In The Hardest Circumstances

 



It is 1952, and nearly all the girls 16-year-old Bertha Harding knows dream of getting married, keeping house, and raising children in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Bertha dreams of baseball. She reads every story in the sports section, she plays ball with the neighborhood boys--she even writes letters to the pitcher for the Workington Sweet Peas, part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

When Bertha's father is accused of being part of the Communist Party by the House Un-American Activities Committee, life comes crashing down on them. Disgraced and shunned, the Hardings move to a small town to start over where the only one who knows them is shy Uncle Matthew. But dreams are hard to kill, and when Bertha gets a chance to try out for the Workington Sweet Peas, she packs her bags for an adventure she'll never forget.




Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of The Nature of Small Birds, All Manner of Things — which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book — and Stories That Bind Us, as well as A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home.

She serves on the Fiction Readers Summit planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women’s events across the country. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.

Visit her website: https://susiefinkbeiner.com/

Monday, July 10, 2023

Divorce Is Not The End Of Your Story!

 


Some seasons of life can seem far more difficult than one human should have to endure. For Brandi Wilson, that was the year her husband--and a megachurch pastor--walked away from her and her family. Suddenly, her church community dissolved, and her dreams and identity were shattered.

Yet God transformed this heartbreaking time into an invaluable lesson on the gift of healing.

And now, Brandi beautifully tells her courageous story of confronting grief and heartache head-on and learning how to rise from the pain. Filled with aha moments and laugh-out-loud humor, this book reminds you that your story is always evolving and that you can move forward with hope after divorce. Brandi helps you:

· rely on and find comfort in the promises of God
· begin a new journey toward healing
· find freedom in your new identity

While your life looks drastically different now, there is hope for renewed joy and redemption. Your pain doesn't get the final say. Through God's grace and healing power, you will be better than okay.



I’m a single mom to three pretty incredible sons who are quickly becoming men. My oldest is in college, the center child is heading off to college very soon, and my youngest still has a couple of years at home with me. I’m getting closer to an empty nest than I’m comfortable with, but plan on cherishing these last few years with my youngest son at home and functioning as “The Duo.” Already having one son in college, I’ve realized that parenting doesn’t end after high school graduation and I find delight in parenting semi-adult children. But I do love the chaos and activity of a full house. Our family also includes two ridiculously loved and spoiled pups, Millie and Maggie. They also claim the title of most high-maintenance family members.

Here’s a little of my back story. One day, back in 2016, I woke up to a life I never saw coming. The life and family I’d spent 20 years building stopped on a dime. My marriage was over. The church I’d spent years pouring into was no longer part of my life. My community, friends and professional life disappeared in a day’s time. Devastated but determined to create a life that finally felt like my own, I faced my healing journey head-on. I discovered the truth of my experience and learned how to develop a redemptive perspective of my suffering. My life isn’t perfect and my work isn’t done, but I have worked hard to allow my suffering to become a survival guide for others who are walking through emotional turmoil, devastation and heartbreak.

Part of my healing process was the realization that I enjoy learning, understanding, and connection specifically in the areas of psychology, attachment, emotional intelligence and connection to the body. I desire to work with people from a posture of personal experience blended with trusted and proven knowledge and modalities. What that basically means is I appreciate a holistic approach to healing and growth with God leading the way as the ultimate Healer. I’m a Certified Personal and Executive Coach with The CaPP Institute (Coaching and Positive Psychology) as well as a Professional Coach with Blessing Ranch Ministries where she uses the Unhindered Model to bring healing, freedom, and power to your heart and life.

Visit her website:https://lovebrandiwilson.com/

Friday, July 7, 2023

What Happens When You Race Against Time?

 



They must uncover the truth before it's buried forever.


After witnessing a wrongful conviction as a young girl, Rebecca Whitman--the first female court reporter in Montana--is now determined to defend the innocent. During a murder trial, something doesn't sit well with her about the case, but no one except the handsome new Carnegie librarian will listen to her.

Librarian Mark Andrews's father sent him to college hoping he would take over the business side of the family ranch, but Mark would rather wrangle books than cows. When a patron seeks help with research in hopes of proving a man's innocence, Mark is immediately drawn to her and her cause.

In a race against time, will Rebecca and Mark find the evidence they need--and open their hearts to love--before it's too late?






Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Visit Tracie's web site at: http://www.traciepeterson.com

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Does Your Greatest Failure Ever Raise Its Head?




USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend--and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.
Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president's protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.

Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?

Sparks fly as award-winning romantic suspense writer Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her Defend and Protect series with this explosive tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and relationships restored.





Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing romantic suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy, but her grown-up reality is that she's a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations while she's sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas!

Lynn’s titles have won the Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award. Her newest series kicked off in March 2021 with Unknown Threat, Book 1 in the Defend and Protect series.

She is a frequent conference speaker and has taught writers all over the country. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after by signing up for her newsletter at LynnHBlackburn.com .