Books with Teacher Heroines

Since schools all around the country have started up this month, it seemed like a great time to share some of our recent books that feature teachers of the past. These heroines might have a more exciting life than a local educator you know (hopefully things like kidnappings, secret identities, and natural disasters aren’t terribly common at your school), but they share the same love: helping students learn.

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Plot Summary: Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to a teaching job for a year, even though the subjects—music and basketball—are ones she looks down on as a mathematician. When she reluctantly turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, for help, she’ll learn more than she ever expected about life and love.

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Plot Summary: When Tessa Taylor arrives in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, she is dismayed to learn there has been a mistake—the town requested a male teacher. Mercifully, they agree to let her stay temporarily. As she settles in to her new life, two brothers begin vying for her hand, but an unknown danger seems to haunt her steps. Clearly, someone doesn’t want her to stay.

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

Plot Summary: Silas and Kate both harbor resentment over failed mail-order engagements. When a common interest in an orphaned student leads to an interest in each other, they begin to think they can overcome their rocky start. But neither is prepared for the secrets that have yet to come to light. Can they move beyond past hurts and find hope?

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Plot Summary: When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the tutor that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Plot Summary: Emma Smallwood and her father have come to the Cornish coast to tutor the youngest sons of a baronet—but all is not as it seems. When mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts, can she figure out which brother to blame…and which to trust with her heart?

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Plot Summary: When a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, legendary tracker Stone eagerly accepts the job. But instead of a hardened criminal, he finds Charlotte, a teacher on the run determined to protected the child in her care. Will Charlotte and Stone decide to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Plot Summary: Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, Beth Thatcher has accepted a teaching position in the rugged foothills of Canada. She resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way. But the conditions in Coal Valley are worse than she’d feared. She is determined to make a difference…but how long can she last on the western frontier?

 

And to celebrate teachers, how about a giveaway? To enter, just comment below with the name of a favorite teacher and what you appreciated about him or her. I’ll chose three winners on Monday, September 17 to receive their choice of book from this list…and another to give to a friend or family member who teaches.

Summer Reading Giveaway

Since this August has a fifth Thursday, we thought it would be fun to shake up the blogging schedule and include a giveaway! As the lazy vacation days of summer slowly end, you might have to be more creative about finding a good place to sneak a few pages of your latest novel, but thankfully, reading is a year-round hobby.

We’d like to give away three prize package of all four of our August releases. There are three ways you can enter to win.

On Tuesday, September 4, we’ll pick one winner from our list of blog followers (enter your email in the sidebar to the left if you haven’t already)…

One from our Instagram subscribers

And one from the comments on this post, answering the question, “What is a great book you read this summer?”

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and maybe sneak a little reading time in as well.

Award Celebration Giveaway!

At the RWA conference, several of our authors were honored with awards. We here at Bethany House love cheering them on in their successes!

Jaime Jo Wright won the Daphne du Maurier award in the Inspirational category for The House on Foster Hill.

Rachel Dylan won the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award for Deadly Proof in the romantic suspense category.

And Tracie Peterson received a Centennial Award for more than 100 published romance novels. (Yes, you read that right, and that’s not including her novellas!)

Because we’re so proud of these authors, I’m hosting an impromptu giveaway on the blog. We’ll choose three winners to pick a book by one of the three authors above as their prize. To enter, “like” at least one of these authors’ pages on Facebook (Tracie Peterson, Rachel Dylan, Jaime Jo Wright), then come back to comment on this post with the answer to this question: “What’s a book you recently read that you’d like to give an award to?” (If you’ve already liked one of these authors’ pages, just comment. No need to say whose page you liked, we’ll just check that the winners have done so before contacting them.) Giveaway closes on Monday, July 30.

Spring Cleaning Audiobook Giveaway!

Hello, readers! Our archive room (the locked, mysterious vault where copies of all of our books are kept) has been getting very full. Because of this, our intrepid editorial assistant, Hannah, recently cleaned out several dozen audiobooks on CD and offered them to Bethany House staff for free.

Rather than keep the bounty all to ourselves, I thought I’d do a fun flash giveaway for you readers.

To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post by noon tomorrow (Friday, June 1), with an answer to this question: what do you like about audiobooks?

If you’re one of three randomly-chosen winners, I’ll contact you via email and ask you what genre you prefer, then send you a fiction audiobook in that genre (I may be able to find specific Bethany House authors, but no guarantees!).

Five Novels with Librarian Characters

National Library Week ended last Saturday, so I know this post is several days late. In my defense, I celebrated by traveling on a book tour with Beverly Lewis, who spoke and signed and met readers at a number of fantastic libraries in the Midwest. (You can view pictures of those signings here to get a glimpse.)

That got me started thinking about some delightful novels with librarian heroines. To celebrate libraries and librarians everywhere, give these books a try.

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Librarian Character: Shy-but-fierce Anna O’Brien, one of the few female librarians in the early days of the Library of Congress.

Additional Fun Fact: The author, Elizabeth Camden, is a real-life research librarian at a university.

Bookish Quote: “Ever since becoming a librarian, she’d been feeling the vibrant golden chain that reached back centuries to other librarians, archivists, and historians, all of whom had chosen the same quest: the collection and preservation of the world’s knowledge. Was there any more noble pursuit in all of human history?”

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Librarian Character: Imaginative and somewhat-flighty Alice Grace Ripley, who supplies books to rural Appalachia when she loses her librarian job during the Great Depression.

Additional Fun Fact: The story includes historical details about “packhorse librarians” who rode up the mountains with books in the 1930s.

Bookish Quote: “Librarians are serious people, seldom given to idle jocularity. The reason for this, I believe, is because we are overwhelmed by the enormous number of good books waiting to be read, leaving little time for frivolity. My personal list of must-read books presents a daunting challenge; I can’t even imagine the pressure that our head librarian must be under.”

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

Librarian Character: The mysterious Rosemary Gresham, posing as a librarian to spy on a potential threat to Britain during WWI.

Additional Fun Fact: All of our ideas for the book cover revolved around a library scene, but a few of the alternate covers showed Rosemary’s (fake) wire-rimmed spectacles.

Bookish Quote: “How bad could a library really be? She had her answer when Holstein swung the double doors open, inward. Perhaps, once, the room had been majestic. The ceiling soared high overhead, a magnificent mural painted on it. The chamber stretched the whole width of the house. Shelves lined the walls, floor to towering ceiling. Lined with books, all of them. Then with books stacked in front of them. Books stacked on the floor. Books stacked on the chairs, the tables, lining the windowsills. Boxes of them. Random cases of them at odd places.”

True to You by Becky Wade

Librarian Character: Sweet and spunky Nora Bradford, genealogist and library director in a historical village.

Additional Fun Fact: Nora is a true bookworm who is particularly fond of period dramas—several real ones and one Becky invented for the story.

Bookish Quote: “I found this place five years ago,” she told him. “I love it except that I’ve run out of bookshelf space again, so I’m going to have to declare eminent domain on yet another wall. I don’t have many walls left. Soon I’ll have books as a kitchen backsplash.”

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

Librarian Character: Gentlewoman Rachel Ashford, the somewhat-reluctant owner of a lending library she created with books inherited from her father.

Additional Fun Fact: The quotes introducing Chapter One are excerpts from primary sources about the circulating libraries of the Regency period.

Bookish Quote: He grinned. “Did I not promise you would learn to enjoy reading? And far more quickly than I imagined.”
She nodded. “And I’ve told several people how much I am enjoying the book, so I already have a waiting list to read it when I am finished.”
His dark eyes glimmered with approval and something more. Admiration? Fondness? Pleasure and fear twisted through her in a single chord. Careful, Rachel warned herself. Don’t confuse a love of books with something more.

Just for fun, we’ll pick two commenters to win their choice of one of the books above. (Winners will be chosen on 4/26/18.) To enter, answer this question in the comments: What is something you love about your local library?

Fun Facts Quiz: March Books Giveaway!

To celebrate our lineup of amazing books this month, I thought I’d give our fabulous blog readers a chance to win a copy of all five new releases. Here’s how:

Step One: Follow our blog, if you haven’t already. You can do so by clicking the red “follow” button under our lists of posts to the left. That way, you can keep up with our once-a-week updates, including fun author news, quizzes, and Q&A about publishing, cover design, and more.

Step Two: Take the following quiz and jot down your answers.

Step Three: Comment with your answers (1:e, 2.c, etc.) on this blog post.

Sound easy? Well, then let’s get started:

1. According to our editors, Paul, Apostle of Christ, is the fastest turnaround for an adult fiction book that Bethany House has on record. How long did the process take, from blank page to publication?

a. Fifteen weeks
b. Eighteen weeks
c. Twenty-two weeks

2. In Places Hidden joins how many other Bethany House fiction books with “Hidden” in the title? (Including out-of-print books and children’s books)

a. Six
b. Nine
c. Eleven

3. Which author’s book is set in the area where she currently lives?

a. Melissa Jagears
b. Tracie Peterson
c. Jennifer Delamere

4. According to the author’s Pinterest, this is the hero inspiration for:

a. Aaron from A Chance at Forever
b. Patrick from In Places Hidden
c. Michael from The Heart’s Appeal

5. And this author shared the image above as being a reference for her heroine:

a. Tracie Peterson
b. Susan Anne Mason
c. Angela Hunt

Okay, readers, subscribe to the blog and then put your pop quiz answers in the comments below! I’ll choose the winners on Monday, March 26—one winner who got all five questions correct, one winner drawn randomly who just participated. (So feel free to comment, even if you’re outright guessing!) Winners will each receive a copy of each of our five March releases.

We Need Your Questions!

Hello, readers!

As some of you regulars may know, we have an ongoing monthly series on the blog called “Ask Bethany House” where I take questions from readers about anything related to BHP, our authors, or book publishing in general.

So that I can plan ahead for 2018 posts, it’s time for me to request questions from you again! If you have a behind-the-scenes type of question, submit it here in our survey, and I’ll choose one per month to answer next year.

You can glance over past questions I’ve answered here, but I’m fine with a slightly different angle on an old question, or even a request for an updated answer to a question I already covered. (A lot can change in two years!)

And, to thank you for being such great question-asking fans, let’s have a giveaway! Next week, I’ll pick two random winners for an early copy of your choice of one our January 2018 books (Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse, A Song Unheard by Roseanna White, Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt). Enter by commenting with an answer to this question: what is one book you read in 2017 that you really enjoyed?

Celebrating the Christy Awards…With a Giveaway!

Who doesn’t love a good party? Especially a party that involves talented authors and lots of amazing books? That’s basically what the Christy Awards is: a celebration of the best in Christian fiction.

This year, I’m excited to be on the Christy Awards board representing Baker Publishing Group and helping organize an event for authors before the awards. I’m beyond excited, and it’s only a month away now! Since I know that many of you live too far away to come (although see the invite below if a trip to Nashville sounds like fun), I decided to host a giveaway to get you in the gala spirit, and to draw attention to the finalists and their books, representing many different publishing companies.

Here’s how it works:

  • Leave a question at the survey posted on By the Book. (We might use your question for a panel.)
  • Then take a look at the 2017 Christy nominees and comment on this post with one that you’ve read and loved.
  • You’ll be entered to win your choice of a Christy-nominated book from 2016 published by Bethany House (Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey, A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter, Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden, or The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White).
  • I’ll announce and contact the winner next Thursday, October 19.

That’s it! Except for one last thing…if you live near Nashville (or want to make a road trip), we’d love to have you join us for the awards! Readers, the gala dinner is not-to-be-missed, and if you’re also an aspiring writer, there are workshops beforehand that you’ll want to check out as well.

You can find out more about the event below, or if you’re already convinced, you can register here.

About the Art of Writing Conference: The Art of Writing is designed to bring Christian creatives and publishing curators together for a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking.

The speakers represent a wide range of roles and areas of expertise. Andrew Peterson, young adult writer and founder of the Rabbit Room, will give advice on how to create and benefit from a vibrant creative community, while Wheaton College professor Theon Hill, Ph.D. will present a survey of the obstacles and opportunities of diversity in Christian fiction. Authors will receive encouragement for the ups and downs of the writing life from blogger Carrie Schmidt and author, agent, and ACFW public relations liaison Cynthia Ruchti. Finally, a panel of representatives from major ECPA publishers will share insider information on where the genre has been, where it’s going, and the exciting changes they see in today’s market for writers. Learn more about the speakers and sessions here.

About the Christy Awards: The Christy Award™ is designed to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview and showcase the diversity of genres. The award is named for Catherine Marshall’s enduring bestselling novel, Christy, published in 1967 and inspiring a continuing book series and a CBS television series starring Kellie Martin. The novel will be re-released in 2017 in a 50th anniversary legacy edition by Gilead Publishing in partnership with Kregel Publications.

Hosted by award-winning author and radio host Chris Fabry, this year’s celebration gala dinner will feature New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury as well as musician and writer Andrew Peterson. You can view the finalist list here.

Be sure to check out the fun on the rest of the tour!

Christy Award Celebration Blog Tour

Monday, October 9: Top Ten Writing Industry Issues at Seekerville
Tuesday, October 10: Give Us Your Best Questions at By the Book
Wednesday, October 11: Interview with Dr. Theon Hill at Reading is My Superpower
Thursday, October 12: Celebrating the Christy Awards…With a Giveaway! at Bethany House Fiction
Friday, October 13: Quiz: Pick Your Gala Dress at Dani Pettrey’s blog
Saturday, October 14: Eight Reasons to Come to The Art of Writing at The Power of Words
Sunday, October 15: Interview with Carrie Schmidt at Bookworm Mama
Monday, October 16: Interview with Cynthia Ruchti at Just Commonly
Tuesday, October 17: Christy Nominee Bingo and Giveaway at Faithfully Bookish
Wednesday, October 18: The Unofficial Readers’ Choice Cover Awards at Singing Librarian Books

Share a Book Contest 2017!

Based on the fun of finding a can of pop with your name on it (or not, depending on how creative your parents were when naming you), I thought we’d have a little giveaway!

CokeNames

Why not try “Share a book with…”? There’s something fun about reading a book where the character shares our name. (So take note if you’re looking for birthday presents—every reader I know would love to get a book with their namesake as the main character.)

Just for fun, here are the protagonists of the Bethany House books that have released from August 2016 to August 2017. Look at the list, and if you see the name of one of your friends, comment with the name of your friend and one thing you appreciate about her. Only one comment/entry per person, please! Enter until midnight on August 9 I’ll chose three random comments and send the commenter two copies of the book—one to keep, and one to share with the namesake friend!

Remember, this is “Share a book,” so choose a book featuring a friend’s name, not your own name. Also, really close names count. (Beth for Betsey, Annie for Anne, Catie for Kate, etc. We’re pretty lenient.)

ShareaCoke

• Perla & Ella—A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas
• Ainslee & Levi – The Artisan’s Wife by Judith Miller
• Beth & Jarrick – Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan
• Lydia & Nicholas – A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears
• Evie & Gabriel – Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
• Lady Ella & Lord Cayton – A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White
• Esther – The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn
• Clara & Curtis – A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson
• Leona & Gloria – The Wish by Beverley Lewis
• Deirdre & Matthew – Love’s Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason
• Shira – Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette
• Deborah & Anton – From this Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling
• Gessje & Anna – Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
• Loni & David – The Cottage by Michael Phillips
• Wilek (William will also count) – King’s Blood by Jill Williamson
• Mercy & Mark – Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl
• Willet (William will also count)– The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr
• Cole “Tox” & Kasey – Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig
• Jane – The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen
• Betsy & Joel – For the Record by Regina Jennings
• Adelaide & Trent – An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter
• Cassidy & Allan – In the Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse
• Julianne – The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green
• Rose & Reuben – Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould
• Drew & Madeline – Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering
• Rebekah & Nathaniel – A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander
• Avery & Parker – Still Life by Dani Pettrey
• Justin & Angie – Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy
• Jenny & Ryan – To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden
• Grace & Alex – Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson
• Permilla & Asher – Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano
• Hope & Luke – The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller
• Sallie – The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis
• Evie & David – Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson
• Kate & Tony – Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl
• Alanah & Tobiah – Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette
• Nora & John – True to You by Becky Wade
• Evelyn & David – A Love So True by Melissa Jagears
• Elise & Thornton – With You Always by Jody Hedlund
• Rosalyn & Nate – The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere
• Grace & Amos – Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
• Evelyn & Simon – High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin
• Rosemary & Peter – A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
• Loni & David – The Legacy by Michael Phillips
• Chava & Cleopatra – Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt
• Hope & Lance – Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson
• Mia & Jake – The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin
• Ian – Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson
• Signe & Rune – The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snellings

Go ahead, tell us a little bit about a friend who shares a name with one of these main characters, and you’ll be entered to win two copies of that book!

 

Reader Poll and Giveaway!

On August 12, I’ll be representing Bethany House at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat, mingling with authors and booklovers alike. I’m already getting excited! As part of the event, I’ll be moderating a panel—which means they’re actually giving me a mic and letting me ask questions of authors (a very risky move on their part).

Of course, I want to make sure the questions I ask are ones that are relevant to readers…which is why I’m coming to you for help. The panel’s name is “Merging the Imaginary and the Real Worlds,” and it will be filled with five fabulous historical fiction authors.

As a reader, what’s a question you think would be fascinating to know that’s specific to historical fiction? Maybe even something that you haven’t found out by reading authors’ blogs or Facebook posts. When you think about merging the imaginary and real worlds, what questions come to mind?

Let me know in the comments below, and next Thursday I’ll choose two winners to receive their choice of summer historical fiction release from Bethany House!