June 2017 New Releases

According to the calendar, the first day of summer isn’t until Tuesday, June 20, but you can get started on summer reading long before that! We’ve got some great releases coming out this month from five talented authors. Want to try them out? Click on each cover to read an excerpt.

Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl
Defenders of Justice #2

Four years ago, Kate O’Brien and her twin were attacked by a serial killer and only Kate survived. She’s been in witness protection ever since her testimony led to a conviction. When new evidence is found suggesting they got the wrong man, Kate is terrified. With a target on her back, can U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca keep her safe until the new trial begins?

With You Always by Jody Hedlund
Orphan Train #1

When an 1850s financial crisis leaves orphan Elise Neumann and her sisters destitute, Elise seizes their only hope: to find work out west through the Children’s Aid Society and send money home. On the rails, she meets privileged Thornton Quincy, who suddenly must work for his inheritance. From different worlds, can these two help each other find their way?

The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere
London Beginnings #1

When unfortunate circumstances leave Rosalyn Bernay penniless in 1880s London, she takes a job backstage at a theater and finds herself dreaming of a career in the spotlight. Injured soldier Nate Moran is also working behind the scenes, but he can’t wait to return to his regiment in India until he meets Rosalyn.

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
Ladies of Harper Station

Grace Mallory is tired of running. But when she learns that the villain who killed her father is closing in, she has no choice. Grace is waylaid, however, by Amos Bledsoe, who hopes to continue their telegraph courtship in person. With Grace’s life—and his heart—on the line, can Amos shed his shyness and become the hero she requires?

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

In 1917, British nurse and war widow Evelyn Marche is trapped in German-occupied Brussels. She works at the hospital by day and as a waitress by night. But she also has a secret: She’s a spy for the resistance. When a British plane crashes in the park, Evelyn must act quickly to protect the injured soldier who has top-secret orders and a target on his back.

What’s on your summer reading list, readers?

May 2017 New Releases!

It’s a new month, and that means I’ve got some beautiful covers and compelling stories to share with you! Enjoy these sneak peeks at four books that just appeared on shelves this week. (To read an excerpt, click on each cover.)

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

Synopsis: After her Canaanite family is killed by the Hebrews, Alanah disguises herself as a warrior and enters the battle to avenge her loved ones. She never intended to survive. When Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, finds her unconscious among the dead, he faces an impossible dilemma: The only way to protect this wounded woman—the enemy of his people—is to marry her.

First Lines: Forging through the teeming mass of Canaanite soldiers in this vast army camp, I’d never felt more alone. A tendril of hair tickled the side of my neck and I jammed the errant strand under my bronze helmet, hoping no one had glimpsed the flash of red against my shoulder. The scaled armor I wore, heavy as it was, disguised my form to good effect. If I was vigilant to keep my guard raised, no one would ever know a woman walked among them until they found my body on the battlefield tomorrow.

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

Synopsis: Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville. She works daily to help get children out of the town’s red-light district, but she longs to help the women there as well. Intrigued by Evelyn, David Kingsman lends his support to her cause. Though they begin work with the best of intentions, complications arise.

First Lines: If David Kingsman had any chance of making his father proud, this next decision could be it. Of course, Father was just as likely to disown him for it, but if David’s projections were correct, it would be worth it. Hopefully.

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Synopsis: With the public eye fixed on the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force, Detective Evie Blackwell and her new partner, David, are under pressure to produce results. While they investigate two missing-persons cases in Chicago, Evie and David’s conviction that justice is truly possible for all will be tested to the limit.

First Lines: As Governor Bliss came to the podium, Lieutenant Evie Blackwell dug her hands into her coat pockets, grateful the January cold would keep this press announcement on schedule and limited to twenty minutes. His inauguration just the day before had been sunnier and a few degrees warmer. She did her best to ignore the television cameras trained on the podium, knowing she and the other officers on the stage were now in their view frame, and that this clip would run on the local evening newscast.

True to You by Becky Wade

Synopsis: After a broken engagement, genealogist Nora Bradford decides focusing on her work and her novels is safer than romance. But when John, a former Navy SEAL, hires her to help find his birth mother, the spark between them is undeniable. However, he’s dating someone, and Nora is hesitant. Is she ready to abandon her fictional heroes and risk her heart for real?

First Lines: Finding oneself at the mercy of a crazed gunman isn’t all fun and games. Nope, thought Nora Bradford. Not at all. Not even when said gunman was an actor toting a fake gun and you’d volunteered your time to play the role of hostage for noble reasons.

Are there any books you’re looking forward to this spring? How about sharing the first few lines of a book you’re currently reading?

April 2017 Bethany House Books

Since we’ve officially (by the calendar, at least) moved on from winter, I can welcome you to a list of great spring books! (Who needs spring cleaning when you can have spring reading instead?)

I’m excited to introduce our lineup of new releases to you, in all different genres and settings. There’s something here for everyone! To take a closer look, click on each cover to read an excerpt. Enjoy, readers!

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

Sallie Riehl comes to Cape May for the summer as a nanny, yet what the Amish young woman discovers about herself and the broader world during those unforgettable weeks challenges her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

 

Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky

In the first cycle of the Harbinger series, four strangers discover they have extraordinary gifts and are brought together to fight a growing darkness. Meet the members of the Harbingers team—each written by an acclaimed author—in four linked episodes! Fast-paced and ongoing, this thrilling suspense collection reads like your favorite TV series.

To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

Naval officer Ryan Gallagher broke Jenny’s heart six years ago when he abruptly disappeared. Now he’s returned but refuses to discuss what happened. Furious, Jenny has no notion of the impossible situation Ryan is in. With lives still at risk, he can’t tell Jenny the truth about his overseas mission—but he can’t bear to lose her again either.

 

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind The Quill gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she’s determined to warn him. Away from society’s spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there’s more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

Hope Irvine always sees the best in people. While traveling on the rails with her missionary father, she attracts the attention of a miner named Luke and a young mine manager. When Luke begins to suspect the manager is using Hope’s missions of mercy as a cover for illegal activities, can he discover the truth without putting her in danger?

 

Confession time: what chore or responsibility are you most likely to postpone so you can read a good book?

Quotes and Themes: March 2017 New Releases

I love finding quotable gems in our novels, ones that hint at the conflict and themes of each, so I’ve created a few to give you a sneak peek into this month’s books. (For a longer sneak peek, click on a book cover to read an excerpt.) Feel free to share the memes if you’ve read either of these books or they’re on your To-Be-Read pile!

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

treasured-grace

On the grueling trail west, Grace Martindale loses her new husband and her last vestige of security. Upon arriving in Oregon Country, she uses her midwifery skills to help the other settlers, and—with the aid of fur trapper Alex Armistead—the Cayuse tribe. But peace between the groups is fragile, and tension soon leads to violence.

petersonmeme-1

Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

long-time-gone

The Boden clan thought their troubles were over with the death of a dangerous enemy. But with new evidence on Cole’s shooting, Justin can’t deny that the plot to take their ranch was bigger than one man. While the doctor and his distractingly pretty assistant help Cole, Justin has to uncover the trail of a decades-old secret as danger closes in.

connealymeme

 

Is there a quote you especially enjoyed from a book you read recently?

Meet Our February 2017 New Releases!

Technically, these are January books because they released on the 31st of January, but we’re celebrating them this month. Between their pages you’ll find murder and music and mystery and everything in between! Just for fun, I’m sharing a fun fact about each title so you have the inside scoop. To read an excerpt of each novel and see if it’s a good fit for you, just click on the cover!

King’s Blood by Jill Williamson

kings-blood

Quick Look: After the foretold destruction of the Five Realms, the remnant that escaped by sea searches for a new home. As the king’s health worsens, Sâr Wilek assumes command and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts and dark magic endanger his life. One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms in the future: Who is this Deliverer?

Behind-the-Scenes Trivia: This is officially the longest novel Bethany House has ever published! (At least until Book Three releases…)

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

NoteYetUnsung_cover-4color-SIM.indd

Quick Look: Despite her training as a master violinist, Rebekah Carrington was denied entry into the Nashville Philharmonic by young conductor Nathaniel Whitcomb, who bowed to public opinion. Now, with a reluctant muse and a recurring pain in his head, he needs her help to finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he’s robbed her of her dream?

Behind-the-Scenes Trivia: The Stradivarius violin in the novel that is (fictionally) owned by Adelicia Cheatham, is currently owned in real life by violinist Anne Akiko Meyes. Tamera listened to her music often while writing.

Still Life by Dani Pettrey

still-life

Quick Look: Work hits too close to home for crime scene photographer Avery Tate when her best friend disappears. The only lead is a chilling photo of her—apparently dead. As Avery, her ex-boss Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the case, she’s forced to confront her feelings for Parker when they come face-to-face with a dangerous criminal.

Behind-the-Scenes Trivia: Many of the locations in the story can be found in real-life Baltimore, including the Fells Point neighborhood, a favorite of the Pettrey family.

Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering

murder-on-the-moor

Quick Look: When mysterious incidents begin occurring on a moor in Yorkshire, an old friend begs Drew for help. At first it seems to be simply bad luck—fires started, livestock scattered—but then the vicar is murdered. As danger closes in, Drew and Madeline must determine what’s really going on and find the killer before it’s too late.

Behind-the-Scenes Trivia: Julianna insists that Aidan Turner, star of Poldark, looks just like her character (and mystery suspect) Rhys Delwyn. Imagine that!

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, what’s the best romantic novel you’ve read in a while?

January 2017 New Releases…and a Quiz

Welcome to a new year and the “book birthdays” of several great titles! For something a little different, I’ve made up a quiz to match you to one of our January new releases. From rugged and dangerous to relaxing and quaint, the settings of our January books are sure to break you out of your ordinary routine. Let us know what result you got! And, as usual click on the book covers below to start reading an excerpt.

quiz

Amish Weddings

by Leslie Gould

amish-weddings

Plot: Rose Lehman has always known who she wants to marry: the bishop’s son, Reuben Byler. But then Trevor, the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law, visits Lancaster County, and Reuben starts to seem dull by comparison. When the thrill of adventure begins to fade, will Rose find happiness—or ruin her best chance at love?

The Mark of the King

by Jocelyn Green

MarkoftheKing_mck.indd

Plot: After being unjustly imprisoned for the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the French colony of Louisiana in 1720. She marries a fellow convict in order to sail, but when tragedy strikes—and a mystery unfolds—Julianne must find her own way in this dangerous new land while bearing the brand of a criminal.

An Uncommon Courtship

by Kristi Ann Hunter

an-uncommon-courtship

Plot: After a night trapped together in an old stone keep, Lady Adelaide Bell and Lord Trent Hawthorne have no choice but to marry. Dismayed, Adelaide finds herself bound to a man who ignores her, as Trent has no desire to connect with the one who dashed his plans to marry for love. Can they set aside their first impressions before any chance of love is lost?

In the Shadow of Denali

by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

in-the-shadow-of-denali

Plot: Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, a wilderness guide, work at a prestigious new hotel outside Mt. McKinley. John’s new apprentice, Allan Brennan, finds a friend in Cassidy, but the real reason he’s here—to learn the truth about his father’s death—is far more dangerous than he knows.

The Perfect Gift for Book Lovers: December 2016 New Releases

As you glance at our December new releases, you may well find yourself asking: were red and green intentionally dominant colors on these lovely covers? (The answer is no, but hey, it works!)

Or you might just find yourself asking how you can get ahold of one as soon as possible because they look so good. (You’d be right on that one!)

294196_dec16-bhpfiction_fbcover

Here’s a quick overview and sneak peek at each title. Click on the cover if you’d like to read an excerpt.

For the Record by Regina Jennings

for-the-record

Main character: Betsy Huckabee, a curious and charming writer in small-town Missouri.

Plot: Betsy Huckabee dreams of being a big-city journalist, but first she has to get out of Pine Gap. To that end, she pens a romanticized serial for the ladies’ pages of a distant newspaper, using the handsome new deputy and his exploits for inspiration. She’d be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but no one from home will ever know. . .

Recommended as a gift for: Readers who love witty dialogue, fast-paced romances, or Western settings.

Other people say: “This is such a delightful read with an adorable romance and a fun and entertaining storyline. . . . The interactions and dialogue between the main characters are sheer perfection. The mystery and drama with the hero’s backstory and the masked marauders keep the momentum of the story going at a nice pace and allows for no dull moments. There is so much to love here in this little gem, it is easily one of Jennings’ best.”—RT Book Reviews

If this book were wrapped for Christmas, it might look like this:

I could see either of these cute, old-fashioned-but-still-fun holiday designs fitting For the Record.

I could see either of these cute, old-fashioned-but-still-fun holiday designs fitting For the Record.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

innkeeper-of-ivy-hill

Main character: Jane Bell, a determined and gracious noblewoman-turned-innkeeper.

Plot: The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane, becomes the reluctant owner. With a large loan due, can Jane and her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, find a way to save the inn—and discover fresh hope for the future?

Recommended as a gift for: Anyone who appreciates BBC series, Jane Austen, or fascinating characters.

Other people say: “Klassen launches a heartwarming new series set in the Regency era that delivers everything fans of gentle historical-romance novels could ever want, including a beautifully realized English village setting, a memorable cast of characters, and charming hints of love for more than one of the residents of Ivy Hill.”—Booklist

If this book were wrapped for Christmas, it might look like this:

Something about this just said "classy British read" to me.

Something about this just said “classy British read” to me.

Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig

conspiracy-of-silence

Main character: Cole “Tox” Russell, a loyal and courageous paramilitary group leader.

Plot: When an archaeological dig unleashes a centuries-old virus, paramilitary operative Cole ‘Tox’ Russell is forced back into action. With the help of archaeologist Tzivia Khalon and FBI agent Kasey Cortes, Tox searches for answers—and becomes entangled in a web of deception. As the team races to stop a pandemic, a secret society counters their every move.

Recommended as a gift for: Men or women who enjoy pulse-pounding thrillers.

Other people say: “Kendig keeps the tensions high and the pace lightning fast, with military action scenes worthy of Vince Flynn. Especially noteworthy is watching the character development of elite modern warriors forced to confront and accept ancient history, faith, and supernatural power. Kendig fans will love this opening novel in her new series.”—Publishers Weekly

If this book were wrapped for Christmas, it might look like this:

Black because secret operations and danger...and is that mistletoe? Because Tox does have a heart of gold.

Black because secret operations and danger…and is that mistletoe? Because Tox has a heart of gold.

Are you hoping for any books this year for Christmas? Which ones? (I put To Kill a Mockingbird on my list, because I realized to my shock I didn’t actually own a copy.)

Introducing Our November 2016 New Releases

The two Bethany House titles that released this week have vastly different settings, themes, and genres, but they have one thing in common: I can recommend them both to readers who enjoy a great story. Want to give them a try? Click a cover to read an excerpt.

fatal-frost

Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

Summary: When U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan is assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD, she’s forced back into contact with her father and into the sights of a notorious gang. Mercy’s boss assigns her colleague—and ex-boyfriend—Mark to get her safely out of town. But when an ice storm hits and the enemy closes in, can backup reach them in time?

First Lines: “The seemingly deserted street was lined with empty houses, their windows as blank and vacant as the eyes of those who had become casualties in St. Louis’s war on heroine. Deputy U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan gazed out the window of the black van as cold tendrils of rain slid down the darkened glass next to her, reminding her of tears.”

Favorite Character: Tally! Yes, this is partially because sidekick characters get some of the best lines, but his faith and mentor-like relationship with Mercy were both very compelling dimensions to his character. Add to that a great backstory that came up at all the right moments and a very real internal struggle about whether to continue on in law enforcement, and he’s someone you can’t help but root for.

Other Unbiased People Say: “An out-of-control roller coaster of a romantic suspense novel! The first book in the DEFENDERS OF JUSTICE series has something for every fan of the genre. . . . The characters are smart, cunning and know how to use their wits to get them out of tight situations. The plot is fast paced and is not standard or run of the mill. Nancy Mehl has raised the bar with her new series.” (RT Book Reviews)

Recommended for: This series follows U.S. Marshals, a career I knew very little about, and Nancy’s real-life research shines in tense situations that could be something you hear on the evening news, so anyone, especially romantic suspense fans, who enjoy learning something new would love this book. Fans of Dee Henderson will enjoy finding a new author while they wait for her next release. Once you start, you might find yourself postponing sleep to keep going until the last page to find out what happens!

 

shattered-vigil

The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr

Summary: Despite their recent victory, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover the continent is still far from safe. When unseen assassins begin targeting the Vigil and their gift and his associates scatter, Willet must find a way to defeat this latest threat alone.

First Lines (from the villain’s POV): “Darkness fell within the storyteller’s room, the pain and light of day diminishing, though the heat remained, absorbed and surrendered from countless clay walls and tiled roofs. Nightfall. He relished the dying of the light, the way the sun that blinded him slid beneath the horizon with all the desperate clinging of a drowning child.”

Favorite Character: Can I pick all the urchins? Seriously, the young apprentices who each travel with a member of the Vigil are complex and wonderful. Fess absolutely stole my heart, Lelwin broke it, Mark has an interesting faith struggle, and Rory is hilarious and could easily be the hero of a future series in his own right. (Also, not an apprentice, but if you can read this book without falling in love with little Aellyn, you are heartless.) Far more than an amusing subplot, these young people raise the stakes and give the story added depth.

Other Unbiased People Say: “Carr grips readers from the very beginning, creating suspense that doesn’t let go. Readers are fascinated by Willet and empathize with his struggle in doing what is right when the path is not clear, and every way he turns is filled with danger. Well timed, surprising and intense, this book does not disappoint.” (RT Book Reviews Top Pick)

Recommended for: Anyone who reads fantasy (though there are parts that would be too intense for younger teens). But even if you don’t typically read fantasy, I’d recommend you give this one a try, if only for the amazing characters and thought-provoking insights on faith that you’ll find in the pages. (You should read The Shock of Night first for background, since this one builds on the plot of the first in the series.)

Who was a favorite secondary character from a book you recently read?

Fictional Postcards: October Bethany House Books

Sometimes setting can be a great reason to pick up a book—we all love the escape of relaxing in a famous travel destination or the adventure of exploring a region or country where we’ve never been in person. This month, we had such a great variety of real-life locations that I decided to show you postcard-worthy pictures of each. (You can click on the cover to read an excerpt.) Enjoy!

shadow-of-the-storm

This story takes place after the Exodus, when the Israelites journeyed into the wilderness and met God at Mount Sinai. There’s debate by scholars on the location of Mt. Sinai itself, but here are a few shots of what the mountains and wilderness of the area looks like.

wadi

mtsinai

For more pictures, check out Connilyn’s Pinterest board.

from-this-day-forward Continue reading

September Bethany House Books

On this first day of September, I’m excited to let you know about five new releases from BHP. They’re set all over the map: the Pennsylvania countryside, Montana’s frontier, the halls of Edwardian England, a New York horse farm in the 20s and the bustling Wall Street of current day. Take a trip inside the pages by clicking on a cover to read an excerpt.

 

Wish
The Wish by Beverly Lewis

Leona lost her best friend the day Gloria’s father was expelled from the Amish church. When she receives an unexpected letter from Gloria, Leona makes up her mind to go after her friend. To the alarm of her fiancé, the deacon’s son, she sets out on a mission to persuade Gloria to return to the Amish church. Will Leona’s dearest wish lead to her own undoing?

Love Transformed

A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson

Widowed and penniless, with two small children, Clara Vesper returns to her uncle’s ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy. As she tries to find that feeling again, she encounters a suitor from her past and is soon followed by her brother-in-law, who will stop at nothing to bring her back to the family business.

Domino Effect
The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

Esther Larsen, a risk analyst at a powerful banking institution, is convinced she has uncovered a ticking bomb with the potential to overshadow 2008’s market crash. She has to do something—but what? With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther races against the clock to avert a disaster that threatens worldwide financial devastation.

Lady Unrivaled
A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White

Lady Ella Myerston knows of the danger that haunts her brother, and she intends to put an end to it. While visiting her friend Brook, the true owner of the Fire Eyes diamonds, Ella accidentally gets entangled in an attempt to blackmail the dashing, newly reformed Lord Cayton. Will she become the next casualty of the alleged curse?

Love's Faithful Promise

Love’s Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason

When her mother suffers a stroke, Deirdre puts her medical career on hold and persuades Dr. Matthew Clayborne to help treat Mrs. O’Leary at Irish Meadows. But since the doctor has no intention of leaving his life in Canada, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage altogether, how will they deal with the undeniable spark between them?

Since school is starting up, here’s a question: what’s a classic novel you read in high school or college that you genuinely enjoyed?