Category Archives: fiction spotlight

Saving Gideon and a free book

Everything Amish – Saving Gideon

Today I wanted to highlight my friend’s book, Saving Gideon. Written by Amy Lillard,savinggideon_3d this book is set in an Amish community in Oklahoma. I loved Amy’s “About Amy” page on her website. Visit it here and you’ll see why.

As to Saving Gideon (great title), here’s her Continue reading

Lynn Austin

Everything Amish — and Lynn Austin

No, she doesn’t write Amish, but there’s a reason that I’m blogging about Lynn Austin today. I had read that Lynn was an award-winning author, and I wanted to know more about her. So I picked up Wonderland Creek. What a lovely novel. You know a book is good when you immediately call your close friends and say, “Read this! You’ll love it.”

As I was reading the story, it did occur to me that this is just the type of book Amish folks would enjoy. It’s set in a simpler time, centers around normal people, and describes how the main characters overcome unusual obstacles. I know when one of the main characters is a horse that I’m going to love the story!

Yes, the Amish do read contemporary stories. But they are choosy about what they read, and perhaps they should be. Perhaps we all should be.

By the way, I also read Hidden Places by Lynn, and adored the story. She is one of the best authors I’ve read (Christian or secular) in a long time. I hope you will check her writings out. They are sometimes free in ebook format, and should be at your local library as well.



p.s. – the winner from last Saturday’s blog, “Giving” is ALYSON JENKINS. I’ve sent Alyson an email, so if your name sounds like this but you did not receive an email — then it’s not you. No worries, we’ll have more give aways soon. Thanks everyone for entering!

Oregon Outback

Fiction Spotlight – Oregon Outback

Today I’m featuring my friend and award-winning author, Elizabeth Goddard. Beth’s new book is Oregon Outback, and I think you’ll agree it sounds like a fun read.

The harsh, yet peaceful Oregon Outback molds the lives of four rugged brothers who stumble into love. FBI agent Jonas Love has brought trouble back home, endangering his life and that of an old flame. Cattle rancher Carver Love finds himself falling for the sheriff in the midst of chasing down modern-day rustlers. Thrill-seeker Lucas Love fears nothing—until he meets a beautiful bookkeeper. Justin Love is trailing a fugitive who’s heading too close to home—and one particular lodge keeper. How will God protect these men as they risk their lives to defend the ones they love?

This is actually a novella collection of 4 stories. I hope you’ll check it out! Beth is a Texas girl but she has lived in Oregon, and I’m sure that added a lot to the details of this story.



Award Winning Fiction

Fiction Spotlight – The Carol Awards

This week I wanted to share with you a list of excellent books. These are the finalists for the Carol Awards. (Winners will be revealed at the ACFW conference in September.) According to American Chrisitian Fiction Writer’s site “The Carol Awards are ACFW’s recognition for the best Christian fiction published by traditional publishing houses in the previous calendar year.”

I am completely humbled that my first Shipshewana mystery, Falling to Pieces, is included in this year’s finalists–in the mystery category.

If you’re looking for a summer read, this list is a great place to start.

Debut Novel:

  • Fairer Than Morning  by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell, Editor)
  • The Loom by Shella Gillus (Guideposts – Beth Adams, Editor)
  • Give the Lady a Ride by Linda W. Yezak (Sky Sail [Port Yonder Press] – Chila Woychik, Editor)


Long Contemporary:

  • Lost Melody by Lori Copeland/Virginia Smith (Zondervan – Sue Brower, Editor)
  • The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)
  • Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House Publishers – Sarah Long/Dave Long, Editors)


Long Contemporary Romance:

  • Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson – Jamie Chavez/Natalie Hanemann, Editors)
  • Lilly’s Wedding Quilt by Kelly M. Long (Thomas Nelson – Natalie Hanemann, Editor)
  • My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale – Karen Watson, Editor)


Long Historical:

  • Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis (Moody Publishers/River North – Deborah Keiser, Editor)
  • Fairer Than Morning  by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell, Editor)
  • Mine Is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Press – Laura Barker, Editor)


Long Historical Romance:

  • The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen (Bethany House Publishers – Karen Schurrer, Editor)
  • Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman (Multnomah Publishers – Alice Crider, Editor)
  • To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers – Karen Schurrer, Editor)



  • Falling to Pieces: A Shipshewana Amish Mystery by Vannetta Chapman (Zondervan – Sue Brower, Editor)
  • Died in the Wool by Elizabeth Ludwig/Janelle Mowery (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
  • Yesterday’s Secrets by Kelly Ann Riley (Guideposts – Beth Adams, Editor)



  • An Accidental Christmas from A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
  • Reese: All Along from Smitten by Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell/LB Norton, Editors)
  • A Star in the Night from A Log Cabin Christmas by Liz Johnson (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)


Romantic Suspense:

  • Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell, Editor)
  • Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon (Revell – Jennifer Leep, Editor)
  • Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany/Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)


Short Contemporary:

  • The Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray (Avon Inspire/Harper Collins – Cindy DiTiberio)
  • Lakeside Reunion by Lisa Jordan (Love Inspired – Melissa Endlich, Editor)
  • Oklahoma Reunion by Tina Radcliffe (Love Inspired – Rachel Burkot/Melissa Endlich, Editor)


Short Contemporary Suspense:

  • Double Identity by Diane Burke (Love Inspired Suspense – Sarah McDaniel-Dyer, Editor)
  • Nightwatch by Valerie Hansen (Love Inspired Suspense – Melissa Endlich, Editor)
  • A Deadly Game by Virginia Smith (Love Inspired Suspense – Tina James, Editor)


Short Historical (four finalists due to a tie):

  • Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore (Heartsong Presents – JoAnne Simmons, Editor)
  • Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens (Heartsong Presents – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
  • Light to My Path by Erica Vetsch (Heartsong Presents – JoAnne Simmons, Editor)
  • The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)


Speculative Fiction:

  • The Story in the Stars by Yvonne Anderson (Risen Books – Reagan Reed, Editor)
  • The Chair by James L. Rubart (B & H Fiction – Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)
  • Broken Sight by Steve Rzasa (Marcher Lord Press – Jeff Gerke, Editor)



  • Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins (B & H Fiction – Karen Ball, Editor)
  • Fallen Angel by Major Jeff Struecker/Alton Gansky (B & H Fiction – Julie Gwinn, Editor)
  • Freedom’s Stand by Jeanette (J.M.) Windle (Tyndale – Jan Stob, Editor)


Women’s Fiction:

  • A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner (WaterBrook Press – Shannon Marchese, Editor)
  • When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley (Multnomah Publishers – Jessica Barnes/Shannon Marchese, Editors)
  • Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate (Penguin Praise/Berkley – Ellen Edwards, Editor)


Young Adult:

  • Wreath by Judy Christie (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany/Jamie Chavez, Editors)
  • The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan – Jacque Alberta, Editor)
  • There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson – Natalie Hanemann/Becky Monds/Jamie Chavez, Editors)

Happy reading!




Jordyn Redwood

Fiction Spotlight — Jordyn Redwood
I’m happy to have Jordyn guest-blogging with me today.  Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. You can connect with Jordyn via her website. She writes for the Christian publisher, Kregel and wanted to talk with us today about STITCHING SUSPENSE. Jordyn is giving away a copy of her book, just answer her question at the end of the post by leaving a comment. Be sure and leave your email address too.


As an author, I will admit it’s difficult for me not to let my real life bleed into my books. After all, the more realistic a fiction novel is—the more relatable it is for people. I know, crazy right?

My mother began to teach me quilting shortly after I was married in 1998. She had always done garment sewing but when clothing prices made it cheaper to buy than to sew from scratch she stopped. During my high school years—she began to quilt.

Of course, my husband says my mother’s motive to get me quilting was so that I would have the same fabric obsession she does. Fellow quilters know all about the fabric stash! I merely reply that this is genetic as my paternal grandmother knits and has boxes upon boxes of yarn. I’ve been doubly hit from both sides of the family.

He just doesn’t get it.

That’s okay.

My first quilt was a simple log cabin design. Then a pattern called woven ribbons that I promised to give away to someone but just couldn’t after it was completed. Does anyone else have this problem?

Since then, I’ve done dozens of quilts for friends and family and probably have enough fabric to make dozens more. I originally loved Thimbleberries designs and fabrics but have since then gravitated toward Nancy HalvorsenWhimsical Quilts, and Crabapple Hill. Now that I’ve embarked on a writing career, I don’t have nearly as much time to quilt as I’d like and I love the more labor intensive pieces that are appliquéd or embroidered.

So how do you fulfill a love for quilting while writing a suspense novel? Well, include it as a clue of course!

Working as a pediatric nurse, I’ve seen hundreds of homemade blankets donated to our unit. Some of these are given out of grief for a child once lost. In Proof, one of my male leads, Kadin Daughtry, is an OB/GYN. His sister, Ellie, lost a baby and was unable to conceive another child. To work through her grief, she sews these beautiful quilts to cover the babies’ isolettes as they sleep in the NICU. This is done, in real life, to decrease the amount of stimulation the babies receive.

This fact, of Ellie making these quilts, is mentioned a few times throughout the book and is an excellent technique to use in fiction writing as a path of clues for the reader. One particular quilt in the novel becomes pivotal for the heroine, Lilly, to accomplish her goal in saving someone’s life and putting a guilty man in jail.

Do you have a love of quilting? What patterns do you like? What designers? Do you like novels that have a quilting element?



Fiction Spotlight – Missing

I’m just happy as a peach on a tree to highlight Shelley Shepard Gray’s new book, MISSING. Just the cover makes me want to take it to my back patio, cancel all the things on my to-do list, and READ.

Shelley is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author, and she’s also my friend. She’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And I think you will adore her book. Here’s the blurb.

Can two young people survive the suspicions of their friends and neighbors when tragedy strikes a close-knit Amish community?

Perry Borntrager had been missing for months from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, when his body is discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. The first death from mysterious circumstances in more than two decades brings the scrutiny of the outside world: A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englischer Walker Anderson.

Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship: one that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.

I’ve mentioned before, if you can’t afford to purchase all these fabulous books, please request them at your library. This is a GREAT help to authors.  


The Fiddler

Fiction Spotlight – The Fiddler

I’m wondering. How many of you have read Beverly Lewis’ newest book? I play the piano, but one of my favorite instruments to listen to is a violine–a fiddle. This book sound intriguing.

Amelia “Amy” DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life’s demands can’t intrude on her solitude. She doesn’t know, nor care, where she will end up.

When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her “no cell phone” plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman–and through him a community–that will change her life forever.

Beverly Lewis certainly opened the door of Amish fiction. I consider her a real mentor and blessing. So have you read this book? It’s been on the bestseller list for some time. : )