Monday Mentions – Comfort & Joy: The Christmas Lights Collection 2018

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Today’s spotlight is a Christmas themed box set with heartwarming stories from four lovely authors: Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, and Alana Terry.

Book Description

Comfort & Joy cover artFour heartwarming stories to fill this Christmas season with comfort and joy.

Toni Shiloh- Can a bookstore owner looking for swoon-worthy romance and a mechanic hesitant to trust his heart find love that will last?

Cathe Swanson- Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish homestead, and a family mystery. What more could you want from a Minnesota Christmas romance?

Chautona Havig- When Mitchell Bogaert’s inheritance involves a ghost story, that’s bad enough. His Christmas is looking ghastly on more than one score, though.

Alana Terry- A missing child. A single mom. An Alaskan trooper. There’s more to fear this winter than just the cold.

For more about each book, read below for each title’s synopsis.

Toni Shiloh: Deck the Shelves
Kendall Jackson is the proud owner of Heartfalls’ bookstore, The Cozy Shelf. Her life is one straight out of the pages, except she’s missing that leading man. Although she has a crush on the handsome auto mechanic, Quinton Hendricks, Kendall wants an old-fashioned type of romance—the stuff swoon-worthy romance books are made of. But Quinton seems to need a little prodding.

Something about Kendall sparks hope in Quinton Hendricks that love could be his again. Only being abandoned by his ex-wife has made him cautious to the point of non-moving.

Can two people hesitant on second chances find love as they Deck the Shelves?

Cathe Swanson: The Christmas Glory Quilt
Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish farmhouse and a hidden family heirloom. What more you could you want in a Minnesota Christmas romance?

Penny Anderson has a dream – she’s going to be an exclusive bridal gown designer, and she won’t held back by dyslexia, a rural location or the doubts of others.

Brian Michaels has waited seven years for Penny to see him as man instead of just a childhood friend. Can he work up the courage to speak before the tall, dark and handsome business consultant sweeps her off her feet?

Aunt Violet is interested in only two things: Genealogy and quilting. As she chronicles the family history in a series of patchwork quilts, she comes to peace with her own past.

Chautona Havig: The Ghosts of New Cheltenham
Mitchell Bogaert hasn’t done much with his life in the four years since college, to which his negative-digits bank account and credit score will attest. So when news of an inheritance from a man he hasn’t seen in years arrives on the same day as his eviction notice, Mitchell considers the odd terms of the will to be a no-brainer.

Sure, he’ll move into a building in the tourist village of New Cheltenham. Of course, he’d be happy to live there for a year as a condition of inheritance. And yes, he’ll suffer the humiliation of creating, entering, and presenting at the annual Dickens Ghost Story Competition. Free room and board for a year plus a rather substantial inheritance to boot? Who wouldn’t?

But someone either doesn’t want him in New Cheltenham or doesn’t want him to receive that inheritance, because the more he works on his story, the more convinced he is that a ghost resides in the narrow building he now calls home.

What’s a guy to do when the ghosts of his past converge on his Christmas present?

Alana Terry:Frost Heaves
A single mom. An Alaska state trooper. And more to fear than just the cold …

When Jade’s daughter turns up missing, all suspicions point to the cult Jade escaped from when she was just a teen.

Are members of Morning Glory retaliating against Jade’s child? Or are their intentions even more sinister than simply revenge?

A fast-paced thriller set in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness from award-winning Christian suspense author Alana Terry.

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Comfort & Joy is available from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Authors

photo of author Alana TerryPastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | BookBub

photo of author Cathe SwansonCathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 33 years. They enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, but summer is short in Wisconsin, so it’s important to have indoor hobbies, too. Cathe has been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years, and she enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper. The long winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with creative plots and eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

Newsletter | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

photo of author Chautona HavigAmazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.  You can find her as Chautona or ChautonaHavig on all social media or at her website chautona.com.

BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Website

photo of author Toni ShilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. You can find her at tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

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New Release – Out of Her Element by E.A. West

I’m so exited to share this with you! Out of Her Element has just released on Amazon! *happy dances* Check out an exclusive excerpt below. Or read the first chapter on my website.

Book Description

Out of Her Element cover artLiving a life of luxury isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Twenty-year-old Palestinian immigrant Mira Hassan is dirt-poor and homeless when wealthy family friends give her the chance of a lifetime. The Montaigne family invites her stay with them in their mansion on a twenty-five acre estate in Dayton, Ohio.

The transition from the hills of rural West Virginia to high society is anything but easy. As Mira deals with prejudice and struggles to understand America’s class system she must find a way to fit in with her hosts without losing herself.

Excerpt

Unable to find a reason to stall any longer, Mira gave the hound in her lap one last scratch. “Sorry, buddy. I have to grab my stuff and go back inside. Maybe I’ll see you again later.”

She gave him a gentle shove, and he rolled off her with a groan. Despite all three dogs begging for attention, or maybe jerky, she collected her pack and sleeping bag and returned to the cabin.

She stole a peek at the room while she set her things on the floor by the door and hung her coat on the empty peg. Richard still sat at the table, but James stood at the counter, knife in hand, with the rabbits in front of him. Bill was conspicuously absent.

The way Richard kept assessing her made her nervous, so she joined James.

“What are you making?”

“I was thinking about rabbit stew.” He glanced at her. “If I put it on now, it should be perfect by lunch.”

Maybe she could help him out to repay him for breakfast. “You want me to skin and cut up the rabbits for you?”

“If you’d like.”

He handed her the knife and joined Richard at the table. Mira quickly skinned both rabbits and set the pelts aside. She could trade them at the store after she cured them, unless one of the men wanted to keep them.

Working with practiced fingers, she soon had one rabbit boned and cut into bite-sized pieces. Bill came into the kitchen as she started on the second.

“Hey, Mira, I have a proposition for you.”

“What is it?” If he wanted to offer her a job, she would give it serious consideration.

“How would you like to come live with my wife and me?”

She almost cut herself. He wanted her to live with them?

Stilling her hands for a moment, she took a breath to compose herself. Her mind raced faster than her pulse. Moving into his house was a far cry from working for him.

She went back to work on the rabbit. “Is Mrs. Montaigne okay with this idea?”

“She’s hoping you’ll say yes. I just got off the phone with her, and she made me promise to call her back just as soon as I have your answer.”

Mira finished butchering the rabbit while she thought. Why did they want her to live with them? Did she even want to live there?

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Out of Her Element is available on Amazon. Read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

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Right now, Out of Her Element is available as an ebook only. A paperback version is coming soon, so stay tuned for more information!

Wednesday Words – Marilyn Leach

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Please welcome author Marilyn Leach to The West Corner! She’s here today to talk about Christmas shopping in England.

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I took a deep inhale of the scent that was a midday English mist and fingered the floral inspired book mark in my hand. A deluge of muted pinks, blues, and purples, it was a gift from an artist’s heart, crafted by hand, on offer in a tiny shop some would consider far too narrow and cramped to be successful. Three people plus the shop clerk nearly filled this humble place. I was Christmas shopping in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, England.

photo fo English shop decorated for Christmas

My mind flashed to the mall near my Colorado home where over-crowded bustling, bright lights, and expensive shopping lists reigned.

My gift-buying in the tiny shop was an introduction to the fact that Christmas in England is a calmer, truly heart-warming, and much less commercialized affair.

Done with our shopping task, my English friends and I walked to the Carpenter Arms pub where we had a yummy lunch. The sizable blackboard, where menu offerings were posted, invited all to enjoy free mince pies and a caroling sing-song with the local church choir to be held that evening in the pub. The warmth of the fireplace added an extra tug to the event, but we had to make our way back to Berkshire and the Harris family home where we would continue preparations for friends dropping round for aperitifs.

Our celebration of Christ’s birth included visits to family in London and Hertfordshire, a midnight candle light service on Christmas Eve, lamb roast for Christmas dinner, the panto, and trips to decorated manor houses. But, I will forever remember Christmas shopping in a small English village.

About the Author

photo of author Marilyn LeachThough Marilyn Leach grew up in the Western United States, she became a dyed-in-the-wool British enthusiast after exploring the UK and making friends there. Her travels throughout England color her life and written works. Her most recent work includes the Berdie Elliott Mystery series a series of English whodunits that tickle the brain and add a giggle or two. Marilyn lives lakeside on the Front Range of Colorado.

Amazon | Website | Pelican Book Group

 

Candle for a Corpse cover artBook Description

Candle for a Corpse: A Berdie Elliott Advent Mystery by Marilyn Leach is a Christmas whodunit with plot twists, shifty suspects, and loving villagers. All of it’s sprinkled with English grace and humor. Who would believe an advent wreath could solve a murder? It can when Berdie Elliott’s at hand, a vicar’s wife and sleuth extraordinaire. Fresh brewed tea, and high adventure with a spoonful of romance make the season bright.

Candle for a Corpse is available from Amazon.

Monday Mentions – Crash Course by E.A. West

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Imagine my surprise when I checked my schedule and discovered I didn’t have a guest scheduled for today! So, today I’m spotlighting my YA novel, Crash Course.

Book Description

Crash Course cover art“Angie, you have to go.”

I loved my Southern California life. Parties, dirt bikes, boyfriends—I had it all. Then with one sentence, I lost it all.

My dad made me move out and live with my mother. She’s strict and conservative, and now I’ve got a stepfather I barely know. Yeah, I’m angry! So I broke the rules and started hanging out with freestyle motocross rider Jeremy Stokes. But he wants to go farther than I do.

He’s got this rival, Brady Scott—a hottie who’s straitlaced, but he doesn’t judge me for having a different idea of fun. He sees me as a person, not just a female body. No matter how hard I try to push him away, he’s always there waiting for me to come back.

I’ve been trying to live in two worlds, but now I’ve got to choose.

Excerpt

“Angie, you have to go.”

I dragged my attention from the supercross race to see my father standing in the hall with his bleach-blonde girlfriend hanging on him. The woman’s skimpy shorts and deeply scooped tank top looked as if they’d been painted on. So trashy. I clicked off the TV and tossed the remote on the coffee table, shooting my father a disgusted look as I rose from the couch. It figured he would want some privacy when I was trying to relax. “Fine. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

“Howard!” the blonde whined, tugging on his arm.

He glanced at her then returned his cold gaze to me. “No, I mean you have to leave. Get out of here and don’t come back.”

My jaw dropped. “You’re kicking me out?”

“I thought you’d be happy.” Dad shrugged fleshy shoulders covered in a stretched out T-shirt. “You don’t like me, I don’t like you, and Lainey can’t stand you. If you leave, everyone’s happy.”

“Dad!” This couldn’t be happening. Where did he expect me to stay? I didn’t have a job, and most of my friends didn’t fall under the reliable category.

He let out an exasperated sigh. “Just go pack and get out of here.”

I glared at him and the blonde as I stormed past. Slamming the door of my room only sort of shut out Lainey’s whining. The one good thing about getting kicked out was never having to listen to her annoying voice again. I grabbed the black cordless phone from my desk and dialed my mother’s number. While I listened to it ring, I pulled a suitcase out from under my bed and set it on the twisted sheets and blankets. So much for being more important than my father’s revolving live-in girlfriends. I should have known they would come first eventually.

“Hello?” My mother’s familiar voice sounded as sweet and friendly as ever.

“Mom, it’s me.” I threw a couple of shirts in my suitcase. “Dad just kicked me out. Can you send me some money so I can get by until I find a job?”

Her gasp traveled clearly across the phone line from Virginia. “Did you say your father kicked you out of the house? You’re sixteen years old! What is he thinking?”

“I doubt he’s thinking much of anything other than how fast he can get rid of me. His latest girlfriend hates me, and I have to leave as soon as I’m packed.” I added a stack of blue jeans to the suitcase. “So, can you send me some money?”

“I’ll do better than that. If you can get to the airport, I’ll make sure there’s a ticket waiting for you.”

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Crash Course is available in print and ebook from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestE.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West online

Website
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Amazon Author Page
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Wednesday Words – Barbara M. Britton

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Please welcome author Barbara M. Britton to The West Corner! She’s here today to talk about platform.

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Platform: Not The Clunky Shoe From The 70s

Every year I peel hundreds of apples for a Christian school’s apple pie fundraiser. I enjoy the community, great snacks, and conversation. This year I sat beside a high schooler who would like to make it big in country music. He has plans to migrate to Nashville after graduation. I asked him if he had his music on social media, and he shook his head.

Here’s where the mother and author in me took over. I explained that he needed a platform and needed one now, years before he headed south to Tennessee. It isn’t easy being an artist in 2018 whether it’s writing or singing. Record companies and book publishers don’t want to start at square one with an artist. Having thousands of followers on social media translates into sales. With all things being equal, a company or publisher will take an artist with thousands of followers over an artist with a big goose egg when their name is Googled.

How do I know this? I’ve received the “you don’t have a big enough platform” spiel from an agent who liked one of my manuscripts. The story was good enough to show to an editor at a publishing house, but because I didn’t have the ‘followers’ needed to produce sales, I was rejected. Ouch!

What did I do after the rejection? I’ve worked steadily to build my followers on Twitter, Facebook, and to build a mailing list. At a recent conference, a literary agent said an aggregate of 5,000 followers across all social media platforms and your mailing list should be a goal for authors. Thousands of followers takes time to produce. And you want viable followers, followers who relate to you and like your art, not just followers who are using social media to find a wife.

My advice to the future country music star, was to start building followers on social media and to look into getting a domain name for a website. Platform can also be built with in-person meetings. Authors can teach workshops or classes. Professional organizations are a great way to meet fellow authors who become friends in the cyber world, too. Musicians can play at a local venue just as authors do local book signings.

If you are looking to start a career as an artist, diving into the social media world is a must-do in today’s technology-driven world. The earlier you start, the better. It’s the same strategy as making 3800 apple pies.

About the Author

photo of author Barbara M. BrittonBarbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb brings little-known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. She is a member of RWA, WisRWA, SCBWI and ACFW.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jerusalem Rising cover artBook Description

When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.

Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?

Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.

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Jerusalem Rising is available from Amazon.

Monday Mentions – The Putting Green Whisperer by Zoe M. McCarthy

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Please welcome Zoe M. McCarthy to The West Corner! She’s here today with her latest Christian romance novel, The Putting Green Whisperer.

Book Description

The Putting Green Whisperer cover artSuddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

Excerpt

What was that all about? Shoo stared at the retreating caddy, whose blonde ponytail protruding from the back of her golf cap danced wildly as she hurried off. He craned his neck to keep her in sight as she wove through the caddies on the cart path.

Approaching him, she’d seemed like a girl on a mission. Her striking blue eyes, bright against her tanned skin, had focused on him, as if she’d rediscovered an old friend. No doubt about it, her smile had beamed at him. Then, bam! She’d done an about-face and slammed into the check-in table.

But he didn’t know her. Did he?

He mentally scanned his female acquaintances. No match surfaced. Unlikely he’d have forgotten the petite blonde.

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The Putting Green Whisperer is available from Amazon.

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About the Author

photo of author Zoe M. McCarthyA full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. She is the author of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. Zoe and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Connect with Zoe McCarthy online

Website

Wednesday Words – Erin Unger

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Please welcome author Erin Unger to The West Corner!

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Never give up! It sounds so easy to say but at times nearly impossible to do, right? Well, God had to show me a thing or two about waiting on Him and not giving up. My writing journey wasn’t this beautiful gallop across the meadows into publication. As a matter of fact, it was more like the ‘are we there yet, National Lampoons Vacation’ type with one misadventure after another. …And I almost gave up many times. I even stopped writing for almost a full year in my attempt to show God I wasn’t supposed to be the writer He called me to be.

I learned some valuable lessons through that time—like don’t even try to talk God into a different plan. I tracked forward and then backtracked like a million times. And don’t think I didn’t want to do it His way once I returned to His will. But finding it was like a scavenger hunt in the pitch black. Move forward, hit your nose on a brick wall. Turn left, stub your big toe. Go back the way you came. But it was all worth the wait—and the learning—to do it God’s way and in His time. He says:

Lamentations 3:5 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

I have a full year of harvest in 2019! Five of my romantic suspense novels will be releasing throughout the year. Because I didn’t give up.

If you know God called you to do something, keep pressing forward. Work through the obstacles and learn from them. Grow strong in your faith as you seek the finish line. He’s there waiting to bless you and love on you.

About the Author

photo of author Erin UngerErin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids. Her novel, Practicing Murder, releases March 29, 2019.

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Practicing Murder cover artBook Description

Graduate student Maddie Clare is never talking to her ex-boyfriend Joze Evans or God again. Broken from her past and Joze’s betrayal, she must go home for her Aunt Lonna’s funeral. But after a run-in with a stalker, who insists Maddie knows the secret that had Aunt Lonna investigating him, she’s afraid for her life and must accept Joze’s protection.

As the stalker draws closer, how will Maddie and Joze face the past and their love that never died? And will Maddie stay out of the stalker’s grip long enough to figure out what secret he possesses?