Jennifer Lamont Leo

A Sparkling Vintage Life

Episode 32: Random Thoughts on Ripped Jeans

Photo source: 123rtf.com

 


Are ripped jeans just a trendy fashion statement, or a powerful commentary on our values? Join Jennifer as she tears into her least-favorite fashion trend.

SHOW NOTES:

The Rose Keeper will be published on March 15! There’s a special pre-order promotion going on for members of the Reader Community. Visit sparklingvintagelife.com and scroll down to sign up!

TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODE 32

In publishing news, The Rose Keeper is on track to release on March 15, 2021. The e-book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, and I’m even running a special giveaway for members of my Reader Community who pre-order the book. For details visit my website, sparklingvintagelife.com, and scroll down to the Reader Community section to sign up.

I’ve also recently signed a contract with Barbour Publishing to write a historical romance novella to be included in a collection called Lumberjacks and Ladies. That will come out in early 2022. If the “lumberjack” theme sounds familiar, it’s because my story in The Highlanders collection, called “The Violinist,” also featured a lumberjack. So maybe I’m becoming something of a specialist in the lumberjack romance genre.

It’s midwinter here in northern Idaho, and as I do every gray and gloomy February, I enjoy seeing signs of color, light, and warmth in those harbingers of spring–the spring clothing catalogs! I love the colors: the pinks and peaches and robins’-egg blues and grass-greens. They make me happy and give me hope of warmer, sunnier days to come.

Well, earlier this week I opened one such catalog and felt my spirit sink to see page after page of distressed denim, particularly jeans. I had to ask myself why the sight of so much ripped and torn denim depressed me. After all, it’s just a fashion trend that I’m free to embrace or ignore at my will, right? So, as my ruminative mind is apt to do, I spent a goodly amount of time this week thinking about it, and decided to share some of my thoughts with you.

Now, a couple of caveats here. First, I understand that many of my listeners might adore distressed denim and ripped jeans. You might think the distressed look is cute and love to wear it. In that case, more power to you. You do you, and you might want to skip this episode, which is perfectly okay with me, as long as you tune back in next time when I promise to talk about something less annoying.

The other caveat is that I am not in any sense a fashion maven. I am a sixty-year-old woman living in Idaho who writes historical fiction and favors vintage clothing and old-fashioned ways of doing things. So if you’re looking for fashion advice on contemporary trends, you, too, might want to skip this episode, and possibly the rest of my podcast, too.

If anyone’s still with me, thank you, and I promise to make this brief. A moment ago I said that I like vintage clothing. But I don’t like distressed clothing. What’s the difference?

Vintage clothing is sometimes a bit distressed because it’s you know, vintage. A dress that’s several decades old might be a bit sun-faded, or it might need a bit of mending here and there because of its age. That’s natural distressing. And that’s not what I’m talking about.

When I say distressed clothing, I’m talking about brand-new garments, usually jeans, that are intentionally ripped, torn, burned, stained, stretched, and dirtied at the factory. Yes, dirtied, as in having mud or soil rubbed into them. They are often horrifically expensive compared to normal, non-distressed jeans.

I did a little research into this clothing style. The roots of distressed jeans lie in the hippie era of the 1960s, got a big boost during the punk era of the 1970s, and have enjoyed a surge of popularity in just about every decade since. It seems we’re in the middle of such a resurgence now. I keep waiting for the trend to start petering out, just as I’ve been waiting more than a decade for the Amish bonnet fiction trend to peter out, but it just keeps going and going.

At its most basic, superficial level, fashionistas claim that distressed jeans do two things for one’s wardrobe. (1) Strategically placed rips and tears draw attention to one’s positive qualities. So if you have toned thighs or kneecaps to die for, positioning a hole over them will draw attention there. (2) Distressed jeans can be used to dress down dressier pieces so as not to look so perfect and polished.

I have two responses to that last one. (1) No one has ever accused me of looking too perfect and polished. I’m not even sure what that is. (2) Wouldn’t regular, non-distressed jeans do the same thing? If I wear a tailored office-worthy blazer with a regular pair of jeans, isn’t the dressed-down effect achieved without sporting rips and tears? So I think we can dismiss ripped jeans as a flattering objects of grace and beauty.

Once upon a time, wearing ripped and torn clothing signified rebellion against social norms and a spirit of anti-capitalism– a literal tearing apart of consumer goods. Such mangled garments expressed anger toward society, and also a lifestyle that said the wearer had other, higher-minded things to think about than clothing. Ripped jeans are meant to signal creativity and sophistication.

Today, I think the opposite is true. Wearing distressed denim seems inauthentic to me. Maybe at one time it really did signify the rebellious and anti-capitalist values it’s said to represent. But as for rebellion, how is it rebelling against convention if every suburban mom is wearing some version of ripped jeans? How anti-capitalist is it to wear a mass-produced, heavily marketed, environmentally sketchy luxury item? If you want to appear creative, why not actually create something? Why not actually work on becoming sophisticated, if that’s important to you? Why all the play-acting?

Today, paying possibly hundreds of dollars for mangled clothing seems the ultimate in consumerist luxury. Mike Rowe, the former star of the TV show Dirty Jobs, wrote in a Facebook post that distressed jeans “foster the illusion of work. The illusion of effort. They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic.”

Jeans I’ve worn out myself in the course of living my life are one thing. Those are authentically distressed. Frequent laundering, heavy yard work, or whatever, does wear out denim. I might not love how they look anymore, but I often love how they fit, because the fibers have conformed over the years to my shape. I even love faded jeans, not because they’re faded, but because I love that soft, gentle  shade of blue. Such jeans become like old friends, and I miss them when they’re gone. A farmer or rancher or mechanic’s jeans, worn out authentically in the course of hard work, make sense.

But to pay lots of money for jeans that are artfully distressed, especially with gigantic rips and tears that show a lot of skin, is inconceivable to me. They can even be immodest, depending on the body part that’s being revealed.

Supposedly ripped and dirty clothing confers upon the wearer street credibility and gangster culture. That’s another reason I dislike distressed jeans. They express values that I don’t personally abide by. One website described ripped jeans as being edgy, tough, daring and hip. Anyone who’s met me can tell you that I’m about as far from edgy, tough, daring and hip as you can get.

I read some of the comments in an online discussion about the merits of ripped jeans. Most of the women who liked them gave some version of the “they’re cute” or “they show off my figure” reasons I mentioned earlier. But some of the other comments shot up some real red flags.

“I enjoy wearing them to express the side of me that’s dark and hopeless,” wrote one commenter. Dark and hopeless? Is that what the best-dressed women are wearing this year?

Another woman wrote, “Ripped jeans tell the world I can’t be bothered to give a [expletive].”

A third woman wrote, “Distressed jeans say I’m preoccupied with more important things than what I’m wearing.” Chances are she spent a great deal of money to say she’s uninterested in clothing.

To me, these are all good reasons for not wearing distressed clothing.

And here’s another question to ask ourselves. Do we want to be seen as edgy and rebellious? And if so, why? And how does that honor God? Is God honored by a rebellious spirit? Is God honored by darkness and hopelessness? Is God honored when we celebrate decay destruction and uncleanliness in what we wear? I don’t think so.

And finally, I don’t like distressed jeans because they seem morally questionable.

One commenter on the forum wrote, “I wonder what the dirt-poor factory workers in Bangladesh are thinking when their employers instruct them to rip and tear up the jeans before packaging them for first-world markets.”

A commenter named Emmer wrote, “I’ve lived in various parts of Africa and seeing how hard people work to stay clean and neat and pressed there made me feel a visceral objection to destroying clothing deliberately. It feels so incredibly privileged.”

And it is privileged. I wonder why people who are more Woke than I aren’t yelling from the rooftops about privileged cultural appropriation, and so on and so forth?

For whatever reason, I won’t be wearing purposefully ripped jeans anytime soon, although they may rip on their own, the way a beloved pair once did on a crowded cross-country flight, straight across the backside. And that, my friend, is a funny story for another time.

What about you? How do you feel about distressed jeans? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Let me know in the comments. It’s even okay to disagree with me! I just want to hear from you.

And you know who else wants to hear from you? People who read reviews of podcasts, that’s who. Your rating and review will help like-minded listeners find the Sparkling Vintage Life podcast and join our merry band. So I’d be most grateful if you’d take a moment to leave a review at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you like to get your podcasts. It really means a lot.

And be sure to tune in next time when we discuss another aspect of A Sparkling Vintage Life.

Cozy fireside reads for February

February 2021 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website


Historical Romance:

The Paris Dressmaker
by Kristy Cambron — From fashion to desperation and haute couture to the perils of humanity, The Paris Dressmaker weaves a story of two worlds colliding years apart—where satin and lace stand between life and death in the brutal underbelly of a war-torn world. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))


A Change of Scenery by Davalynn Spencer — A motorcar accident on a rainy Chicago night steals Ella Canaday’s fiancé as well as her ability to ride. Clinging to the remnants of her independence, she cuts her hair and her ties with her wealthy father and takes a train west as the seamstress with a moving-picture company. Colorado offers the change of scenery she needs. But she doesn’t expect the bold cowboy who challenges her to reclaim both the loves she thought she’d lost forever. (Historical Romance from Wilson Creek Publishing)


A Dance in Donegal
by Jennifer Deibel — All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland. (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Vanessa’s Replacement Valentine by Linda Shenton Matchett — Engaged to be married as part of a plan to regain the wealth her family lost during the War Between the States, Vanessa Randolph finds her fiancé in the arms of another woman weeks before the wedding. Money holds no allure for her, so rather than allow her parents to set her up with another rich bachelor she decides to become a mail-order bride. Life in Green Bay, Wisconsin seems to hold all the pieces of a fresh start until she discovers her prospective groom was a Union spy and targeted her parents during one of his investigations. Is her heart safe with any man? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)


When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin — Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession and to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country—or worse. If she does not report truthfully, she’ll betray the oppressed and fail to wake up the folks back home. (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Contemporary:


The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli — Two women, one living in present day Massachusetts and another in Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House soon after the Civil War, overcome their own personal demons and search for a place to belong. (General Contemporary from Tyndall House)


The Way it Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson — Can there be healing after addiction takes its toll on a family? (General Contemporary from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)


Bridges
by Deborah Raney — Facing an empty nest for the first time since the death of her husband, Dan, three years ago, Tess Everett immerses herself in volunteer work for the Winterset public parks, home of the famous covered bridges of Madison County, Iowa. But when former resident J.W. McRae shows up at one of the bridges with paintbrushes and easel, sparks fly—because J.W. was once married to Tess’s late friend Char. Worse, J.W. was a deadbeat dad to Char’s son, Wynn—then a college student—who Tess and Dan took under their wings after his mom’s death. (Women’s Fiction, Independently Published)

Mystery:


Death and a Crocodile
by Lisa E. Betz — Sensible women don’t investigate murders, but Livia Aemilia might not have a choice.??Rome, 46 AD. When Livia’s father dies under suspicious circumstances, she sets out to find the killer before her innocent brother is convicted of murder. She may be an amateur when it comes to hunting dangerous criminals, but she’s determined, intelligent, and not afraid to break a convention or two in pursuit of the truth. (Historical Mystery from CrossLink Publishing)

Thriller/Romance/Suspense:


Tides of Duplicity by Robin Patchen — Private investigator Fitz McCaffrey went to Belize on a case, bringing his teenage sister Shelby along with him. They have no good reason to leave the resort and hurry back to the harsh New England winter. They lost their parents, he lost his job as a cop, and they both need time to heal. Besides, when Fitz meets and spends time with the beautiful and charming Tabitha Eaton, he falls hard. But minutes after Tabby’s flight leaves, Fitz is summoned by a mobster who believes Tabby broke into the hotel safe the night before and made off with half a million dollars’ worth of jewels. The clock is ticking as Fitz scrambles to recover the jewels. If he succeeds, it’ll cost the woman he’s come to care for. If he fails, it’ll cost his sister’s life. (Thriller/Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Glimmer in the Darkness
by Robin Patchen — Cassidy Leblanc worked hard to shake off her tragic childhood. As a foster child with a mother in prison for murder, she was an outcast in her small New Hampshire town until she met James. But she and James’s sister, whom she was babysitting, were kidnapped. She escaped, but Hallie didn’t survive, and everybody assumed Cassidy killed her. Like mother, like daughter, after all. With public opinion and the authorities united against her, young Cassidy fled. Now, a decade later, another little girl has been kidnapped, and Cassidy may be the only person who can find her. (Thriller/Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Obsession by Patricia Bradley — Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters hoped never to see Sam Ryker again after she broke off her engagement to him. But when shots are fired at her at a historical landmark just off the Natchez Trace, she’s forced to work alongside Sam as the Natchez Trace law enforcement district ranger in the ensuing investigation. To complicate matters, Emma has acquired a delusional secret admirer who is determined to have her as his own. Sam is merely an obstruction, one which must be removed. (Thriller/Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Ben in Charge
by Luana Ehrlich — Operation Concerned Citizen will be Ben’s first assignment as the primary officer in charge of a mission. When Titus learns it’s a simple mission with a clear objective but requires a complicated plan, he questions whether Ben will be able to handle it. When he discovers there are underlying circumstances, he questions whether he’ll be able to let Ben handle it. When the simple mission proves difficult, Titus discovers he’s not the man he thought he was, and he’s not the man he wants to be. He’s a man learning to live out his faith while living in the shadows, and sometimes those shadows aren’t shadows at all.
(Thriller/Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Amish Romance:


The Heart Knows the Way Home by Christy Distler — Janna and Luke, a widower struggling to balance business and family responsibilities, reacquaint as Janna assists his grandmother and cares for his son. Her self-protective independence and his conservative principles put them at odds, but the difficulties they face draw them closer.?When long-lost friendship rekindles into unexpected love, will either be willing to make changes so they can be together? (Romance: Amish from Avodah Books)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

Writing Home by Amy R. Anguish, As they grow closer through their written words, the miles between them seem to grow wider. Can love cross the distance and bring them home? (Contemporary Romance)

The Rancher’s Legacy by Susan Page Davis, Matt Anderson’s father and their neighbor devise a plan: Have their children marry and merge the two ranches. The only problem is, Rachel Maxwell has stated emphatically that will never happen. (Historical Romance)

A Heart’s Gift by Lena Nelson Dooley, Is a marriage of convenience the answer to their needs? (Historical Romance)

Daisy’s Decision by Hallee Bridgeman, She soon finds herself in a full-blown relationship with hearts on the line. She can’t keep her secret much longer. Daisy has a decision to make. (Contemporary Romance),

A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek by Carol McClain, Two women. Two problems. Each holds the key to the other’s freedom. (Contemporary)

The Amish Baker’s Rival by Marie E. Bast, Amish baker Mary Brenneman is furious when handsome Englischer Noah Miller opens up a bakery right across from hers. Now she must win a local baking contest just to stay in business—and beat know—it—all Noah. But somewhere along the way, Noah and Mary’s kitchen wars are quickly warming into something more. (Contemporary Romance/Amish)

Rekindled from Ashes by Cindy M. Amos, Based on the true story of the Starbuck fire of 2017 that ravaged western Kansas–and area ranchers who demonstrated vulnerable resiliency in its aftermath. Strength for the day…with eyes on the Almighty. (Contemporary Romance)

Everything’s coming up roses! Announcing a special giveaway for Reader Community members only

In my last post, I hinted at special surprises that are exclusive to subscribers of the Sparkling Vintage Life Reader Community. Well, Surprise #1 was just announced! It involves this:

and this:

And here’s a special bonus that’s exclusive to the Sparkling Vintage Reader Community. If you’re a member, and you preorder THE ROSE KEEPER by March 14, 2021, you can enter to win a signed print copy of one of my books (either THE ROSE KEEPER or another one, your choice) plus this beautiful rose brooch from The 1928 Jewelry Company.

There are just 2 simple steps to enter:

  1. Preorder your e-book copy of THE ROSE KEEPER by March 14, 2021. (Alas, applies on preorders of digital copies. If you prefer a print copy, hang tight–there’ll be another promotion coming up soon for you!)
  2. Email a copy of your receipt/Amazon order confirmation to by March 14, 2021.

That’s it! The winner will be chosen at random on release day, March 15.

If you’re not a Reader Community member, simply scroll down below and sign up!

THE ROSE KEEPER now available for preorder!

I’m thrilled to tell you that my new historical novel, THE ROSE KEEPER, is now available for preorder on Amazon!

If you order for the e-book now, it will deliver automatically to your Kindle on the release date. You won’t have to give it another thought. (There will be a print edition as well, which will come out in March.)

Meanwhile, I’ve got a couple of pre-publication surprises up my sleeve that will be exclusive to the Sparkling Vintage Reader Community, so subscribe below to be eligible!

 

 

Podcast Episode 31: Where Do We Go From Here?


As 2020 draws to a close, Jennifer discusses what the new year holds for A Sparkling Vintage Life.

If you prefer to read rather than listen, scroll below to find the transcription.

 

SHOW NOTES:

A Sparkling Vintage Life website

A Sparkling Vintage Life MeWe page

 

TRANSCRIPTION FOR EPISODE 31: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Welcome to A Sparkling Vintage Life, where we celebrate the grace and charm of an earlier era. I’m your host, Jenny Leo, and this is Episode #31.

It’s a few days after Christmas 2020 as I record this, and I apologize for being silent for most of the fall. A big piece of my silence had to do with finishing my next novel, The Rose Keeper, which absorbed nearly every creative morsel of my brain for the entirety of the fall. But it’s in production now, and should be ready for release in March 2021.

And then it was the holidays, and now, here we are, just a few days shy of New Year’s Eve. It seems cliché to marvel, “Where did the time go?” but there it is.

But the other piece of my silence had a deeper, more philosophical, and frankly more troubling reason. Like all of you, I found 2020 to be an enormous challenge. While social distancing and the stay-at-home mandates that were and are being imposed by our government during the pandemic did give me plenty of time and quiet space to work on the podcast, I found myself lacking the emotional and mental bandwidth to do so. Suddenly in the face of not only the pandemic, but so much political unrest, the drama and uncertainty surrounding the presidential elections here in the U.S., so many people thrown out of work and children kept home from school and everyone’s lives completely upended, I found myself weirdly unmotivated to sit down and compose even a simple episode about some arcane aspect of table etiquette or vintage jewelry. It seemed frivolous, somehow, to keep talking about these lighthearted topics in the face of so much bad news.

And yet, I couldn’t quite let the podcast go, either. It nagged at the edges of my mind. So I’ve taken some time at year’s end to reflect on some questions. What do I want A Sparkling Vintage Life to be? And what do you, dear listener, want it to be? What is our shared vision for this podcast and this community? What on earth I can offer to you that will add value to your life, that you’ll need and want to hear?

I went back to my original plan for A Sparkling Vintage Life. Thirty episodes ago, I saw the podcast as a way to encourage women who appreciate tradition and nostalgia and wish to bring back at least some of the old-fashioned ways of doing things and preserve a way of life that is quickly vanishing. I wanted to share what I’ve learned about past ways of life. As an author of historical fiction, I do a lot of research on the past, and wanted to share the interesting tidbits, tips, and tricks I’ve picked up along the way. I wanted to suggest ways to incorporate appealing elements of the past into to a modern woman’s busy life.  I still want to do all those things.

But now I feel a renewed sense of purpose that goes even deeper than that. I believe there are forces at work, strong forces, that want to erase the past entirely and rewrite it to suit a different narrative. And to that, I need to push back.

I’ve said several times that this is not a “religious” podcast, per se, and I’m sticking to that. I’m not a biblical or theological scholar, and I’m not going to lead you in a Bible study or a sermon. And yet my daily life is so deeply intertwined with my faith in Jesus Christ that I find it quite impossible to separate the two.  My beliefs are foundational to all that I think and do. So while I’m not going to preach to you, I am going to be less shy about sharing aspects of my faith going forward. After all, no doubt I’d share these aspects in any normal, heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend. And I consider you, my loyal listeners, as good friends.

This has also never been, and will continue to never be, a political podcast. There are scads of podcasts out there that handle political topics. I want A Sparkling Vintage Life to be a sanctuary from all that, a safe place where you can come and find a quiet respite from the screeching and squawking going on outside our parlor windows. That said, I occasionally come under fire from listeners who equate all “vintage values” with things we would never accept today. For example, some proponents of vintage style draw a clear distinction between vintage style and vintage values. I understand where they’re coming from. They don’t want to promote outdated concepts that were widely accepted years ago, for example, the blatant racism of the Jim Crow era. Well, I certainly don’t want to do that, either. But to equate all things vintage with the gross injustices of the past would be equally closed-minded. Racism was wrong in the past and it’s wrong today. A Sparkling Vintage Life is about preserving and uplifting the best of the past, not everything of the past. Just as we can’t, nor would we want to, return to a world of hoop skirts, no antibiotics, and no air conditioning,  neither would we revert to denying people full legal and economic rights. Admiring a cameo pin or a pearl necklace is not the same thing as advocating for separate drinking fountains. That’s ludicrous. Instead, our goal here at A Sparkling Vintage Life is to dust off some good values that may have grown musty from disuse. Values like honor. Duty. Loyalty. These kinds of values know no color.

A true Sparkling Vintage Life is neither elitist nor divisive. In fact, we promote things like common courtesy, which is the polar opposite of elitist or divisive. Treating one other with courtesy and kindness, no matter who we are, helps establish a strong sense of community and lubricates social interactions among people of many different ethnicities. It helps us all get along. And isn’t that a worthy goal, really?

I found a paragraph in the introduction to Linda S. Lichter’s book, Simple Social Graces, that pretty much sums up how I feel about A Sparkling Vintage Life. Writing in 1998, Lichter says, “America is hurting. We are rich in goods but poor in spirit. Public life is splintered, crude, and violent. Too many private lives are a shambles of broken relationships, broken homes, and stressed-out, time-squeezed families. We search frantically for quick fixes to fill a deep internal void that we struggle to describe. The answer lies neither in sixties-style government programs nor fifties nostalgia, and certainly not in accumulating more high-tech toys. To continue buying the constantly recycled versions of these solutions is to invest in damaged goods.” Lichter goes on to look to the Victorian era to recover more viable solutions. My taste runs to a slightly more recent time period, the early 20th century roughly from World War I through World War II. But the intent is the same: to preserve and restore much of what was valuable in generations past, and to leave the rest behind.

So we’ve talked about what A Sparkling Vintage Life is not. If you’re still with me, let’s talk a minute about what it will be, heading into 2021.

A Sparkling Vintage Life is for you if:

You hunger for an earlier time when more people lived with grace and dignity.

You’re drawn to watching old movies or reading old stories because you enjoy imagining safe, civilized public spaces, stable, intact families, and simple good manners.

You long for the beauty, grace, and charm of an earlier era. You miss some of the quaint customs, traditions and rituals that others might scoff at or ridicule.

If this describes you, then you and I are kindred spirits, and I look forward to discussing many aspects of A Sparkling Vintage Life and continuing to celebrate the grace and charm of an earlier era.

Happy new year.

If you enjoyed listening to this episode, I would greatly appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a review at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or wherever you subscribe to podcasts. Reviews are a huge help in growing the community and helping other like-minded listeners find us. You can also leave a comment at sparklingvintage life.com, or email me directly at jenny@sparklingvintagelife.com. I also have a brand new social media page on MeWe.com, and I’d love to see you there. I’ll put a link in the show notes.

And I’m looking forward to next time when I’ll be back to discuss another aspect of A Sparkling Vintage Life.

Pssst! Got a deal for ya!

Perhaps you’ve been meaning to read Moondrop Miracle but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Or maybe you’ve wanted to gift the e-book to someone else. Well, this is a good week to jump on that, ‘cuz it’s on sale for just 99 cents on Amazon through December 31. Yippy-skippy!

Giving thanks for inspiring new fiction!

November 2020 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.


Contemporary Romance:

Snowbound in Winterberry Falls by Ann Brodeur — Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and to seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget. Former photojournalist Jason Miller hadn’t planned on being solely responsible for saving his family business from financial ruin. He’s barely keeping the newspaper in print, his News Editor has gone AWOL during the town’s most celebrated holiday festival, and reports of missing Christmas decorations have everyone on edge. When a desperate knock at the newsroom door brings a ghost from Christmas past back into his life, can Jason make up for his prior behavior without breaking his promise to Stephanie’s father? Will Stephanie’s quest to solve the town’s Christmas caper, and uncover the truth about Jason’s disappearance, cost her everything she’s ever wanted? (Contemporary Romance from Anaiah Press)

The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson — All’s fair in love and prank wars. As a live theater actress, Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor. Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

The Calm I Seek by Christina Lourens — After the violent death of her husband, Rebecca Holmes is content leading a quiet life spending time with her sisters and niece. When her younger sister Hannah asks her to plan her wedding, Rebecca discovers her friends and family all think her life is empty. Determined to prove them wrong, Rebecca takes up salsa lessons where she meets the charismatic salsa teacher, Gabriel Rodriguez. Falling in love is the last thing Rebecca wanted to do, but she is inexplicably drawn to Gabriel. Just when she’s decided to give her heart to Gabriel, disaster strikes her family, and she is forced to confront her past actions. Can there be redemption for her and can she forgive those who betrayed her? (Contemporary Romance from Pheasant Hill Press)

His Christmas Wish by Allie Pleiter — All he wants for Christmas is a family… To make his little nephew happy, this bachelor will need help… After his nephew, Cole, is orphaned, Jake Sanders vows to give the little boy the best Christmas possible…except Jake doesn’t know the first thing about kids! So when Cole’s preschool teacher, Emma Mullins, offers to pitch in, Jake’s grateful for her guidance. But while Jake and Emma share an immediate connection, their blossoming love must first survive the secret she’s hiding… (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Together for Good by Penelope Powell — Having lost her mother in a tragic accident, Laney Spence is no stranger to grief and loss. Despite this tragedy touching her life at such a young age, Laney has maintained her belief that God brings good out of even the most difficult circumstances. For her, that good came in the form of her older brother’s best friend, Matthew Jordan. Kind and compassionate, Matthew helped her grieve—and she’s been harboring a crush on him ever since. Years later, when tragedy shatters Matthew’s life, Laney is there for him the same way he’d been there for her all those years ago. But they’re not kids anymore. She’s a teacher with little life experience, and he’s a jaded divorce lawyer with a past he’d rather keep secret. Neither of them can ignore the attraction that blooms, though, leaving them both wondering—is attraction, history, and a shared faith in God enough to keep them together for good, or will circumstances beyond their control drive them apart? (Contemporary Romance from Anaiah Press)


Historical Romance:

 

Rocky Mountain Revelation by Lisa J. Flickinger — Widowed at nineteen, Madeline Lamb seeks to find a new husband amongst the crew of the Rocky Mountain log drive. With a baby growing inside her, she has no choice. She signs on as cook’s helper, and it soon becomes apparent her options for a mate are limited. Madeline’s grieving heart wavers between the security an older man offers and the tender feelings a new crew member stirs. Will Matheson earned the chance to work the high-paying spring log drive. The boon ensures he can recoup the logging wages stolen by a pretty face with some fast fingers. Frustration builds when the boss pulls him from the river and assigns him the job of camp chore boy. If it wasn’t for the pretty cook’s helper, he’d take the first train home. When the dangers of the river journey prove more treacherous than anyone expects, the budding attraction between Will and Madeline is put to the test. If they survive the adventure, life as they know it will never be the same. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

A Bride for Seamus by Linda Shenton Matchett — When her father dies after a lengthy illness, Madeline Winthrop is horrified to discover his will bequeaths their home to his business partner, a cruel and dishonest man, leaving her destitute. With no job or marriage prospects, she seeks help from her pastor who suggests she considers becoming a mail order bride. There’s just one catch. She’s to marry the man by proxy before ever meeting him. After three mail order brides refuse to stay and marry Seamus Fitzpatrick because of his brother’s mental issues and two rambunctious children, Seamus decides a proxy marriage is the only way he’s going to secure a wife. When the Boston-bred socialite arrives with few practical skills, he wonders if he made the biggest mistake of his life. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Romantic Suspense:

Dangerous Deceptions by Evelyn M. Hill — Rachel Garrett has the ideal life in a small town, surrounded by people she trusts—until a stranger arrives and tells her that she is living a lie. Michael Sullivan’s claim that she’s been brainwashed can’t be right. Her life is perfect. But ever since he’s shown up, she’s had to deal with people attempting to manipulate, drug, or even kidnap her. Now Rachel must decide if she believes her closest friends…or the one man who makes her feel truly safe. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Forgiven Again by Gina Holder — Annie Staten, now known as Kathleen Phillips, has dreamed of pursuing a political career and following in her father’s footsteps. But Richard was a hated man during his tenure as governor and now his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent his daughter from winning the election. Ryan Whitestone has loved Annie since high school, but his heart is broken by the woman she has become. When the daughter she gave up for adoption comes back into her life, can he help Kathleen heal from her pain and remind her of who she used to be? Will Kathleen be able to forgive herself, put the past behind her, and find love again? The continuing story of No Greater Love. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover — Discovering buried evidence makes her a target. At a prehistoric site, forensic anthropologist Taya McGill uncovers a recently buried body days before Christmas and finds herself in a killer’s sights. Now on the run with undercover ATF agent Keegan Stryker, she must rely on him to guard her as they figure out why someone would kill to keep this murder unsolved. But can they unearth the truth before someone silences them both for good? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

Uncharted Freedom by Keely Brooke Keith — Naomi McIntosh is running from her family’s oppressive expectations and the loathsome man her father has demanded she marry. Renaming herself to live incognito, she takes a housekeeping job at the Inn at Falls Creek and promises God this false identity will be her last. When shepherd James Roberts goes home to the Inn at Falls Creek for his sister’s wedding, he doesn’t expect the woman who once broke his heart to be working there. No matter how much he wants to be with Naomi again, he can’t go along with her charade, especially since he is trying to persuade his father to make him the inn’s heir. Though Naomi yearns for a future with James, if she confesses her deception to everyone, her estranged fiancé will find her. And the longer James goes without telling his family the truth about Naomi—and their growing relationship—the further he jeopardizes the inheritance. But just when their relationship looks promising, the inn proves to be a poor hiding place from Naomi’s past. (Speculative Romance, Independently Published)

Thriller:

Termination Zone by Adam Blumer –In the Justice Club, you’re either all in, or you’re dead. Pianist Landon Jeffers has been hiding in Georgia’s woods to keep his loved ones safe from the Justice Club, the cybercrime network seeking to control him through his brain implant. But when his means of blocking their controlling signals is compromised and he receives word that a family member may be in danger, he is forced out of hiding. Now Landon covertly works with unexpected allies including the FBI to help shut the Justice Club down from the inside. But when he is prepped during his concert tour for a high-profile hit targeting the highest levels of the US government, the stakes have never been higher. Can he and his allies thwart the Justice Club’s mission of violence in time? Even if that means placing the woman he loves in danger? The deadline is coming. And death is certain if he fails. (Techno-Thriller Suspense, Independently Published)

Soul Raging by Ronie Kendig — Leif Metcalfe is done waiting for answers and seizes control, a move that comes with a high price and a deadly risk: teaming up with the enemy. He can only hope that what he uncovers will heal the wounds he’s inflicted on those he loves. Iskra Todorova believes Leif is on a collision course with death and knows firsthand the irrevocable cost of that path to the soul. While trying to protect her daughter and intervene with Leif, Iskra is forced to set her sights on the man behind the evil organization ArC–Ciro Veratti. Torn apart by injuries and opposing views on how to handle Leif’s act of treachery, team Reaper hunts one of their own. The only thing they agree on is not stopping but starting the final battle prophesied in the Book of the Wars. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Young Adult:

Fortune’s Fall by Katherine Barger — While her classmates prepare for elite careers across America, Nyssa Ardelone trains for her secret job as the president’s dream interpreter. But when her mentor lies to the president about the prophecy in his latest dream, Nyssa must figure out why before the lie unravels. What she learns could destroy her own future. Fearful of a rumored rebellion, the president has launched a gas attack on Nyssa’s hometown, and her mentor lied about the dream to protect the survivors from more harm. When Nyssa learns her parents were injured in the attack, she flees with a stranger sent to steal the antidote—a stranger who claims to know her. Together, they race to deliver the cure as well as an interpretation of another prophetic dream only Nyssa can provide. But a devastating loss dulls her caution, and she learns too late that not everyone is trustworthy. To survive the president’s deadly pursuit, Nyssa must break every rule she’s ever followed, learning along the way that faith is the only thing that can save her. (Young Adult from Anaiah Press)

 

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

 

Methuselah Project S.O.S. by Rick Barry – In order to rescue a friend, Air Force Captain Roger Greene accepts temporary duty with the CIA–and lands in more danger than he ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense)

 

Mercy Will Follow by Sarah Hanks – Natassa is a devoted, and slightly devious, wife and mother. But when the unthinkable happens, she is forced to reexamine what she believes about life, truth, race, and the God she always thought she believed in. (Contemporary)

 

Hearts Aglow by Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Jaycee Weaver – Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish farmhouse, and a hidden family heirloom. What more could you want in a Minnesota Christmas romance? (Romance)

 

Lighter Than Air by Linda Hoover – Elena Bishop’s father has gambled away their home, but she feels God has shown her what to do to save it in spite of interference from Justin Ramsay, her neighbor, who has an agenda of his own that doesn’t allow both of them to succeed. (Historical Romance)

 

Bag of Bones by Jackie Layton – Andi Grace Scott puts her sleuthing skills to the test when the island’s Cat Lady is found dead. (Cozy Mystery)

 

Seasoned ~ A Love Story by Jayme H. Mansfield – If you had one last chance to love, would you take it? (Contemporary Romance)

 

Verdict at the River’s Edge by Colleen K. Snyder – In a test of faith, God challenges Collin Walker to face her deepest fears for no other reason than, “Because I love you.” (Mystery/Suspense/Thriller)

 

Always and Forever by Cathe Swanson – Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish farmhouse, and a hidden family heirloom. What more could you want in a Minnesota Christmas romance? (Romance)

 

Ghost by Michael Jack Webb – The FBI’s youngest, most brilliant Profiler is tracking a serial killer with supernatural abilities, and the life-threatening case will challenge her beliefs about the world around her and her understanding of what is real, what is myth, and what is something in between. (Supernatural Suspense)

 

Resisting by H. L. Wegley – Civil war has begun and a band of patriots takes on the president in a battle for the soul of America. (Romantic Suspense)

Help an author out! What would you like to read about next?

***Updated 11/1/20 to add: May I just take a moment to say I have the most thoughtful, incredible readers in the entire universe? You’ve all given me such helpful feedback and ideas about the kinds of stories you’d most like to read going forward. So a huge thank-you to each and every one of you who took the time to leave a comment.

And now the big news: WE HAVE A WINNER for the “sparkling vintage” earrings and a signed copy of Moondrop Miracle! Congratulations to Linda Gawthrop, whose name was drawn at random from all the commenters to this post who included the secret codeword “vintage.” (Linda, I’ve contacted you by e-mail to get your mailing address.)

Thanks again to every one of you. Stay tuned for more giveaways to come. And always remember to sparkle!***

I’m already in the early stages of thinking about which story I’ll write following THE ROSE KEEPER. It’s time to begin the brainstorming and research process on my next Sparkling Vintage historical novel.

Trouble is, I’ve got several story ideas floating around in my head, and I’d like YOU, my loyal readers, to help me decide! Leave a comment below and let me know what Sparkling Vintage time period or historical event you’d like me to write about. Would you like to see more stories set in the 1920s and 1930s? World War I, World War II, Classic Hollywood, the Gilded Age, the Nifty Fifties? Or perhaps some pre-20th-century time period like the Civil War or Old West?

Also, do you prefer sequels featuring characters you already know and love, or entirely new stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

(P.S. If you’re a Reader Community member and you leave a comment containing the secret codeword, you’ll be entered to win a chance at the special prize I told you about in your most recent newsletter. If you’re not yet a Reader Community member and you want to be in on the fun, sign up in the box marked “Reader Community” and I’ll send you the details. Last day to enter the drawing is October 31, 2020.)

 

Cover reveal! Watch for THE ROSE KEEPER, coming Spring 2021

I’m pleased to announce that my next novel, THE ROSE KEEPER, is scheduled to release in Spring 2021!

This time-slip novel is set near Chicago during two time periods: 1944 and 1915. I’ll be telling you more about it in weeks to come, including pre-order info. Meanwhile, here’s the cover! Let me know what you think!

 

Cozy up to some new fall fiction!

October 2020 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Children’s:

The Firefly Warriors by Susan Count — They chase a light and then it chases them. (Children’s from Hastings Creations Group)

Harvey, the Traveling Harmonica by Becky Van Vleet — Meet Harvey, a little harmonica that likes to travel. From Grandpa to Dad to Walter, Harvey sings tunes sweeter than candy. But Harvey has competition with Buddy, the family dog, whose howling is so annoying that even the birds fly away. When Harvey accidentally falls into the rushing creek waters, losing sight of Walter, can Buddy save him? Young children will delight in this fun tale filled with colorful illustrations about a little harmonica’s adventures. (Children’s from Elk Lake Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

Saving Grace by Amy R Anguish — Michelle Wilson’s one goal in life was to become a top journalist at the local paper back in her hometown of Cedar Springs, AR. But on the way to bringing that dream to reality, a life-changing wreck interrupts Michelle’s plans and adds an orphaned baby into the mix. Now, she has tough decisions ahead—did God put her in that accident to save baby Grace? And if so, why is it so hard to convince everyone else she should be the baby’s new mommy? Greg Marshall has been Michelle’s best friend his whole life. He’s thrilled she’s moving back home, but not so sure about her sudden desire to be a single mom. His feelings for her have grown through the years, but she’s never seemed to notice. Can he help Michelle with the adoption and grow their relationship at the same time? (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

Melodies of Christmas Love by Lynnette Bonner, JoAnn Durgin, Chautona Havig, Annette M. Irby, Dawn Kinzer, Lesley Ann McDaniel, and Sylvia Stewart — Seven Contemporary Christmas Romance Novellas, each centered around a Christmas carol. The Heart of Christmas by Lynette Bonner, Love on a Mission in Millcreek by JoAnn Durgin, The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig, A Christmas Duet by Annette M. Irby, A Night Divine by Dawn Kinzer, To Hear the Angels Sing by Lesley Ann McDaniel, and Prairie Rose by Sylvia Stewart. (Contemporary Romance from Pacific Lights Publishing)

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter — All she needs is a date for the holidays… She needs a date for a wedding. But a fiancé wasn’t part of the plan… Unwilling to attend a wedding alone, artist Lila Penry makes a deal with Sam Gibson—art lessons for his adorable niece in exchange for being her date. But their Christmas agreement becomes a nightmare when everyone thinks they’re engaged. All Lila wants is to leave town for her dream job…so what happens when Sam steals his way into her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas Lights and Romance by Joi Copeland, Judy Goodman Howard, Elizabeth Ludwig, Patti Jo Moore, J. Carol Nemeth, Martha Rogers, Diane Yates — Christmas contemporary romances sure to warm your heart during the Christmas season. Romance, mystery, suspense. This collection has it all. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

His Love Revealed by Cynthia Herron — Since childhood, Ida Mae Hoscutt, the beloved proprietress of the Come and Get It Diner, has loved Charles “Chuck” Farrow from afar. Now on the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday with no marriage proposal in sight, Ida Mae mourns past mistakes and contemplates a makeover. When a radio commercial wrenches Ida Mae’s heart, will a sudden turn of events sabotage her chance for happiness or will a long-held secret be the answer to love ever-after? As Ida Mae’s right-hand man at the Come and Get It, Chuck yearns to shift gears and start over. He’s ready to shelve bachelorhood and blunders in favor of possibilities and new beginnings. When he prepares to move forward, two things challenge his objective. One is the father who walked away and never looked back. The other? A decades-old question that only Ida Mae can answer. And Ida Mae isn’t talking. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Falling For the Foe by Milla Holt — She can’t stand him, and he blames her for his company’s woes. But now HIV treatment activist Nia and pharma boss Magnus have to work together to get what they want. He’s out to rescue his business, and she’s trying to save lives. Neither ever dreamed it would be their hearts on the line. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Christmas in Galway by Elizabeth Ludwig — It’s been two years since a drunk driving accident claimed the life of Elinor Walsh’s fiancé. Though she’s forged on to create a thriving design business for herself, the past still haunts her. Prompted by her friends, she finally capitulates and schedules a flight to Ireland—a trip that should have been her honeymoon. Armed with just a list her fiancé wrote and the keys to a rental car, Elinor heads to Galway, never dreaming that the people she meets there will change her life forever. Confronted with a choice—her past with an old friend or her future with a new one—will she finally be able to move beyond her grief? Or will she cut her losses, and her trip short, and miss out on the one thing she never expected? (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

The Key To Love by Betsy St. Amant — The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she’s created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral–or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He’s definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.
Just when it seems Bri’s bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she’s kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri’s recipe just needs to be tweaked.
Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn’t always look the way we expect–and maybe that’s a good thing. (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A division of Baker Publishing Group)


Contemporary:

The Soft Whisper of Roses by Myra Johnson — Rebecca Townsend has only been married six months and already doubts Gary’s promise of “till death do us part.” Betrayed by her first husband, she’s trying her hardest to get it right this time. But when her new husband’s unresolved family issues resurface, she’s afraid she and her son will be abandoned once again. Just when Gary thought he’d found happiness with a woman who truly understood him, the death of his first wife blindsides him with unanticipated grief and guilt. After years of letting his career get in the way of being the husband and father he should’ve been, he must now live up to his new wife’s expectations while attempting to fit his resentful teenage daughter into the mix. But high-pressure careers don’t leave much time for stopping to smell the roses, and this family is almost out of time. A radical plan conceived by Gary’s ex-wife before her death risks tearing them all apart…or will it finally bring them together as the family God meant them to be? (Contemporary, Independently Published)

 

The Cedar Key by Stephenia H. McGee — Stuck in a quirky little Mississippi town, Casey’s hope for a fresh start died as soon she had to lay the grandmother she’d just met to rest. (Contemporary, Independently Published)

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner — An old farmer who regrets his past, a young girl who fears her future, and an unexpected friendship that will change the course of their lives forever. (Contemporary from Bethany House)

Historical Romance:

 Joy to the World: A Regency Novella Collection by Amanda Barratt, Carolyn Miller, and Erica Vetsch — In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness. “Far as the Curse Is Found” by Amanda Barrat “Heaven and Nature Sing by Carolyn Miller, and “The Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch. (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications)
 
The Lost Heir by Candee Fick — A foundling raised by the local vicar and his wife finds herself the ward of an earl and on a direct path to a London Season. If only her heart wasn’t still drawn to her childhood friend and their small Yorkshire village. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Setting Two Hearts Free by Janet Grunst — Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him. Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her. Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost; Setting Two Hearts Free? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Haven For Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason — A young woman struggles to find redemption by helping troubled women and in doing so finds love but deems herself unworthy of happiness. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

A Doctor in the House by Linda Shenton Matchett — Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano — A career-minded woman in Victorian England sets out to deliver a lost love letter to its rightful owner–unless it’s already too late. (Historical Romance from Revell – A division of Baker Publishing Group)

Mystery:

Solid Ground by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey — Seven years between them, Kirby and Riley, nurtured by their pastor father and loving mother, experience almost ideal childhoods growing up in the Boston area. Then a season of misfortune culminated in the worse of all possible tragedies – the death of their beloved parents. Four years have passed. Kirby, having failed at marriage and pro-baseball, is now a Florida police detective. He finds himself in little Adairsville, Georgia along with Riley, his law school bound sister. They are there to settle their uncle’s massive estate. It is soon apparent that Uncle James’s death was no accident. But the worst of it is their names at the top of the suspect list. The siblings are embraced by spunky caretakers, Amos and Carol, whose love, wit, faith, and plain ole horse-sense bolster efforts to solve the murder and put Kirby’s life back on track. (Mystery from CrossLink Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Dangerous Deceptions by Lynnette Bonner, Luana Ehrlich, Lynne Gentry, Elizabeth Goddard, Lisa Harris, Lisa Phillips, Jan Thompson, and D.L. Wood — Lives…and hearts…are on the line in eight brand-new Christian Romantic Suspense novels from the genre’s most explosive authors. “Lethal Outbreak” by Lisa Harris & Lynne Gentry, “Collision Course” by Elizabeth Goddard, “Glimmer in the Darkness” by Robin Patchen, “Expired Plot” by Lisa Phillips, “Ice” by Lynette Bonner, “Never a Traitor” by Jan Thompson, “Ben in Love” by Luana Ehrlich, and “Liar Like Her” by D. L. Wood. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter — After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. Amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community where she retreats, Tessa uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. This leads Tessa and orchard caretaker, Zeke, on an intricate tale of danger, family intrigue, and romance. (Romantic Suspense from Kregel Publications)

Certain Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Katrina White’s garage explodes and she fears someone is out to get her. When things escalate further, Frank Davis is certain of two things—he cares a lot for Katrina and he can’t let anything happen to her. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Deadly Connection by Jennifer Pierce — Private Investigator, Reid Lucas, and his mentor, Joe Lockhart, haven’t spoken in years, but when Joe wants to meet in a small-town diner, Reid’s interest is piqued. Without explanation, Joe calls and tells Reid he has five minutes to get waitress, Quinn Matthews, and her son out of the diner before they’re kidnapped by the group of thugs about to walk through the diner’s front door. Quinn Matthews’ life is simple and safe, exactly how she likes it—until Reid Lucas walks into the diner. Now, she and her son are running for their lives, and she has no idea why. But when the father of her son shows up and dies saving them, she realizes they all have one deadly connection: Joe Lockhart. Now, she’ll have to trust the mysterious private investigator to not only save their lives but connect her past to her present so they can figure out who is after them. And why. As the danger escalates, unexpected feelings arise. Reid doesn’t believe he’s worthy of Quinn’s love–or God’s. And Quinn is too worried about having her heart broken again and the effect of having a new man in her son’s life. Can they let go of their preconceived notions of love and relationships, or are they doomed to just let go of each other? (Romantic Suspense from Anaiah Press)

Signs in the Dark by Susan Miura — Deaf, beautiful and brilliant Haylie Summers struggles to escape her kidnappers as Nathan Boliva does whatever it takes to find her, despite his role as key suspect in her abduction. (Romantic Suspense from Vinspire Publishing)

 

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

 

 
Murder, Mysteries, & Romance in Tarryton, Missouri by Alice K. Arenz, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, The Case of the Mystified M.D., The Wedding Barter, and Hiding from Christmas. (Romantic Mystery)
 
 
Brides of the Wild West by Anne Greene, Abby Hollister must find a husband in one month. (Historical Romance)
 
 
The Promise of Hope by Julie Lessman, A woman of deep faith, a husband with deep joy, until one careless comment steals it away. (Historical Romance)
 
 
Guardian Prince by Lauricia Matuska, A healer running for her life is aided by fey as she joins a prince in a race to secure humanity’s freedom. (Speculative Fantasy)
 
 
For the Love of Llamas by Patti Jo Moore, When a realtor tries to buy out a Georgia farm girl, more than the land draws them together, but can she trust him with her heart? (Contemporary Romance)
 
 
Dogwood Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels, An injured veteran and a plantation belle team together to care for younger family members, but can their wounded hearts heal when the War of 1812 is just getting started? (Historical Romance)
 
 
Charlotte Masterson Gets a Life by Carol Raj, When Charlotte Masterson gets a life, life gets interesting. (Young Adult)
 
 
The Pulse of His Soul: The Story of John Lothropp, a Forgotten Forefather by Ora Smith, When his wife refuses to break from her Anglican roots, John must decide whether to obey his conviction to renounce the Church of England and become an outlawed Separatist or conform and save his marriage, his family, and his life. (Historical)
 
 

A Home for Her Daughter by Jill Weatherholt, Love-shy single mom Janie finds a fresh start with the inheritance of a house and a camp, but she must work with her childhood friend and crush to get the camp running. (Contemporary Romance)

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