Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bookish Tuesday: Pounamu - the sacred greenstone of New Zealand

By Cindy Williams|@nutritionchic 

 If you have never visited New Zealand the title of ‘The Pounamu Prophecy’ may have you scratching your head. What on earth is pounamu?

 Pounamu is the Maori word for greenstone, a unique type of jade found only in the remote and rugged rivers of the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand. If you walk the spectacular Routeburn track you can see one of the routes Maori took through the treacherous southern mountains to collect pounamu. Imagine carting sacks of stones over steep mountain passes and across swift flowing rivers. No wonder Maori had one of the best physiques in the world!

A Sacred Stone

Pounamu is a sacred stone, often carved into jewellery and treasured by Maori as a sign of status or power. It is a stone one could readily endow with spiritual qualities.

In ‘The Pounamu Prophecy’ Mere gives her pounamu pendant, carved in the shape of a fishing hook, to Helene. Helene knows it is special to Mere and protests.

 ‘But I don’t deserve it.’ 

‘You don’t need to deserve a gift; you just receive it. And then say thank you.’ Mere’s amused scolding lightened the moment. 

‘Thank you, Mere. This is so special. I will wear it always.’ She hung it around her neck. The stone felt cool against her chest. She rubbed its smooth surface. 

‘My grandfather named this stone Rongo, which means peace,' said Mere. 'I used to think the stone gave me peace but I finally realised that it wasn’t the stone, but the maker of the stone.’ 

‘You mean your grandfather?’ 

‘I mean the maker of all stones, trees, people, the universe. God is the one who gives us peace.’

A Stone of Peace

Pounamu is still used today as a treasured gift to promote peace. When my husband’s mother died there was a bitter dispute over where she should be buried. As the eldest son, my husband had to decide what to do. The two tribes argued for a whole day until late at night he called his uncles.

As dramatic as any movie, they drove through the dead of night, stole her body and took her home to her own tribe. After the three day tangi the tribe sent a delegation to the offended tribe, giving them a gift of a large piece of pounamu to restore the tribe's mana (status) and to make peace.

Similarly, my cousin used pounamu as a symbol of peace to honour his brother who was tortured and murdered by the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. In the movie, 'Brother Number One' he drops a treasured piece of pounamu into the sea where the Khmer Rouge had captured him just off the coast of Cambodia.

 A Stone of Strength and Beauty

Pounamu is strong. It can break granite and cut through steel - ideal for use as a tool or weapon. As a child I remember my father wishing he had extended his vegetable garden just a few more feet. Why? Because the new owner found a pounamu mere, a deadly club carved in the shape of a tear drop, a rare and valuable treasure.

Pounamu is smooth and cool and soothing and has a depth of pattern, as though peering into the deepest green waters. It is a reminder of how much our God loves to create beauty in this world. As you read this beautiful Maori blessing allow the peace of our Lord to soothe your mind and calm your heart.

May the calm be widespread
May the surface of the ocean glisten like green stone
And may the shimmer of summer dance across your path forever.

 About Cindy Williams 

With degrees in Nutrition, Public Health and Communication Cindy has worked for many years as a dietitian for sports teams, food industry, media, and as a nutrition writer and speaker.

Her first novel, The Pounamu Prophecy, was short listed for the 2016 Caleb Prize. She writes a blog - www.nutritionchic.com - stories of health, history, food and faraway places.

She lives in Sydney with her husband and son, writing stories of flawed women who battle injustice... and sometimes find romance.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Returning the gift of generosity to my writing friends

Being a generous writer is something I aspire to be.

As writers, we are given so much at a God level – a story to write or the seed of an idea that germinates into something beautiful. We are gifted with the ability to write that story, and to fulfill its promise. And we are given those people around us. Over my fiction writing journey – a smaller three year chunk of a two-decade professional writing stint – I have had so many people be generous to me.

 I am grateful for those who were (and continue to be) generous in:
  • A kind word. Writing can be a slog. I’ve been there … that place where you are convinced that every single word you put on the page is going to be edited out. Where you start to wonder if your characters are actually characterless. The point where you’re not even sure YOU’RE interested in your plot, let alone anyone else. It’s at this moment that some people have offered a kind word or a message: just something that says “I appreciate your gift.” If you’ve said that to me, thank you.
  • Their feedback. And by feedback I don’t mean the usual kind Auntie-style feedback that says “you should publish this, it will become a best-seller.” The feedback I’m grateful for is when someone (usually a writer themselves) who tells me the story is okay but needs some work in Character A or Plot Twist B. If you’ve provided this type of feedback to me, thank you.
  • An idea. As writers we can tend to the secretive when it comes to ideas. One of the big concerns I hear a lot from writers is this concept of playing your cards close to your chest, just in case they’re sitting on a best-selling idea and someone appropriates it. But writing is collaborative – it has to be – in order to fulfill the potential of a story. I’ve had people read my work and offered suggestions that have made a character stronger, or driven the plot into a left-hand turn to really throw the reader when they thought they could see what was coming. If you’ve provided an idea like this, thank you.
  • Support and encouragement. I’ve got a mentor (and I’d encourage you all to get one if you don't), and I can say that Jim’s encouragement of me has kept the candle burning and the hamster wheel spinning. I’ve had other encouragements through this Facebook group, other Facebook groups, email lists and friends on social media. If you’ve provided support like that to me, thank you.
  • Taking an interest. Sometimes it’s the unexpected message asking how things are going. Sometimes it’s the message after a deadline to see how things are tracking. Sometimes it’s just someone saying hello and wanting to know more about what I’m writing. This interest has fuelled me when things have been slow or difficult. So if you’ve taken an interest in my writing, thank you. 
So what is the takeaway from this?

I have set myself a challenge in 2018 to be as generous as people have been with me. To reciprocate; to return the favour to someone who could benefit from it as much as I did. To bless others as I have been blessed.

It’s not always easy, as life gets busy and deadlines tend to draw your gaze down to the page, where it often stays. Where either work or family calls you away from those writing around you. But it’s something I’m trying to be more conscious of, and proactive about.

And I’d encourage you to do the same. As someone who has been on the receiving end of generous writers, I can guarantee you it makes a difference.

Friday, April 20, 2018

A Still Small Voice

Lorraine Hossington | @lorrainehossing

I had an opportunity last week to spend the day at a quiet day of prayer at a Christian retreat centre in Wales. Nicholaston House is set in it’s own grounds and is in the countryside. I went knowing what passage of scripture to study and ready to write out notes.

Yet this was not to be. God wanted to do something different and my plans began to change.

Luke 10:40-42 (NIV) Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary.

Martha complains that she has been left to do all the preparation by herself and that Mary is not helping her. Yet Jesus said that Mary had chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

As I sat in the quiet trying to study scripture, God spoke to me. He told me to put my own agenda aside and listen to him. This was my time to be a Mary and sit in his presence and listen to what he had to say. It was a time of peace and a refilling of the Holy Spirit in my life. Sometimes we all need a refreshing especially when our spiritual tanks start to register on empty. When our cars run out of petrol we need to go and have it filled up, or it won’t go anywhere. God is our fuel and we need him all the time to help us with every situation in our lives.

Life can be difficult and challenging at times. Yet I want to encourage you to come to God as much as possible, to seek his face and have a close and joyous relationship with him. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (NIV) This is what Jesus wants for us an abundance and overflowing of life. And by having a relationship with him this is what we will have.

I love the way God can speak to us in so many different ways. He can use his word or a person. The verse of a song or an unexpected way. A few years ago I bumped into someone from a former church I attended. As we talked he surprised me by telling me that he had been praying for me since I had given my life to the Lord. This came as a surprise to me. It was wonderful to know that all those years someone had decided to pray for me. And that same afternoon in the ministry that I was a part of, something happened that put me and my friend in a dangerous place with some people. Yet knowing that someone had been praying for me for a few years just really encouraged my heart and knowing that God was in the situation and that he is in control helped me through this time.

1 King 19:6-7(NIV) Elijah Flees to Horeb (NIV)

Elijah had done so much that he felt afraid and exhausted he couldn’t do anymore. Sometimes that’s what happens in ministry you give and give until there is no more that you have left. God gave time for Elijah to be strengthened and healed before sending him out again. Maybe this is your time for restoration and refreshing, to come out of the desert place and into green pastures. A time for your healing to happen and for a new beginning to take place. God will never give up on us he loves us unconditionally and wants to see us whole.

Lorraine Hossington lives in the Gower Peninsular in Wales. She writes contemporary Christian Fiction. And loves nature and being able to see the wild ponies and sheep on the hills in the area she lives in. As she used to live in the city, but loves where God has put her in the country.
Twitter @lorrainehossing Facebook Lorraine Hossington

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A simple cry for help

 Paul Baines| @ICFWriters

Thinking of something to write for this blog has been the toughest thing I have had to do all week, and it's been one of those weeks.

I am still drawing a blank, so I will do what I always do when I don't know what to write: start writing.

To be honest, I haven't written much in over a year now. When my wife fell ill my life went into a strange twilight zone in which everything I knew and believed was turned upside down.

For most of my Christian life I have followed the "prayer warrior" mentality. This was my wife's influence. When she started taking her faith seriously just before we got married she attended the Durban Christian Centre with Fred Roberts and Kim Clement, where they taught the principles of spiritual warfare.

While sorting through my wife's possessions recently I found her stack of prayer journals. It is all prayer warrior stuff: pleading the blood of Jesus, binding the enemy, bringing down spiritual strongholds.

As a couple, our prayers were always very directed. A problem arose and we would pray for a distinct solution. A need came up and we would pray to receve whatever it was we lacked. It was all very specific.

So when my wife was taken into hospital and we were told there was no hope, you would imagine my prayers were as directed as usual. Actually, the opposite happened. I simply handed it all to God. If I prayed anything it was "Lord, you take control" or simply "help."

I let go.

A lot happened at once in those final weeks. I handed in notice at my work, gave notice on the house, and faced the daunting prospect of getting my seriously ill wife from mainland Europe to the UK. I did not even know if we were fully covered by our health insurance. For all I knew, I was facing a huge hospital bill. I was now unemployed, had very little in the bank, and had no idea how I was going to move my wife back home along with a house full of stuff collected over 16 years.

It was too much for the "prayer warrior" approach. All I could do was hand it over, and trust.

Sure I got busy praying for healing, but that was something I could aim at. The rest was too big. Before I handed it all over, I felt like I was drowning. After I gave it to God, I had a strange, almost fatalistic, peace. Nothing mattered. Nothing I could do would change anything. God was in charge. His will be done.

Looking back, I can see miracle after miracle as every single problem was solved. It was like having the best personal assistant in the world.

A support worker at the hospital spent hours on the telephone with the insurance company until they assured him that they would not only cover all hospital bills but would ship my wife to a hospice of our choosing in the UK by air ambulance. The house rental agency agreed to a one month notice period (it had been a year when we moved in). The landlord said that we could take our time with the move and even helped me with the packing. My work situation changed for the better.

It was a big lesson for me as a Christian. These days I still have a few specific prayers but, for the most part, it is a more general plea for help. God knows what is wrong, what needs doing, and how to do it.

After all, we are His children. When our own kids get into a mess, they don't ask us for specifics. They don't say "Mum/Dad, I spilled ink all over the carpet. Please call the cleaning company and find their best price for removing the stain using the perfect equipment."

No, they simply say "Mum/Dad I dropped the ink. Please help."

Maybe kids are onto something there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wandering Wednesday : A Trip to Paul’s Dungeon

By Nathan D Maki @NathanDMaki

Walk with me if you will into the Great Forum of Ancient Rome. My wife and I had that opportunity for our tenth wedding anniversary a couple years ago. Look up as you pass beneath the Arch of Titus and note the golden candlestick his troops carried away from the Temple after the sack of Jerusalem.

Turn around for a moment to view the looming Coliseum, that wonder of ancient architecture, splendid but deadly, built with the proceeds and by the slaves from Titus’s conquest.

Watch your step! The broad paving stones of the ancient Via Sacra are anything but smooth and regular. Let’s continue on, past the tumbled temple of the Vestal Virgins, the broken pillars of Rome’s sacred hearth, and the tomb of Julius Caesar, and you will find yourself before what is now known as Mamertine Prison.

It now has a gaudy fa├žade added later, but beneath that fa├žade lies a stark reality. Ancient Rome had only one prison. Then known as simply The Carcer, this irregularly shaped stone chamber was sandwiched in among the buildings and hills ringing the Forum of Rome. Just a few paces across, it was tiny compared with Rome’s population or our sprawling modern-day supermaxes. Justice, or what passed for it in the Roman Empire, leaned more toward scourging, branding, enslavement, exile, or execution than long-term incarceration.

Beneath that bare stone room lay the Tullianum. Once a cistern, it was now utilized as a dungeon for the most infamous prisoners awaiting execution. Nowdays visitors to Rome can make their way down via a staircase. In Paul’s day, those condemned to this dungeon were literally cast into prison, dropped through a round hole in the floor to plummet six or seven feet onto the cold stone floor below. A sewer ran beneath the dungeon for easy disposal of bodies. One can only imagine the musty stench, the bone-aching damp. There, in the endless darkness, most would come to long for the day of their execution.

Artistic renderings and movies portray this dungeon as relatively well-lit, Paul sitting and writing in a beam of sunlight coming through one or more barred windows or overhead grates. In reality, he and his faithful friend and physician Luke must have hunched over a candle, oil lamp, or guttering torch, a small mercy perhaps from a sympathetic guard. There Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

(2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV)

In Paul’s words from that dungeon we hear not the resigned sigh of a condemned man, but the triumphant proclamation of a marathon runner who has followed the path laid out for him.

Not the easiest way. Not the path of least resistance. But the course Jesus marked for him.

Now Paul was ready to break through the finish line with arms raised, ascend the podium, and accept the victor’s crown.

Is that a path you would be willing to tread? Would you be willing to forgo comfort for a dungeon? To give up everything, even your life, for the cause of Christ?

In The Keeper’s Crown, I have sought to bring Paul to life through the eyes of the soldier chained to him for the last years of his life. I did so because I believe Paul the Apostle has much to say to us today. We who wear no chains but those of our own making, who dwell in no dungeon but our own fears. My hope and prayer is that through the life of Paul we will be challenged to rise up, a Church of spiritual warriors to fight the good fight of faith in a world every bit as depraved and desperate for the Gospel as the Roman Empire under Nero.

If the First Century church could say anything to the Twenty-first Century church, if Paul could speak to us today, what would he say?

Perhaps this:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

(2 Timothy 4:2-5 KJV)

What do you think Paul would say if he walked into your church this Sunday and was invited to speak?

About The Keeper’s Crown

Paul turned the world upside down. Nero set it on fire.
Caught between them, can Quintus and Jael survive long enough to find the Truth?

In The Keeper’s Crown, readers will see Paul’s life and ministry in an immediate and accessible way, through the eyes of the young soldier who kept him under guard in Rome. The book follows Paul from his arrest in the Temple in Jerusalem, through his trials, transportation to Rome, shipwreck on Malta, imprisonment, appearance before Nero, and his eventual martyrdom. Along the way we meet such familiar figures as the governors Felix and Festus, King Agrippa, Timothy, Onesimus, Epaphroditus, Demas, and Emperor Nero. Paul’s courage and determination and the overarching theme of “What is Godly Success?” will challenge believers to dare greatly and obey God’s will no matter the cost. All of this presented in an engaging, action-packed book that gets the message across without being “preachy.”

Reviewers had this to say…

"Those who are fans of Francine Rivers “Mark of the Lion” trilogy will enjoy Nate Maki’s immersive “The Keeper’s Crown.”

"I was not only unable to put it down, I just HAD to see where the story as well as characters were going."

"Impeccably researched, this tale is difficult to put down."

"Well-polished, The Keeper’s Crown will leave you with highs and lows of emotion, and an inner seeking of what the story means to you, and to your family."

"If you have ever wondered what kind of person the apostle Paul was, this novel will satisfy that curiosity: his thorn in the flesh, how God ordained his lengthy imprisonment, being chained to a Roman soldier throughout, standing against the unbelieving Sanhedrin, and touching lives all the way to Nero's palace."

“A monumental work of much power.”

View the book trailer!

Order your copy today in either e-book ($4.99) or paperback ($19.99)!

About Nathan D. Maki

A life-long love for historical fiction and a passion to create high-intensity, realistic novels from a Christian world view has propelled Nathan into his writing career. He is the author of the War Within series of novels set in Ancient Rome and most recently The Keeper's Crown, a novel of the Apostle Paul.

A recent trip to Rome to walk the ancient streets, explore the Catacombs, and stand in the Coliseum plunged Nathan even deeper into the ancient world he brings to life for his readers.
Nathan's novels combine the faith and romance of Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion trilogy with the action and adventure of Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden.

Nathan lives in Ontario, Canada, with his wife, son, and three very spoiled dogs. He pastors a church and manages his own business in addition to his writing. Sometimes he even sleeps.

Connect with Nathan

Email: NathanDMaki@hotmail.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bookish Tuesday: Travelling in Time and Space | Donna Fletcher Crow

By Donna Fletcher Crow @DonnaFletcherCr

One of my first principles in telling a story is that in order to write about a place I need to visit it first. When one lives in Idaho and sets their books in England that can be a challenge, but with careful planning, an achievable goal.

But what about the fact that the events in my newest book A Lethal Spectre, Lord Danvers Investigates #5, occurred more than 160 years ago? Much as I might wish it were possible, Tardis travel isn’t within my grasp.

So I had to settle for visiting my locations as they are today, then applying a healthy dose of imagination to picture what these scenes looked, sounded and smelled like in 1857.

In London St. James’s Palace, where Lady Danvers presents her charge at one of Queen Victoria’s Drawing Rooms, has changed little.

Likewise, the church of St. George in the East is little changed externally, although, fortunately, the area around it is greatly gentrified.

Hyde Park is still a haven of lovely green quiet—except during a Royal Salute on the Queen’s birthday.

The Docklands, however, which feature largely in this book, are radically transformed.

To get a feel of what it must have been like in Victorian times, I found photos and the Museum of the Docklands online.

Brighton is another venue in the book. Unfortunately, the Bedford Hotel is no more.

And the elegant Chain Pier was destroyed by a storm in 1896.

Fortunately, however, the Royal Pavilion is in better repair today than it was in mid-Victorian times since Queen Victoria did not care for it and sold it to the town corporation who struggled to maintain it.

Serendipitously, I was able to step fully back into the past when we discovered a group of Regency dancers preparing for an event later that evening and I was allowed to photograph them.

Donna Fletcher Crow is passionate about English history and loves telling the stories of the men and women who have shaped the world we live in. She is the author of some 50 books--all available on her website along with pictures from her research trips--something else she is passionate about. Her newest release is A Lethal Spectre, Lord Danvers Investigates

Monday, April 16, 2018

International Christian Fiction - New Releases | April 2018

That's Amore: That's Love (A Tuscan Legacy Book 1) by Marion Ueckermann 

Begin your journey to Tuscany this summer with Book 1 of A Tuscan Legacy! Each novella is a complete and satisfying romance, filled with faith, family, forgiveness and love.

When Rafaele and Jayne meet again two years after dancing the night away together in Tuscany, is it a matter of fate or of faith?

After deciding to take a six-month sabbatical, Italian lawyer Rafaele Rossi moves from Florence to Tuscany, resigned to managing the family farm for his aging nonna after his father’s passing. Convinced a family get-together is what Nonna needs to lift her spirits, he plans an eightieth birthday party for her, making sure his siblings and cousins attend.

The Keswick jewelry store where Jayne Austin has worked for seven years closes its doors. Jayne takes her generous severance pay and heads off to Italy—Tuscany to be precise. Choosing to leave her fate in God’s hands, she prays she’ll miraculously bump into the handsome best man she’d danced the night away with at a friend’s Tuscan wedding two years ago. She hasn’t been able to forget those smoldering brown eyes and that rich Italian accent.

Jayne’s prayers are answered swiftly and in the most unexpected way. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s a guest not only at Isabella Rossi’s birthday party, but at Villa Rossi too.

When Rafaele receives what appears to be a valuable painting from an unknown benefactor, he’s reminded that he doesn’t want to lose Jayne again. After what he’s done to drive her from the villa, though, what kind of a commitment will it take for her to stay?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 2 in the series, Luna Rosa.

Available at Amazon.com

Luna Rosa: A Blushing Moon (A Tuscan Legacy Book 2) by Elizabeth Maddrey

She loves the spotlight, he prefers backstage. Can they still play love’s duet?

Nick Carter’s career as a piano tuner and teacher keeps him off-stage and allows him plenty of time to compose music he has no intention of ever publishing. Enter Louisiana Chalfant, the new symphony pianist who embodies the word diva. She’s exactly the kind of woman Nick has vowed to avoid, but when they’re cajoled into playing a duet he finds there’s more to her than he first thought.

Louisiana settles into her temporary role with the symphony in Washington, D.C., glad for the reprieve from touring professionally. She’s astonished to discover immense talent in the handsome man who keeps her piano in tune. Practicing for a duet at church gives her the perfect opportunity to get to know the real Nick.

As they play together, Nick and Louisiana develop a friendship that begins to morph into something more, but what happens when their diverging goals threaten to upstage their love?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 3 in the series, Rapsodia.

Available at Amazon.com

A Lethal Spectre (Lord Danvers Investigates Book 5) by Donna Fletcher Crow

The elegance of a London season and the atrocities of an Indian mutiny woven into an intricate tapestry

Antonia and Charles are swept up in the glittering swirl of a London season as they present Aunt Aelfrida’s ward to society. In India Antonia’s closest girlhood friend is caught in the most brutal massacre ‘in the book of time’. What could these disparate events have to do with murders in London and Brighton? This engrossing story comes to life with all the vivid historical detail readers expect from Donna Fletcher Crow.

Available at Amazon.com 

~~~ Check out Donna's post tomorrow -- Bookish Tuesday: Travelling in Time and Space -- to learn more about the Victorian London setting for A Lethal Spectre ~~~

The Keeper's Crown by Nathan D. Maki


As a boy, he dared to fight Nero. Worse, he won.

Stripped of his family, the love of his life, and his self-respect, he sets out on a quest to win a victor's crown, rescue his parents, and restore his family's honor. But his path to glory in the restless province of Judaea is threatened by the corrupt governor Felix, the murderous priest Melechi, and most of all by the rabble-rousing Paul of Tarsus.

When Quintus finds himself in Rome chained to Paul all hope of a crown seems lost, but Paul's example makes him question the true meaning of success. And why does Jael, the mysterious young Jewess who once saved his life, now respond with barely restrained flashes of hate?


The Romans took her father and her brother from her.

Now Jael vows to fight for her father's faith, fulfill her brother's oath, and avenge their deaths. But the further she travels with Paul and Quintus the more she feels torn. Can she follow her heart and still keep her vow?


He turned the world upside down.

Paul never expected to end his ministry in chains, but even still, he is determined to carry the gospel to Rome and the Emperor Nero himself. But what if those who need the gospel most are those closest to him?

As the Great Fire strikes Rome, fanning Nero's persecution of the Christians to a white-hot fury, murderous secrets, impossible choices, and steadfast faith will lead to tragedy and triumph.

Available at Amazon.com

The Wilderness Journey by Misty Beller

A Christian Historical Romance novel

Joseph Malcom has spent his life protecting those in need, but now that his sister is safely settled with her new family in the Canadian Rockies, his help is no longer required. That is, until he’s asked to safely retrieve the priest’s cousin to help minister to the local Indian tribe. But his passenger is not at all who he expects.

After the death of her mother, Monti Bergeron has nothing to keep her in Montreal. While the prospect of ministering to the Indians out West is daunting, she looks forward to assisting her beloved cousin in his mission work. The life of a nun may be just what she needs to heal her grief, serving her Heavenly Father and fellow mankind, especially if no more pesky suitors are around to ask for her hand in marriage. But the man who’s been sent to guide her through the mountains might make her second-guess her plans before she even begins.

As Monti settles into her ministry, Joseph finds his wandering feet drawn back to the Indian camp. Monti’s focus on God is more unsettling than he’d like to admit. Add to that her beauty which tests his willpower at every turn, and she’s made it crystal clear she doesn’t want a husband. But when his determination to keep distance between them puts Monti in danger, protecting her might require something Joseph might not be able to give.

Available at Amazon.com

The Brother's Keeper by Tracy Groot

The sons of Joseph run a successful carpentry business in Nazareth. At least, it was successful until the oldest brother, Jesus, left home to tell the world he will forgive their sins and save their souls. Now everyone is hearing outlandish reports of healings and exorcisms. Business is suffering: not many people want a stool made by the family of the local crazy man.

When one of his brothers starts listening to Jesus’ troubling speeches and fanatical Zealots descend on Nazareth to convince his family to join their fight against Rome, James wants nothing more than to shut out these rumblings and have a normal life. But normal walked out the day his brother did.

James knows that this year’s Passover pilgrimage will be more important than ever. Hearing about a possible plot against Jesus, he must find him and talk some sense into him before it’s too late. And he must decide for himself who his brother really is. But on the dusty road to Jerusalem, more than one faction has murder on its mind. . . .

Available at Amazon.com

Adoration (The Sword And The Cross Chronicles Book 5) by Olivia Rae

A Deathbed Confession Forces A Wedding...

Sir Darrin de Longue is desperate to get his lands back from Lady Faith de Sainte-Marie, the woman who betrayed him and may have had a hand in his father’s murder. But when King Richard discloses a secret on his deathbed—that Lady Faith is the king’s daughter—and then issues an ultimatum, Darrin has no choice but to obey. In order to reclaim his lands, he must marry Lady Faith and get her with child in a year’s time.

Without Love, She’ll Remain a Wife In Name Only

Left on a doorstep as a babe, Lady Faith has always been grateful for the home she was provided. Since childhood, she has loved the rowdy and bold Sir Darrin, but cannot be a true wife to the bitter, angry man whom she has wed. In order to gain his trust and love, she vows to find the truth about his father’s murder. But when she stumbles upon some dark and deadly secrets, will she be able to prove her innocence—and his—to erase the past and win Darrin’s heart?

Available at Amazon.com