The inspirational novels of June are sure to get you revved up and ready to recommit yourself to your faith. In this month’s roundup we are featuring a slew of must-read stories, from an RT Top Pick!-rated series in the spotlight to a look at books that have us thinking of “rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.” We will also introduce you to debut author Alexa Schnee, get you caught up on genre news and reveal some just-made deals that will have you giddy with glee!
SPOTLIGHT SERIES: BRIDES OF ALBA
Linda Windsor’s Brides of Alba novels will inspire readers with tales of triumphant heroines in Arthurian Britain. The three books in this series all received ratings of RT Top Pick! And with heroines like these, we are all motivated to try to be the best people we can. RT reviewer Lindy says, “The series should be read in order, and readers will want to discuss these books with friends for hours.”
In book one, readers meet Brenna, a Healer who was supposed to become a warrior queen. Brenna had hiding from her fate but when she helps a wounded man, will their love for each other and faith in the lord be enough to convince her that it’s time to follow her destiny? After Brenna’s book, Windsor introduces us to a Thief who promptly stole our hearts. Heroine Sorcha robs a man so that she can continue buying children out of slavery and setting them free, but when someone dies she and her latest victim must go on the run and find God’s forgiveness. And finally in this month’s series conclusion a Rebel rounds out this trio of unlikely heroines. Kella joins her foster brother on a quest to find her father and although it’s what they are doing is against their ruler’s laws, has this pair made the right choices according to God’s laws? You’ll have to read the story to find out.
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THEME: RIVERBOAT READING
If you love the idea of spending your days on a riverboat, chugging along the rivers of the US, you are not alone! There are several inspirational novels set when paddleboats and steamboats were the predominant way of travel. If you’ve enjoyed the May 2011 novel Unbridled Hope by Loree Lough, or JoAnne Carter’s Roaring Twenties series starter The Floating Palace from July 2011, then you’ll know that riverboats — and the drama that they inspire — can make an exciting addition to any tale. And this month we are treated to two exciting stories featuring these special ships.
Author Gilbert Morris follows up last year’s Water Wheel series first, The River Queen, with the June 2012 release The River Rose. This tale features a young woman whose faith — and convictions — are tested when she inherits a steamboat. Unfortunately, this money-making means of conveyance will only become widow and mother Jeanne’s if she consents to live on the boat with her co-owner Clint. A good Christian woman is not allowed to live with any man but her husband, something which Clint is not. Jeanne must figure out what course to chart when she faces this serious dilemma!
The second new water ways-set tale was co-written by Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver. Lily follows a heroine by that name who co-owns a riverboat with a headstrong partner named Blake, who happens to be romantically interested in Lily. While they are trying to start their venture, another suitor begins to pursue Lily, a man named Jean Luc who has his own mysterious reasons for the courtship. The characters get into murky waters in this complicated romance that could end in heartache or happily ever after …
And these aren’t the only stories chugging down the river of new releases; we’ve just learned that in September we can expect another story featuring these impressive boats. Darlene Franklin will treat us to A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas. When heroine Blanche inherits a steamboat, Ike is willing to help her try to make the ship into the building block for a better future. But will this pair have enough faith in the Lord’s plans to navigate their way to success? You can find out what happens to Blanche and Ike when their story is released on September 1, 2012.
If you are ready to check out someone new, we suggest you take a moment to peruse the first novel from talented author Alexa Schnee. Her historical tale Shakespeare’s Lady introduces readers to a heroine who falls in love with the bard and embarks on an illicit affair. However, don’t expect the story to be all stolen moments and furtive touches, it packs a punch as Schnee delves into heroine Emilia’s feelings of guilt. RT reviewer Angie calls this story “A must-read for fans of this genre and those who want to read Christian fiction that’s unlike the typical romantic novel.”
Book lovers will soon have access to a new line of inspirational tales. Publishing house World Wisdom is launching an imprint for young readers. Wisdom Tales will provide children and teens with stories about classic topics such as saints, religious holidays and more. The line’s motto is “sharing the wisdom, beauty, and values of traditional cultures and peoples from around the world with young readers and their families.” The first books to be released will be Paul Goble’s June release, The Man who Dreamed of Elk-Dogs and other stories from Tipi. It will be followed by the July release of The Knight, The Princess and the Magic Rock: A Classic Persian Tale by Sara Azizi. The imprint’s website was launched on May 31st and you can check it out at wisdomtalespress.com.
In other news, a self-published bestseller has found a home with a traditional publishing house. Mary C. Neal’s To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels and Life Again climbed the online bestseller lists via word of mouth and has now been snapped up by WaterBrook Multnomah. Publishers Weekly reports that the line is hoping to find as much success with this non-fiction as the bestselling Heaven is for Real has generated for the publisher’s competitor, Thomas Nelson. The WaterBrook Multnomah version of Neal’s account of her death, time in Heaven and return to the living is now available in print and as an e-book.
NEWLY ANNOUNCED BOOK DEALS
And to round out our inspirational overview for the month, here are four newly announced book deals for titles we can't wait to read!
Tamera Alexander treats readers to a tale of loss and love in the Civil War-era South with To Whisper Her Name. This novel brings together a desperate widow, a murdered carpetbagger, an ill elderly woman, a horse trainer and a one-time Union soldier. But how do all of these players collide? Well you’ll have to pick up this Fall 2012 novel to find out!
When a small girl’s imaginary friend may be the only thing that can save a small town — or doom them to a stormy death — it causes rifts in relationships that seemed solid as the citizens struggle to decide what is good or evil. However, amidst this indecision, two things are for sure, Billy Coffey’s upcoming work has a very fitting title, Into the Maybe, and will be available in 2013.
If you prefer your reading in easy-to-digest bites, you’ll appreciate the Melbourne Letters novella collection, which will be available in 2014. So far, the anthology is set to feature four stories from very well known authors. “Hungry for Love” by Jane Kirkpatrick is about a music teacher who travels to Eastern Oregon in hopes of rescuing a good friend, and she may find love with an assistant doctor along the way. Amanda Cabot’s story of an heiress who follows a letter’s directive to an upstate New York resort — and into the arms of a carousel carver will be published. The novella is titled “One Little Word.” “Dandelion Wishes” by Ann Shorey takes place in the year 1855 and follows a female author pretending to be a man who must ask her male friend to pretend to be the author for a meeting with her publisher! High jinks will ensue in this Chicago-set story of (deliberately) mistaken identities. Additionally, the short story “Fire Run” by Laurie Alice Eakes will whisk readers back to 1825 New York City as an impoverished aristocratic woman lands a job working at a shipyard, but needs the protection of a suitor to save her from moneylenders.
And finally, if your tastes run more toward non-fiction reads, you’ll appreciate this look at the Working Women of the Bible by Susan DiMickele. This collection of women is sure to offer inspiration and encouragement in even the darkest of times. Fans can expect this illuminating inspy read in stores in 2013.