September Inspirational Overview

As lazy summer days give way to fall, inspirational fiction continues to shed light on matters of faith. This September we look ahead to the upcoming — and eagerly awaited — holiday season with the heartwarming tale of a little girl’s wish in The Christmas Pony. We continue our overview of new releases by meeting several fictional women who lend a helping hand. Then, inspy mystery authors give us startling insight into the minds of their villains, one Tweet at a time. And finally, we round up the some of this month’s best Amish romances.

CHRISTMAS WISHES AND LITTLE GIRL DREAMS

There’s only one thing that 8-year-old Lucy Turnball wants for Christmas: A pony. It’s the classic little girl wish, and Melody Carlson brings Lucy’s touching story to life in her inspirational historical, The Christmas Pony. This story is guaranteed to stir up memories of childhood Christmases past, and we asked the author to share a special holiday memory of her own:

What little girl doesn’t wish for a pony at least once in her life? And for Lucy Turnbull to see a for-sale sign posted by the most adorable gray pony, she naturally believes her dreams will come true this Christmas. But it’s the Great Depression and Lucy’s widowed mother simply wishes for food on the table — how can she possibly feed a horse?

When I was eight, I too had a single impoverished mom. And yet all I wanted for Christmas was an expensive Schwinn bike like my older sister had gotten from Santa the previous year. I already had a “handmade” bike, but compared to my sister’s sleek blue Schwinn, mine was a real clunker…and slow to boot. I must’ve made my wishes known because the expensive Schwinn was under my grandparents’ Christmas tree that year. What I didn’t understand then was that my frugal grandpa had won my sister’s bike at the hardware store (otherwise Santa never could’ve delivered) or that he’d painstakingly built my clunker for me, piece by piece, because he wanted me to have a bike too. Guess which bike I wish I had now? Yep, the aqua blue clunker that was made with love.

- Melody Carlson

HEROINES LEND A HELPING HAND

If you’re interested in reading tales of strong, motivating women, this month offers many choices. Mellie Blake, in Sarah Sundin’s book With Every Letter, may be a shy lieutenant, but she’s also a caring nurse. She overcomes her quiet nature when she begins a letter-writing campaign to an officer overseas and a love blossoms despite the distance between them.

In At Every Turn, a historical story by Ann Mateer, readers will meet the courageous and generous Alyce. When she hears of the plight of the people in Africa, she vows to help by raising money for the missionaries. Alyce enters an auto racing competition and seeks training from Webster, a mechanic.

And if you’re craving a bit of mystery with your caretaking, you’ll find it in Kim Alexis and Mindy Starns Clark’s Beauty to Die For. The heroine, Juliette Taylor, is a former supermodel who puts her previous work in the beauty biz to work as a skincare specialist and a motivational speaker. When a poisoned clay mask claims the life of one of her clients, this beauty uses her brains to help find the culprit. 

DEBUT AUTHOR CORNER

Interested in trying something new? Check out the fresh, new voice of Krista Phillips in her debut novel, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance. RT’s Angie enjoyed this “wonderful, well-knit book” that “brings faith, love and hope together.” Looking for a fresh start and the chance to gain custody of her younger brother, Maddie considers the small town of Sandwich as her salvation. Until she meets Reuben. He causes her to lose her job, and she’s determined that he’ll make it up to her — by hiring her to work at his restaurant, the Sandwich Emporium. The new job turns out to be the best thing since sliced bread as she learns about the kindness of strangers, the healing power of love and the strength of faith in God. 

TERRIFYING TWEETS

With all the new technology at their disposal, villains can leave traces of their crimes in any number of places. We’ve asked three of this month’s inspirational thriller writers to give us a glimpse inside the mind of their villain with a single Tweet. It’s amazing how chilling 140 characters or less can be! 

 

Opening Moves by Steven James

Detective Patrick Bowers may be on his most gruesome case yet. He’s on the hunt for a copycat killer — a killer who is mimicking some of the most vile murders the country has ever seen. Is there any way to catch this monster before he takes deadly aim at someone close to Bowers?

***

The voices haven’t stop. They tell me to take her, to use the knife again. Questions, surface, yes, but the voices win. I go & get my blade.

     
 

To Write A Wrong by Robin Caroll

Riley Baxter is an intrepid reporter — possibly too good. She’s getting closer to uncovering a massive cover-up, and the perpetrator is desperate to keep Riley’s stories out of the papers. Even if that means making sure she never puts pen to paper again....

***

Contrary to popular belief, personal vengeance isn't highly overrated...it's actually quite satisfactory

     
 

A Heartbeat Away by Harry Kraus

Ever since she’s received her new heart, surgeon Tori Taylor feels an instant connection with her donor. But something’s not quite right, because Tori has dreams of her donor’s murder. Will she be able to reveal the killer’s identity before he — or she — finally puts a stop to the heart that wouldn’t be silenced?

***

@PoliceChiefBPD: Wacko interview with suspect who says she "remembers" how her heart donor was murdered. Please!

     

IF YOU LOVE THE AMISH

Can’t get enough of Amish romances? Consider picking up a copy of Still Life in Shadows by Alice J. Wisler. Gideon Miller was once Amish, but he left his life behind to become the “Getaway Savior” to others like him who yearned to live their lives as the English. But when his brother passes away, Gideon is drawn back to his past and Carlisle, PA. Another wonderful tale featuring an Amish character is Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith’s A Plain and Simple Heart, a historical tale of a girl’s rumspringa that coincides with a temperance movement. When local authorities mistake her for a troublemaker, can this good Amish girl convince them otherwise? And last, but not least, there’s Cindy Woodsmall’s Gift of Healing: A Season for Tending. Known as a healer among her people, Rhoda has trouble healing herself — she’s still reeling over the death of her younger sister. When she’s introduced to Samuel King, a struggling farmer, they strike up a plan to help each other. But when tragedy strikes again, will they find strength to weather the storm?


  
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We hope you enjoyed our look at September's Inspirational releases. For all the latest genre news be sure to check out RT’s Everything Inspirational Page all month long!