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Celebrating New Releases

Mistletoe Memories: Six New Inspirational Holiday Romances

boxed-setThis past week the Mistletoe Memories bundle released and I couldn’t be more excited to share this group of stories with you. Myself and five other multi-published authors joined together to bring you six never before published novellas about love at Christmastime. The best part: right now you can snag this bundle for only 99 cents. I’m serious. You can’t beat that deal.

And I’m even more excited to share this with you because my story in the collection – It Was You – launches my new King’s Cove series. Expect to see two more King’s Cove novellas releasing before the end of the year!

The Ranger’s Texas Proposalrangers-texas-proposal

Last year my editor at Love Inspired called me, offering the chance to write a series with five other authors and I jumped at the opportunity. The Ranger’s Texas Proposal is the second book in the Lone Star Cowboy League: Boy’s Ranch series (but can be read as a stand alone). It’s the story of a hunky Texas Ranger and a tough, pregnant widow. I loved writing these characters and really fell in love with them. This one’s a tear-jerker with a warm ending. I can’t wait for it to hit the store shelves!

Small-Town Girl 

Small-Town Girl FrontSmall-Town Girl released in August and it’s really special because it was my fifth book published by Love Inspired. It is the fourth book in the Goose Harbor series and follows newcomer, Kendall Mayes, as she tries to chart out a new future and avoid relationships along the way. That is, until she meets the handsome loner Brice Daniels. This book has already received a lot of great reviews and so many of you have contacted me privately letting me know how much this story meant to you. Small-Town Girl was also recommended on the USA Today Happy Ever After blog by the wonderful Serena Chase: “Highly recommended for fans of inspirational and sweet romance, this is a story that offers many sigh-worthy moments …”

Thanks for reading! -jess

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Upcoming Books, News, and Pizza

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Small-Town Girl

A little over a week ago I was given the final cover art for my next Love InspirSmall-Town Girl Fronted release! Isn’t is gorgeous? I love that Lake Michigan got a place of honor on the cover. Small-Town Girl releases in August (although Amazon says it’ll send it your way in by mid-July!).

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Goose Harbor, Michigan, is the perfect place for Kendall Mayes to start over and open her date-planning business. When she encounters handsome loner Brice Daniels, who is struggling to keep the shipping business he runs going, she sees an opportunity. A weekly sunset cruise catering to couples and tourists will keep their dealings strictly business. Kendall has had enough of failed romances, and Brice is too burned by love to give it another chance. But despite their reservations, they soon let down their walls. Yet when Kendall’s silent business partner is revealed to be Brice’s longtime enemy, staying together might be next to impossible.

The Ranger’s Texas Proposal

Last year I got a call from my editor asking if I had any interest in writing a book in a series of six books with five other authors. I said yes immediately before I realized that five of the six authors writing for this series all had “best-seller” attached to their name. Guess who was the odd man out? Yup. Talk about intimidating! But the other authors were a dream to work with and I learned so much from them.

These books will release in back-to-back months for six months and mine is the second book (coming out in November). The difference in writing The Ranger’s Texas Proposal (as opposed to my Goose Harbor books) is that my publishing house came up with the general plot and character sketches and then I wrote and fleshed it out. I *loved* the process and I adore the story that came out of all of this. Texas Ranger Heath Grayson really worked his way into my heart and his struggles hit me hard (not ashamed to admit there was a lot of at-my-desk-crying happening while writing this one). I’ve been told by my publishing house that the story got three editors crying at their desks over the book/characters – so that’s fun! I’ve never done that before.

I don’t have a cover yet, but I will share it the second I do. However, the preorder is up on Amazon and here’s the blurb:

When Texas Ranger Heath Grayson agrees to investigate thefts at the boys ranch, he’s also hoping to solve a decades-old murder case: his father’s. Getting involved with pretty, pregnant widow and boys ranch volunteer Josie Markham is not on Heath’s agenda. But the more time he spends with Josie, the harder it is to ignore their growing attraction. The somber ranger is convinced a wife and child are not in his future. But with a little help from the boys at the ranch, he may just realize a family is what he needs most of all.

More Goose Harbor

The fifth book in the Goose Harbor series has a name and release date: Apple Orchard Bride is Jenna and Toby’s story (we’ve meet Jenna in many of the other books) and it’ll hit stores January 2017.

I’m currently writing the sixth book in the series RIGHT NOW! And there are solid plans for more Goose Harbor books after that.

More News

I’ve been getting a lot of emails and PMs asking when to expect the final TimeShifters book. I’m always so appreciative when people reach out to me – especially about Gabby and Michael. Those two and the TimeShifters series are all very close to my heart and I think about them often. I would love to continue their story, but at present I’m contracted to write several other books for my publisher and can’t devote enough time to my independent projects. Book three (Reaching Tomorrow) is completely plotted – I just need to find a gap of time to write it in. Like my Amazon Author Page or follow this blog or subscribe to my newsletter for updates on when Reaching Tomorrow will become available.

Last but not least I’m sitting on some very exciting news about a few projects that I’m working on with a team of other authors that amounts to at least two more releases before the end of 2016. I can’t share the details yet … but stay tuned!

I’m sorry there was no pizza in this post. I just felt like the title needed a little something else and pizza did it.

Celebrating a New Book!

Celebrating a New Book!

Today I’m handing out party hats and slicing the cake (oh, it’s totally okay to eat cake at before noon!) to celebrate my latest book which released this week! My newsletter subscribers are already having a lot of fun. I announced the release on my newsletter on Tuesday morning and gave them an opportunity to enter to win signed copies of both the new book Searching for Home and The Widower’s Second ChanceIf you don’t want to miss out on upcoming fun, make sure to stop by my website and sign up to receive future updates first. You’ll find the “Join Jessica’s Mailing List” box on the front page.

I also wanted to let you guys know that you may start to see some construction dust on my blog very soon. In the coming months my author website and my blog will both be revamped (design wise) and joined on one complete site. Won’t that be nice? I sure hope so.

But let’s get to the good stuff…a new book!

Searching for Home – Spies of Chicago, Book One

for websiteShe thought a dead relative ruined her life, but discovering his story will save it instead.

When the story of Whitney’s long-dead anarchist ancestor, Lewis Ingram, makes front-page news, she must find a way to exonerate her relative, or risk losing everything–her mayoral-candidate boyfriend and her job at a local magazine. Aided by Nate, a volunteer at the Chicago Historical Foundation, she digs in, determined to find a positive spin on the situation. But what awaits her isn’t spin at all. It’s truth–and it will change her life.

In the world of 1886, Ellen Ingram and James Kent didn’t intend to get caught in the middle of an anarchist spy ring. Ellen was content to leave all such intrigue to her brother, Lewis Ingram. But as the political climate in Chicago changes, Ellen and James have no choice. In the midst of the famous Haymarket Riot, both realize that they must live the life God created them for, not the one dictated by society.

Two generations encounter the same truth–and neither will ever be the same.

Why The Hunger Games is the most “Christian” book I’ve read in a long time

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Know what drives me nuts? Prejudgment. All forms of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone prejudging another person, a situation, or a book – it makes me angry. The only thing that’s worse than prejudging, are those who rely on other’s to form their judgments for them.

Now, since I’m a writer, I’m going to stick to books for this Monday Musing. Something that really bothers me among Christians is the idea that all mainstream books must somehow be avoided. If the writer doesn’t spew forth scripture and mention the name of Jesus a minimum of sixteen times in the book, then it’s worthless.

As the Hunger Games series grew in popularity, I waited, because I knew the conservative bloggers and radio hosts were salivating to jump all over these books. And they didn’t disappoint. I read countless times: The Hunger Games is evil! Kids killing kids shouldn’t be glorified! No Christian should read these books! Keep them out of our precious children’s hands!

It was Harry Potter all over again. One radio show I heard spent an hour denouncing the books so when the question time opened, I called. I got through and I asked if anyone on the program had read the books. Silence. Then they answered no, but that they didn’t have to because they knew what it was about. I hung up and haven’t listened to the radio show since.

See, I’ve always been a big fan of using the brain the good Lord gave me.

When the Harry Potter series created a stir I read them. Know what I found? A story that teaches that love is the most powerful force on Earth. A whole series based around the fact that Harry was protected because someone loved him enough to lay down their life sacrificially for him, so that Harry might live. The Potter series is all about sacrificing yourself for others, even people you don’t like. Good triumphs evil. How were these bad messages? Aren’t these the same truths taught in the Bible?

Saint Augustine gave us the idea that all truth is God’s truth when he said, “A person who is a good and true Christian should realize that truth belongs to his Lord, wherever it is found, gathering and acknowledging it even in pagan literature, but rejecting superstitious vanities and deploring and avoiding those who ‘though they knew God did not glorify him as God.”

Which leads me to The Hunger Games (a series so wonderfully written and captivating that it took me only four days to fly through all three books). I hear the shouts: It’s a story about kids killing each other, yes and no. Although, I’d have to ask, if it is, how is that any different or better than Aslan sending the Pevensie children into hand-to-hand battle?

For those believing this is a story that glorifies killing each other, I’ll share Katniss’ quote (who is the heroine of The Hunger Games series): “Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.” Clearly, those who miss the fact that this story is serving as a warning, miss the point entirely.

What is the Hunger Games about? Let’s see, little guy volunteers to fight and takes on insurmountable odds (and needs to kill in order to win)….huh, sounds and awful lot like David and Goliath.

I find it funny that these devote Bible-bangers somehow forget that much of the history of the old testament is that of violence and God sending people into war. Often they were instructed to slay every man, woman, and child (as well as livestock) within a city. When God sends the ten plagues, who does he come after? All the first born CHILDREN. Why? Because sometimes we only sit up and listen when terrible things happen to kids.

This is the same theme of the Hunger Games. The people of Panem have watched year after year as their ‘firstborns’ are taken away from them to die, but it’s not until one special volunteer goes to the games and bucks the system that a change in the country can happen (huh, again, oddly like little someday-to-be King David). On top of all this the character of Peeta is a perfect example of Christ-like love. A person who loves to the point of death, a love that isn’t based on the other person’s actions, emotions, or ever receiving anything in return.

And for that matter, my read through the Hunger Games series brought more self-reflection and led to more worshipful moments than any Christian book has in the last five years. I found myself constantly stopping and asking questions. If I was in the same situation what would I do? Would my character be strong enough to be like Peeta and say “If I’m going to die, I want to be me. I don’t want them to change me.”? Or would I be weak and allow circumstances to morph my moral fibers? Could I truly put others before myself, even if that meant my own demise? What does it look like to obey a leader whose actions you don’t agree with? What is true love? What characteristics make a man hero-worthy? When is rebellion allowable — or is it? Am I humble enough to accept help without feeling beholding? Could I lie to my heart for as long as Katniss did? Do I place ideals (like Gale) or people (like Peeta) first? Each instance that I found myself lacking, it drove me to my knees in prayer. It sent me searching scripture to find out what I truly believed. And it challenged me to become a better person.

I can’t name one Christian book that’s caused such thought and change to occur in my heart. Not one.

Bold statement time. I hope someday to write a YA novel engaging enough to catch the attention of mainstream teens. No, I have no aim to sell millions or have movie deals. That’s not it at all, but if I can capture the imagination and thoughts of a handful of mainstream readers, then yes, I believe that would be considered success to me.

Look at Stephanie Meyers – who wrote this way brilliantly. A read through the Twilight series doesn’t smack you in the face with the thought “this was written by a Mormon.” Not once. But you better believe that all the Mormon values are woven seamlessly through the story (purity, roles of men and women, sin, and forgiveness, afterlife). Say what you will about the poor quality of writing or the evils of vampires, it was a story that was told in an engaging enough way to capture the imagination for millions of readers. Any author worth their salt should perk up and pay attention to books that have mass followings. Not to copy (you won’t find me writing about vampires, dystopias, or wizards any time soon) but to ask yourself WHY did this touch people?

Much love -Jess

An Interview with N.Y. Times Bestselling Author Margaret Brownley

More Love and Laughter from N.Y. Times Bestselling Author

Margaret Brownley thank you so much for taking the time to join us on the blog today! I’m excited to hear about your new release, Dawn Comes Early.

“I’ve matched up twenty-three couples over the years and in all that time I only made one error. Although I still think the marriage would have worked had she not shot her husband.”

                                                                 —Aunt Bessie in Dawn Comes Early

Characters from Margaret’s new book will send you a reason to smile every day until April 11th. Join in the fun and you could win a book, potted cactus (the story takes place in Arizona Territory) or an iPod Nano and alarm clock docking station.  To enter send an email to contest@NancyBerland.com.  Be sure to put “Reason to Smile” in the subject line.  That’s it!

Jess Says: I fell in love with your Rocky Creek series. You have an amazing gift for crafting believable characters that leap off the page and suddenly become like real friends. Can you tell us a little bit about the heroine in your new novel Dawn Comes Early? What will we love the most about her? What will be loved about this new series?

Thank you, Jessica.  Hope you like my Brides of Last Chance Ranch just as much.

The heroine in Dawn Comes Early is Kate Tenney, a disgraced dime novelist who travels to Arizona Territory as “heiress” to a cattle ranch.  However, she soon finds out that the west is nothing like she wrote about—and neither are the men.

What’s to love about Kate? Readers tell me they love her determination. Having ridden only sidesaddle prior to coming out west nothing comes easy for her, and she has the bruises to prove it!   I also think Kate and Luke make an interesting couple; she’s a college educated woman and he’s “just a blacksmith.”  He doesn’t even know what she’s talking about half the time.   As for the series:  If you like inspirational stories set in the old west, this is for you!

Jess Says: Each of your novels include a few hilarious characters that keep us readers chuckling from first page to ending. Who are the funny characters in Dawn Comes Early? What are their loveable quirks?

I think readers will like Luke’s matchmaking aunt.  Aunt Bessie reads Kate’s dime novel (Yep, the one banned in Boston) and learns an eye-popping thing or two about love.

Readers might even take a fancy to Cactus Patch’s resident outlaw who laments, “The way this town treats its outlaw, it don’t deserve none.”

Jess Says: Your tagline is Love and Laughter in the Old West. What draws you to write about this specific time period?

I love writing about the old west because that’s when women came of age. The westward migration freed women in ways never before imagined. Women abandoned Victorian mores and rid themselves of confining clothes.  The gun may have won the west, but it was the women who tamed it. They brought churches, schools, newspapers and helped build community. These are the heroines for whom we like to cheer.  It must have been a shock to the male ego to have to deal with such strong and unconventional women—and that’s at the very heart of my stories.

I also like writing serious themes with a touch of humor and the old west lends itself nicely to laughter, don’t you think?  Since people lived so close to the land it’s also a perfect setting for an inspirational novel.

Jess Says: What is something surprising about yourself that even your most faithful reader may not know?

I failed eighth-grade English and almost flunked history (all those dates and battles). I did good in science so I’m probably better suited as an astronaut than a writer.  Still can’t diagram a sentence.

Jess Says: Could you share your favorite Bible verse with us?

On days when I’m  unsure of myself, my  favorite “staring at a blank page” scripture is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV. 

Jess Says: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned during your publishing journey?

I learned the importance of building a viable support system.  This is true of any endeavor, but is especially true of writers.  Writing is such a lonely occupation and only another writer can understand the ups and downs of an author’s life. Publishing is also going through a great many changes.  No single person can keep track of it all.  You need a lot of eyes and ears.

www.margaretbrownley.com

Readers can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

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About Margaret:

Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.”

So that’s what Margaret did. She’s now a New York Times bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist with more than 25 novels to her credit

The first book in her Brides of Last Chance Ranch series “Dawn Comes Early” is a available now.  The book will be followed in January by Waiting for Morning.

Margaret’s also excited to announce that her non-fiction book “Grieving God’s Way: The Path to Hope and Healing” will be published in July—not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English.  Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

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Dawn Comes Early

Brides of Last Chance Ranch

Heiress Wanted

Looking for hard-working, professional woman

of good character and pleasant disposition

willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona Territory.

Must be single and prepared to remain so now and forever more.

Her latest dime novel banned, twenty-nine-year old KATE TENNEY answers an advertisement for heiress to an Arizona cattle ranch. It seems like the perfect solution for a disgraced novelist with no intention of getting married—ever.

Trouble begins the moment she steps foot in Arizona Territory. The west is nothing like she wrote about in her books. Not only does she have to deal with a hard-nosed ranch owner, and nefarious outlaw, but a traitorous heart.  Kate does not trust men and has no intention of falling for LUKE ADAM’S charm.  She’s determined to learn the ranching business and prove to the doubting ranch owner that she’s up to the task—if it kills her.  If only she could stay away from a certain handsome blacksmith and his two matchmaking aunts.

Write the Line

*guest poster Delia Latham

 What makes Christian fiction Christian?

If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d use “relationship.” The major difference in a secular romance and an inspirational one really is that simple: the emotional connection (relationship) between the hero and heroine, and between the characters and God.

Aside from the stringent expectation of quality writing, certain additional standards exist in the world of Christian fiction. A writer hoping to place a manuscript in this market would do well to become familiar with those finely drawn lines and stay well within their borders.

I can point out the right direction. You’ll have to choose the roads.

1.       The sensuality meter 

I was once challenged by a reader who felt the words “Christian” and “romance” conflicted.

“You cannot write about romance and call it a Christian book,” he stated. “Christians don’t partake in romance, at least not until after they’re married. And no one wants to read about that stuff between a husband and wife. What’s the point?”

How sad, this inability to distinguish between sex and romance!

Let me try to make it easy.

  • Romance is the wooing of another’s heart and the emotions involved in that courtship.
  • Sex is the physical consummation of a physical attraction (no relationship necessary).

In a Christian romance, sex is off limits for the unmarried hero/heroine, and takes place behind closed doors for married ones. What’s left? Relationship.

That said, eliminating blatant sexual activity is not the be-all and end-all of an inspirational novel. What is important is the interweaving of the characters’ spiritual journeys into their lives—and that includes their romantic overtures.

Physical attraction should be a part of the story, but it will be communicated through emotions instead of hormones. He may notice the way the heroine’s dress accentuates her curves, but he won’t focus on those curves. He’ll be drawn to her sense of humor, her generosity, her sweetness of spirit. Neither is she blind to how he looks in those hip-hugging jeans, or the way his muscles bulge when he ropes that heifer! But her emotional reactions will supersede any physical ones. She’ll be moved by his gentleness with an injured animal…touched by the respectful way he handles an annoying elderly neighbor…moved to tears by his love for children.

2.       Christian protagonists 

A Christian romance will focus on two relationships: the one developing between the hero and heroine, and the one between those characters and Christ. The latter must be clearly defined, either from the start of the story, or by the end of it.

Placing characters inside a church building on Sunday mornings, or having them say grace before a meal does not make a novel inspirational. It is acceptable to start a book with a protagonist who doesn’t know or is estranged from God, but that spiritual rapport will grow and evolve throughout the storyline and must be reconciled by the last page.

 3.       Dealing with sin  

In real life, Christian people live with and among non-Christians. So it is in the pages of a book. Contributing characters may smoke or drink, get pregnant before marriage, have abortions, cheat, steal, lie—even murder. That’s life. These characters’ non-conformity to a godly lifestyle adds color to the storyline.

It is crucial, however, that the main characters either stay on the straight path or find it.

 4.       Preaching  

Ultimate challenge: Do all of the above without turning the story into a sermon. Readers read for entertainment and escape. Any message the author wishes to deliver must be woven seamlessly into the storyline. The reader should not be aware of any spiritual lesson…until it’s already learned.

What makes Christian fiction Christian? The differences aren’t many, but mighty. I like to think of it as giving my readers a touch of Heaven in an earthly tale.

That’s why I write on this side of the line.

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Born and raised in Weedpatch, California, Delia Latham moved to Oklahoma in ’08, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She loves Dr. Pepper and hearing from her readers. Contact her through her website or e-mail delia AT delialatham DOT net.

Delia writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction, and is currently contracted through White Rose Publishing and Vinspire Publishing.

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The third book in Delia’s Solomon’s Gate series, Gypsy’s Game, released on March 16!

Gypsy Lovell stands to inherit an enormous amount of money from a father who never gave her anything but a ridiculous name. Even now, he doesn’t make it easy. A stipulation in the man’s will demands that Gypsy be married in order to claim what is hers.

Desperate for the monetary windfall that could save her ailing mother’s life, Gypsy visits a Christian dating agency, hoping to find a temporary husband. Someone easy to handle for the required six months, and easy to get rid of when she no longer needs him.

Jal Garridan is neither of those things, but he’s willing to take on the challenge presented by the beautiful stranger—on his own terms.

What Gypsy doesn’t know is that Solomon’s Gate is a dating agency with a Divine connection. What she finds there may save more than her mother’s life. It may save Gypsy’s soul.

Two more books for your Christmas List

Christmas is only two days away now so while it might be too late to add these to your list this year but both of Lorna Seilstad’s books are well worth purchasing with those Amazon and Barnes and Noble gift cards that’ll fill any reader’s stocking.

I was drawn to Lorna’s Lake Manawa series because of the unique setting. So many historical books are set in places like Texas, New York, California, Colorado, or Montana—how refreshing to find a story set on a resort lake in the heart of the Midwest. I loved learning how the elite vacationed back then.

Both Making Waves and A Great Catch are perfect reads for these wintery months because for the couple days it’ll take you to read them (and only a couple days because you won’t be able to put them down) you’ll be transported to a summer or swimming, sailing, playing games, flirting, eating ice-cream, star-gazing, and sharing many laughs.

Making Waves had me hooked (and laughing) by page one. Seilstad has this amazing ability to slip subtle wit into the character’s dialogue and internal thoughts unlike so many writers who try to attempt humor and it comes across forced.

The main character, Marguerite, was courageous, headstrong, and spunky. She often finds herself in bad situations that are of her own making—yet she never means for them to happen. She is perfectly flawed which makes her a loveable character. We root for her, see ourselves in her, and rationalize with the lies she finds herself telling.

As one “little white lie” carries to the next. Marguerite finds ways to explain away all her small compromises (which are often with good intentions) like so often we do in our own life. When Marguerite discovers that her father is harboring a big-dark lie she must face consequences and decide if she will do something that will affect the rest of her life in order to save her family.

The leading man, Trip, has lies of his own to battle. When he finds out Marguerite has been lying to him he must decide what to do, but when he finds out that a lie his father told him in childhood has colored how he sees his own life, Trip must take action to change the tides.

Making Waves is an engaging read. The story has family drama, humor, romance, history, mystery, and mild suspense. After reading it I counted the days and pre-ordered A Great Catch and wasn’t disappointed.

A Great Catch had me hooked by the fifth sentence. This book is light-hearted and endearing.

The main character, Emily, is determined to change the world. Doing everything in her power to promote the women’s suffrage movement, Emily has determined that no man will run her life or make her give up her dreams. And God? She wasn’t about to ask Him how she should be spending her time…what if He wanted her to stop devoting her time to fighting for women’s rights?

While Emily wanted to change the world, Carter, the hero in the story, just wants to change his family’s opinion. His brother and parents want him to grow up, stop playing baseball, and join the family bank. But Carter sets out to prove to them that he can have a life playing the game he loves.

Emily’s clumsiness, her meddling aunts, and a tin of bust-improving-food provide one laugh-out-loud moment after another.

And yet there is a message in this book—make time for God—one I so needed to hear. Emily was so focused on her god-given cause that she forgot to focus on God at all. Emily is president of her local suffragist organization which has an arm-load of responsibilities. Beyond that she is under deadline writing articles, giving speeches, and organizing a huge event to shed light on the suffrage movement. Add a growing friendship with Carter into the equation and suddenly Emily realizes that God has fallen into last place in her life.

On the other hand, we have Carter who places a high priority on seeking what God wants in his life, so much so that he’s willing to give up a relationship with Emily if it might mean making a compromise in his faith. This was a nicely done thread that is rarely touched in Christian fiction.

Both of these books are entertaining and offer enough mystery that while you know they two main characters will end up together in the end, you just have no idea how it will come about. Beyond that, so often secondary characters are no more than cardboard cut-outs in fiction, not so with these two books, the side characters leap off the page with stories all their own.

I highly recommend both books, they are nothing short of fantastic. It’s hard to explain how such deep messages can be conveyed in the same books as side-spliting humor, but Seilstad does it seamlessly.