Contemporary Romance: Reunited in the Rockies by Mindy Obenhaus — For widow Kayla Bradshaw, restoring a historic Colorado hotel means a better life for her and her soon-to-arrive baby. But she needs construction help from Jude Stephens, the love she lost through a misunderstanding. Working with Kayla, the police officer finds himself forgiving her—and longing to rebuild her shattered confidence. But can they trust each other enough to forge a future together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky — After years spent helping manage her family’s Christian bookstore, it’s time for Adrie Chandler to give her own dream of playing her flute with a symphony orchestra a chance. But can she really trust the beloved shop to new manager Ross Peterson? The man is too handsome, too charming….and too much a reminder of another dream Adrie had to let go of – marriage. Yet Ross surprises her by knowing a thing or two about making sacrifices. Suddenly, Adrie is questioning what she really wants. And whether the dreams she once thought unlikely are within reach after all. (Contemporary Romance from Flowing Stream Books)
Fall Flip by Denise Weimer — The tragic death of Shelby Dodson’s husband–her partner in a successful Home Network house flipping business–stole love, status, and career. Now a bungalow redesign thrusts Shelby into the company of a new contractor. Scott Matthews remembers high-and-mighty Shelby from high school, and her prissy, contemporary style goes against his down-to-earth grain. When the house reveals a mystery, will its dark secrets–and their own mistakes–cost them a second chance at love? (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Listening to Love by Beth Wiseman — Lucas is Amish. Natalie’s Englisch. They are best friends—and friends only. Despite what the gossips say. Besides, they couldn’t be together even if they wanted to be. Lucas would never leave the Amish faith, and Natalie is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine. But when a terrifying accident happens, Natalie and Lucas are forced to confront their true feelings and decide if they can stay true to themselves and each other. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
General Contemporary:The Christmas Portrait by Phyllis Clark Nichols — A family facing their first holiday season without Mama finds a way to celebrate Christmas. (General Contemporary from Gilead Publishing)
Historical:Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson — 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape. Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life?and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried. (Historical from Tyndale Publishing)
Historical Romance: Treasured Christmas Brides by Amanda Cabot, Rebecca Germany, Cathy Marie Hake, Colleen L. Reece, MaryLu Tyndall, and Michelle Ule — Six historical Christmas romances prove life’s most priceless gifts come not in the form of polished gold or silver—but from the vast riches of a loving heart. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Thankful for the Cowboy by Mary Connealy — Hero Tom MacKinnon rides up driving a wagon with a second wagon trailing him. He and his sister want to be hired to build windmills. They’ll ask for very little money and, in exchange heroine, Lauren Drummond, newly widowed mother of four nearly grown sons, will help them learn to survive in the Sandhills of Nebraska. What to grow, what to hunt, how to build a sod house.
Tom’s windmills will save her ranch. Lauren needs three windmills on this drought year or her growing herd of cattle is going to die of thirst. She agrees to teach him the ways of the Sandhills, and to give him fifteen head of cattle. She’s not ready to think of another man. But Tom changes her mind. His little sister and one of her sons find love together before Tom and Lauren do. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Return of the King’s Ranger by Angela K. Couch — The war is over…for everyone but him. The war for American freedom is over, and the British have gone back to England. Not knowing what has become of his family since he was forced into the Continental Army nine years earlier, Myles Cunningham wants to go home as well. He returns to the Mohawk Valley with the understanding that he is believed to have been shot for deserting—fiction that might be made real if anyone recognizes him as the son of a Tory and a King’s Ranger. Everything is wonderful in the growing community along the Mohawk River, except Nora Reid is still alone. With her brother happily settled and both her younger sisters starting families of their own, Nora feels the weight of her twenty-four years. A long walk leads her to the overgrown rubble of the Cunningham homestead where a bearded stranger begins to awaken feelings she’d lost hope of ever experiencing. With secrets abounding—including whether Myles even cares for her—Nora must determine what she is ready to give up and how far she will go to secure his affections. She begins to break through his defenses, but Myles can’t risk staying. Not if he loves her. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Christmas Next Door by Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonough — Visit an Old West Texas town where a mysterious benefactor leaves gifts each Christmas, but also where four pairs of neighbors battle over hearsay, secrets, and mysteries. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Under Moonlit Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Esther meets Stewart, her brother-in-law’s ranch hand, when helping her sister recover from childbirth. Any interest she may have in the cowboy is hopeless, since she must return home to Cincinnati and the man her overbearing mother intends her to wed. till reeling from a hurtful relationship, Stew is reluctant to open his heart to Esther. But when he faces a life-threatening injury with Esther tending him, their bond deepens. Heartbroken when she leaves, he sets out after her and inadvertently stumbles across an illegal slave-trade operation, the knowledge of which puts him, as well as Esther and her family, in jeopardy. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Mail-Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer — Preacher Bern Stidham is a peacemaker—when he’s not carrying one on his hip. His little girl wants a helper for her widowed father and a mama for herself, so she writes for a mail-order bride. Without telling him. Recently widowed dressmaker Etta Collier is a half-step ahead of the banker who carries a lustful eye for her as well as the note on her home. When her pastor encourages her to answer an unusual letter from a little girl, hope opens an unexpected door. Running from one man’s lecherous pursuit into the home of another she knows nothing about, Etta may have to risk everything to ease a little girl’s loneliness and find a second chance at love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Witness Tree by Denise Weimer — Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother. Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Romantic Suspense: Don’t Give Up On Me by Jodi Artzberger — When Cragge Automotive Group’s heiress, Amanda Cragge is left for dead, the only man she’s ever loved finds her. As the threats continue, will she accept help from the man who left her eight years ago without explanation? When Ryker Scott returns to Otter Bay, he is brought face to face with his past. He thought he could handle coming back but he might have been wrong. As a trained Army Ranger, he’s going to have to use his skills if he wants to keep the only woman he’s ever loved alive.
Will their past become their future or will their futures be destroyed forever?(Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Breaking Point by Marji Laine — Ever since her father’s death, Alynne Stone has had a series of strange “accidents.” Police Lieutenant Jason Danvers believes her father was murdered. He tries to connect the attempts on Alynne’s life, but things just don’t add up. Even in a small town, the mere rumor of treasure can change lives, end friendships…maybe even kill? Still dealing with the pain of his own wife’s death, he can’t allow an innocent woman’s life to be snuffed out on his watch. Especially one who shines as bright as Alynne. (Romantic Suspense, Write Integrity Press)
Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills — FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. (Romantic Suspense, Tyndale House)
Thriller: The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal — Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe–a department only known as “Other.” When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she’ll be back in DC within a few days. But that’s before she knows where the designs are stored–and who’s after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere. Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes? (Techno-thriller from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
This is the emotional conclusion of Angela Couch’s Hearts at War Series, one which definitely had me crying happy tears at the end. I’ve never seen a series wrapped up so well and so honestly. Post American Revolution culture didn’t immediately let bygones be bygones. And honestly, even in today’s culture it isn’t realistic, even if it is painted as such in so many books. That is what I love about this story. You see a realistic look at relationships of people who lived and fought on opposite sides. The struggle to come to terms with each other. The struggle to love someone who believes differently than you. Beliefs so different, it was possible to have fought on opposite sides of the battle line. If you haven’t read the other three stories, it is possible to read this one as a stand alone, but you’ll have a great more appreciation for the story if you have. You can check out my review for the other books here: The Scarlet Coat, The Patriot and the Loyalist, and The Tory’s Daughter.
Genre: Historical Romance – Post American Revolution, Mohawk Valley
Overview of Plot:
The war for American freedom is over, and the British have gone back to England. Not knowing what has become of his family since he was forced into the Continental Army nine years earlier, Myles Cunningham wants to go home as well. He returns to the Mohawk Valley with the understanding that he is believed to have been shot for deserting—fiction that might be made real if anyone recognizes him as the son of a Tory and a King’s Ranger.
Everything is wonderful in the growing community along the Mohawk River, except Nora Reid is still alone. With her brother happily settled and both her younger sisters starting families of their own, Nora feels the weight of her twenty-four years. A long walk leads her to the overgrown rubble of the Cunningham homestead where a bearded stranger begins to awaken feelings she’d lost hope of ever experiencing.
With secrets abounding—including whether Myles even cares for her—Nora must determine what she is ready to give up and how far she will go to secure his affections. She begins to break through his defenses, but Myles can’t risk staying. Not if he loves her.
Favorite Character and Why:
I really loved Myles. His strong adherence to his beliefs, desire to find his family, and struggle to do what’s “right” by Nora really just made him into such a real character.
What I liked:
As always, I love the complex relationships. People who stood on opposite sides of the war (literally) had to come to terms with how they moved forward in this new country. Some decisions were hard but great, others had you yelling at Angela Couch for allowing to happen, but acknowledging the truth of that part of history. (Sorry no spoilers.)
Who would like this:
Those who love the complexities of relationships borne out wartime divisions, stories of hidden identities, and love stories which undergo tension and growth, developing both people into better characters.
*I was provided a copy of this book by the author/publisher. The above opinion is my own and by no means was influenced.*
Fascinated by history and in love with creating fiction, Angela K Couch has been lost in writing novels most of her life. As a passionate believer in Christ, she can’t help her faith from permeating the stories she tells. Often her martial arts training, love of horses, and appreciation for good romance sneaks in there as well.
If you love a marriage of convenience stories set in the background of war, you will love the emotional tension of this story. I’m a huge American Revolution fan purely for the complexities that come from families and neighbors whose loyalties are divided. Angela does a great job delving into all the facets of living through these complexities and finding love during hardship and personal struggles.
Historical Romance – American Revolution, Mohawk Valley
years after her father’s Tory leanings resulted in their home being burned to
the ground, Hannah—part Mohawk, part Englishwoman—is determined to find her
brothers who were conscripted into the Continental Army. Striking out on her
own has unintended consequences which result in her marriage to one of the men
who participated in the attack on her family.
the loss of his wife, Joseph just wants to protect his home and his children
from the constant raids on their valley from the Native people. When he catches
one of them trying to steal his horse and escape a skirmish, it is a woman—not
a warrior—he finds.
When things grow out of control and they are forced to marry, will promises made last a lifetime?
Favorite Character and Why:
hero Joseph really captured my attention. I loved watching the internal
struggles develop, grow, and then change him into a better man. He struggled to
be the father his children needed, the husband he was supposed to be to a wife
he initially didn’t want, and to be the faithful man God called him to be.
What I liked:
Although this story was a
marriage of convenience story, it felt different than most I have read. It held
a depth I love to see as characters struggle to grow and love each other. I
also love/hate how good Angela Couch is at putting her characters through one
struggle after another. Just when you think they are going to get a break, more
Who would like this:
Those who love wartime stories
where loyalties are tested, love struggles and then blooms under adversity, and
the struggles are the characters are relatable and applicable to contemporary
*Iwas provided a copy of this book by the author/publisher. The above opinion ismy own and by no means was influenced.*
Burying his wife is the hardest thing Joseph Garnet has ever done—until he’s called to leave his young son and baby daughter to fight Iroquois raiders. When one of the marauders tries to steal his horse, the last thing he expects is to end up tussling with a female. The girl is wounded, leaving Joseph little choice but to haul her home to heal—an act that seems all too familiar.
Though Joseph doesn’t appear to remember her, Hannah Cunningham could never forget him. He rode with the mob that forced her two brothers into the Continental Army and drove her family from their home—all because of her father’s loyalties to The Crown. After five years with her mother’s tribe, the rebels and starvation have left her nothing but the driving need to find her brothers.
Compelled by a secret he’s held for far too long, Joseph agrees to help Hannah find what remains of her family. Though she begins to steal into his aching heart, he knows the truth will forever stand between them. Some things cannot be forgiven.
In a time when loyalties are questioned, rebellion to the Crown punished, and families divided, can love be true? Or is love just a deceptive weapon used by the enemy?
In this second installation of Hearts at War, we follow jilted and heartbroken Daniel Ried into the swamps of the Carolinas. Driven by his need to escape the pain of Rachel’s rejection and the need to prove himself to his family, he is drawn into the covert operations of the Contential Army’s Swap Fox.
Lydia Reynolds is a woman so pained by loss, she has drawn herself away from everyone and hopes to escape her pain aboard a boat bound for England. The only problem? He brother-in-law refuses to help her. When a possible rebel spy crosses her path, Lydia takes matters into her own hands.
In a dance of loyalties and spy versus spy, love enters and complicates the best-laid plans. Throw in a few unexpected plot twists and there is no clean escape from the web of deception.
The Patriot and the Loyalist is a masterful depiction of real people in the clutches of war, struggling with trust, pain, and loyalty.
I loved the continuing saga of Daniel Reid from the first book, The Scarlet Coat. It was a pleasure to better get to know him and watch his journey. Angela, once again, put my beloved characters through the wringer – and thus me as a reader. I loved the action, the emotional struggle of the characters, and personal connection I made to their lives. I may not have endured the American Revolution, but I can understand betrayal, the risk of trusting someone with my broken heart, and the struggle between what I think I want and what is actually best.
I highly recommend this book to others who love real characters struggling with a backdrop of war. It was a great mixture of action and emotional angst. Purchase your own copy in the links below or go to your library and request they purchase it. Then everyone can enjoy this book.
*I received this e-book as an advanced reader’s copy and have given my honest opinion above.
“Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes.
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded, and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.”
Sometimes as readers and writers, it is interesting and even helpful to hear from other published authors. Yesterday, you were able to read my review for Angela’s newest release, out this week, The Scarlet Coat. Today, Angela has graciously agreed to join my blog for an interview.
Once you have enjoyed the post, please join her Facebook Release Party. The actual party begins on Thursday, January 27th from 10 AM – 6 PM UTC-07 time (or 12PM to 8PM EST for those who were like me and went, huh?), but you can go ahead and check out a bit about the party and GIVEAWAYS!!! Wahoo!
Welcome, Angela! and thank you so much for agreeing to my quirky author interview. I’ve split my questions into two categories today: Questions about the Story and Questions about Writing.
Questions about The Scarlet Coat
How long have you wanted to write this story?
Not too long. I actually wrote this story as soon as I came up with the idea almost nine years ago! This is one of my first complete manuscripts. But it looked a lot different back then. The original was written in first-person and completely from the heroin’s point of view.
What do you love about The Scarlet Coat? Do you have a favorite scene?
I must say I love him. I loved writing the British officer who can’t remember who he is. I loved (once I added his point of view) letting him discover himself more honestly than he’d ever let himself before. My favorite scene is when his pride gets in the way of his good sense and he tries to leave before he’s able.
Were there any scenes you edited out of this book? Any of them you care to share?
The whole last quarter of the book was completely rewritten when I went back to it a couple years ago. I don’t know what to say about the old end, though, without giving away too much of the new one. 😉
Which character did you identify with most?
Fine, I’ll admit it, Rachel and I share a lot in common. Maybe not in the first draft, but when I went back to this story, I decided I could give one of my heroine’s some of my personality. That’s when she started digging out the huge stump in the garden (I had one in my back yard, too.)
Your cover is beautiful. What was the cover design process like for you? Did you get to have any input?
Thank you! My publisher took care of all that. There were two little things they changed on my suggestion, but otherwise, they did a great job.
What is your biggest hope for your readers as they devour your book?
First, I do hope they devour it…or at least really enjoy it. But as they read, I do hope there moments where they contemplate their own relationship with God and consider His love for each of us.
Questions about Writing:
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I believe in needing to step back and do more research—whether that consists of real research into the era, or a long hot bath or walk to get the imagination flowing again. At least that’s what works for me.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. Sometimes the story is so exciting and it comes with such ease that energy flows through you. And other times it’s like pulling teeth and drains the life out of you. Thankfully the first is slightly more prevalent. 😉
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Other than buying a laptop that wouldn’t die and dump chunks of a story, my ACFW membership was worth its weight in gold. The resources, contacts, and friends I have made are priceless. Every success I’ve had as a writer can be linked directly to American Christian Fiction Writers.
What did the road to publishing look like for you?
I got my first nibble from a publisher back in 2009, just before I got engaged to my husband. They wanted to publish my book, (a different one) but when they ran the numbers they couldn’t fit it in the 2010 season. In 2011 they closed their doors. I got married and had a baby and didn’t do much writing for about 4 years. Then I felt strongly I needed to get back to work. Only now, I had a 2 year-old and a 9 month-old mama’s girl. I took an evening class in creative writing once a week for a semester and joined ACFW. That next summer I entered my first short story contest and was a finalist. The following (2015) summer, I entered two short story contests and won both! A couple months later I heard back from a small publisher offering me a contract for Her Blue-eyed Brave, (which will hopefully be released in the next year.) A month later I was given the contract for The Scarlet Coat and its sequel, The Patriot and the Loyalist. That has grown to a four book series that I am super excited about!
How have you seen God through writing your novels?
There are moments when I look back on what I just wrote and realize I’m not that good. When the book and characters take me in a direction I’d never imagined or they say something that even gives me pause for thought…that’s when I know I’m not the only one moving my fingers across the keys.
My last but not least question, what advice would you give writer’s just beginning their journey?
Don’t do it alone! There are so many other writers out there who can help you on this journey, and who you can help. There is strength, knowledge, and resources in community. Plus a lot of commiseration and celebration during the highs and lows that come with this business.
Thank you again, Angela, for taking the time for this interview. Readers, don’t forget to join Angela’s Facebook Release Party! I hope to see you there! If you have any questions you want to ask Angela, post them below and I will pass them on and post her answer.
SQUEE!!!! I just finished reading Angela’s latest and I have to shout, I LOVED IT!!!!! SQUEE!!! (Imagine Crystal dancing in circles with the book clutched to her chest.)
If you made it past all my squealing, then it will come as no surprise that The Scarlet Coat is my absolute favorite book from Angela Couch so far!
My favorite part of studying the Revolutionary and Civil Wars is the relationship struggles caused by family, friends, and neighbors taking opposing sides. The Scarlet Coat was the best representation I have seen of the relational side of war.
You immediately become attached to the characters, rooting Rachel on in her disagreements with her brother. Swooning at the restrained moments of affection and love. Shouting “No!” at all the twists and turns.
I loved how I didn’t believe the troubles Rachel, Andrew, Joseph, and Daniel could get any worse but they DID! Talk about throwing your characters under the bus! I held my breath for the entire last half of the book! Wow, I just used way too many exclamation points. I promise to calm down… some. There were so many unexpected plot twists that I didn’t see coming.
The Scarlet Coat releases on February 1st, but you can go ahead and preorder it at the links below. I highly recommend doing it. I received and Advanced Reader Copy, and boy am I glad I didn’t have to wait! Now I must wait with baited breath to follow the next journey in April.
Come back tomorrow for an interview with the amazing Angela!
“Surrounded by the musket fire of the American Revolution, Rachel Garnet prays for her family to be safe. When the British invade the Mohawk Valley and her father and brother don’t return from the battle, she goes in pursuit of them. She finds her brother alive but her father has been killed at the hand of the enemy. Amidst the death, how can she ignore a cry for help? Rachel reluctantly takes in a badly wounded British officer. But how long can her sense of Christian duty repress her hatred for his scarlet coat? Passages of Scripture and fleeting images of society are all Andrew Wyndham recalls after he awakens to the log walls of his gentle prison. Even his name eludes him. Rachel Garnet insists he is a captain in the British army. He mourns the loss of his memory, but how can he hope to remember war when his “enemy” is capturing his heart? Andrew’s injuries are severe, his memory slow to return, and the secret of his existence too perilous to ignore. As Rachel nurses him back to health, his hidden scarlet coat threatens to expose the deeds of her merciful heart, and Andrew is forced to face a harrowing decision-Stay hidden and risk losing the woman he loves or turn himself in and risk losing his life.”