Wednesday, August 13, 2014

O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows


Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!
She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.


PURCHASE

About Tender Shadows:

When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State Department job assigns her to an uncaring Washington, D.C. following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, her intense loneliness leads her to make decisions that clash with her values. Then she receives a new assignment to the Middle Eastern kingdom of Al Hajar and a chance to serve with an old friend, Joe Harlan, widowed a few years before. Can she overcome the grip of past choices? Not yield to them again? Can Joe accept what she’s done…and move beyond, perhaps even to loving her?

Joe’s daughter, Annie, working under Beth at the U.S. embassy, deals with her own secret choice. And the young diplomat, Palestinian-American David Antony, struggles with traumatic stress because of a choice he made earlier in Iraq. Yet Annie and David are inexplicably drawn toward each other.

Together, might this thrown-together community find courage to live out his or her individual calling…for such a time as this? And find a forever love?


Meet Ann Gaylia O'Barr:

Ann has at one time or another been a full-time wife and mother, computer programmer, historic preservation planner, Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department, and, since 2004, full-time writer (more or less).  OakTara has published six of her novels. The latest is Tender Shadows, which came out this spring. Her last article was “The Diversity of God’s Call to Writers” in the winter 2012 issue of ACFW Journal.
Ann, many of the major characters in your novels are American Christians who serve their country at United States embassies overseas, as you did. What kinds of tasks did you and your colleagues perform overseas?

The work is tremendously varied. The web site www.state.gov gives some idea of what Foreign Service officers do. My job as a consular officer included aiding American citizens overseas. Some tasks were routine: renewing U.S. passports and performing notary services. Others were anything but routine, such as notifying families in the United States that a loved one had died overseas or visiting Americans who were jailed in the foreign country and reporting on their conditions--to the families and to the State Department.

How did your experiences influence your writing?

Observing the United States from other cultures, I developed an interest in why and how this country and its culture became what they are in the twenty-first century. The changes in our country from 1990, when I came into the Foreign Service, until 2004, when I left, have been tremendous. I was assigned to Saudi Arabia during both Gulf Wars (1991 and 2003) as well as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As we all know, the changes haven’t stopped since then.

Two observations stand out: 1) How decadent some foreigners judged our culture, based on the sometimes hedonistic lifestyles illustrated in the media. 2) For America to be the world power that it is, many Americans, including American Christians, often appeared not interested in what goes on in the world outside our borders.

A lot of my stories concern Christians working to explain the country they represent to foreigners. Beset with the same temptations and challenges that Americans experience domestically, they attempt to live out their Christian commitment in their foreign settings. The settings may reflect these temptations and challenges through a different lens.

Is this especially true for Tender Shadows?

I think so. A couple of the characters have strayed further from their commitments than in any of my other novels and struggle to find their way back. The small embassy community they inhabit means they work out their problems in closer quarters than in most domestic settings. Plus, foreign demonstrations at the embassy, along with concern over hostility toward Americans, heighten the tension and outline the challenges in a deeper hue.

Learn more about Ann's writing at these locations: 





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Saturday, August 9, 2014

"A Place in His Heart," a New World Romance!

Today's featured novel,
A PLACE IN HIS HEART
 is a historical romance authored by Rebecca DeMarino. 
It's her debut novel and book one of 
The Southold Chronicles.

"I hope my readers find pure entertainment! I hope they enjoy the love story, with all of the ups and downs of Mary and Barnabas. I hope they get lost in a time period that was so far different than ours, and yet so filled with the same emotions – heartache and joy, a sense of belonging and adventure. The takeaway I had in writing this story is that God is with us – He will hold our hand – in all of our journeys, if we ask Him!"
 --Author Rebecca DeMarino


About the book:
Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton, the town baker, still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her Papa and her dear sister? And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s broken heart?

About the author:
Rebecca DeMarino lives in the Pacific Northwest, and inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and a wanderlust gene from both parents. No one knows where she got her passion for jogging and hiking! A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton, and is book one of The Southold Chronicles.
How the book came about:
"I grew up listening to my mom’s stories about Barnabas Horton, my ninth great-grandfather and how he
came across the pond from England on a ship called The Swallow, in the 1600’s. When my brother became interested in genealogy, we discovered there was a lighthouse named after Barnabas, located on Long Island. I asked my mom if she’d like to go there, and off we went.

"There was a lot of interesting information about Barnabas. He was a baker and a very recent widower with two young sons when he met my ninth great-grandmother, Mary, in Mowsley, England. But I could find very little about her, and I began to wonder about what dreams and motivations she had, and the courage she must have possessed, when she married and then left her family behind for the wilds of Long Island. 

"A few years later, I began writing my first novel in hope that I could give her and the other courageous women who followed their men across the pond a voice." --Rebecca DeMarino

Find more great new inspirational novels at Clash of the Titles.com!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

June's Hot New Releases Clash of the Titles Champion

Thank you, voters and encouragers, for a great Clash of the Titles, June 2014 Release Battle.

We'll begin our champion announcement with the kindness of the voters....

Comments of Encouragement for this Month’s CLASH Authors:

They are all stunning... I love though how Tamara writes in the medieval time... Hard to find clean fiction in that time period :)

Heather Day Gilbert's previous novel convinced me to put any other fiction she writes in the top level of my "to read" list, so this month's choice was easy--even though there are some other books here that are also on my list.

Anytime a book weaves a tale that crosses generations is always a draw for me.  Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert offers that and a peak into WV life with a great mystery.  Love it!

Oh my goodness -- too many wanna-reads in this list, not the least of which are Blind Trust, A Place in His Heart, and Lady of Eve. No fair we only get to vote for one!! ;)

A Place in His Heart is a beautiful story! So amazing that it's based on the author's ancestry.

Jolina Petersheim, I read "The Outcast" and I'm looking forward to reading your new book "The Midwife." I enjoy Amish fiction. Keep up the great work!

Best of luck Heather Gray Jackal is one of my all time favourite books!!

Rebecca DeMarino is off to a good start in her first of "The Southold Chronicles." I am looking forward to the second novel.



And Now, on to our Champion, with a sweet kudos to another clasher:

Sandra, Blind Trust looks intriguing, so I ordered a copy. I've already read Moon over Maalaea Bay at least 30 times. :)

Love Sandra's romantic suspense!

Sandra Orchard, I am looking forward to reading all the book in this series. Love the characters!  Blind Trust looks great!

Sandra Orchard is the best.  I enjoy her books and can't wait till the next one.  Blind Trust is a great book.

Sandra Orchard -- Your cover is fabulous -- I can't wait to read the story.   


And the winner is – Sandra Orchard, and Blind Trust!

Congratulations!

About the book:



Blind Trust
June 2014
Revell, paperback, 325 pp.
$14.99
9780800722234
Revell, e-book, $14.99
9781441245069 
Buy on Amazon 

Caught passing counterfeit bills, Kate Adams races to expose the true counterfeiter before unwitting suspects pay with their lives, but the truth could endanger her most of all.

Book 2 in the Port Aster Secrets series
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor’s innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation–and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble. To Kate, it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?


N.B. Each book in this series is a stand-alone mystery featuring Kate Adams, a herbal medicine researcher turned amateur sleuth, and Tom Parker, Port Aster’s newest detective. Together the three-book series reads as a romantic suspense, with Kate and Tom’s romance and an underlying suspense plot arcing the series. For that reason, and because book two is a spoiler for book one, we recommend the series be read in order.

A review from Booklist:

The second of Christian romantic-suspense author Orchard’s Port Aster Secrets novels, Blind Trust finds Kate Adams still reeling from her friend’s murder as she attempts to get her life back in order. However, what begins as a seemingly small-time counterfeit operation soon spirals into something much bigger, with Kate at the center. Detective Tom Parker has his eye on Kate, and not because she’s a suspect. His feelings for her continue to grow, as does his desire to protect her, but Kate’s determination to get to the truth on her own means that Tom is often getting her out of trouble, rather than keeping her from it. When the action shifts from mere counterfeiting to poisoning, theft, and decades-old secrets, Kate insists on researching her way to the facts. Orchard infuses romance with suspense and keeps the excitement coming page after page. Readers will love the ever-deepening mystery as Kate extends her investigation and finds herself and her long-dead father tangled up in an international corporate conspiracy. Will Kate be able to clear her father’s name, and stay safe?    — Carolyn Richard

About the Author:

Sandra Orchard is an award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries with Love Inspired Suspense and Revell Publishing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren.  You can learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

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