Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 2017 Releases by ACFW Authors

March 2017 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Reunion at Crane Lake
by Robin Bayne -- Colt's memory is returning after the accident that ended his career. Now he wants to take over his family's inn, but he'll have to partner with his former fiancée to be able to afford it. He'll need forgiveness to make that happen. Tia's goal is clear: to return the inn to its former grandeur. And she'll even work with Colt to do so. But like the inn, their relationship needs a lot of work. He broke her heart...can she ever trust him again? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

by Fay Lamb -- She's a starving artist facing a serious illness; he's the doctor who's her only hope of survival. If only she hadn't caused his sister to die. (Contemporary Romance from Write Integrity Press)

Muffins & Moonbeams
by Elizabeth Maddrey -- Malachi Baxter is happy to hide in the background and manage the business-end of the family bakery. He'd much rather live in the online world of computer games where he can explore the galaxy and no one has to know he's deaf. Ursula Franks designs websites during the day and spends her evenings battling alien races online where relationships are easy and uncomplicated. When she agrees to design a website for the local Community Supported Bakery, she has no idea that Malachi is the real man behind her online persona's best friend and her own secret crush.As the two work together on the website, they uncover an attraction, but will they be able to put aside past hurt and insecurity to find love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Then Came You: A Bradford Sisters Novella
by Becky Wade -- Garner Bradford, heir to the troubled Bradford Shipping empire, doesn't know much about babies. But he's going to have to learn fast because he's just become a single father to his newborn daughter. Career girl Kathleen Burke is wholly uninterested in settling down. She has big dreams, and none of them include Garner and his small hometown in Washington State. Yet she can't seem to get her handsome boss out of her head or her heart.... (Romance Novella, Independently Published)


When the Bough Breaks
by Ane Mulligan -- Her dream job has a Catch 22—and time's running outRookie lobbyist Sienna O'Shea is determined to make a name for herself in New York's capitol city and use that influence to gain easier access to her birth records. For years she's searched for her birth mother, but when she's handed her first assignment—to lobby support for the permanent sealing of all adoption records—her worlds collide. Swept up into the intrigue of backroom politics, falling in love was not on Sienna's agenda, but the candidate for Lt. Governor runs a formidable campaign to make her his first lady. When an investigative reporter discovers foreign money infiltrating political campaigns, the trail leads to Sienna's inner circle. (General, Independently Published)

The Memory of You
by Catherine West -- Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her? (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Cozy Mystery:

Murder Is No Accident
by A. H. Gabhart -- When murder comes to call at a stately Victorian house, the town of Hidden Springs looks to Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane to solve the crime before anyone else dies. (Cozy Mystery from Revell [Baker])

Historical Romance:

A Rocky Mountain Romance
by Misty M. Beller -- When Zeche takes shelter from a blizzard in a remote cabin, he doesn't expect to find a beautiful woman and her father, a disturbed Civil War veteran. Zeche's instincts tell him Greta is endangered and he should stay and protect her, but his own presence aggravates her father's condition. With a dangerous snowstorm outside and growing hostilities inside, can he find a way to keep them all safe from harm? Or will it be to the detriment of his heart? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

A Stolen Heart
by Amanda Cabot -- From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring? (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary by Susan Page Davis -- Experience the Wild West as Carmela seeks freedom of body and soul. Forced for years by her uncle to pose as a survivor of an Indian kidnapping so he can profit on the speaker circuit, she longs to end the lies. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with a deputy US marshal and his handcuffed prisoner. When the stage is attacked, will Carmela's wish come true, or will she forever be branded by her past? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Desert Moon & Honor Bound
by Susan Page Davis and Colleen L. Reece -- Enjoy an Old West romance adventure from author Susan Page Davis. Julia Newman looked forward to moving home to Arizona, then she got word that her mother has died and Julie's stagecoach is robbed. If that wasn't enough, the first person she sees in town is Adam Scott—the man she always loved but could never have—and now he is accusing her brother of criminal activity. Also includes a bonus historical romance, Honor Bound by Colleen L. Reece. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Her Motherhood Wish
by Keli Gwyn -- En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children—and become their caregivers. But Chip's determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father…or to the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don't fit into his detailed plans for the future. Callie can't help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgment, she's falling for Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip's brought them all together…and now she just has to help him see it, too. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Planter's Daughter
by Michelle Shocklee -- When her father's Texas cotton plantation faces bankruptcy, Adella must choose between the man who can her family's land and the man who can save her! (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

When Tides Turn
by Sarah Sundin -- When Quintessa Beaumont learns the US Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, eager to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. Lt. Dan Avery employs his skills in antisubmarine warfare to fight U-boats at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, but the last thing he wants to see on his radar is fun-loving Tess. As Dan and Tess work together in Boston, the changes in Tess challenge his notions--and his heart. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

Medical Suspense:

Dcotor's Dilemma
by Richard L. Mabry M.D. -- Young surgeon Tyler Gentry thought the offer to join the Hall Group of surgeons offered the answer to his problems, but things changed when he received a 3 AM phone call that told him such a move would be hazardous to his health. (Medical Suspense, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

Her Baby's Protector
by Margaret Daley and Susan Sleeman -- Saved by the Lawman by Margaret Daley: As an unknown assailant attempts to kidnap family-court judge Kate Forster's infant son, police officer Chase Walker thwarts the attack—and vows to keep the pair safe. But who will protect the ex-marine's heart when the widowed mother and her little boy make him long for a permanent spot in their family? Saved by the SEAL by Susan Sleeman: The tragedy that killed Bree Hatfield's best friends--and left her with custody of their young daughter--has been ruled an accident. But Bree knows it was murder. Scared and alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, navy SEAL Clint Reed, who'll risk everything to protect baby Ella and the woman he never stopped loving. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

by Terri Reed -- FBI intern Zara Fielding and her K-9 partner, Radar, stumble across a robbery gone wrong and put themselves in the criminals' crosshairs. Her childhood friend FBI computer guru Dylan O'Leary works for the secretive FBI unit she longs to join, and he vows not to let anything happen to her. As they work to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, new feelings ignite. When she goes missing, it's only Dylan--and Radar--who can track her down. Will they arrive in time to save her and the future she and Dylan have started dreaming about? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Romance/Fantasy:

Ingrid's Engagement
by Kristen Reed -- When King Viggo marches through the kingdom of Schlagefilde in a relentless quest for retribution against its wicked king, the Count of Anselm attempts to make peace with him. As the two strike a deal that will protect the people of Anselm, the King of Villriket becomes enthralled with a portrait of the Count's oldest daughter, Ingrid. The vengeful king vows that he will leave Edmund's county in peace if he will allow him to marry Ingrid. To prevent her father from incurring the sovereign's wrath, the young lady hastily agrees and enters into an unforeseen engagement with the grim ruler. Ingrid's Engagement tells the enchanting tale of a beautiful young woman who softens the hardened heart of a beastly king with nothing more than her quiet wisdom and gentle spirit. (Speculative Romance/Fantasy, Independently Published)

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Magic Number

I was requested again this year to write a romantic short story and read it as part of the program for my church's annual tea for ladies. Some of the women who missed the tea want to read the story, so I've copied it here:

The Magic Number

Dave scanned the message that appeared on his cell phone.
Hi, I’m Julia Barnett, a friend of Megan’s, and she asked me to invite you to a party in her honor. It will be at my home this Friday, 7 p.m. No gifts. Can you come? The Fort Worth address followed.
Puzzled, he clicked the sound off to avoid interrupting his business conference again. He’d answer it later. Funny. He thought his sister and brother-in-law had already left on their anniversary cruise in Europe.
After the construction contract had been agreed upon and hands shaken, both parties went to an exceptionally fine restaurant to celebrate. It wasn’t until later, in his hotel room, that he read the message again.
Absolutely sure Megan’s cell phone would be turned off as an economy measure, he called her anyway and got a taped answer. Well, maybe the party was after she and Sam returned, but he thought that was next week.
When this business trip came up, Dave had tried to make plans to see them, but it wouldn’t work out. He didn’t come back to Fort Worth often, though it still felt like home. Maybe with this new business plaza contract, he’d be here enough to make contact with his old high school buddies.
With that warm, fuzzy thought he zapped back a quick text:  Thanks for the invitation. See you Friday. Then he tossed his cell on the tapestry bedspread and headed for a steaming shower.

Three days passed in a flurry of activity. He only thought of the party invitation at night, when he collapsed on Hilton’s deeply tufted mattress. Every daylight hour passed in controlled confusion of puzzling over the architectural schemes to give the builder exactly what he wanted.
On Friday, he asked the client’s secretary to have flowers sent to the hostess’ home in his name, and he made sure to break away early enough to arrive on time. But Megan still didn’t answer her home phone or her cell. Maybe they were sleeping off the intercontinental flight.
Arriving at the Westover Hills address, he found a tasteful home. Large, but not a mansion like some of its neighbors. He touched the bell and an attractive woman in her sixties opened the door wide. The smile on her face froze. He didn’t recognize her, and she obviously didn’t know him.
She extended her hand. “Good evening. I’m Julia Barnett.”
“Dave Copeland, Megan’s brother.”
“Oh.” He could see wheels turning in her head. She stepped away and turned to the guests chatting in the living room, allowing him to enter. “Megan? Your brother, Dave Copeland?”
A colorfully-dressed woman broke from her conversation with a smile still on her lips, but curiosity on her brow. “I don’t have a ... Excuse me. Who?”
She and a burly gentleman with a scowl approached Dave. They did not offer their hands.
This wasn’t Megan. Not his sister Megan, anyway.
The man broadened his chest and took a square stance. “What is your business here?”
Thoroughly confounded, Dave searched for words. “I was invited to Megan’s ... ” He reached for his phone, and the man slipped a hand under his own left arm as if to a gun holster there.
“Just my phone. Sorry. I’ll show you the text.” Slowly and avoiding jerky motions, he extracted his cell phone. The fellow’s shoulder relaxed, and he repositioned whatever he had almost drawn out. Dave was sure it was a gun.
Displaying the invitation text message, Dave showed it first to him and Megan and then to the hostess. A crowd gathered, and his phone was passed to several people.
“Oh. You sent the flowers?” Julia indicated an arrangement on the coffee table. “I wondered who ...” Her face flushed three shades of red.
“Didn’t they have my name on the card? It was supposed to be signed.”
“Well, yes, but we didn’t know who Dave Copeland was. That is the message I sent, but—”
He looked toward the breathy voice.
“Dave, is that you?”
Definitely not his sister. Trisha March, his girlfriend from Arlington Heights High School, stepped from the circle of guests. Younger than the other guests, as he was, and the most beautiful woman in the room. Her hair, still silky, light brown, came below her ears but not loosely to her shoulders as when he had last seen her.
The night her father poked him in the chest and told him never to come to their home again.
“Dave Copeland. It’s so good to see you again. What brings you here?”
He took his cell phone from a man and handed it to her. He couldn’t speak anyway.
“I think there’s been a miraculous mistake,” she responded after reading the text. A smile of wonder lifted her eyes. “This is the retirement party for Megan Warner, my boss.” She indicated the Megan whose brother he was definitely not. “You got this message and thought it was for your sister, Megan?”
“Right. I tried to call her several times, but she and Sam had gone on a cruise for their twenty-fifth anniversary. I thought— Look, folks, I’m sorry. I’ll just make a U-turn. Y’all get back to your party.” Feeling his face burn, he reached for his phone. “’Scuze me, Trisha. Sorry about this.”
“Oh, you can’t leave. I haven’t seen you for some twenty-six years. Please stay.”
The hostess broke out of her trance. “Indeed. You must stay for dinner. The caterer is about to serve the most magnificent dinner, and I have a place for you.” She took him by the arm and the room breathed again. She led him to the bar, followed by Trisha. “What can I get you?”
Every sort of liquor and wine stood at attention waiting for his order. “Coke?”
The other Megan’s escort filled a glass with ice and poured his drink. “Hi, I’m Bill Warner, Megan’s husband. And Fort Worth Police. Sorry about that.” He nodded toward the place where they’d stood before.
Trisha came to Dave’s other side. “Bill, would you pour me a Diet Coke, please? I need to get reacquainted with my old boyfriend.”
She placed her hand on the sleeve of his sport coat, and it warmed him down to his tingling feet. The next moment his fledgling hopes crashed to the ground. That hand bore wedding rings.
She accepted her Coke and took a sip. “Have you moved back to Fort Worth? You haven’t come to any of the class reunions.”
“I have an apartment in Cincinnati, but I fly around a lot since my wife passed.”
Trisha’s expression clouded, and she murmured the sort of thing people say.
 “Our sons are in college, so I’m free to leave when I need to,” he continued. By peripheral vision, he noticed the hostess, Julia, switching place cards at the dining table with a dozen seatings. He still felt the polite thing to do would be to leave.
But Trisha looked up at him and her eyes were still as green as ever. He couldn’t leave yet.
“How many sons do you have?”
He chuckled. “Two. They’re twins, and they were always a houseful. How about you?”
“One of each. They’re still in high school.” She backed away from the bar, drawing him out of the traffic. “And yes, they’re a houseful. Especially dealing with their father’s sudden death.”
“I’m sorry. But I see you’re still wearing rings.”
“Well, I still have the children. And it was only a couple of years ago. I wasn’t ready to appear available yet.”
Julia Barnett invited them to the dining room, and she had indeed put his place card next to Trisha’s. As much as he wanted to corner her with a thousand questions about her life since high school, they both engaged in conversation with the other guests. Everyone was too polite to ask how or why he came to the party. Or perhaps they thought he was Trisha’s date. He hoped that could be arranged in the future.

* * *

Trisha again relived the night her father sent Dave away, shouting that he was never to call or see her again. His father was a drunkard who didn’t provide well for his wife and children. Rumors of violence traveled through school, too. Dad said everyone knew drinking problems passed through the genes or rearing or something. He didn’t want her stuck with a loser.
Since Dave declined the fine wine at the dinner, she did, too. Was he an alcoholic on the wagon? How could she ask without sounding like it was the most important question of the century, which it was to her?
Eventually the caterer’s waiter came around with the wines again, and showed off the label to Dave.
“No, thank you. But I’ll have some more water when it’s convenient,” he said.
She took the chance and asked. “You’re not accepting the wine?”
“Never touch the stuff. I saw what it did to my father and the effect on the family. I never had any interest in trying alcohol. But please go ahead and enjoy it. Don’t refrain on my behalf.”
“It isn’t important. Never has been to me. I’m okay with the Diet Coke.”
Inwardly, she sighed her relief. She’d never known him to lie about anything, ever. She could hardly believe her good fortune in finding Dave again. She watched his interaction with the others and admired his well-developed social graces. The lean, gangly teenager had become a man. A gentleman. And an architect with a master’s degree. Would he find her interesting after so many years and total separation? She hadn’t exactly been “rode hard and put up wet.” The extra time put on her hair and the slimming royal blue dress she wore tonight gave her confidence.
“So you work for this company, and this is a retirement celebration?” Dave interrupted her musings. “What do you do?”
“Human resources, with a specialty in data management. But I do a lot of person-to-person consulting as well. Megan has been my boss as long as I’ve been with the company. We all regret losing her, but she deserves a good retirement.”
They swapped a few facts, like how he had remained in the Methodist church and reared his sons under that umbrella. She was still in the same one where they’d attended youth group together.
Rather than become grounded and calmed as light conversation continued, she developed an inner quiver. The boy of her girlish dreams had become a handsome, polished professional. Parts of her she’d thought died with her husband stirred and stretched as if from a long sleep.
After the dinner of cordon bleu came a rich chocolate confection. Then coffee and liqueurs were served in the living room. Dave and Trisha sat together on the sofa. Soon the guests began to thank Julia, cover Megan with good wishes, and slip into the night. Trisha didn’t want the party to end.
You can’t let him go. He can’t just leave again. Please, God, make him ask for my number, my e-mail, anything.
Only Megan and her husband, Julia and Doug Barnett, Trisha and Dave remained in the living room. “I should go.” She tried not to look and sound as reluctant as she felt.
“Oh, but first I have to explain.” Julia came to where they were sitting, bringing her cell phone and a list of names and scribbled notes. “Here’s the message I sent from my phone, the invitation I sent you, Dave. I made a mistake in one number when I intended to send it to Alice. You didn’t meet her. She’s recovering from surgery and couldn’t come. But you see the number on my list?” She held it out for him to inspect. “There’s only one number different. You still have the 817 area code?”
“I got this phone in Fort Worth, and have kept the same number ever since. I never had a reason to change. Since you mentioned Megan in the message, I assumed the party was for my sister and her husband’s anniversary. I should have checked.”
Trisha looked up, noting that he hadn’t lost the dimple she loved so much. “I’m glad you didn’t. We wouldn’t have met if it hadn’t been for this marvelous mistake.”
“I don’t know, Trisha.” His eyes connected with hers for a long moment. “I have a feeling God would have worked it out somehow.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Just Published--COUNTERFEIT

Dear Readers,

I'm delighted to announce a new novel. A suspenseful story set in Europe, it deals with the very real world of fraudulent fine art.

My husband and I recently traveled to the cities in the novel, including Amsterdam, Budapest, Salzberg, and Vienna. Actually, a visit to an Oklahoma City art museum two years ago started me thinking. How possible is very good fraudulent fine art?

(Very possible. Some experts estimate up to half of all art in museums is fake.)

And exactly how much copying is legal?


Dr. Richard Reed, wealthy professor and connoisseur of fine art, becomes a temporary member of Interpol's Experts Group to stop the flow of fraudulent paintings. He feels sure he has found a master copyist when he zones in on an attractive tourist, Kendra Cooper.

Kendra, who scrimped for years to travel to Amsterdam and study originals of the great masters, has much to teach the professor. His most likely suspect becomes his strongest asset in the fight against frauds until a dealer in counterfeits strikes back. Kendra becomes his target by cutting off the flow of unearned millions.

As professional partnership grows into personal devotion, Richard and Kendra combat greed to gain what cannot be bought.

As with all Lee Carver's books, Counterfeit is available from in both print
and Kindle versions.

As a new release, this novel needs honest reviews on Amazon and Your review would be most appreciated.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Five print copies of Retreat to Shelter Creek are offered in a drawing on, starting 21 August, 2016, until 19 September. Nothing is required except that you click to ask for a copy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Retreat to Shelter Creek by Lee Carver

Retreat to Shelter Creek

by Lee Carver

Giveaway ends September 19, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Truth in Fiction: "The Diamond Mine" blog features Beulah the Pig

"The Diamond Mine" blog features Beulah the Pig

Featured on "The Diamond Mine" blog today--

Beulah the Pig.

Add a comment to this blog for a chance at a free print copy of Retreat to Shelter Creek or TWO e-book copies you select from any of my books, which are pictured on "The Diamond Mine" blog post.