My 2020 Recommendations for the Book Lovers in Your Life
It is my pleasure to recommend these books by authors I’ve gotten to know along the way to publishing and promoting my own books. When you read these, please take a moment to post review on Amazon. It can be as simple as, “I liked it.” In the modern publishing world reviews are gold.
Elizabeth B. Splaine – Devil’s Grace
How I know this author: We got acquainted at an author’s competition in the summer of 2019 and become good friends. She won the grand prize, and then agreed to narrate my book, complete with a variety of English accents. Her medical/thriller mystery, with an intriguing dose of spirituality, was just released. It’s going to sell out, so order your copy soon.
Genre and Description: Medical mystery/thriller.
0.63 seconds. That’s how long Angela Brennan has to process the oncoming truck that destroys half of her family. Not long after the accident, death intervenes again to snatch her daughter. Facing life alone, Angela returns to her cardiac surgeon work, saving other people’s lives, but questioning why hers was spared. She receives an anonymous note indicating her daughter’s death could have been avoided. With renewed purpose, Angela is determined to find meaning in her catastrophic loss. She confronts healthcare power brokers and discovers lies, complicity, and corruption at the highest levels. Angela’s path from devastation to redemption, and her decision to choose hope over despair and kindness over cruelty, tells a timeless, yet timely tale, of the freedom that accompanies true forgiveness. Kirkus reviews calls it a “stirring story…of…kindness, care, and hope.”
Where you can order it: The author’s website elizabethsplaineauthor.com
Mary Hamilton – Pendant
How I know this author: Mary and I met through a Houston critique group. I enjoyed her contributions immensely until she relocated to Waco for her husband’s job. I read this book for myself and then bought it as a gift for another book-lover. She also has a delightful series of young adult books set in a summer camp.
Genre and Description: Women’s Fiction
If you enjoy women’s fiction with a touch of suspense, you’ll love Pendant. Elaine’s teaching days were cut short when one of her students disappeared from a field trip and was never found. Years later, the girl’s distinctive necklace turns up around the neck of another young girl, launching Elaine into a search for answers to the mystery that destroyed her self-confidence. This story will keep you turning pages to the very end. http://www.maryhamiltonbooks.com
Where you can order it: E-book format: www.books2read.com/pendant
Print or audiobook format: www.amzn.com/dp/0692972641
Elaine Thomas – Veterans’ Voices and Home Front Memories.
How I know this author: I got acquainted with nonfiction writer Elaine Thomas when I lived in Fayette County, TX several year ago. She helped produce print newsletters for Lutherhill Ministries when I served there as the Executive Director of this outdoor ministry site. More recently she’s applied her interviewing and writing skills to capture the stories of Fayette County’s 63 members of a unique and elite group: the county’s last surviving World War II veterans. Her interviews include women supporting the war effort on the home front.
Genre and Description: Biographies of war veterans and their spouses
Veterans’ Voices and Home Front Memories is a collection of touching first-person profiles, including several hundred photos reflecting the courage and spirit of those who worked together to win the war and preserve our way of life. Elaine did interviews in nursing homes and around kitchen tables. A 2019 Will Rogers Book Award recognized this book for excellence. She also published Same Moon, Same Stars, a World War II story about a German war bride who grew up in Hitler’s Germany and survived to fall in love with an American GI. Elaine donates profits from her books to Blinn College-Schulenburg scholarship in honor of all these members of the Greatest Generation. https://elainethomaswriter.com/
Edward Rickford – The Serpent and the Eagle
How I know this author: Edward asked me, as a historical fiction author, to review his second book in the Tenochtitlan Trilogy, The Bend of the River. Edward says he’s enjoyed writing since he was a young boy, as a way to combine his interest in history with his passion for storytelling. He traveled throughout Mexico several times for research and read centuries old texts. His undergraduate thesis was about the Spanish-Mexica war.
Genre and Description: Historical Fiction
Tenochtitlan, 1519. Strange, pale-skinned people have arrived on the coast of One World from a faraway land called Spain, to fight for the mysterious Hernando Cortés. To confront Cortés’ army would be dangerous, but inaction may be even more dangerous. The Mexica are the most powerful people in all the One World. They regard the uncouth interlopers with curiosity and distrust. Keen to discover their intentions, the Mexica send an official envoy to the coast. What they learn is most troubling. The Spanish possess weapons that have no equal… and they may have designs on Tenochtitlan. The conflict that follows will tear an entire region asunder and give birth to an empire of globe-spanning proportions. Rickford won the Grand Prize Award in the 2018 Chaucer Book Awards and the Deixler-Swain prize for his undergraduate thesis about the Spanish-Mexica War.
And the author’s website: https://edwardrickford.com
Myra Johnson – The Soft Whisper of Roses
How I know this author: I met Myra too many years ago to remember. I do remember it was at a weekend retreat and where two couples had the last name Johnson. Thinking we were ever so clever; we made a lot of “Johnson & Johnson” wise cracks that weekend. Myra and I both hang out in the small Lutheran world as well as the much larger wonderful world of writers.
Genre and Description: Christian Fiction
Every blended family has its problems, but how do you build a future when the past won’t let go? Rebecca Townsend has only been married six months and already doubts Gary’s promise of “till death do us part.” Betrayed by her first husband, she’s trying her hardest to get it right this time. But when her new husband’s unresolved family issues resurface, she’s afraid she and her son will be abandoned once again. Just when Gary thought he’d found happiness with a woman who truly understood him, the death of his first wife blindsides him with unanticipated grief and guilt. After years of letting his career get in the way of being the husband and father he should’ve been, he must now live up to his new wife’s expectations while attempting to fit his resentful teenage daughter into the mix. But high-pressure careers don’t leave much time for stopping to smell the roses, and this family is almost out of time. A radical plan conceived by Gary’s ex-wife before her death risks tearing them all apart…or will it finally bring them together as the family God meant them to be?
Where you can order it: https://myrajohnson.com/books/the-soft-whisper-of-roses/
Kathryn Haueisen – Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures
How I Know this Author: I’ve known this author all my life. Though I dislike promoting myself, it is necessary to deliver books to OPB’s (other people’s bookshelves) or favorite reading/listening devices. I am especially fond of this book because I am passionate about what it has to teach us about striving for peace. The story is based on real people and real events and advocates peaceful negotiations with others who look, talk, think, and act in ways very different from our own. I believe that after you read this book, you will see Thanksgiving in a new way.
Genre and Description: Historical Fiction
Four hundred years two cultures encountered on another after a season of extreme hardship for each one. They had to decide how to react to one another. The English settlers faced starvation, and deprivations that nearly ended their new colony before it started. The Natives were reeling from a catastrophic pandemic that claimed the lives of over two-thirds of their people. The Natives approached the setters to welcome them and work out treaty that both groups honored for fifty years. It is story we ought to be teaching our children and encouraging our elected officials to replicate more often. https://HowWiseThen.com