CrossReads Short Takes: Smile for Me: Love in the Bahamas & Heavenly Peace

CrossReads Short Takes: Smile for Me: Love in the Bahamas & Heavenly Peace

CrossReads Short Takes

Smile for Me:

Love in the Bahamas

by Jan Thompson

Smile for Me

 

She is laid back.
He is uptight.
Never the twain shall…kiss?

A deadline-driven workaholic assistant school principal who meticulously plans his schedule months in advance meets an easygoing art teacher and studio potter with no sense of time, living her life as the seasons come and go. When they cross paths again at the Summer by the Sea Day Camp sponsored by his church in Nassau, Bahamas, how can they get along if they cannot see eye to eye?

From USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson comes SMILE FOR ME, book 1 in the Vacation Sweethearts collection of wholesome, sweet and inspirational Christian romance novels set in some of Jan’s favorite vacation places around the world.

A spin-off of Jan’s Savannah Sweethearts series, these Vacation Sweethearts novels begin with SMILE FOR ME, Byron and Tina and their summer romance in the Bahamas.

Tina MacFarland is laid back…

“Come to the Bahamas, they said. It will be fun, they said. Well, arriving in Nassau, I feel I could be okay if Byron’s not around. I made it! I’m here! That’s good enough for me, but apparently it’s not good enough for Mr. Uptight. Why does he bother me so? I don’t need his approval—Oh yes, I do. As a volunteer art teacher at the day camp, I have to answer to Byron for four weeks. Well, thank God it’s only for four weeks. And then I’m outta here, and he’ll be out of my hair. Surely I can last through day camp. What could possibly go wrong in a month? Nothing I can think of…”

—Tina MacFarland, Potter, Ceramic Artist, Art Teacher, Volunteer at the Summer by the Sea Day Camp in the Bahamas

Byron Moss is uptight…

“This is what I’ve always wanted, right? Then why does this assistant headmaster position hem me in? I feel constricted, restricted, afflicted. I fear I have taken a wrong turn in my career. What is God’s will for my life? And what does Tina think about—Tina? What does she have anything to do with my career decisions?”

—Byron Moss, Assistant Headmaster, Chapel by the Sea Christian School in the Bahamas

Never the twain shall…kiss?

Ah, Byron and Tina. How would they navigate the super-conservative work environment where office romance is frowned upon? Can they change the old rules? Or will the old rules change them? Let’s find out in the Caribbean, where the waters are blue, skies are pretty, and hearts are warm…

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Heavenly Peace

by Leslie Ann McDaniel

Heavenly Peace

Christmas is just around the corner, but Valerie Seldon is too stressed to enjoy it.

As a widowed mom to a four-year-old boy, Valerie can’t keep up. Between providing for her son and her aging father, plus worrying about the mounting bills and the potential loss of her apartment, there’s no room to even think about Christmas. But when her son convinces her to pick a tag off a Giving Tree, a request for a miracle might be just what she needs to restore her joy.

Jake Barnett loves his job at Impact Ministries, but his long hours have turned him into a social recluse. It’s been so long since he’s been interested in anybody that he doesn’t even know what qualities to look for anymore. But when a beautiful woman walks into the coffee place where his Giving Tree is located, he can tell there’s something special about her. Could the tag her son picks off the tree be the key that opens the door to his heart?

Holiday Hearts…seasons of love.

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Usable

Usable

by Sherry Chamblee

Am I usable for God? Not am I good enough, or smart enough, or talented enough. But am I usable?

What does being usable mean?

Colossians 2:20-23

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

This passage struck me today. We know from other passages that God does expect us to be obedient children, so these verses aren’t telling us to be lawless, or to go ahead and live in sin.  But I’m seeing this passage as referring to being caught up in following ritual, obsessed with doing things just right to the point where we forget who we’re serving. Instead we really wind up serving the rules. We’ve let them become our master.

If the law is our master, then we aren’t usable to God anymore. We’re ignoring Him.

God is our Master. What He says, goes… yes?  It might be a subtle difference, but I think it’s important.

God doesn’t give us the law so that we’ll follow it blindly and forget all about Him. He wants us to be in a relationship with Himself, so that following His laws becomes a natural outcome of that relationship.

And once we see it that way, we see how God can truly use us.

It no longer is a matter of “merely” loving my neighbor and haphazardly figuring out how to show that. It’s now a matter of listening for God’s guidance in how to show that particular person what God’s love looks like.

So if I let God be my master, and not just the law, than God’s the one using the law in my life to do His will in the world.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

 

 

CrossReads Spotlight: Imperfect

CrossReads Spotlight: Imperfect

CrossReads Spotlight

Imperfect

by Christy Barritt

Imperfect

(Formerly titled “The Trouble with Perfect”)

Since the death of her fiancé two years ago, novelist Morgan Blake’s life has been in a holding pattern. She has a major case of writer’s block, and a book signing in the small mountain town of Perfect sounds like just the solution to help her clear her head.

Her trip takes a wrong turn when, on her way there, she’s involved in a hit and run—she’s hit a man, and he’s run from the scene. Before fleeing, he mouthed the word “help.” She plans to give him that help, but first she must find him.

In Perfect, she finds a town that offers everything she’s ever wanted. But is something sinister going on behind the town’s cheery exterior? Was she invited as a guest of honor simply to do a book signing? Or was she lured to town for another purpose—a deadly purpose?

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CrossReads Short Takes: Sandwich, With a Side of Romance & Nickels

CrossReads Short Takes: Sandwich, With a Side of Romance & Nickels

CrossReads Short Takes

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance

by Krista Phillips

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance

Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than an hour on the clock. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong. He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Shop. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

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Nickels

by Karen Baney

Nickels

Niki Turner has finally arrived. Her career is soaring—she has just been offered the company’s most sought after account, Helitronics. Life would be perfect, if she could stop her roommate from playing matchmaker.

Then Kyle Jacobs mysteriously re-enters her life. As painful memories resurface, his presence turns her life upside down and threatens to waylay her career. She must find a way to work with him—after all, he’s the helicopter flight consultant for the new flight control system she’s programming.

Kyle Jacobs struggles to find his place in the civilian world following a tragic accident in Afghanistan. He must learn to move beyond the guilt he feels. As he picks up the pieces of his life, he longs for a second chance with Niki, the girl he carried in his heart during the war.

Can Niki forget the past and see Kyle as the new man he has become? Or will her resentment keep her from finding what she has always been searching for?

This contemporary novel is an upbeat and compelling story set in the Phoenix Metro Area. Karen Baney shows a new side to her writing with great whit and banter between the main characters. Inspired by her love of romance and of computers, this story takes readers on a journey filled with laughter and tears.

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CrossReads Spotlight: Prescott Pioneers

CrossReads Spotlight: Prescott Pioneers

CrossReads Spotlight

Prescott Pioneers

by Karen Baney

Prescott Pioneers

“Well written and deep characters pull you in from the first page and keep you turning to last.” –Reader

“If you love great western romance stories with a faith in God, then you’ll love the Prescott Pioneers series!” –Reader

“Realistic. Well-written. This series is one of the best series of the old west that I’ve read.” –Reader

The Prescott Pioneers Series is set in the Arizona Territory in the mid-1860s. The series follows the lives of the Andersons, Colters, and Larsons as they make the journey west to a wild new territory.

Will the cost be worth it? What heartaches are in store? Will their dreams be everything they hoped?

A Dream Unfolding (Book 1)
Hannah Anderson and her husband head to the West in the hopes of starting over. The journey is difficult and costs more than either expected.

Will Colter is forced to leave the ranch he has called home for nearly thirty years. The cattle drive west challenges him and his men—threatening their very lives.

A Heart Renewed (Book 2)
Julia Colter rebels against her old brother’s poor choices of suitors. When her rebellion against her brother puts her life at risk, she turns to her friend for help.

Adam Larson longs to train horses and plans to head west to the Arizona Territory to see his dreams fulfilled. When Julia shows up on his doorstep in the middle of the night, he agrees to help her flee. The decision changes both of their lives forever

A Life Restored (Book 3)
Social butterfly, Caroline Larson, longs for adventure. Stranded in the Arizona desert, far from her final destination, she must rely on a stranger who gets under her skin.

Thomas Anderson has always struggled with making good decisions. Dealing with the ghosts of his past threatens to overshadow his future—until he meets a woman needing his help. Sparks fly as she grates on his nerves.

A Hope Revealed (Book 4)
Life turned out differently than Mary Colter expected. With her abusive husband either missing or dead, and the ranch gone, she is left to raise her two children on her own. She decides to head west to start over.

Warren Cahill is confronted with one problem after another in his new role as foreman of Colter Ranch. Missing cattle and hot-headed cowhands take most of his attention. When Mary arrives at the ranch, tensions rise and he finds himself in the middle of it.

Special sneak peek opening scene for Karen’s next series included.

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