Heather Greer

Stories of faith, life, and love

What I’m Reading Christmas: The Ornament Keeper

Every Christmas, when my children still lived at home, I bought a special ornament for each of my children. I tried to make the ornaments have meaning, whether it was a nod to something they enjoyed or a remembrance of a special time in their life from the year. When they moved out, they had a box of at least eighteen ornaments to take with them. While they are a practical way for my children to have a fully decorated tree when the money might not be there to purchase Christmas ornaments, I hope they are also a gateway to pleasant memories from their childhood.

Memories have power. They can paralyze us with fear, convince us to act differently than we otherwise might, and strengthen our grudges. But they don’t have to result in negative behaviors.

Remembering good ones can lift your spirits and bring hope for the future. An honest look at more difficult memories can help us see patterns in our lives we need to correct. Looking at them objectively can give us a new perspective on the events of the past and lead to freedom from the pains that try to bind us. God can use memories, even the hard ones, to bring us to forgiveness and healing.

Felicia Morgan, the main character in Eva Marie Everson’s The Ornament Keeper, doesn’t want to relive the past. As Christmas nears, her husband had moved out and celebrating the holidays isn’t an appealing option. Her children, however, have other ideas. Felicia finds herself decorating the tree with ornaments her husband has given her through the years.

Each ornament has a story, and the reader gets to relive those stories alongside Felicia. Switching between her past and present, we see the joys she’s forgotten. We stand beside her as she wanders through memories of the failures and trials still haunting her in the present. We begin to understand, along with her, how each vignette of her past has shaped how she sees herself, her husband, and her family.

And it’s these visions of Christmas past that lead Felicia through the lies she’s believed and to a place where healing can begin if only she will allow truth to change her heart.

The Ornament Keeper is far from a feel-good, light-hearted Christmas story. But it is a beautiful story of regret and remembrance that leads to the possibility of hope and healing. It’s a story that reminds us how powerful forgiveness can be in our lives, and that’s a truth we can all use more of at Christmas and throughout the years.

I give The Ornament Keeper four Christmas angels. Come back to see if it gets Five Angels and my choice for best Christmas story of the year. I’ll announce my top book a little closer to Christmas.

What I’m Reading Christmas: While It Was Snowing

Trust me. I know. Fall hasn’t given way to winter, and Thanksgiving deserves its time in the spotlight. While I am a supporter of Thanksgiving, there aren’t a lot of Thanksgiving themed reads out there. Besides, if I’m reviewing books so you can find ones to add to your TBR Christmas list, I need to start now.

Today’s book isn’t the first Christmas book I’ve read this year, but it is the one I finished most recently. It also happens to be the one I’m currently most excited about. Let me tell you why.

While It Was Snowing, by Tari Faris, has all the makings of a great, feel-good holiday story. On the surface it may seem like a tried and true friends to lovers story, but it mixes it up a bit right from the start.

Danielle Fair isn’t a girly girl. Raised by her father and older brothers, Danielle doesn’t even use her full name. Instead, she goes by Dan, and it isn’t just at home. So used to being one of the guys, she’s known as Dan everywhere she goes including on the job. Her job just happens to be in her father’s garage as the best mechanic he has. Of course, she has to prove that as her father seems unwilling to leave her the business when he readies for retirement.

The story starts with Dan being drafted into her friend’s wedding. Can I repeat here that she isn’t a girly girl. She doesn’t do dresses or makeup or hair. Coveralls are more her style. But she is loving friend, and she steps in despite her discomfort at being transformed into a princess for a day. Maybe it will even give her the chance to impress her best friend Gideon.

Gideon and Dan have worked together for years and become best friends. Gideon is gorgeous and catches the eye of every girl in town, including Dan’s. But he sees her as everybody does, one of the guys. Until he sees her dressed up for the wedding. Suddenly their easy going, share everything with each other friendship is thrown off kilter.

Dan finds herself in the position of proving to her father that she’s the best man for the job while trying to show Gideon that she’s the woman to win his heart. Coveralls and cover shoots don’t exactly mix, and Dan isn’t sure she has what it takes to be a desirable woman and a capable woman in a male dominated business at the same time. Is it even possible?

Gideon loves his friendship with Dan and doesn’t want to risk losing it. But after seeing her at the wedding, he can’t get her out of his mind. He begins to wonder how he has been so blind for all the years of their friendship. Sure, she’s attractive in a dress, but her coveralls don’t make her less of a woman or less beautiful. As he considers their friendship through the years, he starts to realize he loved Dan before he saw her as Danielle for the first time. He loves all sides of her. Now if he can only get her to see it isn’t the dress that makes her desirable, it’s who she is in her heart.

Throw in a snowstorm, a holiday, work drama, and a little bit of jealousy to complicate their journey to realizing their love for each other, and you have a fun Christmas story to start off your holiday reading. Plus, there are several moments with all the feels. (Those moments that leave you actually feeling excited or disappointed for fictional movie or book characters even though you know they aren’t real.)

My rating: 4 out of 5 Christmas angels. This is a contender for my favorite Christmas book of the year. Come back closer to Christmas to see if it wins.

What about you? Do you enjoy the friends to lovers scenario in books?

Winds in the East

“Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and about to begin. Can’t put my finger on what lies in store, but I fear what’s to happen all happened before.” – Mary Poppins

It’s November, and we know what that means. NaNoWriMo is in full swing. I like to think of it, my annual month of failure. I’m sure this year will be a different NaNoWriMo month than last year for several reasons, but I’m also falling heavily in Bert’s camp. “I fear what’s to happen all happened before.”

I’m actually doing pretty good so far. I’m no where near where I need to be to finish 50,000 words by the end of the month, but I haven’t totally lost hope.

No. Let’s be honest. I’ll be surprised if I reach the goal. And that’s okay. At the end of the month, I will be further into my new story than I was in October. I’ll have worked hard and cheered on my overachieving friends who will type right past that 50,000 word goal. I will have grown as a writer, and I will have written close to every day. Those aren’t bad results.

What about you? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s it going for you?

We’re also entering the holiday season, and I want to help readers take advantage of the opportunity to read seasonal stories without the judgment one might receive if you read them in July. With that in mind, I’m going to post reviews of holiday books and even some of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies.

I think I’ll even give them scores. Jingle bells for movies and Christmas angels for the books. I used a scoring system for my movie reviews last year, and I had fun with it. I think expanding it to my book reviews will make it even better!

The last idea I’m toying with is part top ten countdown, part holiday shopping help. I want to give readers and those who shop for readers ideas to make gift sets based on books. I’ll include my own books, of course, and some of my favorite books from the last couple years. The ideas will be customizable to your budget needs. I’m still deciding whether I want to do these as blog posts, on my Facebook author page, or on my YouTube channel as videos. What do you think?

I’m excited to see where the winds take me in the next few weeks. I want to have fun but also provide inspiration for you as you shop for the book lovers on the list. If I can introduce you to a great Christmas book or movie while I’m at it, that’s even better.

And don’t forget to come back regularly for updates on my NaNoWriMo journey. Find out if “what’s to happen has happened before”? Maybe this time will be something totally new.

National Author Day and NaNoWriMo

November 1st is National Author Day. I’m not sure Hallmark makes a card for this one, but if you have an author you love, take time to tell them today. If a story they’ve written has impacted you, to grow, challenge, or encourage you, today is the perfect day to share that with them.

I’m not sure if you know this, but writing is hard work. Writing well is even harder. And writing in ways that reach out, invite the reader in, and leave them changed is the hardest writing of all. When you add the marketing aspect to the author’s life, things can get exponentially more difficult. Simply hearing from one of our readers can make the day go from good to great!

November 1st is also the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It’s a time of challenge for authors and aspiring authors to set a lofty goal and dedicate the time and energy to achieve it. What’s the goal? Fifty thousand words by the end of day November 30th. When you consider a lot of these authors have day jobs, families, and other time takers, this goal becomes a journey up a mountain.

The path up the mountain may be beautiful, but the trip is still difficult and time consuming. There are many areas where those on the journey may get discouraged and wonder if it’s worth the trouble. For those who stick it out to the end, the view from the top is amazing. They leave the month of November with a nearly completed manuscript. If they’re writing a novella, it may be completely done. It’s a wonderful feeling climbing to the top of that mountain, and it should be celebrated.

If you know an author working toward NaNoWriMo goals this month, cheer them on. If you are one, find a group to encourage and support you in your journey. They can’t write the words for you, but they can give you the boost you need to keep going.

Just one more thing. If you are an aspiring Christian/clean reads author, my publisher has two contests running through the end of November. You can find more about them here. https://scriveningspress.com/get-pubbed/ and https://scriveningspress.com/novel-starts/

Are you joining NaNoWriMo this month?

Who are the authors that have spoken to you through their stories?

What I’m Reading: Saving Grace

I am the queen of hair-brained ideas. I spent a lot of my early stay-at-home-mom years chasing a lot of those in attempts to find an outlet for my adult side. After all, when children’s programming becomes the bulk of your viewing choices, you need an adult outlet. The call of a little extra income for your one income family also calls like a siren song.

I sold Christmas Around the World, which was based on home parties. I wasn’t horrible at this seasonal business and actually sold it for a couple of years. But knick-knacks aren’t really my thing. And I’m naturally an introvert. Not a great combination.

I was an Avon representative. Yes, the girl who is allergic to most makeup and can wear it only for short periods of time if I’ve taken an allergy pill, sold Avon. I did fairly well with that one. I actually sold it for several years and even won awards.

My time selling makeup was at least better than my idea to open a gift basket business. In theory, it’s not a bad idea. After all, I enjoy putting gift sets together for people. I bought a book about the gift basket business to prepare myself. I came up with a plan, but my fire to do it fizzled out quickly. Not as quickly as my idea to break into freelance editing for companies, with no training and only a book to guide me, but still, quicker than my jaunt into at-home childcare. (I’m a relaxed mom. Having to have a sparkling house and provide healthy, well-planned meals every day did not agree with me.)

At least by the time my big, expensive ideas for opening a bakery or a Christian bookstore/conference center were sparked, I’d learned not to follow every idea that came into my head. Although I have to admit, these two ideas still haunt me at times. I even have floor plans drawn out for each business.

But during these times when I so desperately needed to find an outlet and my dream of becoming an author was still working itself out, I had one thing a lot of people lack. I had a cheerleader. My husband could have easily said no to any of my ideas. He could have told me how ill-fitting some of my plans were to my personality. He could have made me feel foolish for thinking about trying or, even worse, foolish when they fell through.

He didn’t. He let me try, as long as it didn’t involve a bank loan. He let me explore and decide for myself whether each plan was a good fit for me or not. When I inevitably walked away from each of them, he didn’t say “I told you so”. And when I finally started focusing on my dream of writing, he didn’t stand off in the corner shaking his head and muttering, “Here we go again.” No, he encouraged me, gave me writing time, and sent me to conferences with the abandon of someone who’d never lived with a woman who’d chased down more bad ideas than good.

That encouragement means the world to me. It’s given me the chance to find out which ideas are in my life for a time/purpose, which ones should never have seen the light of day, which ones are meant to fuel the stories I write, and which ones I should chase after for the rest of my life.

Because an idea can fall into any of those categories. Just ask Michelle Wilson from Amy Anguish’s newest book, Saving Grace. When Michelle is involved in a fatal accident, newborn Grace is left alone in this world. Bonded through the traumatic event, Michelle feels she has been called to make sure Grace is taken care of for the rest of her life.

Initially, this charge seems perfectly set up. Her parents are equipped to provide emergency foster care. Grace’s birth grandparents are dead, and there are no uncles or aunts to claim her. Already moving back home to start her dream job, Michelle is perfectly placed to provide Grace with the love and care she needs.

But it isn’t smooth sailing for Michelle. While her parents agree to help her, they’ve made it clear they aren’t sure Michelle is ready to be a single parent. And when her best friend Greg learns Grace’s parents wanted her raised by a married couple, not a single person, even he has a hard time fully backing her decision.

The lack of support leaves Michelle determined to see her plan through to the end. Will she allow herself the time to search out if God wants her to keep going in this direction or if He has another plan in place for her and Grace?

Of course, Greg has to weigh some ideas of his own. He’s loved Michelle for what seems like forever, even though she’s never noticed the shift in his feelings. In all their years together, he’s never not supported her. But this is a child’s life and her parent’s dying request. How can he support her? When the answer comes to him suddenly, Greg has to decide if the idea is one he should abandon or hold onto no matter what.

Amy has written a story of finding one’s purpose that opens the reader up to the reality of the many paths we have to choose from in life and the importance of quieting our hearts to hear Him tell us which ones to turn from, which ones to travel for a time, and which ones to journey down for the rest of our lives.

https://scrivenings.link/savinggrace

I Am An Author

You may be rolling your eyes at me right now. “Of course, you’re an author,” you may say. “With three published books, a complete series no less, did you think you were anything other than an author?”

Seems simple enough, but some days it’s harder than you’d think to claim the title. I’ve known for years I am a writer. And I’m aware that author has fit since my first book was published three years ago. If I had any doubts, books two and three or the signed contract for a totally new book, should have dispelled them.

Logically, I am an author. It’s what I’ve always wanted to be. Yet, when someone asks me what I do, I look them right in the eyes and say, “I’m a receptionist in a doctor’s office.”

Why?

I haven’t always wanted to be a receptionist. Want is a strong word even now. It’s a job. It pays the bills. I give my best effort to do my job well, but at the end of the day, my 8-5 job doesn’t provide me with any fulfillment or purpose or lasting enjoyment. It’s not what I want to do or how I want to be known.

But it’s almost always my answer. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I spend most of my time in that office. My most productive hours of the day are spent draining all my energy in tasks that aren’t even semi-related to what I really want to do. Or it could be that I currently earn more money through my receptionist position than I do with my writing.

Whatever the reason, it’s wrong. A receptionist is not who I am. It is what I do to pay bills. Yes, it demands a lot from me that I would rather have to give to my writing, but it is currently necessary. Needing the job does not require that the position defines me.

I am a writer, a published author. That is who I am. Yes, I am other things too, but being an author has been a major part of the dream of me for as long as I can remember. I’ve relinquished that dream to God on multiple occasions. He has given it back to me, and when I write, I know I am ministering to others in the way He created me to serve.

I have a series already published. I have another book due to release in July 2021. I am learning more about the craft of writing, seeking to encourage others in their writing journeys, and slowly (painfully, at times) building my skill in the various programs and techniques I need to employ to market my writing. I do these things to better myself and grow as an author. But maybe it’s time I go back to step one and reinforce an important truth until I can claim it without hesitation.

Hello. My name is Heather Greer, and I am an author.

Is there some part of who you are that is more difficult to claim than others? Maybe, like me, it is related to a dream you’ve held for a long time. Maybe it’s a scriptural truth about yourself that is hard to accept.

By the way, all three of the books in my Faith, Hope, and Love series are on Kindle Unlimited. If you’re a member, you can read them for free. If you’ve read them already, pass on the information to a Kindle Unlimited friend!

What I’m Reading: Reclaimed: A Rock Creek Romance

Sometimes it’s hard to escape our pasts. My husband was no saint growing up. He, like all of us, made mistakes. He wasn’t a Christian, and while he was a decent guy, he didn’t have any qualms about living in all the ways the world told him he should live. It’s been 28 years since high school, but those decisions haunt him still.

Andy answered the call to preach early in our marriage. Living in small town Illinois, I would often run into people from his past. Upon hearing my last name, they would ask me who my husband was and, on finding out it was Andy, what he was doing now. The looks I received when I told them he was a pastor! I’ve had more than one actually say, “No. We must be talking about a different Andy.”

Of course, other times our past doesn’t haunt us as much as it traps us. Focusing our energies on mistakes that hindsight allows us to see but not fix can cause us to swim in sea of regret and sometimes depression. Focusing on our hurts can trap us in lies about who we are and what we need to do to survive.

When I was in junior high, I wore my hair pulled back in a ponytail. One of the boys in class compared my ears to those of a fictional elephant. Now, I didn’t particularly like this boy. He’d never been nice, and he wasn’t one I usually gave much attention to. But his statement, met with the hearty agreement of his pre-teen buddies, stuck with me.

To this day, I refuse to wear my hair up in public because of my sticking out ears. Do I really have elephant ears? A godly friend that I respect deeply tells me no. Does that mean the many years of believing it have melted away, freeing me to wear headbands, ponytails, and hats which I love? No. I’m working on it though.

It seems like a silly example, in light of the deeper hurts others, myself included, have allowed to attach to their spirits These lies can change how they view themselves and the actions of others towards them. In the grand scheme of things, it is minor. But it is one time the past impacted my present in an undeniable way.

Whether it’s our mistakes hounding us or events of the past shaping who we are and what we believe, our pasts don’t often stay there. And only God’s truth can put it back where it belongs.

When Suzanna Wilton and Paul Rustin, the main characters of Jennifer Rodewald’s Reclaimed, become neighbors in Rock Creek, Nebraska it puts them on the path to finding this out firsthand.

Suzanna has inherited her father’s land, but it’s far from the only thing he’s given her. Hurts and disappointments from the past have also left her with disdain for God and a chip on her shoulder. She’s out to prove herself on the land her father gave her, and those who would tell her she doesn’t belong better watch out. Suzanna carries so many wounds from her past that she can’t see truth through the pain they cause her.

When Paul Rustin, unintentionally joins the ranks of those she feels are out to see her fail, he faces a difficult path to show Suzanna otherwise. It takes his sister’s honesty to help him determine there may be more to his cantankerous neighbor than he first believed. Slowly, they build friendship and trust. Even more slowly, they realize there may be more than friendship growing between them.

When others in town conspire to make her leave, Suzanna’s wounds are aggravated. Her past colors her outlook in the present, and misunderstandings arise. Pair those with Paul’s less than savory past, and the relationship between them becomes less secure. When the truth about Suzanna’s own past and lack of faith come into the open, the lies she believes are reinforced. When Paul’s past comes knocking on his door one more time, it threatens to be the end of all they just started to build.

Truth, love, and forgiveness, both from God and people, are needed if Paul and Suzanna are going to make it beyond their pasts to find a future together.

What I’m Reading: Wrestling for My Life

Ever have one of those times when you find challenge or encouragement in a completely unexpected place? I found both as I read Wrestling for My Life by Shawn Michaels. For those scratching their heads, wondering if they should be familiar with the authors name, let me help you out. You probably aren’t.

For starters, the book is nonfiction. The nonfiction reviews I post are few and far between. I really have to get something from the book to include it. I tend to stick with fiction.

Plus, the author is a professional wrestler. Yes, you read that correctly. No, you do not need to read it again. Shawn Michaels is a well-known professional wrestler. But please don’t let that fact deter you from reading this review.

You now know something about me that I rarely, if ever, talk about in my writing/reading circles. I like watching professional wrestling. But before you start with the typical list, let me clarify some things.

I know the matches are predetermined. That’s why it’s called sports entertainment.

There are characters and story lines I do not like and cannot support. I generally fast forward through those or check my social media pages when they come up.

I’m not a fan of the scantily clad wrestlers either. But, in a lot of ways, I’m kind of immune to that. My son was a competitive swimmer for several years, and there’s a lot of scantily clad in that sport as well. If they’re scantily clad and overly sexual, well, I simply don’t watch.

I like wrestling for the story and the athleticism. I’m amazed that some of these huge people can move the way they do. I know I can’t do the things they do. And, as a writer, I’m intrigued by the wrestler in the ring and the person outside the ring. In fact, it was this dichotomy that inspired a new book I’m writing. And the writing of the book led me to Wrestling for My Life.

Another thing you may not know about wrestling is that there are Christians in the wrestling world, just as there are Christians in Hollywood and nearly every other profession. In the interest of writing my story to accurately portray what it means to be a faith-living Christian in the wrestling world, I bought Shawn Michaels’ book. I wanted to hear it straight from someone who was known for living it.

What I found was not only a lot of ways to develop my character, but also encouragement and challenge in my own faith walk. Shawn Michaels wrote a very down to earth book about what it means for him to live his faith in a profession where faith isn’t part of the plot. He wrote honestly about the path that brought him to see his need for God, the struggles he has faced since embracing faith, and the joy he receives from keeping God a priority in his life.

Where some celebrity Christians seem to gravitate to a fad version of faith, Shawn Michaels seems completely grounded in the Word. The passion with which he speaks of taking time in God’s Word each day challenged me to look at my own Bible reading habits. The openness with which he tells of what comes after the newness of faith wears off was an encouragement that we all face these times. The humbleness I saw when he acknowledged his past mistakes and even the ones that came after his conversion are a clear reminder of the hope we have as believers.

In the end, the story of Shawn Michaels holds up a mirror to my own life. He works in a profession where faith isn’t prominent. In many ways, the job may even work against faith. Still, he navigates it with his faith intact and shines a light where other people wouldn’t be able to. He’s making a difference for God in the arena where God has placed him.

My job and the groups I’m part of are not antagonistic towards God. We’re everyday people in everyday circumstances. Those I work with know of my faith. They know there are things I won’t do, places I won’t go, and things I won’t say because of my faith. But after reading Wrestling for My Life I have to take a long hard look at my life and ask myself if I’m living out my faith with as much consistency and shining that light as brightly as this down-to-earth wrestler does in a professional world that’s designed to lift up the man instead of his God.

Where have you found unexpected challenge or encouragement in your faith?

What I’m Reading: My First Historical Romance

I think a lot of people my age (and no, I’m not telling) probably read Janette Oke as their first Christian historical romance author. I did read read her books early on, but it was long before I was reading romance. She had a children’s book series I enjoyed. You’d think being familiar with her would have translated into choosing to read her historical fiction. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever read any of her books in that genre. Maybe I should.

So, if it wasn’t Janette Oke, who was my first historical fiction author? My first experience with not only Christian adult fiction but also the historical romance genre was made possible by Lori Wick. I started with her Place Called Home series. It includes A Place Called Home, A Song for Silas, The Long Road Home, and A Gathering of Memories.

The series opens with Christine running from her home after her grandfather’s death. She’s facing a danger she doesn’t quite understand, and she’s doing it alone. She has no family or faith to guide her through. When she ends up in Baxter, she develops relationships that could evolve into a surrogate family and through their example Christine is introduced to God and what it means to live a life of faith.

The second book continues telling the story of the Cameron family in Baxter, Wisconsin, focusing this time on Silas. When he answers the need for a close friend, he realizes the girl he once thought of as a sister has grown into a woman he could love. But she’s been hurt before, and he’s not sure the change in his feelings would even be welcomed. Faith and family, again, play an important part in helping the main characters find their way.

The third book in the series takes a serious turn. After losing his new wife, Paul Cameron runs from everything he’s known including his family and the God he’s preached about. It takes an injury and the patient care of Abigail to open him up to the possibility that the end of one dream doesn’t have to mean an end to all dreams. God is faithful in the pain as much as in the joy, and He can redeem what’s been lost.

The final book focuses on the instant family of Silas and Amy after they take in five children who have lost their mother and are without their father. The oldest really isn’t a child at 18. When she consults a lawyer named Ross about a legal matter regarding the family farm, the young man can’t help feeling attracted to her. But another girl and Amanda’s lack of faith are roadblock’s to anything developing between them.

While this series is not my favorite from this author, it holds a special place in my reading heart. The stories are simple and sweet. Each book is a quick and easy to read, providing a great evening escape for the reader. And now that I’m reminiscing, I may have to visit our local used bookstore and add this series to my shelves once more.

What was your first experience with Christian historical fiction?

What I’m Reading: My First Suspense

I can remember my first day of school. I can remember my first kiss, my first time having frozen yogurt, and the first movie my family went to a theater to watch together. It was E.T., by the way.

Some things stick with you through the years. Others leave you with only the impression they made. Over the next few weeks, I want to share some first books with you. These are books I clearly remember as being my firsts for various reasons. Most of them are older books, but you should still be able to find them. I’d encourage it, because they are well worth it.

I have a confession to make. I tend to steer clear of suspense. I get creeped out way too easily. But I think today’s author began writing romantic Christian suspense before it was a standard genre in the Christian fiction world. And while each of her books have a little mystery in them or a little danger, today’s series held more than I was used to from her. At least, it read as more suspenseful to me, a bit creepier. And so, I include it as my first Christian romantic suspense.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to find a copy of the Egypt trilogy by Linda Chaikin. The series’ World War I backdrop of battles and intrigue are enough to add action and suspense, but the author weaves a deadly who-done-it throughout the three stories. We’re left questioning the motives of characters we think are true. We fear for the safety of the characters we love.

Arabian Winds begins the series with Nurse Allison Wescott serving on a medical mission boat in Egypt. Her life is full of promise, as she’s engaged to a man who is working to serve as a chaplain in Oswald Chambers’s camp. When war breaks out during her holiday, Allison becomes part of a mystery surrounding two dead bodies and Brett Holden, a British officer determined to interrogate her. But there are also sparks, and Allison is faced with more choices for her life than she ever imagined.

Allison’s story continues in Lions of the Desert. World War I has begun, and Allison has moved from serving on the medical mission boat to tending wounded soldiers on the front lines. When Brett Holden reappears, Allison is unprepared for his return. However, the two find themselves in the middle of murder, and Allison has to figure out who she can trust before it’s too late.

The series ends with Valiant Hearts. With Brett in hot water with his superiors, Allison wants to trust him and his motives. But there are too many secrets and a treasure map that promises to bring its owner great riches. Before she can figure out whether Brett has “gone bad”, they’re thrown into danger from a deadly German spy who wants what everyone says Brett has. With Allison caught in the middle, her life is at risk if they can’t unmask the spy and find out the truth about Brett.

I’ve read this series many times since it came out in 1997. It gives me just enough mystery to make me want to read it with the lights one without making me want to sleep with them on too! And while there are clues throughout the stories, the author does a great job of keeping the reader off balance just enough to keep the ending a surprise.

I hope you enjoy this first as much as I have. Do you remember your first Christian romantic suspense? Have you read this series?

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