The following are the finalists for the 2013 Carol Awards that were announced earlier this week. The winners will be announced during the 2013 ACFW National Conference in Indianapolis at the Gala on September 15, 2013.
by Irene Hannon
(Love Inspired * Editor: Melissa Endlich)
After surviving a devastating tragedy, combat reporter Nate Garrison returns to the only place that ever felt like home: Starfish Bay. But his reunion with lovely Lindsey Collier is nothing like he'd imagined. The sad-eyed widow who runs the mercantile was once the girl who made young Nate dream—of a future, of family ties and deep roots. Now Lindsey avoids love, loss…and Nate, who finally understands that God has given him a second chance. With the help of a little boy and an entire community, they just might discover faith's true healing power.
by Myra Johnson
(Heartsong Presents * Editor: Rebecca Germany)
Love is definitely out of the question while Grace works her way through college to earn her occupational therapist certification. Besides, her mother's string of failed relationships and broken promises prove romance is not worth risking her heart—even when she begins to care deeply for single dad Ryan O'Keefe.Four years after his girlfriend, Shana, became pregnant, Ryan still can't believe he's a father…and can't imagine being anything else. His daughter is the light of his life. Now if only Shana could embrace motherhood and the three become a real family….
Then Ryan receives shocking news about Shana, and his world is torn apart as he faces losing his daughter. Suddenly old feelings for Grace resurface, but is a whirlwind marriage of convenience the answer?
by Dana Mentink
(Love Inspired * Editor: Emily Rodmell)
Brooke Ramsey is running out of time. She needs to save her father's reputation before she loses him to illness. That means finding the painting that went missing while in his care. Fast. Which is why she teams up with Victor Gage, owner of Treasure Seekers agency.
The charming private detective has more at stake than uncovering a lost masterpiece. He's investigating his wife's death, and the artwork holds the answer. As Victor and Brooke draw closer to each other, so does a murderer. Someone wants the past to remain buried and will kill again to keep it hidden.
by Sally John
(Tyndale House * Editors: Karen Watson/Stephanie Broene,/Kathy Olson)
In the aftermath of a massive Los Angeles earthquake, the perfect existence Teal Morgan-Adams has built begins to crumble. Teal’s daughter, Maiya, is determined to learn the identity of her biological father, despite the loving devotion of her stepdad, River Adams. But that’s a secret Teal hoped would remain buried forever. She has never shared the truth with anyone . . . not her family, not River, not even Maiya’s father.
As Maiya’s rebellion escalates, Teal receives tragic news from her sister and decides to take Maiya home to Cedar Pointe, Oregon, a place she’s avoided most of her adult life. But will her already-strained marriage survive the distance and the secrets she’ll be forced to face there? And can Teal erase the lies that echo in her heart?
by Susan May Warren
(Tyndale House * Editors: Karen Watson/Sarah Mason)
To everyone who knows her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses her kids’ sporting events, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.
No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the sleepy town of Deep Haven, Deidre got a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker. Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on bail and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the grace to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?
by Carolyn Zane
(Abingdon Press * Editor: Ramona Richards)
After a tornado rips through her town, store owner Abigail comes across a piece of fabric from a wedding dress among the devastation. Abigail is moved to start collecting other swatches of fabric she finds – her neighbor’s kitchen curtains, a man’s necktie, a dog’s bed – which she stashes in shopping bags. As she pursues her seemingly absurd quest, horrible realities spark the question, “What kind of a God would allow such tragedy?” As she struggles to reconcile her right to happiness amidst the destruction, Abigail begins piecing together a patchwork quilt from the salvaged fabric in hopes it will bring some peace. But a new relationship with Justin, a contractor, may require too much of her fragile heart. Will her pain and questions of faith give way to the courage to love?
Début Novel Nominations
by Katie Ganshert
(Waterbrook/Multnomah * Editor: Shannon Marchese)
A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany's vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn't seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she's not even sure exists?
by Jordyn Redwood
(Kregel * Editor: Dawn Anderson)
Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?
by Courtney Walsh
(Guideposts Books * Editors: Beth Adams/Rachel Meisel/Lindsay Guzzardo)
A faded scrapbook reveals secrets that reconnect old friends in a place called Sweethaven.
Campbell Carter has come to Sweethaven in search of answers about her mother's history. Just before losing a battle with cancer, Suzanne Carter sent letters to childhood friends from her hometown of Sweethaven, Michigan. Suzanne's three friends -- Lila, Jane, and Meghan -- haven't spoken in years, yet each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together as girls.
Suzanne's letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. As the scrapbook reveals secrets from the past, old wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored -- just as Suzanne intended.
by Jane Kirkpatrick
(Waterbrook/Multnomah * Editor: Shannon Marchese)
One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.
German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.
Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference?
Based on the life of Hulda Klager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over an impossible dream and the power of a generous heart.
“Beauty matters… it does. God gave us flowers for a reason. Flowers remind us to put away fear, to stop our rushing and running and worrying about this and that, and for a moment, have a piece of paradise right here on earth.”
by Anne Mateer
(Bethany House * Editor: Charlene Patterson)
Caught up in a whirlwind of religious fervor when two missionaries speak at her church, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. She's certain her wealthy father will simply hand her the money. But when he refuses, she must either stand up in front of the congregation and admit failure, or raise the money herself.
Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles. It's 1916, and the latest advancements in car engines allow some to post speeds upwards of seventy miles per hour! When she discovers her father's company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events--races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money--she conspires with her father's mechanic, Webster, to secretly train and compete.
But as Alyce comes across needs in her own community, money slips through her fingers faster than she can earn it. And when her friends cast aspersions on Webster's past, she believes she might have trusted the wrong man with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?
by Dan Walsh
(Revell * Editor: Andrea Doering)
Gerard Warner was not only a literary giant whose suspense novels sold in the millions, he was also a man devoted to his family, especially his wife of nearly 60 years. When he dies he leaves his Charleston estate to his grandson, Michael, an aspiring writer himself. Michael settles in to write his own first novel and discovers an unpublished manuscript his grandfather had written, something he'd kept hidden from everyone but clearly intended Michael to find. Michael begins to read an exciting tale about Nazi spies and sabotage, but something about this story is different from all of Gerard Warner's other books. It's actually a love story.
As Michael delves deeper into the story he discovers something that has the power to change not only his future but his past as well. Laced with suspense and intrigue, The Discovery is a richly woven novel that explores the incredible sacrifices that must be made to forge the love of a lifetime. Author Dan Walsh delivers yet another unique and heartfelt story that will stick with readers long after they turn the last page.
Historical Romance Nominations
by Tamera Alexander
(Zondervan * Editor: Sue Brower)
Set at Nashville's historic Belle Meade Plantation, the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in America's history, To Whisper Her Name weaves the struggles of real people of the post-war South with the journeys of a man and a woman scarred by betrayal.
Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from "Aunt" Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding's head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.
by Serena B. Miller
(Revell * Editor: Vicki Crumpton)
Ingrid Larsen, a young Swedish immigrant, arrives in Michigan in 1871 to search for her brother who has disappeared into the woods to work the dangerous lumber camps. Destitute and barely hanging on to hope, she encounters a newly-widowed farmer who is struggling to raise five children on his own. Marriage would solve both of their problems, and so Ingrid proposes to a man she barely knows. She will fight to protect her new family--but the hardest battle of all will be winning the heart of her new husband.
Readers who loved The Measure of Katie Calloway will be pleased to find more of Miller's emotive and descriptive writing here--and to discover that love is more than words
by Karen Witemeyer
(Bethany House * Editor: Karen Schurrer)
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?
by Terri Blackstock
(Zondervan * Editors: David Lambert/Sue Brower/Ellen Tarver)
Emily Covington has turned her life around after a drug addiction, but her family still has trouble trusting her. Though Emily has committed herself to a year-long treatment program and has been sober for almost a year beyond that, even her mother walks on eggshells around her, fearing she'll relapse. After her behavior during her drug years, Emily realizes she has a lot to prove. When police discover a homemade bomb under Emily's car, and she then learns the wife of one of her friends was murdered that same morning, she knows things are deadly serious. But who wants Emily dead? And why? A conversation she had with two men, an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and a plan for a double murder all conspire for one explosive ride ... and Emily is the only one who can identify the killer and save the life of the next potential victim. As she frantically works to solve this ever more complicated puzzle, Emily finds herself playing right into the killer's hands.
by Brandilyn Collins
(B&H Publishing * Editor: Karen Ball)
Amaryllis, Mississippi is a scrappy little town of strong backbone and southern hospitality. A brick-paved Main Street, a park, and a legendary ghost in the local cemetery are all part of its heritage. Everybody knows everybody in Amaryllis, and gossip wafts on the breeze. Its people are friendly, its families tight. On the surface Amaryllis seems much like the flower for which it’s named—bright and fragrant. But the Amaryllis flower is poison.
In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago—a sixth murder.
Clearly a killer lives among the good citizens of Amaryllis. And now three terrified women are sure they know who he is—someone they love. None is aware of the others’ suspicions. And each must make the heartrending choice to bring the killer down. But each woman suspects a different man.
by Dineen Miller
(Barbour Publishing * Editors: Rebecca Germany/Jamie Chavez)
Lexie Baltimore is in the supernatural battle of her life. In obedience to God's calling, Lexie uses her art and dreams to help others. But will she have enough courage to help herself when she becomes torn between her atheist husband and a godly man?
A widower and a father, Pastor Nate Winslow is drowning in darkness. Will he resist his treacherous assignment to win Lexie's heart or give in to the attraction between them?
As events unfold, Lexie becomes entangled in a twisted plot. Will she overcome the evil assailing her or yield to the dark side?
by Paula Moldenhauer
(Postmark: Christmas - Barbour Publishing * Editors: Rebecca Germany/JoAnne Simmons)
People from around the country send their mail to Christmas, Florida, to receive a special Christmas postmark, but will four couples find their holidays stamped for romance? Festive plans for the city throw nomadic event planner Stella together with contractor and single dad Brick. War widow Randi enjoys sending Christmas postcards to men and women serving in the armed forces—until Major Troy Brennan shows up on her doorstep. Shy Gabi is drawn out of her shell by photographer David Levine. And retired police officer Rick Stanton works to steal postmaster Edie Hathaway’s heart throughout this delightful story collection.
“Home for Christmas:” Paige Winship Dooly
“Merry Christmas, With Love:” Darlene Franklin
“A Blessed Angel Came:” Kathleen Kovach
“You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch:” Paula Moldenhauer
by Lisa Karon Richardson
(Colonial Courtships - Barbour Publishing * Editor: Rebecca Germany)
Unexpected adventure catches the Ingersoll brothers by surprise-and brings unexpected love into their lives. Nathaniel has his sights set on becoming a master figurehead carver, until he risks everything for a woman. Jonathan’s merchant trade and his new love are in jeopardy from a brother’s animosity. Micah expects to settle down to peace after a life of fighting on the frontier but finds a young woman hiding from an abductor. Alden is press-ganged into tending an ailing naval captain, then catches sight of the captain’s fetching niece. Will the unexpected end in four courtships?
“Carving a Future” by Carla Olson Gade
“Trading Secrets” by Amber Stockton
“Over a Barrel” by Laurie Alice Eakes
“Impressed by Love” by Lisa Karon Richardson
by Beth Wiseman
(An Amish Kitchen - Thomas Nelson * Editor: Natalie Hanemann)
The Amish kitchen is the heart of the home – and the ideal setting for stories of love and hope.
When a storm blows a tree onto Eve Bender’s farmhouse, she has little choice but to temporarily move her family into her parents’ home. Outside of cooking together in the kitchen, Eve and her mother can’t agree on anything. But this may be just the recipe for hope in healing old wounds.
Part of An Amish Kitchen Novella Collection
by Denise Hunter
(Thomas Nelson * Editors: Natalie Hanemann/L. B. Norton)
When a wedding reenactment turns real, Shay finds she’s an accidental bride.
Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana, on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite the hard work, she can’t seem to keep her head above water—and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but expected.
Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders’ Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high-school sweetheart—the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit.
Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busybody and an absentminded preacher, the make-believe vows result in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say annulment, Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she may lose her home. If she accepts, she may lose her heart.
Shay isn’t sure if the recent events are God’s will or just a preacher’s blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?
by Amy Lillard
(B&H Publishing * Editors: Julie Gwinn/Julie Carobini)
Gideon Fisher wants one thing out of life -- to be left alone. This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife and son to the point of losing his faith. He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community. But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, what choice does Gideon have but to let her in?
Dallas socialite Avery Ann Hamilton is intrigued by the Amish farmer who pulls her out of the snow and into his austere lifestyle. Poor little rich girl, Avery has just gone through (yet another) bad breakup. Every man she meets only wants her for her father’s money. All she has ever wanted is to be loved for herself. Avery soon discovers the Oklahoma Amish country is the perfect place to hide out and heal her broken heart.
But she finds a peace in those back roads that she’s never felt before. Now her life has purpose and meaning as she connects with God and those around her. And there’s something more as she begins to care for this man who needs both love and forgiveness.
Gideon never wanted to live again much less fall in love, but Avery finds her way into his heart, showing him the beauty of life and God’s greatness. Yet as the feelings between Avery and Gideon grow, can they overcome their dissimilar lifestyles, or will their sheer differences pull them apart?
by Serena B. Miller
(Howard * Editor: Holly Halverson)
Grace Connor, a military nurse formerly stationed in Afghanistan, hopes that moving to a farm in rural Ohio will help her recover from the ravages of war.Levi Troyer finds his pacifist beliefs challenged when he discovers his stepfather has been killed and his mother wounded by an unknown intruder. Levi and Grace are thrown together when she comes to his family’s rescue and saves his mother’s life. A deep attraction develops—even though a relationship between them is strictly forbidden.
Levi belongs to the most conservative and isolated of all Amish sects—the Swartzentruber Amish. Even before meeting Grace, Levi had begun to question some of their teachings. He has considered leaving, but knows he will be banned forever from contact with his younger siblings and widowed mother—who need him to survive. He is torn between his love for Grace and his responsibility to his family.
Grace considers leaving her beloved farm and reenlisting rather than continuing to live near the man she loves but cannot have. Levi must confront the Bann if he pursues Grace. And a murderer must be caught. When lifelong allegiances are tested, can love and justice prevail?
Romantic Suspense Nominations
by Colleen Coble
(Thomas Nelson * Editor: Ami McConnell)
Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.
Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.
But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby’s under suspicion for the crime.
Libby’s dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.
by Margaret Daley
(Abingdon Press * Editor: Ramona Richards)
When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt's daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped.
Now it's personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves.
by Lynette Eason
(Revell * Editor: Andrea Doering)
Spunky and outgoing, nothing much bothers medical examiner Serena Hopkins--except for the thought of falling in love again. But when a serial killer is picking off her former classmates, Serena's life becomes intertwined with her old high school crush, FBI agent Dominic Allen. Is the secret she's keeping putting her next on the killer's hit list? Can she trust Dominic with the truth before it's too late?
Intense, emotional, and fast-paced, When a Heart Stops will have readers up late as they race to the finish to find out what happens.
by Morgan L. Busse
(Marcher Lord Press * Editor: Jeff Gerke)
What if with one touch you could see inside the soul?
Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . .
But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.
by R. J. Larson
(Bethany House * Editors: David Long/Sarah Long)
A Fantasy Saga Fueled by Adventure and Faith
The last thing Kien Lantec expects on his first day of military leave is to receive marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that don't involve destroyer-racing or courting the love of his life, Ela. Adding to Kien's frustration, his Infinite-ordained duties have little to do with his skills as a military judge-in-training. His mission? To warn the people of ToronSea against turning their backs to the Infinite to worship a new goddess.
But why Kien? Isn't this the role of a true prophet, such as Ela of Parne?
Seeking answers, Kien visits Ela and finds her stricken by a devastating vision of her own. Her birthplace, Parne, has been corrupted by her enemies and will soon suffer judgment. Pulled in separate ways, each must seek to follow the Infinite's leading and hope He will reunite them again soon.
by Kathy Tyers
(Marcher Lord Press * Editor: Jeff Gerke)
Times have changed for the telepathic Sentinels in the realm of the Federate Whorl. Persecution sends these genetically altered people fleeing to their sanctuary world, but a shipboard disaster exposes High Commander Brennen Caldwell to fatal radiation. Medical student Meris Cariole ends up stranded, an unwelcome outsider, at a sanctuary she never meant to invade.
On another world, wrongfully imprisoned Sentinel Jorah Caldwell receives a supernatural visitor. For generations, the Sentinel kindred has anticipated Boh-Dabar, the prophesied Word to Come. The visitor hails Jorah as Boh-Dabar. Can he believe the news?
Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger arrives at the sanctuary world, also claiming to be Boh-Dabar. Brennen and Firebird Caldwell, Meris, and Jorah are caught in a tangle of interstellar incidents that threaten the Sentinel kindred's very existence. And no one-anywhere-has anticipated the events that will shake the interstellar Federacy.
In the "Firebird" alternate universe, humankind has gone to the stars. The messianic bloodline has been genetically altered, and instantaneous communication links the settled worlds. Still, God's character has not changed, nor have his promises failed. Daystar brings the saga to a conclusion that rocks the galaxies.
Young Adult Nominations
by R.J. Larson
(Bethany House * Editors: David Long/Sarah Long)
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she's much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne's elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
Yet she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.
by Nicole Quigley
(Zondervan * Editor: Jacque Alberta)
When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor's pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice.
When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom's latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie -- between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots.
Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.
by Jill Williamson
(Marcher Lord Press * Editor: Jeff Gerke)
The Mission League--Mission 1: Moscow Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club. These guys mean business.
Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.