Friday’s Finds: Nonfiction, Christian Fiction, Parenting, and Free!

Murder in Half Moon Bay: A Jillian Bradley Mystery, Book 1

Murder in Half Moon Bay: A Jillian Bradley Mystery, Book 1

Nancy Jill Thames

All Jillian Bradley wants is to spend a quiet weekend by the ocean and enjoy her afternoon tea. But a startling discovery draws Jillian and her garden club friends into solving a mystery that threatens her life and changes her future.

‘Murder in Half Moon Bay,’ Book 1 in The Jillian Bradley Mystery Series, introduces Jillian’s little companion ‘Teddy,’ a Yorkie who falls prey to danger but rises to become a sleuth dog in the next book.

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Stealthy Steps (Nanostealth Book 1)

Stealthy Steps (Nanostealth Book 1)

Vicki Kestell

Stealthy Steps, Nanostealth | Book 1

Gemma Keyes was an ordinary, unexceptional young woman with a lackluster life until an overheard conversation ends her budding career—and her loyalty to an old friend puts her very existence in jeopardy.

My name is Gemma Keyes. Other than my name, I am utterly forgettable—so those who never paid much attention to me in the first place haven’t exactly noticed that I’ve disappeared. Vanished. Oh, it’s much more complicated than it sounds. And let me tell you, invisibility comes with its own set of problems.

I should tell you about Dr. Daniel Bickel, world-renowned nanophysicist. We used to work together, but I’ll be candid with you: He’s supposed to be dead. Well, he’s not. (Imagine my surprise.) Instead of the proverbial “six feet under,” he’s subsisting in an abandoned devolution cavern beneath the old Manzano Weapons Storage Facility on Kirtland Air Force Base here in Albuquerque.

“I need to show you what I’m protecting here, Gemma,” he insisted.

I stared into the clear glass case. I could hear . . . humming, clicking, buzzing. A faint haze inside the box shifted. Dissolved. Came back together. Reminded me of how mercury, when released on a plate, will flow and form new shapes. Only this, this thing was “flowing and forming” in midair.

“Do you see them?” Dr. Bickel asked.

“Them?” I was confused. My mouth opened to a stunned “o” as the silver haze resolved into blue letters.

H E L L O

Dr. Bickel hadn’t pressed any buttons. Hadn’t said anything to them. Hadn’t gestured.

He grinned. “Ah. They’ve noticed you. They know they haven’t seen you before.”

“Well, I wish they wouldn’t notice me!” I choked on the words, my eyes fixed on the glass case.

And I need to warn you about General Cushing. The rank and name likely conjure images of a lean but muscled old soldier, posture rigid, face cemented in unyielding lines, iron-gray hair cut high and tight.

Let me disabuse you of that impression.

General Imogene Cushing is short and a tiny bit plump. She wears her silvered hair in an elegant braid knotted at the nape of her neck, and she knows how to smile sweetly. With the deadliest of sharks..

You wouldn’t suspect a two-star general, an Air Force O-8, of being a traitor, would you?

Nanostealth
Book 1: Stealthy Steps
Book 2: Stealth Power
Book 3: Stealth Retribution, June 2017

Editorial Review

“The author impressed me by backing up the tale with some real science and actual locations. Gemma is one of the most well-developed characters I’ve seen, certainly not one of those comic-book caricatures that are so common now. She has a real personal history and real flaws that blend in well with the storyline.”
—The Kindle Book Review

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Livin' in High Cotton: A Love Inspired Historical Novel

Livin’ in High Cotton: A Love Inspired Historical Novel

Jennifer Youngblood

A tender, love inspired historical novel by best selling authors Jennifer Youngblood and Sandra Poole

A man she couldn’t forget … a second chance to prove that love never fails …

Cultured, graceful, feisty Shelby Collins is the epitome of a southern lady. She tries to prove her competence by looking after her siblings while her mother is away caring for an ailing relative. Shelby’s secure world is turned upside down when her father, in a drunken rage, tries to rape her. Fearing others will learn of his treachery, he kidnaps her, takes her to a reform school, and abandons her. In utter despair, Shelby is sure that her life is over—but sometimes blessings come in the most unexpected ways.

When a chance meeting brings her face to face with the ruggedly handsome, Harlan Rhodes, Shelby is unprepared for the feelings that stir within her. Hearts collide, and a love in bloom becomes a lasting love that will span time and space. Through a series of unfortunate events, Shelby and Harlan are separated, forcing them to lead separate lives of loneliness and frustration.

Years later, when their lives converge, old feelings rekindle, and they must decide if they will risk all to finally be together.

Inspired by a true story, this love inspired historical novel is set against the rich tapestry of the South during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. It’s a story of love, betrayal, and the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity. It’s about a young girl, growing up, who realizes that life is full of second chances, and that it’s never too late to learn how to live.

“A compelling story of family loyalty, love, loss, and strength, as warm and fertile as the rich red clay of a Georgia field. The inspiring, hardscrabble lives of Depression-era southerners make for a vivid story of love and forgiveness.”
–Deborah Smith, New York Times bestselling author of A Place to Call Home

“Strongly recommended and superbly crafted reading.”
–Midwest Book Review

“With a combination of heartbreak, romance, and triumph, Livin’ in High Cotton is a page-turning pleasure.”
–LDS Living Magazine

“You’ve got to read this book. I loved it. You won’t be able to put it down. It evoked so many emotions, and it was easy reading. I felt like I was actually there. It’s one of those books you want to pick up and read a second time.”
–Rilly Winkle, Alabama TV and radio personality

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Unlocking the Scriptures: What the Bible Is, How We Got It, and Why We Can Trust It

Unlocking the Scriptures: What the Bible Is, How We Got It, and Why We Can Trust It

Jeff Lasseigne

How We Got the Bible and Why It Is Reliable

The Bible is the bestselling, most read, most beloved, most criticized, most neglected, and most antagonizing book in history. It’s also the most misunderstood–sometimes even by those who claim to follow its teachings. So what exactly is it? Who wrote it and how did those writings come together into what we now know as the Bible? And how do we know we can trust what it says?

For the curious reader, whether a lifelong Christian, a new believer, or an unconvinced skeptic, Unlocking the Bible provides the answers to these questions and more. In easy-to-understand language, it covers the Bible’s origin, its transmission throughout history, its trustworthiness, and its significance. It also explains how to read this unique collection of religious texts and outlines how to study and teach it to others.

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A Bump in Life: True Stories of Hope & Courage During an Unplanned Pregnancy

A Bump in Life: True Stories of Hope & Courage During an Unplanned Pregnancy

Amy Ford

When going through a personal struggle, there’s no better help than to receive hope from someone who once stood where you are standing now. For the single teenage girl with an unplanned pregnancy, A Bump in Life gathers story after inspiring story of brave young moms who managed to grow in grace and wisdom as an unexpected new life grew inside of them.

There’s Amy, the Christian girl who could not face her parents but fainted at the abortion clinic just in time to stop the procedure from happening that day (or ever). Jayd could not raise her baby, but she was determined to bless the adoptive parents with a special dedication ceremony honoring their new family.

Tasha was two weeks old when her mom left — and seventeen years later was pregnant with twins of her own. She broke the cycle of abandonment and is a great mom today. Taylor grew up without a father and felt a need to be validated by men. As a high school junior she became pregnant after a first date only to have the guy change his phone number and disappear – but she gave birth to a baby girl that has stolen her heart.

Overflowing with encouragement, A Bump in Life will help anyone going through or connected with this situation move from feelings of loneliness, shame, and worry to the far more lasting joy that is God’s redemptive blessing of a child.

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The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood

The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood

Becky Kopitzke

“This book isn’t about raising kids. It’s about raising Moms. . .” says author, speaker, blogger, lunch packer, and sidewalk chalk artist Becky Kopitzke. In a Pinterest-perfect culture, you’ve likely sensed an accelerated pressure to measure up. Then you either weigh yourself down with guilt or become resigned–desensitized, even–to this so-called failure. The Supermom Myth–with humor and grace, yet all the while maintaining a firm grasp on reality–aims to empower you to become the mom God created you to be. With 8 chapters, each personifying a “dirty villain” of motherhood, including The Grouch on the Couch (Anger), Worry Woman (Fear), and The Calendar Queen (Busyness), Kopitzke offers a gentle reminder to rest in the super power of our grace-filled God.

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How to Really Love Your Teen

How to Really Love Your Teen

Ross Campbell

Even parents who deeply love their teen don’t always know how to express that love in a way that makes their teen feel loved and accepted. In How to Really Love Your Teen, Dr. Campbell helps you create a balanced approach to parenting in the teen years. The skills you learn in this book will help you:

• Communicate unconditional love
• Handle teenage anger … and your own
• Deal with adolescent depression
• Establish loving communication even when your teen shuts down
• Help your teenager grow spiritually

As you learn to love your teen in ways he or she can receive, you’ll be amazed at the joy the teenage years can bring.

The late Dr. Ross Campbell served thousands of families in his three decades as a counselor. He authored several books, including the international bestseller How to Really Love Your Child and The Five Love Languages of Children (coauthored with Gary Chapman), and wrote extensively on helping children deal with anger.

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If I Had a Parenting Do-Over: 7 Vital Changes I'd Make

If I Had a Parenting Do-Over: 7 Vital Changes I’d Make

Jonathan McKee

Ever wish parenting came with a do-over button?

“Here’s where I messed up. . .”

Whenever I say those words during my parenting workshops, you can hear a pin drop. Parents are on the edges of their seats.

“And here’s what I’d do differently next time. . .”

That’s when every pen in the room begins writing furiously.

Let’s face it. Hindsight is 20/20.

If you ever find yourself saying “I wish I had a do-over. . .” You’re not alone! Join author and youth culture expert, Jonathan McKee, as he shares from his own personal parenting experiences of raising three kids, while making purposeful, effective tweaks along the way. Delivered with a refreshing blend of humor and vulnerability, the author’s candid style and real-world application will equip you with solid, helpful practices you can actually use in your own home. With chapters like “Let It Go,” “Press Pause,” and “Tip the Scales,” McKee provides the honest answers you’re seeking as you parent your kids.

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Praying Circles around Your Children

Praying Circles around Your Children

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson shares a perfect blend of biblical yet practical advice that will revolutionize your prayer life by giving you a new vocabulary and a new methodology. You’ll see how prayer is your secret weapon. Through stories of parents just like you, Batterson shares five prayer circles that will not only help you pray for your kids, but also pray through your kids.

Batterson teaches about how to create prayer lists unique to your family, claim God-inspired promises for your children, turn your family circle into a prayer circle, and discover your child’s life themes. And he not only tells you how, he illustrates why.

As Batterson says, “I realize that not everyone inherited a prayer legacy like I did, but you can leave a legacy for generations to come. Your prayers have the power to shape the destiny of your children and your children’s children. It’s time to start circling.”

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Too Long a Stranger (Women of the West Book #9)

Too Long a Stranger (Women of the West Book #9)

Janette Oke

She made the difficult decision with only her daughter’s best interest in mind . . . but did she sacrifice too much?

When her husband dies, Sarah Perry is left with no way to support herself and her daughter, Rebecca. Reluctantly, she takes over operation of her husband’s freight-hauling business, managing to save enough money to send Rebecca east to a boarding school– to an easier life and a future Sarah could not provide.

With the boarding-school fees consuming Sarah’s savings, there is no money left for trips home. Over the years, the chasm between mother and daughter becomes much more than geographical distance, and when Rebecca finally returns home, it seems that she and her mother are from different worlds. What hope is there of breaking down the enormous barriers between them?

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The Midwife's Legacy (Romancing America)

The Midwife’s Legacy (Romancing America)

Rhonda Gibson

Peek into an aged journal that links the adventurous lives of four courageous midwives. Wisconsin farmer, widow, mother, and midwife Adele Marley is too busy for a smitten, unwavering banker. To survive in love and life, Polly Schultz must rise above her fears on the Oregon Trail. Christiana is in a battle to prove to one man that she can be both a wife and a midwife. Her confidence shaken, Kendra Silverstone needs confirmation of God’s hand in her life and love. How will God work to give these women the direction they need?

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This Road We Traveled

This Road We Traveled

Jane Kirkpatrick

Drama, Adventure, and Family Struggles Abound as Three Generations Head West on the Oregon Trail

When Tabitha Brown’s son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son’s concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.

The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha’s faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family’s survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn’t know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life–and the greater part she had to play in history.

With her signature attention to detail and epic style, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to travel the deadly and enticing Oregon Trail. Based on actual events, This Road We Traveled will inspire the pioneer in all of us.

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Gentle Like the Rain: A Heart's Design Novel

Gentle Like the Rain: A Heart’s Design Novel

JoAnn Durgin

After Isabella Caccavale’s Aunt Clara marched into her Hartford marketing firm and announced, “God told me to retire and sell my general store in Evergreen—to you,” Isabella’s life plunged into a tailspin. Fourteen months later, as the new owner of Mahoney’s General Store, she’s explaining the benefits of goat’s milk soap to a customer on the phone while keeping an eye on a seven-year-old prankster intent on hauling the huge jar of dill pickles off the counter.

“Runaway” Boston lawyer Sidney Prescott is hard-driven, a man burdened by high expectations and a demanding family legacy. Reeling from personal loss, he roars into quaint little Evergreen, Maine, seeking answers to life’s important questions. After all, escaping to the same town worked for his younger sister, Caroline, a few years before.

Sidney jump-starts Isabella’s wounded heart, but it doesn’t help when Aunt Clara marches into the store the day after his arrival and makes another startling prediction. Following the failure of a long-term relationship, Isabella vowed to God and herself that she’d never fall in love with another man who doesn’t share her faith. Sidney represents everything she doesn’t need in her life, but she’s strongly drawn to him. Can she keep the lines from blurring between friendship and romance?

Spending time with his sister Caroline and her family, and crossing paths with townsfolk who impact his life in unforgettable ways, Sidney begins to question his work, his lifestyle, and his beliefs in a God he’s never paid much attention to in the past. Could the Almighty have a specific purpose for Sidney’s life? He’s fallen for Isabella, but is there a way they can be together since he’s not the man she needs?

Will Sidney take Isabella’s heart with him when he returns to Boston? Join the journey in Gentle Like the Rain.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Gentle Like the Rain is a sequel to JoAnn Durgin’s 2015 novel, Heart’s Design, but it can be read on its own as a stand-alone story. Gentle Like the Rain first appeared as one of 12 books in a contemporary Christian romance ebook anthology entitled Whispers of Love which released in late June 2016 and debuted at #79 on the USA Today Bestseller List.

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