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Counted with the Stars by Connilyn CossetteBiblical Fiction. When all five of her father's ships sink, Kiya is sold into slavery to help pay his debts -- her only consolation is that this this will protect her mother and disabled brother from the same fate. Abused by her new mistress, the young Egyptian becomes friends with a Hebrew slave and joins her when her people flee Egypt after the plagues. But during her difficult travels in the desert, Kiya must decide whether she can trust the God of the people she accompanies. This "engrossing" (Library Journal) book is also the 1st in the Out of Egypt series; the 2nd entry, Shadow of the Storm, comes out in October. Readers who enjoy the engaging, well-researched biblical fiction of Jill Eileen Smith will want to try Connilyn Cossette's debut novel.
Brush of Wings by Karen KingsburyGeneral Fiction. Ember, Beck, Jag, and Aspyn are angels on a special mission. Part of it entails keeping Mary Catherine -- who, despite needing a heart transplant, plans to leave Los Angeles for ministry work in Uganda -- alive. She isn't telling anyone about the seriousness of her illness either, not even the love of her life, Major League Baseball player Marcus Dillinger. Meanwhile, the angels also help a pregnant troubled teen. This is the final book in a trilogy by bestselling author Karen Kingsbury; newcomers should start with the 1st book, Angels Walking. Fans on the hold list who'd like another contemporary story about prayer and women's lives can try Neta Jackson's The Yada Yada Prayer Group books, and those who appreciate Kingsbury's likable characters and romantic stories may like Lori Wick's books.
A Treasure Concealed by Tracie PetersonHistorical Romance. Emily Carver's father is a Christian -- he's also convinced that he'll hit the gold mother lode in 1895 Montana. Meanwhile, Emily's mother is dying, and Emily is tired of moving from place to place and dressing solely to prevent unwanted attention from lonely miners. What Emily wants is to settle down, and when a handsome geologist arrives, she has an opportunity to fulfill her wish -- but the couple resists their connection for different reasons. Peopled with memorable characters, A Treasure Concealed is the atmospheric 1st book in the Sapphire Brides series by veteran author Tracie Peterson.
The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. WhiteHistorical Romance. It's 1912, and Lady Rowena needs to escape Scotland. Her father, who's both the Earl of Lochaber and the powerful Chief of Clan Kinnaird, hasn't been kind to her since her mother died several years ago. Meanwhile, her stepmother is more than unpleasant, her betrothed just turned shockingly abusive (she has the bruises and maybe a pregnancy to prove it), and God seems to be nowhere around. But she just might find her way again with the help of her devoted lady's maid and the Godly Duke of Nottingham (who finds himself in possession of supposedly cursed gems). Downton Abbey fans as well as readers who enjoy books featuring large casts of fully realized characters and dashes of intrigue will want to read this 2nd in a series; the 1st is The Lost Heiress.
Outlaw by Ted DekkerSuspense. Raised by a well-to-do British mother and Southern father in Atlanta, Georgia, Julian Carter is used to servants and gentility. But in 1963, after she’s widowed and in response to a recurring dream, she takes her two-year-old son to a remote island off the coast of Australia, leaving behind her life of comfort. When their sailboat capsizes, Julian is saved by unfriendly natives but there is no sign of her young son. She mourns him and struggles to survive as a captive in the jungle. This unusual, thought-provoking book deals with questions of identity and sacrifice; Outlaw, which Library Journal calls "excellent," is one of popular author Ted Dekker's most personal books to date: he was raised by his missionary parents in Indonesia among cannibals.
Unspoken by Dee HendersonRomantic Suspense. Charlotte Graham isn't her real name. She was Ruth Bazoni before she was kidnapped at the age of 16 and held captive for four years. The Chicago Police and the FBI caught (and killed) her captors, and Charlotte began a new life, not discussing the details of her captivity with anyone. Back in Chicago years later, Charlotte is slowly selling off her wealthy grandfather's coin collection to dealer Bryce Bishop, a faith-filled man who's bored with his life but feels drawn to Charlotte. Meanwhile, mutual friends of the two try to solve the cold case of an infant's abduction and murder. More leisurely paced than some of Dee Henderson's earlier works, Unspoken (in which some characters from her Full Disclosure return) is for those seeking a more subtly suspenseful story.
Firewall by DiAnn MillsThriller. An airport bombing interrupts her honeymoon departure and lands brainy software engineer Taryn Young in the hospital in a coma. When she awakes, she is shocked to learn that the FBI can't find her new husband (whom she's known for only three months), that his name is an alias, and that both of them are prime suspects in the bombing. Dealing with heartbreak, Taryn tries to prove her innocence with the help of FBI agent Grayson Hall, who believes she was set up -- but they must act quickly when people close to Taryn start being kidnapped and killed. For other fast-paced romantic suspense stories, try Irene Hannon's books.
A Cry from the Dust: A Gwen Marcey Novel by Carrie Stuart ParksSuspense. A year ago, Gwen Marcey got a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, and a rebellious teen daughter unhappy with her shattered family. With her cancer in remission, forensic artist Gwen has a temporary job reconstructing faces at Mountain Meadows, Utah, site of a (real-life) 1857 massacre of over 100 men, women, and children by Mormon extremists -- but her job turns menacing when a modern killing with ties to the past occurs. Weaving together historical fact, fiction, and forensic details, this award-winning first novel by Carrie Stuart Park (a forensic artist herself) is a good fit for fans of Frank Peretti, since he mentored her. The 3rd novel in the Gwen Marcey series, When Death Draws Near, comes out this August.
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