Tag Archives: suspense

Findley Family Video Publications Sampler One: Historical Fiction

sampler 1 historical

Have you ever wanted to dip into our fourteen historical fiction books but couldn’t decide which is right for you? Now you can “taste and see” anything from Ice Age times to the New Mexico territory. Some have romance, some have political intrigue, all have life and death struggles for what’s right. Sample chapters from all our historical fiction works, free, here on our blog!

Sneak a peek at historical fiction chapters spanning time from the Ice Age to the American frontier. 1. Even after he rescues a damsel in distress, Prince Tristan hasn’t quite arrived at happily ever after.  2. Widowed by the Civil War, northerner Carrie Wilkes needs to save her southern farm, but has she invited a traitor in as a hired man? 3. New Mexico territorial judge Bart Durant can’t face both an assassin and a mail order mistake. 4. A marriage of convenience might painfully distract Ham Jessup, or give him just the information he needs to save Texas. 5-9. Meet the builder who met Abraham, the dragonslayer who sat while Sargon attacked, the warrior with a secret weapon and weakness, the rebellious wife who became an advocate for women, and the peacemaker who wonders how much it will cost him to save the Hittite Empire. 10. Seventeen-year-old Hope rebels against an arranged marriage in Medieval England but must trust a disgraced crusader when her family disappears and everyone thinks she’s mad. 11-14. Benny Richardson works his way west through loss, hardship, and mysteries that sometimes include murder as he fights for his family, his friends, and his future.

Please enjoy this free sampler by downloading the pdf file to your computer. You may put it on any reader device and share with friends. — post by Mary C. Findley

Findley Family Video Publications Historical fiction Sampler pdf format

 

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Benny and the Bank Robber Historical Adventure Series — Now There Are Four!

lines violet flood final 25

As soon as Violet arrives with the wagon train Ben can finally be married. But is she truly in love with Ben, or with the five or six trunks of things her letters say she can’t do without?

When trouble stalks the widowed young schoolteacher, will Ben go past protecting her and threaten both their futures? What will it
take to stop a violent man determined to possess his dead brother’s wife?

How can Ben save Violet and himself from a ruthless outlaw gang? Will he ever stop paying for that headline, or even he live to tell
it at all? An avenger of blood looking to settle scores is not the only thing Ben discovers when he helps a man with a past.

Everything Ben has worked and prayed and bled for could be washed away in a day. Can an unexpected visitor from the past change the
course of a raging flood with Cascade right in its path?

From Chapter Eighteen – Drawing Fire
The door to Elijah’s room burst open suddenly. Ben heard a heavy tread enter the room. The door slammed shut. Ben groped for Obadiah and shoved him behind Elijah’s chair. Ben sat up carefully, holding his eye, which throbbed intensely now.
“Lookit th’ he’p y’ got naow,” Matt Dotter’s voice sneered. “A’ ol’ geezer, a brat, an’ a half a man. This gon’ be easy.”
“Will you let them go?” Ben stood up slowly and held onto the wall for support.
“Shore, aftah ah’m done an’ oan mah way. Ah hit y’, din’ Ah? Ah knows Ah hit y’.”
“No,” Ben laughed. “I fell down the hill and hit my head. You missed, Matt.”
“Y’ lie. Ah doan’ miss a’ thet range.”
“It’s too bad Caleb didn’t get a shot at you. He wouldn’t have missed. Maybe he’s figured out about your friend and he’s on his way back here right now.”
“He’ll b’ late. Y’ jes’ quit turnin’ them wheels insi’e yo’ haid, Carlisle, an’ doan’ b’ fig’rin’ haow y’ kin beat me outta killin’ y’. Ah will hurt these three if y’ gimme trouble.”
“ How do I know you won’t kill them after I’m dead?”
Matt Dotter laughed, a cruel, icy laugh. “Ah c’d kill ev’body in this taown ef Ah wanted t’. Y’ doan’ ha’ no say in what Ah do, ‘spesh’lly since you’ll b’ daid.”
“That’s what I thought,” Ben said, stalling for time and wishing his vision would clear.

Lines in Pleasant Places Amazon

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Interview with Kelly Hagan Author of Haunted by the Past

 

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1. Many people say authors can’t or don’t do well writing more than one genre. You have written a children’s book and a romance suspense book. What do you think prepared you to write these different types of books?
That’s a good question, Mary. My answer would have to be God, and life. As far as my children’s book… I’m a parent and I wanted to share with other children what I do with my own. That is, no matter how old you are, you can have Jesus as your best friend. He loves you and wants to be a part of your life.
For my Christian romance/suspense…God gave me that story, as well as the other’s I’ve written. I think every woman wants a little, all right, maybe a lot of romance in their life. The suspense I think comes with every new day, although I don’t know that I’d want the kind of suspense that Nadia faces!
2. Tell us about things you enjoy.
I enjoy spending time with my family. I also like to listen to different types of music. On Monday’s, and Friday’s I watch a couple of my favorite shows. A little down time is always nice. Of course reading a good book can now be added to my list.
3. Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Nadia had a great life, or so she thought. After the unexpected death of her husband she receives a chilling three word letter in the mail. Instead of staying and facing what may come, she decides to move to another town and start over. Unfortunately she didn’t move far enough away and some strange things start to happen.
Of course during all this she meets Trent, whom she starts to have very strong feelings for – much to her surprise.
But the questions remain – will their friendship turn into something more, or will her past put an end to it all?
“Haunted by the Past” is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions.
4. What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
I have three books that are kind of “waiting in the wings”. But the one I’m currently focusing more of my time on is Trent ’s Story (that’s not the title, but what I refer to it as, as of right now..lol). Trent , as mentioned above is introduced in “Haunted by the Past”. His story is mainly on his past and how he came to have such a strong, solid relationship with Jesus. I hope to have it out early 2014.
5. Tell us about working with any people that help you create your books. Do you use Beta readers or hire a proofreader? How do you get your covers?
I did use Beta readers. I found their advice and notes very helpful. I will continue to use them in the future. I think they are a valuable asset to any author. I also used an editor, she was very helpful as well. I appreciate and am very thankful for everyone who helped me! For my cover, I picked out the pictures and had someone put it all together for me. I think it turned out very nice.

Amazon reviews:

“Haunted by the Past” drops you right in the middle of a mystery laced with romance, intrigue, and God’s love. At times, filled with heart-pounding suspense, Kelly Hagen takes us on a journey into the horror of Nadia’s world as she faces evil head-on. Enter Trent, a sweetheart hero, who only wants to love her, and a beautiful heart-touching story begins. Short, intense, delightful, and romantic, “Haunted by the Past” will stir your sense of what-ifs. I look forward to reading more from this new author of Christian suspense.
I really enjoyed “Haunted by the Past.” It worked out really well as a novella. The action never dragged, and it was a short and entertaining read. The growing romance between the two main characters is sweetly done. There were enough twists to keep me interested, and the danger was real enough to keep it feeling suspenseful. I look forward to reading more from Kelly Hagen and was pleasantly surprised to read in the last few pages that she actually has another novella planned with at least one of the same characters.

Kelly Hagen
Author of Jake & Jesus

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More Christian Book Reviews!

Four Stars: Dana Pratola’s “The Covering”

“Praying for the Leader of the Pack”

This is a formula romance that defies the formulas. Good girl attracted to bad boy — Check. Bad boy tortures himself over what is and isn’t his fault about his past — Check. But then there’s that prayer thing, unleashing the Power of God. That power doesn’t take a back seat to anything in this story. It’s not tacked on, it’s not preachy, it’s persistent, flowing into all the cracks in everybody’s armor, especially Gunnar’s, but even Tessa’s got some armor God needs to seep through. I almost thought it was really going formula when tragedy struck, but hey, even that was a surprise. Way to shake up the “Leader of the Pack” stereotype, Dana Pratola. Thanks for a great ride!

Four Stars: Laura J. Marshall’s Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken

“When Things Don’t Go Like You Planned … ”

Warning! This is a serial, which means the story’s not finished with this short episode. And it seems like a pretty predictable, old-fashioned romance at first. But the Jock from high school and the quiet girl dreaming of adventure away from tiny town USA have some surprises for us. Dash’s secret recipe for romance will make you smile, even when he’s not the one who makes the fried chicken part of the story a reality. Pretend you live back in the days where magazines had serial stories and you couldn’t wait for the next installment.

**** Dave King’s “The Curse”
“A Stranger Changes Everything”
I saw some parallels with biblical story of Elijah in this short story. A three-year famine, a stranger in town, and a family in need of hope. This short story is still full of good lessons, about the dangers of gossip and the difference between a sin and a curse. it’s a great allegory about what people think they know about right and wrong, and how wrong they can be.
**** Cynthia P. Willow’s “Land of Flames”
“A Misfit and a Magical Destiny”
This is a story an adult can read all in one night, but I can imagine it becoming a great bedtime story that will reward your kids for hitting the hay on time. Lamek doesn’t know who he should be loyal to when the only life he knows is mockery and slavery, and the only friend he has is a warped and selfish dragon. Karini’s a timid pink fairy who’s promised to help the cause of freedom, but how do you get free from thirteen dragons? There’s an army you won’t expect, a separation and a sacrifice you won’t soon forget, and, best of all, there are two more books in the series to look forward to!

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At Fagin’s Final Rest Mortuary

The walls were patterned like glittering silver and black marble, with slender pillars spaced along the sides. Niches held blue flames behind ornate silver gratings cast in the shape of openwork doves.

Black benches cushioned with blue velvet, very like church pews, were arranged facing a black velvet curtain fringed with silvery tassels. We took seats at the direction of the same two assistants who had accompanied Jessica Fagin to get the body. At least, to my eyes they appeared the same. Fagin appeared from behind the curtain a moment later and the men faded off to the sides.

“Welcome,” Fagin said. “This place is for you. Grieve, celebrate, pray, praise — The official time when others may come has been published widely in newspapers, by wireless, and by posted bills. After the time of the public visitation has expired my attendants and I will leave. We will set the doors to lock automatically and unlock from the inside only, so that you may remain protected here or leave at any time you wish. Stay through the night if you desire to keep vigil.

“You will not be disturbed or interrupted before dawn, as the locks will be timed to deny outside entry. In the morning, my attendants and I will return to lay your friend to rest.” Fagin herded her attendants toward the back of the room. Two hours had been advertised for the visitation this evening. The curtain at the front opened of its own accord and we saw the barrow carrier behind it, curtains drawn to the back, fully exposing the fragrant, wrapped body of Charley Bates resting on it.

To our surprise, people began to arrive. Charley Bates had evidently been a popular fellow in London, but the class of people who began to trickle in paid no compliment to his own character or the company he kept. We of the Legacy Company immediately went on guard as these filthy, shuffling, shifty-eyed mourners filed in and passed by Bates’ body before finding seats. We managed to spread ourselves out among them and kept a careful watch.

Madame Phoebe stepped to the lacquered black podium and began to sing as more people entered the auditorium. Her glorious voice poured out prayer and praise and we saw wonder, discomfort, all manner of emotions, flicker across the faces of the newer arrivals.

We of the company had to force ourselves to remember that we were in this place, after all, for more than just the solution to a mystery. it was not so difficult, however, hearing this angelic voice reminding us that God controlled what seemed like madness and mayhem to our weak human vision. To their credit, this rabble quieted their whispers and cackles and snorts upon entering. Reverend Ferrars pointedly greeted and shook the hand of every stranger in that strange assembly, producing much more discomfort. After a half-hour the stream of mourners seemed to stop.

“We welcome you all here,” Madame Phoebe said. “This is not a church, but we who believe in Christ have brought Him here in our hearts. Do not harden your own hearts, but let Him do a work here tonight.” She seated herself. Edward approached the podium and set his Bible upon it. When he adjusted his half-glasses into place and opened the Book before him, some even bowed their heads as he began to pray.

“Gracious Heavenly Father,” he said in a clear, carrying voice, “You brought Charley Bates to us, though he thought he came of his own will, to do his own will. Instead he found Christ. You have now brought these others, people who thought they came of their own will, for their own reasons. May we see these find Christ as well. You have not taken Charley from us, but merely brought him home to yourself. In Christ’s name we have come, and in His Name we say Amen.

“The book of Job always comes to mind when I think of funerals,” Edward said, looking up and beaming innocently around on that very mixed multitude. “Think of the horrible incidents where Satan attacked Job. Think of all that he lost and all that he suffered. But remember that God said to Satan, ‘Spare his life’.

“And God did protect Job’s life. Not that it mattered to Job about his physical life. His wife nagged him to ‘Curse God, and die’, but Job said, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust him’. We who take every precaution to protect, nourish, and cherish our physical bodies and lives cannot comprehend this. ‘Though this body be destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God,’ Job assured us.

“In the New Testament, Christ says, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ He said this on his way to the tomb of a dead man. Do you know what He meant?

“Stop thinking you must serve a wicked master because only he will feed you, shelter you, protect you. Let God free you from domination. Charley Bates fell into our company from a great height and no doubt thought his life was over. Understand that you must lose your life to save it, by falling into the everlasting arms of God. Those arms are always underneath us, and they will catch us.”

Edward looked around. I put my arm around Kera because she began to tremble beside me. Madame Phoebe laid a comforting hand on Oliver Twist as he began to weep, overcome by his memories, his pain, and perhaps truly at the thought of Charley Bates having been so briefly his brother in Christ.

free today and tomorrow http://www.amazon.com/Dodge-Tobacconist-Alexander-Legacy-ebook/dp/B009NV1DMG

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Put a Little Adult Historical Romantic Suspense on Your EReader


Our books don’t quite pigeonhole easily into one genre, so we try to give them descriptions like the one above. The three books featured today are Send a White Rose, The Baron of Larcondale, and Vienta. In the spirit of romance, we include here some excerpts from these three books on the subject of true love. Most people think love is impossible to define but the Scriptures have many examples of people who exemplify true love and serve as examples to fiction writers. Adam called his wife Eve “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” She was a helper suitable for him.

Isaac’s wife was also picked out and brought to him. He had never seen Rebecca before, yet it was love at first sight when they met. Jacob served, in spite of the deception practiced on him, to get his Rachel, and even learned to respect and seek counsel from Leah and his other wives. Solomon wrote of the ultimate love story with his Shulamite, his snapshots full of scents and sounds and images of intimacy within marriage.

From Send a White Rose comes New Mexico Federal Judge Bartholomew Durant’s musings on what a wife should be.

“You’ve always been so unselfish, only wanting to draw me closer to the Lord and see me become more like Him.”

“Judge, I—”

“Let me finish. I have been so blind all these years that I couldn’t see what I needed most. You know I was thinking of choosing a wife before all this happened. After it came I thought I couldn’t burden anyone with caring for me. Now I can do most things for myself, or, at least, Asa thinks I’ll learn to soon. It’s still a lot to ask of someone to take a cripple like myself, but I can’t help but see that I need a woman to be with me, help me, be my guide and friend and lover.”

……………………………………………………………

“I have sent you this rose in the hope that you will remember another, sent as an urgent summons to save my physical life. This one I send in the hope of completing my life. My spirit, my soul, my whole being are incomplete, and I believe you alone can complete them. I have learned a little about being patient, but I hope I have been patient long enough.”

…………………………………………………………..

“I have grown up among a lot of men, and though my mother tried to make a gentleman of me I fear I have forgotten too much of her teaching. I was hoping I could rely on your help to mend my manners, and in general. I think that’s what a wife is for, to be a help where a man most needs help.”

The Baron of Larcondale is set in two neighboring fictional countries, but it still fits the pattern of a historical novel. Tristan of Parangor finds a most unexpected kind of love in the neighboring country of Tarraskida, and is a little reluctant to embrace it, and his future wife.

“Mayra, I would have worked and saved to pay for your freedom, and I would have made you my wife,” Tristan cried, “but now I can’t –”

“You would’ve wed me before you learned what I was,” Mayra said in a flat voice, her dress rustling and her voice retreating upward. “But now you understand that it’s impossible.”

“No, no, you misunderstand! Mayra, What your mistress forced you to do doesn’t matter to me. But I can’t force you to marry me knowing that I will always be helpless and useless and –”

“Oh, my prince, such a thing could never be!” Mayra laughed out loud, startling Tristan and confusing him utterly. ” … She had knelt before him again, and taken his hand in hers, twirling the ring on his finger as she had done that other time.

“I –I did –” Tristan faltered, feeling the softness of her fingers, the warmth of her touch, smelling her fragrance, and seeing in an instant her beautiful face before his mind’s eye, clear and luminous in the overwhelming darkness.

Mayra’s hand touched the hollow of his throat, pushed his hair aside, smoothed her fingers over his shoulder.

“You and I together, we will see, my prince,” Mayra said in a low, earnest voice. “I didn’t dare to speak until I knew you loved me – ”

“I’ve always loved you, Mayra,” Tristan groaned. “That’s why I didn’t want to –”

“Shh,” Mayra whispered. She put her hand on his lips. “Master Thomas,” she called. Tristan heard someone come into the room. “My prince is ready to make me his princess, now. I’ve helped him see, just as I promised. Just as I always will.”

Vienta is set in Texas between the time of the battles at the Alamo and at Monterrey. Hamilton Jessup enters into an empty marriage contract but before long finds himself not only falling in love with his sham wife, but daring to hope she has done the same.

“My boy, there is nothing more important than the right woman,” Ham said fervently. “God made Eve for Adam. Abraham’s Sarah was still turning the heads of kings at ninety. Rebecca just hopped off a camel and Isaac loved her. Solomon’s wives turned his heart from the Lord and brought down the wisest king the world ever had. The right woman can give you something to do your job for. The wrong one can destroy you. Women are so powerful. Women are so wonderful. Sure, they’re dangerous, but only if they’re bad ones. It’s up to you to keep your eyes on the prize – the job to be done and the woman just past the end of it who is your very great reward. I’m not saying your woman is Angelita. I just don’t want you to be so sure you don’t need one.”

……………………………………………………………

“Mrs. Jessup,” Ham said finally, finding that the words stuck in his throat and he felt most unworthy to say them, “I was wondering if we could talk about something. I was telling Zachary I’m keeping my eyes on the prize but the truth is I don’t know if there really is one for me. You being the prize I mean. You’ve said you only have eyes for me but that sounded like a joke. I want you to understand this is the one thing I don’t want to joke about. I love you. I want to marry you, especially now that you’re a believer.”

……………………………………………………………

“I don’t know much about astronomy, but I hear there are supposed to be twin stars that always keep together in the same orbit. Maybe we can be content to be like that, always remembering how we’re not worthy of that other bright star sailing over there through Heaven, but knowing God made us to go on together. Think we can do that?”

Maeve sprang out of her chair and threw herself into Ham’s arms. He embraced her also, breathed her in, kissed her, and then set her carefully back down in the chair.

“There, now,” he said with a sigh. “Zachary was right. Sometimes a woman can keep you from thinking about the job.”

Let God show you a little true love this Christmas with one, two, or even all three, of these non-formula romances.

Here’s another author’s book and trailer links:

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A Simple Plan for Christian Romance

3 romance sale

Make it an element of the story, not the main focus. Adventure, suspense, mystery, or some other focus helps keep the story balanced. Focus on purity, privacy, and married intimacy rather than oozing emotion and sensuality between unmarried people. Fidelity, self-sacrifice, and playful fun help round out the romance. Keep it within the context of adults and near-adults and get them married as soon as possible or prevent the constant tug of physical temptation.

I have used the device of having the hero disabled in the second chapter and literally unable to move for most of the book. He is too busy wrestling with his self-pity, acknowledging his need to depend on others, and facing the danger of a second assassination attempt to worry about his romantic issues.

Another device I have used is to force the romantic characters into “arranged” marriage before they even acknowledge their love. The rest of the book describes their growth together in love, loyalty and dependence on each other, and some intimacy is expected.

A variation of the arranged marriage is one in which secrets and lies make love and trust impossible, keeping the characters apart until they can tell each other the truth and discover they are involved in solving the same mystery, at which point they can marry and work together to solve it.

Plenty of interaction with other characters and plot elements keep the focus off the attraction and strengthen the bond and commitment as the main characters go through the hardship or danger or mystery-solving together.

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