Posted in About the Book

Cover Reveal: Yesterday’s Christmas by A.M. Heath

Cover Reveal

 

I was in the middle of a 5 book series when I felt the Lord leading me in a different direction. Ancient Words fans can rest at ease since I expect to return to Maple Grove in a few short years. But for now, the focus is shifting to a brand new series. Now allow me to introduce you to the cover of what I hope will be a November 2018 release, Yesterday’s Christmas: 

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A Season Passed will be a four-book series. Each story is inspired by one of my favorite Disney movies. I’m currently working on the 2nd draft of If Only It Were Yesterday, an Alice in Wonderland inspired story, while also writing the 1st draft of Yesterday’s Christmas, a Beauty and the Beast inspired story. Lol I don’t know which one of these stories I’m more excited to share with you!! I just know you’re going to love them both when they finally arrive. I have so much to do before release day! 

Follow me here on the blog or my Facebook page to keep track of the developments. 

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Posted in About the Book

Cover Reveal: The Birth of Grace by A.M. Heath

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This is one of those surprise projects that fell into my lap and stole my heart all at once. I didn’t expect to tell this story anytime soon and yet here I am!

The Birth of Grace is special to me for two reasons: It carries a Pro-Life message and it’s inspired by my grandmother, Anita Vasquez.

My grandmother was adopted, and I’ve always been curious to know the story behind it. As it turns out, there are multiple adoption stories floating around. When I found out that more than one story existed, I was at first frustrated and then inspired. I began to feel the familiar tug of a novel buried deep within and soon crafted one about a granddaughter searching for the truth.

Because I want to guard my family, I’m choosing to separate the truth from the fiction. The fictional family does not resemble my real family in any purposeful way, and neither do the fictionalized adoption stories.

The cover and the title may be a tad misleading so allow me to explain. The character featured on the cover is Kaitlin Jefferson. She’s seeking the truth behind her grandmother Grace’s adoption. The adoption stories appear as short stories weaved into Kaitlin’s story. So throughout the novel, we move from the present day to the 1940s. Besides searching for the truth about her grandmother, Kaitlin is also dodging unwanted matchmaking schemes from her entire family and trying to get to know a certain handsome stranger better. This is a story of heart and comedy combined.

While my grandmother may have been viewed as a product of a bad choice or even a burden, she was offered life. And with her life, she loved. I don’t know what my great-grandmother faced. I don’t know if she chose to give her daughter away out of selfish reasons or necessity. But because she chose life, I’m alive today. Her one decision has given life to 8 children, 20 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren and counting. To my great-grandmother: We may not know your name, but we thank you all the same.

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Projected Release Date: Sadly, this novel is still in the early stages of its first draft. Lord willing, I’ll be releasing 2 novels in Fall of 2018 as part of my new series, A Season Passed. Unless the Lord changes my course, my goal is to publish The Birth of Grace in Aug of 2019. I know it seems like forever away but you’ll catch me talking about Grace quite a bit in the months to come.

I’d appreciate your prayers as I continue working on all three upcoming novels. You can keep up with my progress by following me here on the blog as well as on Facebook.

Posted in About the Book

Cover Reveal: If Only It Were Yesterday by A.M. Heath

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If you’ve been following me here or on Facebook, you likely have heard about the new series I’m working on. A Season Passed contains 4 novels. Each of them is inspired by one of my favorite Disney movies.
First up is my Alice in Wonderland inspired novel titled If Only It Were Yesterday.

If Only It Were Yesterday is a story of good intentions, misunderstandings, history, life lessons, romance, conflict, time travel, Victorian lifestyle, tea, and just a little bit of that quirkiness that you’d expect to find in a Wonderland inspired novel.
I’m about 2/3rd of the way finished with the first draft, but already I can’t wait to hand this story over to you. But today I have the honor of showing you the official cover! I hope you love it as much as I do. Seeing the cover makes me even more anxious to bring this story to you. Lord willing, it’ll be a Fall 2018 release. It may sound like a long wait but it’s just around the corner if you’re the one responsible for its every word. 😉

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In other news: I’m currently working on creating two more covers for what I expect to be the next two releases following If Only It Were Yesterday. Book 2 of A Season Passed (which I’ll be sharing all the juicy details VERY soon) and my secret project are currently on my desk and awaiting their covers.
What happened to the rest of the Ancient  Words Series? As you may know, there are two more novels to complete the series, but I find myself in a natural break and have decided to follow God’s leading to work on these other three books before finishing off Ancient Words. But don’t worry. If you’ve loved my previous work, you’re going to love what I have in store for you next. Here’s to our next adventure together!!

Posted in About the Book

Celebrating New Release: Out of the Ashes

3Sometimes peace is won through battle. 

Haunted by the memories he can’t escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn’t understand why he’s forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He’s desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?

Eeeek!! It’s here!! It’s finally here!!! I’ll be celebrating my new release over the next three weeks with a Facebook party, Giveaway, Ebook Sale, and Blog Tour. Keep scrolling to catch all the details and links!

You can grab your copy of Out of the Ashes from Amazon in ebook or paperback.

Ashes reader praise

Find out what others are saying by visiting the blog tour.

July 31: Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley : Book Review

Aug. 1: Krista Noorman @ by Krista : Book Review

Aug. 2: Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings : Book Review

Aug. 4: Alicia Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny : Book Review and Interview

Aug. 7: Dana Kamstra @ D.L. Kamstra  : Book Review

Aug. 9: Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books : Book Review

Aug. 11: Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise : Book Review

Aug. 14: Deana Dick @ Texas Book-aholic  : Book Review

Aug. 15: Virginia Winfield @  Bigreadersite : Book Review

Aug. 16: Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae : Spotlight

Aug. 18: Debbie Curto @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations  : Book Review and Interview

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If you were waiting for a sale to pick up the series, here’s your chance!!

Freebie and Sale!! Pick up your copies this week!
Where Can I Flee 
In the Shadow of Thy Wings
Out of the Ashes

 

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I’m hosting a release party on Facebook!! The party is open for 3 days so you’ll have more opportunities to stop by. Hope to see you there!!

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Giveaway in progress!! Enter to win all three books in paperback. 
*U.S. residents only

Posted in About the Book

Announcing the Release Date for Out of the Ashes+Book Trailer+Pre-order Link

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you might have caught the big news that I had FINALLY moved on from line-edits and was able to set the release date. Here’s a glimpse at the big moment:
But praise God, I’m done with this round!!! The final words in my acknowledgments (also the final words in the entire novel) sum up my feelings nicely. Take a look:
But most importantly, I want to thank my Lord. From the beginning to the end, You were there. In the midst of the planning stages, when all of my best-laid plans were shoved aside and Yours were ushered in. When writing came easy and when writing was painful. On the mountaintops of reader’s praise and down in the valleys of criticism. I couldn’t have walked this path alone, and I’m forever grateful that I don’t have to. I pray that my work and my attitude along the way has brought You glory, for this is why I’m here.

So what’s next for the novel in progress? Formatting! You can catch all my current woes and a Superman/Batman conversation on Facebook. While I wrestle with the paperback format, I have one final team of proofreaders combing the novel for lingering typos.
While we finish up, you can pre-order your ebook copy from Amazon and enjoy the book trailer. You’ll find the release date at the end of the video! 
And a great big thank-you to Amanda Tero for her work on the video. She took my vague idea and found the perfect song, performed it, and then threw the video together. It’s a joy to work with you!!

 

And in case you’ve missed them, enjoy the trailers for books 1 and 2:

Posted in About the Book

Out of the Ashes’ Blurb

3The release date for Out of the Ashes is inching closer and closer these days. In fact, the release date is soon to be announced. I have some other goodies for you today. I have the official book description and the Goodreads link!!

Sometimes peace is won through battle.

Haunted by the memories he can’t escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn’t understand why he’s forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He’s desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?

YAY!!! Don’t you just love it?! Lol And if you caught my post about writing blurbs then you already know that this beauty didn’t come easily. 😉 I had some great help from members of my critique team. Then my editors dusted it off for me. They’re such wonderful helpers. Without them, I might have gone with something like, “Just read the book.” Lol 

Now for you Goodreads fans, here is the link for Out of the Ashes. Go ahead and let folks know that you’re planning to read it! And if you haven’t read the first two novels yet, you’ll want to add them to your TBR list as well. And be sure to read in order.

Book 1: Where Can I Flee

Book 2: In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Book 3: Out of the Ashes

Posted in About the Book

In Progress: Book Chat on Facebook

117While I buckle down and finish writing the first draft of If Only it were Yesterday, I thought it’d be fun to gather and talk about this new novel I’m working on.
Don’t worry, Harper fans! I’m still working on Out of the Ashes. We’re editing as I type this, but I have some time on my hands to focus on what I expect to be my next release (after Ashes, of course!).

If Only it were Yesterday is the start of a special series. Each book in this series can be read as a stand alone. And each book is loosely inspired by one of my favorite Disney movies. Our first adventure is inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

In If Only it were Yesterday, Liz Cooke dreams she time travels to 1885. So the story takes place in both 2016 and 1885. On my author’s page on Facebook, we’ll be chatting this week about the new book, time travel, and the differences between the two settings in the novel.

I’ll post 1 question Mon-Fri this week (March 6th-10th). Feel free to drop by anytime and join in the discussion. You can join the chat here. I hope to see you there!!

Posted in About the Book

My Desk: New Novel Quotes and Updates

Are you ready to hear the latest about the two novels sitting on my desk? I’ll share my writing update and a few quotes. Enjoy!

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Out of the Ashes had spent November and December with my critique team. I wish I could give you a release date to circle on your calendars but that’s not possible right now. Just keep praying and we’ll keep working. I’m in the middle of a phase where the manuscript spends time in the hands of others which frees me up to work elsewhere or grab a little break of my own.
Now that Ashes has been approved by my team, it has several rounds of clean up to endure. We call this Line Editing. It’s where gifted people read over the manuscript and study each line, poking and prodding it, questioning every comma and word on the page.

Since Ashes is the third of a series, how about I share with you THREE (pre-proofed) quotes from the novel? Enjoy!

The major theme of the novel is finding healing in Christ, so naturally bitterness also becomes a reoccurring theme for the characters. Here’s a couple of my personal favorites on bitterness:

Bitterness becomes a prison and forgiveness is the only key. By the grace of God, you can release yourself from your homemade prison walls if you’ll only use the key set before you.” – Brother Mark

“Focusing on what you once had isn’t going to make the plants grow. It’ll only grow bitterness.” – Frank

This one was a favorite among my critique team:

“Out of fear, I call him Mr. Williams, and out of resentment he calls me nothing at all.” – Melissa

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If you’re already a fan of the series, you might be interested to know that Ralph’s birthday is coming up and I’m searching for the perfect cranberry cake for him. I’m extending the contest one more week. You can catch all the details on how to submit your recipe and enter to win one of the cake recipe books up for grabs by following the link

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If Only it were Yesterday:

I spent most of November adding to the first draft. The word count is currently up to 30,950. According to my mental outline, I’m about 45% through. After working with Ashes for so long, it still seems odd to look at such small numbers and to celebrate those small 10,000 word markers. But it’s also exciting to see it grow and to watch the characters and their story evolve.
I’m having fun. I never would have imagined that a break from my Maple Grove cast would have been needed but the Lord knew what He was about when He led me to start a new series. It’s been refreshing, not that I’m tired of my old friends. 😉 But it’s refreshing nonetheless.

And since If Only it were Yesterday is the first book of its series, I’ll leave you with only one quote from the new novel in progress.

“Don’t make the mistake of comparing a great reality with a flimsy fairytale.” – Betty Tanner

Posted in About the Book

Contest and Giveaway: Williams Cranberry Cake Recipe Search

untitledAs a fiction author, I have the tendency to make stuff up. People are normally grateful when I do. In fact, I even get paid for it. 😉

But sometimes making stuff up can come back to bite you in the rear. And this is one of those times.

In my novel, my Union hero, Ralph Williams, mentions a beloved family recipe. Not any recipe but a cranberry cake recipe that is passed down only through marriage and only served on Christmas and his birthday. The truth is, I needed SOMETHING to fill this role and reached for the first thing that came to mind. Apparently, I made it so memorable that readers asked for a copy of the recipe.

Oops! I sorta don’t have one.

This now infamous cranberry cake recipe made its way into the pages of Out of the Ashes and will become even more memorable since I had developed an entire scene around this delicious cake…this fictional cake that never even existed.

But I hear my readers loud and clear. They want the Williams family recipe and I want to give it to them. But first I want you to help me find it. I’ve searched the web for cranberry cake recipes and the options are limitless. So to narrow down my choices, I’m asking that YOU send in a recipe that YOU have baked. Keep reading to learn more about my Williams Cranberry Cake Recipe Contest!

PRIZE: I’ll be giving away a cake recipe book to TWO different winners. The winning recipe will receive a prize and I’ll also select one more winner at random so everyone has a chance to win even if I don’t like your cake. 😉

Contest Rules: Submit only ONE recipe per person. Multiple bakers can submit recipes from a single household as long as the baker is tall enough to actually turn the dials on the stove. 😉

In order to cut down on the abundance of Google recipes thrown at me, I’m asking that you first try the recipe before submitting it to me. Please send along a picture of the finished product in your home not the one from the Google search. Consider adding a copy of one of my books in the background(ebook or paperback, whatever is handy!), or your little helpers if you’re baking with kids, take a selfie with the cake, etc. Go crazy, have fun! *If for some reason, you’re unable to share an original picture please just let me know. I’d love to still have you play along.

Where to Enter: I’ll have 2 places where you can submit your entry.
Email  with the heading Williams Cranberry Cake Recipe Entry.
Or post in the comments section on the Contest post pinned to the top of my Facebook page. Don’t forget to leave your email address if you post your entry on Facebook.

Other Details: I’ll collect all entries and share them on the Contest Page right here on my blog.

Contest is open January 16, 2017 – February 6, 2017
Winner announced on Ralph’s Birthday: February 22
*Please submit entries by February 6th so I will have ample time to bake them.

Tips: Here are some tips to help you find what I’m looking for.

Dried cranberries are encouraged but not mandatory.

I didn’t picture the Williams Cranberry cake as a cake with icing. I pictured it either with nothing on top or possibly with powder sugar or a light glaze. Nothing was my most common idea but I’m not opposed to considering a sugar or glaze topping.

You do NOT have to submit an original recipe. Feel free to Google or Pinterest search!

Feel free to ask any questions if something isn’t clear!!

Fine Print: Contest and Giveaway are the responsibility of me and not Facebook or WordPress. Open to continental US residents only. There will be two different winners. One will be chosen by me but not in any way influenced by my relationship to the contestant. The other winner will be selected at random.

Posted in About the Book, Christian

The Hands and Feet of Christmas, A Christmas Short Story

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This isn’t the first time I have shared The Hands and Feet of Christmas. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without dusting off the Prider family and their heart-touching story. Whether it’s an old favorite for you by now or if you’re sitting down to enjoy it for the first time, I pray that it blesses your heart and helps you to focus on what’s most important during the Christmas season.

The Hands and Feet of Christmas

December 25, 1862; Maple Grove, Tennessee

Luke Prider bounded off his bed, too excited to feel even the cold wood against his bare feet. It was Christmas morning. His sister, Sue Ellen, had said that Santa wouldn’t visit them. Even his momma had tried to convince him that the Union blockade held a tight line and wouldn’t allow Santa to visit those in the South. But what did they know? They were only girls. They couldn’t possibly understand the power of a man on a mission.

His daddy was out there, even now, dealing with those Yanks. Sue Ellen may not have faith. His momma might have given up, but not Luke. He believed in Santa, just like he believed in his daddy. Santa came last night. He just knew it.

His feet pounded on the rough wooden floor as he ran to the tree. But the tree sat alone. Dark without the aid of the candles, the short cedar tree stood in the shadows in the corner of the room. Without his daddy to bring in a nice tall tree, they had to make due with whatever his momma and sister could manage alone. His little chest heaved as he took in the sight of the lone tree. Brushing a lock of blond hair away from his eyes, he turned to the fireplace. He had insisted they each hang a stocking above the fireplace, but they too were empty. There had to be something. Somewhere.

Dropping to his knees, he scurried under the tree, his hands patting the floor in front of him. Nothing. Backing away from the tree, he pulled his legs up to his chest and rested his chin on top. What happened to Santa? Luke tried his hardest to be good. He just knew he was better this year than last year. Santa came all those years before, so he couldn’t have put him on the naughty list this year.

Did he decide not to show because of Sue Ellen’s attitude? Luke’s frown deepened into a scowl. His sister would ruin something as important as this. But what if it wasn’t her? What if his daddy was hurt and couldn’t help Santa? What if those awful Yanks shot down Santa for trying to help the kids in the South?

Luke heard a soft, pitiful meow coming from outside. General, his kitten, must have left the barn and wandered up to the house in search of food. They were all searching for food these days. Momma kept making meals out of a little cornmeal and the remaining vegetables they kept from the meager crop this year. General wouldn’t find anything to eat, but he could at least come in out of the cold. Luke quickly rose from the floor and opened the door to let in the orange kitten. His momma would have a fit if she found out, but it was Christmas morning; somebody should receive something special today.

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Santa came! Santa came!” Luke shouted, running through the house. Suanne Prider could barely open her eyes before her eight-year-old son leaped onto her bed, jumping and shouting all the more. “Santa came! Santa came! He really did; just like I said he would!”

Suanne rubbed her weary eyes and sat up. “Luke, what on earth are you talking about?”

He let out a deep sigh, and his shoulders slumped. Frowning at her, he answered, “Santa came.”

Suanne held a hand to her forehead and winced. He said that already. Several times actually, but it still failed to make any sense. She didn’t have anything to set out under the tree. She had tried her hardest to make the boy understand. They haven’t had meat on their table in over three months. Their savings had long since run dry, and Harry’s paychecks were becoming scarce. The Confederacy was running low on funds just as the rest of the South.

She wanted to get something for the kids this year to help make up for their father’s absence. With a heavy heart, Suanne had decided that any money found in their home would best be spent on clothes, shoes, or food. A simple gift would be too much to hope for.

Regardless of what she had said, the child went to bed last night holding out hope that Santa would indeed visit him. She didn’t look forward to a disappointing day, and it appeared as if Luke would make things even more difficult than necessary.

Her daughter, Sue Ellen, glided in next and carefully sat on the edge of the bed, her eyes showing her concern. Her fifteen years understood more than a young girl should. She remained silent and at least that was a comfort.

Taking a deep breath, she let it out in a rush. “Luke, honey, Santa couldn’t have come last night.” She prepared herself for his disappointment and for an onslaught of tears.

But he DID, Momma. Won’t ya listen to me. He DID come last night.”

She held a hand up, wearily, but the little boy rushed on. “I done been outside. I saw the presents he left us. He left them on the porch.”

Her brows turned down in confusion, and she met Sue Ellen’s worried glare. “What are you talking about?” she asked, throwing the covers off and sliding out of bed. She threw a thinning wrapper around her shoulders and tied it snugly around her waist before turning to the boy.

Luke leaped off the bed in the same way he got on. “Santa must’ve been in a hurry last night cause he didn’t come in and set the stuff down by the tree like normal. But I knew he’d come. I just knew it.”

Luke, please,” she said impatiently. “None of this is making any sense.”

Well, come on. You’ll see.”

Momma, I don’t know,” Sue Ellen said cautiously.

Luke rolled his eyes. Turning to his sister, he said, “You think you’re so smart, Sue, but you’re not. I know stuff too. I’m the man here now till Daddy gets back home. You should be showin’ me more respect.”

She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “That’s not gonna happen,” she muttered.

Children, please,” Suanne said before the fight could escalate. Thankfully, they were more concerned about the mysterious gifts so they dropped their argument without further prompting.

Lead the way, Luke,” she ordered. The boy eagerly left the room, scooping up General on his way to the door. “Luke,” she growled, “you know I don’t allow the animals in the house.”

He turned slowly to her with an impish little grin on his face. “It’s Christmas, Momma. Have a heart, would ya?”

Her frown deepened, but she said nothing more. When had she grown so hard? So joyless? Had Harry’s absence done this to her? The stress of struggling to raise two kids on no money? The worries and uncertainties of war? With a sigh, she whispered another prayer for peace and perseverance. It seemed like all she could do anymore was beg for the ability to continue.

Luke threw open the door and walked out, pointing excitedly. “See, I told ya! See! See!”

Suanne walked through the door and then stopped and stared where he pointed. A new stack of firewood rested on her porch. She held one hand over her quivering lips, her eyes burning with unshed tears. There would be enough wood here to keep them warm for at least a month.

Look at that on top, Momma.”

In a daze, Suanne moved closer to the bundles lying on top of the stack. She ran her hand over the two large folds of material. A tear slipped down her face as she glanced down at her children, knowing their ankles peeked out from under their clothes. She hadn’t the means for making anything new for them, or even for lengthening their current wardrobe. She swallowed the lump in her throat as she ran her hands across the cold jars of peaches and green beans. But it was the neatly wrapped, plucked chicken that opened the floodgates. She caressed the package with trembling hands.

See, I told ya. I knew Santa would come.”

No, son,” she whispered. “Someone much greater than Santa had been here last night.”

She felt his curious eyes on her. “Huh?”

It was Jesus. Only the hands and feet of Christ could have seen to our needs like this.” Swiping at the falling tears, she reached for the chicken with one hand and patted his boney shoulder with the other. “Come, we’ve got a Christmas chicken to cook.”

Together they gathered their precious gifts and returned inside, General trailing happily behind them.

 …and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

~Read Where Can I Flee to find out who acted as the hands and feet of Christ for the Prider family.

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If you’re looking for Christ-focused historical fiction or Civil War Fiction then you’ll enjoy the Ancient Words Series. The first two books are available and the third is soon to follow and highly anticipated by the readers. You can pick up both in ebook or paperback on Amazon.
Where Can I Flee  In the Shadow of Thy Wings 

And if you’re smitten by my 1860s Christmas tree, you can read about how I put it together.
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