Summer Letters by Dan Petermeier
A faith-filled story about love, loss, and everything in-between.
Genre: Romance, Drama, Faith
During an adventure-filled summer, will one letter bring two people together or force them to say goodbye – forever?
When twenty-year-old banker Liam Roberts is introduced to a flirtatious and eye-catching young woman, their mutual attraction soon stretches boundaries he never thought he’d cross. He quickly realizes that God’s plan for him may take him on a surprising and unexpected journey.
>>>A tear-jerking romantic drama about discovering how the pieces of life’s puzzle fit together.
Caring and considerate, the young Midwesterner doesn’t suspect that the pursuit of his soul mate would be wrought with heartbreak. Raised in a conservative environment, Liam struggles with finding faith not only in his religion, but also in others, especially women.
As spring turns to summer and Liam’s love life starts to heat up, he leaves no stone unturned and he finds himself writing letters to someone he’s never met.
Will any of the women in his life be anything more than friends? If so, will he be left heartbroken once more?
Dan grew up in Watertown, a small community outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the second youngest of seven. Dan always was a writer and has written many short stories over the years.
Using his creative writing talents, Dan excelled in marketing and advertising. Opening his first business as a teenager, Dan eventually went into banking and later into the automotive industry.
After meeting and marrying his wife, Beth, they moved to Arizona in the mid-1990s where they lived for three of the next five years, later returning to the Twin Cities. In late 2011 they moved to South Florida, where they reside – still very much happily married.
Trained and Ready by Verde Family Ministries
This devotional empowers youth to develop a relationship with Christ.
Trained and Ready is Verde Family Ministries first devotional to help your son or grandson learn to trust God during trying times. This devotional is tailor made to help boys face daily challenges, overcome different obstacles and empower them to have a personal relationship with God. Every day there will be a Bible verse that builds on the theme of how to be equipped with the Word of God to overcome various challenges. From how to deal with siblings, parents, school settings and bullies to guarding their mind from thoughts of defeat and self doubt. The benefits of this daily training will be that your young man will have the understanding and strength to handle the trials he will undoubtedly confront. The best gift you can give your child is a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ, Trained and Ready was made to help you do that.
Day 1 – What are battles?
Battles are daily trails that try to steal your joy. It is not just big things. Most of the time it will be the little things, your hair not looking right, you can’t find a pencil, your favorite shirt has a hole in it or even your irritating sibling. All the little annoyances that frustrate you and keep you from being joyful. Why be joyful? Joy is the fastest way to get to and stay connected to Christ.
Nehemiah 8:10b (NIV)
“The JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH”
Have you ever heard the phrase “kill them with kindness”? It means when someone is mean to you and you are nice to them in return then that person is surprised and wont know how to react. When someone is being mean to you they are looking for a reaction, they want to fight. So when you respond with kindness then your joy will take the place of the anger they are looking for. It will change the whole situation. That is what “The joy of the Lord is your strength” means. Joy is a weapon, a tool to help you win your battles. Joy will allow you to see past the battle to victory.
Lord, Thank you. Whatever happens today I know I am not alone . Help me keep my joy at all times today. If anyone or anything bothers me today or if I get into a mini war please help my joy be my strength.
In Jesus Name,
Verde Family Ministries is a husband and wife team that has worked with youth for many years. Both were born into military families and spent much of their lives bouncing all over the globe. One was born in Germany and the other spent much of their high school years living in the United Kingdom. This allowed them a unique perspective on life and the diversity of the world’s cultures. Now, they are raising two children of their own while working in Youth Ministry as Sunday school teachers and mentors. Their life experiences helped to shape their series of devotionals designed for youth to independently read and grow their relationship with God.
One Night in Tehran by Luana Ehrlich
CIA spy on medical leave discovers a sleeper cell in Oklahoma.
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Days after escaping from Iran, he begins searching for answers; meanwhile, an assassin begins his own search–for him!
Read a new series of Christian thrillers featuring CIA officer Titus Ray!
In Tehran, while hiding out from the Iranian secret police, CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians. Compelled by their unwavering faith, the battle-hardened, covert agent becomes a believer shortly before they smuggle him out of Iran to freedom in Turkey.
Back in the States and forced to go on medical leave, he discovers a Hezbollah hit man has targeted him for assassination. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Oklahoma has ties to the man who’s trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a beautiful local detective, can be trusted with his secrets.
Trained in lies, he learns the truth
Will it help him escape his past?
Can it change his future?
Readers will discover One Night in Tehran delivers an exciting, fast-paced spy thriller, along with an intriguing mystery, while revealing a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the CIA. In addition to the plotline, the protagonist, Titus Ray, is a complicated man. He’s recently been brought to faith in Christ by a group of Iranian Christians who sheltered him in Tehran when he was being hunted down by the secret police. Now, he’s struggling with questions of faith and career choices, while dealing with the difficulties of being an intelligence officer.
In far northwest Iran, a few minutes after clearing the city limits of Tabriz, Rahim maneuvered his vehicle onto a rutted side road. When he popped opened the trunk of the car to let me out, I saw the car was hidden from the main highway by a small grove of trees. In spite of our seclusion, Rahim said he was still anxious about being seen by a military convoy from the nearby Tabriz missile base.
For the first time in several hours, I uncurled from my fetal position and climbed out of the vehicle, grateful to breathe some fresh air and feel the sunshine on my face. As my feet landed on the rocky terrain, Rahim handed me a black wooden cane. I wanted to wave it off, but, regrettably, I still needed some help getting around on my bum leg.
Rahim slammed the trunk lid down hard.
“You can stretch for a few minutes,” he said, “but then we must get back on the road immediately. Our timing must be perfect at the border.”
Rahim and I were headed for the Iranian/Turkish border, specifically the border crossing at Bazargan, Iran. He was absolutely confident he could get me out of Iran without any problems. However, during the last twenty years, I’d had a couple of incidents at other border crossings—Pakistan and Syria to be precise—so I wasn’t as optimistic.
While Rahim was tinkering with the car’s engine, I exercised my legs and worked out the stiffness in my arms. As usual, I was running through several “what ifs” in my mind. What if the border guards searched the trunk? What if the car broke down? What if we were driving right into a trap?
I might have felt better about any of these scenarios had either of us been armed. However, Rahim had refused to bring along a weapon. Carrying a gun in Iran without a special permit meant certain imprisonment. Imprisonment in Iran meant certain torture, so I certainly understood his reasons for leaving the weaponry back in Tehran.
Still, a gun might have helped my nerves.
I was surprised to hear Rahim say I could ride in the front passenger seat for the next hour. He explained the road ahead was usually deserted, except for a farm truck or two, so it seemed the perfect time to give me a brief respite from my cramped quarters.
I didn’t argue with him.
However, I thought Rahim was being overly cautious having me ride in the trunk in the first place—at least until we got nearer the Turkish border. I’d been passing myself off as an Iranian of mixed ancestry back in Tehran, and now, having grown out my beard, I didn’t believe a passing motorist would give me a second look.
When I climbed in the front seat, the cloying smell of ripe apples emanating from the back seat of Rahim’s vehicle was especially pungent. Flat boxes of golden apples were piled almost as high as the back window, and the sweet-smelling fruit permeated the stuffy interior of the car. On the floorboard, there were several packages wrapped in colorful wedding paper. I was sure they reeked of ripe apples.
We had been back on the road for about twenty minutes when Rahim said, “Hand me one of those apples and take one for yourself, Hammid.”
Although Rahim knew my true identity, he continued to address me by the name on my Swiss passport, Hammid Salimi, the passport I’d used to enter Iran two years ago. Unfortunately, it was now a name quite familiar to VEVAK, the Iranian secret police, who had already prepared a cell for me at Evin Prison in northwest Tehran.
After we had both devoured the apples, Rahim rolled down his window and threw the cores down a steep embankment.
“When you get back inside the trunk,” he said, “you’ll have to share your space with some of those.” He gestured toward the apple boxes in the backseat.
I glanced over at him to see if he was joking, but, as usual, his brown, weather-beaten face remained impassive. Although I’d spent the last three months living with Rahim’s nephew, Javad, and learning to discern Javad’s emotional temperature simply by the set of his mouth or the squint of his eyes, I’d barely spent any time with Rahim. During the last two days together, he’d never made any attempt at humor, and it didn’t appear he was about to start now.
Luana Ehrlich is a freelance writer, minister’s wife, and former missionary with a passion for spy thrillers and mystery novels. She began her series of Titus Ray novels when her husband retired from the pastorate. Now, she writes from an undisclosed location, trying to avoid the torture of mundane housework and golf stories. However, she occasionally comes out of hiding to play with her two grandsons or to enjoy a Starbucks caramel macchiato. She resides in Norman, Oklahoma.
Luana picked up her first adult spy novel when she was eleven years old. Today, she continues to have a passion for the thriller/suspense genre of fiction, along with a smattering of interest in historical fiction. In addition to being an avid reader, she is also a news fanatic, following events around the world on a daily basis, particularly the Middle East.
Luana is a minister’s wife and has lived in Norman, Oklahoma for the past two decades. Previously, she resided in several different states in the South and Midwest. Along with her husband, she also served as a missionary in Costa Rica and Venezuela.
Occasionally, she reports on the experiences of newly converted Christians for Baptist Press, a national religious news service. At one time, she wrote a weekly column for The Indiana Baptist entitled, “A Story To Tell,” describing the testimonies of ordinary people and how they became followers of Christ.
The Union of the North and the South by Ann Mock
Romance and suspense come alive in this Christian historical romance
Genre: Christian historical romance-suspense
Romance and suspense come alive in this uplifting Christian novel set in the South in the 1870’s. Shadowed by majestic oaks on the banks of the Mississippi River, Oak Grove, the ancestral home of the Malcolm family, symbolizes their courage, resilience, and strength. The reader will fall in love with the intriguing story of Laura who overcomes personal tragedy, and is forced to hide a secret that, if revealed, will cause her great heartache. Amidst the revitalized social scene of a recovering South, Laura has to sacrifice one of her most precious desires in order to protect someone she loves above all else. Can Laura make her enemies become allies as she confronts her secret and finds the strength to forgive as well as to love again?
The Union of the North and the South is a fascinating combination of romance and suspense that returns readers to Mississippi in the 1870s. This exciting fast-paced story is clean and uplifting. Besides entertaining the readers, I hope they will come to realize the power of forgiveness and the happiness it can bring to their lives.
One day Laura told her mother, “I’m going to talk to Pastor Jenkins. I won’t be long.” She mounted a horse and waved at Jenny, who was in the corral training Scamp. Laura rode through a shaded lane toward the chapel. The day was cool and pleasant during her short ride. Along the way she thought about what was troubling her and how the pastor might help her. When she arrived, she knocked on the door of the chapel. Pastor Jenkins stood aside and motioned her inside. She followed him into his small office and sat in a chair opposite him. His jovial smile helped her relax as she quickly came to the point of her visit.
“I know you know so much about me and can appreciate how hard it has been since Gerald’s death. I want to be able to forgive his family for all they’ve done to me, but I find it so hard to do so. For a long time, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t thought about my anger and hurt. Now that I’m back at Oak Grove, I’ve had a lot of time to think, which seems to only make matters worse.”
Pastor Jenkins paused before saying, “To be able to forgive doesn’t come easy to any of us, especially when we’ve been wronged as you have. Let me share one of my favorite biblical passages on forgiveness.” He then read from Colossians 3:13: “‘Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’”
The pastor advised, “You must change your heart, Laura. When you let go of anger and bitterness, it will free you. Forgiveness takes time. The process is very slow, but the reward will be a freedom that can come only from the Lord.”
A small ray of light came though the window of Pastor Jenkins’s office, as if to show God’s endorsement of the pastor’s wisdom. Laura looked pleased. She knew now what she must do. It would take time and would be hard, but she wanted to be free—free from her anger over all her losses, including those regarding Bradford.
Before Laura reached the corner of the churchyard, Pastor Jenkins called her name. After she walked back to the church, he asked, “If you have some extra time on your hands, would you be interested in helping some of the adults in the community learn to read? The teacher we have is presently sick with pneumonia. Reading opens a whole world to people, and I think this would help keep your mind busy. Helping others is rewarding and often helps the giver as much as the person receiving the help.”
Laura paused. Then her face lit up. “That’s something I can do to help. How many will be coming to the class?”
“Right now we just have a few. Lily is coming from Oak Grove regularly and has made good progress. We’re hoping more will join them.”
Laura thanked Pastor Jenkins as she walked toward her horse. She already felt her burden lighten as she thought about what she needed to accomplish. Each day she would pray that she could learn to forgive. By doing so she would be obeying the wishes of the Lord and, hopefully, would find the true happiness Bradford’s mother had written about in her Bible.
The next evening Laura walked to the church with Lily to meet the adults attending the reading class. Laura found it was great fun to teach such eager students.
When the regular teacher recovered from her pneumonia, Laura became her assistant. Once, when she was leaving to go to the class, Bradford asked her, “Where are you going?”
Laura’s eyes lit up as she explained, “I’m teaching a class of adults how to read. It’s so rewarding. They’re learning quickly. I hope it’s okay that I’m using some of your books from the library. I haven’t seen you, or I would have asked earlier.”
Bradford hadn’t realized she was doing this, since he had been trying to avoid her in order to keep his promise not to bother her anymore. “I’m so glad you found something so fulfilling to do with your time. I have no problem with your using the books. I’m very proud of you!”
Laura was pleased with his praise and smiled brightly at him. It was becoming easier and easier to forgive him after all he had done to help her and her family. Now she just needed to learn to forgive Gerald’s parents, and her prayers would be answered.
Ann Mock lives in Florida with her husband Dave and her faithful companion, Happy. She enjoys ballroom dancing and cruising on oceans and rivers both in Europe and the United States. Some of her favorite trips were on Mississippi steamboats which visited many of the sites inspired in her first novel, “The Union of the North and the South”.
Second Chance by Laura Scott
Janelle’s nephew is gone, will Deputy Dev Armbruster find him in time?
Genre: Christian Romance
When Janelle’s sister dies, she doesn’t hesitate to accept custody of her nephew Sebastian. As a nurse, Sebastian’s kidney failure and dialysis isn’t too scary, but it doesn’t take long for her to feel woefully inadequate as a new mother. She’s grateful for the support of her friend, Deputy Devon Armbruster, even though he’s made it clear he’s not looking for a relationship.
Devon lost his fiancée and unborn child three years ago, and watching Janelle and Sebastian only reminds him of his painful loss. Yet somehow Janelle’s love and faith makes him realize that he might be worthy of a second chance. When Sebastian is kidnapped, Devon faces the biggest challenge of his career. He must find the little boy in time to save his life, or lose his chance of having love and a family, forever.
I’m often asked when I started writing and I have to be honest, I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing. I loved books as a kid and like many authors I ran out of stories that I liked to read so I began to make up my own. I wrote my first teen novel when I was thirteen and my first romance when I was seventeen. Of course neither manuscript was very good, but I never gave up and after I finished Graduate school I decided to take some time for myself and get back to my writing. I’m so glad I did!
I grew up reading faith based books by Grace Livingston Hill so writing for Love Inspired Suspense is a dream come true. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.
I currently live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my husband of almost thirty years. I have two adult children but alas, no weddings or grandchildren yet.
I’m a dog lover and had to put my Westie named Mac down a year or so ago. I still miss him but now have a chance to dog sit for my sisters and brother. I try to incorporate pets in my Crystal Lake books.
Negative self-talk is a destructive habit I’m trying to break. Today on facebook, good ol’ facebook, I read two posts on negative self-talk. One was the video where the women have to enter through either a door that says “Average,” or “Beautiful.” If it makes you cringe to think of entering through the door marked, “Beautiful,” you might be a victim of negative self-talk.
It’s not the same as being humble. It’s a constant dribble of background noise that says you don’t measure up, you could have done it better. A constant examining, questioning, and judging yourself.
It’s the complete opposite of conviction, instead has it’s roots in condemnation. It brings fear, discouragement, unworthiness, and even shame.
The scary thing is that it’s possible we don’t realize how often we do this to ourselves. This type of talk is often quiet, running along in the back ground while we get ready for work, clean the house, talk with our friends, parent our children, and other daily activities. It’s what compares us to others and proves how we have fallen short.
It rarely accomplishes anything to argue with negative self-talk, in fact it might encourage it more ie: “Why am I still battling this? How come I can’t get over this? It’s true anyway.”
I have heard it said many times, “Fake it until you make it.” I think one way to break this habit is to tell yourself the opposite, even if it doesn’t feel true.
The way I personally battle it is with a thankful prayer. Sometimes I can’t even say the opposite, but I can say, “You know God, I’m going to use this negative thought to remind me to pray for (whoever might be struggling at the time.) Just bless them God and let them know how special they are. Thank you for (making this incredible day, or whatever is around me at the moment I feel thankful for.) Thank you that I am changing every day. ” For some reason, praying for someone else really helps me to get out of my own head and negative feelings.
That might not work for everyone. I read that it can be helpful to write down every time you think negatively about yourself, just to bring an awareness to the habit. It might help others to use that moment to say, “I am good enough, even on my bad days.”
If you ever battle with negative self-talk, you aren’t alone. There isn’t anything wrong with you. You are awesome and amazing and here for a purpose. It might take time to break that habit, but even in this bad habit, one day, we have hope of seeing beauty for ashes.
I’m a Christian, mother, wife, author, and dachshund cuddler. Every day is a day to remember we are here for a purpose. My heart is to encourage everyone I come into contact with that they are here for a reason, valuable, and intensely loved by our Amazing God.