Stories that Matter

In Celebration!

Outside of celebrating a book release of my own, the next best thing is celebrating with friends when their turn comes! I happen to have several friends who are launching novels this month, so I thought it would be fun to showcase them here for you!

In no particular order:

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning – Olivia Newport

I finished this book last week, and it is wonderful!!

Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago’s rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work–and the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World’s Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family’s expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

About The Author

Olivia Newport‘s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is.
The Soul Saver – Dineen Miller
Another book I highly recommend! I couldn’t put it down!!
Meet Lexie Baltimore, who is in the supernatural battle of her life. In obedience to God’s calling, Lexie uses her art and dreams to help others. But will she have enough courage to help herself when she becomes torn between her atheist husband and a godly man? A widower and a father, Pastor Nate Winslow is drowning in darkness. Will he resist his treacherous assignment to win Lexie’s heart or give in to the attraction between them? As events unfold, Lexie becomes entangled in a twisted plot. Will she overcome the evil assailing her or yield to the dark side?
About The Author
Dineen Miller readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. It’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories are of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family.

Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader, and a small group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth.
In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Dineen has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine. She’s also a C.L.A.S.S. Communicator and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Family Life, and several other Christian radio stations.
Married for 24 years to a guy who keeps her young, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two precious daughters, and their dog Shasta, who no doubt is an angel in disguise.
She is the co-author of Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and author of The Soul Saver.

 Wish You Were Here – Beth K. Vogt
I’m anxiously awaiting my copy, can’t wait to read it!
Kissing the wrong guy days before her scheduled wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after?Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.

Still, kissing the groom’s brother, Daniel, in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. Daniel’s adventures—chronicled through a collection of postcards—have always appealed to Allison’s well-hidden desire for something more. But how can betraying her fiancé’s trust lead to a true happily ever after?

Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Recognizing she doesn’t have all the answers won’t be easy because she’s used to being in control. To find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her—one outside her carefully defined comfort zone—and find the strength to let Him lead.

 About The Author
Beth K Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an air force physician who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth makes her home in Colorado.

Wildflowers from Winter – Katie Ganshert
This book releases tomorrow, and is already getting lots of great buzz and I am looking forward to reading it!
 A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away. 

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

About The Author
Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching romantic movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels and coffee. She could talk books all day and is often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking a dog, and reading—all at the same time. Visit her website:

Who DOESN’T need this??!!

Finally, an organizational book for women who have given up trying to be Martha Stewart but still desire some semblance of order in their lives.

Most organizational books are written by and for people who are naturally structured and orderly. For the woman who is more ADD than type A, the advice sounds terrific but seldom works. These women are looking for help that takes into account their free-spirited outlook while providing tips and tricks they can easily follow to live a more organized life.

About The Author

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults.

The Telling – Mike Duran

Another great offering by talented author Mike Duran!

A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.
Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift—an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but he has abandoned this gift to a life of solitude, unbelief, and despair—until two detectives escort him to the county morgue where he finds his own body lying on the gurney.
On the northern fringes of Death Valley, the city of Endurance is home to llama ranches, abandoned mines, roadside attractions…and the mythical ninth gate of hell. Now, forced to investigate his own murder, Zeph discovers something even more insidious behind the urban legends and small-town eccentricities. Early miners unearthed a megalith—asacred site where spiritual and physical forces converge and where an ancient subterranean presence broods. And only Zeph can stop it.
But the scar on Zeph’s face is nothing compared to the wound on his soul. For not only has he abandoned his gift and renounced heaven, but it was his own silence that spawned the evil. Can he overcome his own despair in time to seal the ninth gate of hell? 
His words unlocked something deadly,
 And now the silence is killing them.
About The Author
MIKE DURAN is a novelist, blogger, and freelance writer whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief Journal,Relevant OnlineBreakpointRue Morgue magazine, and other print and digital outlets. He is the author of the supernatural thriller THE RESURRECTION (Realms, 2011), which was a finalist in the 2011 INSPY awards, an e-book fantasy novella entitled WINTERLAND, and THE TELLING (Realms May 2012). Mike contributes monthly commentary at Novel Rocket, one of Writer’s Digest 101 Most Helpful Websites for Writers. Mike is an ordained minister and lives with his wife and four grown children in Southern California. Mike’s novels explore the boundaries of belief, the fragile tether between science and superstition, the depths of despair and the reaches of faith. You can learn more about Mike Duran, his writing projects, favorite music, cultural commentary, and arcane interests, at
Now if that’s not a great start to your summer reading, I don’t know what is!!
Congratulations to all these wonderful authors, I’m celebrating with you!
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  1. Michelle Sutton on May 7, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Just finished reading Wish You Were Here last night. LOVED it!

    • Beth K. Vogt on May 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Thank you, Michelle! 🙂

    • Pattie on May 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      I finished it today. I loved it too! Now, back to grading… 😉

    • Cathy West on May 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Oh, good! I’m really looking forward to it!

  2. Gloria C on May 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

    So many books. So little time. Just one more reason to thank God I’m an American.

  3. Beth K. Vogt on May 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for the fun post, Cathy. One of the best things about the writing community is celebrating with other writers!

  4. Katie Ganshert on May 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for including my book, Cathy!

  5. mike duran on May 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for inclusion in the Celebration, Cathy!

    • Cathy West on May 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Your book looks very cool, Mike!

  6. Donna Pyle on May 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    WOW!! Such awesomeness all in one place! Thanks so much, Cathy, for gathering and putting them all together. How exciting for everyone!! Woo Hoo!!

    • Cathy West on May 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      I know! It’s fun to see how many authors are celebrating releases at the same time. 🙂

  7. Dineen Miller on May 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Awesome list of books! Kathi’s book on organization ROCKS!!! Mike’s is “telling” me I need to buy it. 😉 Need…more…time…

    • Cathy West on May 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Ha. Yup. SO many good books!!

      • Katy Lee on May 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

        I could use that organized one! I’m pulling my hair out this week. 😉

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