Not many weeks ago, I posted titles of new books available for summer reading pleasure. At the time I also invited my readers to suggest authors whose names and works might be unfamiliar to me. To my delight I have three authors—Ann Gaylia O’Barr, Camille Eide, and Frieda Wampler—to introduce to you. Each one is published through a smaller publishing house.
I first met Ann Gaylia O’Barr at the Mount Hermon conference in San Jose, CA in 2009 and then again at a ACFW conference in Dallas, Texas. Her books intrigued me because Ann writes from the depths of fourteen years of experience as a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Department of State. Her assignments included tours of Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Canada, and Tunisia. The first novel included not only espionage, but detailed descriptions of historic sites her characters lived around and worked within.
Ann has two new books out in a mystery and family series that features Mark Pacer, a young man from Appalachia who journeys outside his comfort level to join the Foreign Service. When he arrives in Washington, D.C. for diplomatic training, he is an outsider. His academic credentials from a Southern university are brilliant, but his accent sets him apart. His father has accused him of choosing a “highfalutin” profession. He falls in love with Reye, a woman in his training class who has no interest in a hillbilly. Should he give up and return home? This story, Where I Belong, was a finalist in the Selah awards from this year’s Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.
The second, If Winter Comes, carries Mark and Reye through their first separate Foreign Service assignments, two weeks after their marriage. Reye witnesses the buildup to the eventual takeover of the Tehran embassy, while Mark deals with an abused American child in a custody case. Can their marriage survive the separation so early? Will Mark break the law to help the child escape?
Both books can be found at http://anngayliaobarr.net/about-my-books or on Amazon.com.
Named the best inspirational romance of 2015 by Romantic Times and awarded a rare five gold star top pick rating as well, The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide has received rave reviews. Set in the 1950’s, when women were supposed to marry, stay home, and take care of their household, unmarried and educated Eliza Saunderson is committed to her career and to making a difference in social justice. Her sensitivity, intelligence and grace endear her to her boss, Johnny Devine.
Kristin Wise of Romantic Times says Eide “has managed to intertwine a beautiful love story, the desire to build a personal relationship with God, and the necessity for social change into one fantastic read.” Published by Ashberry Lane, the book is available from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
Great Depression Memoir
When my high school friend, Larry Wampler, approached me with the memoir he helped his mother, Frieda, who is 97, write about her childhood growing up in Westlake, Oregon, I had to investigate. After reading the tale, I knew my readers would want to know about this delightful look back into history.
Westlake Girl: My Oregon Frontier Childhood is a charming tale about a girl who struggles against the barriers facing her because she is female and living during the Great Depression. The daughter of a Hungarian immigrant, she grows up helping her father run a general store, complete with a two-seater outhouse and a Sears Roebuck catalog. She navigates a boat on the lake, tames a pet seal, and cuts her hair because it is more convenient to wear it short, and not because the flappers are adopting the style in the East. The family photos included with the story are priceless.
Published this spring by Globe Pequot Press under their TwoDot imprint, the story is available from Amazon.com. More of the story can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/WestlakeGirl/
And for my e-book readers:
True Love Story
My writing colleague Tammy Bowers recently published an e-book, Izetta, who was her aunt, a tragic love story based on true events of passion, murder, and the power of prayer.
In southern California in the late 1950’s a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like named Izetta meets Joe Conkey. The magnetic pull to this man is nothing she’s ever experienced before. There’s one problem: Joe is the best friend of her fiancé—Ford. Izetta dumps Ford and elopes with Joe. This is her second elopement, the first ended in disaster. This second one seems perfect, except for the dark cloud of Ford. Her millionaire ex isn’t bowing out nicely.