Castles, Part 2

Historical Heartbeats is featuring part two of the blog on Castles. The chiefs of Clan Munro in the Highland Treasures series made their home in Fàrdach Castle. Fàrdach was of the typical motte and bailey type castle with the keep being the residence of the chief and his family. Guards and the luchd-taighe (chief’s household men and body guards) resided in the inner bailey’s barracks. Smaller outer buildings housing support personnel and their shops were located in the outer bailey with the village of Drumainn close by.

The villagers and castle personnel worked the chief’s estate, paid him rent in the form of food and clothing, and supplied all the necessities to maintain his lifestyle. The chief was expected to protect his clansmen from invading maurders and reivers. He entertained lavishly and fed his people in times of need from the castle storerooms. The chief and his family were the celebraties of the day. The clansmen held him in high esteem and discussed his comings and goings in great detail. The Munro chiefs in the Highland Treasures series were mighty warriors, capable of governing well, and worthy of their clan’s fealty (loyalty).


Castle’s Keep and Bailey


Bailey and Enceinte

A bailey, also called a ward, was a fortified enclosure. It was a common feature of castles, and most had at least one. The keep on top of the motte was the domicile of the lord in charge of the castle and a bastion of last defense, while the bailey was the home of the rest of the lord’s household and gave them protection. The barracks for the garrison, stables, workshops, and storage facilities were often found in the bailey. Water was supplied by a well or cistern. Over time the focus of high status accommodation shifted from the keep to the bailey; this resulted in the creation of another bailey that separated the high status buildings – such as the lord’s chambers and the chapel – from the everyday structures such as the workshops and barracks.

From the late 12th century there was a trend for knights to move out of the small houses they had previously occupied within the bailey to live in fortified houses in the countryside. Although often associated with the motte-and-bailey type of castle, baileys could also be found as independent defensive structures. These simple fortifications were called ring works. The enceinte was the castle’s main defensive enclosure, and the terms “bailey” and “enceinte” are linked. A castle could have several baileys but only one enceinte. Castles with no keep, which relied on their outer defenses for protection, are sometimes called enceinte castles; these were the earliest form of castles, before the keep was introduced in the 10th century.


A Castle’s Keep


The Keep

A keep was a great tower and usually the most strongly defended point of a castle before the introduction of concentric defense. “Keep” was not a term used in the medieval period – the term was applied from the 16th century onwards – instead “donjon” was used to refer to great towers, or turris in Latin. In motte-and-bailey castles, the keep sat atop the motte.”Dungeon” is a corrupted form of “donjon” and means a dark, unwelcoming prison. Often the strongest part of a castle and a last place of refuge if the outer defenses fell, the keep became the residence by the lord who owned the castle, or his guests or representatives. At first this was used only in England, when after the Norman Conquest of 1066 the “conquerors lived for a long time in a constant state of alert”. The Lord’s wife presided over a separate residence (domus, aula or mansio in Latin) close to the keep, and the donjon was a barracks and headquarters. Gradually, the two functions merged into the same building, and the highest residential stories had large windows. The massive internal spaces seen in many surviving donjons can be misleading. They would have been divided into several rooms by light partitions, as in a modern office building. Even in some large castles the great hall was separated only by a partition from the laird’s “chamber”, his bedroom and to some extent his office.


Castle’s Curtain Wall


Curtain Wall

Curtain walls were defensive walls enclosing a bailey. They had to be high enough to make scaling the walls with ladders difficult and thick enough to withstand bombardment from siege engines which, from the 15th century onwards, included gunpowder artillery. A typical wall could be 10 ft thick and 39 ft tall, although sizes varied greatly between castles. To protect them from undermining, curtain walls were sometimes given a stone skirt around their bases. Walkways along the tops of the curtain walls allowed defenders to rain missiles on enemies below, and battlements gave them further protection. Curtain walls were studded with towers to allow enfilading fire along the wall. Arrowslits in the walls did not become common in Europe until the 13th century, for fear that they might compromise the wall’s strength.



Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?


A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. The novel tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.



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Spirit Filled eBooks Contest and Giveaway

Spirit Filled eBooks Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a Kindle Fire or (Second Prize) your choice of 10 of Christian Romance eBooks:

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A Highland Pearl, med

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a Kindle Fire or (Second Prize) your choice of 10 of these Christian Romance eBooks:

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A Mother’s Day Memorial

I belong to the Germanna Foundation, an organization for the descendants of the first German settlers who came to Virginia Colony as indentured servants in 1714 and 1717. Lieut. Governor Alexander Spotswood of the Virginia Colony recruited the Germans to mine iron ore. They lived in a fortified compound under adverse conditions. The Germans’ indenture lasted four years after which they were awarded land in the colony around the present city of Midland, Virginia. My husband and I traveled to the Germanna Foundation headquarters in Virginia to research my line of ancestry. We found I am descended from Malchior and Mary Elizabeth Brombach of the 1714 colony whose daughter Catherine married Christophel Wendel. Christophel, another German immigrant, arrived in Virginia Colony about 1737. Christopel and his two brothers became naturalized citizens of Virginia on May 5, 1747 in the Frederick County, Virginia court. At this time Christophel and his brothers changed their name from Wendel to Windle, which is my maiden name.
The following article on Mother’s Day was written by a member of the Germanna Foundation and descendant of the first German settlers to Virginia.
Mother’s Day: A Celebration rooted in a Germanna mother’s life
by Dr. Katharine L. Brown
1st Vice President and Trustee, Germanna Foundation
The mother in whose honor Mother’s Day was established was a Germanna descendant born and raised in Culpeper, Virginia.
Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, devoted years to gaining national recognition for a day to honor mothers, as a fulfillment of an idea and dream held by her own mother.
Anna’s model for motherhood was her exceptional mother, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, who was born in Culpeper on September 30, 1832, the daughter of Josiah Washington Reeves and his wife, Nancy Kemper Reeves.
Her mother’s Kemper ancestor, Johannes Kemper, came to Virginia from Germany in 1714 as one of the original Germanna colonists whom Lt. Governor Spotswood settled at Fort Germanna on the frontier.
Johannes (or John) Kemper, the immigrant, married Alice Catherine (Ailsey) Otterbach, a fellow 1714 immigrant from the Siegerland, soon after their arrival in Virginia.
Ann Marie Reeves’ father, Josiah Reeves, was a Methodist minister who was transferred in 1843 from Culpeper to Philippi, Barbour County, now in West Virginia, when Ann Marie was eleven.
In 1850, Ann Marie Reeves married Granville Jarvis, son of a Baptist minister, who became a successful merchant in nearby Taylor County.
Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis was mother to eleven children, but only four reached adulthood.
Mrs. Jarvis was a dynamic woman who saw needs in her community and found ways to meet them.
She organized Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in the towns of Grafton, Pruntytown, Philippi, Fetterman, and Webster to improve health and sanitary conditions.
These clubs raised money to buy medicine and to hire women to work in families where the mother suffered from tuberculosis.
They developed programs to inspect milk, long before there were state requirements.
Mrs. Jarvis called on her brother, Dr. James Edmund Reeves, who practiced medicine in Philippi and Fairmount, to provide advice and training for the women in her clubs.
During the Civil War sentiment in western Virginia was sharply divided and the western part of the state broke away from Virginia and formed the new state of West Virginia, loyal to the Union.
Ann Marie Jarvis urged her Mothers’ Day Work Clubs to declare neutrality and to provide aid to both Confederate and Union soldiers.
The clubs fed and clothed soldiers from both sides stationed in the area. When typhoid fever and measles broke out in the military camps, Mrs. Jarvis and her club members provided nursing help to the suffering soldiers, both Blue and Gray.
At the end of the war, public officials, seeking ways to eliminate postwar strife, called on Mrs. Jarvis to help.
She and her club members planned a “Mothers Friendship Day” for all soldiers from both sides and their families at the Taylor County Courthouse, with bands playing “Dixie” and the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Auld Lang Syne.”
This effective and emotional event reduced many to tears, and to the understanding that old animosities were destructive and must end.
The Mothers Friendship Day was an annual event for several years, until tensions had disappeared and it was no longer needed.
Mrs. Jarvis taught Sunday School for a quarter century, and was often invited to lecture on subjects such as “Literature as a Source of Culture and Refinement,” “Great Mothers of the Bible,” and “The Importance of Supervised Recreational Centers for Boys and Girls,” a very progressive idea at the time.
She often spoke of her dream to have a day in which Americans would honor mothers. After her husband Granville Jarvis died, she moved to Philadelphia to live with her son and two daughters. She died there in 1907.
Her daughter Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) began her campaign for the creation of a Mother’s Day on the first anniversary of her mother’s death.
She secured a resolution favoring such a day from the church in Grafton, West Virginia, where her mother had been active.
She then began a letter-writing and speaking campaign, gaining the support of the great Philadelphia merchant and philanthropist, John Wanamaker.
By 1909, forty-five states were observing Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, but the first official proclamation came from the Governor of West Virginia in 1910. President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution adopted by both houses of Congress recognizing Mother’s Day in 1914.
Anna Jarvis wanted carnations to be the symbol for Mother’s Day, and hoped that every American would wear one on the second Sunday in May, a white one for a deceased mother, and a red one for a mother still living.
For many years she sent 500 or more carnations to the church in Grafton where her mother was so active. That church, Andrew United Methodist Church, is now the location of a Mother’s Day memorial statue and garden.
Anna Jarvis’ birthplace, the home her father Granville Jarvis built in 1854 in the village of Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia, the home from which Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis organized her pioneering women’s work, has now been restored and opened as a museum.
The Germanna Foundation and its members have reason to be proud that an exceptional woman who sparked a national recognition of the role of mothers through her own outstanding life of service was a Germanna descendant born and raised in the Culpeper community, and that her daughter, a Germanna descendant as well, is responsible for making Mother’s Day a national celebration.M
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During the month of May, Historical Heartbeats is publishing a series of posts on the characteristics of castles. Castles are fasinating structures and the featured residence of clan chiefs in the Highland Treasures series; however, castle terminology in the stories may be foreign to a reader. I visited several intriguing castles and the ruins of others while touring Scotland.

The fortifications became outdated with the development of cannon and artillery warfare. Their walls could be destroyed by the heavy bombardment. However, they still hold a romantic, mysterious element to be included in the settings of historical romance novels.


Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland


Some castles like Edinburgh Castle are still in use, especially as a tourist attraction, or  restored as a family residence and ocassionally opened to the public. The family of the chief of Clan Munro resides in Foulis Castle, Ross-shire, Scotland. The original Foulis Castle was burned during the Jacobite uprising in 1745 AD. Sir Harry Munro began rebuilding the same year. It now has the appearance of a large manor house, but is still considered a castle.


Foulis Castle Front View


Chiefs of a Scottish Highland clan usually made a castle his residence and seat of the clan. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but typically consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defense – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term varied over time and was applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrow slits, were commonplace.


A winter morning at Dunnottar Castle, Sonehaven, near Aberdeen, North East Scotland


The chief of Clan Munro in the Highland Treasures series resides and governs the clan from Fàrdach Castle. In the stories, the castle was located in Easter Ross, now the county of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. The clan lands called Fearan Domhnuill (Gaelic) or Ferindonald (English) meansDonald’s Land. Donald was the ancient progenitor of the clan who ventured to Scotland from Ireland to assist King Malcolm in defending his land against the Vikings. The king awarded arable land on the north shore of Cromarty Firth to Donald for his service.


Most castles had common characteristics.


Motte and Bailey Castle


Motte and Moat

A motte was oftenan artificial earthen mound with a flat top, although sometimes it incorporated a pre-existing feature of the landscape. The excavation of earth to make the mound left a ditch around the motte, called a moat (which could be either wet or dry). “Motte” and “moat” derive from the same Old French word, indicating that the features were originally associated and depended on each other for their construction. Although the motte is commonly associated with the bailey to form a motte-and-bailey castle, this was not always the case and there are instances where a motte existed on its own.

“Motte” refers to the mound alone, but it was often surmounted by a fortified structure, such as a keep, and the flat top would be surrounded by a palisade. Common practice was for the motte to be reached over a flying bridge (a bridge over the ditch from the bank of the ditch to the top of the mound). Sometimes a motte covered an older castle or hall, whose rooms became underground storage areas and prisons beneath a new keep.

Fardach Castle, home of Chief Andrew Dubh Munro of A Highland Pearl



A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the 16th century Highlands of Scotland.

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Posted in A Highland Pearl, Book Spotlight, Castles, historical heartbeats, Inspirational Romance, Scottish historical romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACFW May New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.



Feebs to the Rescue by Kathy J. Perry — Feebs the kitten is new to the farm. She’s a long way from the farmhouse and doesn’t know her way home in the dark. Her new friend, Ollie the dog, needs help. Can she find the courage to lead a night rescue? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Nibbler and Captain Make Peace by Kathy J. Perry — Nibbler the beaver works hard to keep his lodge and dam perfectly patched. A river otter knocks a hole in his great work. Now he’s so angry, he could almost spit nails. Can he learn how to handle his anger? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Rascal’s Trip by Kathy J. Perry — Rascal the raccoon is sorry he ignored the warning signs He’s surprised by a whirlwind and he’s taken for the ride of his life. Now it’s up to the Bandana Buddies to help him learn the importance of thinking ahead. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to get back home? (Children’s from Chickadee Words, LLC)

Contemporary Romance:

Solo Tu: Only You by Narelle Atkins — Can two high-school teachers, a girl from Tuscany and a boy from Australia, risk everything for love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck — According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious–serious science, that is. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge. Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart. (Contemporary Romance, Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Hometown Reunion by Lisa Carter — Widowed former Green Beret Jaxon Pruitt comes home to face his toughest battle: reconnecting with his toddler son. He also makes an unwitting enemy of childhood friend Darcy Parks when he takes over the kayak shop Darcy hoped to buy! For little Brody’s sake, she’ll stay until summer’s end. But could a growing connection turn their temporary truce into an unexpected forever? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston — When her best friend Savilla dies, Laura steps in to help Allen raise his infant daughter. She soon finds herself coping with the jealousy of her boyfriend Rudy, and her own growing attraction to Allen. Have Laura and Allen been brought together to console and support one another…or is there an even deeper purpose they must fulfill? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Cowboys of Summer by Mary Connealy, Tina Radcliffe, Lorna Seilstad, Sherri Shackelford, Cheryl St. John, and Missy Tippens — Six of Christian fiction’s most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Bella Notte by Heather Gray — As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, Piero Carter is used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side. Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. But when Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter — Regardless of what any blood test says, Brady Collins will go to any lengths to keep his son. Even pretend his friend Hope is his fiancée. Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has finally been offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams. As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Finding Love on Bainbridge Island Washington by Annette M. Irby — A “broken” therapist with PTSD finds a fresh start at her family’s beach cabin, but when her parents hire her ex-boyfriend to finalize repairs on the place, they’re forced back into close proximity. He’s falling for her again. But can anything heal the past? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

And Cowboy Makes Three by Deb Kastner — Coming home with a baby and no wedding ring was just what everyone in Cowboy Country expected from bad girl Angelica Carmichael. But she’ll brave their scorn to fulfill Granny Frances’s dying wishes, even if it means ranching with Rowdy Masterson…her jilted ex-groom. Rowdy’s still bitter but this new, softer Angelica—paired with a precious baby—might be too lovable to resist! (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Falling for You by Becky Wade — A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin — then suffered the consequences when their relationship fell apart. Now that a decades-old mystery has brought them together again, they’ll have to confront their past and the feelings they still harbor for one another. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

General Contemporary/Women’s Fiction:

Long Way Home by Brenda S. Anderson — Stuck on a six-day road trip with the man who once bullied her, can Lauren Bauman learn that love keeps no record of wrongs? (General Contemporary, Independently Published {ACFW QIP Author})

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli — The Hidden Side is about a family that is torn apart by the unspeakable actions of one of its members and how a woman from the past helps them to heal. (General Contemporary from Tyndale House)

Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt — It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine—until her middle sister Jillian’s engagement pulls the family back together to plan the festivities. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Tyndale House)

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West — Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon, Savannah is given a challenge that she can’t run away from. Forgiving the unforgiveable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all. (General Contemporary from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General Historical:

Faithful by Carol Ashby — When a foolish choice lands one man in a fight for his life, unlikely friendships are born, love blossoms, and broken relationships are restored as his best friend’s faith and courage guide the quest to rescue him. (General Historical from Cerrillo Press)

Historical Romance:

All for Love by Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Jen Turano — Three of Christian historical fiction’s beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. Mary Connealy’s “The Boden Birthright” journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter. Kristi Ann Hunter’s “A Lady of Esteem” follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Jen Turano’s “At Your Request” tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Perfect Bride by Debbie Lynne Costello — Avice Touchet has always dreamed of marrying for love and that love would be her best friend, Philip Greslet. She’s waited five years for him to see her as the woman she’s become but when a visiting lord arrives with secrets that could put her father in prison, Avice must consider a sacrificial marriage. Philip Greslet has worked his whole life for one thing—to be a castellan—and now it is finally in his grasp. But when Avice rebuffs his new lord’s attentions, Philip must convince his best friend to marry the lord against his heart’s inclination to have her as his own. (Historical Romance from Forget Me Not Romances)

Backcountry Brides Collection by Angela Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Pegg Thomas — Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Rebecca’s Song by Dawn Kinzer — A small-town teacher who lost hope of having her own family, and a big-city railroad detective driven to capture his sister’s killer, must do what’s best for three young orphans who need them both. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Love’s Silver Lining by Julie Lessman — A soft-hearted suffragist incurs the wrath of a bull-headed bachelor when she reforms his favorite girl at the Ponderosa Saloon. (Historical Romance (Western), Independently Published)

Redeeming Light by Annette O’Hare — While Sarah weathers the deadly storm inside the lighthouse, her prayers are for Frederick, caught in the midst of the tempest. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

To Claim Her Heart by Jodie Wolfe — Elmer Smith didn’t need a man when she competed in the Cherokee Strip Land Run and she sure as shootin’ doesn’t need one to keep her land either. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Romantic Suspense:

No Safe Place by H. L. Wegley — A young man returning from the far country trying to regain his honor, and a young woman with a heart broken by her parents’ rejection because of her newfound faith, each have what the other needs, but will the assassin who put them on his hit list allow them enough time to discover what they have in each other? (Romantic Suspense from Trinity Press International)


No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens — As far as David Galloway knows, he can’t die. He wonders where he fits in the world, in God’s plan for the past and the future. He believes himself to be the only person on earth who hasn’t aged in over a century. He’s wrong about that. (Speculative from Barbour Publishing)

Young Adult:

Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett — Left at her grandma’s house in Hawaii after a family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to fly home to Boston and stop her father before he does anything drastic. (Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)

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Kuwaiti Seeker ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats welcomes Jim Carroll with his new release, Kuwaiti Seeker.

Yacoub sought truth in Islam. He failed. Islam failed. Will he find God in his search? Read Kuwaiti Seeker and follow Yacoub to God’s love.

Yacoub sought truth in Islam. He failed. Islam failed. BUT GOD… Despite Quranic guidance, Yacoub fell in his sin and the lack of Islamic remedy. God saved Yacoub anyway. Learn how God saves sinners even when they don’t seek Him. From Yacoub’s experiences, see how much God loves you.


In 1969 John Freidecker came to the university as a faculty member in the Department of History. He was then the only American in the Arts Faculty. His special area of expertise was the history of economic development. I missed Americans and befriended John, who was anxious to know Kuwaitis.

John was a fisherman, tanned and with skin toughened from years on the water, and I took him out near Failaka Island to fish for hamour. Our trip was a success with several large fish, and the evening being pleasant with a light breeze, we barbecued them over a charcoal fire. The beach along the Failiaka coast wasn’t hospitable but we found a large flat rock near the sea. The hamour were flaky and white. We ate every scrap and laid back looking upward. We were far from the lights of the city, and the sky over the island was as the sky over the desert at night. John had never seen the stars with such clarity.

I sketched out the history of the island. “We believe the human history of Failaka goes back at least as far as the Dilmun era.” John, as a historian himself, was familiar with Dilmun and the development of that culture near present-day Bahrain. “There were continuous settlements here on the island as a shipping port along the route from the Far East to the areas north of here. Alexander the Great and the Greeks were here for a time. Alexander called the island Icarus. And we think several of the ruins represent Christian churches, perhaps a gift from Egypt. All this predated Islam. Much of the area’s pre-Islamic history is likely preserved here, if we were to dig deep enough. There’s more below the Islamic soil than on top of it.”

The fire had gone out. I continued, “I envy the Dilmunites.”

“How’s that? That’s a strange comment. Why in the world do you envy them? We don’t even know who they were.”

“I don’t know why I feel that way. I think it’s because they were closer to creation.” My comment, I thought, fit with the starry sky. “The knowledge of the world then was fresh. We’ve diluted it all, to its detriment.”

“What do you think they had?”

“Of course I really don’t know, but there’re remnants. There are the epics or myths. Gilgamesh is one that students like, and it’s related to Dilmun. The flood story and all that.”

Finally John asked, “How do you think the myths stack up?”

“There must be some thread of truth under them. Why else would they be composed?”

John stated his view. “I always thought they arose from hopes and dreams.”

“But there are physical remnants that are left. There are the artifacts here on Failaka that aren’t even identified. Some have suggested the Garden of Eden was here. On Bahrain there’s a tree out in the middle of the desert called the Tree of Life. They say it’s only four hundred years old, but someone had the idea very long ago. And then there are the mysterious burial mounds on the island. Up north of here in Iraq in the little town of Al-Qurnah, there’s another Tree of Life. I saw it years ago. The tree’s dead but the inhabitants built a memorial of sorts around it. It must mean something to them. I think the Dilmunites were aware of something we’re not. All three of these places have been identified with the Garden, though now it’s sort of a cruel joke.”

John asked, “What does the Quran say about the tree?”

“The details are thin, but they were instructed not to approach the tree.”

“No more details about the tree?”


John continued, “In Genesis there were many trees but there are two mentioned by name.”

“Two trees instead of one?”

“Yes, one is the Tree of Life.”

“And that’s the one that they say is around today.”

“I guess you could say that.”

“What about the second tree?”

“That’s the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That’s the one they weren’t supposed to eat.”

“And that’s the tree that’s not around today?”

“Nope,” said John.

“That’s what I was afraid of. That’s just my point.”

We got back into the boat and motored back to the city. We were quiet because it was late

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Author James Carroll

About Jim:

Jim Carroll and his wife, Shirley, live in Augusta, Georgia. They have been married for 50+ years with eight children and fifteen grandchildren. Jim is a physician on the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia and an elder at First Presbyterian Church.

Jim and his family served as missionaries in Kuwait. He was held hostage in the US Embassy in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion (memoir: Faith in Crisis – How God Shows Up When You Need Him Most). He has worked and traveled extensively in the Middle East (see his website:

Jim writes about the Middle East, the weakness of believers, and the strength of God.

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Chase, Intense Book 3 ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats welcomes Author Glenn Haggerty who is spotlighting a new release entitled, Chase, Intense Book 3.

Drugs infiltrate Tyler Higgins’ middle school turning ordinary kids into brain dead druggies. Will Tyler come to their recuse by finding and exposing the drug dealers?



            “There they are.” Chase’s voice rolled up the slope. Even hollering his voice sounded flat and lifeless like someone had drilled a hole in his body, and his soul had leaked out.

Drugs infiltrate Tyler Higgins’ middle school turning ordinary kids into brain dead druggies. When his friend is infected, Tyler decides to cut the small town drug flow by ratting out the dealer before it’s too late.

Shadowing drug runners is risky business. A bowhunter has already disappeared, and Tyler’s true adversary remains veiled. After his first spying mission misfires, Audrey, his classmate, volunteers to help, but Tyler can’t imagine where this mission will lead. Everything goes sideways, but he doggedly follows the twisting trails, risking his friendships and his ownneck. In the end, he isn’t sure who he can trust or if he can rescue anyone—including himself.

Book 3 in the Intense Series, Chase continues the adventures of Tyler Higgins.



Erick Donaldson crept from tree to tree scanning the hushed forest for his prey. Three-foot ferns screened the ground on either side of the path, but on the dirt trail ahead, cloven-hoofed prints pressed deep into the soft black soil.

He stooped. Fresh. His quarry was close.

A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. He’d ditched algebra that morning, butMom’s grounding would be worth it—especially if he had a new antler rack mounted to his wall.

Through a break in the tall trees, wisps of vapor rose from the valley below, and the domed roof of an old barn poked above the early fall greenery. Erick narrowed his eyes. He’d never seen buildings out here in the state park, but he’d never roamed this far north either. The dim trail twisted downhill and disappeared toward the barn. He touched the hunting license in the cargo pocket of his fatigues and stole after his game.

At the valley floor, he pushed through the brush line and stepped into the clearing.

Mist swirled against the barn and decay ate away the corners. Broken and missing boards lined the structure like unraveling bandages on a gigantic mummy. Elm saplings crowded the ruin. Just an abandoned barn. And yet . . .

The hair on the back of his neck prickled.

A gravel driveway led to a sturdy looking door. Tire tracks cut into the dirt, and the weedsleading to the dilapidated structure were trampled. Heleaned forward and scanned the area around the building. To his left, the rutted two-track tunneled into the saplings and disappeared. To the right, a vague trail snaked into the forest.

He took another step into the clearing.

A vagrant breeze wafted the mist his way, stinging his nose and pushing him back. Mom’s cleaner? Why here?

A spasm rippled through his gut.

Something was wrong. Heknew the forest, its sounds andsmells, and hetrusted hissixth sense—the one that toldhimhewas close to hisprey. Or maybe—the chill racing through his veins—the one that warned him of danger. He backedinto the trees.

A twig snapped to his left, breaking the heavy silence.

His head jerked. He raised his bow and drew back the arrow.

Two men stood on the path fifty feet away, staring at him. A clown mask hid the first figure’s face.

Erick’s chest tightened. Clowns creeped him out. Were they stalking him? Hunters should hail another hunter in the woods. He swallowed and kept the bowstring tight.

The second man, skinny and pinched-faced, sported a sparse beard along his jaw. Erick narrowed his eyes. He didn’t know the skinny man’s name, but he’d seen him around town in a battered old pickup.

“What you doin’here?” Skinny’s tone was flat like a zombie.

“Hunting. What’s it look like?” He eased off on the bowstring but spoke loud into the forest stillness.

Intense Series

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Author Glenn Haggarty

About Glenn:

I am a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, and I am the father of six and grandfather of seven. I like tandem biking, kayaking,and daydreaming, and live in Minneapolis with my lovely wife, Linda.

I write inspiring adventures with an edge. No matter how dark the day, finding hope to pursue the prize is the core of all my novels and studies. My focus right now is middle school and teenaged students because I want to provide serious entertainment from the Christian worldview. It’s tough being a tween or teen today, there’s so much bad stuff in our culture, and secular entertainment often offers only despair. I write to give kids hope that they too can make it through this difficult period of life.

My next book in the Intense Series is tentatively titled Hyde, which follows the theme of the first three books and once again also serves as the name of the main antagonist. It is set in Florida where Tyler is vacationing with his cousins. Once again, they get caught up in a mysterious disappearance that has to do with modern daypirates and treasure buried in plain sight. I’ve done some research on the Spanish gold fleet of 1715 and discovered some interesting possibilities.

After Hyde, I have a couple of germs of stories, but nothing concrete. However, I plan to add some non-fiction books, companion studies initially, designed to help students deal with issues of friendship, bullying anddating.

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