Tag: Toni Shiloh

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 79 | Returning Home by Toni Shiloh

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Returning Home by Toni Shiloh:

First line from Returning Home by Toni Shiloh: Jo Ellen Baker slammed the tailgate of her pickup shut. Another successful job completed.

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Returning Home

Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.

Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.

Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?

You can find Returning Home online at

Amazon  US | Amazon AU | Goodreads

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Introducing Toni Shiloh

Author Interview | Introducing Toni Shiloh

Today I’m interviewing Toni Shiloh about life, reading, writing, and her latest release, Grace Restored. It’s contemporary Christian romance with an emphasis on Christian. Welcome, Toni!

About You

First, please you tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?

I’m from the great state of Texas. I was born and raised there but I haven’t lived there since I was 18. I joined the Air Force straight out of high school, met my husband, and after serving and his commitment to the Air Force ended, we’ve moved based on his job. We now reside in Virginia with our two boys.

It’s said that authors should write the kind of book they like to read. What is your favourite genre? Who are your favourite authors?

I love romance books. I don’t care if the romance is historical, suspenseful, or even in a dystopian setting. As long as there is romance, I’m there. 🙂 My favourite authors (in no ranking order) are Ronie Kendig, Lynette Eason, Becky Wade, Jennifer Peel, Irene Hannon, Jennifer Rodewald, and Sarah Monzon, to a name a few.

Some great authors in that list 🙂

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why/why not?

The last book I read was Finding Evergreen by Jennifer Rodewald. It was superb. I would recommend anything she’s written, her books are that fantastic.

I’m currently reading Finding Evergreen,and will review it next week!

About your book

Tell us a little about Grace Restored. Who do you think will enjoy it?

I’ll tell you a little secret, Grace Restored is my favourite book I’ve written. I know some authors don’t choose, but Michelle and Guy’s story is it for me. The heartache they go through, the friendships that are made, and the discovery of God’s grace seals the deal. I think anyone searching for those elements in a story will enjoy it.

Grace Restored has a lot more of a Christian theme than many contemporary Christian romances I read. What made you choose to write for the Christian market and include such overt faith elements?

The grace I received from God was so overwhelming, I let Him know that I wanted to be used by Him. When I realized (through completing my Bachelor’s degree) that I had some talent in writing, I surrendered it to Him. I can’t imagine writing books without the faith elements because faith is my life.

And I love the way it comes through in Grace Restored 🙂

Quote from Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh: Michelle wished she had that kind of peace. Thankfully, the more she talked to God, the more it seemed within reach.

Most Christian fiction seems to focus on people of European ancestry, with the occasional Native American character. Why do you think this is?

I think statistically speaking there are more writers from a European ancestry than others. However, there are many African American writers in Christian fiction, they are just hard to find because they often end up in the African American section of a bookstore versus the Christian fiction section.

Guy is Haitian, although he was raised in Freedom Lake. How has his different cultural heritage influenced his life?

You can see the influences in his speech, his mannerisms when people are welcomed into his home. Like other people who have a different culture than the place of their birth, he can assimilate depending on who he is interacting with.

I loved the way he’d slip into a version of French.

There are a lot of broken characters in Grace Restored, which links to your main theme of restoration. What prompted you to choose this theme?

I knew Guy and Michelle would end up together before I wrote their story. As I wrote, Freedom Lake book one in the series, bits and pieces of their story came to me and I realized just how broken they were. I knew they needed to discover the saving grace of God and there the theme was born.

Grace Restored is set in the town of Freedom Lake? Is that a real place?

It’s not. I found freedom in creating a fictional setting. You can make it your own without the worry of offending people from an actual real setting.

You drop a few hints about the history of Freedom Lake as a town. What can you tell us about Freedom Lake, and how the town influenced your plot and characters?

Freedom Lake is based off a real place. In times of segregation in the US, African Americans needed a place to getaway and relax. There were AA towns in different places of the U.S. where they could go and vacation without the worries of breaking a Jim Crow law. Freedom Lake represents those towns but in a modern setting where segregation is no longer.

How interesting!

It is said that reading great Christian fiction should challenge the reader’s ideas and beliefs. How do you hope Grace Restored challenges your readers?

I pray that after they finish, they have gained compassion and empathy for their fellowman. That they will search themselves and see if they’re refusing grace in an area they desperately need it. Most of all, I hope it draws them closer to God.

What are you working on now? Can we look forward to another story from Freedom Lake?

Most definitely! Book three has already been written it just needs the wonderful works of revisions and editing. 🙂 Before I get to that, I will be finishing book four in the Maple Run series.

About Toni Shiloh

Author Photo - Toni ShilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior.
She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys.

When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, making jewelry, and spending time with her family.

Toni is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

You can find Toni Shiloh online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

About Grace Restored

Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Returning Home to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise.

Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken?

You can find Grace Restored online at:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleGoodreads | iTunesKobo

Quote from Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh: The idea of being forgiven for every wrong I've ever committed is like a glass of water in the middle of the desert. I'm desperate enough to drink.

Book Review | Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh

Michelle and Guy dated in high school, but haven’t seen each other since Guy deserted Michelle when she needed him most. Now he’s back in town, a widower with twin daughters.

It’s taken a while, but Guy has adjusted to the fact he’s a single father. He’s coping … but seeing Michelle again brings back memories of what once was. As is to be expected, the course of true love doesn’t run smooth, and both Guy and Michelle have a lot to learn—about themselves, about each other, and about God.

There were lots of reasons to love Grace Restored. It’s a restoration story on several levels, and there is a clear gospel message of grace, love, and reconciliation. Both Guy and Michelle have things to get over in their past before they can move into the future God has planned for them, and it’s great to see that.

Freedom Lake is a unique setting—a town where African Americans are the norm, not the minority (well, that was how I read it). It’s a refreshing change to see Christian fiction better reflecting the diverse world we live in.

Grace Restored is the second book in Toni Shiloh’s Freedom Lake series, following Returning Home. I haven’t read Returning Home yet (it’s one of those bought-but-not-read books on my Kindle), and I didn’t feel I needed to have read it for Grace Restored to make sense. But I’ll be moving it on up the to-read pile now!

Recommended for fans of contemporary Christian romance with an emphasis on the Christian.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review. And come back on Wednesday, when I have an interview with Toni Shiloh about Grace Restored and Freedom Lake.

About Toni Shiloh

Author Photo - Toni ShilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior.
She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys.

When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, making jewelry, and spending time with her family.

Toni is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

You can find Toni Shiloh online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

About Grace Restored

Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise.

Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken?

You can find Grace Restored online at:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleGoodreads | iTunesKobo

New Releases in Christian Ficiton via ACFW Fiction Finder

New Releases in Christian Fiction | March 2018

It’s March, and here are the new releases from American Christian Fiction Writers. More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance

Finally a Bride by Renee Andrews — Her dreams of love haven’t worked out, but veterinarian Haley Calhoun intends to grant an orphaned boy’s wish. She’ll heal Eli’s injured puppy—while resisting his charming counselor, Gavin Thomason, at the children’s home. Still mourning the loss of his wife and baby, Gavin believes he can’t commit again. But in losing their hearts to Eli, will Haley and Gavin discover they’ve found the family they need? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love and Roses by Sally Bayless — Looking for a fresh start, former Manhattan lawyer Nate Redmond agrees to arrange the sale of the outdated Rose Park in small-town Missouri, not realizing it has deep sentimental value to his new neighbor, Abby Kincaid—a beautiful widow he’d like to impress. When their plans for the park clash, he learns he’s competing against the memory of her husband, a decorated war hero. With plenty of past mistakes hiding in the in the hedges, can Abby and Nate learn forgiveness and courage in time for love to grow? (Contemporary Romance from Kimberlin Belle Publishing)

Courting Her Amish Heart by Mary Davis — In this first book of the Prodigal Daughters series, Kathleen Yoder comes home after fourteen years in the Englisher world. Practicing medicine means sacrifice—no Amish man will want a doctor for a wife. Widowed Noah Lambright offers a cottage as her new clinic, seeing how much Kathleen’s skills can help their community. But as their friendship deepens, could love and family become more than a forbidden dream? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart by Jan Drexler — As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp is finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farm worker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own. Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community – even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes – and hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Reluctant Groom by Kimberly Rose Johnson — When Ray O’Brien’s world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind Ray can’t dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing—they aren’t in love. Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Anna’s Forgotten Fiance by Carrie Lighte — An accident leaves Anna Weaver with no memory of her Amish hometown’s newest arrival—her fiancé! After a whirlwind courtship, their wedding’s in six weeks…but how can she marry a man she can’t remember? Carpenter Fletcher Chupp takes her on a walk down memory lane, but there’s one thing he wants to keep hidden: a secret that might just lose him the woman he loves. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh — Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise. Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

This is on my to-read-and-review pile, and I also have an interview with the author coming up. What would you like to ask Toni Shiloh?

General & Women’s Fiction

Justice by Emily Conrad — Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. (General from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel — When her heart donor’s parents give Megan Jacobs their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

I’ve already read this—my review will post next week. It’s excellent!

Sweet Meets by Deborah Raney — From short stories to novellas, from contemporary to historical, all of award-winning author Deborah Raney’s short works have been gathered into one great collection for one low price.

Includes the following novellas and short stories: Going Once, Special Delivery, Haiti’s Song, Prairie Lessons, Finally Home, Circle of Blessings. (Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Historical Romance

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Ranchers Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears — In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain serves on the schoolboard, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job. Aaron has returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He sets out to prove to Mercy he now has the best interests of the children at heart. Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

I love the Teaville Moral Society books, and I’m looking forward to reading A Chance at Forever.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo — In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper, used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason — A young man suddenly thrust into nobility is torn between the servant girl he hopes to marry and the father he’s always longed for. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyers — Wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, is about to wed a man she loathes. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, postponing the wedding. After escaping to Wisconsin with her family she realizes she loves Irish immigrant, Rory Quinn, and prepares to break the wedding plans, which are still on. Then she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Husband by Arrangement by Angel Moore — Abandoned by her secret fiancé, the mayor’s pregnant daughter marries the sheriff. Can she overcome her past and help him save the town from corruption? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Beneath A Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer — Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence, but when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the grooms-to-be. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

This sounds excellent! Another for the to-read pile …

Romantic Suspense

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn — After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. Leigh reaches out for help from her high school friend and volunteer underwater investigator, Ryan Parker. But when Ryan finds the body of a wealthy businessman in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh and deadly implications for them all. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

Secret Service Setup by Jessica R. Patch — Secret Service agent Evan Novak becomes the target of multiple hit men when someone puts a two-million-dollar bounty on his head. Is it the gunrunner he’s tracking…or a traitorous agent? Framed and wanted, Evan reluctantly accepts protection from bodyguard Jody Gallagher, his former love who lost her Agency career because of him. But then the bounty is raised to include Jody… (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Fugitive Spy by Jordyn Redwood — A spy with amnesia—and a mission he can’t remember. When Casper English lands in her ER with amnesia, Dr. Ashley Drager learns he has a picture of her…and the same tattoo as her long-missing father. With a dangerous man after Casper, and his memories possibly holding the key to finding Ashley’s father, she secretly whisks him away from the hospital. But can she keep him alive long enough to help him regain his memories? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

What are you planning to read this month?