The View From My Window



My Dream Team...




As I mentioned in my newsletter, I get letters from readers who say: "I'm your biggest fan." Is that you???


If so, you're in the right place. As I'm looking to this new year, I have some new ideas regarding my career. But they're the kind of ideas that need the help of a team--a DREAM TEAM! Actually, it's something I've been dreaming of...and something I hope just the right readers will be interested in. I believe everyone has different gifts and I'm hoping you'll want to partner with me with yours. So if you're interested in things like reading books...or talking about books...or praying for authors...or doing book reviews...or starting book clubs...or receiving free books to review...or a lot of other book related things, I hope you'll consider joining this team. To hear more about this idea, please, email me at melodycarlsonbooks@gmail.com and I'll send you a detailed letter explaining how the concept works. Thanks so much for your interest!








One Book at a Time



I was recently honored in Chicago with the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Receiving this award made me stop and look back over my writing “career” and I found it hard to believe that I’ve been writing (professionally) for more than twenty years. How is that even possible? Before I got serious about writing I tended to flit from one “career” to the next. I never lasted at one thing for more than a few years. Although I learned a lot of interesting things in my diverse occupations, I could never find something I loved doing enough to imagine doing it for the rest of my life. However, I had always loved writing. I just never dreamed I could make a career of it. And even now—with more than 200 books published and more than five million books sold—I am more amazed than anyone. How did that happen?

Melody Carlson

One book at a time. Just like so many other things in life, one step at a time, one day at a time, this writing career happened one book at a time for me. And it continues to do so.


I’m the first one to admit that it’s amazing to do what you love for a living. And I feel very blessed that I can do that. But it’s only because of you (my readers) that I’m able to write as a livelihood. The connection we have—and I experience this connection regularly through the fabulous emails and letters I receive—is what really keeps me going. I love hearing your reactions to my stories and characters, and I so appreciate you taking the time to write to me. Thank you—thank you—thank you! On the same token, I want to thank every single one of you (even the ones who don’t write to me) for reading my books. That too is part of our connection. And I hope in the next twenty years that we will continue to stay connected.


I try to keep up with the emails and letters and facebook messages, but because I’m always working on a new book, it’s very easy to get behind. Like right now...I am way behind. But I hope you know that as I write new books, creating new characters with new problems, I am thinking of you and I’m hoping that I’m making something you’ll enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.


Thanks!



Melody Carlson






Trading Secrets


Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins.


Trading Secrets

The Christmas Cat


After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.


The Christmas Cat

Blind Date


Devon, Emma, Cassidy, Bryn, and Abby are ready for their next Dating Games challenge: setting each other up on blind dates for the upcoming masquerade ball.


But trouble is brewing. Some of the girls are questioning whether their friends can be trusted to deliver on their promises. In fact, there's a very real danger that this dating treat could turn into a nasty trick.


Will their club—and their friendships—survive?


Blind Date

My Amish Boyfriend


Sixteen-year-old Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer, and she can't wait to get to them. Unbeknownst to her, however, her widowed and ailing mother has plans of her own--to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can look after her. Shannon quickly learns that living a "simple" life is actually a lot of hard work. But when a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, she's ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. But does Ezra share her attraction? Will Shannon really make the jump into this new way of life? And will it be for the right reasons?


My Amish Boyfriend

The Waiting Room


It happens to everyone. Someday it will happen to you. While you're reading these words, it will happen to more than fifty people--and by the end of the day it will have happened to about 10,000. Maybe even someone you know. And yet most of us don't want to talk or even think about it. Death...it's unavoidable. So what happens after we leave this life? If you believe in Heaven, what do you expect to find there? What if there was a waiting room? A holding cell for people who aren't quite ready to pass through the pearly gates. And if there was a waiting room, who would be kept there? And why? This fictional story explores this with a touch of humor and a dose of reality.


The Waiting Room

Dating Dining and Desperation


Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column.


But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.


Dating Dining and Desperation

The Princess Wars


The twin princesses of Raspen Kingdom have been at odds for their entire lives. Firstborn Heather is a no-frills girl who grew up riding horses, fencing, and dreaming of great adventures. Meanwhile her twin sister Rose loves ornate jewels, silk gowns and being treated like royalty. Because the king is sickly, Heather is due to take the throne on the twins’ eighteenth birthday. But before she is crowned, Princess Heather embarks on an exciting journey throughout the kingdom. And it's not long before Heather's adventure goes sideways and threatens to undo the entire kingdom.


The Princess Wars

The Long Road Home


Disenchanted with her humdrum Kansas farm life, Jessica Johnson is swept away by handsome Barry Bartowski’s poetry and music. Naturally, her family can’t stand the guy. But when Jessica makes a startling discovery, she chooses to run away with Barry. The farther she goes, the more twisted and long the road becomes. Is Barry the guy she thought he was...will she ever find where she truly belongs? [Carlson’s first novel, this book was originally published under the title “Jessica” nearly twenty years ago.]


The Long Road Home

Once Upon a Winter's Heart


Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart décor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.


Just as Emma's heart begins to lift, however, she learns her sister has already staked a claim on Lane. Emma's mother and sister insist Lane only sees her as a future sister-in-law, but she can't help wondering if it could be something more.


Once Upon a Winter's Heart

A Simple Christmas Wish


Rachel Milligan is caring for her seven-year-old niece, Holly, at her home in Chicago when she receives devastating news: Holly's parents have been killed in a plane crash. Because Rachel is Holly's only known relative, she assumes that she will be her beloved niece's guardian. However, custody is awarded to Lydia, a distant aunt who happens to be Amish. Just a week before Christmas, Rachel takes Holly to the Amish community in the hopes of persuading Aunt Lydia to relinquish custody. Instead, Lydia sets out to teach Holly to live according to the Amish way. As family secrets emerge and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.


Combining an Amish family saga with the anticipation of Christmas cheer and the promise of a budding romance, this newest Christmas story from beloved author Melody Carlson is sure to please.


A Simple Christmas Wish

Grace Unplugged


Grace Trey is an eighteen-year-old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one-hit wonder Johnny Tray who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago.


When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the "real world" puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?


Grace Unplugged is based on the motion picture of the same name starring AJ Michalka (Super 8) and Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men).

Grace Unplugged

First Date


Five high school friends have one thing in common as they start their sophomore year: none of them have ever been on a "real" date. With homecoming looming, they make a pact and start a secret club they call the DG (Dating Game). They're sworn to secrecy--and to purity--but the club is their way to set each other up on their first dates so they can report back to the DG. Of course, they all make different choices about how to deal with their parents and how to act on their dates, and they discover that they all have totally different experiences. Still, the things they learn about boys and dating will stick with them throughout high school.



First Date

A Home at Trail's End


Elizabeth Martin and her two children have finally reached the Oregon Country. But Eli Kincade, the wagon train scout who captured her heart, has chosen to continue life on the trail. As other pioneer families begin building new homes, Elizabeth has never felt more alone.


However, when Eli unexpectedly returns, confesses his love, and proposes, Elizabeth accepts with her family's blessing.


A community begins to take shape, but not without growing pains. As an alternative to the local minister's fiery sermons, Elizabeth's father begins to preach at home, raising the ire of some. Racial biases arise against Brady, Elizabeth's African-American hired hand. Eli's warm sentiments toward Indians also raises concerns.


Can Elizabeth and her family overcome these differences and begin a legacy of reconciliation and love?

A Home at Trail's End

A SIMPLE SONG


Katrina Yoder loves to sing, but her Amish parents view singing as vainglory and a sin. Katrina's best friend, Bekka, is convinced Katrina should try out for American Star, a televised singing competition that Bekka has been secretly watching. Katrina resists the temptation until her father's health worsens. He desperately needs a surgery the family cannot afford. Katrina decides she must go against her parents' wishes to win the money needed to help her father. But how will she handle herself as an Amish teenager out in the world?


A Simple Song

ENTICED


Sixteen-year-old Simi Fremont thinks she’s found her dream job and the solution to her family’s money problems. But the modeling agency she found online is not what it seems. It’ll take every bit of her faith for her to escape the dangerous scheme and survive.

Enticed

Prom Queen


Megan Bernard would sell her soul to be prom queen. Okay, maybe not her soul. But her popular older sister Belinda was prom queen last year, and Megan is certain that the only thing that would make her truly happy would be to attain the same honor. Her mom thinks it would be pretty cool too. But when Megan decides she'll do whatever it takes to take home the crown, life gets decidedly complicated. Maybe "celebrity" isn't all it's cracked up to be after all.


"Hard work by your friends and fairy-tale good luck can get you elected prom queen—if you want it badly enough. After catching a televangelist’s message to “believe it and receive it,” Megan decides that the prom crown will be hers. As part of her campaign during the months running up to prom, she tries to get involved in a range of extracurricular activities at her Christian high school, do good works, show leadership, lose weight, and get a date for the big night. While the teen guy characters don’t feel fully developed, here, Megan and her girlfriends are presented as credibly flawed and sympathetic, and readers will enjoy all of Megan’s projects to boost her electability, even if they occasionally stretch probability. There is no need for readers to refer to earlier episodes in the Life at Kingston High series for this entry to make sense to fans of very gentle Christian romances." — Francisca Goldsmith for Booklist

Prom Queen

Blood Sisters


"We'll always be best friends."


"That afternoon Mr. Jones read to them from Tom Sawyer, and when he reached the part about blood brothers, Judith knew just what she and Jasmine should do. Hidden behind an oak tree, the little girls jabbed their forefingers with a thumbtack and mixed their blood to become honest-to-goodness blood sisters. In their childish hearts they vowed to be best friends forever and ever."


Judith Blackwell returns to Cedar Crest trying to understand the sudden death of her dearest childhood friend, Jasmine Morrison. But her questions seem only to raise more questions. What is the dark secret of the sleepy little town she once called home? Why hadn’t Jasmine been in contact with her? And where is God in all this? In her quest for the truth in matters of the heart and faith, Judith turns to a dedicated police detective. Together they form a plan that could either save Cedar Crest or send them tumbling down the same desperate road Jasmine found herself on.

Blood Sisters

A Dream for Tomorrow


Elizabeth Martin and her two children have made it through the easy part of their journey, but now their wagon train faces high mountain passes, dangerous river crossings, and decreasing supplies. Desperate circumstances bring out the best and worst of the travelers, including Will Bramford, the wealthy widower who is pursuing Elizabeth, and Eli Kincade, the independent and solitary guide who has stolen Elizabeth's heart.


As the group reaches the Oregon Country, the emigrants part ways to find their new homes. Elizabeth and Will and their families have made arrangements to board a ship that will take them south along the coast. Will Eli change his plans and accompany Elizabeth to her new and permanent home? Or will his mysterious past continue to keep them from love?

A Dream for Tomrrow