Coming in early 2014 from Thomas Nelson


Here is the first of two posts revealing Thomas Nelson’s early 2014 line-up. Can you see me doing a happy dance ~ I adore putting these cover art posts together and I know you will enjoy them, too.

So let’s get down to business! Here’s my thoughts on the cover art front ~

Erin Healy’s is different, the colour zings and I love the silhouetted face ~ Robin’s is traditional yet different from the “girl in pretty dress looking over shoulder” that has been so overdone ~ Lisa Samson’s is a unique look for a CF book so that has a big tick from me ~ Billy’s is okay but not a stand out for me ~ I quite like Denise’s except at first glance I thought she was in her nightie – LOL! ~ Tracy’s is quite plain and the placement of the font makes it look like she is floating – it is however consistent with the era ~ The Amish Garden cover is sweet – no bonnet and bare feet and I love that her face isn’t shown (sorry, Aaron!) ~ Ross’ suits the genre but is a bit “same same” for me ~ I like that the Yada Yada covers are themed but I’m not a fan. Whew!!

As far as story highlights for me ~ Lisa Samson is one of the best story tellers in the business, I adore Tracy Higley, and Denise Hunter’s stories, and Robin and Erin write beautifully in their genre.

So , your turn now ~ love to hear your preferences for this selection!


Stranger Things by Erin HealyStranger Things

In the forest’s burned-out hollow, a house of dark secrets also glows with bright promise.

Serena’s career as a high school biology teacher comes to a halt when an angry student makes shocking accusations. Stunned and suspended, Serena retreats to the forest where she usually finds peace of mind. But on this day she encounters a killer and his prisoner—as well as a stranger who dies to save Serena’s life.

The stranger, Christopher, had dedicated his life to rescuing girls from forced prostitution—starting with his sister Amber. They formed a tiny nonprofit organization to protect girls and have been working furiously to bring down John Roman, the powerful criminal who first took Amber and has ruined scores of young women’s lives since.

When Christopher’s grieving colleagues suspect Serena of being in league with Roman, her life spirals further out of control. How will she clear her name? Why did this stranger protect her with his life? And what is the meaning of the visions she sees every time she visits the gutted house where he died?

December, 2013


A Promise KeptA Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher

Allison believes God promised to save her marriage. So why did He allow it to end in divorce?

Allison did everything she could do to rescue her marriage, but her husband left anyway. Their marriage is over.

After the divorce papers are signed, she retreats to the mountain home she inherited from her great-aunt Emma, a woman she thought she’d known well. But the trunks she discovers in the attic hold keepsakes, photographs, and journals that reveal secrets—and the stories of a kindred spirit.

As Allison learns more about Aunt Emma’s life, she also learns more about her true self—and what it means to surrender completely to a sovereign God. Heart healing and moving forward with her life—making new friends, making new plans—Allison never dreamed of the many unexpected ways God can keep His promises.

January, 2014


Runaway Saint by Lisa SamsonRunaway Saint

When her aunt shows up homeless on her doorstep, Sara suspects anything but a miracle.

Sara’s an artist with a supportive husband and a house that folks on her block admire outright. But she’s restless and bored with life.

Then her legendary Aunt Bel shows up, wearing a smile after years without a word.

Twenty years ago, fresh out of college, Bel left for a summer missions trip and never returned. Now she’s on Sara’s doorstep, looking for a place to crash. Sara can’t say no to family, even if she hasn’t seen Bel since she was a nine-year-old girl. But saying yes to Bel turns Sara’s whole precariously-balanced life upside down.

The enigmatic Bel gives Sara’s family and their community a jolt of fresh thinking and clarity.

But Bel is hiding something. Though she won’t talk about it, Sara soon learns that Bel has been through a hellish ordeal. And she has the burn marks to prove it.

February, 2014


The Devil Walks in MattinglyThe Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

March, 2014


Dancing with Fireflies by Denise HunterDancing with Fireflies

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

March, 2014


The Queen's HandmaidThe Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

March, 2014


An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia GoyerAn Amish Garden

“A Place of Healing” Vannetta Chapman

Emma discovers a run-away teen in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a woman and her two children. Then her mother-in-law reveals a secret about her garden. Will Emma choose loneliness or learn to accept God’s gifts?

“Flowers for Rachael” Kathleen Fuller

Rachael’s garden is beautiful, but she is lonely. Gideon is in love with Rachael, but when Rachael finds her garden in shambles after a crisis, she rejects his help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own?

“Seeds of Love” Tricia Goyer

When a corporation shows interest in buying Sadie’s heirloom seeds, she panics. They are all she has left of her Dat and Mem. Eli believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and will the seeds of a new relationship take root?

“Planting a Future” Beth Wiseman

Rosemary is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul has been interested in her for years, but Rosemary has turned him down repeatedly. Saul begins helping with her family’s garden, but someone is sabotaging his efforts—and keeping a secret that could change their lives.

March, 2014


The Fearful GatesThe Fearful Gates by Ross Lawhead

Plans that have been shaped for over a thousand years will finally be executed when dragons awake and the gates between worlds are thrown open.

Daniel and Freya, along with Alex, Vivienne, and the knight Ecgbryt, join together with the inhabitants of Nidergeard to confront the forces allied against them in this final volume of The Ancient Earth Trilogy.

Nidergeard lies exposed and the army that the dark wizard Gad has been gathering over the past yearsmade from giants, dragons, trolls, and yfelgopesis finally assembled and ready to invade the nation. All that stands in their way is the Langtorr, the last standing structure in Nidergeard, and its inhabitants.

The fate of Britain—and the world—all centers around the events of a single day . . . a day when the mystery of what lies behind The Fearful Gates is revealed.

April, 2014

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough by Neta JacksonThe Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough

The Yada Yadas got tight in the past year, but they’re about to learn the real meaning of togetherness.

We’d done it: we’d taken a mismatched, diverse group of women and cobbled together a prayer group that really worked for all of us. Now that spring was here, we were celebrating our one-year anniversary—and a wedding, an early parole, and two baptisms in the lake! Everything was feeling pretty great.

But it’s when we’re in our comfort zone that we’re most likely to let our guard down. Without warning, lots of little things seemed to become big problems. With a white supremacy hate group targeting a local university, our very diversity almost became a liability. It took a vicious attack on Nony’s husband to make us see that we had to get tough—and fight back together.

April, 2014



The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets CaughtThe Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught by Neta Jackson

For the Yada Yadas, gettin’ caught up in troubles isn’t the problemit’s how to get free.

Only weeks ago, we Yadas toughened our prayer knees when one of our own was the victim of a vicious racial attack. Now it seems each household is being thrown into even worse circumstances. It especially worries me, Jodi Baxter, because I’m a fixer by nature, and the prayer list is getting out of control . . .

Ruth and Ben are caught up in an unplanned pregnancy—in their fifties! Chanda is deluded by the glitter of her lottery dream come true. Florida wants to move her family, hoping to leave trouble behind, but it looks like it may catch up to her anyway. And I’m finding that even good things like prayer group can consume me in no time flat.

If there is an upside, it’s that all this trouble is revealing the subtle lies we Yadas believe about God, ourselves, each other, and life. Maybe our best hope is to catch on to what God’s doing—and catch on quick—before the enemy can take any prisoners. That’d be a freedom worth celebrating. And celebrating is what my spiritual sisters and I do best.

April, 2014









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40 Responses to Coming in early 2014 from Thomas Nelson

  1. Thanks so much for the preview. Always love this feature. Though I have stacks and stacks of books to read, the new covers always have me wanting more. Love Lisa Samson and look forward to her new book.

    • Beckie B. » Isn’t Lisa fantastic – so excited about her new book. That said, I’ve still got to dive into her most recent one!

  2. Rel, I guess we have different taste in book covers! I love Billy Coffey’s. It has a sinister feel that goes with the story blurb. And I don’t like Amish at all, but that cover is amazing. The details is so rich. Love it, even though I still won’t read it. :(

    • I don’t mind Billy’s – it just seems very familiar, seen it before. The Amish cover is cute, isn’t it? It takes a lot to get me to read Amish, too 😉

  3. While scrolling through, I wondered if anything was going to attract my attention. I think a lot of the covers here could be WAY better. My pick, for this list: The Queen Handmaiden. Gorgeous in golden. The kind of cover that intrigues, and attacks a reader to pick up the book and see what’s inside. Very good! I think Fireflies’ cover looks quite romantic too and I was debating whether to add The Fearful Gates or not. Hmmm. The sun – or light in the center is a bit bright. Too bright, for my taste. Also, I find that a lot of Amish stories seem to have cliché covers.. I’m just sayin’ :)

    Blurbs : Stanger Things, The devil walks in mattingly, Dancing with Fireflies, sound REALLY good.

    Thanks as always for sharing, Rel!

    • Oh and Runaway Saint too sounds interesting! I like the title. I may even be willing to give the books that look interesting a try!

    • That’s why I love the cut off head and bare feet in the Amish book – something different, finally!

      So, a question, will a cover that doesn’t appeal to you, prevent you from reading it?

      • Good question! Thank for asking, Rel. Not at all! I like good covers because I’m a visual but other factors influence whether I read a book or not. The blurb is so very important, in my opinion. Also, I’m finding that my curiosity is piqued when I hear a lot about a certain book (word of mouth). And a lot of times, I am willing to read the books of an author whose voice I like.

        On side note, I think I’m changing my mind about Tracy’s… The cover’s looks a bit dark now… I’m not sure.

        • Ganise » I know some people just refuse to read certain books, or it takes them a long time to read a certain book in their TBR because the cover is not appealing. Story is all important to me – you can tell by some of the older books I have on my shelves – the covers are woeful 😉

      • Isn.t that a fun cover? Thanks for the highlight. Looking forward to the release!

  4. Out of this group, I’d say my favorites are Erin Healy’s and Lisa Samson’s. Erin’s is such a pop of glorious color! The synopsis is kind of interesting, kind of confusing though. Will be curious to hear what others think of it.

    And Lisa’s! Oh I love it! Kinda of dark and intriguing, which seems to really match the synopsis well. I like that we can’t see the person’s face. Makes it more mysterious. :)

    Denise’s is pretty. And it totally does look like she’s in her nightie! lol 😀 But I do love the colors and the couple in a backhug.

    Ross’ cover really matches the synopsis and is very intriguing! I like it.

    Tracy always has a great cover. And the Amish one? I love that she’s barefoot. You don’t usually see that on an Amish cover, so it stands out. Makes it different. And since there’s SO many Amish covers these days, that’s a great thing going for it! :)

  5. I always look forward to your coming soon posts!

    I love Denise Hunter and Tracy Higley’s covers, but I think that’s because I love both of their writing. : ) I can’t wait to read them both.

    • Glad you enjoy these posts – thanks for the encouragement! I’m with you on Tracy and Denise’s books – do you have favourites? I think The Convenient Groom still for me from Denise, although Barefoot Summer comes a close second and for Tracy…mmm…Pompeii, maybe…love all of them, really.

      • I loved all of Denise’s Nantucket books, but Surrender Bay was probably my favorite. I’ve only read Pompeii and Petra from Tracy and loved them both equally. I need to get to her other books! I wish I could read faster. : )

  6. I always think Erin Healy has the coolest covers. I’m just about finished reading Afloat and will be ready for her next book!

  7. I am THRILLED to see another Higley book on the way, but I think the cover missed the mark. It almost looks like a self-published cover. :-( Which is such as shame because her stories are incredible and intriguing!

    I’ve been intrigued by Billy Coffey’s books, but I like his cover. Of course, Ross’s fits right in with his brand and genre.

    • Hey, girl! You and are always in agreement on Tracy’s books, right? Yeah the cover is lacking something for me, too.

      Back to bed me – insomnia is a killer but it sure helps with blogging – LOL!

      Hugs xo

  8. Oh, yes! Adore these posts and cannot wait for that “more to come,” Rel. :)

    Okay, Lisa’s is cool. I like the pose (and coloring in grayscales) and orange typeset. Erin’s is… interesting. Never read her books so I don’t know if it really “suits” her stories. Robin always gives fans a beautiful story but I don’t love how everything was put together on this new book – the vintage vibes are neat, the flash of light in the corner, not so much. Everything is attractively and artistically placed on Billy’s (those lights are awesome looking) and of course, I adore Denise’s. It’s really sweet and seems to fit her stories beautifully – plus I just knew that once Jade’s story came she’d find out her secret admirer was her true love. :)

  9. Hey Rel,
    Thanks for the shout-out! I am afraid I am not over the moon for any of these really. I like the Amish cover OK. I can actually accept this cut-off head, but the girl is still too close up. I would like to see a bit more of the background garden, which is the highlight of the cover for me. My favorite is Robin’s. I love the nostalgia of the attic scene with the dress and the photograph. I also love the light coming in the window to shine over everything. Very evocative to me. I like Tracy’s cover, too, although I see what you mean about font placement. My biggest font problem (besides the new Yada Yada covers which I really, really do not like) is on Lisa’s. This cover would be my favorite as I love the everything about the picture. The font is distracting to me and does not fit with the cover or the book, at least from what the synopsis says. I do not like Erin’s. The flower is a bit blah for me, and I confess I would not have noticed the silhouette without your mentioning it. I like Billy’s OK. It seems to fit with his previous book, but I am not sure if they relate to each other in any way. Ross’s is OK, too. As for Denise’s, I think the couple need to be a bit further back. He is barely seen at all. Again, I could handle the cut-off heads here as the focus should be on her pregnancy, but I did not get that she was pregnant from the cover at all. That should be a bit more obvious IMO. Also, if they were further back, the fireflies (or lightning bugs as I called them growing up in Tennessee) could be highlighted a bit more. I hope you are resting well!

  10. Looking forward to The Runaway Saint. Love Lisa’s work. Erin’s is interesting, cover is bright, provocative – but not sure I especially like the cover.

    Nothing about the rest of them floats my boat. 😉

    Thanks, Rel. Impressive as always.

  11. Gee, 2 in one year for Erin. Wow… cover doesn’t grab me though..

    I like Billy Coffey’s cover… title a bit strange… haven’t read any of his before.

    • Ian » I love that Erin’s cover is different and eye-catching for me. I’m tired of seeing the same kind of covers over and over again! I thought the title of Billy’s was a bit cumbersome, also.

      • I like the red and I agree it’s catching. I happened to write a note on Erin’s blog today which she kindly replied to. It’s a fire poppy, which blooms in the first spring after a wildfire blaze. Bound to be a good novel.

        It’s amazing (& great) how many people respond to these cover posts. Enjoy your night, Rel. :)

        • Ian » They are always my most responded to posts – I so appreciate people taking the time to share their thoughts – you included, Ian!

  12. I have to admit, the title of Billy Coffey’s next book is influencing my take of “When Mockingbirds Sing,” which I’m currently reading. As for the cover, it reminds me of some Halloween-themed scifi books I’ve read.

  13. Top two favorite covers in this group for me are the Amish cover and Denise Hunter’s cover. Love the bare feet for the Amish book and the “back hug” on the cover caught my attention right away and made me immediately want to read the blurb about the book.

  14. Hmm…none here that really “stand out” to me. TN are always testing the edge of new and different. Denise’s novel almost looks YA to me. I’m not sure why, but the colors and tone strike me of an older YA novel I’ve read from Zondervan (I think). Robin’s cover is peaceful and inviting!

  15. LUV the new YADA YADA covers!!! LUV LisaSamson!!! Gotta check these all out;)

  16. Ooh I squealed a little when I saw there were some new batches of covers! Thanks Rel for doing these posts!

    I rally like Billy Coffey’s cover! It’s so eerie and kind of foreboding. Plus I love a good murder mystery.

    Tracy’s cover is pretty (although the words do make it look like she’s floating) but it’s not my favorite of hers. Maybe the girl could have been sneaking around instead of just standing there? I would read anything Tracy writes though, the cover could have been ugly brown paper for all I care!

    I actually like the Yada Yada covers. I think all the cluttered shoes and piggy banks are cute and I like the color schemes. They’re also fairly simple, which appeals to me.

  17. SO EXCITED for the Tracy Higley — this is the first place I’ve heard of it! Love the cover. Flying through, but the others look good too! Yay! Love these posts. :)

  18. The Yada yada books look British to me, tbh! Anyway, just been catching up on all your cover posts…I’m so out of it and it’s fun to see what’s coming, especially Lisa Samson!

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