Saturday, September 4, 2010

ABA/CBA Authors...Bet you didn't know there were so many!

 September. The word alone conjures up sapphires, morning glories and forget-me-nots, resting from our labors, and International Talk Like a Pirate Day (19th). Arggh, matey!

In honor of readers who don't appreciate charming, rum-breathing pirates, I've cumulated a list of books that have little to do with Capt'n Jack Sparrow and his brethren. To some, pirates were adventurers. To others, pirates were scoundrals.

Yet these men (and a few women) forged a life in two worlds: on land and on sea. (For fictional yet inspiring pirate books, read M.L. Tyndall.)

Prior to asking around, I knew of only a handful Christian authors who've forged a career in the ABA market or in both the ABA and CBA markets. Oh how little I knew. Lemme introduce you to a handful or so of these literary "pirates"...and their "buried treasures."

Disclaimer :: Books on this list may or may not carry the Inky Code of Endorsement, which we haven't officially written because we're more about guidelines than codes. Plus we're writers/moms/wives who don't have time to read every book published. Also, the authors listed do not comprise all Christian authors who write for the ABA market or both ABA and CBA markets. I streamlined so this post wasn't manuscript-length and because my kids wanted dinner. You're welcome.

Abby Gaines writes funny, tender Harlequin romances that’ll leave you smiling. She's authored several books for the NSCAR line, her latest is CHASING A DREAM. You can read an except here. A list of her other books can be found here.

March 2008
“[An] emotional and compelling tale” – Romantic Times, 4 stars

When Kim Murphy stumbles across an old list – “Ten Things To Do Before I Die” – she realizes she’s never really lived. It’s time to throw off her Science Geek persona and get a life….

NASCAR car chief Wade Abraham finds himself firmly in Kim’s sights – number seven on her list is “date a jock”. But she’s his boss’s daughter and she’s not his kind of woman. He can think of a million reasons why she’s not for him…and that’s without even knowing the real reason for her list.

Buy TEAMING UP at eHarlequin, Powells, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble


Take some time for romance with Jean Gordon! Jean writes romances for Avalon. Her latest release, MY LADY VIKING, is published by Cerridwen Press, and you can buy a kindle copy here.

Candy Price is tired of her three older brothers talking her into blind dates with their friends, tired of living in Albany, New York and tired of her overbearing boss. She'd love to break away, quit her job as a media assistant for a gubernatorial candidate, and join her best friend Mara in North Carolina. But Candy's father is still recovering from heart surgery and she should stick with her job through the election.

As a diversion, she decides to help her landlord—witty, gorgeous, Mike Wheeler—find a new woman. Mike has a diversion of his own in mind. Convincing Candy that there's more to life than out-succeeding her brothers. If something develops between them in the process, he certainly won't fight it.

The result? A contest to find the perfect kiss. Points are paid in candy kisses. And winner takes all.

Jean's books can all be purchased thorough Amazon by clicking here, while information about Avalon books can be found by going here.


Judy Duarte, an RWA Rita finalist twice in the inspirational category, writes romances for Silhouette and women's fiction for Kensington. I met Judy at the 2009 Faith, Hope, and Love business meeting where we lead the worship service. Her testimony of how God worked in her life literally brought me to tears. Judy's written 25+ Silhouette Special Edition novels.

MULBERRY PARK was her 2008 single-title debut for Kensington Books. Read an excerpt here or watch the trailer here. Learn what other books she's written by going here.

Return to Mulberry Park, where courage, love, and forgiveness work miracles—with a little angelic intervention. Meet a ball player turned pastor who questions his call to the ministry. A waitress whose college aspirations dim as she cares for her fatherless son and invalid grandmother. An engaged woman harboring a guilty secret. A pregnant teen seeking work and secretly living in a tree house. A childless couple who operate a community soup kitchen.

Thanks to a wise, homeless man named Jesse, these individuals discover that dreams, like dandelion seeds scatted in the wind, can take flight and blossom in astonishing ways.

Buy a copy of ENTERTAINING ANGELS at Kensingtonbooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Indie Bound, or Borders.


Jill Marie Landis's list of publishers includes Harlequin, Jove, Ballentine, Ivy, Thorndike, Zondervan, and Steeple Hill. Why write inspirationals? In Jill's own words: "In recent years, as market demands turned to tales of vampires, erotica, and hotter, sexier historical romances, I turned to writing Inspirational Western Romances for Steeple Hill Books. I truly feel like I’m back in the saddle again, working on stories that are a joy to write."

MAGNOLIA CREEK, and any of Jill's other books including her newest HEART OF STONE from Zondervan, can be purchased at Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, or Indie Bound.


Laurie Alice Eakes writes ABA romances for Avalon and CBA romances for Heartsong Presents and Revell. Her first Avalon release, THE FAMILY GUARDIAN, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2006. Click here to read an excerpt.

The Honorable Miss Clarissant Behn is much too busy to spend her days in leisurely pursuits like most young women of her class; she's secretly and busily working in trade. Clarissant had been blessed with a 'nose' when she accidentally stumbled upon the means to save her family from poverty. For the last three years, through the efforts of her perfumery business she managed to hide from society the source of her family's sudden prosperity. Now her older sister Rowena was insisting it was time for Clarissant to marry but the only man she had ever loved was once her sister's betrothed, Tristan Apking. Unfortunately, Tristan had disappeared six years ago and was presumed dead.

Without any warning Tristan reappeared very much alive, as handsome as ever, and very prosperous. Clarissant was torn between wanting to spare Tristan the heartache of discovering the faithlessness of her sister, as well as hiding her love from the man who would only view her as his little sister.

Buy a copy of FAMILY GUARDIAN today at Amazon. Or if you enjoy the sweetness of Heartsong Presents, try BETTER THAN GOLD available at Amazon or the Thorndike large print version or in the WILD PRAIRIE ROSES compilation.


Leanna Ellis writes women's fiction for Broadman and Holman and, coming in 2011, Amish-Vampire romances for ABA publisher Sourcebooks. FORSAKEN is book 1 in her Plain Fear Series. Hannah Schmidt, a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious 'death' of her beloved Jacob, now a vampire, must choose between two brothers, between good and evil, between a lasting love and the damnation of her soul.

As we await Leanna's ground-breaking novel, let's focus back at ELVIS TAKES A BACKSEAT. Read the first chapter here!

A young widow, determined to fulfill her husband’s last request, hauls a three foot bust of Elvis strapped in the back seat of a vintage Cadillac from Texas to Memphis to return it to its rightful owner. The road trip with her eccentric aunt, who knew the King of Rock n’ Roll, and a temperamental teen, who’s hiding her pregnancy, hits roadblocks and detours as the three women uncover pieces of their own past along with the bust’s mysterious history. The discoveries change the course of their lives forever.

Buy a copy of ELVIS TAKES A BACKSEAT at Amazon, Books A Million, Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound, and Borders.


RITA-winning author, Linda Goodnight has written over 35+ heartwarming romances for Harlequin, Steeple Hill, and Barbour. Her latest release, The Wedding Garden, can be purchased here. A list of her other releases can be found here. When I asked her which of her backlist she loved the most, I realized authors can have more than one favorite. And she did! Check out her Brothers Bond series: A SEASON FOR GRACE, A TOUCH OF GRACE, and A HEART OF GRACE. Thorndike has hardcovers available too. Here's another favorite:

Needed: a man to trust

Daniel Stephens has just discovered he is related to the famous Valentine Dynasty. He's not convinced that he fits into their world...until he meets beautiful Bella Lucia manager Stephanie Ellison and is captivated by her feisty yet vulnerable spirit.

Stephanie has surrounded herself with barriers to protect her from a devastating past. Now she's slowly warming to Daniel's gentle charm. This really could be a Christmas to remember, but first Daniel must show Stephanie that she can't hide behind her fears forever....

Buy a copy of MARRIED UNDER THE MISTLETOE by going to Amazon. Mills and Boon recently released it in an anthology, SECRETS REVEALED: The Brides of Bella Lucia.


Lisa Wingate writes women's fiction for Penguin and NAL and contemporary inspirationals for Bethany. Her latest release, BEYOND SUMMER, can be purchased here.

Karen Sommerfield has been hiding from life-immersing herself in a high-powered job-until the day the company downsizes her out of a job and the doctor tells her that she may have cancer. It's a double blow that sends Karen on a search for herself in the last place she ever thought to look: Grandma Rose's old farm. As Karen's hectic schedule falls away, she opens up to the unexpected. In the quiet of the Missouri Ozarks, she hears the soft, secret language of the sycamore trees, and discovers answers and a joy to make her life complete.

Lisa's books can be purchased though Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books A Million, CBD, and Indie Bound.

Check out Lisa's latest contest:


Michelle Griep writes inspirational time-travel fiction with Black Lyon Publishing and non-fiction with Tyndale House. Her debut novel, GALLIMORE, is a Wizard of Oz Tale with a Medieval Twist. A list of all her books can be found here.

Jessica Neale’s faith is lost the day of her husband’s death, and with it, her belief in love. In a journey to find peace, she encounters a gentle, green-eyed stranger who leads her to the ruins of the medieval castle, Gallimore.

On his way to battle, Colwyn Haukswyrth, knight of Gallimore, comes face to face with a storm the likes of which he’s never seen, and a woman in the midst of it who claims to live centuries in the future. The Lady Jessica of Neale is an irksome, provoking bit of woman to be sure. And she’s about to turn his beliefs on end.

The product of a family rooted in pain and evil, Colwyn has focused on naught but himself—until Jessica. To a mysterious prophecy stitched on a tapestry, through the invasion of Gallimore itself, Colwyn and Jessica are bound together by a lesson in forgiveness and love—a bond that might be strong enough to survive the grave.

GALLIMORE can be purchased directly through Black Lyon Publishing or a large-print version through Thorndike Press.


Shelley Shepard Gray writes Amish romances for Avon Inspire and, as Shelley Galloway, romances for Avalon, Five Star, and Harlequin. When I met Shelley at the Avon booksigning at RWA national conference in Washington DC, I realized I was chatting with a woman with the spiritual gift of gooey gumdrop niceness (Missy Tippens is likewise gifted). Yes, I envied.

After thirty-five years of marriage, Daphne Reece has discovered that Finding Love Forever is a little more difficult than it sounds. Now that all five of their children are happily married, Daphne and her husband Jim are empty nesters. Unfortunately, this means something different to Jim than Daphne. Jim is more interested in golf and the nightly news than romantic nights out or planning second honeymoons. And, well...Daphne's not pleased with this turn of events at all. After an argument at dinner, Daphne kicks Jim out of the house just to prove to him that they still have 'issues' to work out. Suddenly, Jim has to live with the kids, and Daphne's on the hunt for someone else's life to meddle in.

Thank goodness Ginny Young has just moved to Payton. When she rents the apartment above the Sally McGraw Theater from Daphne, Ginny finds herself `adopted' by the most loving, meddling woman she's ever met. Ginny also meets Luke, a local cop who has more to offer than Ginny's ever dreamed of. Both relationships take Ginny by surprise--she's never had a loving family to turn to...or the comforting arms of a true, upstanding man. When Ginny's apartment is broken into, and Luke helps her in more ways than one, Ginny must overcome her insecurities and trust Luke and her new friends, the Reeces.

Buy a copy of FINDING LOVE FOREVER today from Amazon! Or try one of Shelley's Amish fiction, such as HIDDEN, book 1 in her Sisters of the Hearts series, from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or


Victoria Bylin writes Love Inspired Historicals, but she began her career writing Harlequin Historicals. While my list focuses on authors who currently write for ABA or ABA and CBA jointly (and Victoria only writes for Steeple Hill now), I've chosen to include her because of the testimony she has on her website about her time writing for HQN Historicals. Please note that sensuality warning Victoria herself gives ABBIE'S OUTLAW and her other HQN Historicals.

When the Reverend John Leaf sees Abbie Moore step off the train in Midas, he knows that all hell is about to break loose. The last time he saw the redhead, she had been seventeen years old and naked in his arms. If the letter he’s just received is true, they have a child together. A child John doesn’t want . . .

Seduced by a gunslinger and left pregnant and alone, Abigail Windsor has endured years of her husband’s cruelty. His murder has set her free, but his deathbed confession has driven Abbie’s daughter to search for her natural father. A man Abbie wants to love but can’t...

ABBIE'S OUTLAW can be purchased here. For a list of Victoria's Steeple Hill historical romances, click here. Her 2008 release, THE BOUNTY HUNTER'S BRIDE, can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Or buy a Kindle copy of IN A MOTHER'S ARMS by going here.


After I shared my list with the Inkies, Anita Mae responded with something worth sharing. "I attended a wonderful, thought-provoking workshop at RWA [in Orlando] which was hosted by Debbie Macomber and Marie Bostwick called 'This Little Light of Mine.' It was about Christians writing in the ABA and being a light into the secular world. I knew Marie wrote for for Kensington in the ABA market but hadn't realized she was Christian until then." To learn more about Marie and her books, check out her website. Or Debbie's website.


Now, ladies, I'm sure you have men in your lives who like to read. So here's our token author of the male persuasion, although after learning about the vast collection of books he's written, you may discover he's not a token author at all.

Stephen Lawhead writes sci-fi, historical, fantasy, YA and children's books in the CBA market for Lion Publishing and Thomas Nelson and in the ABA market for Eos Publishing and Harper Collins. To read a sample from his latest release, TUCK, click here.

King Raven Trilogy: Book I

Robin Hood: The Legend Begins Anew

For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.

Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne Elfael, has abandoned his father's kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him—for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.

Like the forest itself, Hood is deep, dark, and at times savagely brutal—yet full of enchantment and hope. Internationally-acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead has created a lyrical rendering of a time-honored story that will lead you down strange pathways into another time and place.

By a copy of HOOD today from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lifeway, Mardel's, and Borders.


Please remember this is only a sampling of Christian authors who write for the ABA market or both ABA and CBA. Ask around and you'll be surprised at the numerous authors you'll find. Now off I go to read The Pirates' Code Guidelines, a booke for those who desire to keep to the code and live a pirate's life. Which I do. On Talk Like a Pirate Day, at least. September 19th.

Don't ferget, matey!

"Who lives like a pineapple under the sea..." Gina sings as she walks away.


  1. Of all of these, Hood, by our token male author caught my attention. I'll definitely be looking into that one.

    Thanks for composing this list, Gina. I think it's very worthwhile for Christian writers to gear towards a secular audience, and it takes a special sort of finesse.

  2. I have actually read a few of these books without realizing that they were by Christian authors.Married under the Mistletoe was a great read personally.
    Finishes Gina's song Sponge Bob Square Pants.LOL.

  3. What a great list! Thanks for your hard work, Gina!

  4. put two on my wish list.

    Great job, Gina.

    I'll be collecting titles of older books for March's CELTIC theme.
    Books taking place in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, as well as Cornwall, the Isle of Mann and Brittany on the mainland. Or having a lead character of that persuasion.

    Watch for a new back list post on the first Saturday of every month!

  5. Um, may I make a teensy correction here? It's just Family Guardian, not THE Family Guardian.

  6. Debra, Love those Celtic heroes. But with a name like Eakes, what else? my hero in Family Guardian is Welsh, the hero in The Glassblower is a Scot, and the book I'm writing now, which won't be out until Jan. 2012, is also a Scot.

  7. Great list! So many choices... LOVE Shelley Shepard Gray... Her Amish Inspirationals are really good.

  8. What a great post, Gina!! And imagine my surprise at seeing my name mentioned in the middle! :) You're gooey gumdrop sweet to say that.

    Thanks for mentioning all these great books! I have several of the older ones you listed but was thrilled to see they have new or upcoming releases!

  9. Loved seeing this list. The idea of embedding the message of Jesus in a novel distributed in the ABA market is exciting to me. Thanks for posting this.

  10. Gina, thanks for this list! I wanted to *almost-shameless* add that Bethany House is currently building up its fantasy fiction line, intended for YA, and men and women who love adventuresome reads. For any readers wanting to test the waters, Elisabeth Anne Stengl's Christy-winning ebook HEARTLESS is free this month!!! Check it out!!! My own book, PROPHET, was featured last week, and CAST OF STONES, by Patrick Carr, is scheduled to hit bookstores early next year! Happy reading, everyone. :)


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