Margaret Brownley Guest Post

Margaret Brownley
New historical Christian fiction release

Today I’m happy to have Margaret Brownley stopping by to tell us about her new historical novel Gunpowder Tea.  First, let me give you a glimpse at the book:

Gunpowder TeaShe’s a Pinkerton detective. He’s working undercover for Wells Fargo. Neither has a clue about love.

Annie Beckman arrives at Last Chance Ranch in the Arizona Territory holding the classified ad she found. Miss Walker’s search for an heiress who is single and willing to remain so gives her the perfect cover. As a detective for the Pinkerton Agency, Annie’s latest clandestine task is to discover the identity of the mysterious Phantom, a train robber thought to be hiding out at the ranch.

Ranch hand and undercover Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggert is secretly tracking the Phantom too, but Annie suspects he may be the train robber she’s after. They’re constantly at odds and she even goes so far as to serve him gunpowder tea in an attempt to gain the upper hand.

Danger lurks around every corner and everyone is under suspicion—even Miss Walker! It’ll be a race to the finish to see which rival detective finds the Phantom first. Nothing—not even romance—can get in their way.

Welcome, Margaret!

Gunpowder Tea: Good for What Ails You

“Tea?” Miss Walker made it sound like something that crawled out from under a rock. “You want me to drink tea?”                  –Gunpowder Tea

Margaret BrownleyBritish TV commercials are timed for three minutes and that’s not by chance. It takes roughly that long to heat a teakettle and brew a cup of tea.  Nothing—not even a commercial for soap powder—is allowed to interfere with Britain’s love affair with tea.

Apparently no commercials were shown during William’s and Kate’s televised wedding. After the happy couple exchanged vows, a surge of electricity consumption equal to a million heating teakettles swept the country.

Americans love tea, too, but mostly drink it iced.  It wasn’t always that way.  Tea was once the favored beverage of early colonists and remained popular until the mid 1800s. Though coffee became the drink of choice for rebels after the Boston Tea party, its appeal was limited.  Sold green, the chore of roasting coffee beans baffled housewives and chuck wagon cooks alike.  Once the beans were roasted, they quickly lost flavor and aroma.  The short shelf-life meant that roasted beans could be sold only in big cities.

This posed a problem for early westward travelers. Out of necessity the forty-niners turned to tea, which was in plenty supply during the California gold rush thanks to the Chinese.

Gunpowder tea was especially popular. When hot water was added, the hand-rolled pellet shaped leaves made little popping sounds.

While it might take a stretch of the imagination to visualize someone like John Wayne walking into a saloon and ordering a cuppa gunpowder—that’s exactly what those early frontier men did when they wanted something hot to drink.

Gunpowder tea is the perfect metaphor for the heroine of my book. Miranda Hunt is a Pinkerton detective working undercover at the Last Chance Ranch.  She hopes to catch the outlaw believed to be hiding there and known only as the Phantom.  Gunpowder tea is described as being strong as soft honey. Miranda is one tough lady when she has to be, but can be surprisingly vulnerable in matters of the heart.  Just like the tea, however, her real strength comes when she lands in hot water—which is more times than she cares to count.

Gunpowder tea is said to cure everything that ails you from tooth decay to high blood pressure. It supposedly even slows aging. You won’t find this in health books but, as the heroine in Gunpowder Tea clearly demonstrates, this particular tea can also issue a strong warning to an annoying (albeit handsome) hero.


About Margaret:

Margaret Brownley is a New York Times bestselling author with more than 30 novels to her credit including her newly released Gunpowder Tea, and a non-fiction book.  Look for her work in the following recently released collections: A Bride for All Seasons, A Log Cabin Christmas and A Pioneer Christmas.  Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English.  Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.


Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

New Christian suspense fiction from Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins, who is known for her Sealtbelt Suspense, is back with another thriller.  Dark Justice is sure to have us all wondering “who done it” from the very first few pages.  Come see us at LifeWay now for your copy… we have it on sale for just $9.99!

Dark JusticeWhile driving along a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident.  The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear.  Soon there are people – perhaps even in law enforcement – who want to kill her and her mom for what they “know.”

The two women must flee for their lives.  But how does Hannah hide her confused parent, who just wants to listen to her favorite pop music, wear her purple hat, and go home?  If they turn to Hannah’s daughter for help, she could fall into danger as well.

Surrounded by trouble, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive.  Only then does she learn the threat is not just to them, but the entire country.

Check out the first chapter to Dark Justice here.


The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen

I heard a very depressing piece of information on the local news here in Nashville.  School starts back for Nashville next week.  What?!  I don’t have kids or anything but that still freaked me out a bit.  It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over for a lot of kids (and parents!). 

For those of you who might still have a few more weeks left in your summer vacation, here’s a book recommendation for you.  I haven’t had a chance to read The Guest Book yet but it’s come highly recommended to me by the folks at Zondervan who published it.  I’ve heard great things about Marybeth Whalen’s writing in the past so it promises to be a great read.

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When Macy Dillion was five years old her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guest book of a Carolina beach house.  The next year, Macy returned to discover a drawing by an unidentified little boy on the facing page.  Over the next eleven years the children continue to exchange drawings…until tragedy ends visits to the beach house altogether.  During her final trip to Sunset, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and tells him where to hide the guest book in hopes that one day she will return to find it – and him.

Twenty-five years after that first picture, Macy is back at Sunset Beach – this time toting a broken family and a hurting heart.  One night, alone by the ocean, Macy asks God to help her find the boy she never forgot, the one whose beautiful pictures touched something deep inside of her.  Will she ever find him?  And if she does, will the guest book unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood?

Check out the first chapter to The Guest Book.


Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

With school out for the summer, it won’t be long before parents start hearing those dreaded words… “I’m bored!” Well, give the kid a good book to read to help pass some time! Here’s a great new novel just for teens. Angel Eyes is Shannon Dittemore’s first novel. She’ll be joining us tomorrow to share more about the book.

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Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt…and an incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight.  Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than either Brielle or Jake has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices begin.

A realm that only angels and demons – and Brielle- can perceive.




Check out the first chapter to Angel Eyes.

Cuts Like a Knife by M. K. Gilroy

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Chicago has a new resident – a heartless killer on a long crime spree. Kristen Conner is a good cop and a good girl: she loves her mom, goes to church and coaches her niece’s soccer team. And her track record and instincts as a detective are impeccable… but this case and this killer expose a blind spot that ultimately endangers those closest to her. Can she catch this hauntingly familiar culprit before he strikes again?

Cuts Like a Knife is loaded with action, humor, and wry introspection.



Check out the first chapter to Cuts Like a Knife.