November 2016 New Releases

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More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical:

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory — In a deadly race to save her son, a young slave woman dares defy the most powerful man in the world. (Biblical from Barbour Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

Crazy Woman Christmas by Renee Blare — A quiet cowboy whisks Bianca to his ranch to ride out the Christmas blizzard where she discovers life is cold but also beautiful in the “Cowboy” state. (Contemporary Romance from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

Other Than a Halo by Valerie Comer — Even though she’s a new woman in Christ, single mom Bren Haddock was no angel as a teen. Now managing the Hiller Farm for a CSA, life is good until a friend offers to enter her daughter into the Little Miss Snowflake Pageant. Old insecurities flare when she meets the intriguing head of marketing the pageant. Rob Santoro isn’t so sure about handling the pageant portfolio until he meets Bren. Soon he’s fallen for her and her two kids. When a Thanksgiving adventure goes awry, he’s left wondering how to love a woman who refuses to be loved. What will it take for Bren to retire her tarnished halo and move into the future God has for her? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Do You Know What I Know? by Becky Melby — What if a phone call from the obstetrician’s office went to the wrong person? Elizabeth Schmidt can’t figure out why her husband doesn’t seem excited about the news she’s sure he heard. Is he unhappy? Or is James cheating on her? Pastor Jay Davidson is in shock. Bethany Schmidt, the woman he’s in love with, is pregnant. Should he walk away, or is God asking him to play the part of Joseph in real life and not just in the church Christmas program? Bethany can’t figure out why Jay is acting so weird. Has he figured out one of the two secrets she’s keeping until after Christmas? Can a ponytailed itinerant carpenter with a pet chicken help unravel the confusion? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart by Candice Sue Patterson — Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers to aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay — After a whirlwind romance and marriage, Emily Price returns home to Italy with her new husband and learns that life at its richest is only found when she accepts its chaotic beauty. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Contemporary Women’s Fiction:

Forgiveness by Marianne Evans — Country music bad boy, Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up-and-comer, Pyper Brock and instantly sparks ignite. Despite her rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation and soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. No way will Pyper repeat the mistake of trusting a man whose done battle with the bottle. Can a sin-damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness? (Women’s Fiction from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical:

Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson — As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path. (Historical from Waterfall Press)

Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert — Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan — On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Historical Romance:

The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Gina Welborn, and Becca Whitham — Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley — In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace until she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancé. Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart. (Historical Romance from Sourcebooks)

Mail Order Mommy by Christine Johnson — Nursing a broken heart, Amanda Porter had answered a frontier mail-order bride ad placed by Garrett Decker’s children—only to find the groom-to-be didn’t want a wife. But his adorable children are determined she’ll be their mother by Christmas… His wife’s betrayal and tragic death demolished Garrett’s life. Now he can’t even look at another woman, let alone marry Amanda, who resembles his first love. But with his daughter convinced Amanda is the perfect mother, will Garrett realize she’s also his perfect match? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Hope’s Design by Dawn Kinzer — An independent city girl aspiring to be a fashion designer falls for a stubborn artist from the country who wants to keep his talent a secret. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Brides of Wyoming by S. Dionne Moore — Roam the Wyoming range alongside three couples who meet under danger from bands of outlaws. Renee escapes a gang of outlaws and lands in the arms of a sheepherder. Olivia’s sleuthing upturns secrets key to solving the murder of a reluctant rancher’s father. Maira is trying to keep her ranch running alone when a drifting cowboy offers a hand. Can love develop where suspicion and greed roam the range? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Negotiated Marriage by Christina Rich — When the railroad pushes to buy her land, orphaned Cameron Sims will do anything to keep the only home she and her sisters have ever known. Even if she must marry a stranger. Duncan Murray doesn’t want a wife. He wants Sims Creek, a sanctuary that can help him forget a troubled childhood. But his reluctant, and captivating, bride-to-be is key to making his dreams a reality. And despite their business arrangement, Camy and Duncan might be signing on the dotted line for true love… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love in the Seams by Jodie Wolfe — A little girl on a quest for a new mama has the local seamstress in her sights. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell — On the run from a hit man, Patricia Campbell is unaware of the FBI’s search for her to learn what information she might hold, so she continues to hide out. Then she meets a persistent computer technician, a charming philanthropist, and a handsome, wealthy businessman who wants to marry her. But her fears resurface, and she wonders if she can trust any of them. Can she survive long enough to find peace…and perfect love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Counter Point by Marji Laine — Her dad’s gone, her diner’s closing, and her car’s in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose … except her life. And a madman, bent on revenge, is determined to take that, as well. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)

Speculative:

The Flaming Sword by Heather L.L. FitzGerald — When evil joins forces in the Tethered World, Sadie Larcen must risk all to protect the Flaming Sword and her family…even if it takes her life. (Speculative Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)

Devotional: His Purpose

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 HCSB)

I had the opportunity to go to a job interview for a teaching position at a school near where I live for seventh-grade social studies. I felt like I did well at the interview and the principal seemed to like me, but I never got a callback. So, what does that mean for me? It means I didn’t get the job.

I’m Okay with that, though. Because, as an aspiring writer, I know a full-time teaching position means I wouldn’t have time to write. Most of my time would be spent writing lesson plans, planning for the next day, and researching material so I would be giving students the correct information.

The whole time I was preparing for the interview, I was thinking/praying, “Lord, don’t let me have the job if it’s not what you want for my family and me.” So, not getting the job confirmed things for me.

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There is a curious event in the Bible with the arrival of wise men who came to see Jesus. Every nativity scene you see shows three richly dressed men arriving at the place where Jesus was born. We don’t really know if there were only three men. We only know that they brought three gifts.

They probably were rich since they came bringing very expensive gifts. They were also very smart men who studied the stars and understood the changes they saw in the sky. They knew that the appearance of a star meant a king had been born.

Yet all of this was in God’s plan. It all served a purpose. I believe their gifts had a practical meaning and symbolic meaning. God knew that King Herod would search for Jesus to kill him. These gifts were a means for Joseph to escape to Egypt and be able to provide for his family. The symbolism points to who Jesus is and his purpose on earth. There is no better way of expressing it than the way it is portrayed in “The Nativity Story.” In the following clip, we see the shepherds first and then the wise men

I’m awed by God’s planning. God’s purpose is not haphazard. It’s well thought out and planned. He thought of things that you and I wouldn’t think of because He understands us better than we understand ourselves. He knew some people would need to see symbolism in order to understand the purpose of Jesus’ coming while others would need to see the simplicity of his birth.

It gives me great comfort to know that I have a purpose and that God will work it out for me. I just have to do my part. Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing to do.

 

Father in Heaven, I praise you because in this chaotic world you bring order and a purpose to all things. Thank you for the purpose you have for my life. Help me to live it out every day.

 

Devotional: Be A Superhero

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10 ASV)

Lately, my kids and I have been on a superhero kick. We’ve watched every episode on-line trying to catch up to the current season. When the boys were young I didn’t really mind when they got into superheroes. Though a few superheroes are a little arrogant, most are not and their ideals are set high. I think every mother wants to see their own son (or daughter) grow up with strong morals and still not be full of themselves. I think it’s something to strive for even for ourselves.

My Beautiful Niece

My Beautiful Niece

So, what is it about a superhero that draws us to them? Of course, they are usually beautiful people, but the ones I like the most aren’t vain. Most of them don’t consider themselves important people, but think everyone is important and worth “saving.” They value life.

A superhero gives us hope. He or she shows us that there’s still good in the world. No task is too small or menial. They save people from burning buildings and cats from trees. It’s all in a day’s work for a superhero.

Yet superheroes aren’t perfect either. They make mistakes which makes them human. Over time, each one of them understands that their source of power comes from within. For us Christians, that source comes from knowing Christ.

The strongest man recorded in the Bible was Samson (Judges 13-16). God gave him great strength during the time he was Judge. The Philistines were oppressing the Israelites and they called on Samson to do something about it. The Bible says he killed 1000 men with a donkey’s jaw bone. While in Gaza, at midnight, he “took hold of the doors of the city gate along with the two gateposts, and pulled them out, bar and all.” (Judges 16:3 HCSB)

He wasn’t perfect, though. From reading his story, I’ve always felt he must have been a little arrogant. He made one fatal mistake. He told the woman he loved, a Philistine, how he could be defeated and defeated he was, but not before he killed 3000 Philistines, by making a whole building collapse on them and himself.

In 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath is told. David was only a youth and probably not as strong as Samson had been, but he had an incredible faith in God. That faith lead him to kill a lion and a bear while watching over his family’s sheep. It gave him a righteous indignation for the words Goliath the Philistine dared to say against the Living God’s army. The armies were lined up on a hill across from each other. Goliath was the Philistine’s champion. A position he gained possibly because he was 9’ 9” tall. Everyday Goliath would yell insults at Israel’s army. David took exception to the insults on God’s behalf. He killed the giant with one smooth stone to the forehead. (1 Samuel 17:15)

David wasn’t perfect, either. He was an adulterer and murderer. I’m not talking about being a warrior king. He saw another man’s wife and took her for his own. When he learned she was pregnant, he arranged for her husband to be killed at the front lines. Yet, the Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. And he was because he always sought forgiveness and never lost sight of who God is, the Lord of the Universe, who gives us the strength we need when we need it.

There was another reason I didn’t mind my kids getting into superheroes. I hoped one day they would see the correlation between superheroes and who Jesus is and what we can be through him. I’m not talking about being able to fly or having super speed or even being exceptionally good looking. I’m talking about being humble, considering everyone as important, and giving others hope either through word or deed.

This applies to me, also. I’m glad to know God uses people who aren’t perfect. I never want to think that I am. Jesus lives in me and that’s what matters the most. I hope to always be there for whomever when they need a word of encouragement or help.

Lord, please keep me humble. Help me to see when someone needs me. Thank you for using me even though I’m not perfect.

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10. Tweet This.

David never lost sight of who God is, the Lord of the Universe, who gives us the strength we need when we need it. Tweet This.