May 2017 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Amish Brides by Jennifer Beckstrand, Molly Jebber, Amy Lillard — Under bright blue skies, wedding bells ring–fulfilling sweet dreams, impossible wishes, and joyous new beginnings among these three new stories. (Contemporary Romance from Kensington Publishers)

Sprouts of Love by Valerie Comer — An overzealous community garden manager delivers more than the food bank manager can handle. Can love sprout amid the tsunami of vegetables? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Summer Dreams by Delia Latham — God’s love…reflected in the waters of the Pacific, and in the eyes of a young couple who walk its moonstone shores. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

Right Where We Belong by Deborah Raney, Melissa Tagg, Courtney Walsh — Three sweet stories of small-town romance by three tried-and-true authors. Whether in a quaint home bakery in Langhorne, Missouri, a cozy boho coffee shop in Maple Valley, Iowa, or a charming lakeside cottage in Sweethaven, Michigan, love grows best in small towns just like this! (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell — Two Spring wedding novellas, “A Proxy Wedding,” and “Hope Beyond Savannah.” (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)

True to You by Becky Wade — Former Navy SEAL John Lawson hires genealogist Nora Bradford to help him to uncover the identity of his birth mother. As they work side-by-side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Cozy Mystery:

What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman — A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly, Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he’s tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House Publishers)

General Contemporary:
A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal — The heart wrenching love story of a small town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York, of the two men who love her and of the forbidden kiss that changed everything. (General Contemporary from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman — A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations. (General Contemporary from Waterfall Press)


Blind Ambition by Carol Ashby — What began as a bored man’s decision to try a different road turns into an emotional and spiritual quest that changes the direction of his entire life. (Historical from Cerrillo Press)

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette — A broken and bitter Canaanite woman dresses as a man to fight against the invading Hebrews, never expecting that she would live to be captured and married to one of her enemies, and certainly not to find love and healing among the very people who killed her family. (Biblical/Historical from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Historical Romance:


The Secret Admirer Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Penny Zeller — Shy expressions of love lead to nine historical romances. Declaring one’s love can be hard–even risky–especially when faced with some of life’s greatest challenges. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson — She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight by Susanne Dietze — It’s a mail-order disorder when newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names. An annulment seems in order–and fast. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca Rice wonders if Tad Fordham wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . . (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears — They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)

Road to Harmony by Sherry Kyle — When Jonas returns to Harmony, Elena’s heart is torn between her secret love, and the storeowner her parents hope she marries. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt — Can a young widow hide her secret shame from the Irish preacher bent on helping her survive? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Romantic Suspense:
Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman — Each day could be her last…but not if he can help it. An FBI agent must protect the woman who can identify a terrorist bomber in bestselling author Susan Sleeman’s riveting romantic suspense novel. (Romantic Suspense from Faith Words [Hachette])

Devotional: The True Battle

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. (Ephesians 6:12-13)

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When I read these verses, I am reminded of something that happened in 2 Kings 6, starting in verse 8. It is one of the many stories told about Elisha. He was a great prophet and God did many amazing things through him.

One day, the Aramean king wanted Elisha dead. He sent a massive army. When Elisha’s servant got up that morning, he saw the city surrounded. He was afraid and asked, “What are we to do?” Look at Elisha’s reply:

16Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.”

If this prophet had said that to me I hope I would have been comforted, especially after seeing the many things he did. But, apparently, Elisha took his servants concerns very seriously. He prayed for the servant asking God for something specific:

17Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” He looked and saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Part of me thinks I would have been freaked out if I looked and saw horses and chariots literally on fire surrounding the army that was surrounding the city. I’m sure I’d find myself on my knees thanking God for being on my side.

The fact is, as a believer in Christ Jesus, I do have God on my side. Does that mean my life will be hunky-dory forever? No, certainly not. As I said last week, we go through trials to make us stronger, but, as a child of God, I have the assurance that God will take care of me and things will work out the way he wants.

Thank you, Lord, for taking care of me even when it doesn’t seem like life is going the way it should. I praise You because You are always in control.

Devotional: Crossroads of My Life Scott Scott

For I know the plans I have for you”— this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11. HCSB)

Do you ever look back at different times in your life and think about how things worked out? Ever notice if it was a time you were praying hard for something? What about times you didn’t pray? Did things work out?

There have been times when I prayed for God’s guidance and I can look back and see how He worked things out. When I was young in my prayer life, I sometimes could almost see it happening before my eyes.

As I have learned to develop a prayer life, I still find myself looking back at the crossroads of my life and playing the “What if” game. Every time I do, I think about the decisions I made and how I could have done something differently. Yet, every time, I can’t find a better solution to where I find my life now. Was God making things work out despite myself?

In the book of Ruth, we learn about a husband, wife, and two sons. They traveled to Moab to live. Then, the husband died and the two sons married Moabite women. Before having children, the sons died.

These three women were at a crossroad in their life. Naomi decided to return to her home country of Judah where she would be homeless and without a means to obtain food. After she and her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, were on their way, she stopped to try and persuade them to return home to their families.

Orpah and Ruth would be faced with the same situation as Naomi, only they would be foreigners and outcasts. If they stayed in Moab, they would have the chance to find new husbands and even have children.

Orpah was persuaded, but Ruth was not. She replied, “Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me. (Ruth 1:16-17 HCSB)

The book of Ruth doesn’t say anything about praying first, but that Ruth chose to stay with Naomi. We don’t know when Naomi’s husband died or when her sons died. Neither do we know how long the sons were married. We only know that Naomi’s family lived in Moab for about 10 years. I believe in the small amount of time Ruth was with this family, they showed her that God was the one true God. Maybe through actions, deeds, and a daily prayer life.

Ultimately, Ruth chose to follow God. It could have been through her devotion to Naomi, but look at the blessings Ruth received from the hardships of her life. If you continue to read Ruth, this is what happens. She found a cave for Naomi to stay in, found a field to collect leftover grain, which happened to be owned by a man who could marry her, was married, and had a grandchild for Naomi.

Ruth became one of the most important females in the bible. Her story is not devoted to a few chapters in the Bible but is a whole book. Also, she is listed as one of the women in the genealogy of Jesus. They didn’t list women unless it was important.

So, does that mean I don’t need to pray? Of course, not. Remember, I said before I learned to develop a prayer life God worked things out in my life. Sometimes we don’t know exactly how to pray for something. Sometimes we are faced with a decision and there is little time to think, much less pray about it.

Just like God knew deep down in Ruth’s heart she chose Him, God knows our deepest thoughts and needs. In the end, He will work things out the way they need to be for our good. But, we still need to develop our prayer life. It’s one of the ways we grow.

Lord, thank you for taking care of me in the times I didn’t think to pray or didn’t know how to pray. Thank you for bringing me to where I am now. Help me to keep my thoughts more on you in the future. Continue to guide my life.

Ruth became one of the most important females in the bible. Tweet This.

I still find myself looking back at the crossroads of my life and playing the “What if” game. Tweet This.