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])

He Got My Attention

Have you ever been thinking about something you should do? Or in my case, something you should get back to doing? Only your taking you time deciding to do it. Well my kids, being boys, love all things superhero. So, of course they wanted to see the Avengers. Even before we went to see it, my oldest was saying for a couple of days that he wanted to draw Iron Man. Well, finally on the day we went to see the movie we came back home and my oldest started acting like he was bored. You know when kids are like that they are on the brink of getting into trouble. So I got on the computer with him sitting next to me to find a picture of Iron Man, one he wanted to practice drawing, when I saw the following picture:


The Creator of all things, God, does have a sense of humor. I’d always heard that and believed it, but this is the first time he made me really laugh. Ok, God, I get your point. I’ll write.

Was there ever a time God showed you his sense of humor? What happened?

The above picture was found on:

A Christmas Play

I love Christmas. For as long as I can remember, I have been apart of the Christmas program at church. I don’t have a big part and I don’t want one, but I sing with the rest of the choir. I enjoy it every year. It makes for good fellowship, good moods and gets me ready for the Christmas season.

In “The Search”, the story goes through the Christmas season. I couldn’t resist putting something in about Christmas and the real reason we celebrate the holiday. Please enjoy this excerpt:

“Today,” Mr. Ward, the town’s clergyman, spoke to the congregation after they had sung a couple of songs, “we have a special treat. Now, I knew this is not normally done. But since, Christmas is just a few weeks away I decided to put together a little skit on the birth of Christ. If you want to follow along with the narrator you can find the passage in the second chapter of Luke. Keep in mind that we are not professionals. I’m hope you will enjoy it.”

Hearing a commotion in the back of the church some of the members turned to see what it was. Coming down the center aisle was a boy of about twelve wearing a biblical costume. He was leading a donkey while a girl of about ten, also wearing a costume, pretending to be pregnant. She rode on the back of a real donkey. In the front of the Church one of the elders began to narrate the story.

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the entire world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David. To be taxed with Mary his espouse wife, being great with child.”

When the boy Joseph and girl Mary reached the front of the church, Joseph helped Mary down from the donkey. Joseph walked to the side door of the Church and knocked. Mr. Ward opened it from the other side and after a second began to shake his head. Joseph and Mary walked over to where the piano stood and Joseph pretended to knock on another door. A lady pretended to open a door and after a second shook her head as well.

The narration continued, “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The lady at the door then pointed to a place where a chair and manger sat and the two young people walked to it and Mary sat down. Young Mary reached over and placed a doll in the manger, behind them stood two sheep and a star hung from the ceiling.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” A group of little boys came in through the side door dressed as shepherds carrying sticks. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

A little girl dressed as an angel stood up on the front pew. Most of the boys pretended to be afraid, but one little boy pretended to throw some punches like a boxer. Seeing it, the little girl scolded at him and moved away from the boys, while her mother tried to make sure she didn’t fall.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.’” The boys stopped pretending to be afraid. “‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’”

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,” more girls dressed in angel costumes stood with the one girl, “praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

Then all the little girls jumped down from the pew and went to sit with their parents. “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’”

The boys moved over to where Mary and Joseph sat. “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

The little shepherd boys began walking down the aisles to the back of the church. As they went they told those seated in the pews, “A Savior is born.”

Mr. Ward returned to the front of the church, “A Savior has indeed been born. The Savior is a result of a Heavenly Father who loves us. He gave us His most precious thing. I think of my own children and even my grandchildren. Am I willing to give them up, to put them in a position that may end their life in order to save many? Could you? That is what our Heavenly Father did. Thankfully God has the power over death and Jesus was brought back to life in three days. Today we can make Jesus our Savior. We can ask him to forgive us and invite his Spirit to live within us. When we do that we will live forever with Him in heaven. If you have not made that decision yet don’t leave before you do. If you are a believer, are you filled with excitement and joy over the Savior’s birth? The shepherds were. They were so excited they went out telling everyone they saw about the Savior’s birth. When is the last time you told someone about the birth of Jesus and the reason He came? I want to challenge you to look at the people around you and tell them that a Savior has been born.”

The birth of Jesus is one of my favorite stories, so I hope you didn’t find this to “preachy.” Leave a comment to tell me if you did or didn’t.

Merry Christmas!