ACFW March New Releases

I’m always delighted to bring you the latest offerings from American Christian Fiction Writers.

March 2018 New Releases

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


Contemporary Romance:

Finally a Bride by Renee Andrews — Her dreams of love haven’t worked out, but veterinarian Haley Calhoun intends to grant an orphaned boy’s wish. She’ll heal Eli’s injured puppy—while resisting his charming counselor, Gavin Thomason, at the children’s home. Still mourning the loss of his wife and baby, Gavin believes he can’t commit again. But in losing their hearts to Eli, will Haley and Gavin discover they’ve found the family they need? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love and Roses by Sally Bayless — Looking for a fresh start, former Manhattan lawyer Nate Redmond agrees to arrange the sale of the outdated Rose Park in small-town Missouri, not realizing it has deep sentimental value to his new neighbor, Abby Kincaid—a beautiful widow he’d like to impress. When their plans for the park clash, he learns he’s competing against the memory of her husband, a decorated war hero. With plenty of past mistakes hiding in the in the hedges, can Abby and Nate learn forgiveness and courage in time for love to grow? (Contemporary Romance from Kimberlin Belle Publishing)

Courting Her Amish Heart by Mary Davis — In this first book of the Prodigal Daughters series, Kathleen Yoder comes home after fourteen years in the Englisher world. Practicing medicine means sacrifice—no Amish man will want a doctor for a wife. Widowed Noah Lambright offers a cottage as her new clinic, seeing how much Kathleen’s skills can help their community. But as their friendship deepens, could love and family become more than a forbidden dream? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart by Jan Drexler — As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp is finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farm worker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own. Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community – even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes – and hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Reluctant Groom by Kimberly Rose Johnson — When Ray O’Brien’s world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind Ray can’t dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing—they aren’t in love. Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Anna’s Forgotten Fiance by Carrie Lighte — An accident leaves Anna Weaver with no memory of her Amish hometown’s newest arrival—her fiancé! After a whirlwind courtship, their wedding’s in six weeks…but how can she marry a man she can’t remember? Carpenter Fletcher Chupp takes her on a walk down memory lane, but there’s one thing he wants to keep hidden: a secret that might just lose him the woman he loves. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh — Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?
Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise. Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

General & Women’s Fiction:

Justice by Emily Conrad — Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. (General from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel — When her heart donor’s parents give Megan Jacobs their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Sweet Meets by Deborah Raney — From short stories to novellas, from contemporary to historical, all of award-winning author Deborah Raney’s short works have been gathered into one great collection for one low price.
Includes the following novellas and short stories: Going Once, Special Delivery, Haiti’s Song, Prairie Lessons, Finally Home, Circle of Blessings. (Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Historical Romance:

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Ranchers Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Erica Vetsch, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears — In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain serves on the schoolboard, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job. Aaron has returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He sets out to prove to Mercy he now has the best interests of the children at heart. Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo — In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper, used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason — A young man suddenly thrust into nobility is torn between the servant girl he hopes to marry and the father he’s always longed for. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyers — Wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, is about to wed a man she loathes. The Great Chicago Fire erupts, postponing the wedding. After escaping to Wisconsin with her family she realizes she loves Irish immigrant, Rory Quinn, and prepares to break the wedding plans, which are still on. Then she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Husband by Arrangement by Angel Moore — Abandoned by her secret fiancé, the mayor’s pregnant daughter marries the sheriff. Can she overcome her past and help him save the town from corruption? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Beneath A Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer — Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence, but when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the grooms-to-be. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Romantic Suspense:

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn — After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. Leigh reaches out for help from her high school friend and volunteer underwater investigator, Ryan Parker. But when Ryan finds the body of a wealthy businessman in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh and deadly implications for them all. (Romantic Suspense from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)

Secret Service Setup by Jessica R. Patch — Secret Service agent Evan Novak becomes the target of multiple hit men when someone puts a two-million-dollar bounty on his head. Is it the gunrunner he’s tracking…or a traitorous agent? Framed and wanted, Evan reluctantly accepts protection from bodyguard Jody Gallagher, his former love who lost her Agency career because of him. But then the bounty is raised to include Jody… (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Fugitive Spy by Jordyn Redwood — A spy with amnesia—and a mission he can’t remember. When Casper English lands in her ER with amnesia, Dr. Ashley Drager learns he has a picture of her…and the same tattoo as her long-missing father. With a dangerous man after Casper, and his memories possibly holding the key to finding Ashley’s father, she secretly whisks him away from the hospital. But can she keep him alive long enough to help him regain his memories? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

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Thankful Thursday Apology

The goal of 2018 individual items for which to be thankful in 2018 has probably fallen by the wayside. I apologize for my silence these last few weeks. Events conspired to throw me into a blue funk.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, I simply didn’t have the heart to brag on things God had done for me. I remembered three small coffins holding the remains of my three grandchildren who were destroyed by an act of pure evil. The event in Florida was another act of pure evil.

If you are a Christian, you know that pure evil exists and where to lay the responsibility for it. The enemy is alive and well, working hard to discourage and dishearten the children of God.

However, I firmly believe that there is nothing in this world so heinous that God cannot make some good come from it. It may not be the good that we would prefer. But then we look with temporal eyes, not eternal ones.

God has been good to me over these last weeks. Here is a partial list of the things for which I am thankful:

  1. The fact that God is good – all the time
  2. He gave a friend a scripture to give me – Mark 6:31
  3. He allowed me to accomplish one completed task that gave me personal satisfaction
  4. A successful medical testing procedure for one of my adult children
  5. A successful purchase for that same child
  6. The ability to design a business card for a client that was right the first time
  7. Friends from all over the planet
  8. A missionary family for whom I pray and who allow me to be a part of their mission
  9. A child in that same family who has absolutely no fear – of anything – and makes me smile every time I think of her
  10. A friend with a diagnosis of terminal cancer and a projected life span of six months who is nine months out and gaining strength daily
  11. A husband who loves me despite my sharp tongue and varied moods
  12. The air fryer which gives my husband so much pleasure with fries and burgers
  13. The hamburger thawing in the refrigerator for burgers and fries on tonight’s menu
  14. An employer who has beaten her own cancer and is doing well
  15. My work family who are all precious to me
  16. The ability to recognize my own weaknesses and overcome them
  17. Finding a native American author and her works about the Trail of Tears
  18. Remembering Josephine Wildcat Bigler, a cousin by marriage, and the bond between her and my own mother
  19. My house built in 1911 and still serving faithfully as my home for the last 48 years
  20. Friend-husband’s satisfaction in paying off the last payment on the farm land we purchased twenty years ago
  21. The fact that I could take this break from blogging and resume when my spirits were sufficiently recovered to move on.

I challenge you to look with me for things that spark your gratitude. Small blessings or large, it doesn’t matter.


Thankful Thursday 09
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So You Want to Write a Book – 5

Writers generally become writers because they are readers first. Actually, they are readers first, last, and always.

Most writers I know have a shelf (or several shelves) full  of books. Some of them are for reading pleasure; some are for inspiration; others are designed to help the writer hone the craft of writing.

Writing is a discipline as much as an art. And like other disciplines, it can be taught.

Two books that you will find on many writer’ shelves are William Zinsser’s On  Writing Well and Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. They are considered foundational by much of the writing community. Another favorite of many is Ann Lamott’s Bird by Bird.

If it’s by James Scott Bell, I’m looking at it very carefully. Randy Ingermanson is another favorite of mine. Then there’s Larry Brooks and Jeff Goins.

There are a host of others, but this will give you a start on building your own writing library.

When you have hit a wall or a blank spot in your writing, reading about writing may just give you the jump start you need to get rolling again.

Do you have a favorite writing author?


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Thankful Thursday – 5

Goal: 2018 things for which to be thankful in 2018

2018 divided by 52 equals 38.8.

Each Thankful Thursday post should contain a list of 39 gratitudes, an average of five or six every day.

  1. Delores getting over the flu without complications
  2. Dale home from the hospital and seemingly doing well
  3. A parking spot next to the door for critique group last Saturday
  4. A new member for critique group
  5. A special phone call from a critique group member
  6. Seeing a special friend at the pancake feed last night
  7. Finding an old book proposal (that never went anywhere) to rework
  8. Having an inspiration about that same old book proposal to tweak it and to improve its chances of being sold
  9. Finding a kindred spirit to lift a really bad mood
  10. Encouragement from a coworker for a daughter discouraged at work
  11. Making arrangements for a day off work to make a pleasure trip out of town
  12. Being able to hug the son of friends who lost his daughter a few months ago
  13. Seeing a special act of kindness at the pancake feed last night
  14. An evening out with friend-husband where we didn’t have to make a deadline
  15. A good report for my employer from her physician
  16. A slow day at work when we were short handed
  17. My computer at work that seemed to heal itself after a crash
  18. The gift of feeling more like 40 when I’m pushing 80
  19. The great-grandson-in-law who sent his wife (my great-granddaughter) flowers for no particular reason
  20. Finding the replacement for a dead vacuum cleaner on sale at half price
  21. Coming to grips with a difficult decision and being content with it
  22. Having a little money left at the end of the month rather than the other way around
  23. Getting my web hosting package renewed at a discount
  24. Finding childhood friends on FB after years of not being in touch
  25. My daughter’s plans to reorganize the craft room
  26. Sharing a Mikey’s funnies quip and having half a dozen FB friends enjoy it with me
  27. Making a service change that cut my phone bill by half
  28. Being able to keep up with my New Years commitments this far (most of my “resolutions” have been toast by January 15)
  29. A much anticipated appointment with my hairdresser this afternoon – so grateful I found her
  30. That my household has escaped the flu bug thus far
  31. The excision of a skin cancer on friend-husband’s forehead healing nicely
  32. Having my grandmother’s Gone-With-the-Wind lamp in my library/office

Okay, it’s bragging rights time. Several years ago, my eldest grandson married a beautiful young woman who had two sons by a previous marriage. Those boys are handsome, intelligent, ambitious, kind, disciplined and well-behaved young men, a reflection of their mother’s parenting skills when she was a single parent.

The elder is in high school, the younger in junior high. Both have specific plans for their futures. My heart swells with pride and gratitude every time I think of them.

Of course, it also swells with pride and gratitude when I think of their younger brother (age five) and infant sister as well.

I am also grateful that the older boys were able to spend some time with their grandmother (my daughter) at her home in Orlando and at Cape Kennedy with a NASA astronaut.

I simply can’t count the gratitudes in this situation. There are too many.


ACH!  This has been a busy, busy week. This post was scheduled to publish on February 1 at 06:44.  Why it didn’t, I’ll never know. But I was too swamped to check on it. So here it is for what it’s worth. A week late and definitely very short on numbers.

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So You Want to Write a Book – 4

One of the things I have personally found helpful is to follow the blogs of various literary agencies.

The Steve Laube Agency is a good one. This post by Bob Hostetler is a good example of the helpful topics discussed. Reading the comments generated at the end of the post helps as much as the post itself most times.

The agents, Dan Balow, Bob Hostetler, and Tamela Hancock Murray, post good information. The owner, Steve Laube, posts a Fun Friday gig on Fridays – of all things.

Books and Such Literary Management is an all girl establishment. And just like any other gaggle of geese – er, gals, information and opinions are shared from different points of view – always helpful.

Looking at the right hand column on their blog page, you will find some articles of permanent value.

Home – Blog – About Books and Such – Editors Select – Our Authors – Tips and Advice – Contact

I love the fact that they are so transparent about all that is going on.

Check out these two agencies. There are others, but this enough for a start. Subscribe to their blogs, read, make comments, and get a feel for who and what is out there.

You are NOT alone.

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Thankful Thursday – 4

Goal: 2018 things for which to be thankful in 2018

2018 divided by 52 equals 38.8.

Each Thankful Thursday post should contain a list of 39 gratitudes, an average of five or six every day.

  1. Wednesday prayer partner’s medical procedure went well
  2. Three “chance” encounters led to an epiphany in a project I’d had on the back burner
  3. A new idea for an income stream
  4. Meeting a new friend of my granddaughter
  5. The opportunity to edit a manuscript for a ministry I’d like to support
  6. Cinnamon rolls friend-husband brought home from an out of town trip
  7. Sonic’s burger and shake special
  8. New member for our writers group
  9. Arietta (mini Aussie pup) learning to sit at doors before we open them
  10. My daughter’s laughter
  11. A call from a distant friend
  12. Visiting with a coworker while we fold and tab a mailing
  13. Enjoying my workBaby Ruth
  14. Broccoli-cheese soup
  15. Baby Ruth candy bars – mini size
  16. Lovely jigsaw puzzle mosaics and the people who create them
  17. Tapioca pudding
  18. Doc Lynch
  19. Good color in the face of a friend who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure
  20. A hug from a friend I’ve not seen in months
  21. Good news of healing from a recent widow
  22. The privilege of copying old photos for a friend to send to family members
  23. Visiting with an acquaintance about the Lord
  24. Crisp onion rings
  25. Pepper grinders
  26. Hand lotion for winter hands
  27. Domino (Maine Coon cat) seems to be losing excess weight and acting more spry
  28. The aroma of yeast in rising bread dough
  29. Wi-Fi
  30. Having my grandmother’s handwritten manuscript of “Shirley with the Long Dark Pigtails and the Little Boy Upstairs”
  31. The joy of John 3:16-17
  32. American Christian Fiction Writers
  33. Christmas lights on the stairwell to illuminate the stairs – kept all year long for safety
  34. Seeing a friend who is like a daughter and hugging her after the death of her brother
  35. Seeing Petra on PBS
  36. The dishwasher in the kitchen
  37. My side of the electric blanket
  38. Fuzzy slippers
Thankful Thursday 04



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So You Want to Write a Book – 3

As you write, you will need others to help you along the way. One of the most effective things you can do is to find a critique group. Not just any critique group, but a group that is serious about helping you to improve your writing.

Now there are critique groups and critique groups. I began with an informal group that met once a month. There were from six to twelve in attendance. We read our work and others opined on it or asked questions if something was unclear. We had fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers – you name it. It was a good introduction for putting your work out there.

However, it wasn’t much help to me as a writer. I now belong to a critique group that follows (loosely) the Word Weavers pattern.  This is a more purposeful meeting in which the total emphasis is on improving our writing.

Critiques generally take a more pointed form with regard to mechanics and purpose. And they deliver specific suggestions for improvement. The Word Weavers structure pattern is very helpful in keeping us on track with our stated purpose.

Please follow the two links in this text and read those blog posts. They will help you get a feel for how a critique group should function and how to critique the work of others. You might also want to add those blog links to the list of blogs you follow.

More next week. Stay tuned. And let me know in the comments below how you fared.


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