New Christian Titles for May

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])

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Especially for Writers

You have to actually finish a story to experience these emotions . . .

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Pegg Thomas Tells a Horse Tale

Excited to share with you a post from one of my favorite authors and bestest friends, Pegg Thomas. She’s a fan of horses, to put it mildly, and always has a story to tell. I’m tickled that she’s telling one for us here:

When I started writing “Embattled Hearts”– for The Pony Express Romance Collection, I decided to model one of the Pony Express horses after our son’s horse. Jason, retired Thoroughbred racehorse, had passed away almost a year to the day when I started writing this novella. He was a very special horse, and so his character in the story plays a very special role—that I won’t disclose or it will spoil the story.

But let me tell you about Jason. He came to us when he was 11 years old and our son was 13. Standing sixteen-two hands tall and black as can be, Jason was one of the most level-headed horses I’ve ever been around. He had a been-there, done-that, got-the-t-shirt kind of attitude. He wasn’t what they call a “push-button” horse. He had a mind of his own and a will to match the most stubborn teenager.

Jeff and Jason, 2003

While our son often had to chase Jason around the pasture to catch him, usually had to mount on the move, and had to learn equipment repair because Jason didn’t mind breaking things, I knew my boy was safe with the big horse. Without a mean bone in his body, Jason nevertheless kept our son on his toes.

The horse was smart. Jeff wanted to ride in the 4-H of July parade the year after we got Jason. I walked along the parade route at the side, in case anything unexpected happened. Jason did great until we came to the railroad tracks, and there he stopped. He wasn’t budging. I walked close to him and got his attention, then I stepped on the tracks and stepped back off while Jason watched me. I told him to follow me—without touching his bridle—and I stepped across the tracks. He followed. In the years to come, he was in many more parades and never once hesitated at the tracks again.

Jason grazing late evening 2006

Our son decided that trail riding wasn’t exciting enough, so he entered Jason in the speed and action events. Several horse people told him that his big Thoroughbred couldn’t compete with the smaller, more nimble Quarter horses. Never tell a stubborn teenager with horse like Jason that they “can’t” do something. The Rubbermaid tote full of ribbons proved those so-called horse people wrong.

Jason lived just weeks shy of his 25th birthday. I still miss him. I guess I always will.



Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” An avid reader and writer, she enjoys fiction stories threaded through historical events and around historical figures. Civil War and Colonial are her favorite eras. Pegg is a regular blogger at both and When not working on her latest novel, Pegg can be found in her garden, in her kitchen, at her spinning wheel, tending her sheep, or on her trusty old horse, Trooper. See more at


You can find Pegg here:







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Especially for Writers

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Super-Sized BookSweeps Giveaway!

Guess what? I’ve teamed up with 40+ fantastic authors of sweet- to-mild, small-town contemporary romances to give away a huge collection of novels to two (yes, only two!) lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner!

You can win my novel Give the Lady a Ride, plus books from authors like Jenny B. Jones and Leanna Morgan.

Just look at some of these covers!

Enter the giveaway by clicking here:

Contest runs from April 17 through April 24, so be sure to sign up! And if you do, let me know.

Good luck, and enjoy!


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He is Risen!


God sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth in human form to reconcile the world to Himself so that whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus endured the severe sentence placed upon Him—capital punishment, death on the cross—not because He sinned, but because the world had. Jesus was slain to pay the penalty for a world of lost sinners. His sacrifice applies as much to us in the 21st century (John 17:20) as it did to those who nailed Him to the cross and mocked him.

And for those of us who believe, He showed us what Eternity looks like by rising again from the dead and living even now. His story isn’t just about His death, but His eternal life.

God put Eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and Jesus shows us how we can obtain it (John 5:24).

God is not a human who lies, not a mortal who changes his mind. When He says something, He will do it; when He makes a promise, He will fulfill it (Numbers 23:19, Complete Jewish Bible).

Rejoice! He is Risen!

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Especially for Writers


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Writing the First Draft

Few statements pertaining to writing are more true than this one. Infallible logic expressed here. Infallible.

Your first draft is going to be a mess. You can read all the writing posts you want, study every book on the subject, reach the point where you feel you know what you’re doing, and even then, you’ll often want to use your first draft as bird-cage liner. Kitty litter. Fireplace tinder.

And it will be that way every single time. Why? Because every novel you write is going to present its own challenges.

Your first novel presents the challenge of just finishing the thing. The second is often more difficult than the first, especially if you’ve been studying the craft and trying to become a better writer. As time goes and you get more novels behind your belt, you find other aspects of the craft that need honing.

Eventually, certain things become second nature. You recognize when you’ve erroneously shifted the POV or you need more descriptive detail or your scene isn’t moving the plot. But there’s always something—there will always be something—that needs work. Sharpening. Shaping. Omitting entirely.

That’s the nature and the beauty of the first draft. Not only is it kitty litter, it’s a learning tool. If you don’t recognize what needs work, someone you trust will happily point it out to you and explain why it doesn’t work and how to make it better. You learn. You begin to watch for it in your next novel. Eventually, you add it to the list of things you can do by rote.

So, in truth, even if you tried to avoid bad writing, you won’t be successful in that first draft. Not everything is going to be perfect in that first round.

Here’s another tidbit: as you study and improve, you’ll discover that you have a whole new definition of “bad writing,” and if you take the craft seriously at all, you’ll be harder on yourself with each new novel you write.

If you’re not careful, you’ll get stymied by trying to do the impossible: write a perfect first draft. The harder you try, the more stymied you’ll become until you can’t get past the opening scene.

So accept it. It’s not like you haven’t heard it before. That first draft is going to be kitty litter. Embrace it. Relish in the thought that it’s not carved in stone. It can be fixed. It can be changed. But first, it has to be written.

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Especially for Writers


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Web Site Reveal

I think it’s ready–my new website,, that is.

I’m proud of it. We spent a year trying to get it ready. Between my schedule and my designer’s schedule, we rarely clicked, but when we did, the result was great.

Peter Connolly designed it. Pete is Kat Connolly’s husband, and Kat is a precious friend of mine. She actually came to see me once, and we traipsed all over town together, had some good heart to hearts, and just plain visited. Kat’s working on a wonderful fantasy novel, and I can’t wait for her to finish so I can share with the world!

Pete and Kat are fun, crazy people, and I’m honored to have them in my life, regardless of how far away they are.

In other news, The Final Ride won the Texas Association of Authors’ Best Fiction Award for Christian fiction.

Have to admit, I’m excited.

Anyway, enough of that. Go see my new website and tell me what you think!

Posted in Misc. | 22 Comments