In the Stack,  Inspirational Books,  New Releases,  Reading

May 2023 New ACFW Fiction Releases

You have hit the motherload of new releases in Christian fiction for this month! I see a number of them that intrigue me. Let me know which ones strike your fancy.

And can you believe I didn’t get my own book added to this list? A Musician’s Heart is available for preorder and will release May 23.

She’s the woman of his dreams. He’s her worst nightmare.

How will two people with opposing visions for their futures find common ground?





Children’s/Picture Books:

Super Doople by K.A. Cummins — You’ve heard the legend of Humpty Dumpty, but do you know the legend of Super Doople? He’s faster than a chicken. He flies higher than an ostrich. No fall can break his shell! And he was once Little Doople, a small and fragile egg like all the other dooples, until his bad habit of not listening caught up to him. Engaging text with expressive illustrations, Super Doople is a lighthearted tale about resilience and learning to listen. This funny picture book for ages 3-8 is perfect for reading aloud in the classroom or at home. (Children’s/Picture Books from Eleonora Press)


Contemporary Romance:

Always by my Side by Iola Goulton — A hardworking introvert meets a handsome adventurer longing to settle down. Tabitha Thomas longs to leave Trinity Lakes and travel the world in honor of the beloved grandmother who raised her and her siblings. But she’s needed at home—she’s the responsible triplet, the one who stayed home to run the family inn while her brother and sister left to live their dreams. Kiwi Logan Wylde doesn’t call any place home. When an injury frustrates his travel plans, he accepts an invitation to return to Trinity Lakes and recuperate at the Lakeview Inn, where he hopes to rediscover his purpose in life. When Tabby and Logan find a property deed while cleaning out Gran’s rooms, Tabby embraces a new challenge—to solve the mystery of the floodplain and renovate the old boatshed. Working with Logan reignites long-suppressed feelings, but will their differences drive them apart? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love in the Headlines by Penny Zeller — Can paper and paw prints draw these two nemeses together? All Carleigh Adams wants is a relaxing evening. But Sullivan Theodore IV, her wayward Shih Tzu, has other plans. After escaping from home, Sullivan Theodore unlawfully enters what Carleigh assumes is a stranger’s house via a doggy door.
Trey Montgomery has had to work with “Quirky Carleigh,” his top competitor for the best articles at The Oakville Daily, for the past two years. It’s safe to say that she and her criminally-minded pet are his adversaries. Trey’s attempts to keep his distance from her are demolished when their boss thrusts them together as The Oakville Daily Duo, forcing them to work as a team on every. Single. Article. Petty crimes and crazy shenanigans in Oakville soon draw Carleigh and Trey into doubling as detectives. As they work to report the daily news and solve the crimes in Oakville, can these two stubborn reporters find love in the headlines? (Contemporary Romance, from Maplebrook Publishing)

Loving the Rancher’s Children by Mindy Obenhaus — When Alli Krenek returns to her hometown, she’s surprised to find herself agreeing to become a nanny to Jake Walker’s children. Seventeen years ago, Jake betrayed Alli’s trust, and she’s avoided him ever since. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more his two little ones melt her heart and Alli begins to see the man Jake has become. Is this their chance to finally heal old wounds? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Historical Mystery:

A Vanishing Act by Edwina Kiernan — Hollywood legend Kent Selwood isn’t happy sharing the limelight with rising star Stella Sanders. Tired of her diva drama, Kent makes it clear—he wants Stella gone. Seamstress Bonnie Roseland is practically invisible to everyone at the studio, except for slick actor, Jerry Jackson — the one man she wishes would leave her alone. Her deep-rooted faith helps her see beyond the glitz and glamor to the broken realities and dysfunctional atmosphere at the studio. She sometimes wonders if God has a purpose for her there or if she should just move on. When the studio receives blackmail letters, Kent’s attitude makes him the prime suspect, and he’s swiftly banished from the lot, despite insisting that he’s been framed. Only Bonnie believes him — and she’s confident she knows who the real culprit is. But when a ransom note arrives after Stella goes missing and evidence is discovered that clearly implicates Kent, will Bonnie help him uncover the truth in time to save his career… and Stella’s life? (Historical Mystery from Celebrate Lit Publishing)


Historical Romance:

A Season at the Grand by Sherri Wilson Johnson — Can the perfect picture reveal the truth before it’s too late? Photographer Amelia Harris has had enough of her aunts’ meddling matchmaking. So when The Photographic Times commissions her to spend the summer on Mobile Bay taking portraits of the elite and capturing nature for penny postcards, Amelia happily accepts. But this job is not as simple as it appears, and Amelia must defend against naysayers if she’s to ever gain respect in a man’s world. And that doesn’t leave any room for romance. Point Clear Resort General Manager Titus Overton never wanted the position he inherited when his cousin passed away. When threats arise against Amelia and the other resort guests, Titus knows he must step in to help. But she insists they trust God for deliverance. How can he turn to a God who took away his first beloved? As the danger closes in, he must find the courage to overcome his past before someone gets hurt-especially the woman he’s come to love. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Counterfeit Faith by Crystal Caudill — As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She’ll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she’s determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don’t like to be crossed–and they’re willing to kill to get their way. Gwendolyn knows she can’t quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care. Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble–and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible–if they can live through this case. At the same time, he’s put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds? (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications)

Frontiers of Liberty by Shannon McNear — A collection of three stories from America’s struggle for independence…The Highwayman: 1775, the Shenandoah Valley: A secret identity … an unspoken love. Quiet, ordinary Samuel Wheeler wants to quit moonlighting as a vigilante, until the night he unwittingly saves the girl he loves. Defending Truth: 1780, the Overmountain settlements: For Truth Bledsoe, what began as simple Christian charity toward a starving enemy soon becomes … more. And the fate of her family—and their community—may rest in the hands of a loyalist who is no longer sure where he belongs; The Counterfeit Tory: 1781, the South Carolina backcountry: War-weary Jedidiah Wheeler accepts a mission of subterfuge that almost certainly will be his end. It’s the quiet, fierce daughter of a Tory innkeeper who gives him cause not only to fight, but stay alive. (Historical Romance from ShenandoahDawn)

Murmur in the Mudcaves by Kathleen Denly — He came to cook for ranch hands, not three single women. Gideon Swift, a visually impaired Civil War Veteran, responds to an ad for a ranch cook in the Southern California desert mountains. He wants nothing more than to forget his past and stay in the kitchen where he can do no harm. But when he arrives to find his employer murdered, the ranch turned to ashes, and three young women struggling to survive in the unforgiving Borrego Desert, he must decide whether his presence protects them or places them in greater danger. Bridget “Biddie” Davidson finally receives word from her older sister who disappeared with their brother and pa eighteen years prior, but the news is not good. Determined to help her family, Biddie sets out for a remote desert ranch with her adopted father and best friend. Nothing she finds there is as she expected, including the man who came to cook for the shambles of a ranch. When tragedy strikes, the danger threatens not only her plans to help her sister, but her own dreams for the future—with the man who’s stolen her heart. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Revealing the Truth by Lorri Dudley — being shipped back to her ruthless guardian, who will kill to get his hands on her inheritance and the famous Jenkins Lipizzaner horses. But even under the pretense of amnesia, she cannot shake the memory of her sister and Katherine’s need to reach her before their guardian, or his marauding bandits, finish her off. Will she be safe in the earl’s manor, or will the assailant climbing through her window be the death of her? British spy, Stephen Hartington’s assignment to uncover an underground horse-thieving ring brings him home to his family’s manor, and the last thing he expected was to be struck with a candlestick upon climbing through the guest chamber window. The manor’s feisty and intriguing new house guest throws Stephen’s best-laid plans into turmoil and raises questions about the timing of her appearance, the convenience of her memory loss, and her impeccable riding skills. Could he be housing the horse thief he’d been ordered to capture—or worse, falling in love with her? (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

The Counterfeit Tory by Shannon McNear — 1781 … the backcountry of South Carolina: Lizzy Cunningham resents any man who thinks he can get by with a wink and a smile. Doubly so the ones who try to get close to her—she knows she’s homely and difficult of temper, and that not a man has been made who can bear with her for a lifetime.
Jedidiah Wheeler (Sam’s cousin from The Highwayman) has always depended on his easy charm to get him through. He’s also used to girls falling all over themselves when he glances their way, so it’s a shock to find one who responds with definite hostility. It might also be a bit of a challenge … especially when he discovers her connection to an infamous Tory leader he’s tasked with bringing down. As Jed gains the trust of the Tories, he sees that Lizzy is far more than the snarling tavern maid she pretends to be. Truth be told, in her unguarded moments she’s one of the most fetching misses he’s ever met—and bravest, when his own life is on the line. How can he complete the mission without endangering her? And dare Lizzy risk family loyalty for a kindness she’s sure is too good to be true? (Historical Romance from ShenandoahDawn)

The Keys to Gramercy Park by Candice Sue Patterson — Investigative historical journalist Andrea Andrews is tired of waiting tables to make ends meet. If she could find and write the next breakout story, she could secure a promotion with Smithsonian Magazine as their writer-at-large. But not much happens in lower Manhattan out of the ordinary until she discovers post-Civil War counterfeit bills hidden in the wall of her historic district apartment.
Politics have always been Beau Davidson-Quincy’s passion, despite his family’s real estate empire. His clean image and single status make him a target in the media as he prepares to build his campaign for New York governor. He has nothing to hide until a cute waitress unravels a mystery that could destroy his family’s reputation.
Two centuries earlier, wounded Civil War veteran Franklin Davidson lost everything—his house, his wife, his standing in society. In his darkest moment, he’s awarded a position with the newly formed Secret Service to combat the spread of counterfeit U.S. currency. His life and new home in Gramercy Park are the envy of his peers, but nothing is as it seems. Secrets are meant to be kept, and Franklin will take his to his grave. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

To Enchant a Lady’s Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — He has nothing to offer. She has everything to lose. Despite the dishonorable circumstances of his own birth, Adam Faulkner has never begrudged his half-brother Sebastian’s legitimate position as the Viscount Willowthorpe. Having a title and everything that goes with it never mattered to Adam—until “everything” became the hand of Miss Eliza Southwick. Adam knows, as the stable manager at Hooke Manor, he shouldn’t hope to wed a well-born miss. After all, enchanting such a lady’s heart would take a true gentleman…something he is not. Eliza Southwick loves horses more than society and doesn’t care a whit about status or titles. But her father has set his sights on the Viscount Willowthorpe for his future son-in-law and has brought his daughter to Hooke Manor in hopes of arranging a marriage contract. When a spark first kindled during a chance meeting between Eliza and Adam grows stronger, she doesn’t dare tell her father how she feels. He will disown her entirely if she fails to do his will, and the cost of following her heart has never seemed higher. (Historical Romance from RobinSong, Inc.)


Thriller/Suspense/Crime:

East of Evil by Joni M. Fisher — A colossal fortune. A secret reaper. A young woman whose drive for due process makes her the target of dangerous people…Nefi Jenkins dreams of becoming an FBI agent. After outing her parents’ heartless killer, the Harvard grad focuses on getting into a stellar criminal justice master’s degree program. But her career goals take a back seat when she inherits a ten-million-dollar trust from her late parents…with a hefty chunk gone. Seeking the help of a forensic accountant, Nefi discovers a cunning thief has been stealing from her inheritance. And with her legacy at stake, the hidden enemy’s scheme to swipe her cash could turn deadly. Can Nefi restore her parent’s wealth before her investigation turns fatal? (Thriller/Suspense/Crime, Independently Published)

Thriller/Suspense/Romantic:

A Deadly Wilderness by Kelly S. Irvin — A frantic anonymous crisis center hot-line call propels counselor Susana Martinez-Acosta smack into the center of a murder investigation and a homicide detective’s arms. Exactly where she doesn’t want to be. Following the tragic death of her husband, she’s struggled to build a safe haven for herself and her son. That new world doesn’t include hit men and persistent detectives with dangerous jobs. An idyllic wilderness hike turns deadly when homicide detective Ray Johnson tumbles into a ravine and lands on a corpse later identified as the son of a prominent citizen. Ray works to solve the political hot potato murder before city leaders bumps him from the case. His determination to find the man’s killer leads him from the wealthiest enclaves in San Antonio to the city’s dark underbelly, all the while trying to win the woman he loves. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Ally Press)

Counter Attack by Patricia Bradley — No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen’s Gambit Killer strikes again–this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex’s real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer’s calling card–a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it–cannot be ignored. Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can’t believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can’t help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it’s too late. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Revell)

Explosive Trail by Terri Reed — Can an officer and her K-9 partner survive a bomber with a vendetta? When a serial bomber’s explosion in Olympic National Park lands K-9 officer Willow Bates in the hospital, her estranged husband, FBI agent Theo Bates, rushes to her side. He’s determined to protect her and the baby he didn’t know she was carrying. But the bomber has revenge on his mind and will stop at nothing to finish them off. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Vengeance in the Mist by Robin Patchen — Assistant District Attorney Misty Lake wants nothing more than to ensure Boston lawbreakers face justice, but how can she when she’s faced with an increasing workload and pressure to offer plea deals? When a criminal she prosecuted is released on a technicality, she doesn’t have time to worry about the threats he once breathed against her. Tate Steele dreams of rising in the ranks at the DA’s office, but idealistic prosecutor Misty is in his way. When the district attorney asks him to assist her with a few cases, he’s eager to close them quickly to prove his merit. But he and Misty discover her apartment has been broken into, and this is no run-of-the-mill burglar. The intruder escapes and leaves no trace. Either the vengeful convict Misty put away has upped his skills, or there’s more at play than a defendant seeking revenge. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic, Independently Published)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

Holidays in Hallbrook: Books 1-3 by Elsie Davis, A city executive who gets an insta-family including a giant St. Bernard, an event planner who can’t plan what happens, and a Christmas story where a snowstorm and an avalanche have the power to warm hearts. (Contemporary Romance)

Holidays in Hallbrook: Books 4-6 by Elsie Davis , A single dad with twin daughters who aren’t on board with a new romance, a woman who’s always wanted to be a mom and she gets the chance…temporarily, and a single mother who’s hired to find and photograph a pair of eagles and their nest after a reported sighting in the area. (Contemporary Romance)

Holidays in Hallbrook: Books 7-9 by Elsie Davis , A woman war hero in search of her military canine, an ice cream competition with a winner-take-all prize at stake, and a baseball player and a middle school principal who find themselves at crosshairs with their kids adding fuel to the fire every step of the way. (Contemporary Romance)

Hopefully After After by Beth Wiseman, Eden’s and Samuel’s futures hang in the balance as they face decisions about who they are meant to be—both as individuals and together. (Amish Romance)

Jacob’s Wellby Urcelia Teixeira, Dark secrets swirl around the small coastal town of Weyport as Mary-Jean Foley discovers just how far she would go to protect her son. (Mystery/Police Procedural)

Loving Lydia by Susan Pope Sloan, Two Southerners thrown together by the Union army. He’s on a quest for vengeance. She’s determined to preserve her family. (Historical Romance)

The Body Electrocution by Marissa Shrock, A secret love decades past, the supposed ghost of a custodian that stalks the community center halls, and a motive for murder that neither Bobbi Sue nor anyone else in town saw coming. (Cozy Mystery)

Cheese Grits and Hissy Fits by Jann Franklin, The Town of Graisseville, Louisiana needs leadership, and Jen Guidry’s ready to help! (General Contemporary)

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

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Let's Talk

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.