July 2019 Releases (ACFW)

It’s that time of month again! Time to make my TBR pile tip over. Which ones are you most excited about?

July 2019 New Releases

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

Contemporary Romance:

Hometown Hope by Laurel Blount — In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge — Since her teens, pastor’s daughter Sharonda Peterson devoted her life to church service and solitude after the one night she gave Carl Ray Everhart everything. Sobered by a near-death experience, prodigal Carl returns home from an acting and singing career to serve as the worship leader at Sheronda’s church, and she finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Harambee Press [Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas])

Starting Anew by Melanie D. Snitker — He’s afraid to trust. She has a secret that could change everything between them. Will they let go of their fear, or allow it to rob them of their chance at happiness? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller — Can shy, sweet Cecilia overcome her family’s prejudice to see a future with the recently returned prodigal son from next door? (Historical from Kregel Publications)

Benaiah: Might Man of God by PH Thompson — A novel of Biblical, historical fiction about Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men, examining the premise: What happens when the king’s most obedient soldier is issued a wicked command? (Historical/Biblical from Word Alive Press)

Historical Romance:

Waltz with Destiny by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield — When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. All they knew was that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world. (Historical Romance from CrossRiver Media Group)

Thimbles and Threads by Mary Davis, Grace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist, and Liz Tolsma — Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When Tilly, a schoolteacher; Alice, a bridal shop owner; Sarah, a seamstress; and Melissa, a rag doll designer, put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to the surprising gift of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Refiner’s Fire by J.M. Hochstetler
Will the promise their hearts cling to finally find joyful fulfillment, or will war’s refining fire separate them forever? (Historical Romance from Sheaf House Publishers)

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson — To escape an arranged marriage, Cassie Kendrick enlists in the Union army as a man, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer. Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase past guilt, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships along the way, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding. Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Express Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse — Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

Legacy Rejected by Robin Patchen — She’s not giving up her home, no matter what threats come against her. Realtor Ginny Lamont’s family has abandoned her, leaving her with nothing but a warning that she’s in danger. But Ginny’s built a home in New Hampshire. After a childhood of nomadic living, she’s not running again, certainly not because of some nameless, baseless threat. Real estate developer Kade Powers is thrilled to go out with Nutfield’s beautiful new real estate agent. But the prowler they surprise after their first date offers a glimpse into Ginny’s past and the legacy of lies her parents left her with. She brings a mystery, one he’s determined to help her solve. With Kade’s help, Ginny searches for the truth of her parents’ criminal activity while her enemies close in. When mobsters show up in her quaint New England town, will she find a way to bring them down, or will she lose the home—and the man—she’s come to love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig — Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets–and dangers–never before seen on earth. Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them. Iskra “Viorica” Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most–freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of their past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])


The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin — Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret–Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone–least of all herself. The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

Author Interview & Giveaway: Grace Hitchcock

I am so excited to share with you this interview with Grace Hitchcock. Her book, The White City has become a new favorite of mine. It’s one of those books I’m going to force everyone I know to read books. So I’m going to give away a print copy to one happy commenter below. Be sure to answer the Fun Question with your email written in this format name (at) place (dot) com. 😉 Don’t worry, I’ll remind you at the bottom. Now on to meet this amazing author!!

Grace Hitchcock is the author of The White City and The Gray Chamber from Barbour Publishing. She has written multiple novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com. For author news, sign up for Grace Hitchcock’s newsletter here.

Crystal: I am so excited to have you here, Grace! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions!

Grace: Thank you so much for having me here.


Sweet or Unsweet Tea?

Grace: While I never drink iced tea, I adore hot tea with a ridiculous amount of sugar! One lump or Two? Better make it Three or Four.

Crystal: I’m with you on the iced tea, but no sugar for me. Sometimes honey, but not sugar.

Beach Vacation or Mountain Getaway?

Grace: Beach vacation! Nothing is more relaxing to me than a salty breeze and the sound of the waves.

Crystal: After this winter, I could go for a beach break.

Homebody or Love to Travel?

Grace: Both! I love to get out on little adventures throughout the year, but home is always my favorite.

Crystal: I bet it is hard traveling with a toddler, too. It’s been a while, but I  remember it being tiring.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

Grace:  Morning person☺ Turns out my little toddler is quite the morning person too.

Crystal: Then it is a good thing you both like mornings!

Bookmark or Dog-ear Pages?

Grace:  I winced at the question haha bookmark all the way! I even hesitate to dog-ear printed out articles I’m studying!

Crystal: I definitely cringe asking the question. So you’re in good company.

Writing & Life

What are you reading right now?

Grace: I just finished Unblemished by Sarah Ella! Soooo good and I am dying to read book two now, but have to get it at my library. I pre-ordered Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano and am loving it!

Crystal: I’ll have to check out Unblemished. I’ve never heard of it, but I know Jen’s books are always good for a laugh.

What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

Grace: I would say finding balance with motherhood! As my baby grows, my writing habits continually change. When I wrote The White City, my baby gave me three naptimes during which I could write and catch up on household needs…and now, we are down to one precious nap a day. Heaven help me when I lose that one nap haha but for now, I’m holding onto it as long as I can.

Crystal: Oh, if only we could nap that many times in a day and still be productive. LOL

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as an exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for a bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

Questions about The White City

Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?

Grace:  Winnifred Wylde from The White City! With her character, I gave her the love of reading and a romantic, fun spirit. She isn’t afraid to be silly, but can be serious. Also, I gave her my sweet tooth, which gave me the perfect excuse to eat some inspirational chocolate as I wrote.

Crystal: I loved Winnifred, and her name is so uncommon now that I smiled every time I read it.

What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for The White City?

Grace:  I loved studying all about the World’s Fair and the exhibits they had! I found an amazing map that showed me the exact layout of the fair. (If anyone wants to see it, I have in on my Pinterest board!)  I’d say my favorite part of the fair was researching for the Ferris Wheel scene. I had no idea the wheel could house 50 people per car! Could you imagine being suspended in the air with all those people crowding in about you with no deodorant on a hot summer day?

Crystal: I certainly can’t, but if it is anything compared to being stuck in a car with a teenage boy after a sweaty sport on a day he forgot deodorant, I don’t want to!

Do you have any upcoming projects, releases, or sales?

Grace: I can hardly believe that The White City is out in the wild!! Now, I’m planning for the release of my next novella, “The Bridal Shop” in Thimbles and Threads from Barbour Publishing, in July 2019. This story is about Alice Turner, a young bridal shop owner who snubs marriage…until she meets a handsome groomsman named Giles Clayton who attempts to change her mind.

I’m currently working on my next True Colors book for Barbour called The Gray Chamber, a tale of an eccentric heiress wrongfully committed to the notorious Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Coming January 2020

Crystal: Oh, yay!!! I am so excited about The Gray Chamber! And I had no idea about the next novella. Now my TBR pile has gotten a bit taller.

Fun, Zaney Question of the Day

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot? Why?

Grace: A Holland Lop Bunny! Bunnies have always been my favorite pets with their sweet personalities. I’ve had four in the past and hope to have a few more in future years!

Crystal: Oh fun! I’ve only seen bunnies out in the wild and at one friend’s house. They look so soft. Thank you so much for sharing so much for talking books with us! I truly appreciate it.

Readers, enter to win your own copy of The White City by commenting your answer below. Be sure to leave me your email address in this format: name (at) place (dot) com.

This contest will end on March 12th, 2019. The winner will be announced on this page and then contacted via the email address provided.  (Restricted to U.S. Residents, 18 and older, only.) The winner will be picked through a random name picker. Best of luck! You’re going to LOVE this book.

The White City by Grace Hitchcock

The White City by Grace Hitchcock

Ya’ll, this book is one of those rare six-star gems. It was one of those books that I struggled with deciding to devour or force myself to slow down and relish every detail. This book is exactly what my little heart has been dreaming of for the Christian market and has been so difficult to find.

The danger, suspense, romance, AND history are combined in such an utterly wonderful story that I can only think of one or two books that have done it as well as in the past. Though there was not a huge “spiritual” thread as Christian authors are so often encouraged to promote, Grace managed to lace God in with a deft hand. This is going on my forever, read repeatedly, give as gifts, and force everyone I know to read pile.

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense (YES!!! IT’S FINALLY A REAL THING!!!!) World’s Fair, Chicago, 1893

Plot Overview:

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as an exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for a bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

What I loved: Holy cow! What did I not love? I loved FINALLY having the satisfaction of a suspenseful book with a historical setting. I loved the romantic tension, the historical details, a serial killer on the loose, mystery, danger… Yeah, I could ramble forever.

Favorite Character and Why: It’s a tie between Winnifred and Jude. I love her spunk, determination, and bravery. Jude is absolutely swoon-worthy. A family man, caring, and protective.

Who would like this? Absolutely anyone who loves romantic suspense, especially those who love historical romance but have been craving a little more danger and suspense in the writing. If you have any fascination with true crime stories, this is a GREAT story with one of my favorite true crimes in history.

Rating and Why: SIX STARS!!!!! The writing was great, the spiritual touch light but impactful, the historical details AMAZING, and the storyline something I have been craving since I first started reading Christian Fiction. It is a rare gem, that hopefully the beginning of a new trend.

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. The above opinions are my own and are in no way influenced.*


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