ACFW December Releases

December 2017 New Releases

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


Rebecca’s Redemption by Lee Carver — A nurse seeking redemption for past sins joins a doctor contending against the jungle. Both healers need healing. (Contemporary, Independently Published)

Contemporary Romance:

The Christmas Baby by Lisa Carter — Mistletoe Mommy Anna Reyes is pregnant and widowed, and a Christmas homecoming isn’t so simple. Reuniting with her best friend, Ryan Savage, makes it easier—even though she knows he’ll soon be leaving their small coastal hometown. After putting his career on hold for his family’s business, Ryan’s finally ready to pursue his goals. But as he and Anna work to make the holidays special for a group of at-risk kids, Ryan wonders if he can give up one dream for another. They’re determined to make this a Christmas to remember, but can Ryan and Anna also make their holiday family last forever? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

You’re Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher — Nick’s love of thrills and danger and Samantha’s love of safety and security drove them apart two years ago. After her worst fears came true, can they build something new upon the ashes of the past? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

A Christmas Kind of Perfect by Christine Schimpf — Conrad Hamilton thought his life would be easy. A great job running his own construction business, living in his hometown in Door County, Wisconsin, with Lila Clark by his side. He planned on marrying her as soon as she returned from her Chicago internship but it never happened.
Lila never expected to become a successful writer nor did she plan on spending the last decade in New York. But she did. Can the magic of Christmas turn two hearts back to one another again or is it too late to capture that special kind of perfect? (Contemporary Romance from Prism Christian Publishing)

Under the Mistletoe: A Christian Christmas Anthology by Jenna Brandt, Lorana Hoopes, Carol E. Keen, Elle E. Kay, Mary C. Findley, Judith Robl, Evangeline Kelly, C.J. Samuels — Christmas is the time when families get together and love abounds. Eight inspirational authors have teamed up to bring you 8 wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring you joy this season. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Making Spirits Bright by Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, April Hayman — Christmas is a season for new beginnings and second chances. A time for hope and joy and laughter. A time for people of all ages to find love and come together in community. Making Spirits Bright is a collection of just such stories – four never-before-published inspirational Christmas novellas. From romance to cozy mystery, with a generous dash of humor, these contemporary stories are sure to warm your heart as well as brighten your season and lift your Christmas spirit. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

The Calico and Cowboys Romance Collection by Mary Connealy — The Old West comes to life under the talented pen of bestselling author Mary Connealy. Enjoy a lighthearted ride alongside seven historical and one contemporary cowboys and the women who tame their hearts. (Historical/Contemporary Romance Novella from Barbour Publishing)

Would-Be Mistletoe Wife by Christine Johnson — Worried she might lose her teaching job if funding is cut for her boarding school, widow Louise Smythe must consider marriage. But the only prospective groom in town is lighthouse-keeper Jesse Hammond, and he wants children–something she may never be able to provide. While Jesse waits for the ideal woman to make his wife, though, Louise can’t help but long for something more than his friendship. If he wants to be promoted to head lighthouse keeper, Jesse needs to find a wife suited to his rustic lifestyle. But as he and Louise partner to give the town’s homeless orphans a joyous holiday, he’s drawn to the petite woman. Will the light of Christmas finally inspire them to trust in each other’s hearts? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Circle of Blessings by Deborah Raney — A young college student is determined to win the love of her English professor at the university in the Dakota Territory where she is studying to be an architect. (Historical Romance from Raney Day Press)


Return to Bella Terra by MaryAnn Diorio — When she receives word that her mother is terminally ill, Maria Landro Tonetta travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy. Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm. When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream.
But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul? (Historical, Independently Published)

Brides of Minnesota by Lena Nelson Dooley — Follow a Swedish family’s journey as they settle in Minnesota where each brother seeks a living—and wife. (Historical from Barbour Publishing)


Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert — When the dead body of an overdosed teen turns up next to Tess Spencer’s mom’s trailer, it’ll take a miracle to keep Tess from becoming a casualty in her own personal war on drugs. (Mystery, ACFW Qualified Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman — The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Holiday Secrets by Susan Sleeman — When his ex is thrust into the crosshairs of a deadly syndicate, FBI agent Gavin McKade will do whatever it takes to protect her. Even work the case with his stubborn sheriff dad. As if protecting Lexie from professional killers isn’t difficult enough, the unlikely reunion has rekindled their complicated romantic connection. But if Gavin can’t untangle Lexie from this dangerous web, the blurring line between duty and love may not matter…because this Christmas could be their last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


The Redemption of Jedidiah Pinkney by J.R. Pitts — A crippled and bullied young boy finds redemption and healing after an encounter with Jesus. (Speculative from Ambassador International)

A Match of Sorts by Lucette Nel

See below for the winner of an e-book copy of both Lucette Nel’s books.


A Match of Sorts by Lucette Nel


Christmas is a time of year when I love to grab quick, sweet reads. There isn’t a whole lot of time to indulge in more than an hour or two of reading and A Match of Sorts satisfied my need to read in a short amount of free time. 


Reverend Caleb Brennan isn’t exactly your typical pastor. He does have a caring heart and a sweet way about him, but he isn’t a Bible thumper or a force scripture down your throat kind of man. He was human with downfalls and “normal” people struggles. When the impending visit from his father-in-law threatens to take his girls from him, Caleb is willing to do whatever it takes-including marrying a mail-order-bride. But it will be a marriage in name only. 

His love for his children and his sacrificial heart in caring for an injured “boy” in the snow reels you in from the beginning.


Grace is a woman who has been on her own for far too long. Living a lonely, dangerous life catches up with her in a way that leaves her at the mercy of Reverend Brennan. Penniless, defenseless, and needing time to recover, she accepts the hairbrained idea of posing as his mail-order-bride.


The antics and hilarious situations that occur from the moment Caleb discovers the boy in the snow drift is really a woman all the way to the end make me laugh out loud. 


I definitely recommend this book for a short evening of curling up by the fire.

Check out my interview with Lucy here. And check out her Facebook Page here.


“As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. When his mail-order bride jilts him, Caleb grows desperate. During a storm, he finds an unconscious boy outside his home with signs of foul play. Despite his previous misfortune, obligation compels Caleb to lug the stranger inside. But as he provides first aid, he discovers more than he expected.Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.”

– Blurb from


Interested in purchasing your own copy? Both of her books are on sale for the entire month of December for $0.99 each.

Purchasing Links:

A Match of Sorts 

The Widow’s Captive 

Congratulations to the winner of the Lucette Nel Book Package, Nicki Bishop!!! Be on the lookout for an email!

Author Interview: Lucette Nel

I have fallen behind on my interviews, but I am back on track, and just in time for Christmas, I am here to introduce to you Lucette Nel, fabulous author of Historical Romances.

LucetteNelLucy Nel is a coffee addicted work-in-progress daughter of the Lord Almighty. She’s a mommy to a rambunctious toddler and wife to her best friend and real-life hero. Along with three spoiled Pugs, they make their home in Gauteng, the smallest of nine provinces in South Africa.

She works as a bookkeeper and uses every available second to create interesting characters in historical settings.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction and her dream came true when she signed a contract with Pelican Book Group for her Christmas themed novella, The Widow’s Captive and now her upcoming release, A Match of Sorts.

Thank you so much for consenting to do this interview, Lucy. I know it is an incredibly busy time of year.

WC: So let’s get down to business. What is the hardest part about being an author?

LN: Oh wow. Finding time to write will be top of my list. Secondly, not to compare myself to another author. I’ve learned that there will always be someone more talented, funnier, with a story that readers will enjoy more.



WC: When it is time to sit down and write, what are your must haves?

LN: Coffee! I’m one of those people that drink coffee no matter the time of day or season!

WC: What are you reading now (or just finished)?

LN: I just finished rereading my all-time favorite Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I actually reread it once a year.

WC: What is your favorite Bible verse?

LN: Philippians 4: 13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”


WC: Just for fun, if you you could be any animal, which animal would you be? Why?

LN: Do bears really hibernate for three months? I’m sleep deprived.

WC: Lucy, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Readers, I have an awesome opportunity for you to get introduced to Lucette Nel’s writing. Below is a giveaway link of her currently published books. If you can’t wait or don’t win, Pelican Book Group is offering her e-books for $0.99 for the month of December. So there really is no excuse not to check her out.

You can follow Lucy on her author Facebook page, here.

Lucy has two books available for purchase with Pelican Group at the moment:

The Widow’s Captive and A Match of Sorts

Todays Comment Question: What is your favorite Christmas present you ever recieved?

As a Christmas present, I am offering a double #bookgiveaway. Use the rafflecopter link below for your entries to win an e-copy of BOTH books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Legal: This #giveaway is open to all residents of Earth and those who are 18 years and older, except where prohibited. It is a random drawing and the winner will be selected by Rafflecopter on December 5th and the winner announced on the December 6th Book Review post of A Match of Sorts. 

The Widow’s Captive


On the run with two small children and a third due within weeks, Adeline Spencer fears the approaching blizzard will seal their fate. An abandoned cabin is an answer to her prayers. She hopes it will shield them from both the storm and the enraged brother-in-law hot on her tail. But when a stranger knocks at the door, she is convinced they have been found by one of Ward’s lackeys.Blamed for the death of his friend, Sheriff Jonah Hale is determined to prove himself worthy of his badge, even if it means riding into a blizzard to check on a crazy miner. When Jonah reaches the cabin, he’s caught off guard by a pretty and very pregnant young woman wielding a skillet. Bound to a chair while the storm rages, and as Christmas settles in around them, he must find a way to earn Adeline’s trust…and perhaps her heart.

A Match of Sorts

AMatchOfSorts_w12520_680.jpgAs Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. When his mail-order bride jilts him, Caleb grows desperate. During a storm, he finds an unconscious boy outside his home with signs of foul play. Despite his previous misfortune, obligation compels Caleb to lug the stranger inside. But as he provides first aid, he discovers more than he expected.Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.

TBT: Merry Christmas – The History of the Nativity Scene

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love the focus on kindness, charity, and family togetherness. The decorations are calming and enjoyable to me. In fact, I spend three days decorating my entire upstairs and downstairs and then three months enjoying it. Yes, my Christmas decorations do not come down before February. 🙂





Each section of my house has its own theme. We have one large bookshelf that I empty and my children decorate with a Christmas village. Then there is narrower bookshelf of nutcrackers given to my husband every year by his mother. We have a collection of dancing penguins given to my mother-in-law every year partying away in front of the fireplace.




I will admit the Christmas tree is beautiful, but I actually despise it. I hate putting it up, fussing with the lights, and then decorating it. But I do it every year because my husband loves the tree, my legally-blind mother-in-law loves seeing the lights, and my boys love decorating it.



However, of all these wonderful and sentimental decorations, my favorite is my collection of nativities. Just for the fun of Christmas and my own personal curiosity, I decided to do a quick post on the history of nativities. Enjoy my decorations and the interesting history of nativities through the ages.


The History of the Nativity Scene


St. Francis of Assisi is credited with staging the first nativity scene in 1123. According to St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan monk who wrote the biography The Life of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis got permission from Pop Honorious III to set up a manger with hay and two live animals – an ox and a donkey. He set up the manger scene in a cave in the Italian village of Grecio, and then invited villagers to come and gaze upon the scene while he preached about “the babe of Bethlem”. Supposedly, he was so overcome with emotion that he could not say the name “Jesus.”




My favorite nativity.



Nativity scenes as we know them today started in the 1300’s. First, they began as terracotta display pieces for Italian churches. At this time, Nativity sets were displayed year around.




My newest nativity made out of Kentucky coal.



In the mid-1500’s, they began to make their appearances in the homes of wealthy citizens. These were much smaller versions than the statues found in churches and were generally made out of wood, wax, or terracotta. The figures also began to develop beautiful clothing.




“Escape to Egypt” – made out of olive wood from Bethlehem.



Over time, the nativities spread to practically all Christian countries, each region giving its own flair to the set. The tradition in Germany is to display all parts of the Nativity with the exception of baby Jesus, who is only displayed after Christmas Eve. Although most Americans do not follow this tradition, our local non-profit hospital does follow this tradition.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition or decoration? Share below and if you can, attach a picture!

Merry Christmas!!!!

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