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The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

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The Lady and the Lionheart

1890 – Virginia

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Author Interview and Giveaway – Sarah Loudin Thomas – A Tapestry of Secrets

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I’m delighted to have a dual timeline novel on the website this month!

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A Tapestry of Secrets

For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she’s prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next. 

 

Sarah’s Book

chair 5

Others in this Series:

The first is FREE!

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Questions about Sarah’s Story

What inspired your story?

Although I technically write historical fiction, I feel like I cheat a little bit! I don’t do much of the in-depth research so many other historical writers dig into. My primary source for research is just talking to people. And mostly family members at that. When I have a technical question, I often call my dad and ask him—e.g. what did the stove Grandma cooked on when you were ten look like? All through the Appalachian Blessings series the characters, the scenes, and the daily activities are drawn from listening to my family’s stories since I was old enough to sit up. Dad was the main storyteller, but I also listened to my grandmother, Aunt Bess, and the other “old folks” who gathered to talk at every opportunity. Those wonderful, wonderful people of West Virginia are my inspiration and in a way, I write to try and keep them alive a little bit longer.

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

I can’t seem to keep from introducing characters who are supposed to be bad guys who turn out to be closet heroes. They’re my favorites. I started it with Frank Post in Miracle in a Dry Season—the town drunk with a shady past who turned out to have all kinds of valuable life experiences to share. In A Tapestry of Secrets it’s Keith, the out-of-town developer who wants to turn the historic church property into a hunting preserve. I meant for him to be a cold-blooded outsider set on destroying Laurel Mountain Church, but turns out he’s had some hard times of his own to overcome. He’s just a divorced man trying to find meaning and maintain a relationship with his daughter. My favorites are always the hard cases who eventually see the light.  

Which scene (give us the chapter) is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with?

My favorite parts of the story to write were the flashbacks to 1948 and the summer when Perla became pregnant out of wedlock. Readers who have followed along since Miracle in a Dry Season have known about the pregnancy, but I’d never even hinted at how a “good girl” like Perla came to have a child before she had a husband. When the father of the child is introduced, he goes by a nickname. For me, the pivotal point wasn’t so much the night the pair spent together as it was the moment when he revealed his real name in Chapter 20. He and Perla know they don’t have a future together at that point and the way he gives her the gift of his name is really poignant for me. It’s probably silly, but I still can’t read that bit without tears coming to my eyes.

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Questions about Sarah’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series hooked me on Christian fiction period! That woman can write! Once I was hooked, I began to discover other historical writers I love like Nancy Moser and Julie Klassen. I adore Nancy’s books about real women like Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Martha Washington, while Julie is as close as I’m likely to get to a “new” Jane Austen novel. I’m also really looking forward to Luther & Katharina by Jody Hedlund. I have deep admiration for writers who bring real historical characters to life through meticulous research and fabulous prose!

Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

I recently finished A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell. I’ve loved her books since The Widow of Larkspur Inn and I’m so glad she’s writing again after a few years away from publishing. There were lines and scenes that literally made me sigh with contentment. While conflict and challenges find their way into the story, overall it’s primarily a tale of good triumphing over evil. Just as it should. Peace. Order. A satisfactory ending. Just what I long for after too much of the real world!

Sarah is giving away a copy of her book (Paperback – US only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

DON’T FORGET TO GET HER FREE PREQUEL NOVELLA FOR THIS SERIES!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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Guide Me Home

1907 – Kentucky

Working in the massive cave might allow 
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will it claim more than it gives? 
 
After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities in for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.  
    
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave and the two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. 
     
The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise. Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight from the past?    

A Family for the Rancher by Louise M Gouge

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A Family for the Rancher

1895 – Texas

Rancher Edmund McKay likes his life simple and quiet—everything feisty neighbor Lula May Barlow is not! But with a cattle rustler on the loose, he’s duty-bound to protect the widowed mother, even without her approval. Yet he never expected to enjoy her company. And he certainly never thought her crowded, bustling house would be the first place he’d ever feel at home… 

After a harsh childhood, Lula May knows how to stand on her own two feet. She doesn’t need Edmund’s help—but she’s starting to want it, all the same. So are her children, who clearly have matchmaking in mind. And when a threat from the past resurfaces, she realizes all that’s at stake…including her chance for a lifetime of love.

A Hasty Betrothal by Jessica Nelson

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A Hasty Betrothal

Regency England

Though Lady Elizabeth Wayland would rather spend her days with her beloved books than an uncaring spouse, scandal forces her to find a match posthaste. To escape the scoundrel who almost ruined her, Elizabeth accepts an unconventional proposal from a childhood friend. But when she finds herself falling for her husband-to-be, will she be able to convince him to return her love? 

Widowed cotton mill owner Miles Hawthorne vowed to never marry again—until Elizabeth’s reputation is on the line. Their betrothal begins as a simple favor. As he spends more time with his fiancée, though, Miles finds that there’s more to her than he ever saw before. And Elizabeth just might be the only woman who can slip into his heart.

Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn

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Make-Believe Beau

1874 – California

As a draftswoman in a man’s world, Jessica Sinclair causes a stir as her new male colleagues vie for her attention. And the company manager has an ultimatum: fake a courtship with her boss, Flynt Kavanaugh…or lose her job. But pretending to be smitten with the handsome engineer unleashes a real, complicated attraction—and could reveal the past she hoped to keep hidden. 

Jessica is certainly the best person for the job. But as their make-believe romance escalates, Flynt knows that’s not the only reason he wants her on his team. However, with his past shrouded by a shameful secret, Flynt has always focused his ambitions on building a career, not a family. Now he has designs on Jessica’s heart, but can they trust each other with the truth?

Wolf Creek Wife by Penny Richards

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Wolf Creek Wife

1887 – Arkansas

After a storm strands her overnight in Will Slade’s cabin, Blythe Granville’s reputation is in shambles. The townspeople doubt that she was innocently nursing him back to health after saving his life. Now Blythe must accept Will’s proposal: a marriage in name only to save her good name. But the former socialite is determined not to fall for her new husband…even if she’s drawn to the gruff stranger who’s vowed to stand by her, in sickness and in health. 

Will never wanted to remarry after his ex-wife betrayed him. But now he finds himself hitched to a city girl who has no idea how to keep a house…but is somehow chiseling her way into his heart. As Blythe melts Will’s crusty facade, though, they’re discovering that this most unexpected union might just lead to true love.

The California Gold Rush Romance Collection by Various Authors

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The California Gold Rush Romance Collection

Rush to California after the 1848 gold discovery alongside thousands of hopeful men and women. Meet news reporters, English gentry, miners, morticians, marriage brokers, bankers, fugitives, preachers, imposters, trail guides, map makers, cooks, missionaries, town builders, soiled doves, and more people who take advantage of the opportunities to make their fortunes in places where the population swelled overnight. But can faith and romance transform lives where gold is king?

With All My Heart Romance Collection by Various Authors

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With All My Heart Romance Collection

Previously released ebook only novellas now in paperback

Readers will take a journey across America and through time in this collection of five novellas from some of Christian fiction’s top writers. Originally released as ebooks, the novellas–moving, faith-filled and deeply romantic–now find print for the first time. The collection includes:

Karen Witemeyer’s “Love on the Mend,” set in post-Civil War Texas, tells the story of two competing doctors. Jody Hedlund’s “Out of the Storm” finds a desperate woman shipwrecked near a Michigan lighthouse. Melissa Jagears’ “Love by the Letter” is an unexpected mail-order-bride prairie story. Sarah Loudin Thomas’ “Appalachian Serenade” finds love in a small-town West Virginia store. Finally, Jen Turano’s “Gentleman of Her Dreams” tackles the New York social season.

The Artisan’s Wife by Judith Miller

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The Artisan’s Wife

1876 – West Virginia

Ainslee McKay’s world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West Virginia. Ainslee must learn the ropes and, if she can keep the tile works profitable, her brother will help her sell the business.

When Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she’s impressed by his skill and passion for the business. But he’s hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. And Ainslee knows he’d be crushed to learn his plans for a long career at McKay Tile Works are in vain since she intends to sell. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light–or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?

 

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