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The Hand-Me-Down Husband by Vickie McDonough

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1885 – Texas

Ellen aims to take her sister’s baby back to St. Louis to raise as her own. Tessa’s father isn’t about to let that happen.

Ellen Stewart despises Lance Garrett. If not for him dashing into Isabelle’s life and stealing her heart and filling her head with his dreams, her little sister would still be alive and safe at home. When Ellen receives Lance’s letter requesting help with one-year-old Tessa, she rushes to Silver Springs, intent on taking charge of her young niece. A rugged ranch in the wilds of Texas is no place for a motherless baby.

But when she realizes how distraught Lance is over the loss of his wife and the depth of his love for his daughter, she can’t take Tessa from him—but neither can she leave. Though everything within her wants to flee back to the comfortable big city, something makes her stay. Tessa needs her father, for one—and he needs her. Ellen knows what it’s like to lose all she’d dreamed of.

When local townsfolk make a stink about Ellen living at Lance’s ranch unchaperoned, will they be forced to marry? Ellen doesn’t want a hand-me-down husband who could never love her, but could this marriage be God’s will for them both?

Author Interview and Giveaway – Almost a Bride – Jody Hedlund

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In The Bride Ships series, Jody Hedlund has woven rich description with deep, conflicting emotions, bringing to life a complex and unusual time in history. We’re all so excited to read the next bride’s story, because we know her journey to love will be full of adventure! Welcome to the Index, Jody!

Almost a Bride

Always close, but never a bride.

Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.

As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.

When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

 

Jody’s Website

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Questions about Jody’s Story

What inspired this story?

During the course of my research, I came across information regarding bride ships to the Pacific Northwest. While I’d heard stories of bride ships leaving England and sailing to Australia, I’d never heard of efforts to send brides elsewhere. As I explored the concept further, I discovered that in the 1860s, several bride ships left England’s shores with the destination of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, which at that time were both separate colonies of England and not yet part of Canada.

The more I researched these ships and the women who took the voyages, I looked frantically for the answer to the question: What sort of desperation did these women face that would drive them to take part in one of the bride ships?

I was utterly horrified and fascinated by the idea that women would willingly board ships, leave everything they’d ever known behind, and sail to a strange land, all for the purpose of marrying complete strangers. I couldn’t help but ask myself what kind of woman would do such a thing and why? The series is my attempt to answer those questions.

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

In Almost a Bride, my hope is to show the perspective of one of the brides who came on the second bride ship that sailed to Victoria. This ship, called the Robert Lowe, left approximately four months after the Tynemouth (the bride ship highlighted in the first two books in the series).

While the women aboard the Robert Lowe were sponsored by the Columbia Emigration Society the same as the Tynemouth women, a distinct difference exists between the two groups. The group on the first ship came largely from the London area and was comprised of wealthy middle-class women as well as the poor plucked from orphanages and slums

The Robert Lowe women, however, were from the cotton manufacturing districts in Manchester, England. The calamity in the midlands was widespread, with tens of thousands of cotton-mill workers suffering from unemployment as a result of the cotton shortage brought about by the American Civil War. The women chosen to immigrate aboard the Robert Lowe were among the many who’d lost their jobs. In light of the bleak conditions in their homeland, the three dozen Manchester mill girls were happy to be offered the chance at a better life in the colonies where work and husbands awaited them.

Why did you choose the geographical location in which your book is set?

The English colony of British Columbia was overflowing with male settlers, primarily because of a gold rush that had occurred in the Canadian Rockies starting in 1859 and lasting for many years. As a result, miners and those hoping to profit from the gold rush, swelled into Vancouver Island and British Columbia, creating an influx of male settlers. A 1861 census showed that females only made up 11% of the population there. With so few women available, men who wanted wives had slim pickings.

With the men complaining about the lack of women, an Anglican missionary among the miners of British Columbia, Reverend Lundin Brown, finally was the one to write a letter to his sponsors in London, asking for Christian wives for the miners. As a result, the Columbia Mission Society formed an emigration committee and soon began making arrangements for the transport of reputable women who could come and marry the men and in so doing create families and bring stability to the wilderness towns.

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Questions about Jody’s Reading

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

I recently read Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson. I especially love how well Melanie intertwines the present story to the past.

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that you read that taught you something you didn’t know? What did you learn? 

I read We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels, and I learned a lot about racial issues in Michigan during the Civil Rights movement. Since I live in Michigan, it was particularly fascinating.

Jody is giving away either a paperback copy (USA Only) or an e-book (International entries welcome). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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The Promise of Hope by Julie Lessman

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1937 – Massachusetts

She’s a woman of deep faith,
Till one careless comment steals it away.
He’s a man of deep joy,
Till his wife’s pain takes it away.
Fortunately they serve a God of deep love,
Whose promise of hope brings blessings to stay.

Emma O’Connor’s gratitude knows no bounds. God has healed her painful past with a wonderful marriage, three beautiful adopted children, and a close-knit extended family to call her own. But when one careless comment sows the seeds of discontent over her infertility, both her joy—and her faith—begin to unravel.

Sean O’Connor has never met a woman of deeper faith honed by pain than his precious wife, Emma, which is why he vowed to give her a life of love and joy no matter the cost. But when her spirits dive along with her faith, he’s at a loss how to heal the woman he loves. Until the God of Hope intervenes with the promise of hope.

Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A. M. Heath

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1936 – Kentucky

Can two lonely people find more than a fleeting friendship or will a prejudiced town keep them apart?

When Ivory Bledsoe left the city to minister to the people of the rural mountain town of Willow Hollow, she never expected to be shunned rather than welcomed. Seeing the town as a lost cause, she’s eager to return home, but when the bridge leading out of town is washed away during a flood, she finds herself stranded in the last place she wants to be.

Ben Thrasher was content with his quiet life until he met the new librarian. He can’t help but be drawn to the friendly and lively Ivory Bledsoe, despite her being at the center of the town’s latest superstition. It’s only a matter of time until she captures his heart, turning his world upside down in the process.

Has Ivory gotten God’s plan for her all wrong or is there still a way she can serve these people? And can Ben ask her to stay in a place where so few are willing to embrace her?

Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

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1928 – Wisconsin

The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

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1793 – North Carolina

Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again—into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona—beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin.

Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona’s in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

A story of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family.

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

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1853 – Oregon

In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury force Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for the rights of women, including their right to vote.

Following Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women’s suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one’s place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces. Based on a true story of a pioneer for women’s rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing–even when the cost is great.

Texas Troubles by Caryl McAdoo

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1860 – Texas

Brothers are for conflict; and he who finds a wife has found a good thing.

Through the first battle to the end of the Civil war, partners Aaron Van Zandt and Rich Worley fought on opposite sides. The women who loved them lived in prayer and learned to trust God even more to stay sane. While their fellows fought each other, best friends Josie Jo Worley and Cass Andrews battle jealousy, worry, and regret. Experience the war as one who’s left behind. See how they cope. Readers aren’t able to stop turning the pages.

Love’s Pure Light by Various Authors

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Be transported to unique time periods as you follow a treasured family nativity set through four generations of the Shepherd family.
 
While Shepherds Watch Are Keeping by Susanne Dietze
Massachusetts, 1899
This Christmas, Pastor Seth Shepherd has little to offer his flock of congregants in their time of need until Jessalyn Grant, a mysterious newcomer, comes to his aid.
 
The Wise Guy and the Star by Shannon McNear
Charleston, South Carolina, to Kansas City, Missouri, 1919
While journeying by train, Stella Shepherd befriends war veteran Nat Wise. She helps him find renewed faith in God, but could he also be the answer to the wanderings of her own heart?
 
On Angel Wings by Janine Rosche
Kansas City, Missouri, 1945
Elodie Wise plans a fundraising ball with the help of her friend Benjamin Gabriel. But can she look past the swanky Hollywood headliner to see the man who truly loves her?
 
Making Room at the Inn by Deborah Raney
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Present Day
Benjie Gabriel thinks the chef’s position she’s just taken at an award-winning bed and breakfast is temporary—just a stepping stone. The B&B’s owner, Trevor Keye, thinks the same. Will five months be long enough for them to figure out that what they’ve each been longing for, praying for, is right beneath their noses?

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

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1822 – England

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

A Joyful Christmas by Various Authors

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A Christmas Collection to Warm the Heart

Grab a warm cup of tea and watch as romance is kindled and joy is restored to broken lives during six bygone era Christmas celebrations.
 
A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
Married by proxy in Missouri, Annie Morgan sets off for Tombstone, Arizona, to join her new husband as a cattle rancher. But too soon she finds herself a widow with an unexpected daughter and butting heads with her handsome neighbor.
 
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Wounded within Confederate territory, Union officer Jedediah Harrington finds refuge at the tiny cabin of Cora Sinclair and her grandfather. Still haunted by what she saw as a battlefield hospital volunteer, Cora finds that only Jed can understand. But, though she longs to give him her heart, the risks to both of them are too great.
 
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
When Jackson Lancaster’s brother and wife die, he takes his three-year-old niece home. But a meddling busy-body makes the judge give her custody “because an unmarried man shouldn’t raise a little girl.” Now Jackson has until Christmas to find a bride or lose his niece forever. Larkin Doyle is grateful her employer took in the orphan and believes Jackson abandoned his niece. When her heart says otherwise, will romance blossom? 
 
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie O’Connell, orphaned and left alone in a dangerous Wisconsin logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.
 
Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man?
 
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth Sorensen has been put in charge of the Christmas pageant at the little log church, and this year she wants something different. But she didn’t count on a Minnesota blizzard paralyzing the whole town. Can the blacksmith teach this preacher’s daughter about what it means to serve one another in love through the storm?

A Heart’s Blessing by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Two wounded hearts. Two children in danger.

Delcie Morton might be young, but she’s old enough to be responsible for her cousin’s orphaned children. To protect them from their evil uncle, she flees west to Willow Creek. As she settles into her new life running a bakery, she finds it difficult to let down her guard.

Ryder Remington has lost everything. His wife and child are dead. His brother has narrowly missed being hung for a murder he didn’t commit. All he wants is to be left alone so he can forget the past. But when he is wrangled into helping at the cafe, he quickly finds himself in too deep with Delcie and her charges.

When the children are snatched, it is as if Ryder’s past is repeating itself. Can he change the future and earn Delcie’s trust? And more… her heart?

Dogwood Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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1814 – Virginia

When a deadly yellow fever outbreak draws Cornelia Gill back home, her new independent life must be abandoned. Injured veteran, Carter Williams, likewise must return to Dogwood Plantation when he suffers grievous family losses. Both become caretakers to younger family members. As the War of 1812 heats up, two wounded hearts begin to heal. But can they manage all that life has handed them?

Her Only Hope by Julia Ridgmont

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1882 – Oregon

Running from her father’s murderers might keep her safe for a while, but it won’t protect her heart.

Alexandra Carter was supposed to marry Jacob Mahoney. At least, that was what her younger self believed when he worked in her father’s blacksmith shop years ago. At that impressionable age, she could have watched his well-muscled arms perform such manly work for hours. But then he suddenly disappeared and she became her father’s assistant, and in the process, discovered that females could do the work just as well, if not better.

Then, one fateful day, when everything falls apart, the only way Alexandra can escape immediate danger is to disguise herself as a young man–and find Jake. But where did he go? And what will she tell him when she finds him? If he knows that someone is after her, and possibly him, too, will he be willing to put his life on the line?

Jake Mahoney thinks he’s found his niche in the small town of Hope Hollow, Oregon. As the town’s blacksmith, folks trust him to perform quality work in a timely manner–and he’s able to deliver. That is, until a skating accident leaves him incapacitated. When a young apprentice offers his assistance, it seems that fate is smiling on him. But why does he seem so familiar? And what is he hiding?

By the time he discovers the answers to those questions, it might be too late.

Almost a Bride by Jody Hedlund

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1863 – Canada

Always close, but never a bride.

Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.

As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.

When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

Among the Pages by Sara R. Turnquist

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1915 – New York

A woman’s choice…is in question.

Brianne is a somewhat naïve college freshman. She becomes disillusioned as her professors and peers challenge many of her long-held beliefs. When she finds a diary that belonged to a distant relative, she hopes it will offer much needed distraction. And she is soon drawn into the story of a passionate woman who seems to whisper from the past.

In 1915’s New York, idealist and primary teacher Margaret struggles with the problems women face at home and in society. She is first timid about speaking her mind, but in time cannot keep her impassioned spirit hidden—not even from the gentleman who teaches in the classroom next door. His concern for her stretches the limits of their friendship, pressing into something more. Caught up in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, she faces down authority figures and others who question her beliefs.

And so, Brianne is whisked along on this journey as Margaret joins the fight for women’s rights, all the while trying to work through her own questions and experiences with modern feminism.

Before long, things spin out of control and she wonders where her newfound relationship fits into everything? Are there any clear answers? Will she land on her feet? Or be forever lost to herself?

The Heart of Courage by Lynne Basham Tagawa

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1753 – Virginia Colony

No one would understand. But he had to obey his conscience.

It’s 1753, and troubling news comes to Russell’s Ridge . . .

Susanna Russell longs to escape her valley home. When war breaks out, she gets her wish to study in fabulous Williamsburg. But she realizes she’s lost something important along the way. Something—and someone.

James Paxton is studying for the ministry. But when violence threatens the valley, his path becomes clouded. What is God’s will for his life? The answer is alarming—and impossible.

Red Hawk spies white surveyors near his home, a harbinger of trouble to come. Shawnee chiefs go to Philadelphia to treat for peace, but the unthinkable happens, and Red Hawk loses all he once held dear. Then he has a strange dream. What can it mean?

War, romance, and gospel truth unite in this remarkable sequel to The Shenandoah Road.

I Love to Tell the Story by Faith Blum

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1936 – Kentucky

Her heart is in the right place…
Bored with her life in Castle Town, Montana, Lillian Sullivan follows her friend’s suggestion and joins the horseback librarian program in rural Kentucky. Not only does she anticipate sharing her love of books, but she also wants to spread the gospel among the mountain people.

However, Willow Hollow presents her with one trouble after another and she struggles to step outside her shyness to share the gospel.

What will it take for Lillian to share her love of the Best Story? Can the power of the gospel overcome the shyness of her own heart?

Heart of a Warrior by Angela K. Couch

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1859 – Oregon Trail

The Man She Fears Is Her Only Chance For Survival . . .

All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization’s embrace, survival is not a skill she’s learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail.

Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother’s tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life … and his heart.

Piecing It All Together by Leslie Gould

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1840s – Indiana

When Savannah Mast’s fiance dumps her a week before their wedding, she flees California for the safety of her Amish grandmother’s farm near Nappanee, Indiana. She’s not planning on staying long but becomes unexpectedly entangled in the search for a missing Amish girl. She can’t leave–especially not when her childhood friend Tommy Miller is implicated as a suspect.

When Savannah accompanies her grandmother to Plain Patterns, a nearby quilt shop, the owner and local historian, Jane Berger, relates a tale about another woman’s disappearance back in the 1800s that has curious echoes to today.

Inspired by the story, Savannah does all she can to find the Amish girl and clear Tommy’s name. But when her former fiance shows up, begging her to return to California and marry him after all, she must choose between accepting the security of what he has to offer or continuing the complicated legacy of her family’s faith.

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Life Once Dreamed – Rachel Fordham

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Raise your hand if you can’t wait to read the next Rachel Fordham book! With the classic combination of a schoolteacher heroine and doctor hero, this story is sure to be one for the keeper shelf. Welcome back to the Index, Rachel!

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A Life Once Dreamed

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Rachel’s Website

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Questions about Rachel’s Story

What inspired this story?

My mom saved a whole stack of papers from when I was in school. One of them was a list of questions I’d answered in Kindergarten. I listed Blossoms in the Dust as my favorite movie. I’m guessing I’d watched it with my mom and felt old and special by picking it. I decided to rewatch this old film that delved into the life of Edna Gladny, orphan rights and illegitimacy. That was the catalyst for writing this story. I’ve always felt bad for people who are labeled when they shouldn’t be and this was a prejudice that many people have forgotten.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This was the first book I’d written where my characters knew each other before the first scene. I loved being able to start their relationship with chemistry rather than having to build up to it like I had in previous books.

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

A Life Once Dreamed has a lot of serious issues happening in it which I think adds to the quality of this story. In order to add comic relief the characters of Tommy (one of her students) and Minnie (one of her friends) show up and give everyone a good laugh. I enjoyed writing these two outspoken characters that say what they think without a filter!

Why did you choose the geographical location in which your book is set?

I created a fictional town in the Black Hills because I’d been to the Black Hills and could picture them in my mind. I also felt that it was far enough from the world Agnes left to be a stark contrast. I hope readers enjoy this beautiful setting as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What do you hope readers learn from this story?

I hope readers are entertained and that they happy sigh when the book is done (that’s always my hope when I write a love story). I also hope that readers will close the cover of this book and feel a renewed commitment to never judge others based on things they can’t control. Illegitimacy is not the tragic label today that it once was but there are plenty of other ways we box people in or limit them based on things out of their control. Let’s fight those injustices together!

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Questions about Rachel’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel did you reread last, and why did you reread it?

I reread Redeeming Love. It’d been such a long time and I wanted to remember how Francine Rivers pulled off tackling such difficult topics with so much grace.

What Christian Historical Novel did you last personally recommend to someone and why did you recommend that one to them? The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin. Not only is it a great novel (excellent actually), but the opening scene is extremely compelling, and I used it as an example for another author of how to start with a bang.

Rachel is giving away a paperback (US entrants only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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The Time for Healing by Ramona K. Cecil

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1824 – Missouri

Ginny Red Fawn McLain, a Shawnee medicine woman, is thrust back into the world of her birth family twelve years after her abduction. While she eschews the Christianity preached by her birth uncle who found her, Ginny’s heart refuses to shun his friend and fellow Christian minister, Jeremiah Dunbar.

Jeremiah Dunbar is immediately smitten with his friend’s long lost niece. But unless Ginny Red Fawn joins Christ’s fold–something she adamantly resists–any future with the woman he loves is impossible.

Amid an atmosphere of contempt and distrust, dreams and cultures clash. Ginny and Jeremiah are left to wonder whether their burgeoning love has any place in God’s plan.

Katharine’s Arrangement by Blossom Turner

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1865 – Virginia

Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected.

Katherine Williams’s family was left destitute when their home was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers, so the ready solution presented by the prominent Mr. Josiah Richardson seems almost too good to believe. He’ll provide a home, work for her pa, and a new beginning for her family…if only Katherine will accept his proposal. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Setting aside her dreams of love, Katherine agrees to the arrangement.

The gentleman in Josiah Richardson can no more force his frightened bride into his bed, than he can force her into loving him, so he sets out to gently woo her. He works hard to befriend her, to earn her trust and win her love.

Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to the man she thought she would never love, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts?

Rahab, Woman of Jericho

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1406 BC – Middle East

Some biblical scholars maintain that Rahab, the woman who hid Joshua’s two spies, was a harlot or prostitute. So how did she become one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t the Father ensure a pure lineage for His Son?

In this historical fiction, author Diana Wallis Taylor offers a beautiful story of intrigue that suggests Rahab was a descendent of Ephraim, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. With no available Jewish men in her town, she marries Radames, a young Egyptian officer who is the new governor of Jericho. When the Israelites approach Canaan with their army, pharaoh sends word that he is withdrawing his troops. Radames fabricates a story to tell Jericho’s king, but Hammurabi doesn’t believe it…and he has his eye on the beautiful Rahab.

What will happen to Rahab after the lecherous king poisons her husband? How can she save her family from the invading Israelites? God parted the waters of the Jordan River for them—will He likewise provide miracles and blessings to her Ephraimite clan if they can rejoin their people?

Vying for the Viscount by Kristi Ann Hunter

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1817 – England

For Hudson, the newly titled Viscount Stildon, moving to England from India where he was born and raised was already an arduous enough endeavor. When he learns the fate of the racing empire he inherited along with his title depends upon him getting in the good graces of another stable owner, he’s even more at a loss.

The stable at the neighboring estate has been Miss Bianca Snowley’s refuge for years, and when a strange man appears to be stealing the horses, she jumps to their protection without a second thought. Upon learning Hudson is actually the new owner, she can’t help but be intrigued by the area’s newest eligible bachelor.

Any thought of romance is quickly set aside, however, when Hudson proposes they work together to secure suitable spouses for each other. As their friendship grows, Hudson and Bianca begin to reconsider what they truly want in life. But will societal expectations and the weight of their responsibilities keep them from pursuing their true desires?

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

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1880 – Dakota Territory

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you’re going.

Carolina Homecoming by Heather Blanton

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1860s – South Carolina

Even in the shadows of the Blue Ridge, war will find them.

Widowed by the Civil War, Ruth Grant insists on accompanying her grieving mother-in-law Noemie back to her roots in the beautiful but isolated foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This escape to a place barely touched by war will prove to be anything but peaceful for the two strong-willed women.

Montgomery Boaze is the wealthiest farmer in the upstate. He also happens to be a handsome widower. When distant relative Noemie returns home and butts heads with a mutual enemy, Montgomery appoints himself her and Ruth’s protector. Not such a difficult task since he adores his kin…and finds the beautiful, young widow bewitching.

Together, the three will become entangled in a battle over land, loyalty, and love that has nothing to do with North versus South.

A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

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1936 – Kentucky

Journey with a horseback librarian into the hidden crevices of Kentucky mountains….

Lena Davis is the daughter her mom never wanted. But she survived. Through stories. Because books didn’t judge. Books weren’t angry she was alive. Books never expected her to be anything but who she was.

As she grows up, her beloved library becomes her true home. So when the library is designated part of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project, Lena is determined to get the job of bringing books to highlanders, believing she’ll finally be free of her mom forever.

But earning the trust of highlanders is harder than she imagined, and her passion for books might not be enough to free her from her chains.

Rich Beyond Measure: Zlata’s Story by Robin Lee Hatcher

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33 AD – Israel

After losing her parents, husband, and child, Zlata is left dependent upon her in-laws who regard her as nothing more than a servant.

Worse still, she is left with a heart overcome by bitterness.

But then she hears a new teacher speaking. He says that she is blessed although she is poor and in mourning. She thinks this Yeshua might be the madman that her father-in-law, a Pharisee, claims Him to be.

Yet she can’t stop seeking Him out and listening to what He has to say because His words are making her feel whole again. Then her father-in-law threatens to turn her out if she seeks out Yeshua one more time.

Will fear hold her back or will she dare to trust Yeshua by giving God everything she possesses?

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

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1929 – Georgia

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

The Soldier’s Lady by Various Authors

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Join four adventurous women making their home at Old West forts. Faced with daily challenges—and stubborn men—they bring civility to the frontier.
 
The Colonel’s Daughter by Gabrielle Meyer
Minnesota, 1828—Fort Snelling
Major Nathaniel Ward is tasked with guarding his commanding officer’s daughter, Ally Benson, from the amorous soldiers at Fort Snelling, but he finds the hardest person to keep in line is himself.
 
Frontier of Her Heart by Susanne Dietze
California, 1854—Fort Humboldt
All is fair in love and war, but the contest of wills between fort cook Emily Sweet and Assistant Surgeon Boyd Braxton is all about pride, not romance. . .until they must work together to stop an epidemic.
 
Save the Last Word for Me by Lorna Seilstad
Kansas, 1864—Fort Riley
Determined schoolteacher Adelina Dante believes every man, woman, and child deserves the chance to read and write, but when she approaches Colonel Isaac Scott about why he should allow his illiterate soldiers to attend special classes, she’s the one who gets educated in matters of the heart.
 
Forever Fort Garland by Janette Foreman
Colorado, 1879—Fort Garland
Annie Moreau arrives at Fort Garland to marry her soldier pen pal, Martin, but encounters two surprises—Martin has died in battle and she’s been corresponding with dashing Captain Jefferson Gray all along.

A Heart’s Yearning by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Jenny has a secret dream that she’s nurtured since childhood. It’s a simple dream. She longs to have a family of her own. But Jenny has always been told she’s far too pretty to make a good wife. Her beauty attracts the wrong kind of attention and after an evil man tries to force himself on her she flees west.

Orphaned. Unwanted. Finn has always wanted to belong, but after being taken in by a neighboring family, he learned that the only way to protect himself was to keep his mouth shut and work hard. He stays alone in the mountains with only his mule for company.

When Finn’s long-ago sweetheart dies and leaves her only son in Finn’s custody, he realizes his mountain life is no place for a child. He needs a wife. After an accident, he finds himself being forced to marry the beautiful Jenny. He’s been shackled to a family that didn’t want him once before. What if it happens all over again?

The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y’Barbo

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1889 – England

Two Series of Murders Seem Mysteriously Connected…

Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of London, women were dying in their beds as The Midnight Assassin terrorized the citizens of Austin, Texas. Now, with suspicion falling on Her Majesty’s family and Scotland Yard at a loss as to who the Ripper might be, Queen Victoria summons her great-granddaughter, Alice Anne von Wettin, a former Pinkerton agent who worked the unsolved Austin case, and orders her to discreetly form a team to look into the London matter.

The prospect of a second chance to work with Annie just might entice Isaiah Joplin out of his comfortable life as an Austin lawyer. If his theories are right, they’ll find the The Midnight Assassin and, by default, the Ripper. If they’re wrong, he and Annie are in a bigger mess than the one the feisty female left behind when she departed Austin under cover of darkness three years ago.

Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From Texas to London, the story navigates the fine line between truth and fiction as Annie and Isaiah ultimately find the hunters have become the hunted. 

A Bride’s Journey to the Colorado Territory by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

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1867 – Colorado Territory

She’s running from grief. He’s running from war memories. Can they find love on this dangerous journey west? 

Cornelia’s parents send her to America hoping to heal her heart. Accompanied by her protective brother, they’ll travel by covered wagon to the Colorado Territory to search for gold. When Cornelia meets a man who seems as troubled as the friend she lost, it seems she might be given a second chance to save someone before it’s too late.

Jake, once a prisoner of the Union Army, leaves Tennessee in disgrace. He wants nothing more than to find enough gold to start a new life. The last thing he wants is to fall in love.

Can the feisty Cornelia make him leave his past behind?

As the wagon train brings them together, will they look beyond past promises and old pain and discover treasure worth more than gold?

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

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1814 – England

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

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