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Mercy in a Red Cloak by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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1762 – Michigan

Famed colonial scout, Shadrach Clark, is sought out in the Straits of Mackinac, when he has gone missing. His dear friend, Mercy, whose circuit-rider father is also missing, joins in the search. Set during the time of Pontiac’s War, can love still blossom?

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Medallion – Cathy Gohlke

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If you like stories based on true stories, this one’s for you. A friend of mine read it and said, “This story completely undid me, then stitched me back together with hope.”

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The Medallion

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen―Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war―if any of them survive―is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Cathy’s Website

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Questions about Cathy’s Story

What inspired your story? 

The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania.  Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology. The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within Żegota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children.  Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war.  Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing.  I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine:  What became of those 400 to 500 missing children?  What became of one?

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book? 

Researching Poland and all that happened to its citizens—Jewish and Gentile alike—during Nazi and Russian occupation broke my heart.  Conditions and the atrocities perpetrated loomed horrific, creating impossible choices amid life and death situations. There were times I wondered if I could keep researching the details of that history, keep writing a story that grew out of it.  But I learned—or learning was reinforced—that I could do hard things, research hard things, write hard things.  We’re all made for hard things.  Sometimes what the Lord asks of us is not easy, but the journey and the outcome prove so very worthwhile.

Why did you choose the year your book is set? 

Germany’s September 1939 bombing of Warsaw, Poland shocked the city into the startling reality of blitzkrieg and occupation—and set the stage for all that would come in my story.

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Questions about Cathy’s Reading

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

Christy, by Catherine Marshall.  I’m writing a novel that leads up to America’s entry into WWII set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, not far from where I grew up and where my grandfather’s family lived.  Rereading Christy, even though it took place in the mountains and was set years before my novel, felt like coming home, back to the roots of my ancestors.  It connected me with people my older characters might have known in their childhood and helped me find my sense of place for the story I’m writing.  Besides, I simply love Christy. Catherine Marshall created characters that live in my memory as real people.

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done? And tell us a bit about what it taught you.

I’ve learned from many Christian historical novels, but especially from Christy.  Catherine Marshall brought extraordinary detail to her setting and to the personal and cultural challenges her characters faced.  She infused flesh and blood into multi-dimensional characters set in a unique time and place, then brought her heroine, a young and naïve girl, into a world she could barely comprehend but was determined to navigate and join. Through Christy, Catherine wove heartache, faith challenges, romance, and ultimate but realistic victory into one beautiful novel.  When I grow up I want to write like that.

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

I read Carrie Turansky’s No Ocean Too Wide for endorsement.  It’s a beautifully written book about the plight of British Home Children sent to Canada, with or without their parents’ permission.  Carrie’s treatment of the topic rang authentic, her characters sprang to life on the page and her historical settings were vibrant.  It’s truly a heart tugging book and so well done.

Cahty is giving away a hardback book (USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**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.**

 

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My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

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1942 – Germany

A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison

Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.

Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn’t always logical.

Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he’s unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.

With their deep love comes risk–and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.

Wherever You Go by Tracie Peterson

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1901 – Kansas

Mary Reichert is one of the best sharpshooters in the country, and in the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza her skills are on display in every performance. But unless the man responsible for her brother’s death is brought to justice, Mary’s fame and accomplishments seem hollow. She feels helpless in the face of the murderer’s money, power, and connections. The only bright spot in her days is the handsome journalist who keeps attending their shows.

Christopher Williams has been assigned to follow the Brookstone show on its 1901 tour of England and write a series of articles for his magazine. As he gets to know the cast he quickly finds himself irresistibly drawn to the show’s sharpshooter. But getting close to someone would threaten to bring his past to light. How could he ever win Mary’s heart if she knows the truth? Mary and Chris will both have to trust God if they are to heal from the wounds of the past and chart a new future together.

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

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1862 – Canada

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

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1939 – Poland

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen―Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war―if any of them survive―is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

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1747 – North Carolina

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

The Number of Love by Roseanna M White

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1917 – England

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

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1967 – Michigan

When Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.

A Reluctant Belle by Beth White

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1870 – Mississippi

Impoverished Southern belle Joelle Daughtry has a secret. By day she has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of the construction of a Negro school. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.

When childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry house renovation Schuyler Beaumont takes over his assassinated father’s candidacy for state office, Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect–and even love–if you’re already engaged to someone else?

The Crossing at Cypress Creek by Pam Hillman

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1792 – Mississippi

Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.

Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.

Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

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1896 – Texas

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

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1815 – England

Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, love is finally within reach. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentleman bachelors in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.
 
Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But to him she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.
 
Abby pleads with him to escort her on the rest of her journey. He refuses until she offers him the thing he desperately needs to achieve his goal: money. Delivering her safely will earn him more than enough to settle into a quiet life.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma

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1932 – Tennessee

Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives.
 
How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?

Refiner’s Fire by J. M. Hochstetler

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1778 – New Jersey/France

With Americas’ fierce fight for independence hanging in the balance, Elizabeth Howard and Jonathan Carleton are driven thousands of miles and a vast ocean apart. While the Continental Army endures a desperate winter at Valley Forge, French Admiral le comte de Caledonne secretly sweeps Elizabeth away to France out of reach of British assassins. Meanwhile General Jonathan Carleton, the Shawnee war chief White Eagle, returns to his people as General George Washington’s emissary, doubting that he will ever return to the white world. But as the war between America and Britain shifts into the fragile republic’s heartland at Monmouth Court House, sinister schemes draw Jonathan and Elizabeth into their own separate maelstroms. Will the Refiner’s Fire tear them from each other’s arms forever?

From the flames of war exploding across land and sea to the dangerous intrigues of the French court and the Shawnee’s bitter resistance to the Long Knives, Refiner’s Fire continues the breathtaking saga of America’s founding in a gripping story of heartbreak, redemption, and the unyielding constancy of love.

Cowboy Father by Linda Ford

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1884 – Montana

Adele is the eldest Kinsley daughter. She’s always been the responsible one. Even when her marriage fell apart and she found out her husband was a thief. When her husband is killed in the midst of a robbery, she flees to Glory, Montana with her year old son, hoping to escape her past and her dead husband’s partner. She never expected to meet Ethan, a single father to two orphaned children.

Ethan’s boss lost a considerable amount of money in the last heist and has offered Ethan a generous reward if he recovers it. He suspects Adele and needs to get close to her to discover what she did with the money. But the closer he gets, the more he falls for the lovely widow.

After being burned once, can Adele open her heart to love again? Will Ethan discover the secrets of Adele’s past? Or will his mission to find the missing money come between them?

In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger

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 10s-30s – Israel

Growing up, Hannah knows her brother Yeshua is odd. Yet she can’t understand why adults lavish such attention on him. She never would imagine her mother’s explanation of ancient prophecies and angelic visitations. Yeshua, the Anointed One of Israel? Hannah scoffs at the idea while watching her brother for signs of greatness. When tragedy devastates the family and Yeshua does nothing more than pray, Hannah’s heart shatters. She rejects Yeshua’s advice to trust him and, driven by fear, takes radical steps to secure her future happiness. Years pass and Hannah finds herself shamed by barrenness in a loveless marriage. And once more, it’s Yeshua’s name on everyone’s lips. Only now, his rebellious actions threaten not only her tenuous standing with her in-laws, but possibly her life. Determined to stop his dangerous exploits, Hannah travels to Capernaum to confront Yeshua. What she discovers there both amazes and frightens her. When Yeshua again asks for her trust, Hannah must make a decision. Should she jeopardize all she has left in the hope that Yeshua will reign? But how can a carpenter triumph where princes and armies have failed before? Can she risk believing Yeshua is who he says he is?

Cameo Courtships Collection

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A Family Heirloom Inspires Romance

In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. 
 
PINNED ABOVE HER HEART by Susanne Dietze
1851 – Pittsburgh, PA
After receiving the Victoria Cameo, aspiring journalist Clara Newton works to expose a smuggler, but reporter Byron Breaux must break the story first or lose his job. Working together is out of the question until they learn secrets that threaten Clara’s father. . .and her heart.
 
TAMING PETRA by Jennifer Uhlarik
1875 – Colorado Territory
Trouser-wearing frontierswoman Petra Jayne Hollingsworth has no intention of donning the heirloom cameo, but when a crooked brothel owner steals the treasure, securing its return becomes Petra’s highest priority. Assisting her, Reverend Dustin Owens is appalled to learn the price of its ransom is that Petra must work in the brothel. He may save the woman’s virtue, but can he help Petra regain her cameo and rediscover her faith?
 
MEET ME AT THE FAIR by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Spring 1885 – New Orleans during the 1884 World’s Fair and Cotton Exposition
It takes a Pinkerton to find a Pinkerton, and Ethan Butler has been charged with finding Elizabeth Newton. Just when he locates her, the cameo he is to deliver is stolen. It appears his previous case has discovered his presence in New Orleans, but he can’t return to that case until the cameo is found. With Miss Newton as a reluctant partner in crime fighting, can Ethan Butler locate the cameo and its thieves without losing his heart?
 
LENDING MY HEART by Debra E. Marvin
1895 – Pittsburgh, PA
The arrival of a handsome Scottish administrator ruins Miss Bertie Hart’s dream to oversee the new Carnegie Library children’s department. Yet bristly Mr. Russell Smart’s working-class determination and his love of books make him the perfect partner to better the lives of Pittsburgh’s poor. As for a partner in life? Not even her Victoria Cameo can narrow the social chasm he and her father keep between them.

Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan

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1940 – Massachusetts

Determined to make a life for herself, Reggie Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop into a business partnership with the handsome, yet shy, Hamish DeLuca.

Their latest case arrives when Errol Parker, the leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, hires Hamish and Reggie to investigate what the Boston police shove off as a series of harmless pranks. Errol believes these are hate crimes linked to the outbreak of war in Europe, and he’s afraid for his life. Hamish and Reggie quickly find themselves in the midst of an escalating series of crimes.

When Hamish has his carefully constructed life disrupted by a figure from his past, he is driven to a decision that may sever him from Reggie forever . . . even more than her engagement to wealthy architect Vaughan Vanderlaan.

True Freedom by Carol Ashby

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118 – Rome

The chains we cannot see can be the hardest ones to break.

When Aulus runs up a gambling debt to his father’s political enemy, he’s desperate to pay it off before his father returns to Rome. His best friend Marcus suggests they fake the kidnapping of Aulus’s sister Julia and use the ransom money. But when the man they hired kidnaps her for real, Aulus is catapulted into a desperate search to find her.

Torn from his childhood home by Rome’s conquering armies and sold as a farm slave to labor until he dies, Dacius’s faith gives him strength to bear what he must and serve without complaining. After a deadly accident makes him one of Julia’s litter bearers, he overhears Marcus advising her brother to kidnap her. When Dacius almost dies thwarting the kidnapping, a Christian couple take them in to keep her brother from finding them before her father returns.

But pretending to be free again makes returning to slavery more than Dacius can bear, while acting like a common woman opens Julia’s eyes to dreams and destinies she never knew existed. With her brother closing in and her father almost home, can she find a way around Roman law and custom to free them both for the future they long for?

Shelter Bay by Pamela Meyers

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1893 – Wisconsin

Adventure girl, Maureen Quinn, isn’t yet sure of her life’s direction, but she knows she isn’t cut out to be a bookkeeper for the town’s undertaker. Wearing her stylish new bloomers, she suffers a bicycle accident in the middle of downtown and her long-time crush and fellow childhood mischief maker, Preston Stevens, comes to her rescue. He’s back in the area and he couldn’t have shown up at a better time. It isn’t long before they become inseparable and she’s sure he’s the man God has for her.

Unlike his older brothers who are shackled to desk jobs at their father’s financial services company, Preston yearns to see the world. What better person to do that with than Maureen? But after being expelled from Yale, because of a prank that brought embarrassment to the family, his dad has issued an ultimatum: Enlist in the military or join his brothers in the family business. He signs up with the U.S. Life Saving Service, a division of the Coast Guard, reasoning the time spent on the shores of Lake Michigan, keeping people safe, is far better than being stuck in a landlocked encampment. After his two-year stint, he intends to live out his dream of world travel before settling in Lake Geneva. But it isn’t long before life-altering events occur affecting both his and Maureen’s lives forever.

Love’s Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett

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1943 – Germany

Midwife Pia Hertz and her mother Sabine have been delivering babies long before the Nazis came to power. Now, the Third Reich has implemented mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution. Is Pia’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man?

Despite the agony of the injury at the Battle of Drøbak Sound that took his arm, Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army. He returns to Berlin and discovers Jews are being deported by the thousands. When he realizes the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence.

Inspired by the biblical story of Shiprah and Puah, the midwives who saved Jewish babies during Pharaoh’s reign, Love’s Belief shows how one person’s actions can change the world.

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid

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1198 – England

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways.
Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives.

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Heart of a King – Jill Eileen Smith

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Have you ever been curious about the palace life of the Old Testament kings? This looks like a wonderful way to immerse yourself in that life without actually having to live it! 🙂 I hope you enjoy Jill’s interview!

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The Heart of a King

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could–and did–have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jill’s Website

Smith_JillEileen_MAIN

Other Books in this Series:

thedesertprincess theshepherdessdaughterofthenile queenofsheba

 

 

 

 

 

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Questions about Jill’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This book was meant to be a compilation for four e-books that I wrote on four women in King Solomon’s life. Exploring their stories was fun as I wrote them in first person and could better put myself into their worlds.

When I went to compile the stories, however, I didn’t want to give readers the same books under different packaging with a little more of Solomon added in. So I turned the book from first to third person, interwove the four e-books and added much more from Solomon’s point of view. I had to cut some of the e-books, so if people want the full picture, they will still want to read those, but what I enjoyed most was pondering Solomon through the book of Ecclesiastes. I used much of the Song of Solomon in the e-books and in this book, but I added section breaks where “The Teacher” speaks from his older and wiser perspective. I love the book of Ecclesiastes, so it was poignant to imagine how he might have felt at the end of his wild pursuits and frantic living. Wisdom taught him much, but wisdom could not keep him from sin. Only God’s grace can do that. In the end, I hope and believe that he learned that lesson.

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

That’s a tough question because each woman as well as Solomon were unique and I liked all of them. Siti (Pharaoh’s daughter) was probably one that was the most challenging because her faith remained in her god Bastet. She questioned Solomon’s loyalty to Yahweh and accused him of breaking his God’s laws. She reminded me of so many skeptics in the world today.

But I probably enjoyed Abishag (The Shepherdess) the most. In my imagination she came from humble roots and she accepted her role in life even when it went against her dreams. Her faith in Adonai kept her strong, and if she remained close to Solomon, she could have been a good influence on him.

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

The Queen of Sheba is mentioned in the folklore of Ethiopia and Arabia – both claim her as theirs and both have different stories to tell of her relationship with Solomon. She is given different names by both countries/kingdoms and since I didn’t want to use either one of their stories exclusively, I mixed them together and gave her a different name that also came up in my research. The true story is lost to history and known only to God, but Jesus mentions her (The Queen of the South), which authenticates her existence outside of the Old Testament alone.

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Questions about Jill’s Reading

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

I rarely reread a book except the Bible. However, I have reread Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes many, many times over my lifetime. The last time I read it was probably a few Christmases ago. And I reread it the year my dad died. He died in November and it was a great comfort to me that Christmas. (It is a love story of Joseph and Mary.)

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

I am in the middle of reading The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen right now. So far my favorite things about it are the multiple romantic threads woven throughout and the hint of mystery that I’ve yet to discover. I’m rooting for a certain character to marry her true love, but I haven’t reached the end yet to find out what happens.

awreathofsnow

What was the last Christian Historical Novel you binge read?

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs. I downloaded the sample at Christmas this past year and quickly bought the book to finish it. The story was compelling and I hated to see it end. Stories like that, which offer the reader hope, make a difference in a person’s heart, especially during the holidays, which can be difficult.

Jill is giving away a paperback book (International Entrants welcomed!). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**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.**

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A Love to Have and to Hold by Linda Ford

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1884 – Montana

Josie Kinsley was adopted when she was twelve. There are things in her past she doesn’t want anyone to know, things that drive her to seek security. She only wants to be a self-sufficient, independent young woman. She refuses the interest of the many cowboys who enter the home.

Walker Jones’s family was broken up when he was a kid. He has no use for secrets. He ends up at the Kinsley home when he is robbed and pistol whipped. He overhears Josie telling someone that if she ever married, it would not be a homeless, penniless cowboy. Which is exactly what he is. And the very reason a former love interest refused him.

Both Josie and Walker know the other person is not what they need. Walker senses Josie harbors a secret. And yet, as they spend time together, he is attracted to her strong spirit and her loyalty to her adopted family. Josie sees in him a man who is hard working, kind, and fun to be with. But he is a wanderer and she wants a permanent home.

Will the truth destroy their growing affection or will they learn that it is not the past that matters but what the future promises?

The British Brides Collection

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Romance from the Spectacular British Isles
Spanning over 500 years of history in the British Isles, nine inspiring romance stories take readers through English gardens, around London ballrooms, and within Scottish castles. Follow along as each of the brides-to-be encounter high drama and epic romance on the way to the altar. Will they survive with their faith intact?

Inspired by authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, these nine romances are penned by an exclusive selection of Christian fiction authors and will become a cherished favorite for fans of British history and literature.

Fayre Rose by Tamela Hancock Murray
Scotland 1358 – Fayre was brought to Kennerith Castle to tend the duke’s rose garden in payment for her father’s taxes. When the Laird Kenneth falls ill with plague, only Fayre is brave enough to play nursemaid.

Woman of Valor by Jill Stengl
England 1631 – Helen has come to Marston Hall to care for three neglected children and a household in disarray. Both the gardener and the lord of the manor admire her inner beauty.

Fresh Highland Air by Jill Stengl
Scotland 1748 – When Hermione’s stepfather takes over Kennerith Castle, he retains Allan for Hermione’s bodyguard. She is determined to think the worst of Allan, until someone is out to get rid of him and the true heir of the castle comes into question.

A Duplicitous Façade by Tamela Hancock Murray
England 1812 – In obedience to her father, Melodia agrees to marry a man she has never met. But when a masquerade ball is held to celebrate the marriage, Melodia suspects she has more enemies than friends.

Love’s Unmasking by Bonnie Blythe
England 1814 – Matthew is certain a godly girl does not exist among London’s money-grubbing debutantes. He imitates a fop at society functions to repel them, but his own ruse traps him in an engagement.

English Tea and Bagpipes by Pamela Griffin
Scotland 1822 – When Fiona’s sister and Alex’s brother run off to marry, the families oppose the match between a poor highlander and an English nobleman. Fiona impulsively goes after her sister, and Alex follows.

A Treasure Worth Keeping by Kelly Eileen Hake
England 1832 – Paige is thrilled to hear her father has been hired to restore one of the country’s largest collections of antique volumes—until she learns the mysterious earl is hosting a house party during their stay.

Apple of His Eye by Gail Gaymer Martin
England 1851 – Sarah is curious and independent for a young woman of her day, which leads her to fall in love with a man who would never be invited into the family manor as a guest.

Moonlight Masquerade by Pamela Griffin
England 1865 – Letitia, a unassuming lady’s companion to her cousin, quickly finds herself the possessor of incriminating information and the focus of attention from two mysterious men.

Mail-Order Mishaps

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Dreams of Finding Mr. Right Go Wrong in the Old West
 
The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis
Wyoming, 1883
Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne to learn that man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. Should she get on the next eastbound train, or has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair’s life?
 
Romancing the Rancher by Linda Ford
Montana, 1886
Amelia expects a safe home for herself and her niece as mail-order bride to Zach Taggerty. Only Zach has never heard of her, and the last thing he needs is more complications in his life.
 
The Marriage Sham by Vickie McDonough
Texas, 1888
Mail-order bride Zola Bryant is devastated. Her newlywed husband is dead. But even worse, they were never truly married because the man who wed them was an outlaw not a preacher. What will she do now that her life and reputation are in tatters?
 
The Galway Girl by Erica Vetsch
Kansas, 1875
A mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible?

The Daughter’s Predicament by Mary Davis

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1893 – Washington

Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle–always the unfavored daughter–becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation.

A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision. A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer. Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?

Upon My Heart Forever by Amber Lynn Perry

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Post Revolution – New York/Traveling

Can three days be enough to mend two broken hearts?

When Clara Moore learns of her brother’s unthinkable scheme—to take her to England and force her into a hasty marriage—she knows she must escape New York. But when she finds out who has accepted the job of taking her to Boston, she almost rethinks her own hurried plan. For the handsome man who comes to her aid is none other than her former love, Ethan Barrik. He left her heart in shambles six years before. Can she trust him a second time?

Ethan Barrik is no stranger to struggle. But tracking the enemy, and war-time spying are nothing compared to the pain of regret. Ready at last to leave his past behind, he accepts one final job for a friend, only to discover the person he’s really helping is the woman he still loves. Despite her ire, he knows he must make every attempt to make it right—and hope she will find a way to forgive him and give their love another chance.

 

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

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975 BC – Israel

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could–and did–have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

The Refuge by Ann Gabhart

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1849 – Kentucky

When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique–and lonely–position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

Fearless by Tamara Leigh

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1066 – England

A CAPTIVE NORMAN

Sir Guarin D’Argent knew the danger of allowing a woman to turn him from his purpose, and yet he answered her cry across a bloody battlefield. Now he finds himself the lady’s captive among vengeful Saxons, weeks becoming months while his liege, Duke William of Normandy, subdues his new English subjects. Biding his time, Guarin plots an escape dependent on captivating his captor, a formidable quest with one more a warrior than a lady. But when his compassion is roused by the suffering of her people under Norman rule, the question of escape is jeopardized by the answer to who, exactly, is captivated—and in a conquered country, what hope there is for enemies beyond a kiss.

A DEFIANT SAXON

Her husband and young son slain by invaders, Lady Hawisa lives only for protecting her people. And revenge. While outwardly bending the knee to the usurper, she amasses rebels to send the conquerors back across the sea, along with the silver-haired warrior she never intended to take captive. Now that Guarin D’Argent has cause to wreak vengeance of his own and knows his captor is a Wulfrith, she dare not release him—just as she dare not succumb to his efforts to turn her from her purpose. But all changes when she is betrayed by one of her own. Will the struggle between the English resistance and the Normans find the two on opposite sides of the battlefield? Or might the Lord have other plans for them?

Beneath an Italian Sky by Stacie Henry

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1908 – Italy

American heiress Clare Herschel made what she hoped was a love match when she married the handsome, witty Emmett Markham, the Earl of Linwood. A little over a year into her marriage, though, Clare finds herself wintering in Sicily—alone. She is sure the mild climate is the answer to avoiding another miscarriage and Emmett’s apparent indifference, so she’s determined to remain in Italy as long as possible. The last person she expects to show up at the villa is her husband, especially when Emmett confesses he’s there to convince her to return to England.

As the only surviving son of a marquess, Emmett has done everything his father has asked of him—even agreeing to run for a seat in the House of Commons. However, this latest task comes with a nearly impossible caveat. He must convince his wife Clare to come back to England with him in order for them to appear to be a happy couple for his political campaigning. Emmett isn’t confident Clare will agree to the plan, though, not when she seems to want nothing to do with him or the life they’d begun building before she abruptly left him for Italy.

When a massive earthquake strikes Messina, Sicily, claiming the lives of thousands, Clare and Emmett must set aside their mutual misgivings about their marriage in order to survive and lend a helping hand to others. But in the wake of the destruction, they begin to realize they’ve been given a chance to decide if their love is stronger than the upheavals of the past.

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah Ladd

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1811- England

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request for her to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she’s tried desperately to forget.

Jac Twethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced, he battles both grief at his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

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