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Author Interview and Giveaway – Where Dandelions Bloom – Tara Johnson

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Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? And to know it’s based on a real person is always cool. I’m so happy to have Tara on the Index!

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Where Dandelions Bloom

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

Tara’s Website

pic_FULL_Johnson_Tara

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Questions about Tara’s Story

What inspired your story?

Where Dandelions Bloom was inspired by real-life Civil War hero Sarah Emma Edmonds. I discovered this larger-than-life hero while doing research for another story and was immediately entranced with Emma’s courage. Not only did it take guts for her to run from her abusive father to find shelter in the chaos of war, but she was so remarkable as a soldier, her commanders took note and had her work with James Pinkerton as a spy. At one point, she was a woman playing the part of a man playing the part of a woman. Talk about courage!

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Writing Cassie’s mental and emotional break-down was extremely difficult. Soldiers endure so much both on and off the battlefield. Compound that trauma with the continual deception of being a spy, as well as the scars of running from an abusive father, and trying to write inside Cassie’s viewpoint was emotionally exhausting.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

God has a unique way of testing me on what I write. It makes me think twice before embarking on a new story! Where Dandelions Bloom was written at a time in my life when I was struggling with forgiving someone. God used Cassie and Gabe’s story to tenderly remind me that holding on to that anger and bitterness only keeps me strapped to the one who hurt me. Forgiving cuts the cords and removes the weight, allowing me to enjoy freedom and joy again.

God also taught me of the resilience of the dandelion…beauty that continues to bloom among the hard places. He showed me that sometimes He doesn’t remove us from our hard circumstances because He’s more concerned about shaping us into the image of His Son through those circumstances. That’s when something amazing blossoms.

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

Jonah Phifer. How could anyone not love such a fun-loving, precocious little bundle of trouble? He was the dandelion in this story…a beam of light during the shadows of war.

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Questions about Tara’s Reading

wingsofthemorning

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

When I was a young teen, my Mom had a collection of books by Janette Oke and Lori Wick. I would gobble up everything they wrote. While reading Lori Wick’s The Californians series and Wings of the Morning, I realized I could do nothing but read historicals for the rest of my life and be completely content.

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Who is your favorite Christian Historical heroine?

Hadassah from Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind. Her transformation from a trembling girl who questions her faith to a brave, heroic woman of God is inspiring and deeply touching.

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

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Stars of Alabama by Sean Dietrich

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1930s-40s – Alabama

When fifteen-year-old Marigold becomes pregnant amid the Great Depression, she is rejected by her family and forced to fend for herself. And when she loses her baby in the forest, her whole world turns upside down. She’s even more distraught upon discovering she has an inexplicable power that makes her both beautiful and terrifying—and something of a local legend.

Meanwhile, migrant workers Vern and Paul discover a violet-eyed baby and take it upon themselves to care for her. The men soon pair up with a widow and her two children, and the misfit family finds its way in fits and starts toward taking care of each other.

As survival brings one family together, a young boy finds himself with nary a friend to his name as the dust storms rage across Kansas. Fourteen-year-old Coot, a child preacher with a prodigy’s memory, is on the run with thousands of stolen dollars—and the only thing he’s sure of is that Mobile, Alabama, is his destination.

As the years pass and a world war looms, these stories intertwine in surprising ways, reminding us that when the dust clears, we can still see the stars.

Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia by Diana Wallis Taylor

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BC – Persia

One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.

She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.

Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.

Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.

Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

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1813 – England

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette

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1380 BC – Israel

Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband’s brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh’s head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.

Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother’s death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah’s father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.

As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

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1883 – Iowa

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people’s mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more–a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn’t expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny’s undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring–perhaps too much–for the one who wrote it.

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

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1860s – Virginia and Michigan

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

Thimbles and Threads

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Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love?

Bygones by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?
 
The Bridal Shop by Grace Hitchcock
Charleston, South Carolina, June 1886
Alice Turner, the owner of one of Charleston’s finest bridal shops, is determined never to be dependent on a man for anything after the disgrace of her father’s prison time. When her best friend requests Alice to be her maid of honor, she reluctantly sets aside her feelings on marriage and dons a stylish bridesmaid’s gown, never intending to catch the eye of the handsome groomsman. Will he be able to convince her to open her heart again and finish the quilt once intended for her father?
 
Mending Sarah’s Heart by Suzanne Norquist
Rockledge, Colorado, 1884
Sarah doesn’t need anyone, especially her dead husband’s partner. With four brothers to mentor her boys and income as a seamstress, she seeks a quiet life. If only the Emporium of Fashion would stop stealing her customers and the local hoodlums would leave her sons alone. When she rejects her husband’s share of the mine, his partner Jack seeks to serve her through other means. But will his efforts only push her further away?
 
Binding Up Wounds by Liz Tolsma
Regent, Wisconsin, 1865
Melissa Bainbridge is a quirky designer of rag dolls who raises raccoons and never really fit into the small farming town. When Lance Witherspoon arrives in town to thank her for the Sanitary Commission quilt she made that saved his life, she is shocked to learn Lance is a Confederate. Can she and Lance confront the town’s prejudices – along with their own?

The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1860 – Utah

The Wilderness Is a Great Place to Hide
Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Jackie can’t decide if Elijah is friend or foe. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed?

Boy in the Darkness by Anne Schroeder

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Past/Present – Oregon

A young indentured Chinese boy is injured and left behind by his Oregon-bound wagon train. Trapped in an underground pit, incapacitated and terrified, his pleading is mistaken for that of an evil spirit by the Indians who hear him. Gifts of food and water appear as if from nowhere. The wailing moans frighten some and intrigue others, including a young slave girl who thinks he is the wanagi spirit of her lost warrior.

His struggle to survive occupies his mind, body and spirit with surprising results. A hundred and fifty years later the echoes of his struggle remain when a Lakota Indian advisor finds signs of his passage in the limestone cave.

The Reluctant Brides Collection

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Take an adventurous ride along on the bumpy trail to love as six independent women of yesteryear are cautiously courted into matrimony by men they have both intrigued and hurt. Will troubles douse the sparks of love before anyone can become a bride?

An Unexpected Surprise by Rosey Dow
Angie McDonald has placed an ad for a mail-order bride—for her widowed brother-in-law and his motherless daughter. But when the beautiful Saundra arrives, Angie wonders if she’s made a mistake and woven a very tangled web. When will Angie learn to leave matters in the hand of God?

Ribbon of Gold by Cathy Marie Hake
Carter Steadman recently inherited ownership of the Steadman Mills. He is shamed when Isabel Shelly, one of his workers, boldly informs him of the inhuman working conditions at his mill. Carter is inexplicably drawn to this woman who has so little, yet gives so much. Her mere presence is forcing him to make a decision beyond his wildest imaginings.

Light Beckons the Dawn by Susannah Hayden
Percy Morgan has hidden her past and stifled her future with a gruff exterior and immersed herself in work at a remote lumber camp. Faced with friendships offered by the few women in camp and the attentions of the camp doctor, Percy must decide if she can take a risk and reopen the pain of the past so that healing can begin.

Reluctant Schoolmarm by Yvonne Lehman
When Christa Walsh steps off a train in the backwoods of  North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and reluctantly into the role of teacher, she finds the job more rewarding than she expected, winning the hearts of the children—and along the way, warming the heart of the man whose deception landed her the position.

School Bells and Wedding Bells by Colleen L. Reece
Freshly jilted and ready to take on the world, Meredith Rose Macrae enters an isolated Idaho hamlet with the force of a tornado. Neither she nor Last Chance will ever be the same. And Brit Farley, rugged head of the local school board, faces the challenge of exchanging the new teacher’s school bells for wedding bells.

Rose Kelly by Janet Spaeth
Rose believes a woman can do any job just as well as a man. But moving to Dakota Territory for six months to write articles on the homesteaders, she suddenly realizes that she may have taken on more then she can handle when trampling upon Eric Johansen private past.

Cowboy Groom by Linda Ford

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1884 – Montana

Stella’s fragmented childhood made her vow that her own children would know the security of putting down roots. With her husband dead, she can’t manage the farm on her own. Without help, she is in danger of losing her homestead…and her dream.

Bruce and his Aunt Mary were only supposed to be passing through Glory, Montana. Bruce owes everything to his aunt. She’s the only one who believed him when malicious rumors threatened. Her fragile health requires they stay in Glory, but without a livelihood, how can Bruce support them both?

A marriage in name only would be advantageous for both Bruce and Stella. Aunt Mary sees what they don’t and forecasts they will soon fall in love. Is it possible that living together, working together, and sharing their past in quiet evening hours will make it happen? Or will the lessons of their past keep them from seeing that they are perfect for each other?

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

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1909 – England/Canada

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

Fashioning the Future by Kay Moser

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1890s – Texas

Sarah Novak’s near-death experience in the mountains has forced her to acknowledge her love for Lee Logan. She’s determined to change the Riverford School Board’s ban on married women teachers.

Victoria Hodges is painting pictures depicting strong women breaking through traditional gender barriers. She’s determined to be one of the first women to have a showing in New York in the new century.

Christine Boyd has defied the restrictive traditions of widowhood and performed her first public concert in Colorado. She’s determined to open concert stages to women and to pave the way for her musically talented daughter.

All three women have gained new strength, new visions at the first Colorado Chautauqua, but now it’s time to go home. Will they have the courage, the strength to destroy restrictions on women in the upcoming new century?

The train awaits… Riverford, with all its stagnant traditions, is a mere twenty-four hours away. The time has come to test the determination of these women.

But forces they never dreamed of are already arrayed against them.

Can they make the new century accept the new woman?

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

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1933 – Wyoming

A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well.

Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

This Healing Journey by Misty Beller

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1880 – Montana

She’s never left her home in the mountain wilderness of the Canadian Rockies—until now. Little did she realize this journey would change her life in every way.

The mountain wilderness of her family’s home in the Canadian Rockies is all Hannah Grant has ever known. Now at the age of twenty-four, she’s on a journey to help her father to find the son he gave up for adoption three decades before. This is Hannah’s chance to discover the life she’s missed out on so far—and hopefully find a husband along the way. But she certainly doesn’t plan to fall for the first man she meets.

Years in the cavalry provided Nathaniel Peak with more than his share of violence and adventure. That life behind him, he wants nothing more than to settle down in the beautiful Montana mountains and raise his own stock—in peace. The last thing he expects is the savagely wounded child who shows up in his barn. Nor the woman he comes to rely on for the girl’s care.

Hannah can’t help but fall in love with the brave Indian child who so desperately needs her, but no matter what, she can’t let herself fall for the man whose past choices go against everything she believes in. As the situation grows worse, Hannah and Nathaniel are forced to make a heart-rending decision to save the girl’s life. Little do they imagine, the choice they make could spell disaster for them all.

She Walks in Love by MaryLu Tyndall

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Medieval – Fictional Country

Lady Cristiana D’Clere, the new protector of the Spear, is on the run from the steward of her estate, who has kept her drugged for years. All she ever wanted was to be safe, marry well, and raise a bevy of wee ones. Instead, she is far from home, chased by men intent on killing her and stealing the Spear of Christ for its incredible powers.

Sir Jarin the Just has never forgotten the woman who stirred his heart like no other. Determined to find and restore her to her proper place as Lady of Luxley Castle, he sets out on a journey fraught with more dangers than he ever could have foreseen. The biggest danger is to his heart, for he has vowed to remain unfettered and never surrender his freedom to a woman.

Though the Spear protects the couple along their journey, Cristiana must learn to trust the One whose blood stains the relic, while Jarin must learn to rely on powers far above his own knightly skills. For the dark magic that is chasing them may take all the powers of heaven to defeat.

Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier

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1889 – Kansas

Rand Stafford isn’t looking for true love. He’d ridden that trail until his fiancée left him with a shattered heart. What he needs now is a wife to help him care for his orphan nieces. Desperate, he sends an advertisement to a Baltimore newspaper and hopes for the best.

Fleeing her former employer who would use her to further his unlawful acts, a newspaper advertisement reads like the perfect refuge to Carly Blair. The idea of escaping the city, the intrigue, and the danger to hide herself on a cattle ranch in Kansas is her best shot for freedom.

But its sanctuary comes with a price–a husband. While marrying a man she doesn’t know or love means sacrificing her dreams, it’s better than being caught by the law.

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?

Refiner’s Fire by J. M. Hochstetler

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1770s – New Jersey, Other States, 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.

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

pic_FULL_Gohlke_Cathy

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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.

nooceantoowide

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.

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