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Author Interview and Giveaway – The Socialite – J’Nell Ciesielski

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Paris socialites, Nazi boyfriends, Resistance spies… The Socialite takes readers into a glamorous world of divided loyalties, danger, and love. J’Nell Ciesielski is here to tell us all about it and give us some insight into her own reading preferences as well. Welcome to the Index, J’Nell!

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The Socialite

 

Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.

As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?

J’Nell’s Website

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Questions about J’Nell’s Story

What inspired this story?

One day I was browsing something super important and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. The Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler?? Bam. An idea was born.

Which scene (give us the chapter) is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? Give us a reason to look forward to it.

I really loved working with the scenes set in Bavaria. For a writer it was such a challenge to put myself and my characters into the town Berchtesgaden where only Nazis were allowed to live. So much tension all around and between the characters, especially when they’re invited to have dinner with Hitler.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad?

Any time you study history there are going to be equal parts amazing stories and sad realizations. During WWII, ordinary people rose up to do incredibly heroic deeds, but so many innocents suffered at the hands of evil. Anyone deemed undesirable were packed off like animals to concentration camps where they were murdered or worked to death. The sheer inhumanity of it is beyond belief.

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Questions about J’Nell’s Reading

 

What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?

I adore Kristy Cambron and Kate Breslin. They write in similar eras with stories set around both world wars, spies, adventure, and romance, with a similar voice of storytelling as me.

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

I’m going old school, but Gilbert Morris was my first teacher when it came to writing, to storytelling really. He taught me what imagery can do and how it can make readers feel. He taught me the delicate dance of burgeoning romance between men and women in the middle of a ballroom surrounded by crowds of people yet only seeing each other. I learned about the importance of point of view, tension, black moments, and final payoffs. All important tools for writers.

J’Nell is giving away an e-book copy of The Socialite. International entrants welcome. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Rocky Mountain Redemption by Lisa J. Flickinger

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1898 – The Rocky Mountains

A Rocky Mountain logging camp may be just the place to find herself.

To escape the devastation caused by the breaking of her wedding engagement, Isabelle Franklin joins her aunt in the Rocky Mountains to feed a camp of lumberjacks cutting on the slopes of Cougar Ridge. If only she could out run the lingering nightmares.

Charles Bailey, camp foreman and Stony Creek’s itinerant pastor, develops a reputation to match his new nickname — Preach.  However, an inner battle ensues when the details of his rough history threaten to overcome the beliefs of his young faith.

Amid the hazards of camp life, the unlikely friendship growing between the two surprises Isabelle. She’s drawn to Preach’s brute strength and gentle nature as he leads the ragtag crew toiling for Pollitt’s Lumber. But when the ghosts from her past return to haunt her, the choices she will make change the course of her life forever—and that of the man she’s come to love.    

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

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1885 – India

It’s 1885, and all Nora Shipley wants, now that she’s graduating from Cornell University as valedictorian of the entomology program, is to follow in her late father’s footsteps by getting her master’s degree and taking over the scientific journal he started. The only way to uphold her father’s legacy is to win a scholarship, so she joins a research expedition in Kodaikanal, India, to prove herself in the field.

India isn’t what she expects, though, and neither is the rival classmate who accompanies her, Owen Epps. As her preconceptions of India–and of Owen–fall away, she finds both far more captivating than she expected. Forced by the expedition leader to stay at camp and illustrate exotic butterflies the men of the team find without her, Nora befriends Sita, a young Indian girl who has been dedicated to a goddess against her will.

In this spellbinding new land, Nora is soon faced with impossible choices–between saving Sita and saving her career, and between what she’s always thought she wanted and the man she’s come to love.

Tranquility Point by Pamela S. Meyers

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1916 – Wisconsin

Hannah Murphy is determined to make the summer of 1916, the best it can be before she heads off to law school in the fall. Like her mother and grandmother before her, she is inclined to “break the mold” when it comes to societal expectations of a young woman of means. Her mother was the first woman in town to wear bloomers, and Hannah becomes the first to ditch swim dresses in favor of a practical swimsuit that allows freedom to move through the water.

At the first gathering of the summer, she reacquaints with tall, handsome Ted Bauer, also an aspiring attorney. Ted, who is of German descent, had a huge crush on Hannah when he was in eighth grade, and she was in sixth. He’s no longer the gangly boy she remembers and is quite appealing. With Geneva Lake as their backdrop, their summer romance escalates, until the dark cloud of the Great War can no longer be ignored. Although the U.S. has not yet joined the fray, people of German descent are seen with mistrust, and Ted enlists with the British Army to take the heat of discrimination off his family. With the future on hold, Hannah bids her fiancé farewell as he goes to war. Only God knows if she will ever see him again or if they will ever be able to recapture what they had those few short summer months.

Unyielding Hope by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

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1800s – Canada

As a young girl, Lillian Walsh lost both her parents and a younger sister. Now in her twenties, after enduring the death of her adoptive mother, Lillian must find her place in the world. Just as her adoptive father is leaving for an extended trip to his native Wales, a lawyer appears at the door to inform Lillian that she has inherited a small estate from her birth parents–and that the sister she had long believed dead is likely alive.

When she discovers that her sister, Grace, is living in a city not far away, Lillian rushes to a reunion, fearful that the years of separation will make it hard to reconnect.

When the two sisters meet, Grace is not at all what Lillian expected to find. Though her circumstances have been difficult, Grace has big dreams. Can Lillian set aside her own plans to join her sister in an adventure that will surely change them both?

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano

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1886 – Chicago

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Claiming Canaan: Milcah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton

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1415 – Middle East

When the tribal elders make marriage a requirement for claiming her land, Milcah bat Zelophehad must find a betrothed straightaway. The only problem in finding a husband is that all her suitors were slain while conquering the land of Canaan. Men avoid her in order to stay alive.

After praying to God to send her a bold suitor, a man from her father’s clan plummets from a tree right on top of her. Is this God answering prayer, or a foolish antic by Eli, the war-scarred brother from one of her clan’s rival families.

Will settling in Canaan sort out Milcah’s troubles?

Moondrop Miracle by Jennifer Lamont Leo

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1928 – Illinois

Pampered socialite Connie Shepherd lives the kind of glossy life other women read about in the society pages. Engaged to a handsome financier, she spends her days and nights in a dizzying social round. When eccentric Aunt Pearl, an amateur chemist, offers her an unusual wedding present—the formula for a home-brewed skin tonic—Connie laughs it off. But when the Great Depression flings her privileged world into chaos and rocks her marriage to the core, will Aunt Pearl’s strange gift provide the key to survival for Connie and her baby?

By turns heartbreaking and hope-filled, Moondrop Miracle tells the story of an extraordinary and unforgettable woman whose determination to succeed changes her life forever.

Blaze’s Hope by Linda Ford

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1886 – Canada

Blaze Hooper has honored the promise he made to his dying mother to take care of his brothers. He’s the responsible one. But sometimes being the responsible one isn’t enough. When he sees Emma for the first time all grown up, it’s as if he’s struck by lightning. The wild, tagalong young girl he remembered is gone. In her place is a woman grown.

Emma came West to find peace after the death of her parents. As she begins to heal and rediscover herself, she realizes how much of her real self she has hidden to try to please others. No more.

Blaze can’t help but be attracted to Emma as she blooms into a confident, independent beauty. When Emma’s former fiance shows up and threatens her safety, Blaze is there to protect her. He just wasn’t expecting to find out that she’s now a wealthy woman—a woman far out of his reach.

Emma desires the things money can’t buy: a home and a family. She thought she might find them with Blaze, but his distance confuses her. Is there hope for their future?

When I Meet You by Olivia Newport

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1909 – Colorado

A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family Trees
 
A trunk abandoned at Denver’s Union Station more than a century ago leads Jillian and Nolan to untangle the mystery of its contents—including correspondence with the head of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Denver office. While Nolan digs into the legalities of the findings, Jillian searches for the descendants of a stolen identity who might not be who they think they are on Colorado ranch land. When Drew seems anxious to hear what Jillian has to say but his Great Aunt Min slams the subject closed—twice—Jillian is all the more determined to find out what happened to the woman who never claimed her luggage, why Min doesn’t want to talk about it, and what will happen for Drew if he gets the answers he seeks.

The Last Drop of Oil: Adaliah’s Story by Virginia Smith

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863 BC – Middle East

A DEVASTATING FIRE in Sidonia threatens the lives of Adaliah’s four-year-old son and her abusive husband. In a desperate effort, she faces the raging inferno to rescue her son from certain death. But her husband is left to the fate of the flames and does not survive.

Did she hesitate a moment too long? Could she have saved him if she’d truly wanted to?

Left to cope with the aftermath of the fire, the condemnation of her husband’s relatives, and her own guilt, Adaliah struggles to scrape out a living from the ashes of her former life. She is an outcast in the village, thanks to the vicious rumors spread by her stepdaughter. When she and her son face starvation, a prophet of Yahweh appears, asking for her last drop of oil.

The Blacksmith Brides by Various Authors

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Hearts Are Forged by the Flames of Gentle Love in 4 Historical Stories
 
Worth Fighting For (1774—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) by Pegg Thomas
Talk of war has surrounded Meg McCracken, including her father and four brothers. Alexander Ogilvie doesn’t care about the coming war; his plans are to head west. When Meg comes to his smithy, sparks fly off more than the forge. But can they build anything during unstable times?
 
Forging Forever (1798—Cornwall, England) by Amanda Barratt
When the actions of Elowyn Brody’s father force her into a marriage of convenience with blacksmith Josiah Hendrick, she consigns love to a bygone dream. But as Elowyn comes to know her new husband, her flame of hope begins to burn again. Until heartache threatens to sever the future forged between them.
 
A Tempered Heart (1861—Charlottesville, Virginia) By Angela K. Couch
Buried under a debt that is not his own, Thomas Flynn’s only focus is gaining his freedom. He has learned to keep his head low and not pay attention to the troubles of others, until a peculiar boy and his widowed mother show him how empty his life has become. After years of protecting her son from slights and neglect of the people closest them, Esther Mathews is not sure how to trust the local blacksmith with her child…or her heart.
 
A Malleable Heart (California—1870) by Jennifer Uhlarik
A hard-hearted blacksmith finds acceptance with the town laundress. But when his past comes to call, will he resist love’s softening or allow God to hammer his ruined life into something of worth?

Tomorrow’s Shining Dream by Naomi Rawlings

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1885 – Texas

She needs to learn how to flirt. He needs to forget she exists. Then she asks him for help finding a husband… What could possibly go wrong?

Charlotte Westin has always been more comfortable in a saddle than a ballroom. That wouldn’t be a problem, except her father owns the largest ranch in Texas—and he insists she marry a wealthy city-slicker worthy of a cattle baron’s daughter. There might be someone out there who’d love her for who she is instead of her money, but she’s been fooled by a sweet talker before, and her family is still suffering because of it.

With an old friend-turned-enemy returning to town and cattle rustlers running roughshod over the county, Sheriff Daniel Harding knows the last thing he should be thinking about is a woman… especially the one woman he’ll never be able to marry. Then Charlotte Westin asks for his help, and Daniel can’t refuse. Until he finds out exactly what she wants…

When Charlotte comes to Daniel with a plan to find herself a husband, Daniel is forced to face his feelings for her—as well as some past mistakes of his own. But as the rustlers grow more dangerous, Charlotte’s father takes drastic steps to engage her to a man she doesn’t love. And Charlotte and Daniel soon find themselves caught between the burdens from their pasts and others’ expectations. Will they let their past choices ruin their dreams? Or will Charlotte and Daniel embrace God’s forgiveness and forge a happy future for themselves?

Heartless by Tamara Leigh

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1066 – England

A battle. A crown. The conqueror. The conquered. Medieval England—forever changed by the Battle of Hastings. And the rise of the formidable Wulfriths.

A HEARTLESS NORMAN

Chevalier Maël D’Argent lost more than his striking looks when he aided the Duke of Normandy in taking the English throne from King Harold. As much by his own actions at the Battle of Hastings as those of the enemy, he lost his sire and his honor in breaking faith with his family. Believing himself unworthy of forgiveness, his ruined face the least due him, Maël now serves a ruthless man bent on subduing Saxons resistant to Norman rule. But when his mission to safeguard King William’s dignity leads to the rescue of a curiously familiar Saxon woman who causes the empty place inside him to strain its seams, he discovers he may not be as heartless as the one he serves—nor resistant to the wiles of one he ought to count an enemy.

A FALSE ABBESS

In the guise of Abbess Mary Sarah, the illegitimate Mercia has served the Saxon resistance for years in anticipation of learning who sired her. At last ordered to cast off the habit and veil, Mercia is told that revelation of her parentage hinges on acceptance of another role that could see her sacrificed by the noble family who refuses to acknowledge her. When she resists and is abducted by Saxon allies, her savior proves the scarred Norman warrior who spared her following the great battle. Once more, something sorrowfully empty in Sir Maël makes her long to fill his emptiness with what little she possesses, even if his captivity renders it impossible for him to forgive one as deceptive as she. Even if she never discovers who she is…

The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch

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1813 – England

He’s doing what he can to save the Prince Regent’s life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero–he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn’t think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn’t have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there’s something he can’t quite remember. It’s important, dangerous–and if he doesn’t recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone’s very life.

The Heiress’s Convenient Husband by Regina Scott

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1804 – England

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

The magistrate over a little Regency coastal village, James Howland, takes pride in protecting Grace-by-the-Sea from ne’er-do-wells, including his distant cousin, the Earl of Howland. So, when he discovers a young lady hiding in the family’s castle, his heart cannot decide which comes first—her rescue or his duty.

Outspoken Eva Faraday has been exiled to the castle for refusing to marry the man the earl picked for her. Her late father appointed the earl trustee over her considerable inheritance, which she cannot access until she turns twenty-five or marries. And if she marries, her husband controls the money. She’s not about to trust any Howland, but James seems ripe for rebellion. To thwart the earl’s power, the two agree to a marriage of convenience, only to discover there are others intent on using the earl’s castle for nefarious purposes. Eva and James must work together to solve the mystery and stop the earl once and for all so they can make a marriage that is far more than convenient.

Let the Ghosts Speak by Bryan Davis

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1860 – Paris

Let the ghosts speak—but will the sane heed their counsel?

In 19th century Paris, Justin Trotter, an immigrant from England, is making his way as a book translator while paying for his blind twin sister’s care. One evening, Marc Noël, Justin’s well-to-do friend and fellow thespian, invites him to a masquerade party at an abandoned schoolhouse. Justin hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know Marc’s lovely though sharp-tongued sister, Francine.

At the event, Justin meets four ghostly strangers—two adults and two children—who warn him that the party guests are in danger, and they must leave at once. True to their prediction, a murder takes place, and Justin is the prime suspect. He escapes and becomes a fugitive, hiding in the Paris catacombs.

Mystery and intrigue swirl as the ghost of Joan of Arc and other martyrs guide Justin on a lonely journey to prove his innocence and protect his sister from an abusive caretaker. Who really committed the crime? Marc? Francine? A ghost? And does seeing these ghosts mean he is going insane? Maybe he really is the murderer after all.

There is only one way to find out, to let the ghosts speak as they reveal the mysteries within Justin’s mind.

The Socialite by J’Nell Ciesielski

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1941 – France

Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.

As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Merchant’s Yield – Lorri Dudley

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Ready for a trip to the Caribbean Islands? Today, Lorri Dudley brings us an insider look into The Merchant’s Yield, book two in her Leeward Island series, and answers some questions about her own reading. Welcome to the Index, Lorri! 

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The Merchant’s Yield

 

It was a marriage of inconvenience, but life has a wicked sense of humor.

Charlotte Amelia Etheridge has cowered to her mother’s sharp tongue and endless demands for the last time. In a fleeting moment of rebellion, she recklessly asks a foreigner from the Leeward Islands for a dance. But her one courageous act lands her in a compromising position. Forced to wed a stranger, Lottie leaves the only home she’s ever known to reside on the isle of St. Kitts.

Nathaniel Winthrop’s troubles are mounting, and the rumors of him being cursed are spreading. Due to the dwindling sugar crop, he risks everything to start his own shipping company. The last thing he needs is a wife, especially one with a weak constitution. Yellow fever has already claimed the lives of his mother and siblings. He must guard his heart against falling in love with this gentle beauty, knowing island life will be a death sentence.

No longer under her mother’s scrutiny, the newfound freedom of the island rejuvenates Lottie’s spirit. If her days on this earth are limited, then it’s time she lives life to the full. Now it’s up to her to prove that even though Nathan was coerced into marrying her, she’s the one he can’t live without.

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Questions about Lorri’s Story

Did any of the characters in this book “surprise” you?

I can’t say too much without giving anything away, but the villains in The Merchant’s Yield didn’t start as the villains. I had plans for those characters to be the voice of wisdom and encouragement. I remember sitting at my computer, typing when the characters took on a life of their own. I stared at my screen and even said out loud, “I can’t believe they just did that.”

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you laugh?

Towards the end of the story, my heroine encounters the famous privateer Jean Lafitte. Most historians would consider Lafitte to have been a pirate, but it’s frequently documented that Jean Lafitte was offended by the term and preferred privateer or corsair. As soon as I read about Lafitte’s brash and quirky behavior and the common belief that he attended the naval academy in St. Kitts, I knew my hero needed to have an association with him. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read Governor Claiborne of Louisiana put out a $500 bounty for the capture of Jean Lafitte for illegal smuggling. Jean casually strolled down the main road, stopping to read each poster. The following day new proclamations replaced the old declaring a grander reward of $1,000 for the capture of Gov. Claiborne.

What do you hope readers learn from this story?

I hope readers will realize that God is bigger than our fears and any hurtful words meant to keep us from our purpose. Back a year ago, when the plot for The Merchant’s Yield was just beginning to form in my mind, I never would have imagined the entire world would be undergoing a pandemic, and fear would be running rampant. I hope people can be encouraged by how Lottie overcame her fear of sickness and death, and how she realized life is meant to be lived. Life shrinks or expands according to our courage. Fear keeps our world small, but God has bigger plans if we step out in faith.

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Questions about Lorri’s Reading

What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?

Lisa T. Bergren has written novels taking place in Nevis (the sister island of St. Kitts). Her Sugar Baron’s Daughters series takes place about 40 years earlier during the Georgian Era.

Who is your favorite Christian Historical heroine?

I love heroines who show fortitude. Liberty Caldwell from Freedom’s Ring, written by Heidi Chiavaroli, is caught in a time when the colonists are rising up against British rule. She must survive as a lone woman torn between the patriotic loyalties of her family once held and the kindness of a British soldier who holds her heart. The tough yet strong decisions she must make will sometimes break your heart, and other times have you cheering.

Lorri is giving away either a paperback or an e-book. International entries welcome! Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Devyn’s Dilemma by Susan G. Mathis

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1910 – New York

Longing for love, can she escape the shadows that follow her to Dark Island?

1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

A Life Renewed by Olivia Rae

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1554 – Germany

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason. But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived? 

Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree with his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes.

Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?

A Teacher’s Heart by Various Authors

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Some Lessons Only the Heart Can Teach

Four young women take schooling seriously. In 1864, Adeline teaches soldiers to read. In 1870, Deborah studies to enter college. In 1895, Adelaide competes for her dream academic job. In 1899, Helen fights for her students’ wellbeing. But will men with other teaching methods challenge their ideals and tutor them in romance? Couples come together to teach and learn, but working together has challenges that test their faith.
 
Lessons of the Heart by Terri J. Haynes
Washington, DC, 1864
After fleeing slavery, Sergeant Elim Smith must teach the First Colored Infantry’s newest soldiers to read. Schoolteacher Adeline Barris comes south searching for her still enslaved mother and brother. When she volunteers to assist Elim, can they learn the lessons of loss and love in the middle of a war? 
 
Courting the Doctor by Cecilia Dowdy
Pennsylvania, 1870
Deborah was in love with Timothy years ago, but he married her sister Eve instead. Now Deborah is a schoolteacher and widower Timothy is back as the town’s doctor. As he helps her to study for a college entrance exam, her feelings for him are rekindled. Will Timothy return her affections?  
 
Schooling Mr. Mason by Lynette Sowell
Massachusetts, 1895
Adelaide Parker thought she was a shoo-in the director of the prestigious Wickham’s Academy for Young Ladies. However, old Mrs. Wickham brings in her nephew, Stephen Mason, who’s new to teaching. She promises the position to the teacher whose team wins the academic challenge—a clever guise for her matchmaking. Who will win the coveted top spot?
 
Lessons of Love by Lynn A. Coleman
Eastern Tennessee, 1899
Helen Jones and Daniel Moore both teach by very different methods. But learning their own life lessons is a bit more difficult for both of them –and romance is a lesson neither is ready to take. Life keeps pushing them together. Will they surrender and be tutored in love?

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

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1861 – England

What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?
 
Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

A Wing and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

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1943 – Texas

She’s dead-set on giving everything to the war overseas …
Even if it means losing everything in a war of the heart.

A street orphan abused and abandoned by an alcoholic father at age five, Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor has never let a man stand in her way yet. So when a handsome flight officer thwarts her plans to become a WASP — Women Air Force Service Pilot — she’s determined to join the war effort anyway she can. Her chance comes when she “borrows” foreign correspondent credentials from the Boston Herald—where her father is the editor—to stow away on a medical ship to the front.

Lieutenant Alex Kincaid pegs Gabe O’Connor as trouble the moment she steps foot on Avenger Field as a WASP cadet. As the eldest brother of a boy whose jaw Gabe broke in grade school, Alex is familiar with her reputation as both a charismatic ringleader and a headstrong hooligan who’s challenged every male and nun from grade school to college. As her WASP flight instructor, Alex eventually expels Gabe when she pulls a dangerous stunt. But when he is an evacuation pilot in France eight months later, their lives intertwine once again, exposing them to a danger as perilous as the German tanks roaming the Reichswald Forest: a love that neither expects.

The Chisolm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

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1889 – Texas

Stubborn Hearts Clash on a Cattle Drive

Eliza Gentry’s pursuit of marriage to the son of her family’s sworn enemy has cost her greatly. Furious at his daughter’s choices, her father sends her off with the cattle drive heading toward Fort Worth and the Barnhart ranch, but under the watchful eye of Wyatt Creed, a Pinkerton man he has hired to see to her safety. With danger at every turn—not the least of which to his heart—can Wyatt Creed keep his focus with Eliza Gentry around? Is the Chisholm Trail a place for falling in love or a place to die at the hands of cattle thieves?

The Scottish Lass by Susan Page Davis and James S. Davis

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1854 – At Sea

Pirates capture a beloved crew member of the Vera B., but Alice Packard and her female sailors believe there is always hope.
In Java, Fiona Campbell is kidnapped and taken aboard a stolen ship. The mutineers beat Captain Stark and cast him ashore, but keep the ship’s first mate, Tommy Mercer. They force him to navigate to a distant island, where they hope to recover a treasure. Captain Stark seeks help from Captain Alice Packard and the female crew of the Vera B., not telling her the pirates’ captain told him to bring the ship of women to him. While her friends search for her, Fiona concentrates on staying alive. The pirates warn her that if she misbehaves, Tommy will bear the consequences. Can Alice and her intrepid sailors rescue them? And what about Stark and his two men—can they be trusted?

Daughter of Cana by Angela Hunt

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27 – Israel

Thomas and Tasmin, twin siblings hired to oversee a wedding feast in Cana, worry when the host runs out of wine . . . until a guest tells Tasmin to have the servants fill the pitchers by the gate with water from the cistern. Reluctantly, she obeys and is amazed when rainwater turns into the finest wine ever tasted in Cana.

When Thomas impulsively decides to follow the teacher from Nazareth, he and Tasmin argue–since the twins have been together since the womb, Tasmin can’t accept losing her brother to some magician-prophet. Aided by Jude, younger brother to Jesus of Nazareth, she decides to follow the Nazarene’s group and do whatever she must to mend the fractured relationship and bring her brother home.

Hope in the Mountain River by Misty M. Beller

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1830 – Montana Territory

This epic journey is not at all what she expected.

Joel Vargas can’t believe he’s lost his older brother in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains after surviving their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic. And he can’t shake the feeling that Adam—his only living relative—is in dire trouble. No matter what the cost, he and his band of friends won’t stop until Adam is found. He’s not sure if two Indian women they meet on the way will be a help or hindrance.

After the devastating loss of her daughter and husband to a sickness that swept through their Nez Perce camp, Elan is desperate to find an escape from her grief. As she and her friend journey through the mountains toward the great river, a band of white men is the last thing she expects to find, especially as winter blows in full force.

When the dangers increase, accomplishing Joel’s mission becomes the only hope for all their survival. If the elements don’t consume them, Elan has a feeling life will never be the same for any of them.

The Merchant’s Yield by Lorri Dudley

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1814 – St. Kitts/Leeward Islands

It was a marriage of inconvenience, but life has a wicked sense of humor.

Charlotte Amelia Etheridge has cowered to her mother’s sharp tongue and endless demands for the last time. In a fleeting moment of rebellion, she recklessly asks a foreigner from the Leeward Islands for a dance. But her one courageous act lands her in a compromising position. Forced to wed a stranger, Lottie leaves the only home she’s ever known to reside on the isle of St. Kitts.

Nathaniel Winthrop’s troubles are mounting, and the rumors of him being cursed are spreading. Due to the dwindling sugar crop, he risks everything to start his own shipping company. The last thing he needs is a wife, especially one with a weak constitution. Yellow fever has already claimed the lives of his mother and siblings. He must guard his heart against falling in love with this gentle beauty, knowing island life will be a death sentence.

No longer under her mother’s scrutiny, the newfound freedom of the island rejuvenates Lottie’s spirit. If her days on this earth are limited, then it’s time she lives life to the full. Now it’s up to her to prove that even though Nathan was coerced into marrying her, she’s the one he can’t live without.

For Love and Country by Candace Waters

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1941 – Hawaii

When Lottie Palmer runs away the day before her wedding to join the Navy WAVES program, she not only leaves behind a fiancé, but also the privileged lifestyle that she has known as the daughter of one of the most important manufacturers in Detroit’s auto industry. Spurred by a desire to contribute meaningfully to the war effort, Lottie pours all of her focus and determination into becoming the best airplane mechanic in the division, working harder than she’s ever worked before.

Her grit impresses her handsome instructor, Captain Luke Woodward. But when the war ramps up and she is assigned to Pearl Harbor she must fight her growing feelings for Luke and navigate her role as one of the only female mechanics among a group of men, all while finding out what it means to be your own hero.

Sorrento Girl by Dawn Klinge

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1938 – Washington

It’s 1938, and Ann Brooks has big dreams of her new life as a Seattle College coed. She’s left the old-fashioned ways of her small country town behind to pursue higher education and a teaching career.

But not everyone is ready for change.

Society still preaches that a woman’s place is in the home. Some refuse to see Ann as an equal deserving of an education — let alone a career — and Ann’s friends think school is simply a springboard to pursue a marriage of wealth and convenience.

When Ann meets Paul, an aspiring journalist with strong ideas of his own, she learns an unexpected lesson in courage and discovers what it really means to live her dreams.

Will Ann give up everything she thought she wanted for love? Or can she have it all?

Cash’s Promise by Linda Ford

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1886 – Canada

Mail-order bride? Try mail-order disaster. Theresa’s late husband was a liar and abuser. Now that he’s dead, she’s alone and very pregnant. The last thing she wants is another man in her life.

Cash Hooper has known his share of loss. After being rejected by a former sweetheart, he has no interest in risking his heart again. When searching for his missing horse, he discovers Theresa on her own and dangerously injured. He can’t leave, not when she needs so much help. He determines to stay long enough for her to recover, then he’ll take her to Willow Creek so she can start a new, independent life.

Theresa’s baby arrives early and Cash’s tenderness and kindness stir emotions she thought long dead. After what she’s been through, she knows how men can pretend to be one thing while hiding their true nature. She isn’t about to trust her fate to anyone but herself and God.

Cash starts to fall for Theresa and her little one. But past rejection haunts him. How can he be worthy of Theresa’s love and trust when his past tells him otherwise?

Can Cash and Theresa let go of the past to embrace the future?

Hope in Defiance by Heather Blanton

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1800s – Colorado

Hope Clark has fought hard to convince the town of Defiance that a woman doctor is good for what ails them. But when certain physical challenges present themselves, hard facts spur her own doubts, crushing her self-confidence. And if she can’t stay, if the city is really where she belongs, what about the people she has come to love, especially a certain cowboy?

Lane Chandler’s never been in love before and isn’t exactly sure what his heart is telling him about Hope. After all, she’s a doctor and he’s just a cowboy. Or so Dr. Edward Pratt happily keeps reminding him. 

Lane wonders if Hope could truly be happy practicing in a remote mining town. Pratt believes she would be more fulfilled serving in a Philadelphia hospital. With him.

In the end, nothing but true love will give Hope the freedom to choose her own path.

Author Interview and Giveaway – Secrets of My Heart – Tracie Peterson

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Tracie Peterson opens an exciting new series set in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her newest release, Secrets of My Heart. Get a peek into the story behind the story and Tracie’s own favorite reads in the interview below. Welcome to the Index, Tracie!

Secrets of My Heart

Nancy Pritchard finds herself a widow with a world of problems when her deceased husband’s schemes start to come to light. As she searches through the pieces of her loveless marriage, Nancy realizes there is a lot that she didn’t know about this man.

Seth Carpenter is a childhood friend of Nancy’s who has recently returned to Portland. He’s delighted to see her again, and as a lawyer, he is able to help her sort through the legal aspects of her husband’s death. But there’s more to him than meets the eye, and his job will take him into a darker side of Nancy’s life–a side she didn’t even know existed. As they search for the truth behind her husband’s death, their attraction to each other creates complications, and the threat to Nancy increases. Can Seth be honest with her about who he really is and why he’s come to Portland? And can Nancy bear another betrayal?

Tracie’s Website

Other books in this series:

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Questions about Tracie’s Story

What inspired this story?

I was at a museum in Oregon City and came across a lot of interesting information about the corruption and problems between the white settlers and native people. I learned that many racist laws – such as it being illegal for blacks to live in Oregon—weren’t completely wiped off the books until the 21st century. As I dug in I found so many fascinating tidbits of history that I knew there was a story I wanted to tell.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you squirm?

It’s hard to read and see how ugly people were in regard to folks with a different color of skin or culture than their own. The attitude of whites in this time period was that blacks and native peoples were too simple to be able to learn—too stupid to be able to function as equals—too bias to change their ways, when all of those things could be said of the whites pointing their fingers. The forced changes put upon the Native Americans that robbed them of their language, culture and heritage was shameful, and yet at the same time some people instigating those changes did have the Native American’s best interests at heart. It was definitely a difficult history.

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Questions about Tracie’s Reading

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

Bodie Thoene’s the Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles really opened my eyes to blending accurate historical detail and storytelling. I loved her sub-plotting and characters and I believe those two series really gave birth to my desire to write Christian historical series fiction.

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

The last historical I read was Kimberley Woodhouse’s Express Bride. I very much enjoyed the development of her characters and spiritual arc. Lately I’ve been reading a few contemporaries, namely the Sensible Shoes series by Sharon Garlough Brown.

What’s your favorite Christian Historical novella or short story?

Calvin Miller wrote a series of novellas and my favorite one was titled Snow.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Tracie’s upcoming giveaways by checking her Facebook Page.

Today, Tracie is giving away three hardcover copies of Secrets of My Heart (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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot

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1855 – Texas

Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.

At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?

Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.

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