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Author Interview and Giveaway – Come Back to Me – Jody Hedlund

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Veteran medieval writer Jody Hedlund brings us a fascinating time travel novel with a marriage of convenience twist. Folks, if you’re looking for time travel fiction blended with logic and realism, here’s the novel for you. Welcome back to the Index, Jody!

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Come Back to Me

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Jody’s Website

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Questions about Jody’s Story

What inspired this story?

I’ve always loved reading time-crossing books, but in recent years realized how few there are to choose from. After devouring the few books I could find, I decided maybe I just needed to write one for myself. I happened to have a free block of time in my schedule between projects, and so I gave myself a fun treat and wrote one.

In developing the plot, I wanted to find a concept that gave off the feeling that time traveling was really possible. Since people in comas are sometimes known to have very realistic “dreams”, I decided that would be the “vehicle” for the time-crossing. After discovering that “visions” were also connected to holy water, I merged the concepts of coma and holy water. Hopefully readers will be left with the feeling that time crossing is possible!

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Time travel is a large part of this story. Since time travel is largely science fiction, most of my ideas came straight from my own imagination! However, in trying to make the concepts believable, I did draw on many of the current physics concepts surrounding breaching time and space. In addition to general research on the popular theories, I read The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli as well as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics also by Rovelli. While I don’t delve too heavily into the scientific terminology and theories, I learned enough to flavor the series with realistic possibilities.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?  

First of all, I enjoy reading other fiction set in that era, which helps to give me a flavor of the Middle Ages. One that I particularly enjoyed is Queen Hereafter, regarding Queen Margaret of Scotland.

I also have many medieval research books that I’ve collected over the years (since I also write Young Adult medieval fairy tales) including: The Middle Ages Unlocked, Daily Life in the Middle Ages, Knight: The Warrior and World of Chivalry, and many more.

Finally, I gleaned advice from a medieval expert living in England, who read through my manuscript and helped to correct my inaccuracies as well as gave me research tips and links.

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Questions about Jody’s Reading

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

I enjoyed Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh, which combines time travel and the Middle Ages like Come Back to Me does.

What Christian Historical Novel are you most excited to read that hasn’t yet come out?

Sarah Sundin’s When Twilight Breaks and Kristy Cambron’s The Paris Dressmaker both sound good and have gorgeous covers (they’re both already released).

Jody is giving away a paperback, US only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

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1381 – England

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

On Sugar Hill by Ane Mulligan

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1929 – Georgia

To make ends meet, the Fitzgerald women must open their home as a boardinghouse, but will the secrets they uncover prove their undoing?

The day Cora Fitzgerald turned sixteen, she fled Sugar Hill for the bright lights of New York City, leaving behind her senator father’s abuse. But just as her career takes off, she’s summoned home.

The stock market has crashed. The senator is dead. Her mother is delusional, and her mute Aunt Clara pens novels that expose the town’s secrets. Then there’s Boone Robertson, who never knew she was alive back in high school but now manages to be around whenever she needs help.

And the Fitzgerald women need a lot of help, indeed. They are forced to find a way to make ends meet, whether it’s mining for gold or doing what Southern women have done for generations in times of need—turning their home into a boardinghouse.

But will the people of Cora’s past keep her from returning to a brilliant future?

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

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1939 – France

Through letters with a famous author, one French librarian tells her love story and describes the brutal Nazi occupation of her small coastal village.
 
Saint-Malo, France: August 1939. Jocelyn and Antoine are childhood sweethearts, but just after they marry, Antoine is called up to fight against Germany. As the war rages, Jocelyn focuses on comforting and encouraging the local population by recommending books from her beloved library in Saint-Malo. She herself finds hope in her letters to a famous author.
 
After the French capitulation, the Nazis occupy the town and turn it into a fortress to control the north of French Brittany. Residents try passive resistance, but the German commander ruthlessly purges part of the city’s libraries to destroy any potentially subversive writings. At great risk to herself, Jocelyn manages to hide some of the books while waiting to receive news from Antoine, who has been taken to a German prison camp.
 
What unfolds in her letters is Jocelyn’s description of her mission: to protect the people of Saint-Malo and the books they hold so dear. With prose both sweeping and romantic, Mario Escobar brings to life the occupied city and re-creates the history of those who sacrificed all to care for the people they loved.

Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1933 – California

Repairs on the Golden Gate Bridge Uncover a Century-Old Murder

Underwater archaeologist Kayla Richardson is called to the Golden Gate Bridge where repairs to one of the towers uncovers two human remains from the late 1800s and the 1930s. The head of the bridge restoration is Steven Michaels, who dives with Kayla, and a friendship develops between them. But as the investigation heats up and gold is found that dates back to the gold rush, more complications come into play that threaten them both. Could clues leading to a Gold Rush era mystery that was first discovered during the building of the bridge still ignite an obsession worth killing for?

Sustaining Faith by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

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1900s – Canada

So much has been accomplished. Lillian Walsh has stepped out courageously beyond what she’d ever dreamed of being able to achieve. She and her newly rediscovered sister, Grace, have settled three children from England into new Canadian homes and are prepared to place two more just after the New Year, when it happens–another painful disruption.

A white lie the sisters used to protect some orphans has resulted in an official complaint and a letter revoking the sisters’ permission to manage their little children’s home. And unexpectedly, Walter, the young man who has won Lillian’s heart, departs for a job in the oil industry without leaving any hope for their future, making her confused and lonely.

With more children on their way from England needing caring homes, Lillian and Grace must use every ounce of gumption to keep their mission alive. But when startling information about the past surfaces and a new arrival comes via suspicious circumstances, they’ll have to decide what is worth fighting for and what is better left in God’s hands.

Castle of Refuge by Melanie Dickerson

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1378 – England

In this Ugly Duckling retelling, New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson brilliantly crafts a high-stakes, encouraging tale about the power of love.

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her face and her prospects. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. When her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny.

However, life outside her home is dangerous, and she soon finds herself attacked, sick, and in desperate need of help. She is taken in at Dericott Castle to be nursed back to health. While there, she decides to keep her identity a secret and work as a servant in the castle. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with the young and handsome Lord Dericott, who lost his arm several months earlier and bears scars of his own.

Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. All he knows is that he’s quickly becoming smitten with her. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, she and Edwin must make life-changing decisions about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.

A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham

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1898 – New York

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving–and perhaps find love along the way.

The Seeds of Change by Lauraine Snelling

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1865 – Ohio/Traveling

Larkspur Nielsen is ready for a change. Her parents have passed on, and her older brother is successfully running the family business. She bristles at the small-mindedness that permeates life in her small Ohio community, and she sees little chance of a satisfying future there. She has a little money saved, and after turning the tables on a crooked gambler who had fleeced several locals, including her younger brother, she can stake a new start for herself and her three sisters.

As the gambler’s threats of revenge echo in her ears, she and her sisters head to Independence, Missouri, to join a wagon train bound for Oregon. Knowing that four women traveling together will draw unwanted attention, Larkspur dons a disguise, passing herself off as “Clark” Nielsen, accompanying his three sisters. But maintaining the ruse is more difficult than Larkspur imagined, as is protecting her headstrong, starry-eyed sisters from difficult circumstances and eligible young men. Will reaching their goal prove too much for them?

The Captain’s Quest by Lorri Dudley

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1814 – British West Indies

Innocent mistakes can have dire consequences. 

Pricilla Middleton only attended the Lemoore house party to keep her friend out of trouble. Now, her only chance to keep from becoming a gossip column headline is to sneak aboard her brother’s ship and pretend she’d been visiting him instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects.

Captain Tobias Prescott, son of an infamous war hero, has been assigned on a critical mission to deploy warships in St. Kitts for battle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, his orders require him to assume command of a friend’s ship, and he must weigh anchor the instant the former captain is escorted down the gangplank. When they reach open waters, the last thing he expects is to find a woman hiding in the captain’s cabin, yet his mission is too urgent to return her to England.

The Middleton name has always brought Tobias trouble, and Pricilla is no exception. As the waters clear and the temperature warms, the danger escalates too. Yet Tobias discovers the intuitive and strong woman who struggles to hide her anxiety is nothing like her disloyal brother. He may lose the opportunity to help his country, but perhaps he can still save the woman who’s rescued his heart.

Along a Storied Trail by Ann Gabhart

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1937 – Kentucky

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it–or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she’s nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it’s easier to see what’s best for others than to see what’s best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

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1885 – Michigan

1885. 
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

The Misfit Bride by Peggy Trotter

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1853 – Indiana

Zero. That’s how many suitors Cora “Too Tall” Taggart’s entertained in her nineteen years. That is, until her father corrals a man nearly twice her age needing a mother for his children. However, Cora’s heart aches to find true love with a man who would embrace all of her misfit qualities. When Trigg Gentry discovers Cora in a back alley, using his horse as her own personal writing desk, sparks fly between them. While he searches for his runaway sister, Trigg crosses paths once again with Cora on a steamer bound for St. Louis, and neither Trigg nor Cora can deny their blossoming relationship. But Trigg’s unexpected exit from Cora’s debutante cotillion comes under suspicion. The guests’ jewelry is missing, and he’s linked to a murder case. Cora fears these accusations will make it impossible to avoid her father’s arranged marriage. And to make matters worse, her heart belongs to the man now pegged as a criminal. How can Cora convince her father that Trigg isn’t involved in either crime when all the proof points straight at him?

The Heart’s Charge by Karen Witemeyer

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1894 – Texas

Members of Hanger’s Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they’d deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he’d nearly married a decade ago.

After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society’s mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes–ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.

However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?

Finding Home by Candee Fick

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1803 – England

A memorable first encounter brought them together, but then Susannah Stanley and Nicholas Pennington were torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. From the Lake District in Northern England to a Moroccan port along the African coast and the Napoleonic Wars in between, they struggle to hold onto hope they will someday be reunited.

After being supplanted by her stepmother’s schemes and the betrayal of a friend, they finally meet again in the most unlikely of places. Now the battle is on to reclaim their rightful inheritance.

Nicholas has saved hundreds of lives, but can he save their future and restore their home?

Straight for the Heart by Vickie McDonough

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1895 – North Dakota

Orphaned and destitute, Sarah and her two siblings hope to find a home with their uncle.

But when she learns he’s an outlaw, they flee, taking his bag of loot. The children are exhausted, so Sarah leaves them at a hidden campsite, and she takes the gold into the nearby town alone, hoping for a reward. Instead, she’s thrown in jail for being a bank robber. She worries about her younger siblings, and as the days pass, her only hope for release is to marry a man she doesn’t know.

Quinn McFarland comes to town to meet the mail-order bride his grandma sent for, unbeknownst to him. When she doesn’t show, he’s relieved, but he knows Grandma will probably order another bride. The sheriff suggests he marry the gal in his jail so he can drop the charges against her. Quinn balks, but she looks so sweet and innocent that he reconsiders. If he comes home with a bride, he’ll get his grandma off his back about marrying. But when Sarah surprises him with two youngsters, he regrets his decision. And what of the outlaws who are seeking revenge for their loss loot? Maybe this marriage can resolve Quinn’s and Sarah’s predicaments, but can it ever result in true love?

The Rock by Cara Grandle

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1846 – Oregon

After a whiskey still explosion destroys her home and nearly her life, Rebecca Packwood and her father must leave Missouri and her dear friends behind. After crossing The Oregon Trail, she sets out to discover her family’s secret history and to forge a home and community out of the raw farm land of Eagle Creek, Oregon Country, never suspecting a ruthless enemy is seeking to thwart her plans.

Hard-working banker’s son, Clark Sutherland, thought the toughest test he would face was getting out from underneath his father’s thumb. The last thing he expected was to be penniless, homeless, and smitten with a shy, dark-eyed stranger. With nothing to offer her, will he find a way to support himself and still pursue his dreams before they’re pulled apart?

When a man in shadows sets his eyes on their coveted prize, danger descends. Rebecca and Clark must act to protect the desires of their hearts before harm befalls them all. Will they learn to trust their future to the God who heals and sets the lonely in families?

The Thrall’s Sword by Grace Caylor

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700s – Ireland

On the night Sigrid, a seventeen-year-old Norse slave, is to accompany her dead master on a fiery longship to Valhalla, the cruel Jarl Ragnar murders her mother.

When two fishermen rescue her from her fate in the seas, grief-stricken Sigrid joins them on their mission to warn the Irish of the oncoming Viking raiders. As she continues her journey, her hatred for Jarl Ragnar grows and she secretly vows to destroy him.

However, as her new friend Erik teaches her about his God, a surprising power begins to work inside her heart. Yet when Sigrid has the chance to seize vengeance, will sweet revenge or a foreign god free her from despair?

No Man’s Daughter by Kathleen Maher

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1866 – Virginia

A man with something to prove and a lady with something to hide clash over hotly contested property and a marriage proving anything but convenient.

When the Sharpe’s elderly neighbor passes after the war leaving a vacant farm with no heir, Benjamin Sharpe inquires to purchase the land. What he doesn’t expect to find is a beautiful and stubborn squatter has taken residence. Will her claim on the property prove harder to drive out than her claim on his heart?

Willa looked after Old Mr. Thompson through the war until his death. The late owner promised her a permanent home there, like the daughter he never had, but with some strings attached. When young and ambitious Benjamin Sharpe shows up with intent to evict her, Willa gives him a piece of her mind with a piece of lead aimed at his boots.

The youngest of the Sharpe brothers, Benjamin has been bossed around his entire life by his brothers, and he isn’t about to take it from any girl. All three of his brothers have veterans’ boasting rights in the War, and he must prove his mettle, too. But will his ambitions go so far as to force a waif from her home? As the girl’s resourceful defense of the property frustrates his plans, admiration plucks at his heartstrings. Ben must find a compromise while saving face with his family. But the chit has no intention of playing nice or seeking truce. In Bridgewater, Virginia, the war is still on!

Dusk’s Darkest Shores by Carolyn Miller

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1811 – England

How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?

Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.

That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?

Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.

Author Interview and Giveaway – In a Far-Off Land – Stephanie Landsem

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There’s something magnetic about a fresh retelling of a Biblical story. And you’ve never seen the story of The Prodigal like this before. Stephanie Landsem takes readers into the glitter and sparkle of 1930s film-making. Readers see Hollywood glam and heartache first-hand, through the eyes of Tinseltown’s newest darling, actress Minerva Sinclair. Welcome to the Index, Stephanie!

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In a Far-Off Land

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.

As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can’t protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.

Stephanie’s Website

 

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Questions about Stephanie’s Story

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

Yes! In my first draft of In A Far-Off Land, Mina had an unscrupulous agent named Max who was taking advantage of her and was going to get his come-uppance. I’d written a few scenes with him when I realized . . . I like this man. He was worming his way into my heart and not becoming the villain I’d originally planned. I tried again with a new scene. Max surprised me again by being a stand-up kind of guy. I wasn’t sure what to do with him at that point.

Did any of your characters “fight” with you until you succumbed and changed their personality or the story choice you were forcing them into?

I decided I needed to give Max a chance, so I sat down and wrote his backstory. I discovered in him a character that bridged the divide between the poverty of the Mexican-Americans who were struggling in 1930s Los Angeles and the over-the-top riches of the Hollywood elite. Max had experienced both extremes. He knew the love of family and longed to return to it and had witnessed first-hand the destructive power of fame and money. He wanted to save Mina from what he knew would be a dangerous life. He turned from my villain into my hero.

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Questions about Stephanie’s Reading

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that made you cry?

My last good book-cry was when I read Patti Callahan-Henry’s novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I was surprised because I thought I knew Joy Davidman’s story and was ready for the tragic ending. But really, I wasn’t. It was so skillfully done, and so beautifully wrought with her spiritual journey and the amazing love that she had shared with Jack Lewis, that when the end came, I wasn’t ready for it and it broke my heart.

Which character in a Christian Historical Novel do you wish you could spend time with in the real world and why?

Again, that would be Joy Davidman. I’d love to sit in a comfy pub in Oxford with her (and C.S. Lewis if he wishes to join us) and talk about writing, faith, and marriage. Then we’d take a long ramble in the woods and talk some more. The Joy Davidman of Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a smart, real woman who has questioned God, sought answers to life’s most difficult questions, and found them in both her suffering and her joy.

Stephanie is giving away a paperback (Continental USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Falling For the fifties by Stephanie McGee

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1956 – Mississippi

What would you do if you finally found Mr. Right…in the wrong time?

Maddie Palmer is done with dating. Internet matchmaking landed her one dud after another. Tired, frustrated, and finished with love, Maddie stays the night at a quirky Victorian bed and breakfast on the eve of her grandparents’ sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. When she suddenly wakes up in 1956, she gets the unexpected chance to witness her grandparents’ fairy tale love unfold and finally learn the secret to finding “the one.” But what is she going to do when she meets her own Mr. Right—only to discover he’s Mr. Wrong Time?

Nathanial Hall is set on one mission. Pass his training exam and join the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base. When he mysteriously finds himself on base sixty-five years too early, there can only be one explanation. He has to save the crew destined to die in Hurricane Flossy. But when a beautiful singer snags his heart and derails his carefully planned life, he has to decide if staying in the past is worth risking his entire future.

 

Paint and Nectar by Ashley Clark

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1929 – South Carolina

In 1929, a spark forms between Eliza, a talented watercolorist, and William, a charming young man with a secret that could ruin her career. Their families forbid their romance because of a long-standing feud over missing heirloom silver. Still, Eliza and William’s passion grows despite the barriers, causing William to deeply regret the secret he’s keeping . . . but setting things right will come at a cost.

In present-day Charleston, a mysterious benefactor gifts Lucy Legare an old house, along with all the secrets it holds–including enigmatic letters about an antique silver heirloom. Declan Pinckney, whom Lucy’s been avoiding since their disastrous first date, is set on buying her house for his family’s development company. As Lucy uncovers secrets about the house, its garden, and the silver, she becomes more determined than ever to preserve the historic Charleston property, not only for history’s sake but also for her own.

Much Ado About Josie by Lacy Williams

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1880s – Montana

Mack has built a solitary life for himself as a railroad surveyor. The only person he can rely on is his brother and partner. But when his brother is gravely injured, Mack is forced to accept help from the lovely Josie and her sidekick Ruthie.

Josie is Mack’s opposite in every way. She’s a dreamer who has led a charmed life. She sees the good in people. She draws people in, makes them feel special.

Trapped on a mountain, surviving an avalanche, and exposure to the elements… being with Josie is the biggest risk of all. Because she makes Mack want things he’s never had before. Home. Family. Someone to love.

The Promise Tree by Janalyn Voigt

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1884 – Montana Territory

A preacher’s daughter shouldn’t encourage a troublemaker—no matter what her wayward heart desires.

Liberty has always believed she should marry a man of God, but Jake doesn’t qualify. The promises they’d made at age twelve can’t change that. If only Jake would stop pursuing her, she might keep from falling in love with him.

Jake fears he’ll lose Liberty to Beau, the new man in town. He doesn’t trust the smooth-talker—and certainly not with Liberty. Expressing his opinion sounds jealous and pushes Liberty further away. Jake’s efforts to forget the woman he loves lands him in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

A bounty hunter on the trail of a notorious outlaw gallops into town, and Liberty finds herself in unexpected peril. When Jake rides after her, he faces a test of faith. Jake and Liberty must each overcome their own false beliefs. Only then can they experience the truth of God’s redeeming love.

A Woman of Words by Angela Hunt

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40s – Israel

Disciple Matthew, a former tax collector, is invited to work with Peter, James, and John in Jerusalem. He dreams of preaching and performing miracles like his fellow apostles, but he finds his dreams postponed because of a request from Yeshua’s mother. Well aware of the passing years, Mary asks Matthew to help her record the stories of Yeshua while the eyewitnesses are still alive. Reluctantly, he agrees, though the longer he and Mary work together, the more difficult their task becomes. Not only are they pressured by opposition from friends and foes alike, but Gaius Caesar, better known as Caligula, is determined to raise a statue of himself in the Holy Temple, even if it means killing every man in Israel. As Matthew works to save his people, Mary encourages him to come to terms with issues from his past. When they finally near the completion of their project, Matthew realizes that the job he reluctantly accepted might be his God-given destiny.

The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna White

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1906 – England

Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn’t favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage’s former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished. 

Oliver Tremayne–gentleman and clergyman–is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he’s happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth’s summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it’s the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can’t quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

Banished by Linda Byler

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1900s – Arkansas

It was the early 1900s when Obadiah (Oba) and Merriweather’s (May’s) parents died tragically, leaving them orphans at ten and eleven years old. When none of their nearby relations volunteer to take them in, they are set on a train to Arkansas to go live on their Amish aunt and uncle’s cotton farm. Once there, it didn’t take long to discover they would be treated cruelly, no matter what they did. May, always anxious to be a godly young lady, took on more and more responsibility, trying desperately to keep the peace and convince her older brother not to run away. But when they became teenagers and Oba received one especially cruel beating, he disappeared, leaving May to shoulder even more responsibility while navigating the dangerous and lonely world she’d been placed in.

When she encounters Clinton, a young black man, on the road one day, she sees a kindness in his eyes that she’s been thirsting for. He is immediately drawn to her, too, but quickly reminds her that he is black and she is white. In that time and place, there is no chance of starting a friendship. But still, they find themselves meeting discretely, spending more time together than is proper, finding joy and solace in each other’s company.

When things go from bad to unbearable at the farm, May realizes she must escape from her aunt and uncle. If only she knew where Oba had gone! Can she turn to Clinton for help? Where is God when she needs Him most?

Lassoed by the Lawman by Renae Brumbaugh Green

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1882 – Texas

Juliana Duke has always dreamed of owning a dress shop.

But as the only child of Oscar and Maria Duke and heiress of the vast Duke Ranch, her job is to marry a rancher and produce a male heir. When Lt. Cody Steves rides onto the scene, her resolve to place duty over daydreams is shaken. Now that her heart’s been lassoed by the handsome lawman, will she be able to love another?

Cody Steves wants marriage and family, but he loves being a Texas Ranger. At any time, he could ride into a job and not come out alive. How could any decent man marry, knowing he could leave a widow and orphans behind? But the beautiful Juliana Duke captures him in a way no other has. When this job is over, can he ride away with his heart intact?

When he learns of a secret plot to take over the Duke Ranch, Cody must risk everything to save Juliana. Little does he know, the outcome will be nothing like he’s planned or imagined.

In a Far-Off Land by Stephanie Landsem

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1931 – California/South Dakota

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.

As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can’t protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.

 

Rodeo and Juliet by Linda Ford

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1884 – Montana

Rodeo has never been closer to achieving his dream of buying his own ranch. But when his trick horse—his partner in every performance—falls for the lovely Juliet and refuses to leave her side, Rodeo’s plans go up in smoke. How can Rodeo persuade his stubborn horse to change his mind? Especially when Rodeo finds himself drawn to Jules, too…

Juliet is the careful twin, content to play it safe. She’s not interested in Rodeo—or his horse. But the more time she spends with the stubborn cowboy, the more she realizes there are hidden depths he doesn’t show anyone else. But feeling compassion for the man doesn’t mean she’s falling for him… does it?

Rodeo needs Jules’s help to convince his matchmaking horse to perform. Can these two put aside their pasts and embrace a future that fulfills dreams they won’t admit to?

A Sojourner Christmas by Linda Brooks Davis

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1923 – Texas

She relinquished her childhood home. Abandoned her former life. And set off for a faraway valley that’s touted as magical. As an aspiring newspaper reporter, Blossom Evans expects to find plenty of material with which to carve out a career. But alarming tales about the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas abound. Barely tamed, rugged brush land. Mexican bandits. Wildcats, rattlesnakes, and tarantulas as big around as dinner plates. Where will she find the courage to face—and overcome—such foes, even for her dream career?The first hint of an answer lies in the sleepy little West Texas town of Winters. An unexpected conflict is brewing, one that could launch a reporter’s career—or crush it before it begins. How will Blossom be lured into the fray? And where will she find the temerity to confront this particular brand of evil? It’s Christmas Eve 1923, and Blossom Evans is about to discover what’s she made of.

The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma

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1900 – Colorado

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

The Songstress by Lori Bates Wright

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1868 – Illinois

Rising opera star, Juliana Chamberlain, still has nightmares of the night she witnessed the assassination of the President of the United States from her spot on stage at Ford Theater. Recruited by The Pinkerton Detective Agency, Juliana was instrumental in bringing those responsible to justice.

Two years later, the Pinkertons once again ask her to join forces in exposing a corrupt political organization terrorizing her home in Texas.

Texas Ranger, Cade Matlock, has a job to do. He needs no help from a meddlesome lady agent with big ideas. However, he’s a man of his word, and commits to partnering with the lovely songstress to smoke out a political mastermind with a thirst for vengeance.

Juliana trusts no one until her life is placed in the hands of the handsome Ranger. Soon, they discover their only hope of survival depends on banding together, but will shadows of her past rise to destroy their future?

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