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Leaving Independence by Leeanne W. Smith

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Leaving Independence

Post Civil War – Several US States/Wagon Train

Abigail Baldwyn might not be a widow after all…

Ever since she received word that her husband, Robert, was killed in the Civil War, Abigail has struggled to keep her Tennessee home and family together. Then a letter arrives claiming that Robert isn’t dead, yet he has no plans to return. Desperate for answers, Abigail travels to Independence, Missouri, where she joins a westbound wagon train to find him.

Leading a company along the Oregon Trail isn’t part of Hoke Mathews’s plans. But then the former cavalry scout gets a glimpse of Abigail—so elegant compared to the rest of their hardscrabble wagon community, yet spirited and resilient. Through every peril they encounter—snakebites, Indian raids, fevers, dangerous grudges—his bond with Abigail grows.

Abigail knew this journey would test her courage. Now it’s testing her marriage vows and her heart, daring her to claim a future on her own terms in a land rich with promise.

The Heart Answers by Colleen Coble

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The Heart Answers

1867 – Wyoming

Jessica knows all about men—and how they should never be trusted.

Jessica DuBois is not used to getting her hands dirty or her heart broken. When her mother remarries and takes Jessica with her to rugged Fort Bridger, Wyoming, Jessica longs for her Boston parties and the control she used to have over her life.

Then she meets Reverend Clay Cole, a man who seems only to have eyes for God and his adoring three-year-old cousin. Clay is not just immune to Jessica’s charms, he challenges her selfish attitude.

When tragedy brings this unlikely pair together, they must decide: Is love truly powerful enough to heal the soul?

Rich in historical detail, The Heart Answers takes us to 1867 Wyoming, where a misplaced socialite and an independent preacher ask the deepest questions of the heart.

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Beautiful Pretender – Melanie Dickerson

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Two fairy tale retellings for the price of one. 🙂 I’m excited to have Melanie and her new release here today!

Beautiful Pretender final

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The Beautiful Pretender

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences.

Melanie’s Website

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Questions about Melanie’s Story

What inspired your story?  

This story was inspired by the Princess and the Pea fairy tale and the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Some have said it reminds them of the story of Esther, which is somewhat warranted, even though I never thought about it. And some have called it a Medieval version of “The Bachelor,” but I have never watched that show! I’m not much of a TV fan.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

The hardest part for me is always the beginning, when I’m still getting a feel for the characters and deciding which directions to take the plot. And getting the hero’s characterization right was also difficult. He had to come across as very gruff, especially at the beginning, but not too unlikeable. He also had to change and gradually become kinder and gentler. I had to make him be angry with the heroine for longer than I really wanted to. I’m too much of a softie when I write these kinds of heroes and I have to reel myself in.

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Questions about Melanie’s Reading

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

I don’t actually do much reading of fiction these days, for various reasons, mostly because I am writing three books a year and have so little time, but I did reread A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley a year or so ago. It was comforting to read something I’d read before, something really different from what I write, but which also has a wonderful Medieval setting. I also just really love the heroine in that book. Rereading it was like visiting a friend.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one Christian Historical Novel, which would you pick?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

 

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction (besides your own) which author’s wares would you want to peddle?

I think I might have to say Siri Mitchell, just because I think her writing is so brilliant.

Melanie is giving away a copy of her book (Paperback – US only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. 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

Melanie is also having a Once Upon a Kindle Giveaway where you can win a kindle, gift card, book, and Belle Doll.

Bride by Arrangement by Karen Kirst

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Bride by Arrangement

1868 – Kansas

Newly minted Cowboy Creek sheriff Noah Burgess doesn’t want a wife—despite his friends insisting that he needs one. So when they send for a big-city single mother to be his mail-order bride, he’s fit to be tied. Even if vivacious Grace Longstreet might just be the only person who can see past Noah’s scars…and help him heal. 

Grace needs a husband to keep her and her twin daughters out of her brother-in-law’s grasp. And she’ll do anything—including taking on her cousin’s identity—to find one. But as the attraction between Grace and the lawman sparks higher, she begins hoping for a real marriage. So she needs to tell the truth…or a mail-order match that’s meant to be could crumble.

Once More a Family by Lily George

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Once More a Family

1905 – Texas

To bring his daughter home to Texas, widowed rancher Jack Burnett needs a wife. And the well-bred Ada Westmore, his neighbor’s niece, will surely meet his father-in-law’s approval. Not willing to open his heart again to love, Jack proposes a marriage in name only. But his independent bride proves more intriguing than he expected. 

Needing to support her sisters after the collapse of their father’s fortune, Ada reluctantly agrees to the handsome cowboy’s proposal. The transformation from New York belle to prairie wife—and mother—is challenging for the onetime suffragist. But when their little family faces the threat of being torn apart, Ada and Jack must decide whether their marriage of convenience can become a marriage of love.

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

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No Other Will Do

1894 – Texas

Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper’s Station, a women’s colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he’s always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper’s Station must choose between safety or risking everything to fight for their future.

A Nanny for Keeps by Janet Lee Barton

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A Nanny for Keeps

1898 – New York

With no teaching positions open, Georgia Marshall agrees to become the temporary nanny for the two little girls next door. But she soon becomes enamored of the precocious children and their dashing but distant widowed father. Though she’s falling for him, she can’t help but think that the nobleman is out of her reach. 

After the tragic loss of his wife, Tyler Walker swore he’d never again give his heart away. Until his neighbor brightens his home and brings some much-needed stability to his motherless family. But he refuses to allow this arrangement with the pretty teacher to become permanent…no matter how much he wants Georgia by his side—forever.

Pony Express Hero by Rhonda Gibson

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Pony Express Hero

1860 – California

Pony Express rider Jacob Young is a man of action, which is why when he sees a little girl caught in the middle of a stampede, he races to her rescue. And he soon discovers the child is the half sister he hadn’t known he had. The more time Jacob spends with adorable Daisy and her beautiful guardian, ranch owner Lilly Johnson, the more he realizes they’re filling all the lonely corners of his heart. 

Wary Lilly can’t deny the cherished feelings that overcome her when Jacob vows to protect her and Daisy from any harm. And she can’t help but hope that maybe they can put their past hurts aside and forge a future together as a full-fledged family.

A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawanna Blackwell

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A Haven on Orchard Lane

1880 – England

Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career–only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte’s estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother’s rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time.

Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she’s happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it’s time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn’t there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance?

But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions–ones that jeopardize those they care about most.

The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

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The Ringmaster’s Wife

1926 – Circus circuit

An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

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