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Author Interview and Giveaway – Night Bird Calling – Cathy Gohlke

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Cathy Gohlke delivers stories that ask deep questions and touch the heart. Her newest, Night Bird Calling, offers a thought-provoking look into new beginnings and mending hearts. Welcome back to the Index, Cathy!

Night Bird Calling

When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.

Cathy’s Website

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Questions about Cathy’s Story

What inspired this story?

Years ago I wrote a number of short stories based on some quirky characters in a fictional North Carolina foothills town called No Creek. I loved those characters, but in order to create a novel I needed an outside character who could see both strengths and foibles in my town folk and still care about them, still want to become part of their community, and who could tie their stories together.

 For many years I’ve also wrestled with the idea of writing about the racial divide and abuse I saw growing up during years of the civil rights movement in the South, as well as domestic abuse and church oppression, things I experienced in my youth and young womanhood. Night Bird Calling is the marriage of all those experiences and stories.

Is there anything in this book that is inspired by/modeled after something in your own life or someone you know in real life?

Sometime after fleeing my abusive marriage as a young woman, as Lilliana does in Night Bird Calling, I bought an old trailer in a run down neighborhood—a far cry from Garden’s Gate—but the best I could afford at the time. Children in that neighborhood ran as wild and untended as weeds in a garden run amuck. I befriended many of those children—or they befriended me.  I bought a used bookcase and books at yard sales, then opened a lending library right there in my trailer. Children came for hours—sometimes to color pictures, read or be read to, enjoy glasses of milk and homemade bread with jam and just talk, asking questions about life and God and prison (where one of their fathers served time)—everything imaginable. Parents often took advantage of their community’s new “free” babysitter, but those were precious and healing days for the children and for me. Years later I remarried and bore my own precious children. When they were old enough I worked as a children’s librarian in a school. Those memories became the inspiration for Aunt Hyacinth’s lending library in Night Bird Calling

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 loved working on the Christmas Pageant scene at the end of the book, Chapter Seventy-Four. I’ve always loved small church Christmas pageants where anything—or everything—can go wrong and yet still in wondrous, miraculous ways the true meaning and message of Christmas shines through. Like eleven-year-old Celia, I tried directing a Christmas pageant at a young age, and like Celia, neither grownups nor children lined up according to my hopes or expectations and yet it was exciting, and became one of my most precious memories from childhood.

 

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Questions about Cathy’s Reading

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

Recently I read Melanie Dobson’s The Curator’s Daughter.  Melanie’s research and the world and characters she created from that research were intriguing, fascinating. Like all of Melanie’s books, I binge read it, unable to put it down. The Curator’s Daughter will release in 2021.

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

I’m eager to read Carrie Turansky’s No Journey Too Far. It will release in 2021 and is the conclusion of a story about the tragic separation of a family through the British Home Children and the search to reunite those loved ones that began in her novel, No Ocean Too Wide. The history on which these books are based really tugs at my heart—just the kind of story Carrie excels in writing.

Cathy is giving away a paperback copy of Night Bird Calling, US entrants only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter the Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the Rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

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Court of Swans by Melanie Dickerson

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1381 – England

Where there is wealth and power, there’s always someone willing to do anything to take it.

England, 1381: Delia’s idyllic life as daughter of an earl is shattered when her father dies and his wife accuses Delia’s seven brothers of treason and murder. The youngest is only ten years old, but this doesn’t stop the guards from hauling them off to the Tower of London. There they await a grim fate, as child-king Richard II is executing anyone who poses a threat to his throne. Delia is their only hope for pardon and freedom.

Sir Geoffrey did not expect his first assignment as captain of the guard to be the arrest of boys so young. He dutifully imprisons the brothers, but he can’t ignore the sense, rooted in personal experience, that injustice and treachery are at work.

Determined to rescue her brothers, Delia secures a position as a seamstress for the queen. Her quest is all but impossible as the executions continue. Sir Geoffrey offers to be her ally, but should she trust him in a court where everyone has an agenda?

Faith’s Mountain Home by Misty Beller

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1867 – Montana Territory

Nate Long has always watched over his identical twin brother, Aaron, even when it put him on the wrong side of the law. When Aaron is wounded in a shootout, the brothers are taken to Settler’s Fort to recover. As Nate works to make reparations for their past, he marvels at the nursing Aaron receives under the care of a woman with all the reason in the world to resent him.

Laura Hannon knows what it is to start over, and she knows Nate’s newfound faith is real. What she can’t look past is how far he allowed himself to be led astray by his brother’s weaknesses.

As a fledgling trust grows between Nate and Laura, they stumble upon a mysterious cave in the mountains that may not be as uninhabited as it seems. While working together to unravel the secrets surrounding the cave, will the new lives they seek for themselves include love, or does too much stand between them?

Endless Mercy by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

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1904 – Alaska

Madysen Powell has always been a forgiving person, but when her supposedly dead father shows up in Nome, Alaska, her gift for forgiveness is tested. With the recent loss of her mother, she searches for answers, leaning on Granny Beaufort, a neighbor in town, who listens with a kind heart. Still, Madysen is restless and dreams of performing her music around the world. The arrival of a traveling show could prove just the chance she needs, and the manager promises more than she ever dreamed.

Daniel Beaufort arrives in Nome, searching for his own answers after the gold rush leaves him with only empty pockets. Still angry about the death of his loved ones, he longs to start fresh but doesn’t have high hopes until he ends up helping at the Powell dairy making cheese. Drawn to the beautiful redhead with big dreams, will deceptions from the past tear apart any hope for the future?

Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke

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1941 – North Carolina

When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.

All Through the Night by Tara Johnson

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1861 – Washington DC

With her stammering tongue and quiet ways, Cadence Piper has always struggled to be accepted. After the death of her mother, Cadence sets her heart on becoming a nurse, both to erase the stain her brother has left on the family’s honor and to find long-sought approval in the eyes of her father. When Dorothea Dix turns her away due to her young age and pretty face, Cadence finds another way to serve . . . singing to the soldiers in Judiciary Square Hospital. Only one stubborn doctor stands in her way.

Joshua Ivy is an intense man with a compassionate heart for the hurting and downtrodden. The one thing he can’t have is an idealistic woman destroying the plans he’s so carefully laid. When the chaos of war thrusts Cadence into the middle of his clandestine activities, he must decide if the lives at stake, and his own heart, are worth the risk of letting Cadence inside.

Everything changes when Joshua and Cadence unearth the workings of a secret society so vile, the course of their lives, and the war, could be altered forever. If they fight an enemy they cannot see, will the One who sees all show them the way in the darkest night?

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

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1634 – Virginia Colony

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Renewed Love by Linda Ford

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1849 – California/Traveling

Faith White needs to get safely to California. She’s desperate for a fresh start after being jilted by the man she’d planned to marry. There’s nothing left for her but memories and disappointments and a lost love.

For years Gideon Holder slaved away in a coal mine to save his father from going to jail. He earned his father’s freedom but lost everything else that mattered–including the woman he loved. Now Gideon plans to make up for lost time by searching for gold.

Gideon and Faith are shocked and dismayed to discover they’re both on the same wagon train to California. Gideon doesn’t want Faith to know about his father’s secret shame. Faith only wants to avoid the man who broke her heart. They vow to stay far away from each other, but that turns out to be impossible when they are assigned to travel as part of the same unit.

Can the adventures and challenges of the journey make them realize that their love is still alive?

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep

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1885 – England

There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint
 
Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

Archer by Camille Elliot

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1811 – England

She met him again by shooting him.

After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to.

And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world.

Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna White

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1861 – Georgia

Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don’t seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia’s smiles can’t erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.

A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund

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1862 – Colorado Territory

Greta Nilsson’s trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.

Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He’ll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt’s ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family. And the mayor, who has promised to try to help Greta, has just the candidate in mind for Wyatt to marry.

Timeless Treasure by MaryLu Tyndall

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1716 – Caribbean

A woman with a past searching for pirate treasure. A pious professor seeking worldly recognition. And an historic pirate who brings them together.

The only thing Lexie’s mother left her after her death was a folder full of ancient letters and an old coin. Determined to remove the curse of poverty and crime from her family’s past, Lexie sets off to Charleston, S.C. to find the mythical treasure of Stede Bonnet.

Professor Barret Johnson represents everything Lexie hates. Born to wealth and privilege, Barret’s family are pillars of the community, successful, educated, Christians who never suffered a day in their lives. Yet she has no choice but to allow him to help her decipher the letters.

As the couple read each letter, we are transported into the past where we follow the adventures of Stede Bonnet from his start in Barbados, through each success and failure, and his eventual connection with Blackbeard himself.

Lexie discovers a kindred spirit in her ancestor, Bonnet, and lessons learned from the past soon drift into the present. But someone is after the letters, and soon Barret and Lexie find themselves in grave danger. They must figure out the puzzle Bonnet left them and retrieve the treasure before whoever is after them gets desperate enough to end their lives.

For the Love of Emma by Starr Ayers

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1938 – North Carolina

A rose-covered grave, seventy-nine letters, and a scribbled note unearth buried emotions and the timeless beauty of first love.

When Caroline Myers discovers a box of letters in her deceased mother’s trunk, she’s captivated by the romance that unfolds between her mother, Emma Rose Walsh, a nineteen-year-old waitress, and Noah Anderson, a handsome young soldier.

Determined to read between the lines, Caroline and her sister, Kate, set out on a search that leads them to the North Carolina foothills and the padlocked gate of the Anderson family cemetery. Will the one who holds the key keep them from unearthing long-buried secrets and fulfilling a request their mother tucked inside the box sixty-four years earlier? Will they find closure—or encounter a surprising revelation that plunges them deeper into the past?

A Lady’s Dilemma by Sherrinda Ketchersid

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1190s – England

A prequel to Lord of Her Heart, this novelette tells how Elena Dumont finds her true love. Betrothed to one Ashburne brother, but loving the other sets Elena on a quest for happiness. But she finds that submitting to her destiny may very well lead her to her heart’s desire.

Drawn by the Frost Moon: Finding Pretty Wolf by April Gardner

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1814 – Alabama

One man was hers for a season. The other, for a lifetime.

Many moons have passed since the spirits threw Pretty Wolf together with a scrawny brave and left them to scratch out an existence in a deserted, war-torn village. Though he became dear to her, duty to the People lured her away. Back now with her fugitive clan in faraway Spanish Territory, she lives at the trade post with her longtime betrothed, the Englishman called Iron Wood.

When their war party returns with captive enemy warriors, Pretty Wolf is ill-prepared for one of them to be the boy she abandoned in the north. Neither is she prepared for that boy to have donned a generous spread of muscles. Or for him to have no trouble calling her master.

Night is falling on the Defiance, and it promises to be burial-black. But as Creator Path Maker promised, Strong Bear has found his Wolf. All that’s left is to pray that when the bluecoats invade and rip at the last shreds of her beautiful spirit, there will be something left of her for Strong Bear to love.

The Mulberry Leaf Whispers by Linda Thompson

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1587/1942 – Japan

A WWII Japanese naval officer. The teenage daughter of a legendary Christian samurai. Three centuries separate them, but a crucial question binds their destinies together.

1587. Bartered off in a peace agreement to the ancient enemies of her illustrious house, is Sono a war prize, a hostage, or a bride? One hope sustains her. If she can provide an heir to the dashing husband she just met, she’ll ensure decades of peace for the beloved family she was forced to leave behind. But when a dark secret threatens her desperate bid to purchase their security, she must rise to a battle she never dreamed she’d fight.

1942. Akira Matsuura’s naval vessel explodes under enemy fire. Everything he has lived for disappears in flames with it. His command, his crew, his future—all lost. Worse, his honor is eternally decimated. A prisoner’s life is of value to no one. Least of all to himself. But a stunning twist reveals his family’s secret shame. Can a long-buried truth provide the vital spark that reignites his will to live?

Thrill to two poignant journeys of courage, duty, and sacrifice, deftly woven through the centuries to inspire with dynamic faith that conquers despair.

Author Giveaway – Depending on You – Melissa Jagears

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Thank you for visiting my labor of love. This Index was created when I needed to find all the books that were similar to my own when I was trying to sell my first book! I was also disappointed when I started looking, that since I no longer worked in a bookstore, I’d missed so many books that I would’ve loved to have read. I didn’t even know they were out there! Now that bookstores are even more scarce, this is my virtual bookshelf of all the new releases in my favorite genre, so I’ll never miss knowing that a book exists–and neither will you!

Finding myself without an author for this month’s giveaway slot, I decided to highlight my newest release!

The actual giveaway for this book is for newsletter subscribers only. If you’re not subscribed, consider doing so! If you do so, you can then enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of Depending on You as a subscriber: here. It’s a once a month email that simply contains a list of all the newly released books with covers and blurbs along with whatever book is our featured giveaway–along with occasional newsletter only giveaways. You’ll never miss an Inspirational Historical novel that way!

Sign up for the Index’s Newsletter.

My new release, Depending on You, is a shorter read for the busy Christmas season. At $2.99, treat yourself for Christmas to a story that contains a candlelight service, a live nativity, handmade ornaments, warm fires, snow, and the best thing of all–love!

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Depending on You

1884 – Wyoming

Can the joy and hope of Christmas restore their love before it’s too late?

Leah Whitsett’s life was ideal until the disastrous day she nearly died because of her husband’s deceit. When he returns home weeks before Christmas, she knows the best gift she can give him is forgiveness, but how can she relinquish her hard-won independence knowing he plans to turn their family’s life upside down again?

Bryant has always known his wife was a gift he’d never deserved, but how can he provide for her in a town that no longer wants anything to do with him? He longs to atone for the misery he’s put his loved ones through, but when he brings a family member home for the holidays, he and Leah may end up even further apart.

With emotions high and their marriage at stake, will the season bring the hope they need…or are their rifts too large to mend?

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Courting Misfortune by Regina Jennings

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1898 – Illinois

Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she’s assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she’s sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered?

When Matthew Cook decided to be a missionary, he never expected to be sent only a short train ride away. While fighting against corruption of all sorts, Matthew hears of a baby raffle being held to raise funds for a children’s home. He’ll do what he can to stop it, but he also wants to stop the reckless Miss York, whose bad judgment consistently seems to be putting her in harm’s way.

Calista doesn’t need the handsome pastor interfering with her investigation, and she can’t let her disguise slip. Her job and the life of a young lady depend on keeping Matthew in the dark.

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen

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1813 – England

Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong.

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast–known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors–Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents’ fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?

To Dwell among Cedars by Connilyn Cossette

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1062 BC – Israel

Eight years ago, when the Philistines stole and then surrendered the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora left her Philistine homeland to follow the ark to the community of Kiryat Yearim. There, the family she was adopted into has guarded the ark at the top of a mountain in seclusion.

Ronen is a Levite musician determined to secret away the ark to a more fitting resting place, watched over by priests who would restore the Holy of Holies. He never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he’s tasked to deceive.

As Ronen’s attempts to charm Eliora lead them in unexpected directions, betrayal leaves Eliora with strained family ties and Ronen questioning his own loyalties. Ultimately, Eliora and Ronen are caught up in the battle for the soul of Israel and its future under the leadership of Samuel, the last judge before the era of the kings begins.

The Gold Digger by Liz Tolsma

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1907 – Indiana

In 1907, shy but loyal Ingrid Storset travels from Norway to support her grieving sister, Belle Gunness, who owns a farm in LaPorte, Indiana. Well-to-do widow Belle, who has lost two husbands and several children, provides Ingrid with enough money to start a small business. But Ingrid is confused by the string of men Belle claims to be interviewing for her next husband. When Nils Lindherud comes to town looking for his missing brother, who said he was going to marry Belle, Ingrid has a sinking feeling her sister is up to no good.

Hope’s Reward by Carol Ashby

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 120s – Roman Empire/Traveling

Must the secrets we hide destroy our hope for a future?

For a gladiator slave, each time you step on the sand, it’s kill or die. When Ursus decides to follow Jesus, he must choose to die the next time he’s ordered to fight…or run away. He runs, taking again his childhood name, Matti. But he isn’t just trying to escape. He’s running to Thessalonica, where he hopes to find other Christians like the woman who led him to faith.

When Felicia’s new husband, Falco, almost kills her in a fit of rage, her uncle won’t help her end the marriage with his business partner. He will send her to her sister in Thessalonica, but only if she tells no one she plans to divorce Falco and demand her dowry back before she gets there. When Matti interrupts a robbery too late to save Felicia’s money for traveling by sea, he offers to bodyguard and escort her overland to their mutual destination.

After Matti risks everything to save her from Falco’s assassins, Felicia fears taking the danger to her sister’s family. When his Christian friends take them in, she discovers the deepest desires of her heart. But will the secrets of Matti’s past make a future together impossible?

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark

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1946 – Alabama/Charleston

Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie’s past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton–the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman–boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they’ve both dreamed of. But it’s not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.

A Voice within the Flame by Henry O. Arnold

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1100s BC – Israel

A son of the vow…a voice for a nation.

For many long years, Hannah prayed for a son; a son finally granted to her only when she promised him back to God. Samuel, son of the vow, grows up in the Tabernacle, his childhood spent in the company of priests and Levites, in service to a God who was always silent. Samuel watches in dismay as the sons of the High Priest flaunt their wicked behavior, yet he knows that Yahweh will eventually have a reckoning. It is not until he hears a Voice call to him from within the flames of the altar that he realizes he has a part to play in this drama.

This young man hears another voice from a maiden who captures his heart, and he begins to dream of a future beyond the confines of the Tabernacle. But when Israel’s enemies threaten to destroy his world, it appears as though everything Samuel ever held dear may come tumbling down around him.

Not even a great prophet, whose words never fall to the ground, can keep Israel from crying out for a king. The Lord calls upon Samuel to guide the nation and her new king through the years of turmoil they must face.

In this tale of triumph and scorn, deepest love and burning rivalries, the new epoch is given a voice…and it is a song of prophets and kings.

The Widow’s Christmas Miracle by Kathleen D. Bailey

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1849 – Nebraska Territory

Red Dawn’s world was shattered in a single vengeful act, an act that brought her to into the home of the enemy. She couldn’t love a white man, not after what they did to her people. Could she?

After losing a limb serving his country, Laban Jones has built a life from nothing. He’s got more than he dare ask for, but what woman would accept a one-legged husband? Can he offer Red Dawn three-quarters of a man, and will she be content with that?

The answer they receive on a Christmas Eve is a miracle neither will ever forget.

The Christmas Wish by Shanna Hatfield

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1908 – Oregon

Home is the last place he wants to be for Christmas . . .

When an urgent telegram arrives from his mother, begging him to return home, old West photographer Percy Bruner can’t refuse. After an almost five-year absence, he dreads returning to the small eastern Oregon town of Hardman where he grew up. He’d dreamed of raising a family there, and loving his sweetheart until they were both old and gray. But with her gone, the only thing the town can offer him is painful memories.

Now that his family needs him, Percy must face the ghosts that continue to haunt him, and make the hard choice of letting go of his past or giving up on his future.

Will his return the place he once loved give shattered hearts a chance to heal and make a special Christmas wish come true?

Missionary of Hope: Priscilla’s Story

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40s – Roman Empire

Priscilla has big plans for her future. As a pampered daughter of Rome, educated and ambitious, she has one goal: to serve as Emperor Claudius’s historian. But all that changes when she is betrayed by her jealous brother. Instead of a life of wealth and history, she is forced to marry Aquila, a tentmaker, who had served her family for years before he bought his freedom. Stripped of her name and ambitions, Priscilla must adjust to her new life as a woman likely to be forgotten. But the God who “works all things together for the good of those who love Him” has a different path for Priscilla. She soon finds herself walking alongside the saints, not just recording stale words of past deeds, but living out the fresh hope sweeping the empire.

No Stone Cast: Eliyanah’s Story by Carole Towriss

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29 – Israel

Eliyanah is content with her simple life, serving the poor and outcast in the tiny village of Bethany. She dreams of marrying the love of her life, Eleazar. But her dreams are shattered when her stepfather betroths her to a wealthy spice merchant from Jerusalem. Away from her childhood home, Eliyanah finds herself lonely and aimless—her life’s sole purpose now is to bear a son and an heir for her neglectful and abusive husband.


In her despair, Eliyanah turns to the arms of another man, even though she knows the penalty for such a sin should she be caught. When the inevitable happens, and she is dragged—shamed and humiliated—before the enraged Pharisees, a Savior steps in. In place of judgment, He offers mercy. In lieu of guilt’s wages, He offers grace. How can she ever repay such love?

Depending on You by Melissa Jagears

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1884 – Wyoming

Can the joy and hope of Christmas restore their love before it’s too late?

Leah Whitsett’s life was ideal until the disastrous day she nearly died because of her husband’s deceit. When he returns home weeks before Christmas, she knows the best gift she can give him is forgiveness, but how can she relinquish her hard-won independence knowing he plans to turn their family’s life upside down again?

Bryant has always known his wife was a gift he’d never deserved, but how can he provide for her in a town that no longer wants anything to do with him? He longs to atone for the misery he’s put his loved ones through, but when he brings a family member home for the holidays, he and Leah may end up even further apart.

With emotions high and their marriage at stake, will the season bring the hope they need…or are their rifts too large to mend?

No Good Stede Goes Unpunished by Eddie Jones

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1600s – Caribbean

At the conclusion of a seminar on, “Trances and Visions: Exploring the Out-of-Body Experience,” the wealthy daughter of a prominent physician approaches Ricky with an offer. “If my father could fix things so your mother would receive the best cancer treatment for free, would you go back in time to clear my ancestor’s good name?”

Ricky explains that he can’t simply will himself to have an episode and take a time-travel trip. “Absence seizures don’t work that way. Even if I could go back, I can’t control when and where I end up.” But Ricky also knows there have been instances where someone claimed they slipped into a trance and saw past and future events. John, the Apostle of Christ. Saul/Paul, also an Apostle of Christ. Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter-day Saints. Black American slave Nat Turner who led the only effective, sustained slave rebellion. “They saw things, yes,” Ricky says to the rich girl, “but didn’t change what happened in the past.”

Then, for the third time since last Christmas, Ricky experiences a short period of “blanking out,” of staring into and sailing through space and time. Moments later Ricky finds himself in pirate land with Stede Bonnet, a rich sugar plantation owner who thought becoming a pirate might be a fun way to live out the rest of his life. And for Bonnet it was a Yabba Dabba Doo good time right up until the moment Ricky stepped aboard the Revenge. Set sail from Barbados with Bonnet’s crew as they slant west towards the North American coast, and run afoul of the British Royal Navy, the good citizens of Charleston, and Blackbeard the pirate. Will Ricky swing by the neck or die on the deck?

The Longest Road by Dan Walsh

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1857 – Virginia/Traveling

It’s October, 1857, just a few years before the Civil War. After recovering a month in New York from the shipwreck that almost took their lives, John and Laura Foster finalize plans to return home to San Francisco. Knowing they must return, both are dreading the voyage. Their plans suddenly change when they learn of a tragedy involving their beloved friend and former slave, Micah. His youngest daughter Hannah, still a slave in Virginia, has been mercilessly torn from the arms of her husband and sold to a wicked slaveowner from the Deep South. Her brother Eli knows Hannah will never submit to the evil schemes of this slaveowner. Unsure of how to find her, John and Laura embark on an epic journey—together with Micah and Eli—hoping to somehow rescue Hannah…before it’s too late.

In This Hope by Jennifer A. Davids

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1874 – London

No condemnation…

Lady Charlotte Kingsley returns to London after spending a year on the Continent to avoid a vicious scandal. Once dubbed The Manipulative Matron by the press, she hopes the worst has blown over and she can live life on her terms. She also seeks to return to the faith of her youth. But a God who does not condemn her is a hard truth to embrace.

Over two years ago, Thomas Howard left prison. Having reconciled with God and his family, he lives a quiet life. He longs to return to the world of art, but can he re-awaken his talent? And though he is convinced God has forgiven his past, what can persuade the woman he nearly ruined to do the same?

When a chance meeting throws the two together, a friendship forms. But their reputations as social pariahs are too delicious for the scandal-mongers to resist. Their pasts return to haunt them and may ruin more than just their growing feelings for one another. Despite the world’s harsh judgment, can they find hope that in Christ there is now no condemnation?

Burying Daisy Doe by Ramona Richards

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1954 – Alabama

No cold case is more important than the one that destroyed her own family.

Every small town has one unsolved case that haunts its memory, festering for generations below the surface with the truth of humanity’s darkness. Star Cavanaugh is obsessed with the one that tore her family apart.

Over sixty years ago, Daisy Doe was murdered and discarded outside Pineville, Alabama, buried without a name or anyone to mourn her loss. When Star’s father tried to solve the case, he was also killed. Now a cold-case detective with resources of her own, Star is determined to get to the bottom of both crimes. But she’ll have to face an entire town locked in corruption, silence, and fear–and the same danger that took two other lives. The only people in town she can trust are her grandmother and the charming Mike Luinetti, and both of them trust a God Star isn’t sure she believes in. Can Christians so focused on the good really help her track down this evil?

Harvest Moon by Jenny Knipfer

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1852 – Canada

In the wilds of 19th century Ontario, Maang-ikwe, a young Ojibwe woman, falls into a forbidden love, breaks her father’s honor, and surrenders her trust to someone who betrays it. The abuse she suffers divides her from her tribe and causes her to give up what she holds most dear.

Niin-mawin must come to grips with his culture being ripped away from him. Brought up in a “white man’s” school, he suffers through an enforced “civilized” education and separation from his family. When a man he respects reveals a secret about Niin-mawin’s past, he embarks on a search for the person he hopes can mend the part of his heart that’s always been missing.

Both Maang-ikwe and Niin-mawin wonder how a harvest of pain and sorrow will impact their lives. Will they find the blessings amongst the hardships, or will they allow the results of division and abuse to taint their hearts forever?

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